Patriotic Music Lesson
Patriotic Music & Poems
A country's music can tell you much about the country. Music can shape one's emotions, sense of nationalism, and give a feeling of pride of one's home. Our leaders and other countries share national anthems and other patriotic music in diplomatic events to show individuality of each country and at the same time show unification of a person's culture and people.
How exciting it is to watch the award ceremonies of the Olympics! As the three flags go up, and the gold medalist's national anthem is played, the love for one's country is obvious! The smiles, the cheers, and the emotional tears give honor not only to the champion, but also their countrymen and women.
As we've been studying our nation's beginnings and it's important documents, we thought it important to also learn about music that tells of our country's honor ~ Patriotic Music!!
Find below videos of many of our favorite American patriotic songs, descriptions of the song's stories and their composers, and educational materials for teachers and students!
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. ~ Psalm 33:10-12
- Patriotic Music & Sing-Alongs
Find free MP3 and wav downloads for the following patriotic songs and performers at above link: ~ America the Beautiful by Ray Charles and Elvis Presley ~ God Bless America by Celine Dion, Leann Rimes, and Kate Smith ~ God Bless the USA by Lee Green
- Patriotic Music
Information on many songs.
- *Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music
In two categories 1820-1860 and 1870 - 1885 from the Library of Congress ~ Free sheet music from the time period to download!
- *Popular Songs in American History
Listed by years and events ~ a short history of the piece, lyrics, and some recordings ~ 1800's listings: War of 1812, Early 1800's to the Civil War, Civil War, Post Civil War, Gold Rush & Western Journey, Cowboys
- Patriotic Midi Music
Listen to a large assortment of patriotic songs here.
- Patriotic Songs
Midi's and lyrics
Patriotic and Inspirational resources for learning
- National Songs
"Learn the words and history of the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, and America the Beautiful. Your child will create collages to illustrate the Pledge and America the Beautiful, as well as design his or her own starry banner. A bookm
"Learn the meaning of patriotism and ways to show patriotism. Children will also hear stories about Americans patriots that left lasting marks on our country, email a thank you note to an American soldier, and make patriotic crafts to share with fami
- Patriotic Songs for the 4th of July!
Check out these great summaries and videos of modern country and rock Patriotic songs by ThomasC at WebNuggetz!
Songs of the USA
This recording contains 22 classic patriotic favorites such as Yankee Doodle, The Star Spangled Banner, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Amazing Grace, America the Beautiful, You're a Grand Old Flag, Anchors Aweigh, The Marines Hymn, Stars and Stripes Forever, and others performed by orchestras and choirs in classical taste.
The Star Spangled Banner - America's National Anthem
Star Spangled Banner - Francis Scott Key / John Stafford Smith
Originally entitled "Defense of Fort McHenry", this stirring poem was written by Georgetown lawyer Francis Scott Key after observing the Battle of Baltimore between the British and American forces during the War of 1812 in Baltimore, Maryland on September 13 - 14, 1814.
Mr. Key had been sent aboard one of the British battleships to help free a civilian prisoner. He was successful, but was not to be released until after the battle because the British knew he could ruin their surprise attack plans. Therefore he observed the long battle from the British side. After seeing the "rockets red glare" and hearing "the bomb's bursting in air" "through the night" he was not aware of the condition of "what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming" (flag) through the smoke and confusion. He knew if the Americans were defeated, the flag would be down, but if it were still "streaming gallantly", the Americans had survived the hard battle. Imagine his excitement when he saw "by the dawn's early light", the "broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight" and it "gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there"! The battle was won and "that Star Spangled Banner yet" waved, "o're the land of the free, and the home of the brave"!
English composer John Stafford Smith titled the tune we use for the SSB, "Anacreontic". Composed while Smith was in his teens in the 1760's, its original lyrics and meaning are completely different than how we refer to the music today. The tune's lyrics had been changed several times over the years, and the tune was a popular one at the time in America. It was Mr. Key's brother-in-law, Judge Nicholson, who put the tune and the lyrics together the first time.
The original garrison flag sewed by Mary Pickersgill and her team of seamstresses was to be displayed 90 feet in the air and seen at very far distances. The dimensions of this humungous flag were 30 feet by 42 feet with each star being 2 feet in diameter and each strip12 feet long! The fifteen stars and stripes were to represent the original 13 colonies plus Vermont and Kentucky. The flag that we now know as the "Star Spangled Banner" was delivered to Fort McHenry in August of 1813. That original flag from the battle is displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, USA for all to see.
- Star Spangled Banner & The War of 1812
The history connection between these two.
- The National Anthem 'Code' - when and how to use the Anthem
Learn when and how to use the Anthem.
- Star Spangled Banner: Teacher Resources from MENC
A history of the anthem, sheet music in many arrangements, audio recordings & videos to hear and sing with, and lesson plans.
- Star Spangled Banner Interactive Jeopardy Game
This is a really fun way to review your study!! :)
- SSB ~ Recording
Free Downloadable MP3
This colorfully illustrated book takes young readers through the story of the United States national anthem plus give them sheet music for guitar or piano along with a copy of Mr. Key's original manuscript. This book come in original hardcover style and Kindle style for your preference. Happy 200th birthday, Star Spangled Banner!
The Stars & Stripes Forever
John Phillip Sousa
"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."
From the talented pen of John Phillip Sousa comes this national favorite always played at every 4th of July celebration, parades, and fireworks displays! What American doesn't feel that sense of exited pride well through them hearing the brass, percussion, and winds on one of the most familiar tunes in the country? It's bouncy, enthusiastic beat truly makes one want to march along with the military and marching bands. Featured at the end is the mightiest of piccolo solos and the flood of an unforgettable counter-melody in the trombone section.
The original sheet music for the piece may be viewed and studied from the Historic American Sheet Music webpage.
PBS has a wonderful biography of Mr. Sousa, a list of his compositions, and an excerpt about Stars & Stripes at A Capitol Fourth.
I wonder what the composer would have thought about this Muppet Version of his music!
All fans of John Phillip Sousa will love this story and music!! This movie takes you back in time to find out about the life of the amazing American composer who has left us with numerous marches and military band pieces of music. It is available on DVD, BlueRay, and VHS.
You're a Grand Old Flag!
Composer George M. Cohan wrote the story line, lyrics, and music for the musical production of George Washington, Jr.. This musical, which ran during the spring of 1906 and 1907, was premiered at the Herald Square Theatre in New York City. One of the most popular songs from George Washington, Jr., "You're a Grand Old Flag", became a huge hit and set a musical record by selling over one million copies of its sheet music.
"The original lyric for this perennial George M. Cohan favorite came, as Cohan later explained, from an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg. The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag. The man reportedly then turned to Cohan and said, "She's a grand old rag." Cohan thought it was a great line and originally named his tune "You're a Grand Old Rag." So many groups and individuals objected to calling the flag a "rag," however, that he "gave 'em what they wanted" and switched words, renaming the song "You're a Grand Old Flag." "
- Free Sheet Music for "You're a Grand Old Flag"
Find a publication of the song from 1906 along with a few other pieces. Click on "PDF for Printing" on the left side to see the whole piece, or "Page Turner" to view individual pages.
- It's a Grand Old Flag
Instrumental music of the song, lyrics, and information about the US flag and Flag Day!
"Grand Old Flag"
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should old acquaintance be forget,
Keep your eye on the
Grand Old Flag!
Yankee Doodle Dandy
George M. Cohen composed the song "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" for the musical Little Johnny Jones. It was premiered at the Liberty Theater on Broadway in November of 1904. The storyline of the musical revolves around Johnny Jones, an American horse jockey created by Cohen, and his adventures with his horse named "Yankee Doodle".
The fun, upbeat piece "borrows" several sections of other well known American songs such as good old "Yankee Doodle". Cohen not only composed the music, but also penned the lyrics, wrote the story, produced the show, and starred in it!
- George M. Cohan 101
Learn many fascinating facts about this energetic composer! Was he really "born on the 4th of July"? Find out about his musical family ~ Jerry, Nellie, and Josephine. They, along with George, formed "The Four Cohans" who toured the country performing
- Yankee Doodle & I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy!
Instrumental animation and lyrics to the two songs!
- George M. Cohan Was Born
Read a little blip about Cohan at America's Library.
I'm a ...
Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle do or die,
A real live nephew of
my Uncle Sam's,
Born on the Fourth of July.
I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart.
She's my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee doodle came to London
Just to ride the ponies.
I am a Yankee Doodle Boy.
George M. Cohan
Did you know that the song "Yankee Doodle" was meant to be an insult to the colonial American soldiers during the American Revolution in the late 1700's?
"Yankee" ~ derived from the generic Dutch name "Jahn" (yawn) or "John" that the Dutch settlers in America called the English speaking colonists in the mid-1600's who they felt were behind in culture and education. The ending "ke" was a Dutch way of changing the name from John to Johnny ~ therefore "Jahnke" were the English settlers.
"Doodle ~ when Britain had taken over New York in the 1700's, the city folk referred to the country farmers and frontiersmen as "doodles" meaning a silly, unmannered, uneducated person.
Put the two together to come up with a term that wasn't exactly flattering!
Macaroni ~ High fashion for gentlemen in England during the time was referred to as "macaroni". The soldiers were implying that the Americans were so unstylish that their best attempt to imitate European fashions were to stuff a feather in their plain everyday hats.
- Yankee Doodle Rebus Rhyme
Children will enjoy the picture and word combination for this delightful song from Enchanted Learning!
- Yankee Doodle / Dandy
Read a description of the music and their lyrics while viewing classic artwork and listening to the MP3 recording.
- Yankee Doodle Lyrics?
What do they mean? Find out here.
- Yankee Doodle Dandies Won't Pay for Tea!
This interesting poem describes the history of the song.
America the Beautiful
Battle Hymn of the Republic
God Bless the USA - Lee Greenwood
For the President of the United States of America
Sir Walter Scott first the first lyrics as a poem intitled "The Lady of the Lake". James Sanderson music was put to the poem in 1812, but it wasn't intended for the Chief Executive then. It wasn't associated with the president until 1815 when it was used as an honorary song remembering President Washington and celebrating the end of the War of 1812. Find out more about it at the link above.
Hail to the Chief
"Hail to the Chief
we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief!
We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief,
as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment
of a great, noble call.
Yours is the aim
to make this grand country grander,
This you will do,
that's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one
we selected as commander,
Hail to the President!
Hail to the Chief!"
Lyrics by Albert Gamse
Music by James Sanderson
~ Special Thanks ~
In high respect to all those who serve freely in the United States military to bring freedom to others.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
- When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Video recording of the song
Patriotic Sheet Music - Enjoy playing and singing songs of America yourself!
Alfred music publishing company has compiled what they deem the 18 most requested patriotic songs for you to sing or play on piano or guitar. Some included pieces are: My Country 'Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, Battle Hymn of the Republic, The Star-Spangled Banner, The Stars and Stripes Forever, When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, When the Saints Go Marching In, You're a Grand Old Flag, all armed forces themes, and others.