What with Obama and Clinton raging in Iowa and New Hampshire, I’ve found myself longing to be ‘in the fray’. Not that I’ve ever managed — despite best intentions, admittedly — to be in any particular fray…but this one does grab me.

I also feel homesick. The lack of any interesting precipitation (where’s the snow for heaven’s sake?) along with Sarah Salway’s picture of a cardinal — the bright red state bird of Virginia (where I grew up) — over on her blog, together make me want to be there.

It’s abstracted. It’s irrational. But this morning I sang The Star Bangled Banner to M in the car. Yes I did. She listened all the way through before quietly remarking that she didn’t think she’d ever heard it before. Shame on me.

In recompense, please accept this particularly belting version. If you didn’t know it before M, you’ll know it now!