Patriotic songs have always resonated deep within my soul. My earliest memories experiencing those stirring feelings came in either the second or third grade. Mr. Meacham, a former Green Beret, stretched our young minds to see beyond the Three R’s and lunch recess when he taught us Barry Sadler’s Ballad of the Green Beret.
Fighting soldiers from the sky
Fearless men who jump and die
Men who mean just what they say
The brave men of the Green Beret
I learned to sing with gusto and pride George M. Cohan’s You’re a Grand Old Flag. Thanks to my fifth grade teacher Mr. Taylor, the words are still easy to recall and easy to feel.
You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true
‘neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.
Over the years many other songs have made their way into my patriotic arsenal. World War II hits Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree as sung by the Andrew Sisters were favorites my mother and her sisters would also sing. Army cadences Hey, Hey Captain Jack, C-130 Rollin’ Down the Strip, and Old King Cole were staples of my military life and frequent bedtime song requests from my children. The “official” Army song for me, as a Field Artilleryman, will always be Caisson’s Go Rolling Along. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is always best heard when real cannons provide the percussion.
Though the list could stretch on, I conclude with these three: Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s rendition of Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Francis Scott Key’s poetic and very stirring The Star-Spangled Banner.
Have a great Monday. Thanks for letting me share!
p.s. Take 15 minutes today to enjoy the music, and remember to please stand when Old Glory passes by on July 4th.