Some Subversive Verses

Written by Sara : February 2, 2008

I was inspired to share this song after reading the article by Brandon Rhodes about taking captive the rhetoric of the American Faith and subverting it. I don’t have the tune written down anywhere, it’s just in my head. But imagine it sung like a sea shanty.

Freeing the Colors

I was a prisoner on the ship
And forced to go below.
And through the night the battle raged
With bursting rocket’s glow.

And when the morning came at last,
I rose and went to see
Who had won and who had lost
And who was made more free.

Across the bay, I strained to view
The land where I’d been born.
And from the fort the banner waved
Though blackened, shredded, torn.

Yet turning ’round, I saw again,
From each embattled mast,
Those colors same, in different form,
Proud to the very last.

Then suddenly the deck did heave,
There rose a sickening swell,
Lifting the bodies of all the slain,
The bitter truth to tell.

Red was the blood upon their hands
And white the pallor of death.
Blue the depths that swallowed whole
Their bravest and their best.
Their bravest and their best.

The wave washed by and in its place
I saw a mountain there.
Upon it was a table laid
With earth’s abundant fare.

And seated ’round from every race
Were they who had withstood,
And bowed no knee, nor gave salute
To king or national god.

And to their host their voices raised,
Their anthems, ceasing never.
Power and Justice and Freedom alone
Belong to our Savior forever.

Red was the blood he shed for them
And white each righteous deed.
Blue the heavens from which they shine,
The truly brave and freed.
The truly brave and freed.

Author Bio:: Sara is a regular wife and mother, trying to figure out how to be a Christian Pacifist Anarchist, in that order.

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7 Responses to “Some Subversive Verses”

  1. Casey Ochs on February 2nd, 2008 12:27 pm

    Sara, this is beautiful. It’s definitely a “song o’ the sea.” If you have more you need to share them with Jesus manifesto.

  2. mountainguy on February 2nd, 2008 1:03 pm

    Very beautiful words.

  3. Raleigh Booze on February 2nd, 2008 2:39 pm

    i would love to sing this on sunday nights!

  4. Jason Barr on February 2nd, 2008 2:54 pm

    I like it.

    Have you ever heard the song “Old Glory” by the Psalters?

  5. Sara on February 4th, 2008 9:32 am

    Thanks. I haven’t heard of that song, Jason, although I’ve heard of the Psalters. Sounds like it’s about the flag too.

    Booze, I’m trying to figure out how to write down the melody with my limited knowledge of theory. I think I’ll have it soon, but I was going to ask my husband to add guitar chords. So if you’re interested in a copy, email me at

    I hope to have it done in a few days, but the family has had colds and there’s a lot of housework to catch up on…….

  6. Jason Barr on February 4th, 2008 1:28 pm

    Yeah, it definitely uses the flag as an image. Here’s the chorus of the song:

    And on Good Friday (those red stripes are carved into your back)
    On Good Friday (those stars spangled your body blue and black)
    And all that Glory (those stars and stripes were torn in two)
    All that Old Glory
    Belongs alone to you

  7. Sara on February 4th, 2008 3:00 pm


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