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House Reverses Decision to Drop Patriotic Songs From On-Hold Music

So long, John Philip Sousa. Hello, Kenny G. 

That was the short-lived message House leadership sent to lawmakers over the break, as the "on-hold" music that so many constituents hear when they call their congressman was switched from patriotic tunes to smooth jazz standards -- or, as one lawmaker complained, "elevator music." 

The switch was quickly reversed, though, following complaints and controversy. 

A spokesman for House Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Beard, who reports to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Tuesday that after a three-week trial period constituents will once again hear patriotic favorites while on hold. 

"The music was changed during recess as a pilot program in an attempt to offer offices a choice of hold music," said CAO spokesman Jeff Ventura. "But based on the feedback we received, the old music was preferred and we reactivated it today." 

Some of that feedback came from Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who wrote a blistering letter to Beard on Friday. 

"We should proudly embrace our nation's patriotic songs, not callously shun them for elevator music," Upton fumed. 

"Believe me, I was not at all happy with how this matter was handled," he wrote, complaining that lawmakers were not told in advance that the patriotic songs would be replaced by smooth jazz. 

Upton said during the "pilot program," congressional offices could either choose "elevator music" or no music at all, even though they had used patriotic music for years. 

"Certainly we would prefer not to put those who contact our offices on hold; however with the high volume of calls we receive it is sometimes necessary," he added. "Callers routinely express their delight in listening to a few notes of Americana while briefly waiting for their call to go through." 

FOX News' Bill Sammon contributed to this report.