Neal McCoy’s “Take A Knee, My Ass (I Won’t Take A Knee)” is a Grammatical Nightmare, Among Other Things

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In 1994, Neal McCoy released his first No. 1 single, “Wink.” McCoy was mildly successful before that song and has since released successful singles, but none have made a splash quite as quickly as his brand new, patriotic tune about protesting during the playing of the National Anthem, “Take A Knee, My Ass (I Won’t).”

First off, I love a long title. I love parentheses. But, it seems like McCoy is telling his own rear to take a knee, but he won’t take a knee? Perhaps, an ellipsis or an em dash would have served him better than a comma here.


For McCoy, the sentiment is simple– kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem is wrong and is a slap in the face to anyone who has ever fought for the United States and the freedom its citizens are privileged to have. During an interview with Fox News, McCoy shared, “I think it’s something that some people are scared to step up and say something about it, but if you give them an opportunity to echo it through you then they jump right in.” He also said he grew up in a home where it was encouraged to be grateful for the blessings of America.

He shared in a Facebook video that this is the real deal, “I’ve been on 15 USO tours. I’ve entertained our troops in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and all over the world. So, no, this is not a money grab. This is a guy that believes in our country, that does not like people kneeling, not standing with their hands over their hearts, for the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem. That’s what I’m about.”

I don’t doubt that McCoy is sincere when he says he loves America and her troops, but kind of like he doesn’t agree with taking a knee, others might agree that this isn’t the best way to show it. Or maybe it is? In this country, we are afforded the freedom to love our freedom (almost) however we see fit.

“Take A Knee, My Ass (I Won’t Take A Knee)” Lyrics:

I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
I’ll stand and place my hand upon my heart
Every time her anthem plays

When I see somebody on TV
Take their stand on bended knee
Whether it’s on astroturf or grass
I think of those whose freedom was not free
And I say, “Take a knee, my ass!”

I’ll stand up for the flag
Take off my hat for Old Glory
Thank God I live in the home of the brave
And the land of the free
I’ll honor the ones who gave it all
So we’re all free to go play ball
If only for their sake
I won’t take a knee

From Valley Forge to Vietnam
9/11 to Afghanistan
That star-spangled banner does yet wave
I won’t forget I owe a debt of gratitude
I never can repay

Arm and arm and side by side
American heroes fought and died
Is showing some respect too much to ask?
I speak for those whose freedom was not free
And I say, “Take a knee, my ass!”

I’ll stand up for the flag
Take off my hat for Old Glory
Thank God I live in the home of the brave
And the land of the free
I’ll honor the ones who gave it all
So we’re all free to go play ball
If only for their sake
I won’t take a knee
O say can you see?
If only for their sake
I won’t take a knee

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