Welcome to the July Edition of Patriot Music News!

In June of 1776, a "Committee of Five" was commissioned by the Continental Congress to announce to the world the birth of a new nation. This document was nothing less than an act of treason to the most powerful nation in the world at the time. While it was being signed, Britain was landing an additional 30,000 troops to destroy the revolutionaries and wrest back control over her colonies. Upon its signing, Benjamin Franklin is reported to have said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately".

This Independence Day, please take a moment to reread The Declaration of Independence and remind yourself and loved ones of the significance of these simple but timeless principles, both then and now.

Matt Fitzgibbons

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Convention, 1775

On Monday at 9:00 a.m., July 1st, 1776, with Philadelphia's temperature in the mid-90s, Congress was called to order. The delegates from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina were split in their decision for independence and the delegates from New York were under year-old instructions to pursue reconciliation with Great Britain, not independence. Assuring Congress that they and their constituents would support it, debate was postponed until the next day.

On Tuesday, July 2nd, South Carolina's Arthur Middleton (against the wishes of his father whom he had replaced), changed his vote in support of independence. Delaware's Caesar Rodney rode all night in a storm with cancer to break the deadlock between their two delegates. Pennsylvania's Robert Morris and John Dickinson intentionally abstained from voting through their absence, allowing Pennsylvania's support. (Morris would later sign it on August 2nd while Dickinson later refused offers as a future delegate to the Continental Congress and served as a private under Caesar Rodney to delay the British advance on Philadelphia). As per their instructions, the delegates from New York abstained, and the vote for independence passed by all 12 voting colonies. (John Jay rushed from New York City on July 9th with final approval from New York)

On July 3rd, unaware the next days would be taken up with debate over the wording of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote his wife Abigail,

"The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

Phone Interview on 7-02-07 with KPMX (Sterling Colorado's Classic Rock Station) featuring track #12, "We Were Once Them". (Check the Press page for the interview here)

Phone interview on WICC in Connecticut (640 AM) with John Labarka's Family Show featuring "We Were Once Them".

(I wasn't sure if I would ever tell anyone this story, but I mentioned it confidentially to a good friend recently and he convinced me to tell it, so I thought, "What better time than the 4th of July edition?")

In late 2006, while writing "Remember The Americans" for Patriot 2, I had decided the song really needed a harmonica lead to give it a quaint, nostalgic-feeling, and hopefully help cross some generational lines. The trouble was, the money was gone. My credit card was maxed out and my wallet was empty, and only half of the songs had been recorded. Fortunately I had one option left, however embarrassing... I walked into my local music store with a bulging pocket and paid for the Hohner with quarters and dimes. I remember trying to tell myself I was lucky that at least they weren't pennies.

Matthew Fitzgibbons