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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: American Pie, Don McLean & George M Cohan

4th of July NYC 2014
Thought for the Day:  I have been trying to take it easy this summer & am reposting a 4th of July post from 2013 today. If you missed it last year, I hope you enjoy my selections and have a great weekend! I just added another video that I found on YouTube of Kate Smith introducing what almost became the National Anthem. We took this photo last night from a roof top in Brooklyn (Dumbo section). Happy 4th of July!

*Photo credits
Thought for the Day: Songs can capture the mood of a nation. When they do, they become classic hits. My 1st choice for today is a video which also tells the stories behind one such song. "Bye Bye Miss American Pie,"written  & performed by Don Mc Lean, captured the emotions of the troubling events spanning the 50's and the 60's. This video shares some very interesting images & explanations of the meaning behind the song that is as American as apple pie.  It is also remarkable that the song somehow is uplifting despite the difficult subject it addresses. Read on to hear the songs I picked

     I was looking for a video of Yankee Doodle Dandy performed by the Boston Pops 4th of July concert, but found this vintage footage from the 1942 movie Yankee Doodle Dandy & decided to share it instead. The short black & white clip shares a piece of history about the man behind many patriotic hits, George M Cohan. Actor James Cagney portrays Cohan's humble reaction to becoming the 1st songwriter to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor for his contribution to the war effort.
     I just added God Bless America, an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. The later version was recorded by Kate Smith, and became her signature song. A young Ronald Reagan is also featured in the video clip from "This Is the Army" is a 1943 American wartime motion picture produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner, and directed by Michael Curtiz, and a wartime musical designed to boost morale in the U.S. during World War II, directed by Sgt. Ezra Stone. Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside.
     What songs have epitomized the American spirit to you? What songs have expressed the emotions of an era & brought comfort? I have a few more that fit the bill but would love to hear which ones you would pick.
     Have a great weekend!

 *Photo credits
American Pie Photo from creative commons  © 2011 J. Ronald Lee

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