Heritage Music

 

Spirit & Heritage In Song is a series highlighting Traditional American Music.

In the last half century many of these traditional songs have been forgotten in a flood of contemporary music and international cultural influences. Yet these songs, ballads, melodies and hymns reflect the events, cultural backgrounds, aspirations, land and faith that make up the soul of the American People far more than the strains of moderne music that have washed upon the nation’s shores. This series is offered as a reminder of the Spirit of America as given voice in song.

America possesses some beautiful pieces of national music offered by many of her gifted citizens.

 

My Country Tis Of Thee –Samuel Francis Smith, 1831

The Battle Hymn of the Republic –Julia Ward Howe, 1861

Shenandoah –Popular folk song from the 1800’s. The earliest appearance in print of “Shenandoah” is the excerpt from “Sailor Songs,” by William L. Alden, in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, vol. 65, no. 286 (July 1882), p. 283.

Marching Through Georgia –Henry Clay Work at the end of the American Civil War in 1865. The song refers to U.S. Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea late in the previous year.

Song of the Irish Brigade (Confederate) –Origins uncertain but the lively tune with a strong Gaelic lilt depicts the involvement of the Irish fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

 


See other songs of the American Spirit in History and at Music

 

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Spirit And Heritage In Song – ‘My Country Tis Of Thee’ – 1831

  Spirit & Heritage In Song is a series highlighting Traditional American Music. In the last half century many of these traditional songs have been forgotten in a flood of contemporary music and international cultural influences. Yet these songs, ballads, melodies and hymns reflect the events, cultural backgrounds, aspirations, land and faith that make up …

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The Battle Hymn of the Republic – 1861

  “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” is a hymn by American writer Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song “John Brown’s Body”. Howe’s more famous lyrics were written in November 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. It became popular during the American Civil War. Since that time …

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Shenandoah – circa 1882

  “You Shanandore, I long to hear you. Hurrah, you roll-in river. You Shanandore, I long to hear you. Ah, ha! You Shanandore…..” The earliest appearance in print of “Shenandoah.” Excerpt from “Sailor Songs,” by William L. Alden, in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, vol. 65, no. 286 (July 1882), p. 283.   The Robert Shaw …

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Sherman's men destroying a railroad in Atlanta.

Marching Through Georgia – 1885

  “Marching Through Georgia” (sometimes spelled Marching Thru’ Georgia or Marching Thro Georgia) is a marching song written by Henry Clay Work at the end of the American Civil War in 1865. It refers to U.S. Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea late in the previous year. Because of its lively melody, …

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Song of the Irish Brigade (Confederate)

“Song of the Irish Brigade” is part of Spirit & Heritage In Song, a series highlighting Traditional American Music. In the last half century many of these traditional songs have been forgotten in the crush of contemporary music and international cultural influences. Yet these songs, ballads, melodies and hymns reflect the events, cultural backgrounds, aspirations, …

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Cover of the 1861 sheet music for "The Bonnie Blue Flag"

Bonnie Blue Flag – We Are A Band Of Brothers – 1861

  “The Bonnie Blue Flag”, also known as “We Are a Band of Brothers”, is an 1861 marching song associated with the Confederate States of America. The words were written by Irish born entertainer Harry McCarthy, with the melody taken from the song “The Irish Jaunting Car”. The song’s title refers to the unofficial first …

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When Johnny Comes Marching Home – 1863

A longing in music for the return of loved ones and an end to war sung by both South and North.   “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (sometimes “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”) is a popular song of the American Civil War that expressed people’s longing for the return of their friends and relatives …

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Stephen Collins Foster

Oh! Susanna – 1848

“Oh! Susanna” is a song written by Stephen Foster. It was first published on February 25, 1848. Popularly associated with the California Gold Rush, the song is occasionally (and incorrectly) called “Banjo on My Knee”. In 1843, the year Daniel Decatur Emmett established the Virginia Minstrels as the first blackface troupe in New York. Foster, …

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The Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg WGT Photo / Gerry Regan

The Dreadful Engagement – Civil War

  Spirit & Heritage In Song is a series highlighting Traditional American Music. In the last half century many of these traditional songs have been forgotten in the crush of contemporary music and international cultural influences. Yet these songs, ballads, melodies and hymns reflect the events, cultural backgrounds, aspirations, land and faith that make up …

View page »

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Yellow Rose of Texas – Circa 1836

“The Yellow Rose of Texas” is a traditional folk song. The original love song has become associated with the legend of “how a slave named Emily Morgan helped win the battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle in the Texas Revolution. Origin The Center for American History at the University of Texas has an unpublished …

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The Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg WGT Photo / Gerry Regan

The Dreadful Engagement – Civil War

The lyrics of The Dreadful Engagement are a soulful retelling of the experience of Irish immigrants to America swept up in the ideals, passions and carnage of the Civil War fighting for both North and South. Few accounts depict with such emotion and ethnic-poetry the toll of the tragic War Between the States. The words …

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