To Americans, while “slave” was both a common descriptive word and an epithet, “hireling” — especially in contexts of poetry and literature — ordinarily carried derogatory connotations. It meant someone such as a soldier, official, or laborer who served for money rather than from some more durable loyalty such as to family or nation. Yet another Robert Burns song, “Parcel of Rogues,” describes Scotland as having been sold out for “hireling traitor’s wages.” “Hireling and slave” is not an accidental pairing; the two words often occurred together as epithets.
The Star Spangled Music Foundation
Our mission is to bring teacher-tested curricular materials and the best of musicological research on American music to students, teachers, and the public, with a focus on accurate and high quality information and teaching tools about American song. Like democracy itself, song requires active participation. Song is as much a verb as a noun. It offers a means to practice citizenship and for Americans young and old to discuss who we are and who we want to be as US citizens and citizens of the world.
The National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV) and Blue Cadillac Music have entered into an agreement regarding the song, “Hope is Just Ahead” which was recorded by Billy Ray Cyrus. This single communicates a non-political, non-partisan message about violence in this country. In an effort to help our organization with its mission to reduce violence and its impact on the lives of youth, Blue Cadillac Records will be donating a portion of its net from this single to the NCSV. Proceeds received by NCSV will be shared between the national office and our Do the Write Thing participating sites.