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The Shot Heard Round The World
© February 12, 1999, Roy Stucky

The jester rose to great applause,
Far above archaic laws.
Wearing nothing but his cap,
Yet no one seemed to notice that.

Justice tipped,
Blindfold slipped
Down around the knees.
The crowd seemed pleased

With the shot heard round the world.

The readers raised a shredded page,
Laughter came back from the stage.
"Throw them from the hall!" he cried,
"My deeds have all been justified"

By the shot heard round the world.

Power rose,
People chose
To turn a blinded eye.
Will no one cry

At the shot heard round the world?

The dream of rule by law not man
Wakes to wakes

For the shot heard round the world.

 


"Jester" you might guess from the lyric creation date.  But represented as a jester to play on the image of winking at his deeds.

"Great applause" is popularity.

"Archaic laws" like truth and justice.

"Wearing nothing" plays on 'The Emperor's New Clothes', in that his vanity and arrogance have been passed on to his 'subjects'.

"Justice tipped" is that the balance was hardly impartial.

"Down around the knees" plays on the prior rhyme, as in tripped, as well as being that justice not only paid attention to the person on trial, but even worse, to public opinion about that trial, stumbling over phrases like, 'And justice for all'.

"With the shot heard round the world" is that this event marks the 'culture war' going from cold to hot. Given the place of the U.S. in world affairs, the moral status of our nation cannot help but impact the world.

"Shredded page" is the Constitution.

"The hall" is Independence Hall.

"Blinded eye" is that people have chosen to be blind to this in exactly the way in which Justice was not blindfolded.

"Cry At the shot..." is that few indeed seem to realize what has been lost.

"Law not men" is the premise of the Constitution, symbolized by the U.S. having that document under glass while the U.S.S.R. had the body of a man under glass.

"Wakes to wakes" can be said in different words as 'rises from sleep to discover funerals'.

"For the shot..." is the American Revolution, the shot whose echo is now drown by the new shot; rule by expediency.

 


... "The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government."

"All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency."

...

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

"It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?"
President George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796


"I do not blame you for feeling it. I should blame you if you expressed it, since this young lady was in a sense under your protection."
Arthur Conan Doyle

 


Arthur Conan Doyle
The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, "The Problem of Thor Bridge"