O, say can you see…?

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

In a Robert Heinlein novel, the War of 1812 is mentioned dismissively as a brushfire conflict on the fringes of the Napoleonic Wars.  I'm not sure that the average Briton has any awareness of it at all.  But in the US and Canada, the war matters.

In my hometown of Baltimore, the war is very, very personal.  When I first moved here, I was surprised to find a Maryland state holiday called Defenders Day on September 12.  Say what? 

Battle of North PointIt turns out that September 12 was the land part of the Battle of Baltimore, where the militia stopped the advance of British troops, allowing time to prepare for the naval part of the battle, which was the defense of the city at Fort McHenry.  



The reasons for the war are murky.  On the American side, there was a feeling that Britain was dissing our new little republic.  Their blockade of the Continent was interfering with our trade with France, and they were impressing sailors from American ships to serve on British vessels.  If we fought, we could teach them respect and maybe collect Canada and add it to the United States.  

I suspect that in Britain, the fighting was seen as a bloomin' nuisance, just get those colonials out of the WAY, please, while we take care of Boney.  I do know that the issue of impressing American sailors to serve on British ships was taught in my school as a huge infringement of our sovereign rights, but it looked very different after I read Life in Nelson's Navy by Dudley Pope.  It was a lesson in different points of view.

BurningofWashington1814But to get back to the personal element of that war here in Maryland.  With Napoleon defeated and exiled to Elba in 1814, battle-seasoned British troops were freed up to come to North America and administer the spanking those Americans so richly deserved.

The British Army was perhaps the world's finest.  They won the Battle of Bladensburg in Maryland, looted Alexandria, and burned the American capitol in retaliation for the Americans burning York (now Toronto) in Canada, which had been done in retaliation for burning–oh, never mind.  War really is hell, and sorting out causation can be like separating warring kindergarteners.  

General Robert RossAfter burning our capitol, the British marched on, determined to clear out that "nest of pirates" in Baltimore.   The city was one of the chief ports of the US, and the title was honestly earned, though Baltimoreans preferred the term "privateers."

The British troops were led by Major General Robert Ross, a distinguished veteran of the Peninsular War. With the might of the empire bearing down on the city, the local citizens, white and black, rich and poor, dug in grimly because that's what you do when enemies threaten your homes. The territorial instinct is powerful.  Earthworks were dug, 22 merchant ships were sunk in the mouth of the harbor to prevent the British ships from entering, and both regular troops and militia took positions and prepared for whatever might come.

At breakfast on the morning of September 12, 1814, Ross announced that that night he'd dine in Baltimore or hell.  Bad move, because it wasn't Baltimore he dined in.  

I've heard that in traditional European warfare, it was considered unsporting to shoot at the commanders in battle.  The colonials hadn't gotten that memo.  The Mayhem Consultant, a Baltimore native, can instantly name the two teenage sharpshooters who shot General Ross at the Battle of North Point.  Wells and McComas were both firing and it wasn't clear which of them fired the fatal bullet into Ross.  Both were killed shortly thereafter, but they became local heroes.  Streets are named after them.  

Fort_mc_henry_cannon_BaltimoreAfter that, the British fell back.  The Royal Navy, most powerful in the world, advanced up the Chesapeake Bay, determined to pulverize the fort defending Baltimore so they could then take the city.

The rest of the story all Americans know.  The British fleet bombarded for 25 straight hours.  (That is a HUGE amount of bombardment!)  Fort McHenry, a star shaped stone structure, fired back and held firm.  And out in the harbor, a Maryland lawyer named Francis Scott Key was marooned on a truce ship for the duration of the battle.  He and two others had gone out to negotiate prisoner exchanges and they weren't allowed to leave since they had seen British ship placements and the like.

15 star flagAfter a harrowing night of rain and bombs, the morning came and revealed "That our flag was still there."  It must have been an unbelievably inspiring sight for Scott Key and other watching Americans.  Key wrote his proud, patriotic poem, which was being sold in the streets in broadside form almost immediately.  Later his poem was set to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven," a popular but famously difficult to sing club drinking song.  

There were actually two flags at Fort McHenry.  Because of rolling thunderstorms, the smaller storm flag actually flew over the fort during the night.  At 17 X 25 feet, it wasn't -that- small, but in the morning, with rain and bombardment over, the commander of the fort raised the 30 X 42 foot flag that is "the Star Spangled Banner."  That flag is now in the Smithsonian.  It had to be restored since so many people had cut souvenir bits off.  

The war was ended by the Treaty of Ghent on December 24th, 1814–and because of slow communications, the US beat the Brits in the Battle of New Orleans after the treaty had been signed.

Ft. McHenry is now a national park and a lovely place to visit.  It's beautiful and intact, with water on three sides and pleasant breezes blowing off the bay.  The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore was celebrated with a huge festival this past weekend. Air shot of Fort McHenry Tall ships from around the world, fireworks, and battle reenactments.  It's a proud memory in the state's history, and Maryland knows how to throw a party.
    
So what was the end result of the war?  No borders changed.  The Canadians didn't want to join the US, go figure.  A national sense of identity was firmed up on both sides of the border (though there is still that Anglophone/Francophone issue up there.)  Having declined to become American states, Canada became a steadfast, invaluable member of the British empire ever after. And after the dust settled, the United States, Britain, and Canada have been pretty darned good friends ever since.

Ft McHenry_bombardement_1814And after all that, the young United States acquired a stirring, hard to sing song that has since become our national anthem.  (I blogged about national anthems once.)

If you're American or Canadian or British, what did you learn about the war?  Do you have any thoughts about it, or about the Star Spangled banner?  Or do you think that we should have chosen America, the Beautiful as an anthem instead? <G>

Mary Jo  

120 thoughts on “O, say can you see…?”

  1. It is a stirring anthem, but so many singers have come to grief performing before crowds in public. Now that I’ve read the inspiring story behind it, I am convinced we Americans should keep it. I don’t recall learning much about the War of 1812 in school-we seemed to go from the Revolution straight to the Civil War. So most of my knowledge comes from that great movie about the Battle of New Orleans, “The Buccaneer” starring Yul Brynner. What a swashbuckler that is!

    Reply
  2. It is a stirring anthem, but so many singers have come to grief performing before crowds in public. Now that I’ve read the inspiring story behind it, I am convinced we Americans should keep it. I don’t recall learning much about the War of 1812 in school-we seemed to go from the Revolution straight to the Civil War. So most of my knowledge comes from that great movie about the Battle of New Orleans, “The Buccaneer” starring Yul Brynner. What a swashbuckler that is!

    Reply
  3. It is a stirring anthem, but so many singers have come to grief performing before crowds in public. Now that I’ve read the inspiring story behind it, I am convinced we Americans should keep it. I don’t recall learning much about the War of 1812 in school-we seemed to go from the Revolution straight to the Civil War. So most of my knowledge comes from that great movie about the Battle of New Orleans, “The Buccaneer” starring Yul Brynner. What a swashbuckler that is!

    Reply
  4. It is a stirring anthem, but so many singers have come to grief performing before crowds in public. Now that I’ve read the inspiring story behind it, I am convinced we Americans should keep it. I don’t recall learning much about the War of 1812 in school-we seemed to go from the Revolution straight to the Civil War. So most of my knowledge comes from that great movie about the Battle of New Orleans, “The Buccaneer” starring Yul Brynner. What a swashbuckler that is!

    Reply
  5. It is a stirring anthem, but so many singers have come to grief performing before crowds in public. Now that I’ve read the inspiring story behind it, I am convinced we Americans should keep it. I don’t recall learning much about the War of 1812 in school-we seemed to go from the Revolution straight to the Civil War. So most of my knowledge comes from that great movie about the Battle of New Orleans, “The Buccaneer” starring Yul Brynner. What a swashbuckler that is!

    Reply
  6. Until recently, all I knew of the War of 1812 was a few facts: the impressment of Americans into the British navy, the burning of the capital, and the national anthem.
    This 200 anniversary has led to a lot of press. NPR’s The History Guys did a whole hour program on it. They made a couple of interesting points. One was that the Indians were the allies of Canada, but only states were represented at the negotiations that produced the Treaty of Ghent, so Indian tribes failed to gain independence or autonomy as they had been promised. Another point is that after that America developed a national economy with the north supplying industrial equipment that lead to the growth of the cotton industry. That economic development sowed the seeds of the Civil War. I hope I got the detail right; there’s no quiz on history lessons.

    Reply
  7. Until recently, all I knew of the War of 1812 was a few facts: the impressment of Americans into the British navy, the burning of the capital, and the national anthem.
    This 200 anniversary has led to a lot of press. NPR’s The History Guys did a whole hour program on it. They made a couple of interesting points. One was that the Indians were the allies of Canada, but only states were represented at the negotiations that produced the Treaty of Ghent, so Indian tribes failed to gain independence or autonomy as they had been promised. Another point is that after that America developed a national economy with the north supplying industrial equipment that lead to the growth of the cotton industry. That economic development sowed the seeds of the Civil War. I hope I got the detail right; there’s no quiz on history lessons.

    Reply
  8. Until recently, all I knew of the War of 1812 was a few facts: the impressment of Americans into the British navy, the burning of the capital, and the national anthem.
    This 200 anniversary has led to a lot of press. NPR’s The History Guys did a whole hour program on it. They made a couple of interesting points. One was that the Indians were the allies of Canada, but only states were represented at the negotiations that produced the Treaty of Ghent, so Indian tribes failed to gain independence or autonomy as they had been promised. Another point is that after that America developed a national economy with the north supplying industrial equipment that lead to the growth of the cotton industry. That economic development sowed the seeds of the Civil War. I hope I got the detail right; there’s no quiz on history lessons.

    Reply
  9. Until recently, all I knew of the War of 1812 was a few facts: the impressment of Americans into the British navy, the burning of the capital, and the national anthem.
    This 200 anniversary has led to a lot of press. NPR’s The History Guys did a whole hour program on it. They made a couple of interesting points. One was that the Indians were the allies of Canada, but only states were represented at the negotiations that produced the Treaty of Ghent, so Indian tribes failed to gain independence or autonomy as they had been promised. Another point is that after that America developed a national economy with the north supplying industrial equipment that lead to the growth of the cotton industry. That economic development sowed the seeds of the Civil War. I hope I got the detail right; there’s no quiz on history lessons.

    Reply
  10. Until recently, all I knew of the War of 1812 was a few facts: the impressment of Americans into the British navy, the burning of the capital, and the national anthem.
    This 200 anniversary has led to a lot of press. NPR’s The History Guys did a whole hour program on it. They made a couple of interesting points. One was that the Indians were the allies of Canada, but only states were represented at the negotiations that produced the Treaty of Ghent, so Indian tribes failed to gain independence or autonomy as they had been promised. Another point is that after that America developed a national economy with the north supplying industrial equipment that lead to the growth of the cotton industry. That economic development sowed the seeds of the Civil War. I hope I got the detail right; there’s no quiz on history lessons.

    Reply
  11. We liveed in Baltimore for two years. One of my children was born there. We visited Fort McHenry and learned of the history then. However, it wasn’t something to which I paid much attention. The History of the USA course in school did have a few paragraphs on the war of 1812. The writing of the Star Spangled banner and naval battles were mentioned. It was called the 2nd war of independence. Later I learned that there were still loyalists around who would happily have gone back to ENgland if they could. When the English burned the White House and other buildings of DC, it hardened some of those who were still undecided into being violently opposed to the English,

    Reply
  12. We liveed in Baltimore for two years. One of my children was born there. We visited Fort McHenry and learned of the history then. However, it wasn’t something to which I paid much attention. The History of the USA course in school did have a few paragraphs on the war of 1812. The writing of the Star Spangled banner and naval battles were mentioned. It was called the 2nd war of independence. Later I learned that there were still loyalists around who would happily have gone back to ENgland if they could. When the English burned the White House and other buildings of DC, it hardened some of those who were still undecided into being violently opposed to the English,

    Reply
  13. We liveed in Baltimore for two years. One of my children was born there. We visited Fort McHenry and learned of the history then. However, it wasn’t something to which I paid much attention. The History of the USA course in school did have a few paragraphs on the war of 1812. The writing of the Star Spangled banner and naval battles were mentioned. It was called the 2nd war of independence. Later I learned that there were still loyalists around who would happily have gone back to ENgland if they could. When the English burned the White House and other buildings of DC, it hardened some of those who were still undecided into being violently opposed to the English,

    Reply
  14. We liveed in Baltimore for two years. One of my children was born there. We visited Fort McHenry and learned of the history then. However, it wasn’t something to which I paid much attention. The History of the USA course in school did have a few paragraphs on the war of 1812. The writing of the Star Spangled banner and naval battles were mentioned. It was called the 2nd war of independence. Later I learned that there were still loyalists around who would happily have gone back to ENgland if they could. When the English burned the White House and other buildings of DC, it hardened some of those who were still undecided into being violently opposed to the English,

    Reply
  15. We liveed in Baltimore for two years. One of my children was born there. We visited Fort McHenry and learned of the history then. However, it wasn’t something to which I paid much attention. The History of the USA course in school did have a few paragraphs on the war of 1812. The writing of the Star Spangled banner and naval battles were mentioned. It was called the 2nd war of independence. Later I learned that there were still loyalists around who would happily have gone back to ENgland if they could. When the English burned the White House and other buildings of DC, it hardened some of those who were still undecided into being violently opposed to the English,

    Reply
  16. The American pension records for the War of 1812 are deteriorating rapidly, so the Federation of Genealogical Societies, with the cooperation of several companies and many, many volunteers and donors, are working to Preserve the Pensions http://www.preservethepensions.org/ and have them available forever FOR FREE at Fold3.com. Thanks for letting me promote this cause.

    Reply
  17. The American pension records for the War of 1812 are deteriorating rapidly, so the Federation of Genealogical Societies, with the cooperation of several companies and many, many volunteers and donors, are working to Preserve the Pensions http://www.preservethepensions.org/ and have them available forever FOR FREE at Fold3.com. Thanks for letting me promote this cause.

    Reply
  18. The American pension records for the War of 1812 are deteriorating rapidly, so the Federation of Genealogical Societies, with the cooperation of several companies and many, many volunteers and donors, are working to Preserve the Pensions http://www.preservethepensions.org/ and have them available forever FOR FREE at Fold3.com. Thanks for letting me promote this cause.

    Reply
  19. The American pension records for the War of 1812 are deteriorating rapidly, so the Federation of Genealogical Societies, with the cooperation of several companies and many, many volunteers and donors, are working to Preserve the Pensions http://www.preservethepensions.org/ and have them available forever FOR FREE at Fold3.com. Thanks for letting me promote this cause.

    Reply
  20. The American pension records for the War of 1812 are deteriorating rapidly, so the Federation of Genealogical Societies, with the cooperation of several companies and many, many volunteers and donors, are working to Preserve the Pensions http://www.preservethepensions.org/ and have them available forever FOR FREE at Fold3.com. Thanks for letting me promote this cause.

    Reply
  21. The War of 1812? Oh yes, we studied that, especially the impressment of sailors. That has always intrigued me. All sorts of story possibilities there.
    As for the national anthem, I always liked “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Much easier to sing than “The Star Spangled Banner.”

    Reply
  22. The War of 1812? Oh yes, we studied that, especially the impressment of sailors. That has always intrigued me. All sorts of story possibilities there.
    As for the national anthem, I always liked “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Much easier to sing than “The Star Spangled Banner.”

    Reply
  23. The War of 1812? Oh yes, we studied that, especially the impressment of sailors. That has always intrigued me. All sorts of story possibilities there.
    As for the national anthem, I always liked “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Much easier to sing than “The Star Spangled Banner.”

    Reply
  24. The War of 1812? Oh yes, we studied that, especially the impressment of sailors. That has always intrigued me. All sorts of story possibilities there.
    As for the national anthem, I always liked “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Much easier to sing than “The Star Spangled Banner.”

    Reply
  25. The War of 1812? Oh yes, we studied that, especially the impressment of sailors. That has always intrigued me. All sorts of story possibilities there.
    As for the national anthem, I always liked “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” Much easier to sing than “The Star Spangled Banner.”

    Reply
  26. Karin–so true about singers coming to grief singing the Star Spangled Banner! But it is an inspiring story–and while I’ve never seen THE BUCCANEER, Yul Brynner would make a pretty darned inspiring Jean Lafitte. *G*

    Reply
  27. Karin–so true about singers coming to grief singing the Star Spangled Banner! But it is an inspiring story–and while I’ve never seen THE BUCCANEER, Yul Brynner would make a pretty darned inspiring Jean Lafitte. *G*

    Reply
  28. Karin–so true about singers coming to grief singing the Star Spangled Banner! But it is an inspiring story–and while I’ve never seen THE BUCCANEER, Yul Brynner would make a pretty darned inspiring Jean Lafitte. *G*

    Reply
  29. Karin–so true about singers coming to grief singing the Star Spangled Banner! But it is an inspiring story–and while I’ve never seen THE BUCCANEER, Yul Brynner would make a pretty darned inspiring Jean Lafitte. *G*

    Reply
  30. Karin–so true about singers coming to grief singing the Star Spangled Banner! But it is an inspiring story–and while I’ve never seen THE BUCCANEER, Yul Brynner would make a pretty darned inspiring Jean Lafitte. *G*

    Reply
  31. Shannon–
    The British enlisting Indian nations to fight the Americans was definitely a major grievance, and the Indians’ desire for British support for independence made great sense, but their rights got squashed, especially on this side of the border. I think Canada has done a better job respecting their First Nations, though I’ve not studied the subject.
    Interesting how one war leads to another. Sigh.

    Reply
  32. Shannon–
    The British enlisting Indian nations to fight the Americans was definitely a major grievance, and the Indians’ desire for British support for independence made great sense, but their rights got squashed, especially on this side of the border. I think Canada has done a better job respecting their First Nations, though I’ve not studied the subject.
    Interesting how one war leads to another. Sigh.

    Reply
  33. Shannon–
    The British enlisting Indian nations to fight the Americans was definitely a major grievance, and the Indians’ desire for British support for independence made great sense, but their rights got squashed, especially on this side of the border. I think Canada has done a better job respecting their First Nations, though I’ve not studied the subject.
    Interesting how one war leads to another. Sigh.

    Reply
  34. Shannon–
    The British enlisting Indian nations to fight the Americans was definitely a major grievance, and the Indians’ desire for British support for independence made great sense, but their rights got squashed, especially on this side of the border. I think Canada has done a better job respecting their First Nations, though I’ve not studied the subject.
    Interesting how one war leads to another. Sigh.

    Reply
  35. Shannon–
    The British enlisting Indian nations to fight the Americans was definitely a major grievance, and the Indians’ desire for British support for independence made great sense, but their rights got squashed, especially on this side of the border. I think Canada has done a better job respecting their First Nations, though I’ve not studied the subject.
    Interesting how one war leads to another. Sigh.

    Reply
  36. Nancy–the atrocities of war do tend to polarize people big time. There is a lot of support for the idea that the War of 1812 was indeed a second war of independence that did much to shape the young USA. I’m not a native of Maryland, but living here has made me much more aware of this particular war.

    Reply
  37. Nancy–the atrocities of war do tend to polarize people big time. There is a lot of support for the idea that the War of 1812 was indeed a second war of independence that did much to shape the young USA. I’m not a native of Maryland, but living here has made me much more aware of this particular war.

    Reply
  38. Nancy–the atrocities of war do tend to polarize people big time. There is a lot of support for the idea that the War of 1812 was indeed a second war of independence that did much to shape the young USA. I’m not a native of Maryland, but living here has made me much more aware of this particular war.

    Reply
  39. Nancy–the atrocities of war do tend to polarize people big time. There is a lot of support for the idea that the War of 1812 was indeed a second war of independence that did much to shape the young USA. I’m not a native of Maryland, but living here has made me much more aware of this particular war.

    Reply
  40. Nancy–the atrocities of war do tend to polarize people big time. There is a lot of support for the idea that the War of 1812 was indeed a second war of independence that did much to shape the young USA. I’m not a native of Maryland, but living here has made me much more aware of this particular war.

    Reply
  41. I think the War of 1812 was given short shrift in all my history courses, high school and college. I do remember learning about impressment, Fort McHenry, and the Battle of New Orleans. I think I learned more from popular culture. I once knew all the words to Johnny Horton’s version of “The Battle of New Orleans,” and I read Jane Aiken Hodge’s Here Comes a Candle many times. 🙂 It’s interesting that there are quite a few romance novels about that period, including some Wench books.

    Reply
  42. I think the War of 1812 was given short shrift in all my history courses, high school and college. I do remember learning about impressment, Fort McHenry, and the Battle of New Orleans. I think I learned more from popular culture. I once knew all the words to Johnny Horton’s version of “The Battle of New Orleans,” and I read Jane Aiken Hodge’s Here Comes a Candle many times. 🙂 It’s interesting that there are quite a few romance novels about that period, including some Wench books.

    Reply
  43. I think the War of 1812 was given short shrift in all my history courses, high school and college. I do remember learning about impressment, Fort McHenry, and the Battle of New Orleans. I think I learned more from popular culture. I once knew all the words to Johnny Horton’s version of “The Battle of New Orleans,” and I read Jane Aiken Hodge’s Here Comes a Candle many times. 🙂 It’s interesting that there are quite a few romance novels about that period, including some Wench books.

    Reply
  44. I think the War of 1812 was given short shrift in all my history courses, high school and college. I do remember learning about impressment, Fort McHenry, and the Battle of New Orleans. I think I learned more from popular culture. I once knew all the words to Johnny Horton’s version of “The Battle of New Orleans,” and I read Jane Aiken Hodge’s Here Comes a Candle many times. 🙂 It’s interesting that there are quite a few romance novels about that period, including some Wench books.

    Reply
  45. I think the War of 1812 was given short shrift in all my history courses, high school and college. I do remember learning about impressment, Fort McHenry, and the Battle of New Orleans. I think I learned more from popular culture. I once knew all the words to Johnny Horton’s version of “The Battle of New Orleans,” and I read Jane Aiken Hodge’s Here Comes a Candle many times. 🙂 It’s interesting that there are quite a few romance novels about that period, including some Wench books.

    Reply
  46. Janga–
    I definitely need to blog about impressment later in the fall! Johnny Horton’s ballad was running through my mind when I was writing the blog *G*, and Here Comes a Candle was the first of two or three related books, wasn’t it? I always enjoyed Jane Aiken Hodge’s books. Her sister, Joan Aiken, not so much. She was also a good writer but her stories were a bit violent for me.

    Reply
  47. Janga–
    I definitely need to blog about impressment later in the fall! Johnny Horton’s ballad was running through my mind when I was writing the blog *G*, and Here Comes a Candle was the first of two or three related books, wasn’t it? I always enjoyed Jane Aiken Hodge’s books. Her sister, Joan Aiken, not so much. She was also a good writer but her stories were a bit violent for me.

    Reply
  48. Janga–
    I definitely need to blog about impressment later in the fall! Johnny Horton’s ballad was running through my mind when I was writing the blog *G*, and Here Comes a Candle was the first of two or three related books, wasn’t it? I always enjoyed Jane Aiken Hodge’s books. Her sister, Joan Aiken, not so much. She was also a good writer but her stories were a bit violent for me.

    Reply
  49. Janga–
    I definitely need to blog about impressment later in the fall! Johnny Horton’s ballad was running through my mind when I was writing the blog *G*, and Here Comes a Candle was the first of two or three related books, wasn’t it? I always enjoyed Jane Aiken Hodge’s books. Her sister, Joan Aiken, not so much. She was also a good writer but her stories were a bit violent for me.

    Reply
  50. Janga–
    I definitely need to blog about impressment later in the fall! Johnny Horton’s ballad was running through my mind when I was writing the blog *G*, and Here Comes a Candle was the first of two or three related books, wasn’t it? I always enjoyed Jane Aiken Hodge’s books. Her sister, Joan Aiken, not so much. She was also a good writer but her stories were a bit violent for me.

    Reply
  51. Janga, I remember Johnny Horton’s song from when I was a little girl. I loved it : — “Oh they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit wouldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ’em, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.”
    Great song, never realised until much later what it was about.

    Reply
  52. Janga, I remember Johnny Horton’s song from when I was a little girl. I loved it : — “Oh they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit wouldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ’em, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.”
    Great song, never realised until much later what it was about.

    Reply
  53. Janga, I remember Johnny Horton’s song from when I was a little girl. I loved it : — “Oh they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit wouldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ’em, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.”
    Great song, never realised until much later what it was about.

    Reply
  54. Janga, I remember Johnny Horton’s song from when I was a little girl. I loved it : — “Oh they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit wouldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ’em, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.”
    Great song, never realised until much later what it was about.

    Reply
  55. Janga, I remember Johnny Horton’s song from when I was a little girl. I loved it : — “Oh they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit wouldn’t go. They ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch ’em, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.”
    Great song, never realised until much later what it was about.

    Reply
  56. Janga _ a belated comment on Johnny Horton’s battle of new orleans. I was at a party last night where there were half a dozen fiddle players (and guitar and drums and whoever instruments were to hand — not an organized performance), playing traditional Irish tunes, and in one song I found myself humming “They ran through the biriars” etc — and then said, “Hey, this is a lot like The battle of new orleans. And a bunch of us started singing it (and trying to remember all the words of the verses), and it wasn’t the whole song, but parts of it were spot on the same. And of course, that’s the nature of folk music, isn’t it? It spreads and is adapted and becomes something new. But I was thinking of this converation last night.

    Reply
  57. Janga _ a belated comment on Johnny Horton’s battle of new orleans. I was at a party last night where there were half a dozen fiddle players (and guitar and drums and whoever instruments were to hand — not an organized performance), playing traditional Irish tunes, and in one song I found myself humming “They ran through the biriars” etc — and then said, “Hey, this is a lot like The battle of new orleans. And a bunch of us started singing it (and trying to remember all the words of the verses), and it wasn’t the whole song, but parts of it were spot on the same. And of course, that’s the nature of folk music, isn’t it? It spreads and is adapted and becomes something new. But I was thinking of this converation last night.

    Reply
  58. Janga _ a belated comment on Johnny Horton’s battle of new orleans. I was at a party last night where there were half a dozen fiddle players (and guitar and drums and whoever instruments were to hand — not an organized performance), playing traditional Irish tunes, and in one song I found myself humming “They ran through the biriars” etc — and then said, “Hey, this is a lot like The battle of new orleans. And a bunch of us started singing it (and trying to remember all the words of the verses), and it wasn’t the whole song, but parts of it were spot on the same. And of course, that’s the nature of folk music, isn’t it? It spreads and is adapted and becomes something new. But I was thinking of this converation last night.

    Reply
  59. Janga _ a belated comment on Johnny Horton’s battle of new orleans. I was at a party last night where there were half a dozen fiddle players (and guitar and drums and whoever instruments were to hand — not an organized performance), playing traditional Irish tunes, and in one song I found myself humming “They ran through the biriars” etc — and then said, “Hey, this is a lot like The battle of new orleans. And a bunch of us started singing it (and trying to remember all the words of the verses), and it wasn’t the whole song, but parts of it were spot on the same. And of course, that’s the nature of folk music, isn’t it? It spreads and is adapted and becomes something new. But I was thinking of this converation last night.

    Reply
  60. Janga _ a belated comment on Johnny Horton’s battle of new orleans. I was at a party last night where there were half a dozen fiddle players (and guitar and drums and whoever instruments were to hand — not an organized performance), playing traditional Irish tunes, and in one song I found myself humming “They ran through the biriars” etc — and then said, “Hey, this is a lot like The battle of new orleans. And a bunch of us started singing it (and trying to remember all the words of the verses), and it wasn’t the whole song, but parts of it were spot on the same. And of course, that’s the nature of folk music, isn’t it? It spreads and is adapted and becomes something new. But I was thinking of this converation last night.

    Reply
  61. I think the SSB has a greater range than most of us have, and requires starting on precisely the correct note for your range to hit all the high notes without squeaking, and the low ones without coughing.
    Je n’ai aucune problème à chanter La Marseillaise, moi.

    Reply
  62. I think the SSB has a greater range than most of us have, and requires starting on precisely the correct note for your range to hit all the high notes without squeaking, and the low ones without coughing.
    Je n’ai aucune problème à chanter La Marseillaise, moi.

    Reply
  63. I think the SSB has a greater range than most of us have, and requires starting on precisely the correct note for your range to hit all the high notes without squeaking, and the low ones without coughing.
    Je n’ai aucune problème à chanter La Marseillaise, moi.

    Reply
  64. I think the SSB has a greater range than most of us have, and requires starting on precisely the correct note for your range to hit all the high notes without squeaking, and the low ones without coughing.
    Je n’ai aucune problème à chanter La Marseillaise, moi.

    Reply
  65. I think the SSB has a greater range than most of us have, and requires starting on precisely the correct note for your range to hit all the high notes without squeaking, and the low ones without coughing.
    Je n’ai aucune problème à chanter La Marseillaise, moi.

    Reply
  66. Most First Nations peoples in Canada received the same sort of poor treatment that the US Natives got, especially at the hands of those who wanted to “civilise” them.
    It’s not a pretty story.

    Reply
  67. Most First Nations peoples in Canada received the same sort of poor treatment that the US Natives got, especially at the hands of those who wanted to “civilise” them.
    It’s not a pretty story.

    Reply
  68. Most First Nations peoples in Canada received the same sort of poor treatment that the US Natives got, especially at the hands of those who wanted to “civilise” them.
    It’s not a pretty story.

    Reply
  69. Most First Nations peoples in Canada received the same sort of poor treatment that the US Natives got, especially at the hands of those who wanted to “civilise” them.
    It’s not a pretty story.

    Reply
  70. Most First Nations peoples in Canada received the same sort of poor treatment that the US Natives got, especially at the hands of those who wanted to “civilise” them.
    It’s not a pretty story.

    Reply
  71. I would much prefer America the Beautiful, about which you might like to read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful. Writen by a woman in a “Boston marriage”, it covers many aspects of our nation. It is also not so obviously male-centered, as many of the songs thus far mentioned are.
    Some of you know I’m Pagan–Wiccan, specifically–and am aware of the overwhelming assumption in many of our patriotic songs that one is Christian or possibly Jewish: e.g., God and He/Him. We have so many non-Abrahamic religions and followers, as well as atheists, that they can be a poor fit or uncomfortable to sing when the Abrahamic deity is invoked. I have no idea about the wording of national anthems of Asia or the Islamic states (not ISIL!), so I don’t know what cultural biases or assumptions might be written into them. Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all have multi-ethnic/religious inhabitants and have for years.
    If there’s an ending to that paragraph above, even I am unaware of it!
    Mary Jo, I will look up your article on anthems.

    Reply
  72. I would much prefer America the Beautiful, about which you might like to read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful. Writen by a woman in a “Boston marriage”, it covers many aspects of our nation. It is also not so obviously male-centered, as many of the songs thus far mentioned are.
    Some of you know I’m Pagan–Wiccan, specifically–and am aware of the overwhelming assumption in many of our patriotic songs that one is Christian or possibly Jewish: e.g., God and He/Him. We have so many non-Abrahamic religions and followers, as well as atheists, that they can be a poor fit or uncomfortable to sing when the Abrahamic deity is invoked. I have no idea about the wording of national anthems of Asia or the Islamic states (not ISIL!), so I don’t know what cultural biases or assumptions might be written into them. Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all have multi-ethnic/religious inhabitants and have for years.
    If there’s an ending to that paragraph above, even I am unaware of it!
    Mary Jo, I will look up your article on anthems.

    Reply
  73. I would much prefer America the Beautiful, about which you might like to read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful. Writen by a woman in a “Boston marriage”, it covers many aspects of our nation. It is also not so obviously male-centered, as many of the songs thus far mentioned are.
    Some of you know I’m Pagan–Wiccan, specifically–and am aware of the overwhelming assumption in many of our patriotic songs that one is Christian or possibly Jewish: e.g., God and He/Him. We have so many non-Abrahamic religions and followers, as well as atheists, that they can be a poor fit or uncomfortable to sing when the Abrahamic deity is invoked. I have no idea about the wording of national anthems of Asia or the Islamic states (not ISIL!), so I don’t know what cultural biases or assumptions might be written into them. Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all have multi-ethnic/religious inhabitants and have for years.
    If there’s an ending to that paragraph above, even I am unaware of it!
    Mary Jo, I will look up your article on anthems.

    Reply
  74. I would much prefer America the Beautiful, about which you might like to read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful. Writen by a woman in a “Boston marriage”, it covers many aspects of our nation. It is also not so obviously male-centered, as many of the songs thus far mentioned are.
    Some of you know I’m Pagan–Wiccan, specifically–and am aware of the overwhelming assumption in many of our patriotic songs that one is Christian or possibly Jewish: e.g., God and He/Him. We have so many non-Abrahamic religions and followers, as well as atheists, that they can be a poor fit or uncomfortable to sing when the Abrahamic deity is invoked. I have no idea about the wording of national anthems of Asia or the Islamic states (not ISIL!), so I don’t know what cultural biases or assumptions might be written into them. Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all have multi-ethnic/religious inhabitants and have for years.
    If there’s an ending to that paragraph above, even I am unaware of it!
    Mary Jo, I will look up your article on anthems.

    Reply
  75. I would much prefer America the Beautiful, about which you might like to read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful. Writen by a woman in a “Boston marriage”, it covers many aspects of our nation. It is also not so obviously male-centered, as many of the songs thus far mentioned are.
    Some of you know I’m Pagan–Wiccan, specifically–and am aware of the overwhelming assumption in many of our patriotic songs that one is Christian or possibly Jewish: e.g., God and He/Him. We have so many non-Abrahamic religions and followers, as well as atheists, that they can be a poor fit or uncomfortable to sing when the Abrahamic deity is invoked. I have no idea about the wording of national anthems of Asia or the Islamic states (not ISIL!), so I don’t know what cultural biases or assumptions might be written into them. Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all have multi-ethnic/religious inhabitants and have for years.
    If there’s an ending to that paragraph above, even I am unaware of it!
    Mary Jo, I will look up your article on anthems.

    Reply
  76. I’m sorry I didn’t read this post earlier. This spring my book club read Through the Perilous Fight, about the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. My husband and I sail on the Chesapeake, and like the British, we keep running aground, even with charts. The book highlights the differences in American military leadership in the defeat in Washington and the victory at Baltimore. My captain and I went up to Baltimore to watch the parade of ships leaving the harbor after the “StarSpangledCelebration”; it featured black powder cannon salutes from Ft. McHenry. There were several ships of the privateer type.

    Reply
  77. I’m sorry I didn’t read this post earlier. This spring my book club read Through the Perilous Fight, about the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. My husband and I sail on the Chesapeake, and like the British, we keep running aground, even with charts. The book highlights the differences in American military leadership in the defeat in Washington and the victory at Baltimore. My captain and I went up to Baltimore to watch the parade of ships leaving the harbor after the “StarSpangledCelebration”; it featured black powder cannon salutes from Ft. McHenry. There were several ships of the privateer type.

    Reply
  78. I’m sorry I didn’t read this post earlier. This spring my book club read Through the Perilous Fight, about the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. My husband and I sail on the Chesapeake, and like the British, we keep running aground, even with charts. The book highlights the differences in American military leadership in the defeat in Washington and the victory at Baltimore. My captain and I went up to Baltimore to watch the parade of ships leaving the harbor after the “StarSpangledCelebration”; it featured black powder cannon salutes from Ft. McHenry. There were several ships of the privateer type.

    Reply
  79. I’m sorry I didn’t read this post earlier. This spring my book club read Through the Perilous Fight, about the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. My husband and I sail on the Chesapeake, and like the British, we keep running aground, even with charts. The book highlights the differences in American military leadership in the defeat in Washington and the victory at Baltimore. My captain and I went up to Baltimore to watch the parade of ships leaving the harbor after the “StarSpangledCelebration”; it featured black powder cannon salutes from Ft. McHenry. There were several ships of the privateer type.

    Reply
  80. I’m sorry I didn’t read this post earlier. This spring my book club read Through the Perilous Fight, about the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. My husband and I sail on the Chesapeake, and like the British, we keep running aground, even with charts. The book highlights the differences in American military leadership in the defeat in Washington and the victory at Baltimore. My captain and I went up to Baltimore to watch the parade of ships leaving the harbor after the “StarSpangledCelebration”; it featured black powder cannon salutes from Ft. McHenry. There were several ships of the privateer type.

    Reply
  81. Peg, how great that you caught part of the Sailabration! There’s a lot of really tasty history about the fighting in Washington and Baltimore, and for you and me, it’s local and very vivid. And you have actually sailed the Chesapeake as well!

    Reply
  82. Peg, how great that you caught part of the Sailabration! There’s a lot of really tasty history about the fighting in Washington and Baltimore, and for you and me, it’s local and very vivid. And you have actually sailed the Chesapeake as well!

    Reply
  83. Peg, how great that you caught part of the Sailabration! There’s a lot of really tasty history about the fighting in Washington and Baltimore, and for you and me, it’s local and very vivid. And you have actually sailed the Chesapeake as well!

    Reply
  84. Peg, how great that you caught part of the Sailabration! There’s a lot of really tasty history about the fighting in Washington and Baltimore, and for you and me, it’s local and very vivid. And you have actually sailed the Chesapeake as well!

    Reply
  85. Peg, how great that you caught part of the Sailabration! There’s a lot of really tasty history about the fighting in Washington and Baltimore, and for you and me, it’s local and very vivid. And you have actually sailed the Chesapeake as well!

    Reply

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