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The Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip…
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The Stars and Stripes Forever

by John Philip Sousa

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Recently added bySPUMusic, keylawk
B263 (1) Band (1) marches (1) music (1) sheet music (1)

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In his autobiography, "Marching Along", Sousa claims that he composed the march on Christmas Day 1896, upon hearing of the death of David Blakeley, the manager of the Sousa Band. He also wrote these lyrics:

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid 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 standard 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 by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid 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 standard 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 by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

The timing, a subsequent key change, the matched up lyrics, and the fact that he conducted this march in virtually every performance since, belie the honorific (and honorable, romantic) claim. The March remains, of course, one of the greatest. The piccolo obligato in the trio, joined on the 2d iteration by a trombone counter-melody, is thrilling.
  keylawk | Sep 11, 2011 |
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