Hi, I'm Meli..... I have been on the staff here at the web site for quite some time now. Gene has put me in charge of the music page! I used try to do my best to describe the music that is playing on the main page. But... It's HOPELESS! Gene keeps changing the background music without notice, and he forgets to tell me to update this page.
If you have any requests for "theme songs" to go with the current season, please email me, and I'll see what I can find. Or... if you HAVE a nice midi file that would be appropriate to the season, by all means... SEND it!! You'll find my email address RIGHT HERE.
On this page we used to say a few words about music that's playing on the Homepage, but I have given up trying to keep up on what is playing there. So, instead, I'd like to feature our favorite patriotic songs. Perhaps you'd like to know a little bit MORE about them, such as, who wrote them, and WHEN they came to BE our patriotic songs. |
A favorite that can bring tears to our eyes is "God Bless America", written by Irving Berlin. Yes... the SAME Irving Berlin who wrote "Easter Parade", "Alexander's Ragtime Band", and "White Christmas"! He originally wrote the song in 1918 intending to use it in a comedy skit. He decided it was too somber for that, and he put it aside. In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, Berlin decided to write a "peace" song. He recalled his "God Bless America" from twenty years earlier and made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised "God Bless America" during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. The song was an immediate sensation and the REST is HISTORY!!
One of the most beautiful patriotic songs is "America the Beautiful".
I'd like to extend the meaning of "America" to all of North America, to the ENTIRE free world for that matter!! We are all in the SAME boat together, sailing on the SAME ocean!
The words to our National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner" were written by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814. He was inspired by the fact that we did not lose control of Fort McHenry when it was bombarded by the British at the end of the War of 1812. He had in mind the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" and wanted the words to his song to be sung to that tune. To add insult to injury, the tune, also known as "The Anacreontic Song" is the themesong of the "Sons of Anacreon", which was a British gentleman's society. (Anacreon was an ancient Greek poet who lived from 563 to 478 B.C. - quite a "bacchanalian" poet, at THAT!) The British like to consider the song as one of THEIR anthems!! Trouble is, if you read the words to it, it's a DRINKING song!!! So... I wonder if the joke is on THEM or on US??!! Hey, it's not the ONLY time we've stolen their music... "My Country 'tis of Thee" is actually "God Save the Queen/King" with NEW words!!
Anyway... during the Civil War the Union Army sang the song to raise their spirits and to help them remember why they were fighting. The U.S. Army sang it also during World War I as their theme song. But did you know that it wasn't until March 3, 1931, that President Herbert Hoover signed a law that made the Star-Spangled Banner our national anthem. That was almost 117 years after Francis Scott Key wrote down the words.
The GREATEST march ever written is "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932). It was written in 1896 and is officially designated as our National March!
By far, the BEST rendition of "The Stars and Stripes Forever"
I ever heard, was on the 4th of July a few years back, on one of those A&E specials.
The Boston Pops orchestra played the music. The singer, Maureen McGovern, actually SANG
the piccolo part, in operatic "coloratura". It was AMAZING!