Life Arts

THE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER (some interesting facts)

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Supported 1   Interesting 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Become a Fan
  (6 fans)
- Advertisement -

THE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER (some surprising facts")

THE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER by John Philip Sousa has long been recognized as the # 1 American patriotic march. It was composed at a time when patriotism was unabashedly jingoistic in the U.S.A. Here are a few interesting facts about this stirring and most memorable musical composition.

Its melody was composed in the year 1897.   At the time, Sousa was visiting Europe.   He composed the march in his head, while on a ferryboat, just after he received word of the death of David Blakely, his Sousa Band manager. Upon Sousa's return to the U.S.A. he notated the march.   A few years later, while gazing at the skyline of New York City from the deck of a ship as he returned   from another trip, he was inspired to write lyrics for the march. (Sousa was adept at creating lyrics, since his primary interest had been writing operettas, and he had completed seven of them.)

My dad taught me the lyrics of this greatest march tune when I was a kid.   I never forgot them!   Here they are. (But first, I'll outline the structure of the military march of Sousa's time:)

1.An attention-getting short INTRODUCTION"

2.Some short and repeated melodic sections called STRAINS*

- Advertisement -

3.The usually most recognized part of the melody: the TRIO

4.A rousing short section, a "turn-around" or "DOG FIGHT"

5.A repeat of the TRIO.                                                                         

Many marches end with an emphatic last chord, referred to as "a STINGER."   (Some marches have no stinger, and this has led to countless H.S. individual players having supplied a stinger of their own"a final isolated and embarrassing BLEEP!)

And now"(TA DA!)"the lyrics of The Stars and Stripes Forever:

"Let martial note, in triumph float, and liberty extend its mighty hand.   A flag appears"midst thunderous cheers"the banner of the western land!"

"The emblem of the brave and true"its folds protect no tyrant crew!   The starry red and white and blue is freedom's shield and hope!"

"Other nations may deem their flags the best and cheer them with fervent elation.   But the flag of the north and south and west is the flag-of-flags"the flag of freedom's nation!"

"Hurrah for the flag of the free!   May it wave as our banner forever! The gem of the land and the sea; the banner of the right!"

"Let despots remember the day when our fathers with mighty endeavor, proclaimed as they marched to the fray- that their might and by their right it reigns forever!"  

Next Page  1  |  2


I have spent a long and interesting life involved in music, as a performer (piano,) educator (at every level from elementary to graduate school,) solo pianist, bandleader, composer/songwriter; entertainer, storyteller and humorist. In my final (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Mother Machree

Danny Boy (One of a Kind!)

THE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER (some interesting facts)


What Everyone Should Know About Einstein and the Atomic Bomb

The Song; My Melancholy Baby


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

John Philip Sousa wrote lyrics to many of his marc... by Phil Klein on Saturday, Feb 5, 2011 at 2:09:52 PM
I loved hearing what these lyrics were! Much more ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Feb 6, 2011 at 7:06:23 AM
Love them all. Played most of them in high school ... by PLR on Monday, Feb 7, 2011 at 2:16:02 AM