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August 17

Who’s the Old Girlfriend in Kris Kristofferson’s Anthem ‘84?

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Consistent to his outlaw image, Kris Kristofferson was no wimp in reality. He’s a man with backbones and with solid convictions. Coming from a lineage of military men, he dared defy expectations. Even knowing that leaving the army would surely incur his family’s wrath, he went out to carve a path of his own.

Here’s one of his songs that strongly voices this legend’s heart about his homeland.

Anthem ‘84  – Kris Kristofferson

SONG ANATOMY

America as the “old girlfriend”

You were such a pretty dream as I remember.
You were young and strong and God was on your side.

Bet most of us are familiar with that cutscene from the TV show, The Newsroom where protagonist Will McAvoy was questioned, Why is America the Greatest Country in the World?” Will tried to weasel his way out but was only pressed to give a straight answer. He then thundered to everybody’s surprise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q49NOyJ8fNA

Above clip was Kristofferson’s point. Going back to the times of the founding fathers, America was built on the ideology that it’s a Nation Under God. She was her neighbor’s helper and her brother’s keeper. Hence, God exalted America and his people. The country became prosperous and was a superpower in the world’s history.

Fighting for Moral Reasons vs. Fighting for Pride

“..you traded your compassion for your pride..”

Kristofferson is pro-military and identifies with them. He supports them without pretension. His pet peeve lies only on politicians who send troops to war on moral grounds but was in reality for their own self-interest. Hence, America’s image was tarnished and became a mockery of the world.

I ain’t gonna leave you for the crazy things you’re doin’
But don’t ask me to lend a helpin’ hand.

Conclusively, Anthem 84 is Kristofferson’s lament for his beloved country. Now aged, he wishes to see America back to her old beauty.

Be the lovin’ beauty that you can.

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America, kris kristofferson, Nation Under God


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