Livery Stable Blues

 

Something for the weekend:  Livery Stable Blues.  Recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass Band on February 26, 1917, it was released in March 1917 by Victor and became a huge hit.  It was the first jazz song released on record.  The band prior to the end of the year would change their name to the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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America

Something for the weekend.  America from West Side Story.  Hard to believe that it is 60 years since this updating of Romeo and Juliet was first performed on the stage.  Parts of it are still powerful, especially at the end where Maria blames the hate of both the Jets and the Sharks for the death of her Tony, and the gang members join in carrying away his corpse.  Of course some elements now seem absurd.  The gang members now look so clean cut that they are more like young members of a Rotary Club than would be street criminals.

Published in: on March 4, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Published in: on February 18, 2017 at 3:25 am  Comments Off on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance  
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Lincoln and Liberty Too

The low clown out of the prairies, the ape-buffoon,

The small-town lawyer, the crude small-time politician,

State-character but comparative failure at forty

In spite of ambition enough for twenty Caesars,

Honesty rare as a man without self-pity,

Kindness as large and plain as a prairie wind,

And a self-confidence like an iron-bar:

This Lincoln, President now by the grace of luck,

Disunion, politics, Douglas and a few speeches

Which make the monumental booming of Webster

Sound empty as the belly of a burst drum.

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body

Something for the weekend.  Lincoln and Liberty Too, the most stirring campaign song in American history, sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences.  Mr. Lincoln’s birthday is on Monday which this year coincides with the state holiday in Illinois.  I always close down the law mines on that day.  Lincoln used to say that Henry Clay was his ideal of a statesman and for me Abraham Lincoln has always filled that role.  Presidents come and Presidents go, but Washington and Lincoln remain, the fixed stars of the better angels of our natures.

Published in: on February 11, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Lincoln and Liberty Too  
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God Bless the USA

It is thought by many, and said by some, that this republic has already seen its best days; that the historian may now write the story of its decline and fall. Two classes of men are just now especially afflicted with such forebodings. The first are those who are croakers by nature. The men who have a taste for funerals, and especially national funerals. They never see the bright side of anything, and probably never will. Like the raven in the lines of Edgar A. Poe, they have learned two words, and those are, ‘never more’. They usually begin by telling us what we never shall see.

Frederick Douglass, December 7, 1869

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.  This rendition of Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA seems very appropriate as a new administration begins.  We Americans are a tough and resilient people, something our adversaries frequently forget and something we too also sometimes fail to remember.

Published in: on January 21, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on God Bless the USA  
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Hail to the Chief

Something for the weekend.  Hail to the Chief.  The Presidential anthem, it was written by James Sanderson in 1812 and became associated with the Presidency in 1815 to honor George Washington and the ending of the War of 1812.  Andrew Jackson was the first living president for which the song was played.  During the Civil War it was played for both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.  Chester A. Arthur did not like the song and had John Philip Sousa write a replacement, the Presidential Polonaise.  After Arthur’s term of office the Marine Corps Band went right back to playing Hail to the Chief to announce the President.  Here are the almost never sung, thank goodness, lyrics:

 

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that’s our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief! (more…)

Published in: on January 14, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Hail to the Chief  
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Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

 

 

Something for the Christmas weekend.  Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming.  Written by the ever prolific composer Anonymous in 16th century Germany, it quickly became a favorite hymn of both Catholics and Protestants in that time and land of religious strife, and that is a good message for Christmas. (more…)

Published in: on December 23, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming  
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Oh Holy Night

Something for the weekend.  Oh Holy Night sung by Celtic Woman.  Written in 1847 by Adolphe Adam, the carol was for the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” “Midnight Christians” written by Placide Cappeau who had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christian poem.  In 1855 Unitarian Minister created an English singing version, and it has been a favorite American Christmas hymn ever since. (more…)

Published in: on December 10, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Something for the weekend.  One of the earliest Christian hymns still popularly sung, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is based upon the Prayer of the Cherubic Hymn in the Liturgy of Saint James of the Church in Jerusalem.  During the Oxford Movement in the Church of England in the nineteenth century, an Anglican minister Gerard Moultrie made an English translation of the Greek text.  The tune to which it is set, Picardy, is a French folk tune that dates back to at least the seventeenth century.  The hymn was set to the tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1906, and has proven immensely popular.

Published in: on December 3, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence  
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Less of Me

 

 

Something for the weekend.  Less of Me sung by the Statler Brothers.  I heard this song sung by the Statler Brothers endlessly back in the early seventies as my parents had the radio on in the kitchen tuned,  as always, to country western station WPRS in Paris, Illinois, as they prepared for work and my brother and I were still in our room before we got up to prepare for school.  Originally recorded by Glen Campbell in 1965, the song is a rendition in music of the poem A Creed by English-American poet Edgar Albert Guest which he wrote in 1909: (more…)

Published in: on November 26, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Less of Me  
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