A Children’s Poem for the Fourth of July

Susan Call Hutchison:

True story: I sat down at my computer to do some editing and this program (MuseScore) just opened up. I honestly don’t know how, because I don’t have it on my start page or work bar. But, remembering that I had written this last year, I put “Fourth of July” into the search box. This came up. I almost cried listening to it. It isn’t just the nostalgia. I really do love my country.

Originally posted on Susan Call Hutchison:

The Memory of a Song

Since this is my “Author Site,” I like to talk about how my poems and stories came to be.  The poem I just posted on Read-Aloud, Read-Along with Susan Call Hutchison started a long time ago.

I was no more than 8 years old, when I wrote a little song, “Swing High on the Fourth of July.” Swing High on the Fourth of July!

No big surprise, I was swinging at the time, in a backyard swing at my Uncle and Aunt’s.  My father, mother, sisters, cousins and my grandparents were there for a Fourth of July picnic.

Dad and Uncle Bill were setting up the charcoal grill.  Grandma had made her famous potato salad, and somehow Aunt Joanne was keeping an eye on all of us kids, and getting everything ready for an outdoor celebration.

My nickname back then was Skeeter.  Daddy said I couldn’t stay in one place longer than…

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Another FREE eBook Giveaway

Susan Call Hutchison:

Time to share a free eBook again!

Originally posted on Susan Call Hutchison:

It’s been a long winter.

I’m so ready for sunshine and outdoor fun.

The Robert Louis Stevenson poem, “Bed in Summer” comes to mind, as it almost always does, when I think about the change from the darkness of winter to the longer days of summer light.

And that reminds me of little ones, exhausted from play, resisting nap time, because “it’s too nice to go to sleep.”

FREE Read-Aloud, Read-Along eBOOK you can read now! FREE Read-Aloud, Read-Along eBOOK you can read now!

The model on the cover is our first daughter, over thirty years ago, who finally collapsed on our basement apartment floor, with her over-sized Tweety Bird as a pillow.

Free eBook

I had so much fun with the free book on Mrs. Middlejoy’s site that I decided to put together a free book for my Read-Aloud, Read-Along site.

It is a compilation of poems from my Bedtime Rhymes, Fun Time Rhymes
and Year-Round Rhymes

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When I Get the Urge to Write a Song…

field of flagsI woke this morning wanting to prepare something to teach our ward’s Primary to sing for Memorial Day.

A poem I wrote a couple of years ago, for Year-Round Read-Aloud, Read-Along Rhymes: Celebrating Holidays and Seasons, came to mind. Titled “Honor,” it is about a child’s personal decision to respect his country’s flag, and serve the country in honor of others who have served.

It Doesn’t Usually Go Like That

Usually, when I write a song, I write the words and music at the same time, and the music influences what the words have to be. This time, I was trying to set music to an already written lyric, and it didn’t fit nicely into any normal singing scheme.

With two verses of six lines each, only the third, fourth and fifth lines rhyme. But in both verses, the sixth line is an exact repeat of the second line. So, at least I had a natural place to repeat a rhythm, and decided the melody in the sixth line could answer the melody in the second line.

Skirting Danger

Danger loomed in the poem’s first line, “Whenever I see my country’s flag.” There are two familiar songs that start out, “Whenever I hear the song of a bird,” and “Whenever I think about Pioneers.” How to sing “Whenever I see?”

So I conjured patriotic sound by imagining a bugle playing the tune. I think you’ll hear some of it survived in the final version, even if the major chord that inspired the first line, ended up accompanied by an emotional progression once I started adding piano.

So with a few slow-down-here and take-a-break-here and now-hold-this-note-out type instructions, I came up with a tune I think my Primary kids will be able to learn tomorrow.

And we can always pull it out again for Flag Day and Independence Day.

See that dotted line below?  It’s a link to the sheet music!

Honor: Whenever I See my Country’s Flag by Susan Call Hutchison

This is the first sheet music I’ve shared at MuseScore.  I’ve been using the free software for almost a year, so it’s about time I started learning how to embed on my own website the music I produce with it!

Let me know:  Were you able to link to the music?  Were you able to read along with the “ah-ing” choir and sing the song?  I’ll let you know in the comments how it goes tomorrow at church!

oOo

 

Posted in Children's Books, Children's Music, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Patriotism, Poem, Read-Along Books, Read-Aloud, The Writing Process | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments