Sweet Freedom's Song: "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and Democracy in America

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Oxford University Press, Mar 28, 2002 - Music - 296 pages
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Although it isn't the official national anthem, America may be the most important and interesting patriotic song in our national repertoire. Sweet Freedom's Song: "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and Democracy in America is a celebration and critical exploration of the complicated musical, cultural and political roles played by the song America over the past 250 years. Popularly known as My Country 'Tis of Thee and as God Save the King/Queen before that this tune has a history as rich as the country it extols. In Sweet Freedom's Song, Robert Branham and Stephen Hartnett chronicle this song's many incarnations over the centuries. Colonial Americans, Southern slaveowners, abolitionists, temperance campaigners and labor leaders, among others, appropriated and adapted the tune to create anthems for their own struggles. Because the song has been invoked by nearly every grassroots movement in American history, the story of America offers important insights on the story of democracy in the United States. An examination of America as a historical artifact and cultural text, Sweet Freedoms Song is a reflection of the rebellious spirit of Americans throughout our nations history. The late Robert James Branham and his collaborator, Stephen Hartnett, have produced a thoroughly-researched, delightfully written book that will appeal to scholars and patriots of all stripes.

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You Can Sing What Would Be Death to Speak
God Save the _____ Institutionalizing Appropriating and Contesting Nationalism through Song 17441798
The Subordination of the Different Parts and Voices Popularizing America through Grassroots Activism 18261850
Bombast Fraud Deception Impiety and Hypocrisy in the Dark Land of Slavery 18301859
Teach Us True Liberty America in the Civil War and Reconstruction 18611869
Reforming the Sweet Land of Knavery America and Political Protest 18701932
America God Save the Queen and Postmodernity
Sixteen Versions of God Save the King and My Country Tis of Thee Organized Chronologically 17441891
Selective List of Alternative American Versions of God Save the King and America 17591900

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Page 64 - My native country! thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills; My heart with rapture thrills, .Like that above.
Page 104 - But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you has brought stripes...
Page 205 - King, Long live our noble King, God save the King. Send him victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us: God save the King!
Page 106 - BY THE rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
Page 210 - tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing : Land where my fathers died ! Land of the Pilgrim's pride From every mountain side Let Freedom ring ! My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love...
Page 88 - I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch— AND I WILL BE HEARD.
Page 126 - GOD bless our native land ; Firm may she ever stand, Through storm and night ; When the wild tempests rave, Ruler of wind and wave, Do thou our country save By thy great might ! 2 For her our prayer shall rise To God above the skies ; On him we wait.
Page 102 - To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a...
Page 9 - This order is now bound to the technical and economic conditions of machine production which today determine the lives of all the individuals who are born into this mechanism, not only those directly concerned with economic acquisition, with irresistible force.

About the author (2002)

Stephen J. Hartnett is Assistant Professor of Speech Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana. As a musician and poet, he has released numerous recordings. Robert James Branham was Professor of Rhetoric at Bates College.

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