July 4, 2012

"Nothing of importance happened today."

Wrote King George III in his diary, July 4, 1776. Not. He didn't even keep a diary.

From a list of "10 Things You Didn't Know About the Fourth of July."

Happy 4th!

Also, a Meadhouse dialogue:
MEADE (singing): We carried you in our arms...

ME: Why are you singing "Tears of Rage"?

MEADE (talk singing): ... on Independence Day...

ME: Oh....
And here I was thinking he was reading about the Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise divorce, within which there's the topic of Suri getting carried everywhere. I'd just read: "Kids as young as five can be sent to the military like Sea Org. I’m guessing she can’t bring her child-heels or get carried everywhere, which is something Katie would not approve of."
Oh what dear daughter ’neath the sun
Would treat a father so
To wait upon him hand and foot
And always tell him, “No?”
That's what Bob asked, mysteriously. Who is this daughter who always says "no," but waits upon him hand and foot? She sounds pretty devoted. The opposite of a daughter who says "yes," but does nothing. I'm assuming the official Bob Dylan website erroneously placed the question mark inside the quotation mark.

Perhaps the song really is about Independence Day, and the daughter is the United States, carried in the arms of England....

11 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

"That's what Bob asked". Sigh. You are closer in spirit to that Bob than to this one. Oh, Ann, Anne, Professor, what can I do?

rhhardin said...

And always tell him "No?"

The quotation marks are the mistake.

It's indirect speech, not a quotation.

That leaves no good place for the question mark.

rhhardin said...

The punctuation rule in American English, explained by a Brit, is that you put the punctuation where it belongs and then move it inside the quotation mark.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's indirect speech, not a quotation."

I agree. Like, there's that Zombies song "Tell Her No." It would never occur to anyone to write the title "Tell Her 'No.'"

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

Had King George kept a diary, he still would have written down "nothing big/important happened today".
Because there were no rapid global communications.
Or even rapid local communications. Even in America, it was days to weeks before the average person in America had heard of the Declaration of Independence.

AllenS said...

King George's diary --

July 4, 1776: Nothing happened today.

August 24, 1776: HOLY SHIT!

edutcher said...

something else happened today which generally goes unheralded, but has considerable significance.

George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity in 1754, effectively precipitating the French And Indian War.

Which prompted many an American to ask, "Tell me again why we're taking orders from these guys?".

Mitch H. said...

It's not a King Lear paraphrase? Sounds like Cordelia to me.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Mitch H: I was about to suggest Lear, but I didn't know the song.

Of course Cordelia who tells her father no is the good one; Cordelia proves her love by her actions and does not stoop to flatter the vain old father she loves, unlike her conniving and selfish sisters.

crosspatch said...

George III could not possibly have been aware of the Declaration of Independence for weeks after it was signed. It isn't like Jefferson sent it in email. There was no telegraph no radio, nothing. Had a ship set sail that day for London, it would have taken weeks to get there.