During one of its fundraising cycles, PBS showed a concert by the Celtic Thunder musical group, where the concert concluded with their rendition of the song, My Land.

My Land

I looked for it on YouTube. If anyone uploaded it, I suspect it was removed for copyright violation. (There are a couple of versions of it sung by Paul Bryom, who sometimes sings (or sang) with Celtic Thunder, though he did not participate in the myspace version, above.)

Lyrics below (and more, besides!).

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Here are the lyrics for My Land:

My Land
How green are your valleys, how blue your great skies,
Your mountains stand tall in their glory:                                      
Your rivers run free - the bright stars are your eyes,
Your beauty is endless before me.                                           

Oh, you are the song ever singing in me,      
And you are the heart ever true:
For, you are my land and you always will be,  
The voice ever calling me… home to you.

When times we are far from your forests and streams,
When sailing from your shining waters:
We carry your hopes - your spirit, your dreams-
In the hearts of your sons and your daughters.


When to your green valleys some day I return,
When you lay your mantle around me:                                          
At rest I will be where the heart will not yearn,
With my land to ever…surround me.                      


The voice ever calling me…home to you.

(From here.)

In this country, very many don't really know the definition of nationalism. Why learn a word that might accurately describe behavior/attitudes you have no wish to critically evaluate?

(Diary change of direction.) Oh did I get into a can of worms! The concept for the diary was to merely describe the envy I have for the pride the members of Celtic Thunder seem to feel for their country in that fine song, and to ask what you would have to see from your country to feel similar sentiments. (Because I envy them, some.)

But, in researching it, among other things, I found a series of quite incredible goodreads quotations. The goodreads quotations are so good, they threaten to hijack my diary outright! (Maybe they did!)

Here are just a FEW examples.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Isn’t that what they do/are doing? These vicious nationalists?!
“The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
(I particularly like the Roosevelt quotations, because, well, he is counted as a Republican. In my opinion, today’s Republican party would attack him with the same viciousness they reserve for white Democrats. Very few of them would agree with the quotations I have relayed here.)
“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms
“Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one”
― John Lennon, Imagine

There is a reason Lennon is one of my favorites, and that song is right at the top of the songs I most love.
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
― Voltaire
And from another of my favorite human beings:
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
― Howard Zinn
“But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.”
― Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander
“Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.”
― Albert Einstein
There are many more fine comments there. (And a few I would have NEVER included!) Please feel free to read more, and if you would like to share them in comments, please do!

After I began this diary I found a relevant, Memorial Day story on the issue at CNN.

The story writes about nationalism - without EVER once mentioning the word! About how ‘patriot’ became a dirty word. It is because patriot is taking on the worst connotations of nationalist, because of the way it is used by self-proclaimed ‘patriots.’ By people who hate much of what we find best and MOST noble about this country. By people who hate our president. By people who hate that impediments to racism and overt hatred and discrimination - in their warped view - seem to be on the rise.

It is like the essays we read on why ‘Christianity’ is under attack. It is clear to us that it happens because Christianity, as expressed by its most obnoxious proponents, is ON the attack. Using Christianity to justify attacks on the poor, on the disadvantaged, on minorities, on human beings of different ethnic origins. The nationalists attack all the same targets, as if such attacks were part of the proper role of government, itself, which they’re not. Christianity would be much less under attack if it attacked less. Is that really the role of Christianity? I never read anything about conducting such attacks - or using such incredibly judgmental attitudes - in the Golden Rule.

I do disagree in many ways with the CNN article. Groups with that nationalistic an agenda are not non-profit groups in any real sense. And worse, they aren’t for the improvement of our country or our government. Their agendas are totally and utterly selfish, self-serving. In my opinion, they, and many other groups not necessarily quite so wing-nutty, deserve all the attention they get for compliance with the law and tax-exempt status.

Anyway, back to my original objective. What would this country have to do for you to be able to sing a love song for it with joy and pride? Is that possible?

For me it would have to embrace diversity, respect minorities, trumpet equal rights, and not just for our citizens, for all humanity. It would have to respect the earth and the environment, work for the safety and equality of all people, so that no one felt alone, abandoned, victimized. So that everyone could pursue her/his creative ventures freely and naturally, without having to worry about personal or collective security, without having to fear discrimination, and the attention of those invested in hate. Our country would have to have the respect and admiration of our fellow world citizens, who would know our commitment to charity and fairness, and to the protection of resources needed and valued by all.

Best to you all tonight, and on to the comments! Formatted by brillig! (Except for my submissions. Any mistakes there are mine!)

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.

From eeff:
I found this one by tekno2600 in Meteor Blades' front pages story about flood maps
From Youffraita:
I just have to nominate this entire thread, begun by wilderness voice, from The Troubadour's satire, The Onion Calls It Quits
From cohenzee:
Since the whole thread was already submitted to TC (brillig's note: see Youffraita's nom above), I am highlighting these two comments at the end since they snark the Republicans, the first by jayden and the response by here4tehbeer.
From BeninSC:
Flagged by gulfgal98, this comment by James Hepburn engages with the role of capitalism in our society today, and of some of the problems with it.

Flagged by Laurel in CA, this comment by FloridaSNMOM gives a piece of advice on getting dementia patients to eat better!

Flagged by Sara R, this comment by 2thanks contains a really nice quilt message!

Flagged by USMarine70 (thanks for your service, and your Mom's! And your Dad's!), a comment by Meteor Blades. (Has to be among his first ever TC nominations, yes?! ::wink:: ) From USMarine70's diary about the parents!

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  1) I beg to differ with Sen. Dole by Dallasdoc — 129
  2) Thank you for this beautiful diary. by blue jersey mom — 126
  3) A friend's story by salmo — 111
  4) This is one of the beautifully written, deeply by Onomastic — 102
  5) I should add that the women in question by Eowyn9 — 93
  6) ... by not this time — 91
  7) Great to see some optimism! by Timaeus — 79
  8) They should pay to by WheninRome — 72
  9) When I look at comments by maggiejean — 72
10) I think you're misreading the diary and the intent by BentLiberal — 69
11) One could argue the speakership of Newt by polecat — 67
12) This is beautiful. My dad had Alzheimer's and my by Thomasina — 67
13) I wish I could rec this a thousand times. by belinda ridgewood — 66
14) Tomorrow I shall make my by BOHICA — 66
15) LOL. i just saw the clip on facebook. by blueoregon — 64
16) Yep. But there's a difference between... by Ralphdog — 62
17) #sekritarmy driving school graduate wins Indy 500. by jwinIL14 — 62
18) Thank you by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker — 62
19) Dole would agree, since he hated Gingrich by gf120581 — 61
20) Lovely diary by Bionic — 60
21) Watch old television shows by Diogenes2008 — 59
22) State doesn't exactly have clean hands either in by ratcityreprobate — 59
23) Geez, now we need a separation of... by markthshark — 59
24) Thanks for a good dose of hard reality. by 3goldens — 58
25) I've looked at a few of these oversized load by 6412093 — 56
26) Vote for someone who will complete it by jj32 — 56
27) We need an economic revolution by Positronicus — 55
28) Current Repubs will take this as praise. by Ralphdog — 55
29) Know where you're coming from... by JeffW — 54
30) I say add the tag. by One Pissed Off Liberal — 54

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