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. 161
rupture with France was exceedingly offensive to the portion of the people who espoused her cause, and the violence of the spirit of party has never risen higher, I think not so high, in our country, as it did at that time upon that question. The theatre was then open in our city. A young man belonging to it, whose talent was high as a singer, was about to take a benefit. I had known him when he was at school. On this acquaintance he called on me one Saturday afternoon, his benefit being announced for the fol­lowing Monday. His prospects were very disheart­ening; but he said that if he could get a patriotic song adapted to ' The President's March,' he did not doubt of a full house ; that the poets of the theatrical corps had been trying to accomplish it, but had not succeeded. I told him I would try what I could do for him. He came the next afternoon, and the song, such as it is, was ready for him. The object of the author was to get up an American spirit which should be independent of, and above the interests, passion, and policy of both belligerents, and look and feel exclusively for our honour and rights. No allusion is made to France or England, or the quarrel between them, or to the question which was most in fault in their treatment of us. Of course the song found favour with both parties, for both were American, at least neither could disown the sentiments and feel­ings it indicated. Such is the history of this song, which has endured infinitely beyond the expectation of the author, as it is beyond any merit it can boast
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