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Lyr Add: The Ballad of F.D.R.

Joe Offer 16 Nov 10 - 04:13 PM
Joe Offer 16 Nov 10 - 04:20 PM
Joe_F 16 Nov 10 - 10:48 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Nov 10 - 04:02 PM
Joe_F 19 Nov 10 - 06:17 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Nov 10 - 06:46 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Ballad of F.D.R.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 04:13 PM

BALLAD OF OCTOBER 16
filename[ BALLFDR2

and

THE BALLAD OF F.D.R
filename[ BALLDFDR

are the same song. They have identical lyrics, except that filename[ BALLFDR2 has one additional verse at the end - and filename[ BALLDFDR has an explanatory note.

I'd suggest the two be combined, including both titles, the additional verse, and the explanatory note. BALLFDR2 is a far better transcription, although the words are more-or-less the same in both entries.

I highly doubt that the "Oct 16" song actually goes under both of these titles. The Bear Family Songs for Political Action box set has an entirely different song titled "The Ballad of F.D.R."

I'll post it below.


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Subject: ADD: The Ballad of F.D.R.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 04:20 PM

THE BALLAD OF F.D.R.
(Tom Glazer)

The is the ballad of Franklin D.
A great big man in our history.
For his people he gave his life
Go rest, go rest where there is no strife.
Freedom from want, freedom from fear
Freedom of speech and freedom of prayer.
He left his will for the people to know
Go rest, go rest where the free winds blow.


Alternate title (for searching) The Ballad of FDR
Source: The Bear Family Songs for Political Action box set
The CD booklet says Tom Glazer wrote "The Ballad of FDR" shortly after the President's death on April 12, 1945. Glazer's FIVE verses became the framework for Milton Robinson's ambitious cantata, Ballad for F.D.R.
The People's Songs Chorus was directed by Sonny Vale. The chorus recorded the Tom Glazer song in 1947, using only one verse, repeated several times. Anybody have the other four verses?

Sonny Vale has quite a story himself. Using the name Bob Roberts, he collaborated on hundreds of songs. His biggest successes were "Tunnel of Love" (recorded by Doris Day) and "Tall Paul" (recorded by Annette Funicello). He died in 1990.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Ballad of F.D.R.
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 10:48 PM

For a historically interesting song about FDR that is pretty sure to set your teeth on edge, try "The Man Who Couldn't Walk Around" by MacKinlay Kantor (often sung by Josh White). I couldn't find a text with Google, but recordings are plentiful.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MAN WHO COULDN'T WALK AROUND (Kantor)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 04:02 PM

From The Truman and Eisenhower Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs, 1945-1960 by Guido Van Rijn (London & New York: Continuum, 2004), page 3:


THE MAN WHO COULDN'T WALK AROUND
MacKinlay Kantor

Little boy, oh sober face,
Oh, crutch that lies beside you,
Rubber wheels to ride you.

Little boy, let your fairest fancies wander,
With the great commander,
One who had to sit as still as you.

I'm dreaming of a man we knew,
Who loved us all; we loved him too.
I mean a man who couldn't walk around.

He wore a cloak of navy blue.
We made him captain of our crew,
I mean a man who couldn't walk around.

My friends, United Nations, Lend Lease, the March of Dimes,
We trusted him in trouble,
We cheered his name four times.

We served the guns he manned for us,
We'll do the things he planned for us,
That certain man, who couldn't walk around.

Little boy, look up and smile,
And grasp the chance he gave you.
Let his courage save you.

Little boy, though your world is full of sorrow,
There is still tomorrow,
Even though one sits as still as you.

I'm dreaming of a laugh we heard,
The broadest smile, the bravest words,
I mean a man who couldn't walk around.

He shook the earth, the sky and seas,
And couldn't even move his knees,
That certain man who couldn't walk around.

One afternoon in Georgia, he slept away, they say,
But people across the oceans
Still praise his name today.

He's watching from the highest hill.
His nerve is in this nation still,
That certain man who couldn't walk around.


[Recorded as a song by Josh White.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Ballad of F.D.R.
From: Joe_F
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 06:17 PM

Jim Dixon: Thanks very much for finding that. It comes distressingly close to deifying its subject -- but so, it seems, did many Americans in those days (which I am barely old enough to remember). Dwight Macdonald wrote: "Of all the reactions to Franklin Roosevelt's death...none struck me as more significant than the remark someone told me one liberal journalist made to another: 'Now we'll have to grow up'."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Ballad of F.D.R.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 06:46 PM

If you're going to deify someone, I suppose it's better to choose a dead person.


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