Born in the U.S.A.: The Myth of America in Popular Music from Colonial Times to the Present

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 280 pages
This is the first study to explore fully the myth of America as reflected in the nation's popular music. Beginning with the songs of the Pilgrims and continuing through more than two centuries of history and music, Born in the U.S.A. shows the emerging American myth and gives a close reading of the compositions of songwriters as diverse as William Billings, Henry Clay Work, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.

So that the full and diverse narrative of this complex nation might be recorded, this insightful study is focused both upon the national myth and upon the songwriters and performers representing subcultures and alternative viewpoints that are the text of America's story. Through hymnlike paeans and through discordant lamentations protesting the realities of the contemporary workaday world, popular music is an astonishing mirror of American history.

 

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Born in the U. S. A.: the myth of America in popular music from Colonial times to the present

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The texts of academic treatises on popular culture often trivialize their subjects. Such is the case in this study by Scheurer (humanities, Franklin Univ.), who attempts to explore the mythical image ... Read full review

Contents

To Thee Sing Psalm Wil I The Roots of the Myth in Puritan Music
16
We Led Fair FREEDOM Hither The Revolutionary War Era
24
From Every Mountainside From the Revolution to the Outbreak of the Civil War
39
Who Shall Rule This American Nation? The Civil War Era
65
A Thoroughfare for Freedom Beat From the End of the Civil War to the End of the Great War
86
Of Thee I Sing Baby The Tin Pan Alley Years 19201950
114
This Land Is Your Land The FolkProtest Movement and Other Voices 19201960
138
Theyve All Come to Look for America The Late 1950s and the 1960s
166
You Cant Be Forever Blessed The 1970s
197
Born in the USA The 1980s
219
Conclusion
248
Bibliography
254
Discography
265
Index
271
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Page 4 - denotes an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men [sic] communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life

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