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Rattler Whiskey

"Don't tread on me!"

Nathan Farnsworth

on 28 September 2012

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Transcript of Rattler Whiskey

Rattler Whiskey "Don't tread on me!" They're all hatin' America It's so freakin' sad... It's actually a universal fad. There may be problems in our life But there's something to be said for this country: America upholds integrity. Or criticisms of our might, But in this nation we will fight so righteously As bona fide Yankees We press on steadfastly! "Don't Tread on Me!"
Lyrics + Footnotes They’re all hating America, (it’s) so freakin’ sad
It’s actually a universal fad
But there’s somethin’ to be said for this country:
America upholds integrity [1]

There may be problems in our life
Or criticisms of our might [2]
Yeah, but in this nation we will fight so righteously,
As bona fide Yankees
We press on steadfastly! [3]

Yeah, they say we’re a militaristic nation
Thousand troops are stationed [4]
Don’t be hatin’, just intimidation
We hold a big stick [5] but it’s really a rattle
Only got to warn them ‘cause we don’t search for battle [6]
Liberated Europe and knocked Hitler off the mantle
We’ll step in on all who fly off the handle
But we helped them get back up with Marshall’s Plan [7]
Pumpin’ in the aid like relief for Japan [8]
Get it, thanks to America’s defense budget
The whole world gets a lot for their benefit
Yeah, don’t forget about that, stupid
Everyone don’t give America due credit

There may be problems in our life
Or criticisms of our might
But in this nation we will fight so righteously
As bona fide Yankees,
We press on steadfastly!

Oh, oh
We press on steadfastly!
Oh, oh

So, when it comes to health in America
Obesity’s (the) anathema
Sixty-eight percent [9] of us are over our avoirdupois [10]
But here we all are rallyin’ and no one’s giving up, nuh uh [11]
Even New York City’s bannin’ more than sixteen ounce sodas [12]
Yeah chocolate milk is outlawed in schools
The government’s helpin’, and subsidizin’ “Let’s Move!” [13]
And don’t forget about the ones who try to exercise
So that they get rid of their beer gut and their thunder thighs—
Cheers if they’re full of Rattler Whiskey [14]
But if not, then you know the menus tell you calories [15]
I know we all have a similar dream
Get on the balance, see the weight absence
Jump up in the air and scream

They’re all hatin’ America, (it’s) so freakin’ sad
It’s actually a universal fad
But there’s somethin’ to be said for this country:
Integrity is in our history

Oh when you hear a stereotype
Just ignore all of the foreign hype, yeah
‘Cause in this nation we will fight so righteously
A bona fide Yankee,
Says, “Don’t you tread on me!”

Oh, oh
“Don’t you tread on me!”
Oh, oh
They’re all hatin’ America, (it’s) so freakin’ sad… Commentary [1] The writer notes the existence of negative opinions of America, and further argues that American integrity challenges these (generally) foreign perceptions as an attribute of American character. This first stanza serves to introduce the subject discussed in the song’s lyrics.
[2] The first two lines vaguely enumerate the issues supporting the idea of American integrity, to be examined individually in the ensuing stanzas. These domains include the American military and the health of the citizenry.
[3] Progression of the chorus is marked by crescendos in tone following through line after line, indicating a buildup of emotion to a climax. This climax, the final line of the chorus, proclaims the “thesis” of the song, reiterating the argument about American integrity and that American’s persevere “steadfastly” and challenge all opposition contrary to their ideals. Whether this opposition is internal or external, either self-inhibitions or foreign doubts, “bona fide Yankees” have a moral obligation to endure.
[4] This stanza is introduced with a negative perception about America within the domain of the American military, labeling the nation as militaristic. The foundation of the argument lies in the enormous number of US Military personnel stationed all around the world, notably in locations the United States is no longer at war with. For example, according to a report from the US Department of Defense, there are about 53,000 troops still stationed in Germany, 10,000 in Italy, and 36,000 in Japan, in addition to the 150,000 deployed in the Middle East.
(from ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL STRENGTHS BY REGIONAL AREA AND BY COUNTRY, Department of Defense, 2012 <http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/MILITARY/history/hst1112.pdf>)
[5] In reference to President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” ideology, this lyric symbolizes the military muscle exercised by America, recognizing the immense military as a method of intimidation.
[6] The mention of a “rattle” at the end of the previous line serves to evoke the imagery of the rattlesnake, using its rattle to ward off predatory animals. The writer likens America to this creature, claiming that America does not maintain a large military for the purpose of actively seeking out nations to engage in combat with. Rather, America stands by honorably, suppressing threats to global security by brandishing the aforementioned “big stick.”
[7] The Marshall Plan is a prime example of American righteousness towards foreign countries. Following the devastation in Europe after WWII, the United States transferred roughly $13 million to aid European nations in economic and physical reconstruction. Incidentally, Germany was not excluded from the plan, lending further to the writer’s argument for American integrity. (from “The Marshall Plan: History's Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program,” J. Bradford De Long, Barry Eichengreen, 1991. <http://papers.nber.org/papers/w3899>)
[8] Operation “Tomodachi” was the United States Armed Forces’ initiative for lending humanitarian aid to the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The writer is alluding to this instance as another example of America pursuing righteousness.
[9] 68% of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese, however, the rate at which that number is climbing has slowed. (from Jeannine Stein, "U.S. Obesity Rates Reaching a Resting Point, Studies Show." Los Angeles Times. 14 Jan. 2010. <http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-obesity14-2010jan14%2C0%2C6185851.story>)
[10] “Avoirdupois,” which is another word for bodyweight, is used here to force a rhyme with the preceding lines, as well as for subtle comedic effect. In the actual audio, the mispronunciation of this word of French origin is intentional, highlighting a tendency for Americans to butcher the pronunciation of foreign words, whether deliberately or otherwise.
[11] The “rallyin’” is indicative of the American spirit outlined by the writer in the refrain, thereby connecting the claims made throughout the song. The steadfastness of America is visible not only in its military approach, but also in the fight against a national image of obesity.
Here, the writer cites another example demonstrating Americans’ forthright pursuit of the negative health trends in the U.S. The “Let’s Move!” is a campaign spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama, focusing on the prevention and elimination of child obesity in America.
[12] This is a reference to a recent ban on the sale of soft drinks over 16 ounces in New York City. This represents Americans fighting against the obesity claim, highlighting a progressive policy within the U.S. to fight poor nutritional health in America. (from Alice Park "Goodbye, Big Soda: New York Becomes First City to Ban Large-Sized Soft Drinks." Time. 12 Sept. 2012 <http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/13/goodbye-big-soda-new-york-becomes-first-city-to-ban-large-sized-soft-drinks/>)
[13] The writer is tipping their hat to “Rattler Whiskey,” likely associating the consumption of the beverage with the feel-good tone of the song.
[14] The writer includes one final example celebrating American conviction to principles: the reference to the recently enacted mandate for restaurants to post calorie counts of food items, enabling Americans to be more mindful of their diet when eating out, and therefore, more inclined to eat healthier. But there's something to be said for this country: Integrity is in our history... Oh when you hear a stereotype Just ignore all the foreign hype, yeah 'Cause in this nation we will fight so righteously. A bona fide Yankee Says "Don't you tread on me!"
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