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Copland’s Appalachian Spring Should Be New National Anthem


I’ve recently been listening to Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

(Here is another link to Aaron Copland.)

( Above is a picture from near Bristol, Tennessee.)

I think this American classic, which lasts around 25 minutes, should be the new national anthem.

(Click here to listen to a program about Appalachian Spring.)

For one thing, unlike our present national anthem, the song has no mention of war.

For another thing , if we were all to silently reflect and consider our nation and our lives for 25 minutes each time we listened to our new national anthem, maybe we would be a better country.

Though I admit, it would be an act of discipline for some not to focus on their anger and disappointments for those 25 minutes.

Still, I think we could all use some more time to think things out.

In Appalachian Spring, Copland “samples”, to use a more modern word, a portion of the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts” ( Here is a history of Shaker music.  Here is a history of who the Shakers are.)

Here are the lyrics to Simple Gifts—

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,

To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come round right.

I think these would be excellent lyrics for our national anthem.

Here is a link to the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Here is a link to the Urban Appalachian Council of Greater Cincinnati.

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments