There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town

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Something for the weekend.  Hands down the favorite song of the troops during the Spanish-American War was the ragtime hit, written in 1896 by Theodore August Metz, There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Time Tonight.  This presented something of a generational music gap as most of the older officers were used to the more sedate melodies of the earlier Nineteenth Century, but most of the men in the ranks and the younger officers were more attuned to ragtime and its syncopated style. 

No doubt some of the older officers thought of this music as sheer noise compared to what they were used to.  I find it amusing that musical generation gaps are nothing new in American military history!


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  1. The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band still does a rendition of this tune, arranged as a military march. It often follows the “Aggie War Hymn”. However, it’s called “Hot Time in Austin” and the lyrics are as follows:

    Late one night, when the teasips were in bed,
    Old Sul Ross took a lantern in the shed.
    The Aggie kicked it over, he winked and then he said,
    “It’ll be a hot time in Austin tonight.”

  2. I have always respected Teddy Roosevelt. Thank you for letting me know why.

    The Aggie War Hymn if indeed inspiring to this former University of Arkansas band member, and no stranger to any Southwest Conference School of the late 40s I can appreciate Big Tex’s humor.

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