I Love My Country
by Teresa Jennings
As we mentioned before, we like to include a song in all of our revues for your youngest singers. For This Is America, that song is "I Love My Country." It is very simple, but as you will hear, it has a certain elegance. If you would rather use older students for the tune, you certainly could. To make it more fun for them, we have included sign language that they can learn and use in performance. It is included with the lyrics on page 27. Consider also letting your younger students sing the song while older students perform the sign language. On the recording, we used a select group of singers the first time and then let everyone join in on the repeat. You could do this, or you could even let a soloist sing it the first time through.
One of the most fun aspects of this piece (we think) is the use of the piccolo trumpet. It is played masterfully by trumpeter John Rommel. The line is quite prominent, and if you are doing a unit on brass or trumpets, this would be a great listening lesson. John also played the regular trumpet part, which is featured on and off throughout the song.
The stately halftime style of this piece is somewhat reminiscent of historical music, perhaps from the era of the American Revolution. There's a touch of British influence in there, too, which would be in keeping with that historical thing. Use this as a cross curricular point of discussion, if you like. (Be sure to involve the classroom teachers!) America was once made up of thirteen English colonies. What happened? (This could be a simple classroom conversation or a lengthy, detailed unit. Your call.)
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.