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156 The National Music of America.
through the canal at Kiel, in Germany, and when Edison entered the Paris Grand Opera House, in 1889, it was "Hail Columbia" which conveyed the homage of the French people to America in the person of the great electrician.
Yet " Hail Columbia" has become the most threadbare of our national songs; it is a representative of a bygone epoch of braggadocio and extreme hyperbole; it is as hopelessly antiquated as the Fourth of July Song, or the Ode upon the opening of a bridge, printed in a preceding chapter. Yet it remains interesting as a realistic picture of its time. It arose in a manner which in itself would forbid its being an art work of highest class; the cart, in this case, was put before the horse, the music written long before the words, the poetry forced upon the tune afterward.
During the Revolution there was a very tawdry march often played by the American