The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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248 The National Music of America.
Even as late as the time of the Civil War there was a dearth of composers in America, and plagiarism ran almost as rampant as during the Revolution or the War of 1812. The beautiful German student melody, " O Tannenbaum," was seized upon for "Mary­land, My Maryland " and sung to the fiery words of James Ryder Randall. The tune was too good to be lost by either side, and soon after the Southern setting, Northern versions followed, so that the old German praise of friendship and loyalty became a song of war on both sides of Mason and Dixon's line. " When Johnnie comes march­ing home again" was a near relative of "John Anderson, My Jo," in its opening phrases.1
Strenuous efforts were made, at the begin-
1 America has not yet ceased this habit of musical plagiarism. One can find find, for example, " Jock o' Hazeldean " turned into " Willie, we have missed you," and the Trio of Chopin's " Funeral March " boldly appro­priated for " Somebody's coming when the dewdrops fall."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III