Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The United States "Hail Columbia!"

Until 1931, there was no officially proclaimed anthem of the United States, however, the song "Hail Columbia!" was used quite often in the capacity of a national anthem. Other songs which were prominently used during the 19th century for a national anthem was "The Star Spangled Banner", and, to a slightly lesser extent, "Yankee Doodle" and "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", which has the same tune as the British national anthem.

Written by Joseph Hopkinson for the inauguration of the United States' first president, George Washington, it was most popular in the first half of the 19th century, culminating with Lincoln's presidency. The music was composed by Philip Phile. By the start of the 20th century, it had fallen out of favour, and in 1931 "The Star Spangled Banner" became the first officially proclaimed national anthem of the United States. "Hail Columbia!" is used today in the United States as an entrance song for the Vice President (much like "Hail to the Chief" is for the President.)

The postal card above shows the score and lyrics of United States first anthem, "Hail Columbia"