A Great Piece of History

A Great Piece of History

This is a discussion on A Great Piece of History within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Irving Berlin wrote this song in 1917 for use during WWI. Does anyone know why he did not release it then? No? Well, I will ...

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Thread: A Great Piece of History

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    A Great Piece of History

    Irving Berlin wrote this song in 1917 for use during WWI.
    Does anyone know why he did not release it then? No? Well, I will tell
    you. He thought it "too saccharine," (sentimental) even for the horrific
    inferno that was WWI.

    You will enjoy this and you younger folks will learn some history...

    The link below will take you to a video showing the very first public
    singing of “GOD BLESS AMERICA.

    But, before you watch, you should also know the story of the song.
    The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression.
    Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have
    to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.

    This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and
    American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening
    to their favorite entertainers – and no entertainer of that era was bigger
    than Kate Smith. Kate was also large in size, and the popular phrase
    still used today is in deference to her, “It Ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”
    Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her
    voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.

    Kate was also very patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed
    and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America,
    and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer
    them up, so she went to the famous American song - writer, Irving Berlin
    (also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would
    make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described
    what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went
    to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published,
    22 years before - way back in 1917. He gave it to Kate Smith and she
    worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not
    sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed
    they would not take any profits from “God Bless America”– any profits
    would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts
    have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.

    This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with
    the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the
    very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with
    her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the
    1940 movie, “You’re In The Army Now.” At the 4:20 mark of the video
    you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper
    – it’s Ronald Reagan. Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best
    singer of her time, and said when he and a million other guys first heard
    her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have
    “dust in their eyes” as they wiped away a tear or two…

    To this day, “God Bless America” stirs our patriotic feelings and pride
    in our country. Back in 1940, When Kate Smith went looking for a song
    to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt she realized just
    how successful the results would be – for her fellow Americans during
    those years of hardship and worry, and for many generations of
    Americans to follow.

    Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you will enjoy it and
    treasure it even more.


    Israpundit » Blog Archive » Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Great song, great lady singing it also.
    You can educate ignorance, you can't fix stupid
    Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the thread. As a scout, I means a lot.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

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