Tuesday, July 4, 2006

‘1812 Overture’ Celebrates Russia, Not America

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – On July 4, orchestras all over America will be playing “The 1812 Overture,” and, chances are, the audience members will assume the composition is dedicated to the War Of 1812.

Well, it is and isn’t according to a music researcher named Scott G.

He says that while Tchaikovsky’s “Overture” is dedicated to a military victory that took place in 1812, the 1880 composition is actually meant to commemorate a Russian victory in the Napoleonic Wars.

Still, G. doesn’t think too many people will object since, he points out, “It’s mainly an excuse for fireworks.”

Other patriotic tunes also have some interesting back stories.

For instance, the melody for “The Star-Spangled Banner” comes from an old English drinking song called “To Anacreon In Heaven.”

That’s not all: John Phillip Sousa’s march, “Stars And Stripes Forever,” has lyrics that are never heard today including: Let martial note in triumph float/ And liberty extend its mighty hand/ A flag appears ’mid thunderous cheer/ The banner of the Western land.

A complete history behind the most popular patriotic tunes can be found at ezinearticles.com.

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