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A Historical Musical Opening

Author:  GSLC

Was first written as a poem. It told the story of the brave defense of Ft. McHenry Maryland against the British attack. Key was sent by boat to ask the British for the release of his friend Dr. William Beans. Key’s boat was not allowed to get closer than eight miles from the battle, so he had to watch from a distance for the results of the battle. As the poem reads, “by the dawn’s early light…broad stripes and bright stars…thro’ the perilous fight…that our flag was still there.” Key didn’t know until the early morning hours that the British had lost the battle. We were victorious!

YOU’RE A GRAND OLD FLAG by George Michael Cohen
As an actor, he first performed at age nine years old. He later became a playwright and composer, presenting his first play on Broadway in New York about 1901. The song was written as a marching tune, most likely to be presented in a parade.

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL by Katherine Lee Bates
Was written after witnessing the majestic and inspirational view from Pike’s Peak Colorado in 1883. Katharine Bates was head of the English department at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. It was also written as a poem and appeared in the CONGREGTIONALIST NEWSPAPER and later in the BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT. The poem’s popular rhythm fit so well to the music “Materna” by Samuel Augustus Ward that soon it was sung as often as the STAR SPANGLED BANNER.

AMERICA by Samuel Francis Smith
Was set to a popular piece of music from other nations, as well as England’s anthem, GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. The song was also first written as a poem then later published as a song by Lowell Mason and sung on the 4th of July 1832 at a Children’s Sunday school celebration of American Freedom.

No one knows who wrote this funny song in the 1750’s, but the Dutch called New Englanders “Yankees,” and a “doodle” was a word used for “fool”. In 1775 a British soldier sang this catchy tune while making fun of the American soldiers who fought with the British against the French and the Indians. “Macaroni” referred to the tall hairstyles that the British wore in London. Twenty years later, American soldiers fighting the Revolutionary War sang “Yankee Doodle” as they marched into battle. Soon everyone was calling Americans,” Yankees”.

[This could be presented while one of the music pieces is playing, or you could choose to play the piece, after the presentation, then Prayer {remember, God before Country}. Now the Pledge.]          

References / Source:
GSLC Pow Wow 2005
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