The Music of Kelly Van Shaar

Self-evident

~ Patriotic ~ 2016-09-26


A song that conveys the message of the Declaration of Independence, in simplified and modernized language. Intended to be simple enough for kids to sing.

Lyrics

We hold these truths to be self-evident, self-evident.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, self-evident.
All men are created equal,
And given certain undeniable rights:

Life, Liberty, and Happiness.

It is the duty of all government to protect these rights
And when it happens that any government treads on these rights
Then it is our duty to change it
Or make a new government that will protect these rights.

And give safety and happiness.

(instrumental)

In support of this declaration
With firm faith in Providence we pledge

Our lives, Fortunes, and honor.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, self-evident.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, self-evident.

Notes / Back story

Here's a link to the sheet music for the vocal line.

This recording is my daughter Kienna singing along with herself 4 times. (Well actually I guess she's singing along with herself three times, because the first time she was singing alone.) Then I added some delay and reverb to make it sound like a larger group.

An accompaniment track is available with a flute playing the melody line... just ask.

A friend of mine who teaches elementary school music was planning her veteran's day program and was tired of all the same old patriotic songs. She asked if I would be interested in writing a new one, and this idea came to me! The music is actually something Kienna came up with a couple of weeks ago as an instrumental. On Monday morning I woke up with it in my head and thought, "Hmm... I wonder if I could use this music for that patriotic song Laurie asked me to make?" And sure enough, I could.

The text is based on the Declaration of Independence, minus the part where they list all the complaints they have against King George. It starts by stating their beliefs on basic human rights, then speaks of how government is formed by people to protect those rights. Then it says, if government is not protecting these rights, then it needs to be changed into a form that will be more likely to serve the needs of the people. It finishes with the signers dedicating their lives to this cause.

This is real patriotism. It's not bad to sing songs about the fifty nifty United States, but we have grown up not understanding what this whole freedom thing is all about. I believe kids (and adults) need to be taught what is contained in our founding documents, and that when we fail to do this, we slide inevitably towards the same mistakes that have been made in the past.

Some have read these words and thought they were too edgy or controversial for children to be singing. Well isn't that what patriotism is all about? Dedication to a cause, however unpopular it may be, so strong that you would give your life for it?

I would be honored if you would sing this in your school or other organization. Please contact me for permission and download link.

Visitor Comments

A. R. Walser from United States ~ 2016-10-25 20:05:15 ~ Good piece here. I am very Patriotic and appreciate that children can learn these words and song. I grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance and feel a special place in my heart as those patriotic strings are strung!

Anonymous from United States ~ 2016-09-30 18:34:43 ~ I like the message! I will be interested to hear the kids sing it!

MHW from United States ~ 2016-09-30 10:33:04 ~ LOVE IT!!! Such talent Kienna and you have!! I'm so excited to hear the kids sing it at the program. Thanks for all you do Kelly!

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