“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…” July 4, 1776! (2017)


First, let’s wish Signora Eleonora Barone, a very happy birthday!!  🙂

Now, a short lesson in American history…

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(from US History.org)

Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.[7]

(from Wikipedia) 

Ok, I admit, American history was probably my most hated and boring of classes I ever had to take in high school.  It was not helped by Sr. Angela Marie, a well-meaning, 4 ft,, soft-spoken, 80 year-old, little Felician nun.  I barely passed with a grade of C.  I can’t say I remember much of that entire year of American history, except I was so glad when it was over!  I don’t ever recall having to read the declaration of independence, but I do remember Whitney invented the first steamboat, or was that Robert Fulton?  (yes, I think Whitney did the cotton gin!) Ah, I probably slept through most of it.
However, as we grow older, we learn to appreciate the things we often hated most, like rules, and how important some of those things were; like understanding American history!  (did you know that in an interview many years ago, Ignazio said he loved history – so smart at such a young age!)   I can’t say I recall ever having heard the first paragraph of the declaration of independence, although as a class field trip in 1976, we went to see the movie 1776!  It was our 200 year birthday of independence for the United States.  I recall getting these HUGE chocolate candy bars, wrapped in red, white, and blue and I think Betsy Ross was on there somewhere.  I also remember thinking the chocolate was not that great, not even Hershey grade.  Ok I was about 11 – I was discerning, even back then…
Ah, “the pursuit of happiness…”  Yes, I must tie this into the guys….  This declaration of independence gave us our freedom to be happy.  And to follow our guys, is our greatest freedom, joy, and happiness!  We know the guys love America and America loves the guys – at least our little part of it!

So, on this one special day of the year for the United States, let’s all join, from every nation, country, and continent, and stand tall, proud, and brave, and united together, in pursuing our happiness and greatest passion – Il Volo!

Wishing everyone a safe, and happy, Fourth of July!  Wherever you may be.  Last year, Lorna and I were in Verona at their “last” concert from the Grande Amore tour.  Talk about fireworks!  Best 4th of July I ever had!!  🙂


Since everyone seemed to love it on the last post, I thought I’d post it again!  Here they are, our beloved Il Volo, singing our cherished national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner!  From 2013, at Dodger Stadium! (did you know the star-spangled banner refers to the American flag?)


I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!  🙂


37 thoughts on ““Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…” July 4, 1776! (2017)”

  1. Happy Independence Day! It appears that there is nothing these guys can’t sing. My IL Volo Twin Jan, always says they could sing from the phone book and we’d love it. How true. Thanks for our history lesson and your experiences from soooooooo long ago.

    1. Yes, I think we can all agree on that one! Wouldn’t it be cute if they actually did that? Just take random names and just sang them? 🙂

      Yes, it’s amazing what you remember!

  2. That is the BEST rendition of the Star Spangled Banner I have ever heard. Of course it was sung by Il Volo the Best singers in the world. Happy 4th of July everyone.

    1. You are absolutely right Loretta! Their version is unbelievably beautiful!! I hope we get the chance to hear them sing it again someday…

  3. Beautiful post, Jana! I LOVE them singing our national anthem. As many have said before, they could sing the phone book and make it sound phenomenal! Happy 4th of July to all. Thankful for our freedom! God bless America!

  4. Happy Birthday and many blessings to a wonderful woman. The history lesson was terrific. And I’d love the boys to sing ithe song again . I sure appreciate all of you. Happy Fourth to Everyone. You make my days much happier.

    1. Victoria – yes, I think we’d all love to hear them sing this again…

      I love your comments, it makes doing this site and keeping it running, all worth it!! I hope we are able to gain more new people that comment!

      Grazie mille!

  5. Il Volo’s version of The Star Spangled Banner was wonderful and it’s always nice to hear it again. I have always loved history and still do. I believe our country was truly blessed with the people who founded our nation. Happy 4th of July to all and God bless America! Happy Birthday to Mrs. Barone also!

  6. I love the boys singing the anthem here, and especially in Boston.
    But I have to say, I think it is a real good exercise to read the entire Declaration of Independence today, the whole thing, from beginning to end, including the names of those who signed it. It is hard for us to imagine how brave it was to fix their names on that document–pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
    We owe them a lot–the least we can do is read their names!

    1. That is so true! Gina sent us a little article on all of the signers and how many of them were jailed, or tortured, or lost everything later in life! How sad! This is what she sent us:
      Five signers were captured
      by the British as traitors, and tortured before they
      Twelve had their homes
      ransacked and burned.
      Two lost their sons serving
      in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons
      Nine of the 56 fought and
      died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
      They signed and they pledged their lives, their
      fortunes, and their sacred honor.

      What kind of men were they?

      Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

      Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large
      plantation owners; men of means, well-educated, but they
      signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well
      that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
      Carter Braxton of Virginia, a
      wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from
      the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and
      properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
      Thomas McKeam was so hounded by
      the British that he was forced to move his family
      almost constantly. He served in the Congress without
      pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His
      possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his
      Vandals or soldiers looted the
      properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett,
      Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

      At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson,Jr., noted that
      the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson
      home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General
      George Washington to open fire. The
      home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
      Francis Lewis had his home and
      properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and
      she died within a few months.
      John Hart was driven from his
      wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children
      fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill
      were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in
      forests and caves, returning home to find his wife
      dead and his children vanished.

      1. Wow, Jana, I didn’t know all that. They really paid. But look what they gave us! I hope they felt it was worth it…

      2. I know, I never did either – thanks, Gina!! 🙂

        I’m sure their families that remain feel it was worth it. Lives and livelihood lost is always heartbreaking.

        They don’t call us the “land of the free and home of the brave” for nothing? 🙂

  7. My hear is always full on this day. I am a first generation American and truly grateful that my parents left their families and came to this great country. My Ron fought in WWll to secure our freedom and I keep his flag over his desk as a reminder. Joanie G

  8. Happ 4th of July to you Jana and all ilvoloflghtcrew! Have a fun and saf holiday!

  9. Hope everyone has a great 4th.. Jana great job on the posts and thanks for your time in creating them. You work so enjoy your day today.

  10. Happy 4th to everyone. If you are reading this you are in a happy place. I am listening to the boys singing Un Amore Cosi Grande now, one of the first CD’s and it still gives me goosebumps. They are so very special. Buon compleano to Eleonora Barone and thanks to her for sharing her son with us.

    1. Grazie mille! Yes, I saw this on Instragram. Very nice!! 🙂

      Yes, sad that foreigners can sing it better than some nationals!

  11. Hello all!

    So glad you liked the post today. I was a little hesitant in posting the history lesson! So happy you did not mind hearing the guys again. 🙂

    Enjoying my time off in Florida with my mom. Tomorrow is painting class! I think I’m going to paint some sunrises/sunsets on a glass. I took this one picture in Florence/Tuscany when we did our pizza class and it’s my all time favorite sunset picture!

      1. Awesome, thanks!

        Ok, how do people put pictures in here??? 🙂 Is it a link to something?

      2. hello Jana, i found that i can’t copy-paste pics directly. have to go online and copy-paste the link here. that usually works.
        warm greetings

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