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A Weekend for Patriotic Melodies

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America (Civil War Song Sheet). Samuel F. Smith, words, No date. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.

Washington, DC had a big weekend with preparations for yesterday’s Presidential Inauguration (we were getting ready for it last week with our Inauguration Day sheet music blog post). Nearly one million people were estimated to attend yesterday’s festivities on the National Mall, and the masses were treated to several stunning patriotic musical performances, from James Taylor’s rendition of “America the Beautiful,” to Kelly Clarkson’s interpretation of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” to Beyoncé’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

In the Muse has previously blogged about our National Anthem, as well as Irving Berlin’s beloved “God Bless America” and other patriotic sheet music and recordings from our collections. After the beautiful performances yesterday and the reviews everyone will be giving around the water cooler today, I thought it might be worth a reminder that you can read the back stories of America’s patriotic songs on the Library of Congress Patriotic Melodies online presentation. Brush up on the confusing background of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and impress everyone today with your trivia knowledge!

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