There is a type of song which seems very specific to the USA, and it is summed up perfectly by this latest song from Gil Kason and the Karson City Rebels. Freedom Guaranteed is one song that pays tribute to those who have fought and given their lives to make the country what it is today, who have died for the cause of freedom and liberty.
We don’t do this sort of song in the UK (from which I write). Perhaps it is because, as a much older nation, the idea of the “birth of a nation” is much more shrouded by clouds of a distant past, or maybe we just don’t think in the same terms. Off course, we have patriotic songs, but they are rarely found in contemporary pop culture, being more usually an element of the classical or orchestral world.
But if you are going to write a song in this vein, then you should write one as deftly and delicately crafted as this. Freedom Guaranteed might be a musically simple song. Still, it is such a concise musical delivery system that allows for the words and, more importantly, their message and meaning to become the song’s focal point. The acoustic guitars, the lilting groove, and the short, sharp, spiralling electric solo all mesh together to make the perfect platform, but the words stand proud. And proud is the perfect word to use for them.
I always maintain that the elevated position of the songwriter is something that most musicians fail to capitalize on. After all, having found your way to a perfect place from which to broadcast your thoughts or ideas, having found a significant swathe of the population looking your way, have found a way to make them think or feel, respond you your sonic catalyst, you should have something more important to say than “I’m all alone ’cause my girlfriend left me.”
Indeed, given such a moment when all eyes, well, ears, are on you, better to give them something poignant and powerful to think about. Don’t you think? And that is what is going on here. Gil Karson and his musical posse offer us a moment of reflection, a chance to thank those that we will never meet, those strangers who were willing to fight for a cause, one that keeps the rest of the population free from harm.
As I say, such songs are more an American trait than a British one, but you would have to be stone-hearted or extremely ungrateful not to at least pause for thought and apply the song to your own surroundings.
So I will finish with my heartfelt thanks for your musical thanks.