Hail Columbia!

Given that July 4 is, of course, Independence Day in these United States of America, I thought it’d be appropriate to post a collection of media, primarily that honoring Columbia, the historical and poetic name for the United States of America.

The blog “US Slave” has an informative post on “Miss Columbia – the Goddess of America“, which I encourage you to read – plus it’s where that photo came from.

How did our country go from “attractive goddess” to “the old uncle”? Oh, America.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also has an informative article on the rise and fall of Miss Columbia as the image of the American ideal/persona.

“Each symbol represents some aspect of America. When you have a new, fledgling, virginal country, then having a Miss Columbia would make sense,” says Dr. Lordan, a professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania,

Columbia is virtuous and protective. As an example, he said there’s a famous cartoon of her saying to Abraham Lincoln, “Give me back my boys.”

At the end of World War II, America emerged as a super power. That’s why Uncle Sam remains popular as a symbol, Dr. Lordan said, because it matches our vision of the country.

“When we become the toughest guy out there, then we would go with somebody like Uncle Sam,” he says. “Uncle Sam is rolling up his sleeves. He’s going to go pound on somebody. All of these images only work if they resonate with the audience.”

I thought it was interesting that “The Star-Spangled Banner” wasn’t made the national anthem until 1931, and it had two prominent rivals, mainly “Hail, Columbia” and “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.”

Personally, I think “Hail, Columbia” is the superior of the three.  Plus, the music was composed for George Washington’s first inauguration in 1789, and lyrics for it were composed in 1798.

Hail Columbia, happy land!
Hail, ye heroes, heav’n-born band,
Who fought and bled in freedom’s cause,
Who fought and bled in freedom’s cause,
And when the storm of war was gone
Enjoy’d the peace your valor won.
Let independence be our boast,
Ever mindful what it cost;
Ever grateful for the prize,
Let its altar reach the skies.
—————————————————————–

Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.
—————————————————————–

Immortal patriots, rise once more,
Defend your rights, defend your shore!
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Invade the shrine where sacred lies
Of toil and blood, the well-earned prize,
While off’ring peace, sincere and just,
In Heaven’s we place a manly trust,
That truth and justice will prevail,
And every scheme of bondage fail.
—————————————————————–

Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.
—————————————————————–

Behold the chief who now commands,
Once more to serve his country stands.
The rock on which the storm will break,
The rock on which the storm will break,
But armed in virtue, firm, and true,
His hopes are fixed on Heav’n and you.
When hope was sinking in dismay,
When glooms obscured Columbia’s day,
His steady mind, from changes free,
Resolved on death or liberty.
—————————————————————–

Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.
—————————————————————–

Sound, sound the trump of fame,
Let Washington’s great name
Ring through the world with loud applause,
Ring through the world with loud applause,
Let ev’ry clime to freedom dear,
Listen with a joyful ear,
With equal skill, with God-like pow’r
He governs in the fearful hour
Of horrid war, or guides with ease
The happier time of honest peace.
—————————————————————–

Chorus
Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

 

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