Category Archives: copyright

Public Domain Day advent calendar #28: Parisian Pierrot by Noël Coward

One of the hits of the 1923 London theater season was the musical revue London Calling!  It was the first publicly performed musical by Noël Coward, who starred in the 1923 production alongside Gertrude Lawrence, and who continued to write … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #27: The Invisible Monster by Sonia Greene

Visitors to newsstands in early 1923 encountered a number of significant American magazines for the first time. They could pick up the first issues of Time, with brief, breezy dispatches relating the week’s news from around the world.  (Issues of … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #26: Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward L. Bernays

“Online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries over the past year, including in the United States.” That was the lead finding of Freedom House’s 2017 Freedom on the Net report, “Manipulating … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #25: Christmas Day at Sea by Joseph Conrad

“In all my twenty years of wandering over the restless waters of the globe I can only remember one Christmas Day celebrated by a present given and received.” By the time Joseph Conrad wrote that line in 1923, he had … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #24: The Night Before Christmas (recitation with music and drawings) by Hanna van Vollenhoven and Grace Drayton

Christmas Eve is a good time to revisit Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.  In the public domain since the mid-19th century, it’s been adapted many times, and I’ve already featured a chorale adaptation by Frances McCollin … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #23: Great is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Chisholm and William Runyan

My wife once went to a folk festival in Canada where a French-Canadian  singer talked about a folk song she’d recently discovered that she wanted to sing for the audience. She then launched into “The Water is Wide“, doing a … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #22: A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton

In 1915 Edith Wharton published Fighting France, a collection of reports from her work aiding the French in the early days of the first World War, and a plea for Americans to intervene on France’s behalf. Wharton continued to publish … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #21: Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out by Jimmie Cox

The winter solstice arrives today in the US, the day when the sun is down and out of sight for the longest time all year. It’s a good day to break out a song with a similar theme that also … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #20: The Vanishing American by Zane Grey

The American West has long been a cherished place of myth in American imagination. Frederick Jackson Turner may have pronounced the western frontier “closed” in 1893, but in the decades that followed, stories set in the frontier-era Western US, with … Continue reading

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Public Domain Day advent calendar #19: Souls for Sale (photoplay) by Rupert Hughes

“Anything you can do, I can do meta” is a quip that’s been gleefully adopted (literally or in spirit) by philosophers, geeky computer scientists, and performers.  It’s a tweak of a line from Annie Get Your Gun, a show about … Continue reading

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