Where the orange blossoms grow

By | September 10th, 2010 | 1 Comment

In a belated urge to learn the first thing about my home state’s glorious past, I recently ordered a bunch of books on Florida history. My favorite of the lot so far, Miami Beach: Blueprint of an Eden, tells the story of Miami’s transformation from swamp to swank through the correspondence of two prominent families, the Wolfsons and the Okas. Along with a unique collection of photos, blueprints, and recipes, it included the handwritten sheet music of a traditional Florida folk tune called “The Orange Blossom Song,” which was “sung … by school children all over the state of Florida until the 1960s,” according to the caption.  “A true folk song, it was passed along by music teachers on hand written sheet music or by the human voice. When standardized sheet music was introduced in Florida schools in the sixties, the song disappeared from the classroom.”

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