ELDER MUSIC: The Band
Morning Walk in a Lake Oswego Park

Happy Fourth of July 2010

I have always lavishly loved fireworks. Sometimes I wonder how they do it; how are all those shapes, sizes and colors so perfectly created and how are the displays synchronized with music? But I have never looked into it - maybe because, as with magicians, I like the surprise more than I care about the secrets.

Undoubtedly the tradition of Independence Day fireworks is related to the “rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air” part of the national anthem. Don't you think?

[By the way, did you know that The Star-Spangled Banner did not become the official national anthem until 1931? Before then, Hail, Columbia was most often sung at official functions. Nowadays, that tune is used as the entrance song for the vice president as Hail to the Chief is played for the entrance of the president. Thus ends today's history lesson, kiddies.]

A drawback to fireworks for me is the accompanying noise that I find to be a distraction from the beauty of the displays. This explains how I became a devotee of YouTube videos of fireworks – I can turn off the audio.

I have also been known to turn off all the lights in the house at night, flip the video to full screen and let the burst of colors and patterns wash over me in complete darkness with the silence. (If you think this sounds a bit like I might be smoking something funny, you might not be wrong.)

Recently, I have become a fan of Japanese fireworks. Without denigrating America's efforts, which can be magnificent, there is a subtlety to the design of some Japanese displays I like and a creative use of repetition. The latter is what you will see in the first minute of this video – which doesn't take anything away from the more traditional second half.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, EVERYONE. I HOPE YOU ARE ENJOYING THE LONG HOLIDAY WEEKEND.


Comments

No, I don't think you are smoking something funny. I too like to turn off the lights and listen to music in the dark or watch TV in the dark. It somehow makes the experience more vivid as there are fewer visual distractions.

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love the fireworks! I managed to get in two helpings this year: one big municipal display, funded by private donations, here in my home town, and another of backyard fireworks brought into New York state from Pennsylvania, and a homegrown display on a Lake Erie beach last night.

I like the casual tenor of the holiday, too, and the get-togethers and community feel. And, of course, being a Buffalonian, it being July is a big plus!

I love them, too, Ronni. We're in a small village with no local display, so we watched two on TV: NYC and Boston. When the music is right, as with NY this year, we play it very loud.
I don't miss the booms, but I do miss the smells.
Thanks for the video. It's great.

Thanks for the video display. It was really beautiful. I only saw the Capitol fireworks display last night.

I don't know if they still do it, but several resorts here put on a fireworks show as well as the city fireworks from A Mountain. I can't see them from my part of town.

For me nothing can compare to the fireworks put on from Red Mountain by the Add-A-Man club in Colorado Springs. No matter where I live, or how lavish the display, I will never get the thrill I had for all of the 35 years that I watched that show. In reality, it probably is a small display compared to the ones you see on TV, but the excitement is missing for me without the fun of being in the Garden of the Gods on a warm summer evening and seeing those blossoms in the sky.

I too am passionate about fireworks. We managed to make it home last night in time to see the bay fireworks and the New York fireworks on TV. That New Your stuff was the best I had ever seen. :)

I knew you were my kind of girl!
a/b

I too love fireworks. How fun to see some from Japan. My best memory was 10-15 years ago, on Martha's Vineyard, lying on the grass right by the Bandstand at Oak Bluffs. I would like to try to do that one more tiem.

My favorite fireworks display was the incredible one at the Zurifest in Zurich, I think it was in 2003. It was a wall of fireworks and incredibly spectacular. The crowd was so huge, at least a million people in the narrow streets of Zurich, that we lost one of our party. Luckily she got home on the train!

I loved the video, especially the spectacular finale. Our 4th celebration got rained out, but it's pretty small stuff compared to the displays in big cities anyhow. Did you notice that the fireworks video was from Hiroshima?

Best 4th: Horta, Faial, Azores, 1994. All we had was sparklers for fireworks, but the American "cruisers" (people living aboard and blue water cruising) put on a potluck party on the docks in the huge marina. When it got dark, we passed out sparklers, first to any children and then to our guests from all over the world. Patriotic music played and all had a great American Birthday Party.

If we want people to sing the national anthem together at events, change it to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

I have mixed feelings about the 4th of July. Somehow with our failing economy and so many people out of work it seems a little out of line to spend so much money on fireworks when so many people are living in poverty or in need of some kind. But that is just when people need cheering up I guess.

I remember during the Great Depression, Shirley Temple came on the screen with her glorious outfits and singing and dancing to cheer up all the kids not knowing when their next meal would be served.

This is why the cuts in education of music, art and PE are so devastating.
Techology has become king. The school offerings that help make life worth living are often cut in austere times.
Math and science are still focused on without realizing that learning to live the good life is most important to the human spirit.

this is a great way to watch the fireworks. i too love the light show, but dislike the noise. thanks!

Maybe it is the loud noise that discourages my interest in fireworks. I like the camaraderie of the fourth of July holiday, neighbors together and families grilling and picnicking. Thanks for sharing a great video here.

Fireworks are lovely to look at but unfortunately often very frightening to pets. Two of our three kitties take it all with equanimity but Bo, our most recent feline family addition, definitely doesn't. He camped out on our front doormat periodically until we adopted him six years ago, and we've concluded that he must have had some very scary experiences during the time he was on his own. He's terrified of fireworks and spent a day and most of two nights under our bed.

Hope your furry friend is like our other two!

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