Sweet Freedom's Song is a celebration and critical exploration of the complicated musical, cultural and political roles played by the song 'America' over the 250 years. Popularly kwn as 'My Country Tis of Thee' - and as 'God Save the King/Queen' before that - this song is arguably the most important political song in our national history. Branham and Hartnett chronicle the song's appropriation and adaption by colonial Americans, Southern slaveowners, abolitionalists, temperance campaigners and civil rights leaders. Because the song has been invoked by nearly every grassroots movement in our nation's history, the story of 'America' offers important insights on the story of democracy in the United States.
Stephen J. Hartnett is Assistant Professor of Speech Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana. As a musician and poet, he has released numerous recordings. Robert James Branham was Professor of Rhetoric at Bates College.