Born in the U. S. A.: The Myths of America in Popular Music by Timothy E. Scheurer

By Timothy E. Scheurer

This is often the 1st learn to discover totally the parable of the USA as mirrored within the nation’s well known tune. starting with the songs of the Pilgrims and carrying on with via greater than centuries of background and tune, Born within the U.S.A. indicates the rising American fable and provides an in depth interpreting of the compositions of songwriters as diversified as William Billings, Henry Clay paintings, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.

So that the complete and various narrative of this advanced state could be recorded, this insightful research is targeted either upon the nationwide fable and upon the songwriters and performers representing subcultures and substitute viewpoints which are the textual content of America’s tale. via hymnlike paeans and during discordant lamentations protesting the realities of the modern workaday international, well known track is an wonderful reflect of yank heritage.

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Additional resources for Born in the U. S. A.: The Myths of America in Popular Music from Colonial Times to the Present

Example text

It was written, printed (usually in very crude fashion) on a single sheet, distributed, sung, and then, in all likelihood, tossed. In America, it dominated the musical scene during the Revolutionary War years. A. quickly to take advantage of the moment, then discarded. We are fortunate that so many managed to survive. The broadside ballad, along with the speeches of Patrick Henry and the writings of Thomas Paine and Jefferson among others, was instrumental in carving out a mythic vision that could at once assimilate and obviate the many differences that existed among the colonists.

Thus Hopkinson would have us see that it is important for us to join as brothers, to forget petty differences and our own petty self-interest, and be reminded that there are higher stakes here; to partake in the struggle is to share as brothers in the maintenance of the divine mandate. To jeopardize that mandate is to undermine the very freedom—the "rights"—that allows for those individual differences; only through brotherhood will the efficacy of individual "rights" and, consequently our ability to have differences, remain sacrosant.

The suggestion—one that will also crop up in Civil War and World War I songs—is that the sacrifice for the secular ideals of the enlightenment ultimately will result in a regeneration of the spirit (perpetual gratitude for the prize and transcendental experience—the exaltation of independence on the altar). In the chorus of the song itself, the songwriter anticipates one of the popular themes of the nineteenth century: brotherhood. Firm, united let us be, Rallying around our liberty. A. As a band of brothers join'd, Peace and safety we shall find.

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