American Revolutions

by M Ryan Taylor

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about

Have this program come to you; inquire through mryantaylor@gmail.com

Join pilgrims, revolutionaries, civil rights activists, suffragettes, abolitionists and veterans through the music that tells their story to make the United States of America a land of unparalleled freedom.

This album is the recorded version of a live presentation, "American Revolutions," by M Ryan Taylor. It outlines the history of the American quest for freedom, illustrating key moments and movements with songs from the era. It is the culmination of several years of research on American song and the history of our freedom.

Click on individual tracks for full information on that track.

***Due to licensing restrictions, two exciting tracks are only available on the physical CD, "Man of La Mancha" and "The Impossible Dream."***

credits

released 04 July 2009

All tracks arranged, recorded and performed by M Ryan Taylor.

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Track Name: The Stars and Stripes Forever
Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome . . .

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.
Track Name: Narration : John Adams
John Adams once said:

"The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”

That radical change was rooted in part by a desire for religious liberty.
Track Name: Pilgrim Psalms
Hear thou, O God, my cry; my prayer attend.
To thee I call from the land's utmost end,
when my heart overwhelmed is heavily;
lead thou me to the Rock of Galilee.

For thou hast been to me an hopeful place,
a tower of strength from the adversary's face.
I sojourn will within thy tent for ah;
I hope in secret of thy wings. Selah.

Praise ye Jehovah, praise do ye
from heaven; prais in places high.
O, all his angels, praise him ye;
all his hosts, prais him gloriously.

O sun and moon, do ye him praise;
all stars of light, praise him do ye.
O heaven above, do ye him praise,
and waters that above heaven be.

O praise Jehovah from the land,
ye dragons and all places deep;
ye fire and hail, snow, vapor and
wind stormy that his word doth keep.

Ye kings of earth and all peoples,
crowns, princes, judges of earth all,
ye young men also and ye maids,
ye old men with the children small:

O let them praise Jehovah's name,
for his name even alonely his,
is high advanced; his glorious fame
above the earth and heavens is!
Track Name: Narration : Mary Dyer
“My life is not accepted, neither availeth me, in Comparison of the Lives and Liberty of the Truth and Servants of the living God, for which in . . . Love and Meekness I sought you; yet nevertheless, with wicked Hands have you put two of them to Death, which makes me to feel, that the Mercies of the Wicked is Cruelty; I rather chuse to Dye than to Live . . .”

This letter to the Massachusetts General Court was written after Mary Dyer watched two of her companions hung and a rope placed about her own neck. At the last moment she was reprieved, but continued to courageously defy the Puritan leadership.

She stated, “I came to keep blood-guiltiness from you, desiring you to repeal the unrighteous and unjust law of banishment upon pain of death, made against the innocent servants of the Lord . . .”

Mary Dyer was hung on Boston Common, June 1, 1660. Thanks to her courage and that of other Quaker missionaries, only one more life would be taken before the law was repealed. With courage and blood these Quakers ensured that the future of religious liberty in America would grow and thrive.

Simple Gifts, the well-known Quaker spiritual, speaks specifically of this freedom.
Track Name: 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.

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be fair,
'tis the gift to wake and breathe the morning air,
and everyday to walk in the path we choose;
'tis the gift that we pray we may ne'er come to lose.

When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn, turn will be our delight,
'til by turning, turning, turning we come round right.

'Tis the gift to be loving, 'tis the gift best of all,
like a quiet rain it blesses when it falls
and when we have the gift we will truly believe
that 'tis better to give than it is to receive.

When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'til by turning, turning we come round right.
Track Name: Narration : A Full Eight Years
The war for Independence lasted a full eight years. Many heroes forged in those years have nearly been forgotten; the songs that gave them courage all but lost to memory. Chester, is one such song. It was second in popularity only to “Yankee Doodle” and underscores the founder’s realization that the only way that they would win liberty, for themselves and future generations, was by the grace of God.
Track Name: Chester (Let Tyrants Shake) - Revolutionary Anthem
Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And Slav'ry clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God,
New England's God forever reigns.

When God inspir'd us for the fight,
Their ranks were broke, their lines were forc'd,
Their ships were Shatter'd in our sight,
Or swiftly driven from our Coast.

The Foe comes on with haughty Stride;
Our troops advance with martial noise,
Their Vet'rans flee before our Youth,
And Gen'rals yield to beardless Boys.

What grateful Off'ring shall we bring?
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud Halleluiahs let us Sing,
And praise his name on ev'ry Chord.
Track Name: Narration : The Mormon Trail
If the Latter-day Saints could not own American-style religious liberty in the United States, they would go where they could to have it. Almost two years after the assassination of Joseph Smith, William Clayton was camping with the first company of Mormon Pioneers on the banks of Locust Creek, Iowa . . . 103 miles east of Nauvoo. He writes,

“This morning Ellen Kimball came to me and wishes me much joy. She said Diantha has a son. I told her I was afraid it was not so, but she said Brother Pond had received a letter. . . . This morning I composed a new song – ‘All is well.’ I feel to thank my heavenly father for my boy and pray that he will spare and preserve his life and that of his mother and so order it so that we may soon meet again.”

In the 19th century, ‘composing’ often meant to write new words for an old tune. First, the original ‘All is Well’ – secondly Clayton’s words as he would have laid them onto the folk tune and third, the tune as it was transformed through hundreds, if not thousands, of singings and re-singings as ‘All is Well’ became the unofficial anthem of the Mormon Trail.
Track Name: All is Well (Come, Come Ye Saints)
Weep not my friends, my friends weep not for me,
All is well! All is well!
My sins are pardoned, pardoned, I am free,
All is well! All is well!
There's not one cloud that does arise,
To hide my Jesus from my eyes,
I soon shall mount the upper skies.
All is well! All is well!

Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell -
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again to see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell-
All is well! All is well!
Track Name: Narration : Uncle Tom's Cabin
"I know very well that you've got the law on your side, and the power. You mean to take my wife to sell in New Orleans, and put my boy like a calf in a trader's pen, and send Jim's old mother to the brute that whipped and abused her before . . . You want to send Jim and me back to be whipped and tortured, and ground down under the heels of them that you call masters; and your laws will bear you out in it, - more shame for you and them! But you haven't got us. We don't own your laws; we don't own your country; we stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we'll fight for our liberty till we die."
~ Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Once again a terrible war would decide the future of millions, would decide whether we, as a nation, would live up to the principle we had so forcefully declared, that “all men are created equal” and abolish the practice of slavery upon this continent.
Track Name: Battle Cry and Hymn
Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
His truth is marching on.

We are springing to the call with a million freemen more,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks of our brothers gone before,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
Track Name: Narration : Susan B. Anthony
“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas . . . and bear the consequences.” ~Susan B. Anthony

The movement for universal women’s suffrage began about the same time as the movement to abolish slavery, yet it took an additional 70 years for it to be achieved. Early victories were won in Wyoming in 1869 and Utah in 1870, but it took a constitutional amendment in 1920 to bring the vote to all US citizens.
Track Name: The Woman's Party Song
The walls that hold us from our onward sweeping,
Walls barring women ever from the reaping,
These walls must fall. Standing together,
Women shall take thier lives in their own keeping.

Horizons wider, wider, ending never,
Horizons beckoning whither, wheresoever,
Horizons call, enter and conquer
the wider world, ever and forever.
Track Name: Narration : The First World War
The Lusitania went down in 1915 with 128 Americans onboard. Still, the US was extremely reluctant to become involved in the first world war. Many songs were written in favor, as well as against entering the war. Yet in 1917, after Germany made overtures to Mexico to support them in an attack on the US border and five US merchant ships were lost to U-boats, President Wilson felt we no longer had a choice and urged congress to declare war. Next I'll sing a medley of two songs, Liberty Bell and Liberty - both were published that year, like many others, as a call to action.
Track Name: Liberty Bell and L-I-B-E-R-T-Y
You have rested, Liberty Bell,
for a hundred years or more,
End your slumber, Liberty Bell,
Ring as you did before,
It's a cause worth fighting for:

Liberty Bell, It's time to ring again,
Liberty Bell, It's time to swing again,
We're in the same sort of fix
We were in Seventy-six
And we are ready to mix and rally round you
Like we did before, Oh!
Liberty Bell, Your voice is needed now,
Liberty Bell, We'll hear your call one and all,
Though your old and there's a crack in you
Don't forget Old Glory's backin' you, Oh!
Liberty Bell, it's time to ring again.

L stands for Love of our country
I for Independance too
B for the Brave men who fought for us
E the Emblem, dear, red, white and blue
R is the Right that we fight for
T True Americans we'll be
Y is for You, and for Your duty too
That stands for Liberty.

Once you rang out, Liberty Bell,
As we watched Old Glory wave,
You have made us, Liberty Bell,
Land of the free and brave
That's a cause you've got to save:

Liberty Bell, It's time to ring again,
Liberty Bell, It's time to swing again,
We're in the same sort of fix
We were in Seventy-six
And we are ready to mix and rally round you
Like we did before, Oh!
Liberty Bell, Your voice is needed now,
Liberty Bell, We'll hear your call one and all,
Though your old and there's a crack in you
Don't forget Old Glory's backin' you, Oh!
Liberty Bell, it's time to ring again.
Track Name: Narration : The Cost of Freedom
Four million American men were drafted and soon 10,000 fresh troops were arriving in France every day. Frontal attacks had long been abandoned by the French and British officers due to the high casualty rate, but American commanders hurled the new troops against the German lines. The cost was enormous.

Flanders Fields, a poem by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae, became a way for many to remember the millions lost in this conflict. It was set to music by many composers, including John Phillip Sousa. This version by Alfred Bergen was published in Chicago 1918. The call to "take up our quarrel with the foe" still has meaning for us today if we reflect on the everyday, common foes of freedom: forgetfulness, apathy, abuse of power. It is our duty to hold the torch high and pass it on to the next generation.
Track Name: In Flanders' Fields
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Track Name: Narration : Homecoming
The war was over, and homecoming songs grew plentifully. Yankee Doodle Blues is a great, but little-known tune, by one of the most American of composers in his early career, George Gershwin, later author of Rhapsody in Blue.
Track Name: Yankee Doodle Blues
Say, here’s a word I want to say!
Say, have you ever been away?
Have you ever missed the good old U. S. A.?

When you get that itching in your shoes,
Go to any other land you choose,
See how quick you get those “Yankee Doodle Blues!”

You’re singing
There’s no land so grand as my land,
From California to Manhattan isle;
North and South my sunny sky land,
I love ev’ry mile!

When I hear “Yankee Doodle,”
That melody keeps on ringing in my ear;
“Yankee Doodle—"
That melody makes me stand right up and cheer,
“I’m coming!”

U. S. A., I’ll say I love you,
Help me lose those “Yankee Doodle Blues!”