Song of a Nation by Robert Harris audiobook

Song of a Nation: The Untold Story of Canada's National Anthem

By Robert Harris
Read by Robert Harris

McClelland & Stewart
7.23 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $29.95
    or 2 Credits

    ISBN: 9780771094828

The greatest story never told, this formidable and gorgeously written biography documents the amazing and controversial short life of Calixa Lavallée--the composer of "O Canada"--and the tumult of 19th-century North America. The story of "O Canada" is one of the great unknowns of our collective lives. No longer. This formidable and gorgeously written tale documents the history of this song of a nation, from its origins in French Canada in the years just after Confederation to the surprisingly controversial story of its adoption as Canada's national anthem a hundred years later. Song of a Nation is also the extraordinary and mysterious story of Calixa Lavallée--the anthem's French-Canadian composer--and his compelling, almost unbelievable personal journey: his early life as a blackface minstrel, travelling throughout the United States for more than a decade; his service for the Union Army in the American Civil War; his production of the first opera in Quebec; and, in a final act, becoming a leading figure in American music education. To understand "O Canada," and to understand the man who wrote it, is to return to the Canada of the mid-1800s, just forming as a nation, bringing together ancient racial hatreds and novel political possibilities. More than just a song, in its own story "O Canada" evokes the history of a country creating an identity for itself out of the unique forces and rivalries of French and English Canada, and looking to the infinite possibilities that lay ahead.

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Summary

Summary

The greatest story never told, this formidable and gorgeously written biography documents the amazing and controversial short life of Calixa Lavallée--the composer of "O Canada"--and the tumult of 19th-century North America. The story of "O Canada" is one of the great unknowns of our collective lives. No longer. This formidable and gorgeously written tale documents the history of this song of a nation, from its origins in French Canada in the years just after Confederation to the surprisingly controversial story of its adoption as Canada's national anthem a hundred years later. Song of a Nation is also the extraordinary and mysterious story of Calixa Lavallée--the anthem's French-Canadian composer--and his compelling, almost unbelievable personal journey: his early life as a blackface minstrel, travelling throughout the United States for more than a decade; his service for the Union Army in the American Civil War; his production of the first opera in Quebec; and, in a final act, becoming a leading figure in American music education. To understand "O Canada," and to understand the man who wrote it, is to return to the Canada of the mid-1800s, just forming as a nation, bringing together ancient racial hatreds and novel political possibilities. More than just a song, in its own story "O Canada" evokes the history of a country creating an identity for itself out of the unique forces and rivalries of French and English Canada, and looking to the infinite possibilities that lay ahead.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Song of a Nation is a bravura performance with all the dramatic elements of Grand Opera—war, patriotism, loyalty, ambition, family, politics, and enchantment. Robert Harris explains how we became our national song. It makes you want to stand up and sing. Michael Enright, host of CBC’s The Sunday Edition
[Song of a Nation] is a well-written, well-researched account of the successes and travails of Lavallée’s life and of the genesis and evolution of O Canada. Winnipeg Free Press
Shortlisted for the 2019 Vine Award for History

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Robert Harris

Author Bio: Robert Harris

Robert Harris is the author of twelve novels, many of which have reached the New York Times bestseller list. Several of his books have been adapted to film, including The Ghost Writer. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Music
Runtime: 7.23
Audience: Adult
Language: English