Searchin For A Rainbow
1975 | Rock
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“Took my family away from our Carolina home, had dreams about the west and started to roam. -- Six long months on a dust covered trail, they say heaven's at the end, but so far it's been hell.”
- Hit #38 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the bands first Top 40 Hit.
- The song was written by George McCorkle for his friend Charlie Daniels for an album, it was not recorded by Daniels so McCorkle took it to his own band.
- "Marshall Tucker" does not refer to a band member, but rather a Spartanburg-area blind piano tuner.
THE HOT TAKES
Entrepreneurship, baby. This might not normally be the word you'd associate with the California gold rush, but here it is. Something consumers desire, entrepreneurs take risks to supply in the hopes for great reward. This applies as much to the gold rush as to a new style of shoes, new technology to save time in the kitchen, or anything else. As humans, we are never fully satisfied. As soon as we get everything we could imagine wanting, new desires come to take the place of the old ones. Economics is like a dance in this way. There is a push and a pull, and human wills are always changing. It's one of the great tragedies of the modern world that those willing to take these bold risks and genuinely "serve the public"" (a phrase co-opted by the state) are often demonized as "greedy."
This is a song I grew up hearing my dad sing with his band and it always captured my imagination. Now as an adult it has an even deeper meaning for me. Some people might think that the story this song tells gives a perfect scenario for why we need government, but I would say it’s a story of risk and loss, but also of freedom. See, this person in the song was able to risk everything for the possibility of great reward or great loss. We don’t generally hear the songs about the guy who risked it all and became wealthy and changed the trajectory of his life and his family forever. That’s real freedom, and it doesn’t mean that life will always be rosie and turn out ok. What it does mean is that the consequences of what you do are yours. The good, and the bad, you own it, and can make of your life, whatever you wish.
This song is a big dose of reality. The unsexy reality that exists when your best intentions don’t manifest. I’m sure some people would hear a tale like this and jump up screaming “See this man needs protected from himself. Those children need protected from a deadbeat father. Yadda , yadda, yadda. It’s easy to want to save people but we can’t forget the way in which government solutions help: through theft. Money is forcibly taken from someone else and used to this end. We don’t need this to become another “taxation is theft” screed but it’s worth the reminder. This man may have survived had his choices been limited but what kind of life? The children may have had less hardship but would they still be able to dream about a better life? The American Dream is an important motivator to me and perhaps one of the few things with America in its name that I don’t despise.