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MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

Music for the 4th of July
To celebrate, honor, and reflect
 




The Star Spangled Banner
Lyrics from a poem by Francis Scott Key
Set the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven," a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith

Performed by the combined choirs at the 2013 Kentucky All State Choir Convention

Performed by Jimi Hendrix, at Woodstock

Perfomed by the Choirs of the U.S. military academies, with the US Army Herald Trumpet Corps

Performed by the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, on 26 June 2015, at the U.S. Supreme Court

Story behind the Star Spangled Banner, Smithsonian Institute


America the Beautiful
Samuel A. Ward | Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
"'America the Beautiful' conveys...appreciation and gratitude for the nation's extraordinary physical beauty and abundance, without triumphalism."
Performed by Ray Charles | About


Fanfare for the Common Man
Aaron Copeland
Written in response to a request from Eugene Goosens, conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, for a musical tribute honoring those engaged in World War II 
Performed by the New York Philharmonic | About


Infinite Winds
MIT Wind Ensemble, MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble
Released on Sunnyside Records, Spring 2015
The first recording by MIT student groups released by major jazz label, Infinite Winds features works by composers Guillermo Klein, Chick Corea, and Don Byron, and performances by soloists Bill McHenry (tenor saxophone) and Evan Ziporyn (clarinet).
Story | Listen to tracks
 

The Power and the Glory
Phil Ochs
"One of the songs that established Ochs’s reputation; he saw it as a patriotic hymn combining the American dream with selfless faith-based ideals."
Performed by Phil Ochs


The House I Live In
"Written in 1943 by Abel Meeropol (under the pen name Lewis Allen) and the blacklisted Paul Robinson, this tune became a patriotic anthem during World War II with its populist evocation of everyday American life." (note by Peter Rothberg, in The Nation)
Performed by Paul Robeson  | Performed by Sam Cooke
 

Lift Every Voice and Sing
"Poet James Weldon Johnson's 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' was written in 1900 for a Lincoln birthday celebration at the Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida. The song became immensely popular and was passed on among students throughout the South." It was adopted by the NAACP in the 1920s as the "Black National Anthem," and was one of the anthems of the Civil Rights movement. 
Performed a capella by Committed
Performed by the Morehouse College Glee Club


Symphony No 2
Charles Ives
In the Second Symphony, Ives alludes to songs such as Camptown Races, Long, Long Ago, Turkey in the Straw and America the Beautiful, reshaping them into new themes.
Perfomed by the New York Philharmonic
 

Summertime
George Gershwin, for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess
Lyrics by DuBose Heyward, author of the novel Porgy 
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong | Performed by Norah Jones, Marian McPartland
NPR: A look back to Gershwin's "Summertime" and what makes it great
 

America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)
Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith. The melody is the same as that of the national anthem of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen," arranged by Thomas Arne.
Perfomed by the the Robert Shaw Chorale and the RCA Victor Orchestra