Monday, February 20, 2017

Music Monday - President's Day

Today is a Federal holiday, one that is observed in all states but in various ways.

In honor of the Presidents of the United States, here is a short musical tribute.

Abraham, Martin and John - a song sung by Dion, pays tribute to two Presidents cut down by assassins, Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Kennedy's brother, Bobby, also cut down by assassins.

Happy Days, a song that was picked up as a campaign song by the longest serving of all our Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt: was previously the subject of one of my blog posts.

In this political climate, it is instructive to travel back into the 1970's, another age of unrest and fear, to talk about another President, Richard Nixon.  "Justice Don't Be Slow", by Steppenwolf.  Nixon was the first and only President to resign.  His Vice President also had to resign.

This final song is a song from the Civil War era and happens to be, even today, the state song of the State of Maryland.  It sings indirectly about the Federal President during the Civil War (Abraham Lincoln; see above), who is described as a despot. (The history behind this song would make an interesting Civil War Sunday).  This version has the official lyrics prior to last year, when certain edits were made, 151 years after the war ended.

There are lots more songs to choose from if you are interested.  Do you have any to add?

25 comments:

  1. Americans are so patriotic - even with music through the decades Alana - we Aussies could probably learn a thing or two from you. We don't have a Prime Minister's Day either...Do you get a public holiday for President's Day?

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    1. Government offices, the post office, and banks have today off. Stores are open. For other businesses, it depends. My particular job is closed today, but, for years, I worked on this holiday.

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  2. I am a retired music educator and college professor, having taught choral and general music in K-12 for many years before entering the higher ed. field. One of the unique and profoundly meaningful characteristics of music (especially songs - as they have a text) is that is conveys culture from one place to another and from one generation to another. Collectively, over many years, I taught thousands of children and teenagers various patriotic songs from various times in our nation's history. It is a wonderful way to convey to children and adolescents some of the deep meanings behind historical and cultural events.

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    1. I went to a sleepaway camp run by a social services agency growing up in the early 60's. We were taught various old patriotic songs (including songs by George M. Cohan). I was being educated and didn't even know it. I just thought it was a lot of fun. Thank you so much for your observation.

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  3. I thought schools in all states were closed today, but face timed my grands in Vermont last night and they have school today. I was shocked.

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  4. You have highlighted my complaint about this changed holiday. As a boy (and NOT living in the south), we celebrated two holidays in February- Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays. (Lincoln was NOT celebrated in the Southern states.) Two presidents worth studying and revering.
    This non-descript Presidents' Day is not one I enjoy. Pierce? Coolidge? Hoover? And, then the criminal Nixon? Are you for real? Not to mention you want me to revere The Donald, who insults all, wants authoritarian control, and listens to none- except cable TV and Bannon? Get a life.
    I will now go and watch the City of Alexandria celebrate its own... George Washington... with parades and events.

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    1. I am just now hearing about the next choice for National Security Adviser. I think Lt. General McMaster has the moral courage to speak truth to power. We'll see what happens next.

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  5. The Dion song has always made me sad with the question 'what if' they were never killed? Thanks for sharing these historical time capsule songs that still resonate.

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    1. I'm proud to say that both Dion and I are from the Bronx. As for what may have happened - well, there was my alternate history post from last week....

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  6. Nothing can overpower patriotism!The love for the country stands paramount and is expressed in every way possible. It is same in India Alana - however the recent supreme court of India has now ordered that every movie before beginning needs to play our National anthem -this is becoming bit odd for us!

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    1. We do live in interesting times, both here and in India. No national anthem before movies here maybe. I haven't been to a movie in years, believe it or not.

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  7. Your musical tribute was very informative, Alana. I learnt quite a few things from your write-up. I think the best part about patriotic songs is the fact that a lot of history is conveyed as they are passed from one generation to the other.

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  8. Thank you, especially, for the song and video by Dion on Abraham, Martin, John and Bobby. I am an African American woman of a certain age and I cherish the opportunity to reflect on how God used all four of these great leaders to make a difference in my life and the lives of my ancestors. Be blessed!

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    1. We are both a "certain age" and remember these great leaders well. Thank you for stopping by!

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  9. Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri were all slave states that never seceded from the union. Apparently, the folks in Maryland were not especially fond of President Lincoln. Interesting lyrics.

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    1. You are right on both counts (Delaware, a slave state, also stayed with the union.) All four of these border states sent troops to fight for the Confederacy. And, Lincoln was not at all popular in many parts of Maryland.

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  10. I looked up political rock songs and had to laugh when I came across Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation". All I could think about when watching the video when it was showing WB, Virgin records labels etc., is our President Trump and him mentioning fake news.

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  11. Music says so much in such a short span of time. And looking back at various points in time through music can be so informative. These are lovely song choices - I wonder what the song of choice would be for Donald Trump?!

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  12. Happy President's Day. Here in some of the Canadian provinces it is Family Day

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  13. These are GREAT choices! I love music posts..they're my favorite.

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  14. I did not know American's have a President's Day. Very interesting!

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