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.
- Yes, “America” Simon & Garfunkel’s song gets a prog-rock treatment.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- “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?
- “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.
- 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.”
- “You’re A Grand Old Flag” A double shot of George M. Cohan today.
- “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.