“Suite Madame Blue” by Styx

For starters, the “Madame Blue” referred to is actually a nickname that Styx gave to the United States of America. We all know that America’s colors are “red, white and blue”, which are also referenced in the lyrics. So it is not clear why they decided to refer to the nation specifically using the color blue.

Perhaps, given the overall tone of the piece, they are alluding to how the blue is commonly used in a metaphorical sense as pointing to the concept of depression or sadness. For basically, what the sentiment behind the track represents is the vocalist unfavorably comparing the current state of America to its glory days. 

And even though he refers to the latter as having transpired “long ago”, in reality what he’s talking about is an era as recently (considering that this song was dropped in the 1970s) as post World War II.

A Patriotic Narrator

So what the vocalist is expressing in the first verse appears to be his unwavering patriotism. But that noted, in the second verse he still lets it be known, to his dismay, that his country is not as globally influential as it once was. 

And again, it’s not as if Dennis DeYoung is advocating war or anything like that. But it’s more like to him America has “changed” – and not in a good way.  In fact what he seems to be implying in the chorus is that her negative transformation is the result of having grown too powerful, i.e. ‘conquering the world and more’. 

And it also seems he’s poetically saying something like, concerning her glory days, that they are permanently behind her. So what he is desiring, as illustrated in the final passage, is that the country “make a new start”, as in readjust its vision and “lead” the people to a more glorious path than the one that it is currently on.

So even though this song may be critical of America it isn’t anti-establishment, as with many other similarly-natured tracks that were coming out during the post-Vietnam era, even though to some degree it is anti-war. 

It’s pretty clear that the vocalist does in fact love his country, and nothing is going to stop him from doing so. Such sentiment is partially based on him looking back to the past, when her situation was more ideal than it is now. And that would also be one of the reasons why he uses the word “suite”, a homonym of sweet, to describe her. Nonetheless he is obviously concerned with America’s present standing and its current trajectory. 

So conclusively, he is calling for the nation to reset its vision.

Lyrics for "Suite Madame Blue"

Writing and Production Credits for “Suite Madame Blue”

Dennis DeYoung wrote this track. It was subsequently produced by one John Curulewski alongside: James Young, Chuck Panozzo, DeYoung, and John Panozzo.

Release

Styx released this on December 1 of 1975 as part of the “Equinox” project.

Was “Suite Madame Blue” a single release?

 No.

Sampling

Joe Budden sampled “Suite Madame Blue” in his 2008 song, “On My Grind”

Covers

  • Gittarzan – May, 2015
  • TruthSurge – February, 2020
  • Ian Henderson – September, 2019
  • MUSTIKGUY – May, 2011
  • Linktronics – July, 2009
  • Marc-André Dionne – February, 2021
"Suite Madame Blue"
Styx's Dennis DeYoung explains "Suite Madame Blue"

The U.S. Bicentennial Celebration

200 years after the signing of its Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, the United States of America celebrated its bicentennial.

It was also commemorated by different organizations such as NASA, New Jersey Lottery, United States Olympic Committee, and several others from April 1975 through 4th July 1976.

The United States Bicentennial was a progressive stream of celebrations that took place all around the nation in tribute to the defeat of Britain and events that lead to the creation of the US an independent republic.

The whole ideology surrounding this celebration began when Congress set up the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission (ARBA) in July 1966.

A logo with colors white, blue and red was designed for this celebration. The celebrations took off on April 1, 1975, with the launch of the American Freedom train from Wilmington, Delaware. The Freedom train toured for 21 months at a distance of about 25,388 miles.

The second event was the Bicentennial Wagon Train that set off on June 8, 1975, almost a year later. It was followed by Operation Sails; – Sixteen ships representing several nations sailed through the harbor of New York which was witnessed by millions of people. Elaborate fireworks in the skies of major cities, numerous events and speeches from then President Gerald Ford marked the festivities.

Source(s):

https://americasbesthistory.com/abhtimeline1976m.html

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