Wednesday, July 6, 2011

American Music

Happy late 4th of July to all! I hope everyone had a great time celebrating our Nation's independence. I know I sure did. Our family went to Old World Wisconsin for the first half of the day. Old World is one of my favorite places to go. I just love it. The setting was 1876, the 100 year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I decided that since it was the 4th I could get away with dressing up colonial style. It was very hot, but I had so much fun... even if I was a century out of style. :-)

They had an old fashioned band that played; the Harmony Coronet Band. It sounded so 1800’s and set the mood for the whole day. Back during this time in history, most counties had a band. It was a very important part of the community. Nowadays, it seems that most of what we get is school bands. :-( Too bad.

They marched around playing "Yankee Doodle" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and a few other songs. I think they also played "Hail Columbia" and "The Star Spangled Banner." During the flag raising ceremony they played "Doxology" while everyone sang.

In the park they did a concert and later they marched in the parade. It was great fun to see all of the people picnicking in the center of the town, listening to the band play. It really gave you that old time community feel.

Now for the main point of this post. After lunch, they had a hymn sing at the old church. It sounded beautiful having so many people crammed into such a small building and all singing their hearts out to the Lord. It was breath taking. Well, after singing hymns for a while, the band leader came in and gave us an important musical lesson. I am going to try to quote what he said to the best of my ability. It will not be word perfect, but you will hopefully get the point. He said, "I hear some people ask, 'What is Northern music and what is Southern music?' I don't really know and here's why. One very popular Civil War song was premiered in New York, (sounds Northern right?) was written in Ohio, (still Northern,) and President Abraham Lincoln had this song played at his inauguration. Very Northern right?"
(Mind you, I knew exactly which song this was, and I kept guessing it to my Mom. Important detail)
"That song was "Dixie," one of the most popular Confederate songs of the Civil War."
At this point I blurted out, a little too loud, "Yes! That's Dixie, I got it right."
The guy started laughing and said, "I see we have a Southern lady among us."
I am quite sure I turned red as I replied, "Well not exactly, I just like singing 'Dixie'."
So that was my "moment." Go ahead, laugh at me.
Continuing with his history lesson, he said, "Another song of the Civil War started out as a Southern revival song, "Canaan’s Happy Shore." Some Northern soldiers heard the song and put some rather vulgar words to it. Words too vulgar for me to repeat in front of the ladies and children." (I hate to admit it, but I (a lady) knew the name of that vulgar song, "John Brown's Body." Hehe)
"President Abraham Lincoln did not like that the soldiers sang these words, and asked Miss Julia Ward Howe if she would write some new ones. Of course she did, and that song is now known as "Battle Hymn of the Republic." So you see, I don’t know what is Southern music and I don't know what is Northern music, but I do know what is American music."
And of course, as he said that last line, he looked right at me the whole way through. Please, just let me melt! I do not think that he realized that I really do agree with him.
It was a good point though and one that we need to remember. While it is wonderful to study history and great to discuss these things, we must not let ourselves lose the Patriotism that we ought to have for our Nation under God. We may not agree with all of our leaders, but if we lose our Patriotism for the Nation that our forefathers fought and died to secure, we may just lose our Nation. "In God We Trust," let us never forget it!

Rachel, Kendra and I were asked to be Liberty Girls, in the parade. It was fun, but hot as we had to wear white robes over our already warm outfits. But, we survived and enjoyed every bit of it.
I am sure my Mom will be putting more pictures up later. It was the most Patriotic 4th of July we have ever celebrated.

After Old World Wisconsin, we joined our church family for a continuation of the celebration. Some of us girls were even able to get a few people over to the barn where we had a barn dance. Since we did not have music we sang out loudly, (can you guess?) Dixie, which I had the greatest fun singing out loudly. We sang some others like Mari’s Wedding and Yankee Doodle as well.   What a day!

Happy 4th of July Everyone!!!!!

In Christ,



Peter Bringe said...


I remember going to Old World Wisconsin once. From what I remember it's sort of a Midwest version of Colonial Williamsburg. Pretty neat place.

I just thought that I'd mention that the authorship of Dixie is disputed by some, and even if Emmett did write it (which is probable), it was still recognized as a Southern song (Southern black-faced minstrel shows were popular in the North). Northerners can like it, but it still reflected the culture and community of the South. I do think that unity among the States and regions of the USA is a great thing and a blessing, but we do not need to destroy each others cultures to form a homogeneous nation without local character. To do so is fascist (if I understand the word correctly).

-Peter Bringe
Deo Vindice

Anonymous said...

I liked what that man said about Southern/Northern music! Really it is all just music about America and part of our history. I mean if a Northerner writes a Southern song, everybody likes it right? Or most everybody anyway!
Ah, the barn dance in the hay loft! What fun! What memories!


The Babiak Family said...

Yes, look at songs like "Lorena." That was written by Webster right in your neck of the woods and that song was very popular in the South as well as the North.
It sure was fun dancing in the barn!


I was quite taken back by the word "fascist" being linked with what I wrote. I had no intention whatsoever in trying to destroy culture. Rather I was trying to make a point that while we have our differences, both the North and the South should have Patriotism for their country, and stand up against the evils, like our Founding Fathers did. What a boring country this would be if we were all the same. We need those different cultures to add variety. I'm thinking that this could play alongside your last blog post.
Please understand, I had no intention of wishing for a "homogeneous nation without local character."

As I was doing my devotions this morning, some verses really popped out at me in regards to my post.
Isaiah 43:6-7 "I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."
I know this was written as God speaking to Israel, but could this not be our cry as well? Cannot North and South come together in glory to the Lord? We can have different cultures and see things differently, but must we label each other as "Northerners" and "Southerners"? Can't we be "Americans"? Just some things I wonder.
I really do agree with most of what you say in regards to the Civil War. All I meant to say is that even though there was a war that tried to split us (and in some ways did) we should still be Patriotic towards our Nation, that God has blessed us with. We probably will not always have the United States of America as we now have it.

When did you go to Old World? I must have misunderstood your sister at Liberty Day, because I thought she told me that you guys had never been to Wisconsin. :-)

In Christ,

Peter Bringe said...


I'm sorry that I used the term Fascist, it was to strong for the point I was making. It is my hope that the North and South can "come together in glory to the Lord" and indeed the whole earth. But I don't think that the whole earth should be America (not that I think you meant that). When it comes to labels, the label of Christian is the most important, as it defines us the most accurately and completely. Besides that, the label of American is not very specific and I prefer more local terms that apply to me more. Southern is even a little too general to describe me as I am Mid-Western as well and the combination of those two is Missourian. I would use the different terms depending on the context. For example, on the 4th of July I would use American. I still do love these United States, and have friends from sea to sea. I also agree that our different cultures can learn from on another, I just don't think that that means it should only be called America culture. Sorry for the strong language, I hope I am being edifying and not quarrelsome.

We have been to Wisconsin about every year as that is where my dad grew up and many relatives live (including Grandparents). I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the farmer's market in Madison on your family's blog as we have enjoyed it as well.

-Peter Bringe
Deo Vindice

The Babiak Family said...


Apology accepted and you are completely forgiven. That's always the problem with online communication. It is so hard to tell were the person is coming from.

In reality, as Christians, we are aliens to this world and citizens of heaven and that is where our loyalties should lie. Of course, here on earth it is wonderful to have those community bonds and ties.

Anyways, whenever you Missourians come up this ways again, give us a holler because we Wisconsinites would love to get together with you all.

In Christ,

Savories of Life said...

Peter Bringe also comments on my blog.

Yes what Peter told you about dixi song was right.

It was great reading your psot and your dresses were pretty.

Savories of Life said...

I had to make comment on waht was said. America is not God's nation. Some times we think God will bless America more than anything. Yet we forget how mnay follow him world wide.
I do not know if South and North can ever live in true peace. The South knows what it has lost.
It is true we are American but I woudl rather beSouthern as they were more like old America which was lost after the civil war.

Yet when I say I am American I mean I am proud of what took place before the civil war.

I feel sorry for people who do not see the south as right but I still have wonderful friendships in christ.