Civ 6’s America themes and the Heart for Progress & Prosperity

DJ & Medievh here.

For those of you who haven’t followed our journeys in the past, let us give you an idea of what we are doing first before we address the title above.

Each of us left our hometowns on a quest – DJ, on a quest to find and value music, dance, food, drink, and all those things that are meant to bring joy and fun to the lives of humans, and I, Medievh, on a quest to discover and value the precious parts of Humanity’s heritage in the form of its greatest achievements, in the form of civilizations, technology, commerce etc.

We normally journey alone and report our discoveries to anyone whom we meet on the way, online as well as offline and also to each other.

But sometimes…we meet each other because we both discover something that COMBINES the things that we seek – for example, a song that serves the further or celebrate the heritage of humanity.

In this case, it started out with DJ looking up a video game series he used to play when he was younger called Civilization. The 6th edition of Civilization had just been released. Enjoying the game itself, he invited me to play with him.

I, the type to always be enamored by anything ‘civilization’-related of course joined him. The game itself didn’t seem too different from its predecessors and this post isn’t about the game itself.

It’s about the soundtrack of the game, specifically, the series of themes for the U.S.A Civilization. The themes for the U.S. are a series of variations on the song ‘Hard Times Come Again No More’. Listen to a rendition of the song close to the original if you’d like by clicking here The lyrics of the song are posted below :

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.
Chorus:
‘Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

2.
While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh! Hard times come again no more.
Chorus

3.
There’s a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o’er:
Though her voice would be merry, ’tis sighing all the day,
Oh! Hard times come again no more.
Chorus

4.
‘Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
‘Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
‘Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh! Hard times come again no more.
Chorus

Interestingly enough, without having known the lyrics beforehand, I thought the song was going be a bit more positive than the lyrics which are more like a prayer to God to stop the hard times from coming.

The renditions in Civilization 6 start out with the Ancient theme which is a simple Banjo playing the tune, letting the listener imagine an American trying to make a living in the unsettled frontier, gazing out into the starlit sky after a day’s long work of surviving

(Click here for Civilization 6 America Theme – Ancient)

The next theme is the ‘medieval’ one which is more lively with a number of string instruments playing together, conjuring up the image of Americans in the unsettled countryside enjoying a smile and a break with some fiddle playing despite life being harsh and not yet considered well off.

(Click here for Civilization 6 America Theme – Medieval)

The 3rd theme is the ‘industrial’ one. When I first heard the trumpets and the horns at the beginning of the piece and then onwards, my heart was filled with a feeling I hadn’t felt during the previous two themes. It was the feeling of greatness, of pursuing greatness and how meaningful it was to not give up despite the reality being so hard. The clarinet solo, still shows that there still remains that same innocent person on the frontier working hard. But that person now apparently has a greater dream. And then…the middle climax that shows that this civilization, on which the theme is based on, has grown to be something greater and it will continue to grow greater and the hard times have paid off in the past and there is a possibility that the hard times will actually be no more…

(Click here for Civilization 6 America Theme – Industrial)

The fourth and final U.S.A. theme is the theme of the Atomic era. I always tear up whenever I listen to this song and it has actually become a permanent song on my playlist. You can now see that the frontier is not just a physical place. That same innocent person who works hard is there, but now…the person is tirelessly at work chasing the dream, rising ever higher, engaged purely in the pursuit of progress with the unbeatable spirit knows pursuing the dream of having the hard times come no more is always worth it…

(Click here for Civilization 6 America Theme – Atomic)

I ask myself the question, “Can this music cater only to patriotic Americans who reminisce and desperately want back the times when America was the mighty, unbeatable, land of hope, of the brave?”

I have come to the conclusion of…no.

The unbeatable spirit to continue to ASPIRE for something better, to go beyond one’s current limits, to fight and win against those hardships of life, and to create greatness out of nothing…THIS is a spirit that EVERY HUMAN should have in their hearts. That is the reason why I listen to this song everybody…because something in me tells me that just like the heroes

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About Innovatio

An international Socratic warrior on a journey in search of human happiness and value which can further human civilization.
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