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Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too

GUEST,Phil d'Conch 07 Jul 21 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 07 Jul 21 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 07 Jul 21 - 04:25 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 21 - 05:31 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 21 - 05:36 AM
Felipa 07 Jul 21 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 13 Jul 21 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 20 Jul 21 - 08:10 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 04:15 AM

Did a title search first. The only thing that came back was – BS: Name for people from USA. Boy howdy!

We Are Americans Too
(Andy Razaf, Eubie Blake, C.L. Cooke, 1941)*

Nat King Cole version, 1956

“By the record we've made
And the parts that we've played
We are Americans too.

By the pick and the plow
And the sweat of our brow
We are Americans too.

We have given up our blood and bone
Helped to lay the nation's cornerstone
None have loved Old Glory more than we
Or have shown a greater loyalty.

Bunker Hill to the Rhine
We've been right there in line
Serving the red, white and blue
All our future is here
Everything we hold dear
We are Americans too.

[2x]
Some where out there in the parade
Loudly, proudly and undismayed
We'll be singing this song
Many million strong
We are Americans, loyal Americans
We are Americans too.”

*Couldn't find the 1941 sheet music in the usual sources. The above transcribed from Let Freedom Sing (The Music of the Civil Rights Movement), Time Life, CD Box set, 80051-D, 2009, Disc 1, trk 10, Nat King Cole.

Note: I suspect the bit about “...to the Rhine” was added/changed by Cole after WWII.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 04:17 AM

Oddly enough, the following article came out just as I was looking into the Asch Recording Studios discography.

The 1941 Asch release (SC41) credits Andy Razaf w/Eubie Blake on piano. There's the odd chance it could be the more 'subversive' original. b/w Take it Easy (SC42.)

The urban legend tells of the release being 'banned' on the radio but I can't find much on that except the Blake-Cooke self-censorship mentioned below; and the much later Nat King Cole promo never getting a proper commercial release, also self-imposed.


“A special case is “We Are Americans Too,” the best known of more than a dozen patriotic songs Razaf wrote during World War II, and for which he received a commendation from the U.S. Treasury Department in October 1944. The lyrics resonate with John Louis Waller’s Spanish-American War patriotism and his reluctance to alienate useful White support. But that’s not how the lyrics were born.

Razaf wrote the original version of “We Are Americans Too” in 1940 for the Eubie Blake musical Tan Manhattan. But following in his grandfather’s left-footsteps, so to speak, Razaf wrote a protest song in which he mentioned the bigotry, even the lynchings, that African Americans had suffered. Blake was aghast when he saw the lyrics. He told Razaf that the show could not include a song that gave White people hell for treating African Americans so badly or else the show would never sell. They argued about it for some time, but in the end Blake and his associate Charles L. Cooke softened the lyrics anyway. The irony is that, after the war, “We Are Americans Too” came to be considered the anthem for African-American patriotism, and Razaf was lauded for it in its softened form. One can only imagine what John Louis Waller would have made of all that.”
[American Purpose – Fascinating Rhythm]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 04:25 AM

Spun off from -- Stinson Records Revisted.

Asch Recording Studios was Moe Asch's first record label. The entire discography currently stands at... two. One album, one single. It's possible the Razaf-Blake disc is also part of an album.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 05:31 AM

Here's the Nat "Ning" Cole performance of "We Are Americans Too."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmWekl3iQnE


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 05:36 AM

Take a look at this page on the https://teachrock.org/lesson/the-music-of-the-civil-rights-movement/ - Music of the Civil Rights Movement.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: Felipa
Date: 07 Jul 21 - 04:27 PM

Does your second link need corrected, Joe? It's bringing me to youtube.

How about https://www.loc.gov/collections/civil-rights-history-project/articles-and-essays/music-in-the-civil-rights-movement/ ?

I would love to see what were the lyrics Razaf wrote previously, which were toned down for public "consumption".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Jul 21 - 06:52 AM

'We Are Americans Too,' Says Handy
NEW YORK–(ANP)–Introduced over the station WMCA Saturday the song, “We Are Americans Too”, published by the Handy Brothers Music company, strives to focus national attention on the part Negroes are playing in American life.

Words and music were written by Andy Razaf, Eubie Blake and Charles L. Cooke. Orchestrations and quartet arrangements by Cooke are also available.”
[The Phoenix Index (AZ) 31 May 1941, p.7]

Notes: Words and music appear in Unsung Americans Sung, Handy, W.C., New York: ASCAP, 1944. Both the book and the sheet music run about U$400-500 on Ebay &c. Seems a lot of libraries have had their copies stolen in the last few years.

I've found bits and pieces of the W.C. Handy lyrics that are not in the Nat King Cole '56 take but nothing close to controversial. Also, while still nothing to suggest it was banned, not exactly a hit either. The discography jumps straight from '41 to '56; nothing in between as yet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Americans Too
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 20 Jul 21 - 08:10 PM

Found the '44 W.C. Handy lyrics and they are identical to the Nat King Cole version above, even the “Rhine” line. The previously mentioned additional lyrics were from an eight verse, spoken word “recitation” or preamble credited to Razaf alone:

(1)
At Valley Forge, men must admit
With Washington we did our bit.
In Eighteen-Twelve, we did our share
With Andrew Jackson we were there.

(2)
Again, in Eighteen-Sixty-Five
We helped the nation to survive
Tho Lincoln said, “All should be free”
We helped to earn our liberty.

(3)
In Eighteen-Ninety-Eight we still
Had work to do at San Juan Hill.
We more than made our presence felt
To dear old Teddy Roosevelt.

(4)
And then came Nineteen-Seventeen
Again they saw us on the scene,
Among the first to cross the sea
To battle for democracy.

(5)
We love the soul and heart of it
Our country, which, to us, is best
And that means every part of it
The North, the South, the East, and West.

(6)
At home there is no place for hate
Division is disloyalty,
All that we have, we dedicate
To unity and harmony.

(7)
When given any kind of chance
We've made the grade and shown advance
In business, science, letters, art
We've played a most surprising part.

(8)
In ring, on cinder track and field
True sportsmanship we have revealed
And for all opportunity
We're grateful to democracy.


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