Matthew T. Buberniak and Hunter J. D. R. Taylor are now very active members of the administrative team at the Historical Society. In the photo above, Matt is on the left and Hunter is on the right.
Both Matt and Hunter have demonstrated a strong interest in project management and historical research, and have written a series of articles that have been published in the Carbondale News. Their articles are presented below.
By Matthew Thomas Buberniak
The song Sweet Liberty, written in 1918 by a Jermyn native, was performed during the trolley tours sponsored by the Historical Society on July 3rd. The group "Classic Voices" performed it on July 3rd during the trolley tour's Washington Street stop.
This was the second known performance of the song, a piece by W.H. Vizzeard. It was discovered while cleaning in the Jermyn Episcopal Church. The song was found by Ray Pogenesee while sorting through some old papers in the Saint James / Saint George Church.
A listen in and a knowledge of Welsh history would reveal that the Welsh National Anthem, "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" and "Sweet Liberty", have a strikingly similar tune. This, however, isn't surprising, because in 1918 there were many native Welsh people, and even more of Welsh descent living in Lackawanna County.
The Welsh anthem was originally written to be sung in 6/8 timing, but had to be slowed to by sung by large crowds, while "Sweet Liberty" is written in 3/4 timing. If you're not musically inclined, an example of the difference between the two would be 3/4 timing would equate to a waltz "one two three", and 6/8 timing would be more like "one and a, two and a" and so on.
This could be an intentional change, or a surprising accident, but the similarities are very well heard. Most of the notes remain unchanged throughout from "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" and "Sweet Liberty", though in several sections they are raised or lowered one half step. Even the lyrics are of a similar theme; one exclaiming the merits of America, the other, of Wales.
The first performance of modern times was on June 19, 2010 at the church in Jermyn. The second was on the trolley tour on July 3rd. It is not known for certain if it was performed in the early 1900’s when it was written. “Given the similarity of the Welsh National Anthem and Sweet Liberty,” observed Carbondale Historical Society Treasurer Joseph Pascoe, “it would be very appropriate to have Sweet Liberty performed at the annual St. David’s day Dinner on March 1st.”