Tag Archives: Grand Old Flag

Grandparents Day Music Give-Away!

grandmother toya at the senior centerThis year National Grandparents Day is September 10th.  If you were wondering, in the USA it’s always celebrated the second Sunday in September.

And around the world, there are similar annual holidays and celebrations to honor grandparents   But; honestly, any time of year is a great time to appreciate the role of that special someone or group of grands in your child’s life.

One easy and fun way to bring generations together and make lasting memories is through sharing music, especially the simple or special songs that meant a lot to grandma or granddad. In our family, our Greek Xiaxia shared a version of patty-cake in Greek that the kids remember and sing to this day. Their other grandmother loved to tell them about the silly songs she sang at school like Grandchildrens Delight Cover“Three Little Fishies” and “Jadda, Jadda Jing Jing Jing!”. Because these songs mean so much to old and young alike, I created a CD of songs that were hand-picked by my fans and audiences in response to the question: “What songs would you most like your grandkids to hear”.

The result (and it’s a give-away below) was a CD called Grandchildren’s Delight and it includes songs like You Are My Sunshine, Grand Old Flag, This Little Light of Mine, Oh Susannah, Playmate and so many more. So please, enter to win below but also remember how music can bring old and young together.

I bet there’s a special song you recall from your childhood or memory that’s just waiting to be sung to your little one!

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Favorite Songs from Your Family Or Childhood

Yes, I am still asking folks about favorite songs from their childhood or their parent’s era. Either from the USA or anywhere around the world! Do you have a special song from jump rope, summer camp or a holiday you loved?   If so, let me know. I’d love to share it with my readers and my audiences.


Happy 4th of July – Free Kid’s Version of GRAND OLD FLAG!

grand old flagWishing everyone a happy, harmonious fourth of July!

If you’re looking for a fun soundtrack for a family gathering or 4th of July picnic, stop by our KIDS ROAD TRIP series and download an mp3 of this classic song loved by grown-ups and kids of all ages.


Curious about the song, Grand Old Flag? We did a short post a while back on the song’s history and how it was inspired by a World War One Vet! You can check that out here:


And last but not least, click on this video link for a shower of stars, stripes and flag-related fanfare while you enjoy your special day!

Best Songs For Young Kids – “You’re A Grand Old Flag”

grand old flagFeeling patriotic?

Almost anyone can sing the chorus to this popular patriotic song that dates back to 1906.  But did you know it was originally written with the title – You’re A Grand Old Rag”?  Created by a popular composer of that era, George M. Cohan, this particular song was the first to sell over a million copies of sheet music as part of a musical revue called “George Washington, Jr.”.  Perhaps that makes it one of the first chart-topping hits of American history.

Here’s an animated video of the version that most folks recognize and enjoy.

But what about the original “Grand Old Flag?”  Why was the title “You’re A Grand Old Rag”?  The story is told that George M. Cohan found himself seated next to a veteran of the battle of Gettysburg from the civil war one day. The soldier had a worn and torn, but carefully folded American flag.  When Cohan asked about it, the vet replied – “Ah, she’s a grand old rag” and that became the original title of the song.   As time went on, many performers and groups objected to calling the flag a rag.  After several years, Cohan relented to popular sentiment and the song became “Grand Old Flag”.

If you look at the complete lyrics, there are some odd lines and references in the song.  It seems that the writer slipped the titles and lyrics to other patriotic or popular songs into this piece of music.  It was a clever way of sharing some of other songs that he used in his George Washington musical, such as “Yankee Doodle” or “I Wish I Were In Dixie” (Way down south in the land of cotton). And the lyrics “should auld acquaintance be forgot” is clearly from the old time classic “Auld Lang Syne”.

When this song is sung by kids or for kids, most people use the chorus only.  That’s probably because the two original verses have language that seems a bit outdated  to modern ears.  It would be hard to find anyone today that might say: “by gum!”, “I’m no cranky hanky panky” or” I’m a dead square, honest Yankee”.  Still, with all that said, the chorus of the song is a patriotic gem.  It’s easy to sing and shares powerful feelings of what it means to love and cherish your country and treasure one of it’s most honored symbols.

When I recorded a version of this song, I used old timey instruments. I played the spoons as the rhythm and had an old-fashioned jaw harp as well.  I remembered my uncles who had served in the 2nd world war using really simple instruments like this and how the song made them feel proud of their service to the USA.

Here are the most popular version of the lyrics from the chorus:

You’re a grand old flag,

You’re a high flying flag

And forever in peace may you wave.

You’re the emblem of

The land I love.

The home of the free and the brave

Ev’ry heart beats true

‘neath the Red, White and Blue,

Where there’s never a boast or brag.

But should auld acquaintance be forgot

Keep your eye on the grand old flag.


Daria’s Children’s song version of You’re A Grand Old Flag (complete with spoons and a jaw harp) at:



Amazon mp3




Downloadable lyric sheet:


George M. Cohan was a prolific songwriter as well as a playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer. You can find out more about him here:


Complete Lyrics to You’re A Grand Old Flag

By George M. Cohan

Verse 1

There’s a feeling comes a-stealing,

And it sets my brain a-reeling,

When I’m listening to the music of a military band.

Any tune like “Yankee Doodle”

Simply sets me off my noodle,

It’s that patriotic something that no one can understand.

“Way down south in the land of cotton”

Melody untiring,

Ain’t that inspiring?

Hurrah, Hurrah, We’ll join the jubilee!

And that’s going some, for the Yankees by gum!

Red, white and blue, I am for you!

Honest, you’re a grand old flag!

Verse 2

I’m no cranky hanky panky,

I’m a dead square, honest Yankee,

And I’m mighty proud of that old flag

That flies for Uncle Sam.

Though I don’t believe in raving

Ev’ry time I see it waving,

There’s a chill runs up my back that makes me glad I’m what I am.

Here’s a land with a million soldiers,

That’s if we should need ‘em,

We’ll fight for freedom!

Hurrah! Hurrah! For every Yankee tar

And old G. A. R.

Ev’ry stripe, ev’ry star.

Red, white and blue,

Hats off to you

Honest, you’re a grand old flag!


You’re a grand old flag,

You’re a high flying flag

And forever in peace may you wave.

You’re the emblem of

The land I love.

The home of the free and the brave

Ev’ry heart beats true

‘neath the Red, White and Blue,

Where there’s never a boast or brag.

But should auld acquaintance be forgot

Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

You can hear a 1906 recording of the complete song – sung by Billy Murray here:


Version of the entire song performed by the United States Air Force Band