The March King: John Philip Sousa

“The music and the life of my great grandfather was all about celebrating our freedoms, our military, and our proud and glorious history as a nation and as a people.” ~John Philip Sousa IV

John Philip Sousa was born on November 6, 1854. Musically talented and homeschooled as a child, he grew up to be a world-famous American band conductor who composed over 100 popular marching songs. “The March King” was America’s first big superstar: conductor of more than 14,000 concerts, composer of a hundred hit tunes, and author of three Broadway musicals…all running at the same time! In 1900 he was the best-known musician in the world, enjoying the company of presidents, corporate giants, and movie stars. Even today, millions of people listen to and love his music. “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” composed in 1896, is the national march of the USA. Read Sousa’s biography at http://www.famoushomeschoolers.net/bio_john_philip_sousa.html and download a story written by Sousa himself: John Philip Sousa: Experiences of a Bandmaster (7-page PDF).

John Philip Sousa IV, John Philip Sousa’s only living direct descendent, has published a lavish picture book titled John Philip Sousa’s America: The Patriot’s Life in Images and Words. The book explores the life and times of John Philip Sousa through hundreds of photos, cartoons, short stories, news clippings, quotes, sheet music covers, and magazine ads from family scrapbooks, the Sousa Archive in the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Marines archives.

http://www.johnphilipsousaiv.com – John Philip Sousa IV is following in his Great Grandfather’s footsteps, not as a musician, but as a proud citizen of the United States. He is a frequent speaker and narrator at patriotic concerts around the country, where he talks about what Sousa has meant to our nation’s heritage.

http://www.dws.org/sousa – This site from the Dallas Wind Symphony is dedicated to John Philip Sousa and his works. Features full recordings of all Sousa’s marches, MIDI files, a short biography, book reviews, photos and more.

See the United States Marine Band play “The Stars and Stripes Forever”:

Did You Know…? Sousa also wrote lyrics to “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” although they are not as familiar as the music itself.

Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes” Lyrics

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.

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.

(repeats) 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 mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

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.

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.

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  1. Pingback: Marine Corps: The Few, the Proud | Homeschool Library of Links

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