Red(neck) White and Blue

OK, so I’ll admit there’s something dangerous about listening to Jerry Reed, Johnny Paycheck and Hank Williams Jr. while at work on a Thursday afternoon. Follow that up with dinner at a restaurant at the edge of a college town where you’re likely to see obnoxious young punks dining across the room from farmers and truckdrivers, and it’s a recipe for some kind of social commentary. Here goes.

My name is on my shirt, but that don’t mean that I forgot
just who I am and where I learned the lessons I’ve been taught
about this world we’re living in and how it got that way:
some people create garbage, and other folks scrub it away

I pump the gas you waste in your designer SUVs;
It’s my sweat that delivers your brand new widescreen TVs;
I watch as you buy priviledge with handfuls of crisp new cash;
You may buy friends and influence, but that don’t mean you’ve got class.

You say I’m redneck, poor white and blue,
not worth the future you’re entitled to;
but it doesn’t matter much what you might say.
The trash that you talk, folks like me wash away.

If it’s broke, I can fix it and charge you an honest rate
while you laugh underneath your breath and think me an ingrate,
not thankful for the culture you ignore and would let die
without my servant class to keep your asses warm and dry.

I grow your food, construct your homes, and keep your golf course green
My friends and family fight your wars, and build your limousines
My face seems so familiar, but you can’t recall my name
Down that great height you’re looking from, we all look just the same

You say I’m a redneck, poor white and blue
not worth the effort it costs to improve
but it doesn’t matter what you choose to say
The mess that you make, folks like me sweep away

Maybe I’m just redneck, poor white trash and blue
just one more hillbilly with nothing to lose.
one thing’s for certain, and I know it’s true:
except for the grace of God, I’d be like you.

15 DEC 2005

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