|Title||American Crusaders |
|Composer||Belohlavek, Frances |
|Lyricist||Belohlavek, Frances |
|Publisher||Frances Clifford Music Co. Inc. |
|Place of Publication||Chicago (Ill.) |
|Year of Publication||1919 |
|Date of Copyright||1919-01-02|
|Physical Description||1 score ([1-2], 3-5,  p.)|
|Comment||With at least two printings and intense promotion through much of 1919, this song was an enduring but modest success. As a “high-class” number, it was performed in the home, by civic organisations, and on the Chautauqua circuit, rather than vaudeville. The phrase “American Crusaders” became increasingly common through 1918 and was thereafter used or considered as a title by organisations ranging from the American Legion to the Ku Klux Klan.|
- The second edition cannot be dated but is distinguished by minor changes in the music and by an altered printer’s imprint on p. 5. Two instrumental arrangements and two piano rolls attest to the music’s continuing popularity; the latter are of particular interest because the roll released by the United States Music Co. in May 1919 was played by Edmund Braham, and the roll released by QRS (Word Roll 879) in September 1919 was played by Frances Belohlavek. During 1919 it was performed at the homecoming of the Chicago’s African-American 307th infantry, introduced at the start of a national tour by the Canadian veteran and double amputee F. C. Butcher, distributed by the Chicago Board of Education to thousands of school children, and adopted as an official song of the Rotarians. Braham announced a third edition, dedicated to the newly formed American Legion (which had briefly considered adopting “American Crusaders” as its name); and the piano rolls and additional arrangements kept the music in public view through 1920, with its popularity highest by far in the Midwest.
- The title was anticipated in four compositions issued in 1918: “American Crusaders March,” published and copyrighted by the author, Will Wood, on July 15; “America’s Crusaders,” a part-song written by Charles Fonteyn Manning and copyrighted by Oliver Ditson on August 16; “Pershing’s Crusaders,” composed and published by E. T. Paull, copyright October 9; and “Uncle Sam’s Crusaders,” music by Fay Foster, words by Owen F. Conlon, copyrighted December 16. However, all these publications were written to support American soldiers in the war itself, not to welcome them home.
- This is the second of two editions. The manuscript, annotated “arr. by Edmund Braham / Chicago Nov 2 ’18”, was deposited for copyright on November 4. According to The Billboard (January 11, 1919), “Mr. Braham rushed thru a special edition of American Crusaders in order that President Wilson could receive a copy on his arrival in Paris,” which occurred on December 18, 1918. And indeed, a full-page advertisement in The Billboard on December 21 is devoted solely to this song and includes the final page of music in full, which differs from the manuscript in the penultimate bar. However, the actual publication (which is identical to the version in the advertisement) was not not registered for copyright until two weeks later.
|Musical Note||Despite suggestions of bugle calls and martial rhythms, this slow march song more resembles a march ballad or hymn (the verse marked “religioso” and the refrain, “grandioso”), with simple harmonies and subtle quotations of “Onward, Christian Soldiers” and (probably) “La Marseillaise.” The song was promoted as a high-class ballad, while the QRS piano roll was billed as a “March one-step.”|
|Subject - Topic|
- Veterans -- United States -- Songs and music.
- Homecoming -- Songs and music.
- Peace -- Songs and music.
- Patriotic music -- United States.
- Popular music -- United States -- 1911-1920.
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Songs and music.
- [refrain 2]
- [verse 2] The battle has subsided, / The world is calm again, / “Peace on Earth, Goodwill t’ward Men,” / And “Might of Right” now reign. / American Crusaders / With their brave Allies bold, / Have raised on High the Standard, / Like Crusaders of old.
- [refrain 1] American Crusaders, / From freedom’s land they came, / The love of God, was in their hearts, / They could not strive in vain. / They came, they saw, they conquer’d, / That nations might be free, / American Crusaders, / Brave Sons of Liberty.
- [verse 1] The world was all in turmoil, / The fire of battle raged; / The “Song of Hate” was on men’s lips, / And “Right of Might” was praised. / The call of “Truth” was sounded / By all the Allies bold. / The call of “Truth” was heeded, / This tyrant to withhold.
|Musical Genre||March song.|
|Repository||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sousa Archives and Center for American Music|
|Printer||Rayner, Dalheim & Co. (Chicago, IL) |
|Cover Description||Silhouette of soldiers marching across empty battlefields, bearing the U. S. flag and led by a man on horseback, clouds in background, broken barbed-wire fence in front; the whole in an oval surrounded by four stars. Black on white; unsigned. |
|Back Cover Description||Advertisement, “Three Wonderful Songs”: Samples for: To you dear (© 1917 11 02); Dreams (© 1918 11 23); When your pal’s away (© 1919 01 02). |
|Interior Description||P blank |
|Performance Medium||Voice and piano |
- Series 2, Box 12, Folder 5
- Record Series 12/9/96
|Local Identifier||2014_12996_054 |
|Collection Title||James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection, 1836-1986|
|Collection||James Edward Myers World War I Sheet Music Collection|