Morning Music: Grammar School Music

Mormon Tabernacle ChoirWell morning music fans, I have bad news for you! I came up with a theme for this week that is not going to generate a lot of great music. But I still think it is a good idea. What’s more, I’m out of town for five days, so I’m not going to have the amount of time that I normally give to these posts. On good days, I spend more time on this post than anything else. You’re welcome!

I was remembering back to grammar school where once a week we would all sing songs out of these textbooks. I remember the songs being mostly from wars, but it turns out that a lot of them are explicitly religious too. And so I’m going to start with one of those, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” This is a song so well known to young people that it has a standard parody, “My eyes have seen the coming of the burning of the school; we have tortured all the teachers, we have broken all the rules.” Now rather than have you listen to some terrible rendition of the song, I encourage you to click over to This American Life and listen to Sarah Vowell’s history of the song, Teacher Hit Me With A Ruler. I would embed it here, but it isn’t working on my computer.

Since we can’t have Vowell, we might as well have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform it. It is surprisingly good. I’m not that into this kind of thing, but there is no doubt that it works.

7 thoughts on “Morning Music: Grammar School Music

  1. Vowell does a wonderful job, and she’s very entertaining, but I can’t keep up with her spasmodic trains of thought. It’s why I prefer books by Naomi Klein or Thomas Frank to YouTube videos. I realize everyone learns differently, and short bullets make more sense to some people than long diatribes. I’m just one of those sad old folks who prefer long diatribes.

    Good link, though, very interesting. And a great song, with almost any lyrics. I’m still torn on John Brown. I think the raid on Harper’s Ferry was heroic, if misguided. He definitely did some truly evil shit before that raid. Yet the raid helped start the end of slavery. So hero, dingbat, terrorist, what?

    • Ultimately, “terrorist” is not a useful word. It just means war by people who we don’t think are legitimate. Remember the 1980s and the “freedom fighters”? They were just terrorists who we agreed with.

      I find videos particularly useless in understanding things. I don’t take in information that way. That’s why I find lectures mostly useless. Reading is the best way for me to learn. It’s like the Green brothers’ videos. I used to like them, but I quickly realized that they were entertainment; I didn’t learn anything.

  2. I like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir-I like well done choir music and regardless of all the other problems with the Mormon Church, the choir knows their stuff.

    However I had not heard nor read the entire Battle Hymn of the Republic. When I went to grade school, they did not do much with songs outside of Christmas.

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