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Stars and Stripes Forever
July 4, 2012 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Listen to Sousa introduce his band playing The Stars and Stripes Forever. Or listen to his band play without him, as he was wary of recordings. Or listen to a take by a more recent symphonic band. Or renditions on the guitar (one, two), the organ (one, two), or the piano (one, two). Or performed by the muppets.
posted by weston (25 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Or accordion, sopranino recorder, kazoo shaped like a crocodile, etc.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:54 AM on July 4, 2012


One of the greatest trombone parts of all time!
posted by mrducts at 11:02 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you need a piccolo break to really kick ass, send in the Marines.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:04 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or as a ballet!
posted by ChuraChura at 11:05 AM on July 4, 2012


No mention of Vladimir Horowitz's piano transcription?
posted by gyc at 11:06 AM on July 4, 2012


Huh. I just nearly posted this bar-graph animated score of S&SF, and then decided not to. I guess this is the place to mention it.
posted by hippybear at 11:07 AM on July 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


bar-graph animated score

That's a piano roll.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:24 AM on July 4, 2012


Be kind to your web-footed friends! For a duck could be somebody's brother!
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:29 AM on July 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Philouza.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:30 AM on July 4, 2012


This was Sousa's 'Freebird.' A classic you either like sincerely or ironically but like nonetheless.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:41 AM on July 4, 2012


Hippybear - that was awesome.
posted by deliquescent at 11:43 AM on July 4, 2012


The Residents' Stars and Stripes Forever. Recently posted on metachat, and also a long time favorite of mine from the Icky Flix DVD.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:37 PM on July 4, 2012


(This is the John Philip Sousa march I think of first, of course. It makes me proud to be unAmerican.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:45 PM on July 4, 2012


One of the greatest trombone parts of all time!

As a former trombonist, I heartily approve this message.
posted by rhythim at 1:32 PM on July 4, 2012


I can't listen to The Stars and Stripes Forever without thinking about that scene in Cabaret when all those happy Germans sing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me." Unbridled patriotism just creeps me the fuck out.
posted by jph at 1:32 PM on July 4, 2012


I can't listen to The Stars and Stripes Forever without thinking about that scene in Cabaret when all those happy Germans sing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me." Unbridled patriotism just creeps me the fuck out.

Funny, I can't hear it without thinking of some variation on this Homer & Jethro classic.

(Although the one I learned was from this Tom Glazer record, and I'd love to find a digital copy of it, but haven't been able to so far. I may have to resort to digging out the turntable and making my own at some point.)

((I heartily recommend downloading the four songs listed on the page for that Tom Glazer record. They're a hoot.))
posted by hippybear at 1:45 PM on July 4, 2012


PBS broadcasts Washington D.C.'s A Capitol Fourth concert every Fourth of July, where you can hear the Marines do Stars & Stripes forever during the fireworks behind the Washington Monument.

But really the key point of A Capitol Fourth is that they end the concert and start the fireworks with the 1812 Overture. WITH CANNONS.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:46 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


As much as I want to complain about this country, as much as I often think we're pigheaded, stupid, and just plain wrong in how we interact with the world, the environment, and each other, there are a few things that, if only for a few moments, will elicit unbridled patriotism:

Stars and Strips Forever
The Viet Nam Memorial
Arlington Cemetery
Pictures of little kids waving flags at a Parade

Happy 4th, everyone, I hope you all capture that spirit for a bit today, it's our belief in what's right about this place that encourages us to continue to right the wrongs and make it a better place.
posted by HuronBob at 3:28 PM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks so much for this! Stars and Stripes forever is one those few songs that never fails to invoke a certain type of emotion in me. I wouldn't say it's exactly a "patriotic" emotion, but I associate it with all those other songs that really activates the "bittersweetness" part of my brain. (a la Pachelbel's Canon.)
posted by The ____ of Justice at 4:20 PM on July 4, 2012


One of the greatest trombone parts of all time!

You have no idea...
posted by tspae at 6:00 PM on July 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


for your enjoyment:

The United States Men's Glee Club Acapella group Cleanshave performing 'The Stars and Stripes Forever.

Full Dsclosure: I am somewhere in the background.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:56 PM on July 4, 2012


sorry, United States Naval Academy Men's Glee Club.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:59 PM on July 4, 2012


Picture this: 1974. Music-addicted 17 year old kid in Navy bootcamp. SO starved for tunes that Sousa was DAMN exciting!
posted by Goofyy at 2:28 AM on July 5, 2012


To be fair, Sousa in general is pretty great music. He seems to only be remembered for this one particular piece by the masses, but he did a lot of really interesting things all in this one genre of music.

Every Monty Python fan knows another of his works. Nearly everyone has heard this particular tune.

He also did some operettas, which I've never heard but think would be interesting to hear if given the opportunity.

He was a contemporary of Gilbert & Sullivan (which explains the operettas), and of Scott Joplin, and I hear a lot of similarities between Joplin's ragtime compositions and Sousa's marches, especially in construction of the pieces (introduction, theme, second theme, first theme again with flourishes, third theme, etc), and with tempo markings (Joplin nearly always marked his pieces to be played in "walking tempo" or "not too fast" and such).

It was an interesting time for American music, the turn of the last century, and there's a lot to be discovered about the deep catalog of composers such as Sousa, who are truly famous for a handful of overshadowing pieces out of a lifetime of work.
posted by hippybear at 6:52 PM on July 5, 2012


What hippybear said.

And here's another Sousa tune that most everyone knows, whether they're aware of it or not.
posted by pmurray63 at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2012


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