Tom Callinan Programs

"We Owe Allegiance To No Crown" Commemorating the Bicentennial of The War Of 1812

Drawing on his extensive repertoire of folksongs, sea songs, chanteys, and popular songs and tunes from a variety of times and places, Tom Callinan , former Connecticut junior high school teacher, has constructed a program of diverse songs, tunes, and tales from and about The War of 1812 including some original compositions based on facts, legend, and lore.

The "War Hawks" of our fledgling nation, fed up with British pressgangs and naval bullying; and desirous of driving the British Empire from North America once-and-for-all , prevailed in pressuring Congress to declare war in 1812. Viewed by many as America's "Second War Of Independence", Federalist opposition To "Mr. Madison's War", particularly in New England, almost caused Northern states to secede from the U.S. of A. nearly 40 years before the Civil War .

The War of 1812 resulted in the failed invasion of Canada by U.S. troops; the burning of the Capitol and White House in Washington, D.C. as retaliation; the creation of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as our National Anthem (did you know it has four verses?); the establishment of the U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides") as the symbol of U.S. invincibility; the redesign of "Old Glory"; Andrew Jackson's rise as a national leader (despite or perhaps because of his aggressive relocation of Native Americans); and the resettlement of those former Native lands by cotton plantations, whose life's-blood was slave labor.

Tom Callinan's entertaining and informative narrative style brings audiences of all ages into the performance with catchy choruses, interesting anecdotes, and an assortment of musical instruments from the string, wind, and percussion families. Special attention is paid to passing on the fundamentals of the age-old art of spoon-playing to contemporary folk.

Middlesex County Historical Society
151 Main Street Middletown, CT 06457
April 2, 2014

"Dear Tom,

Your concert was fabulous last evening and we were very proud to host a native son.

I really loved your song about Commodore Macdonough and hope that you will have a chance to visit his grave.  He and Lucy Ann Shaler had 10 children in 13 years of marriage, 5 living to adulthood.  She died six weeks after giving birth to the last, a little girl named Charlotte.  The deceased children are also buried in Riverside

Again, thank you and bravo.
Cheers, Debby
Deborah Shapiro, Director"

Regarding Tom's original song "Burning Questions At Potopaug" about the 1814 British raid on Essex, CT: "Fantastic! Essex finally has the anthem it struggled so hard to win that day in 1814!" James Tertius McKay (author of The Battle Of Stonington)

For further information, a list of other recordings, rates, and bookings, contact:
55 East Town Street Norwich, CT 06360
Phone/FAX: (860) 889-6648 E-Mail: