Monday’s Music Moves Me: Independence Day 2018

Welcome to the second half of 2018, which happens at noon wherever you are. It’s also two days before Independence Day in the US, and two days before July 4 everywhere else. Fittingly, Michelle a/k/a Naila Moon has us doing patriotic songs today.

  1. Yes, “America” Simon & Garfunkel’s song gets a prog-rock treatment.
  2. Steve Miller Band, “Livin’ In The U.S.A” A great song from 1968, when Boz Scaggs was still a member. Steve Miller is an underrated guitarist.
  3. James Cagney, “Yanke Doodle Dandy” From the 1942 movie of the same name, a biopic of the great American songwriter George M. Cohan. Damn, but that Jimmy Cagney can dance!
  4. Timothy Miller, “God Bless America” For I don’t know how long now, Atlanta Opera tenor par excellence Timothy Miller has been singing this during the seventh-inning stretch at Atlanta Braves Sunday games. In recent years, it’s been the highlight of the ballgame. Timothy loves God, loves his country, loves his family, and loves the Braves, and we’re blessed by his talent. You can buy a copy of him singing this on iTunes.
  5. Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops, “Stars and Stripes Forever” The Boston Pops Orchestra frequently plays this at the end of their concerts, a tradition started by their founder and original director Arthur Fiedler. Fiedler loved Sousa marches.
  6. “America (My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee)” Yes, we borrowed the music to “God Save The King/Queen” from the British and wrote our own lyrics to it. What about it?
  7. “America The Beautiful” The lyrics were written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1895, the music was written by choirmaster and organist Samuel A. Ward several years earlier (as a melody called “Materna”), and the two of them never met. It still ended up being just beautiful.
  8. United States Army Chorus, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” Julia Ward Howe wrote new lyrics to the song “John Brown’s Body” in 1861, and it links the judgment of the wicked to the American Civil War, known in these parts as “The War of Yankee Aggression.”
  9. “You’re A Grand Old Flag” A double shot of George M. Cohan today.
  10. “The Star Spangled Banner” We all know how Francis Scott Key wrote the poem “The Defense of Fort McHenry” in 1814, during the War of 1812. It was set to John Stafford Smith’s melody “To Anacreon In Heaven,” written for the Anacreonic Society, an 18th Century British gentlemen’s club of amateur musicians. This is the full version, with all four verses; generally only the first is sung. Too bad…

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for July 2, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


18 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Independence Day 2018

  1. Well, I’m finally making my rounds here. It’s been so blasted hot lately I just havent’ wanted to do anything on the computer.
    I think if you were to do a battle of the bands with Yes v Simon & Garfunkel, S&G would win hands down. might even be a blow out there! But the rest of the selection is truly great.

    Hope you and Mary had a great holiday! See you next rounds…


    1. To be honest, I don’t get out much, and spend my days in air-conditioned comfort, which is almost as bad for creativity.

      Yes is a perfect example of early ’70’s prog-rock excess. You’ve probably had music that you loved when you were in high school that you’ve pulled out and listened to and wonder why the hell you thought it was so great. Yes was like that for me.


  2. Boz Scaggs was a member of the Steve Miller Band?? I had no idea! Very cool fact to learn.
    And I sure never heard Yes doing Simon & Garfunkel’s America! To me, Yes is one of those bands that I think of in the way I think of Rush: you either like ’em or you don’t. With both bands, I like a few select songs but not the majority of their works. I don’t know why Yes music gets on my nerves sometimes… Just like Rush’s music gets on my nerves too. In any case, it was interesting to hear their version of that patriotic S&G masterpiece.

    Hope you had a great 4th… It’s 7am on 7/5 and I haven’t yet been to bed. Hoping the dogs will sleep for at least another hour so I can catch an hour of sleep before they start demanding breakfast. I took everyone out (11 of them) to potty at 4:30 so they should be set on that end for a bit…

    Have a great day!
    Michele at Angels Bark


    1. Miller and Scaggs were friends going back to high school, and Boz was on the first couple of Steve’s albums, then moved on to solo fame and frtune (well, fame, anyway).

      Yes was big when I was in high school, and I had their “Fragile” LP. Their music got annoying when a guy in the dorm played “Long Distance Runaround” over and over at top volume and played the bass lick just as loud. I think it was the only song the guy knew… Anyway, “America” was a non-album single that came out between “Fragile” and “Close To The Edge,” and they’ve rolled it in on later CD’s of the former. It was on heavy rotation in Chicago.

      Go to bed! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol. Well, I did, for a minute anyway. Actually, almost an hour and a half. Now everybody wants to go pee and eat so in another hour, when I’m done with pottying and feeding and the dogs all go down for their after-breakfast naps I’m going to jump in the shower and then hit my bed again…Until the next dog (#`12) arrives at 3:00… ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Thumbs up for Livin’ in the USA, and, as much as I like Yes, thumbs down to their mangling (ok, one woman’s opinion) of Simon and Garfunkel’s America. All the others fine songs to celebrate this holiday with. The Battle Hymn of the Republic has a history many aren’t aware of and I think too many others don’t even realize there is more than one verse. (Gee, John, and I thought you grew up in Chicago? The War of Northern Aggression? Have to go back and find your bio….)


    1. I am from Chicago, but I’m 62 and have lived here almost 31 years, so they’ve adopted me…

      Interesting thing about the Battle Hymn: in 1981, an apparition of Mary, the Mother of God, allegedly appeared to six young people in Medjugorje, Bosnia, and people have been making pilgrimages to the town ever since. Mary (my wife) is one of those pilgrims, and she met a few of the young people. One of them said that the Blessed Mother told them her favorite song is “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Whether that’s actually true, I can’t say…. It is an especially stirring hymn regardless, and the last verse is particularly beautiful.


  4. John,

    I didn’t care too much for the prog-rock version of “America”. I don’t think I’ve heard “Living in the USA” by Steve Miller Band before today. I really like it, though. Boston Pops “Stars and Stripes Forever” I always look forward to every 4th. It really makes me happy to hear it! ๐Ÿ™‚ The rest of your playlist features some great patriotic classics. “Grand Old Flag” sung by a kids choir is another chirpy sounding rendition that had me smiling and chair boogieing. Thanks for filling me good ole American pride with these song choices. Have a safe & fun Independence Day!


  5. Nice job, John. Happy 4th to you and Mary. I can almost smell Tex’s barbecue in the backyard in Northfield.


    1. Bratwurst, hamburgers, hot dogs… He loved that grill, and he was a genius with it. Sad that he never met Pat’s kids (or Kip’s, for that matter)… He’d’ve had a great time with them. Have a good 4th!


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