Stars and Stripes Forever

Something for the weekend.  The weekend before the Fourth of July  Stars and Stripes Forever seems called for.  Beyond a doubt the best known composition of John Philip Sousa, it is the National March of the United States.  Sousa wrote it on Christmas Day 1896 and it proved massively popular, especially when it was played during the Spanish-American War.

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

(more…)

Published in: on July 2, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Stars and Stripes Forever  
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Stars and Stripes Forever

Something for the weekend.  For a Memorial Day weekend Stars and Stripes Forever seems called for.  Beyond a doubt the best known composition of John Philip Sousa, it is the National March of the United States.  Sousa wrote it on Christmas Day 1896 and it proved massively popular, especially when it was played during the Spanish-American War.  My Family and I, visited the Sousa Archives at the University of Illinois in June of 2019, go here to read about the Sousa Archives, which houses the papers of John Philip Sousa.  The grad student on duty gave us a first rate presentation on Sousa and his music, and he brought out for us original sheet music used by Sousa and his band, which sent shivers down my spine.  Writers do what they can, but a truly great composer effortlessly touches hearts and souls long after he is dust.

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

A “unique”, yes that is what we will call it, muppet rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever, hosted by Sam the American Eagle, who is the answer to the question, “Don, if you were a muppet, which muppet would you be?”

Vladimir Horowitz was one of the greatest pianists of the last century.  He was also a refugee from the Soviet Union.  He became a naturalized American citizen in 1944, and, like many naturalized American citizens of that era, he was intensely patriotic, giving many concerts in support of the war effort.  Here is his immortal rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever from 1945.

Published in: on May 29, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Stars and Stripes Forever  
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Semper Fidelis

 

Something for the weekend.  Semper Fidelis (1888), by John Philip Sousa, the official march of the Marines.

I have gotten a lot of joy out of Sousa over the years after first being introduced to him courtesy of Popeye cartoons on television when I was a small child:

Published in: on October 24, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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Grenadier Guards Go Full Sousa

 

Something for the weekend.  The British Grenadier Guards give a stirring rendition of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever.  God bless our cousins!

Published in: on July 29, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Grenadier Guards Go Full Sousa  
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Stars and Stripes Forever Acapella

I came across this over the weekend.  An uncanny rendition of Sousa’s masterpiece by the Texan acapella group Acoustix. 

Published in: on July 7, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Stars and Stripes Forever Acapella  
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O Say Can You See?

Something for the weekend.  The Star Spangled Banner.   Often assailed by critics as unsingable, too war-like and on other grounds, I love it and I am proud that it is our National Anthem.   It is an interesting song for a national anthem in that the first stanza, the one we all attempt to sing, has an important question at the end of it:  Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?   That particular question has to be asked by each generation of Americans, ours no less than the generations who came before us.

Here is a superb video giving the historical back ground behind the writing of the Star Spangled Banner:

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Published in: on May 19, 2012 at 4:30 am  Comments Off on O Say Can You See?  
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Stars and Stripes Forever

Something for the weekend.  We are two weeks out from the Fourth of July weekend so Stars and Stripes Forever seems called for.  Beyond a doubt the best known composition of John Philip Sousa, it is the National March of the United States.  Sousa wrote it on Christmas Day 1896 and it proved massively popular, especially when it was played during the Spanish-American War (more…)

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Semper Fidelis

Something for the weekend.  John Philip Sousa’s Semper Fidelis performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Lyrics for the march were written by Charles Burr.  Sousa of course was a Marine, although he did serve as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy during World War I, and I have always thought that his march named after the “Ever Faithful” motto of the Corps must have had special significance for him. (more…)

Published in: on June 11, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (5)  
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Washington Post March

Something for the weekend.  The Washington Post March by the March King, John Philip Sousa.

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 3:35 am  Comments Off on Washington Post March  
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Stars and Stripes Forever

Something for the weekend.  Let’s start getting in the mood for the Fourth with a little SousaStars and Stripes Forever performed by Vladimir Horowitz  in 1945.

Published in: on June 26, 2010 at 3:57 am  Comments Off on Stars and Stripes Forever  
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