Donald R. McClarey

Fortnight For Freedom: God Bless America

  Something for the weekend.  God Bless America sung by the imperishable Kate Smith.  This song became the rallying song for the United States during World War II.  Witten by Irving Berlin in 1918 while he was serving in the

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Donald R. McClarey

Fortnight For Freedom: Yankee Doodle

Something for the weekend:  Yankee Doodle.  Originally sung by British officers to disparage American troops who fought beside them in the French and Indian War, it was seized upon by Patriots, given endless lyrics, and cheered the patriot troops and

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Donald R. McClarey

A Time For Us

Count Marc Antonio Verano: For 70 years, I’ve watched the seasons change. I’ve seen the vibrant life of summer, the brilliant death of fall… the silent grave of winter. And then, I’ve seen the resurrection of spring, the glorious birth

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Donald R. McClarey

Going Home

Something for the weekend, Going Home sung by Sissel Kyrkjebø.  The music of the song was taken from Dvorak’s New World Symphony.  The lyrics were written in 1922 by Dvorak’s pupil William Ames Fisher.            

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Donald R. McClarey

Winter

Something for the weekend.  The winter season is hard upon Central Illinois, and it seems an appropriate time for Vivaldi’s Winter.    

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Livery Stable Blues

  Something for the weekend:  Livery Stable Blues.  Recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass Band on February 26, 1917, it was released in March 1917 by Victor and became a huge hit.  It was the first jazz song released on

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Handel’s Advent Messiah

Something for the weekend.  The Advent portions of Handel’s Messiah.  The above video is the Overture. Next we have “Comfort Ye” which is a messianic text from Isaiah 40. “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye

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Rosin the Beau

Something for the weekend.  Rosin the Beau.  A traditional Irish folk song, it was popular among soldiers on both sides during the Civil War.  It gave the tune to the most stirring election song in American history: Lincoln and Liberty

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Fortnight For Freedom: Battle Cries of Freedom

Something for a Fourth of July weekend.  The Battle Cry of Freedom was a popular song North and South during the Civil War.  Of course they sang different lyrics to the song.  The Union version was such a favorite among the Union

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The Wearing of the Green

  When the law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow.. And when the leaves, in Summer time, their verdure does not show.. Then, I will change the color I wear in my cabbeen: But, till

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Worker Songs

  Something for a Labor Day weekend.  A parody of The Internationale, the marching song of Communism.   In America, the most popular songs about working tend to be fairly apolitical.  Sixteen Tons, written and recorded by Merle Travis in 1946, became a million record

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Just As I Am

  Something for the weekend.  Johnny Cash singing Just As I Am.  Used as the altar call song in Billy Graham Crusades, it was written in 1835 by Charlotte Elliott.  It has a simple power about it as it relates

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Spring?

  Something for the weekend.  Well, after a February of frequent below zero temps and constant snow and ice, the snow has finally melted where I live, with just a few remnant patches.  Time for some classical music for Spring courtesy

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Christopher Columbus Trilogy

    Your Highnesses have an Other World here, by which our holy faith can be so greatly advanced and from which such great wealth can be drawn. Christopher Columbus, letter to Ferdinand and Isabella, 1498   Something for the

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What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?

Something for a weekend.  What Shall we Do With a Drunken Sailor? sung by the Irish Rovers.  Anonymous like most sea shanties as to its authorship, it was first heard on American whaler ships circa 1839. Here is a rendition by

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Civil War Medleys North and South

Something for the weekend.  In 1963 the Robert Shaw Chorale released an album This Is My Country that had songs from American history.  The above is the Civil War medley for the South and below is the Civil War medley for

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The Army of the Free

Something for a Veteran’s Day weekend.  The Army of the Free, one of the more rousing of the Civil War songs, set to the tune of The Wearing of the Green.    It is sung by the immortal Tennessee Ernie Ford, who, like

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What’s the Matter Stephen Foster?

Something for the weekend.  That’s What’s the Matter by Stephen Foster.  The Civil War probably killed Stephen Foster.  The most notable American composer of his time, in a day when copyright enforcement was nil, Foster always just managed to scratch

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Fortnight For Freedom: Liberty Song

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have proclaimed a second Fortnight for Freedom from June 21-July 4th, and, as last year, The American Catholic will participate with special blog posts each day. Something for the Weekend.  Liberty Song.  Written

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Her Southern Soldier Boy

The gentlemen killed and the gentlemen died, But she was the South’s incarnate pride That mended the broken gentlemen And sent them out to the war again, That kept the house with the men away And baked the bricks where

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Give Me That Old Time Religion

Something for the weekend. Give Me That Old Time Religion.  This sequence from Sergeant York (1941) demonstrates the power of this traditional hymn first published in 1873.  It was originally a hymn sung by Black congregations, and was introduced to

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Stonewall Jackson’s Way

“And Thou knowest O Lord, when Thou didst decide that the Confederacy should not succeed, Thou hadst first to remove thy servant, Stonewall Jackson.” Father D. Hubert, Chaplain, Hay’s Louisiana Brigade, upon the dedication of the statue of Stonewall Jackson

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We Three Kings of Orient Are

Something for the Weekend.  We Three Kings of Orient Are.  If ever our nation needed the hope and love brought into the world by Christ, it was in the midst of the Civil War in 1863 when this great hymn

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Our Unofficial National Anthem

I wish to live under no other government, & there is no sacrifice I am not ready to make for the preservation of the Union save that of honour. If a disruption takes place, I shall go back in sorrow

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James Garfield Songs

Something for the weekend.  It is a political season and so we take a look at If The Johnnies Get Into Power, a campaign song of the James Garfield campaign in the election of 1880.  For a generation Republicans would

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Song of the Vagabonds

Say to your Son that I am His. Through Him all my sins are lost: Forgive me, as Mary Egypt was, Or, so they say, Theophilus, Who by your grace was still blameless, Though he vowed the Devil a guest.

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The Rising of the Moon

          Something for the weekend.  I feel in the mood for a little Irish rebel music, and nothing fits the bill better than The Rising of the Moon sung by the Clancy Brothers.  The song, written

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Compare and Contrast: Ride to Dubno

    Something for the weekend.  It rather astonishes me how time has flown, but in October The American Catholic will be celebrating its third anniversary which puts me in a nostalgic mood.  This is one of the first of the music videos

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Eroica

            Something for the weekend.  Erocia (Heroic) by Beethoven.  Beethoven originally had dedictated Eroica to Napoleon.  When he heard that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor here was his reaction according to one of this pupils:

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Weekend Fun Vids

Some fun stuff for the weekend. The internet is truly a wonderful invention.  Without it, we’d be deprived of clips like these that make us weep for our civilization. The first clip is a cover of the great Pink Floyd

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Veni Veni Emmanuel

  Something for the weekend.  Veni, Veni Emmanuel.  The words of this magnificent hymn are from the 9th century and the melody is from 15th century France.  It is Advent, so we are all hearing a lot of O Come, O Come Emmanuel,

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The Minstrel Boy

Something for the weekend.  The Minstrel Boy.  The patriotic Irish song was written by Thomas Moore in honor of his friends killed in the Irish rising of 1798.  The video above is from the incredibly good movie Rough Riders, with

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Genius, Weird Al Yankovic

That is a word that many music entertainers use to describe “Weird Al” Yankovic. All of the songs that Weird Al parodies he gets approval for.  In fact after the Coolio controversy about his “Amish Paradise” music video he now

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