Collection Items

  • Collection
    The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America See and Hear American History Through Song "Know the songs of a country and you will know its history for the true feeling of a people speaks through what they sing." – Preface to The Songs of Henry Clay Work (1884) Listen to the changes in the "Star Spangled Banner" as played by different bands in different eras. Look at the ways in which...
    • Date: 1581

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  • Article
    Articles About Songs - The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America - Digital Collections Original essays and articles are available on this site to help provide historical context and a deeper view for those who wish to learn more about particular topics. The Library's curators have written articles on historical topics and song, musical styles, individual songs, and songs of various ethnic groups in America.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    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
  • Article
    Hail to the Chief Article. -- "The Lady of the Lake" by Sir Walter Scott
    • Contributor: Library of Congress
    • Date: 2002