Title

Singing Patriotism: An Analysis of American Revolutionary Broadside Ballads 1770-1779

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

18-5-2020

Abstract

My paper is about how music was used as a tool by the wealthy elite to spread messages of freedom and liberty in the era of the American Revolution. These wealthy elite in the North American British colonies used music that to cultivate support in the general population of the American colonists for liberation from Great Britian, gaining freedom and liberty for themselves. Such a combination is found in places of such unrest as the revolutionary era in early US history. By examining the pieces of music that took tunes from British songs with new American lyrics, my paper discusses how these new songs created an easier avenue for people to show their support and I find that I examine songs that were printed on broadsides, known as “Broadside Ballads.” These were songs that were printed on posters and the common British melodies used made learning and repeating the messages easier. Some were taken from British innocently and others purposely made fun of the original piece. By studying the difference between the tunes and the syllables in each piece is how I determine that. Different ways of spreading messages of liberty and freedom for a new nation were needed to get around the British rules in place created new avenues by which to spread such messages. These helped raise awareness of liberty and the oppression the Americans were facing. The stolen songs they sang came from their place of yearning, for freedom and a world in which they could live under a government of their own creation. My paper brings in a mix of biography and musicology to the standard history research to have a well-rounded view of the people writing these new lyrics and how the songs came to be so popular as to echo through the pages of history.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Daniel Herman and Mark Samples

Department/Program

History

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May 18th, 12:00 PM

Singing Patriotism: An Analysis of American Revolutionary Broadside Ballads 1770-1779

Ellensburg

My paper is about how music was used as a tool by the wealthy elite to spread messages of freedom and liberty in the era of the American Revolution. These wealthy elite in the North American British colonies used music that to cultivate support in the general population of the American colonists for liberation from Great Britian, gaining freedom and liberty for themselves. Such a combination is found in places of such unrest as the revolutionary era in early US history. By examining the pieces of music that took tunes from British songs with new American lyrics, my paper discusses how these new songs created an easier avenue for people to show their support and I find that I examine songs that were printed on broadsides, known as “Broadside Ballads.” These were songs that were printed on posters and the common British melodies used made learning and repeating the messages easier. Some were taken from British innocently and others purposely made fun of the original piece. By studying the difference between the tunes and the syllables in each piece is how I determine that. Different ways of spreading messages of liberty and freedom for a new nation were needed to get around the British rules in place created new avenues by which to spread such messages. These helped raise awareness of liberty and the oppression the Americans were facing. The stolen songs they sang came from their place of yearning, for freedom and a world in which they could live under a government of their own creation. My paper brings in a mix of biography and musicology to the standard history research to have a well-rounded view of the people writing these new lyrics and how the songs came to be so popular as to echo through the pages of history.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2020/CAH/21