Middle Eastern Rhapsody

Mama, just killed a man. (You remember it!) Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger now he’s dead. (C’mon, sing it with me!) Mama …

You expected a Sousa march?

Well, maybe that’s what the president would have expected, too. The U.S. commander in chief has been taking time to speak to those who serve during his trip to the Middle East. National Public Radio reported on one stop in Kuwait. There was the usual grumbling about the president’s remarks being too vague. (Uh, not sure why they’d expect. A detailed run down of unit movements, plus policy comments on Iran?) One commented that he’d rather be sleeping. (Big surprise.) Another said he had been “voluntold” to go.

The reporter touched on the waiting game for the visit. One can only imagine the countless hours of prep. Seems everyone was in place for more than an hour waiting for “The Man.”

Why not music to pass the time?

The band sounded too much like the Naval Academy Pep Band. (Not good.) Did they entertain the troops with patriotic ditties? Not sure, but they did tear into Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which sounds pretty bad when played by brass, but it was unmistakably Queen nonetheless. Why sing “Stars and Stripes Forever” when you can get away with your best Freddy Mercury impression crooning “Mama just killed a man” in uniform on duty while waiting for the president? Probably a bad idea to sing “Pulled my trigger now he’s dead” in the security line at the airport, but you can belt every beautiful word while waiting for the “Big Guy” in the Middle East.

So hip. So cool.

We love Queen, love the military, love the prez. OK, we love Queen. But this was an odd song choice for the occasion, with its extreme themes and no-holds-barred lyrics. For example, the word “Bismillah” opens the Koran and means “In the name of Allah” (or something close). Maybe no thought went into this, and these guys just agree Queen rocks.

“… Just gotta get out — just gotta get right outta here …”

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