Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July: 1892

The boys were loaded with explosives.
Which they let off.
In his immediate personal neighborhood.
Fire-crackers especially.
And he jumped.
And howled.
And cursed Young America, as he had cursed it a thousand times before.
But there was no escape for him.
They improvised a band.
And they played Yankee Doodle.
And Hail Columbia.

--From A Quiet Fourth of July--

Notice that the boys appear to be shooting guns into the air:

So "explosives" probably is the proper term to use.

Here's Hail Columbia, which almost no one now-a-days could identify (We use it for Vice-Presidential entrances, poor thing!):

And here's Yankee Doodle:

Imagine people spontaneously playing this music, shooting off explosives, not standing passively watching a parade, and you will realize how much different the fourth of July used to be.


El Pollo Real said...

I hear that in Madison, Wisconsin they even change the date of the holiday to make things more convenient--sort of like a scheduled caesarian.

Jennifer said...

I believe that's called "happy fire". As opposed to friendly fire and enemy fire.

Very different celebration indeed.