Tune of the Day: The Bonnie Blue Flag
Also known as “We Are a Band of Brothers”, this 1861 marching song refers to the unofficial first flag of the Confederate States of America. The song was composed by Irish-born comedian Harry McCarthy, who used the tune of the traditional Irish melody known as “The Irish Jaunting Car”.
The piece was an immediate success throughout the South, second in popularity only to Dan Emmett's “Dixie”. During the period of the war—from 1861 through 1865—eleven editions of “The Bonnie Blue Flag” were published in the Confederacy. Largely forgotten during the late 1860s and the Reconstruction era, its popularity received a big boost in the 1930s when Georgia novelist Margaret Mitchell mentioned it in her work, Gone With the Wind, and had her main characters, Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara, name their only daughter Bonnie Blue Butler.
You may have heard this song in the 2003 film Gods and Generals, in which the “The Bonnie Blue Flag” is sung in front of the Confederate Army.
Thanks to Henry for suggesting this piece!