Friday, August 22, 2008

John McCain's Version Of The House I Live In

The images of John and Cindy's homes (all 7) come from a guardian article
Evidently his version of the House I Live In doesn't quite jive with the original's message.
The song "The House I Live In" was a patriotic favorite of World War II. The melody was written by Earl Robinson, a famous leftist composer who was blacklisted in the 50's. The lyricist was Lewis Allen, whose real name was Abel Meeropol, the same Meeropol who became the adopted father of the Ethel and Julius Rosenberg's boys, Michael and Robert. Abel Meeropol wrote the song. "Strange Fruit," made popular by Billie Holiday.
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 a 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 millions lights I see
But especially the people
- yes especially the people
That's america to me

1 comment:

Mike Meeropol said...

Just a note about my dad's lyrics for the HOUSE I LIVE IN. As viewers of the documentary Strange Fruit know, my father was not very pleased that in the Frank Sinatra version of "HOUSE" a line:

"my neighbors white and black" was deleted from the song (it's in the Paul Robeson version of it ... someone told me a Josh White version also has that line) ...

In 1945, a song that celebrated "all races and religions" in a generic way was okay but no specific mention of black equality. Also, the group of kids in the film version were all white -- they were chasing a kid whose "religion" they didn't like!

Mike Meeropol