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228 The National Music of America.
Therefore the question arises, has America plagiarised a foreign subject ? The author has been unable to trace the melody to its beginning in England, but is assured by several English friends of ripe years that they have been familiar with the melody for about half a century. It is, therefore, possible that the tune is an English one. Nason, in "Our National Song" (p. 55), speaks of it as "set to the English tune of 'The Red, White, and Blue.' "
One cannot lose sight of the fact that "The Gem of the Ocean" is a very odd metaphor to apply to a continent over three thousand miles broad, and bounded by land on two of its sides, and a very apt appellation to bestow upon an island kingdom such as Great Britain is ; and Rear-Admiral Preble points out also that "The Red, White, and Blue" is a misnomer when applied to our flag, for the ranking order of our colours is first, blue (the blue of the union, the firma-