The National Music of America - online book

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

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The National Music of America. 259
music. The influence of some of these songs in time of war can scarcely be over-estimated. There are many songs which in themselves seem simple that acquire a tremendous power by suggesting home to the soldier. Thus, for example, there is a simple melody, suggest­ing to us nothing much more than a few bugle calls, the Swiss "Ranz des Vaches," the call to the cows, that brought such a homesickness upon the Swiss volunteers in the great Napoleon's army, that he was obliged to prohibit it altogether, as it cost him too many troops, the Swiss soldiery de­serting when they heard its strains. The Scottish melody, "Farewell to Lochaber," was, in like manner, prohibited during the Sepoy mutiny. A general of the Army of the Potomac recently informed the author that, when the troops were in winter quar­ters, he forbade playing or singing Charles Carroll Sawyer's famous song, "When this cruel war is over," as it made the men too
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III