Sunday, July 05, 2009

'They're taking this country over!'..

This is a phrase that has baffled me since childhood.

'They'..'Them'..'Those people'..

I mean,in this country,unless you're an American Indian,(in which case,your ancestors theoretically immigrated to North America from Asia..But I digress),somewhere along your genealogical line,you were a 'They'.
This isn't a rant,..just an observation.

America is the 'Great Melting Pot',and I've always considered that to be our greatest strength.
I take special note of this on the day we celebrate the institution of our Declaration of Independence,when I think about the lofty ideals it proposes...Those self-evident facts so eloquently enumerated.
..And I consider my own eclectic heritage.

Stone cold German on my Father's side,..Scotch/Irish,with a smidgen of Comanche Indian thrown in for that extra-spicy flavor,on my Mother's side.
My paternal Grandfather arrived in this country two short generations ago under questionable circumstances,(No immigration records to be found),but I can trace my maternal roots in America all the way back to the Shenandoah Valley in pre-Civil War Virginia.
So,..I'm as American as apple pie,..corn liquor,jerked venison,and sauerkraut.

As an American,I revel in the wonderful assortment of ethno/geographical influences in myself,..just like I expect my Afro-American Nieces and Nephews,as well as my Hispanic Nieces, Nephews and Grandson to revel in theirs.
It's the American way,..and we're taking over.

Comes now,in deference to my lineage,a haunting ballad performed by a lovely Irish lass.
It tells the story of a Civil War soldier,crossing the Missouri River with his Indian bride.
It just doesn't get any more American than that!
..With the possible exception of your own unique story.

video

'Shenandoah'

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23 Comments:

At 4:27 PM , Blogger apositivepessimist said...

I always tell ‘em…the Aussies are takun ovah baybee…whenever somebody mentions they just met/saw another Aussie singer, actor, medical supply deliverer, doctors receptionist blah.

Imagine how boring and stagnant any country would be without the different cultures moving in. I mean I never would have eaten Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Lebanese, Hillbillian. Heh.

 
At 4:46 PM , Blogger Mom said...

God bless America and it's wonderful diverse people!

 
At 5:16 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Apos- No!..Not the Aussies!!..there goes the neighborhood. :P

Mom- God has blessed us!..It's who we are.

 
At 5:35 PM , Blogger billy pilgrim said...

there might not be any purebred humans on the planet.

as a child of the universe i'm more worried about those pricks from ceti alpha 4.

 
At 5:43 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Billy P.- Once you've had one o' those Ceti Alpha 4 babes,..you'll never go back.

 
At 9:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are to be commended for your tolerance for such basic human life. Now, if everyone else could be so kind....
As your very own precious blood, and Great Grandpa's as well (sneaky little sucker) I am so very proud to be called your daughter.

 
At 10:20 PM , Blogger YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

you need to check the old movie files for a movie called shenandoh...think clark gable was in it..i loved it..and cried like a baby...hell, i damn near was a baby..
the only thing with america being a melting pot any more is they ain't melting..they clot..the ethnic groups stay in the same area and they dont blend..any major city has a certain part of town that is brown, or black, or yellow, or what ever..they did it in the 1800's and they're still doing it..we'll have to wait for us to all be beige for us to truly melt..but..love her i do...and all of the diverse americans with her..

 
At 10:29 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Anonypoop- I'm proud of you baby.
Check it out..Shenandoah is the name of an Indian Chief,and it means 'Deer in the woods'.
Theat is so close to the literal translation of our surname,that I dare not elaborate. ;)

Yellerdawg- I don't have to check it out doll,it starred Jimmy Stewart,and has always been one of my favorite movies of all time!..Largely memorable for the theme song. :)

 
At 11:03 AM , Blogger Random Thinker said...

I too am a proud descendant of a long line of "theys". I am also proud to say my future grandchildren will be German, Irish, Scottish, Mexican, Polish, English and, some claim, a little bit of Chinese. But nobody can exactly explain how a Chinese man would have gotten to our part of Germany back in the 1800's.

 
At 12:16 PM , Blogger booda baby said...

Shenandoah is one of my most favorite songs in the world to play. If it sounds haunting in MY hands (and it always does) then that's some song. Strong and sinuous, like those American fibers of which you speak.

You got some amazing spiciness in you. Gosh. Everyone does. Someday, because it takes that long for all the flavors to set in, we will be DELICIOUS and can take ourselves to a big old global potluck with heads held high.

 
At 12:56 PM , Blogger sageweb said...

Oh I love the video, it reminds me of when I was Irish.

Growing up we use to ask our Dad what our heritage was, and he would say..you are an American.

He never told us..our Grandma told me, but I forgot..something to do with Pastries.

 
At 6:06 PM , Blogger Middle Child said...

What a beautiful bit of music...
So you are part german, part celt and part Indian...wow...and all american from the sound of it...

Mine is mainly all irish with a smidgin of Yorkshire peasantry...and Australia is my home...I consider myself indigineous to the big skies here and the blue mountains...

I think the real division si between those with common sense and compassion and those without...and that crosses all divisions...

 
At 6:49 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

What? You're a mongrel?

 
At 8:16 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

You are an interesting mutt! *smiles*

You said that you can trace your maternal roots in America all the way back to the Shenandoah Valley in pre-Civil War Virginia? Well, we will be visiting the land of your maternal roots in a few weeks. I can't wait to see the Shenandoah Valley--and later Gettysburg. I'm sure it will be an interesting trip.

 
At 9:24 AM , Blogger laurent said...

Same in Canada and this multiculturalism in our cities.
I can see how in Europe where the population is pretty homogenous, foreigners are not welcomed, there is no integration of people and violence erupts, race riots and all that. Where in North America you have diversity of ideas, here it is always the same old rehash, same old history and same old problems. This is why so many young people still want to immigrate to the USA and Canada, they want change and diversity.

 
At 5:45 PM , Blogger secret agent woman said...

After 9/11 when Americans we're in a fever of us vs. themming, a patient said something about imigrants and I asked if she was Native American. And then I said, "We're immigrants. All of us."

 
At 6:36 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Thinker- I think the Chinese guy may have been a Shaolin Monk,who wandered the Black Forest spreading love,and kicking ass.

Booda Babe- You can play Shenandoah?..I downloaded the chords,pretty simple actually,but my guitar strings are SO dead I can't pull he real heart out of them.
Know what I mean?

Sage- Based on your pastry heritage,I've concluded your ancestors came from the Alsace-Lorraine area of Germany,and that we are probably related.
..Can I borrow ten bucks?

Middle Child- You know what I love about you Aussies?..The whole joint started as a penal colony,and thus produced some of the most down to earth,honest to god genuine human beings you could ever hope to meet.
I've never met an Aussie I didn't like!

Rainey- Actually,I'm one of the last remaining descendants of the Romanov royal family.
I just blog so that I can keep my finger on the pulse of the common folk.
..and hopefully gain some publicity for my new restuarant.

Miss HP- How come you get to visit Virginia,and I don't?
(sigh)..Well,have fun,and take lots of pix. ;)

Laurent- I don't have anything against homogenous peoples.That's where our heritage begins.
I do think we are at our best when we can integrate all the best attributes of a variety of folks.

 
At 6:41 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Secret Agent Woman- Give us your tired,your poor,your huddled masses yearning to be free!..When did we forget that?

 
At 12:50 PM , Blogger rosemary said...

I'm a mutt too.....and damn proud of it. No record of my great uncles arrival.....but he brought the Black Hand with him I am told.

 
At 8:12 PM , Blogger YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

jimmy stewart..yeah...that's the one..the music got to me even back then when i was just a kiddo..

 
At 8:13 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Rosie- We were always told growing up,that Grandpa came to this country as a stowaway.
When I got older,and checked the immigration records,I couldn't find any record of him ever having arrived here.
He did gain his citizenship,and opened up a sheet metal shop called 'Citizen Sheet Metal'..I don't have a whole lot of other info about him.

 
At 8:16 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Yellerdawg- OOPS!..I missed you.
I was just a toddlin' lad when I saw that movie,but the music always stuck with me.
Had a lot to do with my taste in music in general. :)

 
At 1:43 PM , Blogger Doralong said...

As I live right close to the Shenandoah, and have in one spot or another along the great Valley of Virginia, for a large chunk of my life, that song has always haunted me. In a good way. Well see, some of your people were from these parts so that explains a lot of your more wonderful characteristics.

 

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