Skip to main content

Collection The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

↓ Refine your search

  • Article

    Biographies - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    Short biographies are available for some of the many composers, lyricists, performers, conductors, field collectors, and folklorists who have played a part in the history of American songs.

  • Article

    Curator Talks - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    The curators of the collections at the Library of Congress give more information about the history of song in the United States in these brief "Curator Talk" videos with the help of illustrations and audio clips.

  • Article

    Historical Topics - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    The history of America is reflected through its songs. Read more about how immigration and migration; work and industry; social change; war and conflict; politics and political campaigns; and sports and leisure in the United States have been portrayed in song. Listen to examples for all.

  • Article

    Illustrated Sound Recordings - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    Performances of song and concerts from the Library of Congress are available on this site as well as interviews with performers and composers.

  • Article

    Interactive Maps - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    See the connection between America's geography and song through interactive maps that offer songs from the states and about the states.

  • Article

    Popular Songs of the Day - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    "Popular songs" can be broadly defined as songs that are at least intended to reach a broad audience via some form of commercial distribution, such as broadsides, sheet music, song collections, touring musicians or musical production and from the 1890s on, commercial recordings. Being made to travel, popular music is most likely to represent a broad range of influences, including ones from folk, church ...

  • Article

    Timeline - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    Explore the relationship between cultural and historical events to American song on this timeline.

  • Article

    1950 to Present - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections

    Cultural and historical events from 1950 to present related to American song.

  • Audio Recording

    Armed forces medley

    sound recording | 1 DAT audiotape | The army goes rolling along--Anchors aweigh--Marines Hymn--Semper paratus--Off we go into the wild blue yonder. (Content). Taken from a recording of a concert held at the Library of Congress in 2002. "The U.S. Air Force" Words & Music by Robert Crawford Copyright © 1939, 1942, 1951 by Carl Fischer, Inc. Copyrights renewed. All Rights assigned to Carl ...

    • Contributor: Schissel, Loras J. - Virginia Grand Military Band
    • Date: 2002
  • Audio Recording

    Eternal Father, strong to save

    sound recording | 1 DAT audiotape | Taken from a recording of a concert held at the Library of Congress in 2002. Recording of "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" from the Loras John Schissel collection. (Copyright Notice). Sound Recording (Form).

    • Contributor: Dykes, John - Schissel, Loras J. - Whiting, William - Virginia Grand Military Band
    • Date: 2002
  • Audio Recording

    God bless America

    sound recording | 1 DAT audiotape | Taken from a recording of a concert held at the Library of Congress. "God Bless America" by Irving Berlin (c) Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin (c) Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin (c) Copyright Assigned the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission. Recording of "God ...

    • Contributor: Berlin, Irving - Schissel, Loras J. - Virginia Grand Military Band
    • Date: 2002
  • Audio Recording

    Stars and stripes forever

    sound recording | 1 DAT audiotape | Taken from recording of concert held at the Library of Congress in 2002. Recording of "Stars and Stripes Forever" from the Loras John Schissel Collection. (Copyright Notice). Sound Recording (Form).

    • Contributor: Sousa, John Philip - Virginia Grand Military Band
    • Date: 2002
  • Audio Recording

    Guadalcanal march [from Victory at sea]

    sound recording | Recorded at a concert held at the Library of Congress in 2002. "The Guadalcanal March" by Richard Rodgers Copyright (c) 1952 by Williamson Music Copyright Renewed. International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by Permission. (Copyright Notice). 30 second (Extent). Due to copyright restrictions, only excerpts from this item are available. (Standard Restriction). Sound Recording (Form).

    • Contributor: Rogers, Richard - Virginia Grand Concert Band
    • Date: 2002
  • Notated Music

    Library of Congress march

    Instrumental parts | 1 score (12 p.) + 23 parts ; 8 1/2" x 11" | Copyright 2003 by John Philip Sousa, Inc. (Copyright). Printed score and band parts. The march was begun by John Philip Sousa in 1931, but never completed. Stephen Bulla was able to finish and orchestrate the score by using Sousa's fragmentary sketches, a piano draft, and one page of ...

    • Contributor: Sousa, John Philip - Bulla, Stephen
    • Date: 2003
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    America the Beautiful

    Article. "America the Beautiful" has been called "an expression of patriotism at its finest." It conveys an attitude of appreciation and gratitude for the nation's extraordinary physical beauty and abundance, without triumphalism. It has also been incorporated into a number of films including The Sandlot and The Pentagon Wars. Its lyricist, Katharine Lee Bates, died March 28, 1929, and is buried in Falmouth, Massachusetts, ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Anchors Aweigh

    Article. Charles Zimmermann died just before the U.S. entered WWI but his counterpart, John Philip Sousa, enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was paid one dollar per month to organize the young musicians recruited into the service. He molded the Great Lakes Navy Band into an accomplished musical organization and became the first Navy musician to hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Midshipman ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Battle hymn of the republic

    Article. But it was when Julia Ward Howe visited Washington, DC in 1861 that the tune properly came to be called "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Howe and her husband, both of whom were active abolitionists, experienced first-hand a skirmish between Confederate and Union troops in nearby Virginia, and heard the troops go into battle singing "John Brown's Body." That evening, November 18, ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Columbia the Gem of the Ocean

    Article. Sheet music from both 1843 and 1846 credited the American title as "Columbia, the Land of the Brave." Yet between these two dates, in 1844, the song was also published under the title it subsequently retained, "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean." Extremely popular during Abraham Lincoln's Civil War administration, the song became a standard tune in the U.S. Marine Corps Band's repertoire.

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Eternal Father, Strong to Save

    Article. Eternal Father, was a favorite hymn of both President Theodore Roosevelt, a former Secretary of the Navy (1897-98), and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a former Assistant Secretary of the Navy. It was performed as the body of President John F. Kennedy, a PT boat commander in World War II, was brought to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Fanfare for the Common Man

    Article. In March 1943, income taxes were a major issue for the common man. The United States had been at war about fifteen months and government spending soared. The previous year, as other taxes rose, only one in seven taxpayers had managed to save enough from their wages to pay the federal government. Congress had just recently required employers to withhold an employee's estimated ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    God Bless America

    Article. Irving Berlin lived a long life, one hundred and one years, and built a catalog of over 1,000 songs. His first published song was "Marie from Sunny Italy" (1907) and his first major hit was "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (1911). He also wrote for Broadway and the movies. Among his most recognized songs are "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody," "Mandy," "White Christmas," ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Hail Columbia

    Article. Up until the 1890s "Hail Columbia" was played as the de facto national anthem of the United States. President Lincoln once mentioned he had to stand up and take off his hat when "Hail Columbia" was sung. Many Europeans actually took it to be the U.S. anthem and played it accordingly. In 1889 it was played in that fashion to honor Thomas Edison ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Hail to the Chief

    Article. -- "The Lady of the Lake" by Sir Walter Scott

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    I'll Be Home for Christmas

    Article. In December 1965, having completed the first U.S. space rendezvous and set a record for the longest flight in the U.S. space program, the astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell hurtled back to earth aboard their Gemini 7 spacecraft. Asked by NASA communication personnel if they wanted any particular music piped up to them, the crew requested Bing Crosby's recording of "I'll Be ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002
  • Manuscripts/Mixed Material

    Marines' Hymn

    Article. The first version of the song was copyrighted, published and distributed in 1919 by The Leatherneck - a Marine Corps magazine printed in Quantico, Virginia. On November 21, 1942, the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps approved a slight change in the words of the first verse, to read "In air, on land, and sea" instead of the earlier "In the air, ...

    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002