Most singers have had to wrestle with the National Anthem enough times to know that it is slightly intimidating. The tune, “The Anacreontic Song“, was composed by a member of an 18th-century gentleman’s club of amateur musicians in London. Due to the suggested Bacchanalia in the lyrics, the tune was long-considered a drinking song even though the tune covers quite a range and is notoriously difficult to sing. After many of my own struggles to find the right key, perhaps it is better to sing it after throwing back a few…
Why am I bringing this up today? Because it’s Flag Day!!
And more than that — Baltimore, and the whole of Maryland, are celebrating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (from June 13-19, 2012.) The “Star-Spangled Sailabration is one of the signature events of the three-year commemoration, called Star-Spangled 200. An international maritime and air festival in the Baltimore region and the Chesapeake Bay, this week-long event will feature more than 40 tall ships and naval war ships, the première of a new symphonic work, and the Star-Spangled Air Show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.”
So I felt the need to add a little Sybaritic Singer touch to the Sailabration with a patriotic recital program of my own. Some of these choices are less obvious than others. Hopefully, the less obvious ones will allow an audience to think about patriotism in different ways.
The Sybaritic Singer Presents:
A Salute to the Stars & Stripes
|The Star-Spangled Banner
John Stafford Smith
So nigh is grandeur to our dust,So near is God to man;When Duty whispers low “Thou must,”The youth replies “I can!”
|The things our fathers lovedI think there must be a place in the soulall made of tunes, of tunes of long ago;
I hear the organ on the Main Street corner,
Aunt Sarah humming Gospels; Summer evenings,
The village cornet band, playing in the square.
The town’s Red, White and Blue,
all Red, White and Blue; Now! Hear the words
But they sing in my soul of the things our Fathers loved.
|Come Ready and See Me
|For the Dear Old Flag I Die
from Old American Songs
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free’tis the gift to come down where you ought to beAnd when we find ourselves in the place just right’Twill be in the valley of love and delight.When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed
To turn, turn will be our delight
‘Till by turning, turning we come round right.
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
’tis the gift to come down where you ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place just right
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
|Take Care of this House
from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
|An American Hymn
|America the Beautiful
Samuel A. Ward
|Battle Hymn of the Republic
|God Bless America
Irving Berlin (text)
If you are at all interested, I created Spotify playlist for showcasing some of these works. Check it out here.
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