Having sung my first Boston Pops concert last night, I can honestly say that this is the greatest city in the world. How many places do patrons come armed with little American flags to wave when the orchestra will play “Stars and Stripes Forever” as an encore? And how many audiences roar with approval when the chorus stands up to sing the final verse of “Stars and Stripes Forever” (which I really appreciated, by the way).
Incidentally, I now know the actual lyrics to “Stars and Stripes Forever”—and, contrary to popular belief, they don’t start “Be kind to your fine feathered friends/for a duck may be somebody’s mother.” Below are the lyrics that the Tanglewood Festival Chorus sings when the Pops plays the march; print them out and bring them to Tuesday or Wednesday’s show and sing along:
Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.