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Pics - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Pics
I am not crazy enough to hang out on the Esplanade all day just to get seats for the fireworks, so I am watching them on TV right now ("1812 Overture" is playing!). Instead, I went and saw other stuff.

I like my city. Especially on the Fourth.

Here are my pics from the day.

Requisite eavesdropping: Total strangers starting a debate about immigration based on a pin someone was wearing.

Oh, and they had the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the celebration. I keep waiting for it to be banned (nothing is much more explicitly religious than that!), so every year we have a reprieve, I cheer. Go, Battle Hymn.
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Comments
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: July 5th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Not very patriotic, but I do love the Battle Hymn. I remember meorizing it at about 12 or 13 just because.

oh, and i was going through a civil war phase. I also know Dixie. *nods*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I learned it for a project I did on apocalyptic imagery in American history and pop culture. I learned Dixie, too, but somehow, "I wish I were in the land of cotton" just doesn't quite have the punch of "He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword..." :p
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: July 5th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
pshaw. it does for us southerners.


or not.
hughroe From: hughroe Date: July 5th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
"Dixie"

Written by some Northern boy, who did happen to write several songs about a section of the country he'd never been to. Such as "My old Kentucky Home"
vytresna From: vytresna Date: July 5th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee, I just started Part IV of Wicked. Nice name.
ella_menno From: ella_menno Date: July 5th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Great photos - I can't help but think yours would be a great city to homeschool in. (Or "in which to homeschool." I always get paranoid about my grammar when I say homeschool-y things.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
The second is right, but sounds just awful, doesn't it? ;p

It is a great city for homeschooling, and there's more of it every year, but it still hasn't caught on as much as it has elsewhere.
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gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: July 5th, 2006 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
The pictures are gorgeous. I really, really, need to visit Boston sometime.
riah_chan From: riah_chan Date: July 5th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Those are really great pictures! It's nice to see someplace like Boston from a resident's perspective.
merlinssister12 From: merlinssister12 Date: July 5th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Your pictures were great. I would really love to visit Boston, maybe next year.
in_a_tizzy From: in_a_tizzy Date: July 5th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs her city* It's a great place isn't it? I love your pictures. I've never gone into town on the 4th. I'm not big on crowds of people who dont know where they're going.

I think part of the reason Battle Hymn is stilla round is most people and think of the "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school. We have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule..." Or at least I do. :-)
cyndisuesue From: cyndisuesue Date: July 5th, 2006 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Those pictures were great! Thanks for posting them. Made me miss Beantown and I've only visited the area twice! *G* I'm nuts. Later the Macy's/Grucci fireworks made me miss NYC.
narcissam From: narcissam Date: July 5th, 2006 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)
They used to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic from time to time at my Canadian Roman Catholic church when I was a kid. And then they stopped, on the grounds that it was too American. I found that very upsetting, since it was the most blood-pumping hymn in the entire book. We like to sing it around the campfire.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, and oddly, it doesn't ever mention the U.S. specifically, or even in vague geographic terms like "My Country 'Tis of Thee." It's more or less a universal theme song for fighting for a moral cause.
hughroe From: hughroe Date: July 5th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and they had the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the celebration. I keep waiting for it to be banned (nothing is much more explicitly religious than that!), so every year we have a reprieve, I cheer. Go, Battle Hymn.

Give 'em time, give 'em time.
ncp From: ncp Date: July 5th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Waaahhhhh! I'm so homesick! Boston is the ONLY place to be on July 4th. *misses adopted city like crazy*

Nice pictures, although it never ceases to amaze me exactly how fugly Government Center is. It's even more apparent in pictures.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I know. What were they thinking in the seventies???? And there was an article in the Globe not long about energy use, and it turns out that those big brutalist buildings--especially City Hall and the newer part of the downtown library--are vast energy-wasters in the winter.
ncp From: ncp Date: July 5th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Almost makes you long for the days when it was a dirty, noisy red-light-district.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: July 5th, 2006 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Fanueil Hall <- How do you pronounce that?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
FAN-yull. :)
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: July 6th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.
sreya From: sreya Date: July 5th, 2006 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, festivities!

I'm a bit frustrated that the weather forecast scared me off my Liberty State Park plans to see the Macy's/NYC fireworks. (Well, that, and M was a day late coming home so he had bar review essays to write all day so our plans were severely curtailed)

My town delayed its fireworks display until tomorrow, though. So at least I'll get that.

I think next year I might try to go to Philadelphia (hopefully with someone who knows the city!) because I saw online a lot of really neat events that they hold every year at Independence Hall and stuff.

What I really miss are the base picnics from when I was a military brat. MAN, those were fun on the fourth. I don't think we got to shoot off fireworks when I was overseas, but Offutt in Omaha always had the best fireworks shows out over the lake. And even when we couldn't do fireworks, the MWR units set up great picnics, with all sorts of games and booths and lots and lots of food. Last year's embassy picnic in Cairo sort of reminded me of it, though they didn't bring in quite the same enthusiasm I'd see in all the young airmen and enlisted guys running around at the bases!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
In Albuquerque (before 2001, of course), Kirtland Air Force Base used to open its picnics to the public and you could see the fireworks from the tarmac. Hot as hell, but definitely fun.

Some year when the Fourth falls on a Friday or Saturday, I'll catch the train into Philly and spend the night. I love Boston on the Fourth, but, hell, Philadelphia... that's where the Fourth happened. They've got to have some good stuff.
keestone From: keestone Date: July 5th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you had a good Fourth.

One of the main things I noticed about the parade here was how small the group of Pearl Harbor survivors is getting. I found it saddening. Living memory is important. (On the other hand, I found it very amusing that for the same reasons, the Shriners section was very small.)

But, I have a question. Why watch fireworks on TV? It's something I just don't understand. If you don't get the boom and the flash from watching them in person, what makes it different from a screensaver?
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: July 5th, 2006 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Funny, as a British churchgoer, I never think of 'Mine eyes have seen the glory' as a patriotic song or particularly connect it with America. (I mean, I know the history behind it, but I never think of it as anything but a rousing hymn which you can take as being eschatological or an injunction to fight the good fight, or both). In fact, I know numerous intelligent and well-educated people who weren't aware of the civil war connection until the subject came up in a discussion about hymns with political backgrounds.
We were talking about Jerusalem, which is my favourite Rousing Patriotic Hymn: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/e/r/jerusalem.htm , but the tinny and rather fast rendition of the tune doesn't do it justice. Jerusalem was dropped from one of the Scottish hymnbooks because it's about England (logically defensible, but I rather miss it). On the other hand, it will never be banned in England, even if the church is disestablished, because it is equally beloved of left and right. I'm not entirely sure why the right think it's one of their tunes (unless they think that left-wing patriotism is a contradiction in terms), but I don't really mind. It's nice that we can all sing along enthusiastically.
jennnlee From: jennnlee Date: July 5th, 2006 10:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really enjoying the pictures. Thanks for sharing! Our small-town parade mostly had members of the City Council and a regiment of Klingons. I have no idea.
alkari From: alkari Date: July 5th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm with you absolutely, tre_and_leaf!

I learnt the hymn manyt many years ago at a Presbyterian school, and not to the Battle hymn tune - I learnt that tune as an alternative. Like you, it was only later that I became aware of its importance in the USA. I started to realise how some of my very favourite hymn tunes were actually 'nationalistic' tunes or from classical music - "Finlandia" gave us the tune to "I Vow to Thee My Country"; the magnficient old Russian Imperial national anthem appeared simply as the hymn "God the Omnipotent"; there was the old German national anthem; and of course, as you say, there was the magificent "Jerusalem". Alas, it disappeared from a few hymn books out here too - GRRRR - but it will always be one of my great favourites.


From: underaloggia Date: July 5th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great pictures, Fern--I totally cracked up at a) the guy fixing his mucket with one foot propped on a fire hydrant; and b) the American AND Brit uniforms standing in the oyster bar. Don't know why, but anachronisms make me happy. And it was a nice reminder of my own years in Boston.

Actually, the discussion of fireworks made me think of when I was in grad school in LA, we used to climb up in the hills around Malibu on the evening of July 4, for a view over all of Santa Monica Bay and the Westside--whence you could look down on 5 or 6 different cities' sets of fireworks in succession--Malibu over here, West Hollywood over there, Culver CIty down there, Torrance waaaaaay down the coast yonder. And with the moon shining down on the bay... Gosh, that was fun.

I'm in Rome for the summer, where ALL the celebration yesterday was around midnight when Italy beat Germany in the World Cup semifinal. :)
From: underaloggia Date: July 5th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and I'm totally convinced that the reason that no one's banned Battle Hymn yet is that VERY few people know the words (beyond, yes, the school parody mentioned in a previous comment).
aeterna13 From: aeterna13 Date: July 5th, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I only know the words to the Battle Hymn because I'm a choir girl and have sung it countless times. I think most Americans sit quietly through the verses, sort of ignoring them until ... oh yes ... GLOOOORY GLORY HALLELUUUUUUUUUJAH!

Maybe it's just because my church doesn't do the hymn thing so much (though the occasional "Holy, Holy, Holy" does come up), but I've never even heard of the Battle Hymn being sung in church. Can any other American chuch-goers correct me on this?
sannalim From: sannalim Date: July 5th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I edit the bulletin/program thing for my congregation. If the music people haven't gotten the hymns to me by the time I'm putting it together on Friday morning or afternoon, I choose the hymns myself.

We sang Battle Hymn of the Republic on Sunday because I wanted to sing something patriotic that wasn't America the Beautiful, My Country 'Tis of Thee, The Star-Spangled Banner, or God Save the King.

We sing Battle Hymn occasionally on other times, too... maybe once or twice a year. And I'm pretty sure that it's on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir patriotic songs CD--I would be rather surprised if it wasn't.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
or God Save the King.

:blinks:

There would be something disturbingly ironic about singing the British national anthem on Independence Day anyway!

I think I've heard the MTC version of the Battle Hymn, so it's certainly recorded.
matril From: matril Date: July 5th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the Battle Hymn; thank heavens no one's tried to squash it yet for its mention of (such audacity!) God. I also find it amusing that the 1812 Overture is played every year when it actually refers to the Napoleonic War with Russia, but hey - it's definitely patriotic, and anything that uses actual canons is just too wonderful not to play. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 5th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Great pics!

Wheeeee Boston pics! Dunno if you even remember me as I haven't been very active in fandom in the past year but anyway. I've been living in the Boston area for the past year and I love it - the celebrations were fantastic, it was lovely to see so many boats on the river. A friend who lives in the Back Bay had a rooftop party and we had a prime view of the fireworks. I also walked around the Esplanade and tried to catch a glimpse of the concert in the early evening but it was just too crowded.
BTW, my summer job is right next to Faneiul Hall, on State Street :)
ajaxbreaker From: ajaxbreaker Date: July 5th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great pics!

Oops, forgot to sign in :)
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 5th, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the British strategy was to cut New England off and starve us by controlling the port of New York and therefore passage into any of the other colonies. It was a very, very smart strategy.

But their abandoning of Boston gave us an excuse to take St. Patrick's Day off...
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: July 6th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* I miss Massachusetts on the 4th of July. We never bothered with going down to Boston because our base hosted the second largest fireworks/concert in Massachusetts. I remember going early on to claim a choice spot on the hillside and the magic of the music and the fireworks and the howitzers during the 1812 Overture.

Of the seventeen duty stations in thirteen years, Massachusetts is the one I miss most.
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