Independence Day is almost here! We're looking forward to celebrating with a 3-day weekend. For many of us, our plans include grilling up some burgers or dogs, getting in the pool (and with a high of 109 tomorrow in the Phoenix area, the pool is a must!), and watching some fireworks. However, one of my favorite traditions is listening to some patriotic music!
We have some great old tunes in our Sheet Music Collection. One that you probably won't hear tomorrow is Columbia, My Country. This song was published in 1892 and was written and composed for voice and piano by George M. Vickers. We don't hear many songs about Columbia these days, but in the 19th and early 20th century, Columbia was a poetic name for the United States of America and the name of its female personification. Columbia was displaced by Lady Liberty around 1920. This cover has Columbia sounding a trumpet while also having an arm draped over a bottle of Emerson's Bromo Seltzer, who sponsored the publication of this song series.
Independence Day just wouldn't be complete without hearing John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. This version for voice and piano is from 1898. Did you know there were lyrics to that song? Here's the chorus:
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, Proclaim'd as they march'd to the fray, That by their might, and by their right, it waves forever!
Now you can sing along when you hear it played by a marching band at a 4th of July parade! Just in case you can't get your patriotic music fix tomorrow, here's a recording of University Symphony Orchestra with the ASU Choral Union concert entitled "A tribute to America" from 2008. The concert closes with a bang with a rousing performance of Stars and Stripes Forever. Happy Independence Day!
- Anali Perry, Scholary Communications Librarian