American Songs – Patriotic USA
America the Beautiful – Star Spangled Banner – Strange Fruit – The House I Live In – You've Got To Be Carefully Taught

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The House I Live In
A 10:13 minute black/white film
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Music by Dr. Frank J. Black
Written by Robinson and Lewis Allan (aka Abel Meeropol)
Music by Earl [Edward?] Robinson [Which?]
Performed by Frank Sinatra



What is America to me?
A name, a map, or a flag I see
A certain word, democracy
What is America to me?

The house I live in
A plot of earth, a street
The grocer and the butcher
Or the people that I meet

The children in the playground
The faces that I see
All races and religions
That's America to me

The place I work in
The worker by my side
The little town the city
Where my people lived and died

The howdy and the handshake
The air of feeling free
And the right to speak your mind out
That's America to me
The things I see about me
The big things and the small
That little corner newsstand
Or the house a mile tall

The wedding and the churchyard
The laughter and the tears
And the dream that's been a growing
For more than two hundred years

The town I live in
The street, the house, the room
The pavement of the city
Or the garden all in bloom

The church the school the clubhouse
The million lights I see
But especially the people —
Yes especially the people

That's America to me


Star Spangled Banner
Sung by Karyn Paige
China Basin Stadium
8 August 2011
Recorded by Max Sternberg.

America the Beautiful
Music by: Samuel Ward
Lyrics by: Katharine Lee Bates
Performed by: Ray Charles on the Dick Cavett Show, 18 September 1972

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
'Til all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undim'd by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enamel'd plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
'Til souls wax fair as Earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
'Til paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
'Til selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undim'd by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
'Til nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!


Strange Fruit
By: Abel Meeropol (aka Lewis Allan)
Sung by: Nina Simone with contextual imagesBillie Holiday
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.


Back to "The New(!) South"

  Prior to the opening of South Pacific …
Music: Richard Rodgers | Book: Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan | Adapted from James Michener's novel
… at the Majestic Theatre, Manhattan, 7 April 1949
Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II refused to change or cut
the song that was prompted by the line

[racism is] “not born in you! It happens after you're born”
Youve Got To Be Carefully Taught
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

Table of Contents

2009 | 9 VIII 11 | 3 V 14