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For Independence Day: “I Hear America Singing”

 art003_norman_rockwell_america_porcelian_plaque_(1)

I’ve posted this before, back on March 28th, 2014 as part of my “Daily Whitman” series; but it’s a great poem for the Fourth of July, non-jingoistic and speaking of what makes the American project truly great.  May we continue to emulate it.  Enjoy, and Happy Independence Day.

I Hear America Singing

  I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
  Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
  The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
  The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
  The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand
      singing on the steamboat deck,
  The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as
      he stands,
  The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning,
      or at noon intermission or at sundown,
  The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
      or of the girl sewing or washing,
  Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
  The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
      fellows, robust, friendly,
  Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

For the 4th

 

The longstanding tradition of the Boston Pops Orchestra is to give a concert on the Fourth of July, inevitably closed by Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  This is from the Bicentennial Year of 1976, when the Pops was still helmed by Arthur Fiedler, the face of the Pops throughout my childhood and young adulthood.  May he rest in peace; and may you enjoy the music.

Concert for the 4th

 

Slightly belated, but enjoy anyway.

Music for the Fourth

 

 

The incomparable original, and one of the best covers.  Happy Independence Day.

Quote for the Fourth

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength our gallant and disciplined army? These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of those may be turned against our liberties, without making us weaker or stronger for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

  • Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Edwardsville, Illinois (September 11, 1858); quoted in Lincoln, Abraham; Mario Matthew Cuomo, Harold Holzer, G. S. Boritt, Lincoln on Democracy (Fordham University Press, September 1, 2004), 128.ISBN 978-0823223459.

Courtesy of Wikiquotes.