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Happy Birthday, USA!

Author:
Irving Berlin, 1918; revised 1938

Spoken Introduction:

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.”

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

The unofficial national anthem of the United States was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for the USA when he was only five years old. The original version of “God Bless America” was written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) during the summer of 1918 at Camp Upton, located in Yaphank, Long Island, for his Ziegfeld-style revue, Yip, Yip, Yaphank. “Make her victorious on land and foam, God Bless America…” ran the original lyrics. However, Irving decided that the solemn tone of “God Bless America” was somewhat out of keeping with the more comedic elements of the show, so the song was laid aside.

LEARN TO PLAY PIANO. In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, he decided to write a “peace” song. He recalled his lyrics of “God Bless America” from twenty years earlier, then made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised “God Bless America” during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. The song was an immediate sensation; the sheet music was in great demand.

Berlin’s file of manuscripts & lyric sheets for this quintessentially American song includes manuscripts in the hand of his longtime musical secretary, Helmy Kresa (he himself did not read and write music), as well as lyric sheets, and corrected proof copies for the sheet music.

These materials document not only the speed with which this song was revised, but also its author’s attention to detail. The first proof copy is dated October 31, 1938; the earliest “final” version of the song is a manuscript dated November 2; and Kate Smith’s historic broadcast took place on November 11. So, documents show the song’s step-by-step evolution from the original version of 1918 to the tune we now know.

The manuscripts mentioned above are part of the Irving Berlin Collection, a remarkable collection that includes his personal papers as well as the records of the Irving Berlin Music Corp. It was presented to the Library of Congress in 1992, by his three daughters, Mary Ellin Barrett, Linda Louise Emmet, and Elizabeth Irving Peters.

What an amazing song! Isn’t it wonderful that we have been so lucky to be connected with people who are able to put to words our deepest thoughts and emotions? Irving Berlin was truly inspired. Close your eyes and listen to his message. Does it not touch your soul? Can’t you just see crashing waves- the majesty of the mountains? All of the beautiful people working every day, alive and free because of the dream of our beloved Founding Fathers?

As this song is being broadcasted through out the world on various occasions, there is this incredible overwhelming desire to jump up and sing with all the energy of the soul, knowing that if we did, the choirs of Heaven would be singing right along with us! Our people love our country, our Lord loves our country, and as long as we continue to fight for our gift of love and freedom, we will continue to enjoy the blessings of this, our sacred nation.

As with any song that strikes an emotional chord (be it sacred, gospel or patriotic tunes) I get goosebumps and choked up to the point that I can’t sing, but rather, cry. Every American should feel this way.


MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with God Bless the USA
Theodore's World linked with Happy Independence Day America!
6 Comments »

"I get goosebumps and choked up to the point that I can’t sing, but rather, cry. Every American should feel this way."

Here! Here! I'll second that sentiment!



Happy Independence Day America!

The Declaration of Independence In Congress, July 4, 1776 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...



Happy Independence Day Merri. I tried to trackback to you. Not sure if it worked or not. Have a great and special day today.



God Bless the USA

I admit it, I’m not up to posting today thanks to Playstation giving me aching hands and arms.
So…you get a half-assed Fourth of July-ish theme for today (hey, gimme a break, it’s just the WP Default with some little changes, and it...



Chris said:

I still tear up almost ANY time I hear the national anthem. It makes me proud as hell.



Merri said:

I'm with you on that one, Chris. I remember on two different occasions in high school I was asked to sing the national anthem - one time at a silly small town King and Queen coronation (long story, don't ask!!!), and the other at a basketball championship competition. Both times I choked up slightly at the end...and every time I hear them today, I choke up, too!



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