In the song “America!” Bill Callahan refers to US American culture, above all militarism and imperialism. Throughout the whole song, there is a very charged and powerful, but also intimidating atmosphere, which is created mainly...
America! America! America! America!
You are so grand and gold, golden
Oh I wish I was deep in America tonight

America! America!
I watch David Letterman in Australia
Oh America!
You are so grand and gold, golden
I wish I was on the next flight to America

Captain Kristofferson
Buck Sergeant Newbury
Leatherneck Jones
Sergeant Cash
What an army, what an air force, what a marines
America!
I never served for my country
America! America!

Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iran, Native American
America!
Well everyone's allowed a past they don't care to mention
America! America!

Well it's hard to rouse a hog in delta
And it can get tense around the Bible belt
America! America!

All the lucky suckle teat
Others chaw pig knuckle meat
Ain't enough teat, ain't enough teat, ain't enough teat
Ain't enough teat, ain't enough teat, ain't enough to eat
In America
America! America!
In America


Lyrics submitted by Eglk

America! song meanings
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    General Commentgroovy
    awakening 09on April 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's safe to say Mr. Callahan ain't no jingo.
    ifihadmydrutherson August 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIn the song “America!” Bill Callahan refers to US American culture, above all militarism and imperialism. Throughout the whole song, there is a very charged and powerful, but also intimidating atmosphere, which is created mainly by the progressive beat, but also the lyrics. Above all the repetitions of the exclamation “America!”, which expresses the patriotism of the country, but also it’s great importance on the global scale.
    The author supposedly adores the greatness of America and he describes the appealing effect of the country. People wish they were “on the next flight“ and “deep in America tonight“. In these first two stanzas the words “grand” and “golden” are repeatedly used. It should be noted that his usage of words might imply that he approaches this topic in more of an ironic than admiring way. The line about David Letterman stands for America’s cultural presence all over the world.
    The third stanza of the song outlines what seems like the most important part of america in the author’s view, which is the army. The names of several veterans are given. (I am not from the States, so I do not know those guys) Callahan lists several countries where the US have fought a war. It is striking that he ends his enumeration with „Native America“. After all the wars the US fought in enemy territory, the colonisation (kind of a euphemism) of the continent is set at the end of the list.
    In the last part it says:
    “All the lucky suckle teat/ Others chaw pig knuckle meat”
    This can be interpreted as a metaphor on wealth inequality. And the phrase “Ain’t enough teat”, which is repeated a lot of times, expresses the greed and hunger for more. It ends with the slight alteration to “Ain’t enough to eat”. By applying this pig allegory the author draws the listener’s attention to the huge social problems in America.
    jositrawnyon February 07, 2016   Link

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