American Hearts

Thanks to the HBO Max show, the phrase “raised by wolves” enters my brain a lot. And as a big AA Bondy fan, it makes me constantly think of the opening line to the namesake song on American Hearts:

We were raised by wolves
And we are still wild
And we howl when the troubled wind blows
And in the TV’s blue light
Oh, assassins will lie
Every wail just a-goin’ down slow

I was listening to it last night, and it’s an even better song than I remember. I love the neighborly spirit to the chorus:

So don’t tread on me
For I am your brother
I was born with an American heart
And don’t tread on her
For she is your sister
She was born with an American heart

It’s that kind of wholesome patriotism that I actually like. It would be harder to write that song today because somehow American pride has turned into something that can be culturally interpreted as right-wing and, the way I see it, dangerous.

If I was one of those rare good-faith politicians who have a genuine desire to help people and make this country better, I’d hop right on using the American flag as a major symbol. It’s high time that icon was taken back.

Then this:

All the people you meet
Down in the streets
May be good but they don’t wanna know
So they cover their eyes, for
Who wants to be sad?
Life is sweet at the bottom of the sea

Which to me is evocative of that current feeling where we’re sick of masks, not because of discomfort or that we don’t care about safety anymore, but because we’re sick of this physical reminder of divide. The issue is so politicized that the tension is palpable when someone without a mask and someone with a mask even cross paths. I’d prefer to go back to not knowing our differences. I look forward to seeing the smiles again, smiles that we do because we’re neighbors and we share far more in common than otherwise. I’d rather think about what we agree on and how we could collaborate rather than where we butt heads.

And the mothers will cry
Fathers stay up all night
With the worry that goes to the bones
And if your God makes war
Then he’s no God I know
‘Cause Christ would not send boys to die

Ya know, I’d probably give religion a shot if it was truly about being forgiving and kind to thy neighbor.



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