Doucet’s “I Wish I Was American”
By RANDY HARWARD
How do you like this? A Canadian singer-songwriter—one Mr.
Luke Doucet—has coughed up a good ol’ patriotic country tune about how he’d
sure like to vote in the coming election and steal America back.
“I don’t have to be a resident to care about who’s
president,” he sings. “I thank all those fine Americans I know/who exercise
their given right/take back the bank, the school, the night/from those who steal
America right now.”
The MP3 came with a note from Doucet’s publicist saying it’s
“from a Canadian who clearly has a firm grasp on what’s so exciting about being
an American during the election season. His political song, “I Wish I Was
American,” isn’t pushy or preachy, or partisan—it’s eloquent and simple, and
yes, a little bit jealous of those Americans who get to vote.”
Well thanks for the song, Luke. Actually, I wish I lived in
Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Sunnyvale Trailer Park. In other words, back atcha.
Hail Canada. Rush rules; ditto, the Tragically Hip, Matt Mays, Danko Jones, Crash
Kelly and Huevos Rancheros. And let’s hear it for socialized health care! Ooowwwoooo!
Wait a minute. What’s this “isn’t… partisan” stuff? I know
Canada has a traditionally mellow foreign policy, but you’re not necessarily
neutral, so it’s okay to say you favor Obama. In fact, come on down and we’ll
hold hands and cast a ballot together. See, it’s not just an exciting time—it’s
You know that, otherwise you wouldn’t have written the song.
You see a country in trouble and it’s never been more obvious who’s to blame.
That’s a benefit of not being
American: you don’t fall under the spell of mawkish, “patriotic” country songs.
Or closed/single-mindedness. Or plain laziness. Like the guys in this story you
related to PRI’s The World.
“After I played the
set and I was going up to the bar and these two large strapping young guys came
up to me and said, ‘Hey we just heard your song where you say you wish you were
American and we’re soldiers returning from our second tour of duty in Iraq and
to be honest we often think of Canadians as being smug self-righteous liberal
types and after we heard your song we knew that you weren’t one of them.’ Which of course made me laugh because the ironic part of the song is somewhat
tongue-in-cheek but critical?”
You went on to say this song is about wanting Americans to
appreciate the value of their votes. Well, we do. It’s just that with stolen
elections and voter fraud—to say nothing of the clusterfuck Electoral College
and miserable shit-ass corporations that duck taxes but accept more welfare and
exert more political influence than the average voter, they don’t count for
Voting is about taking sides. I suspect you understand this
(I mean, they do have elections in Canada?) and are urging Americans to vote so
the country can get collective head out of collective hole. If so, come out and
say so—we still have free speech here. To say otherwise is obfuscation,
equivocation, public relations. And we get enough of that from our government.
Anyway, nice song. Maybe one day I’ll show up at your place
in a toque, piss drunk on Moosehead, singin’ reciprocal verses. Then I’ll break
you off a can and we’ll storm back across the line to take America back from
those who’re robbin’ it blind.