The National Music of America - online book

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

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Tlie National Music of A merica. I o I
most innocent origin.1 It originated in the fair troubadour land of Provence. Gr6try, the French composer, thought it to be a sailor's song of Marseilles, but it was more probably a country song combined with a dance. It had popular words attached to its measures during the early stages of the American Revolution; all the oppressed people of France were looking toward the cis-Atlantic efforts for liberty, and when the struggle began, a street-singer took up the "Carmagnole" with a new topic, be­ginning :
" Bon, bon, bon,
C'est a Boston
Qu'on entend le bruit du Canon."
About September, 1792, there were other French topics sung to the familiar melody. The real patriots of France were now rush­ing forth to defend the country; the scum
1 In Elizabeth Wormeley Latimer's excellent " Scrap-book of the French Revolution" (pp. 177 and 334), the error is made of presenting the " Carmagnole " as " £a Ira."
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