Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The song is ended, but the melody lingers on...

It has been a week now since Barack Obama was inaugurated as 44th president of the United States.

The crowd, estimated at two million people, stretched for nearly two miles from the Capitol steps, beyond the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.

Newspapers reported that new Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel “made a funny gesture” at former congressional colleagues. Right.

Miss Aretha Franklin sang a rock-and-roll/rhythm-and-blues/Motown version of “America,” which Senator Dianne Feinstein of California called “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” in her introduction. For those of you who care about such things, Miss Franklin’s hat was a cloche, decorated with a Swarovski crystal encrusted bow. It cost $179 (£129) and was made by Luke Song of Detroit, Michigan. The next night, comedian Jay Leno, host of the Tonight television program, said in his opening monologue that Barack Obama had announced that his first act as president would be to pardon Aretha Franklin’s hat.

If you look past Aretha you can see forty-second president William Jefferson Clinton on the left and his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (now Secretary of State), on the right. Almost-forty-third-president Al Gore is at the top behind the Swarovsky crystal encrusted bow on Aretha's hat. And Barbara Bush The Younger (sister of Jenna and daughter of George W. and Laura Bush, as opposed to Barbara Bush The Older, wife of old forty-one, George Herbert Walker Bush) is at the lower right.

And the piéce de resistance:

(All AP photos)


  1. not much to say...just it is reqlly not what you DO, but the way you say it...just keep on with the great speeches

  2. Let's hope the melody will linger on and on.

  3. Dr. John, although I did not vote for Obama, I hope the melody of hope and joy and cooperation and respect for all will linger on and on also.

    Putz (David in Utah), I think I do not agree with you that it is not what you do but the way you say it. What about the old saying, "Actions speak louder than words"? Also, I think I remember a song that went, "What you are, it speaks so loud, that the world can't hear what you say."

  4. There was once an Incredible String Band album called "Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending". Let us hope that the optimism that has surrounded President Obama thus far goes on and on through the difficult months and years ahead and that his song indeed "has no ending".

  5. i meant when it comes to pOlitics, it is not what you do because i really don't trust wwhat he does, but that when he speaks he brings tears to my eyes regardless what he DOES, I STAND BY MY COMMENT...AFTER ALL IT IS JUST THE PUTZ SPEAKING SO RElax

  6. Wow. That's a lot of people. I remember the "funny gesture." I wondered who he was making it to. I kinda liked the hat...what moxie, to be able to pull off that hat. How often do you see the leader of such a large, powerful army relinquish power graciously and willingly to another man without a fight? America is an amazing place.