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album art God Bless America Redux
by mlpbadarak


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Song Information

Released: Mar 18, 2009 | 4:10 PM
Category: Classical
Application: GarageBand
Loop Use: No loops

File Type: .mp3
File Size: 1.7 MB

Plays: 2252
Downloads: 16
Weekly Plays: 1
Weekly Downloads: 0
Statistic reset day: Wednesday

License: No derivative works allowed
Irving Berlin often thought to be the "Dean of American Songwriters" lived to be 101 years old. He wrote more than 900 songs, 19 musicals and the scores for 18 movies. In 1919, not long after the end of World War I, Irving Berlin wrote "God Bless America". His hope was that it would become an anthem for the nation, although, he once said, "a patriotic song is an emotion and you must not embarrass an audience with it, or they will hate your guts."

Then in 1938, Berlin rearranged his anthem for Kate Smith (there may be a little embarrassing irony in there) and it remains one of Berlin's best known songs. His text is picturesque and suggests the vast expanse and beauty of this country. The song is both inspiring and a little corny - all depending on the setting and the situation.

Recently, I was asked to arrange God Bless America for French Horn Quartet this was a great challenge for me, because I've never been too fond of the song. (probably reflecting on the Kate Smith rendition). I went on YouTube and watched Martina McGuire's performance at the Rose Bowl, New Year's Day, 2002 (soon after 9/11) and was knocked out by her fantastic performance.

Then I began to think of the mountains and prairies and oceans and realized Berlin's text is not only inspiring, it's timeless and distinctly NON-political.

I thought about the French horn: it is first, a "natural" instrument capable of playing the natural overtone series in all 12 keys. I thought about Brahms' invoking the ancient Alpenhorn in his 1st Symphony. (which was, by the way, the work that inspired me to take up the French horn when I was 12 years old). I thought about the horn call out in the vast expanse echoing and answering across the hills. And so I wrote this arrangement of Irving Berlin"s "national anthem."


(DISCLAIMER: I'm basically a pacifist, non-politial, optimist, spiritual composer; I do not propose nor support any political or social agenda with this composition. But if you've ever thought this is kind of a dopey song, maybe this arrangement will help change your mind.)

"God Bless America" by Irving Berlin (c) Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin (c) Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin (c) Copyright Assigned the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments

MishaThaler Artist

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At first, I hardly regognized the "God bless America", that I knew until now. Very interesting background information and graceful composition. Not dopey at all! Thank's for sharing!
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9 years ago
olympus Artist

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I liked it. I would love to see this in concert perhaps!
Latest Song: Blue (Olympian Remix)
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9 years ago
soulima Artist

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Very nice horn writing, Mary. I also like the harmonies that you use!
Latest Song: Barcarolle
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9 years ago
dirigent Artist

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Beautiful piece for horns. A majestic sound, a noble composition. Brava!!
Latest Song: Night Rock Collab
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9 years ago
PaulAnderson Artist

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Great fanfare. This should have been played at the Obama Inauguration.
Great counterpoint,and developement.
Bravo sir.
Best regards,
Paul Anderson
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9 years ago

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