Don't worry... "Summer Nights" from the musical "Grease" will be BACK!!
Right now we're celebrating the 225th anniversary of our country!!!
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!
US Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 188. National march:
"The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled ''The Stars and Stripes Forever'' is hereby designated as the national march of the United States of America."
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!
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!
Did you know that this same song is sung in Canada with the refrain "O Canada," and in Mexico with the refrain "Mi Mejico"!!
It has gone not only to every corner of the land, but is sung in Australia, substituting that country's name for America. The words were written by
Katharine Lee Bates, (1859-1929). The lyrics were first written in 1893. They were revised in 1904, and the final version as we know it was written in 1913.
The music was written by Samuel A. Ward, (1847-1903).
Another 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!!
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.