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Independence Day: “Let despots remember…”

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John Philip Sousa‘s sheet music for “The Stars and Stripes Forever! March” was first published in 1894, and his band recorded it in 1901. Check it out:


[Free audio download of Sousa’s recording here. Wanna see the Conductor’s Sheet Music? Click here.]

It’s been a century and a quarter yet it’s still one of the most recognizable marches in the world, especially around July 4th. An Act of Congress adopted it as the National March of the USA… in 1987. What I didn’t know is that Sousa penned lyrics for his timeless classic, and here is the last refrain:

“Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever;
The gem of the land and the sea,
The ban-ner 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.”

Note that The Founding Fathers were all British citizens, right up until the Declaration of Independence. If you’ve never read it, read it; and if you’ve read it, read it again. Then read the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Out loud.

Teach your kids and grandchilluns the meaning and importance of Independence Day, because nobody else will. Tell them how pissed off the colonists were, and why, and then tell them what they eventually did about it. Then grill a buncha hot dogs and hamburgers, take ’em to a local fireworks show and have a great Independence Day Celebration. See ya there!

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