The National Music of America - online book

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

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262 The National Music of America.
own; it is the wild-brier rose of music, springing up by the wayside of art; seldom can we ascertain who planted it, rarely can we discover how it grew into its final shape, yet, when the greatest composers try to imi­tate its directness and simple power, they frequently fail.
Sometimes, too, the tender or playful folk­song unaccountably becomes a war-song. In the Crimean War the simple love-song called "Annie Laurie" became the song of every English camp, every British soldier joining in its simple measures :
" And each one thought a different name While all sang • Annie Laurie.' "
During the Spanish-American War our soldiers, with the usual American devil-may-care spirit, elevated " There'll be a hot time in the old town to-night" into the domain of national music, pro tempore, — a quaintly fit selection for the tropics.
The antiquity of the folk-song is remark-
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III