Lyle Lovett Begs the Question

Lyle Lovett’s poetry, sung with a rasp that suggests he’s had more than one dusty ride in the back of a pickup, tugs at the soul of America—reminding us of a heritage that must silently wonder what-the-hell we Americans are doing today.

My wife, daughter, and I, enjoyed Lyle and his Large Band at Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas on Thanksgiving eve. Lyle—a national treasure—performed at Bass Hall, a Texas treasure. It was the end of a long tour for Lyle and his band, and it was brilliant. They sang, played, told stories on each other, and reminded us of those who had passed on. One lyric, however, stood above the rest.

In Natural Forces, the title song of Lyle’s new album, Lyle asks the question we should all stop and consider as we watch tens of thousands more troops line up for deployment to Afghanistan. He sings,

And now as I sit here safe at home

With a cold Coors Light and the TV on

All the sacrifice and the death and war

Lord I pray that I’m worth fighting for …

As we debate the decisions of our president and military leaders, invoking patriotic rhetoric and thumping the bible of American exceptionalism, those of us who stay home with our “cold Coors Light and the TV on” have a duty too. Let’s make sure we are worth fighting for.