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It’s not just another song

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For today, I'd like to once again hit the topic of The National Anthem. It isn't that I don't appreciate a good singer performing at a favorite rodeo; I love little kids' renditions as much as the next Grandpa. I can truly warm to Reba or Garth or Chris singin' it to open the show, but as I've preached for years, please print the words on the program or show them on the big board and let the crowd proclaim their allegiance to the flag while singing this Anthem together. I wrote this in 1994 while going to a college rodeo to announce in Fargo, N.D.

the rodeo anthem

By Jim Thompson, May 13, 1994

I'm not a poet but I wrote these words

As I came to the rodeo today,

and the rhyme and the meter may not be right

but it's just what I want to say.

It's about the anthem we're about to hear,

and the way we let it be

just another song, and we forget

that a man named Francis Scott Key

Over 200 years ago, in a prison ship

heard the bombs burst and men cry

and wondered, "when the sun comes up tomorrow,

will I still see Old Glory fly?"

Can you imagine his pounding heart

as the rockets tore the night,

and the red, white and blue
of America

was almost lost from sight?

So when you sing the National Anthem today,

It doesn't mean "play ball,"

or "bareback riders get ready,"

no, none of these at all.

It means that America is still free,

and we should remain proud

as Old Glory circles the arena

and our words drift over the crowd.

Sing it America...

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