re: Thank you, I thought I was going crazy for a second
Posted by: earlybird 12:31 pm EST 01/21/23
In reply to: re: Ragtime and Henry Ford - dbdbdb 11:10 am EST 01/21/23

I have never once interpreted this song as a sincere celebration of Henry Ford. "Mock-triumphant" is a perfect word for it; showing how the nation, and even Coalhouse, romanticizes what the Model T represents, but it's all a thin veneer disguising the darker truth - which Coalhouse soon discovers, when he realized that the car doesn't earn him the respect he deserves. And the song praises Ford for his innovating model of mass-production and its benefit for the workers, but of course we have 100+ years of hindsight of how corporate mass-production has exploited and mistreated workers.

Not to mention the dialogue in the opening number, in which Henry Ford and JP Morgan indulge in an almost cartoonish display of self-aggrandizement, to which Emma Goldman responds "These men are the demons who are sucking your very souls dry"

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