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bsbaker
01-17-2009, 04:36 PM
I didn't know whether to post this under Movies or Musicians, but I obviously chose Musicians because I figured it would get better informed responses.

In the movie "Glory" after the 54th has it's engagement at James Island, SC the regiment is moving down a road and they pass a group of musicians. The odd thing is that it's a group of federal musicians and they are playing what sounds like "The Bonnie Blue Flag". Were the lyrics of this song set to another popular tune that these men might have been playing or is this just an inaccuracy in the movie?

Company Fiddler
01-17-2009, 04:58 PM
You are correct Sir, that was indeed the melody for Bonnie Blue Flag and there was a Federal version. It was known as Reply to the Bonnie Blue Flag lyrics written by Col. J. L. Geddes. The first verse and chorus are as follows:

We're fighting for our Union
We're fighting for our trust
We're fighting for that happy land
Where sleeps our father dust
It cannot be dissevered
Though it cost us bloody wars
We never can give up the land
Where floats the stripes and stars

Chorus: Hurrah, Hurrah
For equal rights hurrah
Hurrah for the good old flag
That bears the stripes and stars

There are an additional four verses ( which would make this a very long post)

bsbaker
01-17-2009, 05:41 PM
I assumed that was probably the case. Thank you for the confirmation!!!!

Ross L. Lamoreaux
01-17-2009, 06:12 PM
It was quite common to take the melodies from popular songs and rewrite lyrics, particularly for patriotic songs. The Union took Bonnie Blue Flag's which came from somewhere else as well, and I know of at least three Union songs, the one mentioned above, "The Irish Volunteer" and one more that escapes me right now. Heck, even our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner started life as a British drinking song.

eric marten
01-17-2009, 07:03 PM
dozens and dozens of examples - "The Old Gray Mare" and "Old Abe Lincoln", and "the Lincolnshire Poacher" and "The New York Volunteer" - "Old Rosin the Beau" and "Lincoln and Liberty"

Eric Marten

Robert A Mosher
01-17-2009, 07:50 PM
You are correct Sir, that was indeed the melody for Bonnie Blue Flag and there was a Federal version. It was known as Reply to the Bonnie Blue Flag lyrics written by Col. J. L. Geddes. The first verse and chorus are as follows:

We're fighting for our Union
We're fighting for our trust
We're fighting for that happy land
Where sleeps our father dust
It cannot be dissevered
Though it cost us bloody wars
We never can give up the land
Where floats the stripes and stars

Chorus: Hurrah, Hurrah
For equal rights hurrah
Hurrah for the good old flag
That bears the stripes and stars

There are an additional four verses ( which would make this a very long post)

I believe that the original air is known as "The Irish Jaunting Car," a popular Irish tune before the war. The same melody is used for "The Irish Volunteer" - a pro-Union song that you can hear sung by David Kincaid (www.hauntedfieldmusic.com) on his first CD of the same name.

Robert A. Mosher

Che
01-17-2009, 09:10 PM
Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FU9OACm284

hanktrent
01-18-2009, 07:57 AM
Something I've been curious about...

When the words are sung, it's obvious what sentiment is meant, for these dual songs. But when the tune alone is played, it can be pretty confusing. If you hear somebody playing Dixie, how do you know they're silently thinking "Way down south in the land of traitors..."? Or for the Battle Cry of Freedom, "Our Dixie forever, she's never at a loss, Down with the eagle and up with the cross"?

So how common was it to give music-only (no words) performances of songs that were typically associated only with the other side? I don't mean that songs like "Lincoln and Liberty" caused "Rosin the Beau"to disappear among Democrats, since I think most people realized that the new song was just borrowing the old tune they already knew.

I'm talking about something really as obvious as Dixie or The Battle Cry of Freedom being played by the "other side" without the words being sung. Was it actually common?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Che
01-18-2009, 09:21 PM
I'm talking about something really as obvious as Dixie or The Battle Cry of Freedom being played by the "other side" without the words being sung. Was it actually common? Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.netWell, there is always this story....

“Dixie” remained one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite songs and he requested it be played for him a few days before his assassination, saying “I have always thought ‘Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it."

bsbaker
01-18-2009, 09:29 PM
.....just a comment.

I've always liked that story, maybe because it just seems odd.

Robert A Mosher
01-18-2009, 09:37 PM
Well, there is always this story....

“Dixie” remained one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite songs and he requested it be played for him a few days before his assassination, saying “I have always thought ‘Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it."

It's actually a part of military tradition as well. The Civil War tune known as "The Downfall of Paris" is a mainstay of British Army bands to this day. However, it began life as a French Revolutionary tune called "Ca Ira." The British Army claim is reportedly based upon the report that it was "captured" by the 14th Regiment of Foot at Famars in 1793. The 14th Foot was hard pressed by the French Revolutionary troops who were advancing upon them to the encouragement of their own musicians playing "Ca Ira." Colonel Wellbore Ellis turned to his own musicians of the 14th's band and ordered them to play the French tune so that the French would be beaten "to their own damned tune." The British were victorious and thus claim to have "captured" it, renaming it "The Downfall of Paris."

Robert A. Mosher

eric marten
01-18-2009, 11:50 PM
This well known tune, The Downfall of Paris, which became a popular Irish set dance, was said to be a favorite of Benjamin Franklin. By the early 19th century, a variant, the fiddle tune The Mississippi Sawyer became popular in America.

Eric Marten

tompritchett
01-19-2009, 12:07 AM
Have you ever noticed how closely My Country Tis of Thee and God Save the Queen sound? My question was it a deliberate copy, as has been talked about in this thread, or were both derived from the same original source?

Micah Trent
02-07-2009, 10:37 PM
Have you ever noticed how closely My Country Tis of Thee and God Save the Queen sound? My question was it a deliberate copy, as has been talked about in this thread, or were both derived from the same original source?

Ah, my few years at a seminary school may pay off for once here.

From what I know, it was Samuel Francis Smith who wrote the lyrics while he was a student at a Massachusetts Seminary in 1831. He would also go on to write several church hymns afterwards which are still sung to this very day.

After Smith wrote the lyrics, he gave them to a patriotic friend of his, Lowell Mason, a banker, a church goer, and a music composer on the side, (almost a Jack-of-All-Trades) who then took the lyics and placed them to the melody of "God Save the King." Mason was notorious for taking European classical music and putting new words to them. Being as patriotic as Mason was said to be, I would say it was a delibertate copy as the others already posted.

To some historians, it was considered the first national anthem instead of our current one, Franics Scott Key's "The Star-Spangeld Banner."

It is funny to know that many songs we sing in church come from anthems from England, Germany etc., as well as some Irish drinking tunes!:p

"Doc" Nelson
02-08-2009, 01:25 AM
as well as some Irish drinking tunes!:p
aye lad . . I knew we Irish were good for somethin :rolleyes:

Micah Trent
02-08-2009, 02:17 PM
aye lad . . I knew we Irish were good for somethin :rolleyes:

As funny as it may sound, I'll never be able to sing "Rescue the Perishing" the same again without that thought crossing my mind.:-?

jthlmnn
02-08-2009, 06:25 PM
Ah, my few years at a seminary school may pay off for once here.

Similar experience here. The next time you (collective: all readers) are in church, check the back of the hymnal. You may find a "Hymn Tune Index" and a "Metrical Index". The Hymn Tune Index will tell you which songs are printed in the hymnal using the same melody. The Metrical Index will tell you what melodies can be easily substituted for each other.

Example: In the 1986 edition of the hymnal Worship (GIA Publications) the hymn tune Bunessan (Morning Has Broken) is the melody for 4 different hymns. The melody for Hymn to Joy, because of its meter (8787D), is interchangeable with 17 other melodies found in the hymnal. A good church musician can substitute a melody that better fits the time of year or occasion and gives a whole different feeling to a familiar text.


To some historians, it was considered the first national anthem instead of our current one, Franics Scott Key's "The Star-Spangeld Banner."

Woodrow Wilson designated, via executive order, The Star Spangled Banner as our national anthem in 1916. Congress confirmed this, by law, in 1931.



It is funny to know that many songs we sing in church come from anthems from England, Germany etc., as well as some Irish drinking tunes!:p

It has been, and still is, easier to "baptize" and use something the folks already know, than to teach them brand new lyrics and music.

Micah Trent
02-08-2009, 10:14 PM
Another melody that comes to mind that had sperate titles and lyrics was "Maryland, My Maryland" and "Michigan, My Michigan" which is the same meoldy as "Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree".

jthlmnn
02-09-2009, 08:38 AM
Another melody that comes to mind that had sperate titles and lyrics was "Maryland, My Maryland" and "Michigan, My Michigan" which is the same meoldy as "Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree".

The last is an English translation of O, Tannenbaum. The German carol was the origin of the melody.

Nor is the practice limited to old hymn tunes. Play Chuck Berry's Sweet Little Sixteen back-to-back with the Beach Boys' Surfin' USA sometime. ;)

From my earlier childhood days, I remember a Public Service ad for the new polio vaccine. Based on the old song Ora Lee, the jingle started,

If you've got to take vaccine, take it orally. The same melody was, of course, used for the Elvis Presly hit Love me tender.

MDRebCAv
02-09-2009, 09:01 AM
Similar experience here. The next time you (collective: all readers) are in church, check the back of the hymnal. You may find a "Hymn Tune Index" and a "Metrical Index". The Hymn Tune Index will tell you which songs are printed in the hymnal using the same melody. The Metrical Index will tell you what melodies can be easily substituted for each other.

Example: In the 1986 edition of the hymnal Worship (GIA Publications) the hymn tune Bunessan (Morning Has Broken) is the melody for 4 different hymns. The melody for Hymn to Joy, because of its meter (8787D), is interchangeable with 17 other melodies found in the hymnal. A good church musician can substitute a melody that better fits the time of year or occasion and gives a whole different feeling to a familiar text.

And I have been told by more than one Pastor not to forget that John and Charles Wesley wrote a lot of those good old Methodist hymns to the music of "Pub Tunes."

Micah Trent
02-09-2009, 09:35 AM
The last is an English translation of O, Tannenbaum. The German carol was the origin of the melody.

Thanks for that note!
I had that title in mind when typing the last post, but drew a complete blank when I went to type it. :D

RWelker
02-09-2009, 11:45 AM
From my earlier childhood days, I remember a Public Service ad for the new polio vaccine. Based on the old song Ora Lee, the jingle started,
The same melody was, of course, used for the Elvis Presly hit Love me tender.

It was also 'Aura Lee'.

MDRebCAv
02-09-2009, 02:42 PM
Thanks for that note!
I had that title in mind when typing the last post, but drew a complete blank when I went to type it. :D
I might be mistaken but I think the original tune is even older than that and was a German Student's song...the title of the tune was "Lauriger Horatius."

MDRebCAv
02-09-2009, 02:47 PM
And the tune for the "Bonny Blue Flag" was originally the "Irish Jaunting Car."

"Jaunting car:
The Irish jaunting car was a popular mode of transportation in 19th Century Dublin popularized by Valentine Vousden in a song by that name. The jaunting car was peculiar in that the seats of the coach ran lengthwise. Legend tells of the knights of Erin fighting battles in chariots arranged this way."

You may even hear a Confederate humming what sounds like "Marching Through Georgia", but he'll call it "The Bedbug and the Flea."

Danny
02-09-2009, 03:02 PM
.....just a comment.I've always liked that story, maybe because it just seems odd.

Shouldn't seem very odd. Dixie was written by a Unionist Northerner, published and played all over the U.S. (and elsewhere for that matter) with it's original lyrics (the lyrics with no political or military overtone) for a few years prior the CW.

Dan Wykes

jthlmnn
02-10-2009, 02:21 PM
It was also 'Aura Lee'.

Vielen Dank, mein Herr. I forgot the "Aura" spelling.


I might be mistaken but I think the original tune is even older than that and was a German Student's song...the title of the tune was "Lauriger Horatius."

I've seen the reference that it was "an old German folk tune", but never with a title cited or a documented source. That will give me some research to do. Thank you.