Happy Independence Day

On this beautiful 4th of July, I wanted to take a minute and just be grateful for this wonderful country we are blessed with. During the American Revolution, both sides used music extensively for their own purposes.

Did you know?

  • Yankee Doodle was a song made up by the British to mock Americans? Our ancestors decided to take that song and embrace it – thereby eliminating the insult the British intended, it’s now Connecticut’s official song and has become symbolic of America’s pride.
  • America(My Country ‘Tis of Thee) was originally Britain’s national anthem, God Save the Queen. Our creative revolutionaries changed the words – it was our national anthem until the Star Spangled Banner was adopted in its place.
  • Music and songs were the primary way that history was passed down to the future. Songs, poems, all of them made the learning of it easier. Along with written history, these songs can teach us a lot about the past. Often the written history has the facts, and the music carries emotions that ran strong during the time period.
  • A drummer and piper were considered a vital part of an army – they kept morale and entertained troops when they were not fighting. We have continued that tradition by having marching bands in the military. Those musicians are following an age-old tradition of supporting the troops!

Is it any wonder why we think of music when our nation’s birthday comes up?

I’ll just leave you with this stirring song, posted from http://www.americanrevolution.org/war%20songs/warsongs8.html. It’s pretty typical of the feelings of the time, our founders were fiery and passionate about the liberty they bestowed upon us in bravely standing up to a tyrannical king.

THE PARODY PARODISED.

or

MASSACHUSETTS LIBERTY SONG
1768

COME swallow your bumpers, ye tories, and roar,
That the sons of fair Freedom are hamper’d once more; But know that no cut-throats our spirits can tame,
Nor a host of oppressors shall smother the flame.

In freedom we’re born, and, like sons of the brave,
We’ll never surrender,
But swear to defend her,

And scorn to survive, if unable to save.

Our grandsires, blest heroes! we’ll give them a tear,
Nor sully their honors, by stooping to fear;
Thro’ deaths and thro’ dangers, their trophies they won, We dare be their rivals, nor will be outdone.

Let tyrants and minions presume to despise,
Encroach on our rights, and make freedom their prize: The fruits of their rapine they never shall keep;
Tho’ vengeance may nod, yet how short is her sleep!

The tree, which proud Haman for Mordecai rear’d, Stands recorded, that virtue endanger’d is spar’d,
That rogues whom no bonds and no laws can restrain, Must be stript of their honors, and humbled again.

Our wives and our babes, still protected, shall know, Those who dare to be free, shall for ever be so;
On these arms and these hearts they may safely rely, For in freedom we’ll live, or like heroes we’ll die.

Ye insolent tyrants! who wish to enthrall
Ye minions, ye placemen, pimps, pensioners, all,
How short is your triumph! how feeble your trust !
Your honors must wither and nod to the dust.

When oppress’d and reproach’d, our king we implore, Still firmly persuaded our rights he’ll restore;
When our hearts beat to arms, to defend a just right,
Our monarch rules there, and forbids us to fight.

Not the glitter of arms, nor the dread of a fray,
Could make us submit to their chains for a day;
Withheld by affection, on Britons we call, –
Prevent the fierce conflict which threatens your fall !

All ages shall speak, with amaze and applause,
Of the prudence we show in support of our cause; Assur’d of our safety, a Brunswick still reigns,
Whose free loyal subjects are strangers to chains.

Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all !
To be free is to live, to be slaves is to fall;
Has the land such a dastard, as scorns not a lord,
Who dreads not a fetter much more than a sword.

In freedom we’re born, and, like sons of the brave,
We’ll never surrender,
But swear to defend her,
And scorn to survive, if unable to save.