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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Arjay Lyr Add: The House I Live In (Meeropol/Robinson) (16) Lyr Add: THE HOUSE I LIVE IN^^ 04 Jul 02

Given the recent brouhaha over Charlie Daniels's "patriotic" song which PBS refused to allow him to sing on their Capitol Fourth program and similar decisions by other networks over similar "patriotic" songs, I submit this song for consideration. The original song is much longer and was performed in a 30-minute movie with Paul Robeson singing it. Here are the lyrics to the shortened version that Frank Sinatra made popular.

I know it's kinda schmaltzy, but I think it's closer to "the true spirit of (The United States of) America than are the out-for-blood, flag-waving songs that tend to come out of Nashville nowadays.

Words, Millard Lampell Lewis Allan (pseudonym of Abel Meeropol); music, Earl Robinson ©1942.
As sung 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 and the people that I meet,
The children in the playground, the faces that I see,
All races, all religions—that's America to me.

The place I work in, the worker by my side,
The little town or city where my people lived and died,
The 'howdy' and the handshake, the air of feeling free,
And the right to speak my mind out—that's America to me.

The things I see about me, the big things and the small,
The little corner newsstand and the house a mile tall,
The wedding in the churchyard, the laughter and the tears,
The dream that's been a-growin' for more than two hundred* years.

The town I live in, the street, the house, the room,
The pavement of the city, or a garden all in bloom,
The church, the school, the clubhouse, the million lights I see,
But especially the people—that's America to me!

[* The original line was "for a hundred fifty years," but it's] out of date.

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