Entry of the Gladiators

    Something for the weekend.  Entry of the Gladiators by Julius Fucik.  Written in 1897, Czech composer Julius Fucik wanted the march to evoke Roman gladiators entering the arena.  Ironically it has become the entrance song for clowns in

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The Radetzky March

  Something for the weekend.  The Radetzky March.  Written in 1848 by Johann Strauss Senior, the march celebrated Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, the bright light of the Austrian Army in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Radetzky

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Sambre et Meuse

  Something for the weekend.  Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse.  The poem on which the march is based was written in the wake of the French devastating battlefield defeats in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 by Paul Cezano.  Music

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Moonlight Sonata

  Something for the weekend.  Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.  Written in 1801 it has always been among the more popular of Beethoven’s works.

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633 Squadron

Squadron Leader Adams: Well, at least the rockets won’t happen. Air Vice Marshal Davis: Of course they’ll happen. But they won’t start tomorrow, or this month or on D-Day, and that’s important. Squadron Leader Adams: Then what’s it all add

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To Canaan

  Something for the weekend.  To Canaan.   One of the more bloodthirsty songs of our Civil War, it is based on this poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes, published in 1862:

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The Gael

  Something for the weekend.  The Gael (the theme from the movie Last of the Mohicans)  performed by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.  Excellent music when traveling.

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Summertime

  Something for the weekend.  Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong team up to give an unforgettable rendition of Summertime.  Composed as an aria in 1934 by George Gershwin for the play Porgy and Bess, it always conveys to me memories

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You’re A Grand Old Flag

    Something for the weekend.  You’re A Grand Old Flag sung by James Cagney in the film biopic of George M. Cohan Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).  Cohan wrote the song in 1906 after an encounter with a Union veteran

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Stalin Wasn’t Stallin’

  Something for the weekend.  Stalin Wasn’t Stallin’.  A historical curiosity of 1943.  The only gospel song that I am aware of that praises Joseph Stalin, it was inspired by this remark in a speech by FDR: The world has never

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Simple Gifts

  Something for the weekend.  Simple Gifts from Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

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Spring

Something for the weekend.  Spring from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.  Until Thursday of this week I had been complaining to my wife and secretary that this was the most November looking April I could recall.  Then glorious Spring burst out in

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1812 Overture

  Something for the weekend.  Tchaikovsky’s  1812 Overture.  Written in 1880 to commemorate the victory of Russia over Napoleon, its composition was due to the fact that the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, commissioned by Tsar Alexander I in thanksgiving

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Go Down Moses

Something for the weekend.  Louis Armstrong gives an unforgettable rendition of Go Down Moses.  A Negro spiritual dating from Virginia in 1853, the song is a tribute to the imperishable desire for freedom planted by the hand of God in

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Happy New Year 1958

Something for the weekend.  Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians playing Auld Lang Syne.  The first year I spent on this globe was in 1957.  The above is the New Year’s Eve broadcast on CBS by Guy Lombardo and his

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Handel’s Advent Messiah: For Unto Us A Son Is Given

The culmination of the Advent portions of Handel’s Advent Messiah.  Go here to listen to the earlier portions.   Handel heralds the coming of Christ with the immortal words of Isaiah Chapter 9, verse 6: For unto us a child

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Veni Veni Emmanuel

    Something for the weekend before Christmas.  Veni, Veni Emmanuel.  The words of this magnificent hymn are from the 9th century and the melody is from 15th century France.  It is more familiar these days in its English translation.  Below is a powerful

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Southern Soldier

Something for the weekend.  A rousing rendition of Southern Soldier by the 2nd South Carolina String Band, a group dedicated to bringing to modern audiences Civil War music played on period instruments.  Southern Soldier was immensely popular among Confederate troops

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Salve Regina and Hermann the Cripple

Something for the weekend.  Salve Regina.  Christopher Columbus was nearing the end of his voyage across the Atlantic 523 years ago.  He had a deep devotion to the Virgin Mary.  Each night he would assemble the crew on his ship

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Rising of the Moon

  Something for the weekend.  I am in a disgusted mood at the papal events of this week, and when I am in such a mood it is time for a little Irish rebel music, and nothing fits the bill better than The

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Heia Safari!

  Something for the weekend.  Heia Safari!.   The lyrics were written in 1916 by noted German painter of African wild life Hans Aschenborn, and became immensely popular.  When Paul Emil von Lettow Vorbeck wrote his memoirs, he entitled the book Heia Safari (Hurray

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The Ship That Never Returned

  Something for the weekend:  The Ship That Never Returned.  Written in 1865 by Henry Work, who the same year wrote Marching Through Georgia, it enjoyed immense popularity.  I can’t help but imagine that many of the listeners at the

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Internationale

  Something for the weekend.  The Internationale being sung in Spanish in Havana.  This is dedicated to Cardinal Jaime Ortega, and the Babalu Blog, the go to blog for all activities in Castro’s island gulag, tells us why: Diplomacy does not

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Fortnight For Freedom: Dixie

 I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. [Applause.] I presented the question to the Attorney

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Pollution

  Something for the weekend.  In honor of the Green Encyclical, a bit of Tom Lehrer.  Living through the Sixties when I was a kid was bad enough.  Little did I know that I would have the “joy” of reliving

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May 23, 1865: Grand Review

Something for the weekend:  Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Doubtless many men who fought in the Civil War thought, and dreaded, that the War might go on forever.  Now, however, it had ended with Union victory.  Some European powers speculated

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The Judge’s Song

  Something for the weekend:  The Judge’s Song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury.  Any relation between this judge and any that you may encounter is no doubt purely coincidental.

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Arise Ye Russian People!

The Russians are celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany this weekend.  It is fair to say that in that defeat the Soviet Union did the lion’s share of the fighting, the Soviets suffering more than twenty million war dead.  For

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The Lasting Impact of Abraham Lincoln

 In this temple As in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union The memory of Abraham Lincoln Is enshrined forever  Inscription above the Lincoln Memorial Something for the weekend.  Lincoln and Liberty, Too.  The mortal remains

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The Last Stand of the Black Horse Troop

Something for the weekend.  I Am a Rebel Soldier sung by Waylon Jennings.  Stephen Vincent Benet in his epic poem on the Civil War, John Brown’s Body, follows, in part of his poem, a Confederate Georia cavalry unit in the Army of

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O Sacred Head

Something for the weekend.  O Sacred Head Now Wounded.  The lyrics of this hymn derive from the latin poem Salve Mundi Salutare.  The authorship is open to doubt although I agree with those who attribute at least part of the

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The Crossroads of Our Being

  Something for the weekend.  The opening of the Civil War documentary, to the tune Ashokan Farewell, that premiered twenty-five years ago this September.  As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War draws to a close, what strikes me most

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The Church’s One Foundation

Something for the weekend, The Church’s One Foundation.  This is a repost from last year since it seems like a good hymn for Lent.  Written by Church of England minister Samuel J. Stone, it is sung to the tune Aurelia by

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