Enough, already! MetroScene has been crowded in recent days with lyrics and discussion about songs sung by Washington school children of the 1920s and 1930s. Items dealing with this have kept our phone ringing off the hook. Eventually we'll report conclusively, MetroScene hopes, on the situation. But my tentative conclusion is that there were two separate songs, one called "Washington We Love Thy Name" by William Pierson (or Pearson), with words by his mother, Jessie, and the other called "Washington, Fair Capital," by Edwin N.C. Barnes, music director of the D.C. schools in the 1920s. This is based on word from retired teacher Reba Will.
Chalomar Barnes, 71, son of music director Barnes, agrees with Will's information. He said his family came to Washington in 1922.
My old friend, Alfred E. Savage, who was the man in charge of keeping streetcars and buses running for D.C. Transit and later headed Metro maintenance, recalls standing up at the old E.V. Brown School in Chevy Chase (now the site of the branch public library) to announce Dr. Barnes' song.
And who remembers the E.V. Brown school hymn? Marion Holland, still a resident of the community, contributes the words:And this we know, we all agree, Our school's the best In THE D.C., And thee we love, We honor thee-- E.V. Brown, Dear E.V. Brown!
At the risk of having the phones still ringing off the hook, who was E.V. Brown?