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cetmst Folklore: Need songs of Revolutionary and 1812 war (28) RE: Folklore: Need songs of Revolutionary and 1812 war 14 Jan 05


Look at the Colonial Music Institute of David and Ginger Hildebrand - www.colonialmusic.org and www.colonialmusic.org/d&gstud.htm

Don't overlook the Barbary War - variants of High Barbaree

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation issued an album "Songs of Liberty." I have the cassette but can't find a date on it:
God Save the Thirteen States
A Toast
Washington's March
Successful Campaign
Brandywine Quick-Step
Liberty Song
What a Court Hath Old England
Free America
David's Lamentation
Chester
Retrospect
The Battle of Trenton
Beneath a Weeping Willow's Shade
Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
The American Hero
My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free
Cornwallis Country Dance
Cornwallis Burgoyned
Adams and Liberty
Anacreontic Song
Star Spangled Banner

Liner notes quote a General Order from Headquarters, Middle-Brook, June 4, 1777:
The music of the army being in general vry bad, it is expected that the drum and fife Majors exert themselves to improve it, or they will be reduced, and their extraordinary pay taken from them. Stated hours to be assigned, for all the drums and fifes, of each regiment, to attend them and practice - nothing is more agreeable, and ornamental, than good music; every officer, for the credit of the corps, should take care to provide it.

Abridged liner notes:
George Washington was no musician. In a letter to Francis Hopkinson he wrote "...I can neither sing... nor raise a single note on any instrument." Yet he knew the value of music to an army that functioned by duty calls of fifes and drums. From frequent attendance at theaters and concerts, he also appreciated music's "agreeable and ornamental" qualities. He especially enjoyed dancing and proposed the following toast at the Philadelphia Dancing Assembly on his birthday, February 22, 1797, "May the members thereof and the Fair who honor it with their presence long continue in the enjoyment of an amusement so innocent and agreeable." At another ball at Newport in 1781, he danced the first number with one of the reigning belles, after which "...the French officers took the instruments from the hands of their musicians, and flourished the opening strains of 'Successful Campaign'..."
Much music was expressly written and dedicated to the man "first in the hearts of his countrymen." Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence, frequent holder of public office in Philadelphia and New Jersey, writer, inventor and talented musician, may have initiated the practice with 'A Toast' the words of which were first printed in the 'Pennsylvania Packet' in 1778. Often credited as the composer of 'Washington's March', he wrote 'Seven Songs' for Washington in 1788. James Hewitt's descriptive 'The Battle of Trenton' bears the subtitle ' A Favorite Historical Military Sonata Dedicated to General Washington."
The enthusiasm for liberty in the New World brought forth an outburst of creative activity among the patriots. Often new words were created for familiar melodies. John Dickinson of Pennsylvania wrote his 'Liberty Song' to the sturdy tune 'Hearts of Oak' which originally praised the virtues of the British Navy. He sent it to James Otis of Massachusetts with the note, "I enclose you a song of American freedom. I have long renounced poetry, but, as indifferent songs are very powerful on certain occasions, I venture to invoke the muse." So 'What a Court Hath Old England' is set to a well-known English jig, 'Free America' to the redoutable 'British Grenadiers' and 'God Save the Thirteen States' to a song destined to become the British National Anthem. The words of the 'Thirteen States' are supposed to have been written by a Dutch lady at The Hague for American sailors in June , 1779.
With his warlike hymn 'Chester' the zealous New Englander William Bilings captures the spirit of the Sons of Liberty. His anthem 'Retrospect', however, conveys with greater meaning the horrors of war and the joys of peace. Ever concerned with emotion, he exclaims "That I am a musical enthusiast I readily grant....Great art thou O MUSIC! and with thee there is no competitor....Thou art like pure love...Therefore thou art like Heaven and Heaven is like Thee..."
Hewitt's 'The Battle of Trenton' reflects reflects the vogue for military pieces in both America and Europe (Some descriptive passages omitted - CET). The inclusion of the Scottish dirge 'Roslin Castle' lends a poignancy to this flamboyant sonata.
'My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free' is an early Hopkinson song (1759) copied in his manuscript book, while 'Beneath a Weeping Willow's Shade' comes from the 'Seven Songs' of 1788. The folk song 'Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier' dates from Revolutionary days but was revived during the Civil War. Another Yankee tunesmith, Andrew Law, set 'The American Hero' to a poem describing the Battle of Bunker Hill. 'Cornwallis Country Dance' to the tune of 'Yankee Doodle' describes General Greene's harassment of the British in the Carolinas in satiric dance terminology, while 'Cornwallis Burgoyned' recalls the Yorktown surrender.
Three versions of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' provide the finale: the patriotic 'Adams and Liberty' (1798), the even earlier song of good fellowship 'The Anacreontic Song' (1779?), and finally the 1814 version with Francis Scott Key's text. All employ compekking rhythms and faster tempos than are customary today.


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