This is the week of two national birthdays. Yesterday was the birthday of our neighbor to the north, Canada. And on Wednesday, we in the United States celebrate our national birthday.
That's why our honorary conductor of the month, Michelle (Naila Moon), has chosen Patriotic Songs as her theme.
Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? Every other week we have a theme, and on alternate weeks, we can blog about any music we wish. We are headed by our head Engineer XmasDolly. Her co-conductors are: ♥Callie of JAmerican Spice♥, (who right now is visiting when she can - please keep her in your thoughts ) and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥ Also, co-conducting is ♥Cathy from Curious as a Cathy♥ And, (last but not least), me.
Let's stand for the unofficial National Anthem (in my humble opinion) from the movie The Jazz Singer - Neil Diamond singing about freedom's light burning warm:
He sings about immigrants, such as my grandparents, who came from Eastern Europe, escaping pogroms, yearning for a home where they could live free from persecution.
Johnny Cash singing a song from 1974, in the Watergate era Ragged Old Flag.
Many had lost faith in our institutions. The song is a defiant celebration of what Cash and many others feel what it means to be American.
I learned a song, back around 1963, in sleepaway camp called "You're a Grand Old Flag". In researching for this post, I discovered this song, by the incomparable George M. Cohan, was written for a 1906 stage musical called "George Washington, Jr", and was originally called You're a Grand Old Rag. It became extremely popular during World War I and, again, in World War II.
I chose this version, from Yankee Doodle Dandy, a musical biography of George M. Cohan from 1942. The song is sung towards the end of this clip,which features other patriotic song clips.
What is a Hero? Jim Nabors ponders this in this video, where he sings as Marine Gomer Pyle.
And finally - no Fourth of July oriented post can conclude with out this most wonderful of marches. I bring you, from 1896: John Phillip Sousa's The Stars and Stripes Forever.
As a bonus - a live version with fireworks, because I can listen to this song forever.
Forever may our flag wave high, reflecting the ideals we, as Americans, strive towards.
Besides #MusicMovesMe, this is Day two of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost