Song of the Day #1,658: ‘My Country’ – tUnE-yArDs

tuneyards_my_countrytUnE-yArDs first showed up on this blog during a recap of last year’s Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll, in which hundreds of music critics’ top ten lists are combined to generate a list of the year’s best songs and albums.

tUnE-yArDs’ album wound up topping that list, shocking me as I’d never heard of them before. The top song was Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep,’ so it’s not as if the list was deliberately non-mainstream. I will be writing about this year’s Pazz &amp’ Jop poll as soon as its published.

tUnE-yArDs make and appearance on Meet Me In Montauk this year, however, thanks to the video for their track ‘My Country.’

This clip features a bunch of children from San Francisco art programs and it is meant as a protest of/comment on the lack of funding for art education in America’s public schools. All of the kids in this video are trapped in one way or another, trying to break free, their creativity too explosive to be contained.

A Kickstarter project accompanied the release of this video, aimed at generating funds for the San Francisco Rock Project, a non-profit that teaches music to children.

My country, ’tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
How come I cannot see my future within your arms

Your love it turns me down
Into the underground
My country bleeding me; I will not stay in your arms

Not yet, yet, yet
No, not yet, yet, yet
No, not yet, yet
No, not yet, yet

Not yet, yet, yet
No, not yet, yet, yet
No, not yet, yet
No, not yet, yet, yet

At the Salvation army making us all stand in a line
While mommy and daddy make up and try to make up their minds
Oh the shame I felt when those histories mention my name
If only I could forget, but memory’s my favorite thing (?)

We cannot have it
Well, what am I supposed to say to those other guys
‘So sorry, but you only took half a chance
Now it’s over and they’re walkin’ all over you’

We cannot have it
Well then why is there juice dripping under your chin
When they have nothing, why do you have something
When they have nothing

The worst thing about living a lie
Is just wondering when they’ll find out

I got me, you’ve got you
That’s one plus one plus two
I never told you what to do
And then you put me in some box

I’ve got you, you’ve got me
Like a baby’s got (?)
I told myself I’d have to check islands
If I was gonna get over your shit

We cannot have it
Well then what do you want me to say to those others
Oh yes, there’s a place for you
But that place is underneath the cushion of my behind

And you cannot have it
Well then why did you say so
With my eyes open, how can I be happy
With my eyes open

If nothing of this is ours,
How will I ever know when something’s mine

My country, tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
How come I cannot see it

My country, tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty, yeah

My country, tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
How come I cannot see a future within your arms

The worst thing about living a lie
Is just wondering when they’ll find out

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,658: ‘My Country’ – tUnE-yArDs

  1. Dana says:

    I appreciate the message of this video. Not crazy about the song though.

  2. Amy says:

    I kind of love the song, the video, and the message! Great sound.

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