Upper Peninsula Swan Song: As state continues its betrayal of the pristine northwoods, the Governor and Hollywood use song to promote Upper Peninsula mining
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and a Hollywood director are using her website to promote an official state song for Michigan – and the song’s ONLY comment about the beautiful and pristine Upper Peninsula glorifies mining.
More on that in a moment.
As expected, the state of Michigan continues to betray the sacred trust it has to protect the Upper Peninsula environment.
According to media reports, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is expected to approve permits for the first of dozens of sulfide mines that will soon pepper the northern Michigan landscape.
However, the MDNR decision on those permits has been delayed until at least the February meetings of the Natural Resources Commission.
Let’s hope the media reports are not true and the MDNR will have the guts to say “no” to Kennecott Minerals at its Eagle Mine Project near lake Superior that is guaranteed to produce sulfuric acid as part of its unproven technology.
These “acid mines” are expected to be followed by uranium mining – effectively ruining the tourism industry here in Michigan’s northwoods.
In December 2007, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved permits for the experimental technology for the Eagle Mine near Lake Superior.
If the MDNR follows suits, about the only hope left for stopping this mine is the EPA and a judge because several groups including the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community are suing in an effort to block this first “acid mine.”
Here are great background stories on the acid mining future facing the U.P.
By the way, Indigenous groups are also fighting a nuclear nightmare out west at Yucca Mountain:
The Michigan Earth keepers believe everyone can make a difference and here’s a list of ten easy ways to do your part to protect environment from Stop Global Warming group:
The Great State Song-gate in the Great Lakes?:
Are Michigan’s governor – and a Hollywood director – engaged in subliminal advertising using a version of the state song for controversial acid mine that threatens the pristine northwoods?
I ask this question – tongue-in-cheek.
I doubt it’s a super conspiracy but it definitely is dirty pool at a time when so many northern Michigan residents are preparing to take an acid bath and mourning the loss of our environmental innocence.
But it seems strange to me that these two – Governor Granholm and Hollywood director Jeff Daniels – are backing a song that only hails one thing about the Upper Peninsula – and that is mining.
Both have remained quiet about the deadly serious issue that will have lifelong impact on the pristine northwoods as these mines pop up everywhere followed by uranium mining.
I have long criticized Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and actor/director Jeff Daniels for not joining the thousands who oppose the proliferation of sulfide “acid” mines in the Upper Peninsula.
At issue is a controversial sulfide mine near Lake Superior that will lead to dozens of similar nickel (and dime) projects and likely will ultimately open the ground to uranium mining in the pristine Michigan northwoods.
An unsubtle message in the Michigan state song or a minor mining coincidence?:
Is an old Hollywood trick the latest act being used by pro-mine supporters and directed by Michigan’s Governor under the tutelage of famous director/actor Jeff Daniels?
Now I ask – is Governor Granholm – Michigan’s top democrat – engaged in subliminal advertizing for this mine – or is one of her last official acts for 2007 – just a coincidence? And why does the only line the in the “state song” that refers to the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) seem to glamorize mining?
Crazy you say?
Surely Michigan’s Governor would not choose this time to sing praises of mining while ignoring the other attributes of the glorious U.P.
Well, I would agree if not for the fact that the governor’s own website admits there is a “more suitable” version of the song for peacetime.
Maybe she’s promoting the war version because of Iraq.
By deduction, that means the Governor is promoting a less “suitable” version – on her official state website – that is being sung by actor/director Jeff Daniels.
I wonder why this song – that Governor Granholm loves so much – only mentions the Upper Peninsula in passing – and why the only great thing about the U.P. that is mentioned is mining.
Surely there are prettier things in the Upper Peninsula to sing about than our mines – especially if it’s the “unofficial state song.”
So enamored with the U.P. mining song and with Jeff Daniel’s version – Governor Granholm has posted a link to his version on the official state website:
Governor Granholm – in a crescendo of praise – says of Mr. Daniels:
“As the temperature continues to drop and we prepare for another Michigan winter, there will be days when we look out of our windows and marvel at the beauty of this place we call home,” says Governor Granholm apparently searching for her autograph book.
Swooning in Da Moonlight : Da Gov Goes GaGa over Dandy Daniel’s Ballad:
“There will also be days when we look out of the same window and see a cold and gray place. To help you through those days, take a moment to listen to Jeff Daniels sing Michigan, My Michigan,” proclaims Governor Granholm.
On the Governor’s website – apparently posted just before Christmas – are the lyrics for three versions of “Michigan, My Michigan.” The versions are from 1862, 1886 , 1902.
The lyrics in question are in the second line in the song (again the only line in entire state song that even hints that the Upper Peninsula exists) that describes mining in a shining good light and sung to a Christmas tune (O Tannenbaum/O Christmas Tree).
Here is the exact phrase – you judge:
From Saginaw’s tall whispering pines
To Lake Superior’s farthest mines,
Fair in the light of memory shines
Michigan, my Michigan.
An 1886 version of the same war song – again the second line – states:
“jewels glitter in thy mines” but without the Lake Superior U.P. reference.
Dat’s the name of that tune:
Still swooning over Jeff Daniel’s version – Governor Granholm tells the state’s residents about his version of “Michigan, My Michigan.”
“I find this song a helpful reminder of all of the many reasons we are so fortunate to live here,” says the star struck governor.
Michigan State Song Debacle: Dissing a song – once voted upon
Governor Granholm weighs in on old debate – endorsing song she wants to represent the state.
If those three versions of the song don’t leave your toes tapping – the Governor’s website describes yet another – different but similar – song that at one point at least captured the imagination of the then-Governor Frank D. Fitzgerald and the 1930s legislature.
The1933 song – entitled “My Michigan” – was officially described by state lawmakers “as an official song of the State of Michigan” but not “the” official state song.
“Note the care that the Senate took not to name it as “the” official song of Michigan,” states Governor Granholm’s state website – going the extra mile several times to proclaim it’s not Michigan’s official state song.
While Fitzgerald may have liked that version – Governor Granholm apparently prefers the version she promotes: “Michigan, My Michigan.”
Granholm’s website states:
QUOTE – “Michigan, My Michigan” has long been considered Michigan’s unofficial state song. Another song, “My Michigan,” has been all but forgotten except in the records of the Michigan Legislature. – END QUOTE.
By the way, Governor Frank D. Fitzgerald, not related to namesake of infamous Lake Superior iron ore boat that sank – was the first and only Michigan governor to die in office and one of only two Michigan governors to serve non-consecutive terms.
Dire Straights above the Straits of Mackinac
Both Governor Granholm and actor Daniels have proclaimed their undying love for their homestate, yet have not lifted a finger to rescue the U.P. at its more dire straits.
It seems we can’t get them to join the fight against the mine – and that shall be their legacy here in the U.P.
But maybe – the pair could spend some quality time along Lake Superior and think up some lyrics for our state song that truly describe the beauty and attributes of the now-pristine Upper Peninsula.
I recommend they do this before the acid mining boom forever changes our landscape. By the way – “Tuebor” is the biggest boldest word on the undisputed official Great Seal of Michigan – unchanged since 1911.
“Tuebor,” means, “I will defend” in Latin.
Please – Governor Granholm – there are thousands of us in the Upper Peninsula who could use some of that protection right about now as we fight for our way of life against a behemoth mining company.
Or do you have better things to do than oppose this acid mine?
Finally – the more research I did on the state of Michigan song and seal – the more insignificant the U.P. appears.
Quite a land deal for Michigan and future Secretary of State (SOS):SOS outlines why we in da U.P. need help – and don’t often find it below the bridge:
Here is what the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) Terri Lynn Land has to say about us Yoopers (slang for an Upper Peninsula resident) – rather bluntly – on her website about the other words on the state’s Great Seal:
QUOTE – “Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice” means, “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” It is believed this refers to the Lower Peninsula.
The Upper Peninsula was added in 1837, to pay for the loss of a strip of land on our southern border, given to Ohio when Congress made Michigan a state. – END QUOTE
It seems to me the Lower Peninsula for quite a deal for that “stip of land” – the entire Upper Peninsula that most anyone will tell you is by far the best part of Michigan.
Now I understand why some Yoopers have joked about seceding from the state of Michigan – and why those who live below the Mackinac Bridge are sometimes called “trolls.”
How the Upper Peninsula became the ultimate spoils of a verbal war:
The Great Seal Act threatens jail for use of state symbols
Would if I could – but I can’t – so I won’t:
For the record, in describing our state seal – and coat of arms – I wanted to include a a copy of the seal.
But I can’t – under threat of arrest – from the SOS – who warns: “No facsimile or reproduction of the Great Seal can be used in a manner unconnected with official functions of the state. (MCL 2.45)
A person who violates any provision of the Great Seal Act is guilty of a misdemeanor (MCL 2.46).
All this anti-Upper Peninsula stuff is way too “dark and dreary” for me, besides I’m too busy fighting this acid mine to worry about Michigan State Police “a rap tap tapping (or kicking in) at my chamber door.”
“Whatcha gonna do?” – To quote the Bad Boys “official song” of the Cops TV show.
As the choir prepares the swan song to northern Michigan’s beauty, tourism and innocence, we who love a natural northern Michigan will continue fighting the good fight.
Tho the last rites to northern Michigan tourism are not far away and funeral services are being planned.
I leave you with the appropriate lyrics and from original meanings of “Swan Song.” Wikipedia on “Swan Song” background
“Farewell, all joys! O Death, come close mine eyes!”
“More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise.”
“The wild swan’s death-hymn took the soul
Of that waste place with joy
Hidden in sorrow: at first to the ear
The warble was low.”