My Macedonia

by John Forster

NOTE: Lyrics in ITALICS are spoken.


Thank you, thanks
Well, the world has changed an awful lot in the last four or five years
There are a lot of countries out there that didn't used to be there
Now, business people never tire of saying
"What a great opportunity this is, all of these new countries"
And I gotta tell you, I didn't really get this for the longest times
But then all of a sudden one day I said "Wait a minute"
"I'm a songwriter; all these new countries are gonna need national anthems"
But my sensibility is not right for every country
I happened to open the New York Times one day and read about Macedonia
Which, at the time, was the smallest, least, shall we say, prepossessing province of Yugoslavia
They had just, God bless them, declared independence
And my heart went out to plucky little Macedonia
And I was filled with patriotic feeling and I sat down at the piano and it just
It swelled out of me

But I had no idea what to say in the lyric
I said "I'm gonna need some models"
So I started looking at national anthems of othe countries
And I very quickly fell in love with the national anthem of Senegal
Which begins "Bang your koras, pluck your balaphones"
I said "I want a lyric like that"
But face it, you can't fake a lyric like that
If you're gonna put a balaphone in your lyric
You'd better damn well know what the hell a balaphone is
Which I do not to this day
I said "Let me, let me choose a more conservative, a more generic model"
And I finally settled on the national anthem of the Fiji Islands
Which begins "Fiji, my Fiji, how beautiful thou art"
I mean, that's right over the plate
And that turned out to be a good decision because once I made that decision
Everything else just fell beautifully into place

Macedonia, my Macedonia
You're not big and strong, like Estonia
You're not enlightened, like Romania
Nor are you chic and cosmopolitan, like Albania

But Macedonia, my native nation
Though your single greatest product is inflation
Somewhere down the line
You are gonna shine
Even brighter than Liechtenstein

When you've got autonomy
Who needs an economy?

And then I had absolutely no idea how to end it so I just went

Macedonia, OK, all right hey hey hip hip hooray

My Macedonia is the third (3rd) song on the "Helium" album. It is an original song by John Forster.

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