Happy Fourth of July!
If you live in America I hope you're having a holiday full of great music, loud fireworks, and close friends and family. (And that your fireworks don't give you trouble like King George's did here.)
To celebrate July 4th, here are some Patriotic songs you can use for your infant, all the way through your elementary schooler.
1. The Star Spangeled Banner
The words to The Star Spangeled Banner were written by a man named Francis Scott Key who fought in the War of 1812. One morning after a long, particularly hard night of battle he saw that the American flag was still flying high above the soldiers' heads as the sun was coming up. He was so inspired by the site of the flag that he wrote the words we now know as the Star Spangeled Banner.
Americans took the melody of an old British song and put it with Mr. Key's new words. The song became our official national anthem in 1931.
2. Yankee Doodle
This song has its origin from the Revolutionary War in 1775. Back then there was no twitter or Facebook to spread the news of what was happening in the war and people needed to communicate in a way that could be passed quickly, could get stuck in your head, and was easy to remember. They communicated through songs.
Yankee Doodle is a popular American song you probably already know by heart. It was actually brought to America by the British who were singing it as an insult to the American soldiers. A "Doodle" was another word for what we might call a dork or silly person. The song talks about how this "doodle" was dressed ridiculously, riding his pony with a feather in his hat. It also gives instructions to the "Yankee doodles" to make sure they're dancing correctly.
The Americans must not have been too offended by these words. Ironically, they took the song and adopted it. It became a song they were proud to sing about themselves. We even made it the official state song of Connecticut.
The Liberty Song
John Dickinson was a lawyer who took a pretty big role in the formation of America during the war: He was an officer in the militia during the Revolutionary War, a member of the Continental Congress, one of the writers of the Articles of Confederation, and the state president of Delaware, and later of Pennsylvania. Dickinson wrote the words to The Liberty Song before the Revolutionary War had even officially begun. It gained popularity quickly and became a favorite of the soldiers' once the revolution started.
Like the songs above, the tune is British - from the British Royal Navy, in fact!
I hope you enjoy these songs this 4th of July. They're great for their musical benefits, but they can also give us a really valuable picture of what life was like during America's early years.
These songs are jam packed with musical concepts we can practice, history to experience, and conversation starters for you to discuss with your kids.
Songs for Young Sailors
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