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On this day – The State’s 1st Patriotic Song hits the Papers
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 7 of July, repeating indefinitely
On July 7, 1768, America’s first patriotic song, “Liberty Song,” was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette and Pennsylvania Journal in Philadelphia. Written by founding father John Dickinson, it served as a response to the Townshend Acts of 1767, the most recent in a series of taxes imposed on the colonies by Great Britain. “Liberty Song” became known throughout the colonies, sung at parties, dinners, and meetings. 🇺🇸🎶🇺🇸🎶🇺🇸🎶
Did you know? The song includes a line familiar to modern listeners: “By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” This is often attributed as the phrase’s first use in modern times, and it became important not just to colonial patriots, but to Americans today.
Though its modern use is American, “United we stand, divided we fall” is not American in origin. It dates to the 6th century B.C., and is generally attributed to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop.
The tune to “Liberty Song” was borrowed from the English song, “Heart of Oak,” which is still played ceremonially for the British and Canadian royal navies.
Spirit of ’76, Archibald Willard, 1875