In A Free Land
1982 | Punk
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“Government authorize education. -- They'll teach you what they want you to think. -- Saturation of stars and stripes. -- The only freedom worth fighting for is for what you think."
- Hüsker Dü formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1979 with guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould, bassist/vocalist Greg Norton, and drummer/vocalist Grant Hart.
- In A Free Land was Husker Du's second single and had a pressing of 2500 copies.
- Hardcore band Ensign covered In A Free Land on their 2003 album of Hardcore Punk covers, Love the Music, Hate the Kids.
THE HOT TAKES
For some reason, this makes me laugh out loud. "Why bother spending time; Reading up on things? Everybody's an authority; In a free land." I wrote about this only a few days ago, but having a government seal of approval that you "know some stuff," otherwise known as a GED or nowadays a Degree from a Four Year College Program...this kills any inspiration to learn more. I got muh degree, so why should I waste time reading books? I'm done with that stuff! Of course, I'm happy to give you my wildly emotional opinion on any topic, no matter how technical and nuanced. Why wouldn't I? I'm an educated American citizen! I'm entitled to have my voice heard!
Boy this song just jumps up and clobbers you about the head! The lyrics are simple, but to the point: State run schools are never gonna teach you what you need to know to be rid of them. They're never gonna teach you how to be free and think for yourself. I think that is why you should bother "reading up on things."
I think my favorite part of this song is the callback vocals during the verses: "don't mean a thing." Maybe I'm misinterpreting them, and if I am too damn bad this is my project not theirs, but i take that line to be hinting at the misdirect. There is a vested interest in people paying attention to what a school should be but sadly less attention paid to what it actually is. This song seems to poke fun at the deliberate reality and authoritative reality of centralized government schooling. As i'm writing this I'm reminded of what we are all too often reminded about giant monopolies like facebook, if something is free it usually means that you're the product. That's why its so important to shift costs off of the students and remove roadblocks to them continuing that process as long as possible. Are students turned obedient citizens a product purchased by the tax revenue of large corporations and the war machine?