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Lyr Add: The House I Live In (Meeropol/Robinson)

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STRANGE FRUIT


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GUEST,Arjay 04 Jul 02 - 12:49 AM
GUEST,ozmacca 04 Jul 02 - 12:57 AM
Steve Parkes 04 Jul 02 - 03:49 AM
Genie 04 Jul 02 - 08:57 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 02 - 12:24 PM
masato sakurai 05 Jul 02 - 01:04 PM
Genie 05 Jul 02 - 05:06 PM
BH 05 Jul 02 - 05:42 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 02 - 06:01 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jul 02 - 06:08 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 02 - 06:39 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 02 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,Genie 05 Jul 02 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Genie 05 Jul 02 - 09:32 PM
Genie 06 Jul 02 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,Felipa 14 Jan 17 - 04:28 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOUSE I LIVE IN^^
From: GUEST,Arjay
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 12:49 AM

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.

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN
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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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 12:57 AM

Don't know about how America feels about it, but I'd like it for Oz.... and everywhere else where common-sense, decency and neighbourliness means anything at all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 03:49 AM

Very like "There'll always be an England", only less blatantly patriotic. TABAE was a good song for wartime ("it's what we're fighting for"), but THILI is ideal for a time of peace, esp. when peace is under threat. We ought to encourage this sort of thing IMO!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: Genie
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 08:57 PM

Not surprised Earl Robinson had a hand in it. I have heard the (longer) Paul Robeson* version, and it's awesome!

Genie

*Robeson, BTW, was one of the casualties of McCarthyism. When I was in H.S., I can remember one of my teachers talking about him and his wonderful voice and then saying, blithely, "You can't buy his records any more because he was a C(c)ommunist." As though that explained it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THERE'LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 12:24 PM

I found a few references in the Forum to "There'll Always Be an England," but no lyrics. I thought I'd post them here. I found them on this page (click) of World War II songs (interesting page, by the way).
-Joe Offer-


There'll Always Be An England
(words & music: Parker & Charles)

I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen.
I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen.
May this fair dear land we love so well
In dignity and freedom dwell.
Though worlds may change and go awry
While there is still one voice to cry - - -

There'll always be an England
While there's a country lane,
Wherever there's a cottage small
Beside a field of grain.
There'll always be an England
While there's a busy street,
Wherever there's a turning wheel,
A million marching feet.

Red, white and blue; what does it mean to you?
Surely you're proud, shout it aloud,
"Britons, awake!"
The empire too, we can depend on you.
Freedom remains. These are the chains
Nothing can break.

There'll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.

words & music: Parker & Charles
copyright: Unknown



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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: masato sakurai
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 01:04 PM

"There'll Always Be An England " was recorded by lots of artists, as Vera Lynn (Click here) and Alfred Piccaver (Click here).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: Genie
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 05:06 PM

Yeah, Steve, it does have a similar ring. Thanks for posting it, Joe (and thanks for the links, Masato). But, Joe, shouldn't the thread title for your post say, "Lyr. Add: There'll Always Be An England?"

Genie


Yes, Genie, but Joe had a Senior Moment. Mistake corrected.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: BH
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 05:42 PM

The House I Live In has music by Earl Robinson---lyrics by Lewis Allen (aka Abel Meerapol).

Lewis Allen is also the author of Strange Fruit (click).

The other interesting thing about the Sinatra film was that, unlike the Robeson version of the song--which mentions races--it leaves that out and has nothing but white children in the film with him (Sinatra)

Bill Hahn


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Subject: The House I Live In (What Is America to Me)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 06:01 PM

ASCAP confirms the songwriters of "The House I Live In" were Lewis Allan and Earl Robinson.

Publishers/Administrators:
MUSIC SALES CORP
    257 PARK AVENUE SOUTH
    20TH FL
    NEW YORK , NY, 10010
    Tel. (212) 254-2100


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 06:08 PM

There was a misspelling above of the name of Millard Lampell. NOT LamPbell, like in Campbell.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: ADD: The House I Live In^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 06:39 PM

I can't find anything to tie the song to Lampbell, Dave - can you? The lyrics Robeson sang are quite different. Also take a look at this site (click), although I question the accuracy of the MIDI.
-Joe Offer-


THE HOUSE I LIVE IN
(Lewis Allan and Earl Robinson)

What is America to me? A name, a map, the flag I see,
a certain word, "Democracy"! What is America to me?

The house I live in, the friends that I have found,
The folks beyond the railroad and the people all around,
The worker and the farmer, the sailor on the sea,
The men who built this country, that's America to me.

The words of Old Abe Lincoln, of Jefferson and Paine,
Of Washington and Jackson [Douglass], and the tasks that still remain,
The little bridge at Concord, where Freedom's fight began,
Our Gettysburg and Midway, and the story of Bataan.

The house I live in, my neighbors, white and black,
The people who just came here, or from generations back,
The Town Hall and the soap box, and the torch of Liberty,
A home for all God's children [A place to speak my mind out], that's America to me.

The house I live in, the goodness everywhere,
A land of wealth and beauty with enough for all to share,
A house that we call Freedom, the home of Liberty,
But especially the people [and a promise for tomorrow], that's America to me.
But especially the people, that's the true America.

[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!]

Transcribed from Paul Robeson: Songs of Free Men (Columbia)
Recorded November 7, 1947

[I have another (undated) Robeson recording of the song from The Odyssey of Paul Robeson - alternate lyrics from that recording are in square brackets]


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Subject: ADD: The House I Live In^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 07:27 PM

The version below was transcribed from a recording by Earl Robinson from Songs for Political Action (Bear Family Records).
[Some of these verses were used by Robeson in some recordings]
-Joe Offer-


The House I Live In
(Lewis Allan and Earl Robinson)

What is America to me? A name, a map, the 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 at my side
The little town or city where my people lived and died,
The "howdy" and the handshake, the air of feeling free,
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 and the churchyard, the laughter and the tears,
The dream that's been a growin', for a hundred-fifty 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 club house, the million lights I see,
But especially the people, that's America to me.

The house I live in, my neighbors, white and black,
The people who just came here, or from generations back,
The Town Hall and the soap box, the torch of Liberty,
A home for all God's children, that's America to me.

The words of Old Abe Lincoln, of Jefferson and Paine,
Of Washington and Jackson, and the tasks that still remain,
The little bridge at Concord, where Freedom's fight began,
Our Gettysburg and Midway, and the story of Bataan.

The house I live in, the goodness everywhere,
A land of wealth and beauty with enough for all to share,
A house that we call Freedom, the home of Liberty,
And it belongs to fighting people, that's America to me.

Publishers/Administrators: MUSIC SALES CORP(ASCAP)

This song has been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Mahalia Jackson, Neil Diamond, and many others.
From the album notes:
In late 1942 Robinson wrote a melody to Lewis Allan's "The House That I Live In" (sic). He sang it frequently for nearly two years, but the song failed to find an audience. In May 1944, NBC staged a radio play around "The House I Live In." Its national exposure led to a hit recording by Frank Sinatra. Countless cover versions followed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 09:27 PM

There's a sound clip of the song (the first verse minus the title line) here

Supposed to be an audio file here, but I couldn't get it to work
 

here issome interesting info/opinion) on Sinatra and what he aimed to accomplish via this song.
and here

All the sites I visited listed the composers as (Lewis) Allen, lyrics and Earl Robinson, music.  This seems to be accurate, since Lewis won awards for the song/film, along with the others involved.  I don't know why the first site I saw gave Millard Lampbell as the lyricist.  Research is needed.

The 1945 movie The House I Live In here won a Golden Globe as the best "Motion Picture Promoting International Understanding"  Mervyn LeRoy directed it  and apparently won some kind of Oscar, too  Seems the Oscars honored LeRoy, Sinatra, Allen, Robinson, Frank Ross, RKO Radio, and Albert Maltz for "Special Achievement" for that 10-minute film.

Info on Earl Robinson  is here.
 
 

Joe, you beat me to posting the full text of the Sinatra version, but here its is, with the intro and, I believe, with the authorship corrected:

The House I Live In
w: Lewis Allen; m: Earl Robinson
Performed By Frank Sinatra
In the motion picture  "The House I Live In," A documentary

What is America to me--
A name, a map, a flag I see?
A simple word, "democracy?"
What is America to me?

The house I live in, a plot of earth, a street;
The grocer & the butcher & 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 at my side;
The little town or city where my people lived & died;
The 'howdy' & the handshake, the air of feeling free.  -
The right to speak my mind out, that's America to me.

The things I see about me, the big things & the small.
The little corner news-stand & the house a mile tall;
The wedding in the church yard; the laughter & 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!

* Original 1945 lyric "...for a hundred fifty years."
 

You may want to delete my first paste of the song and stick this one in in its place. I know that on NPR a few years back, I heard a longer version done by Paul Robeson, and they said something about his doing the song in a film.  The one you posted, Joe, is probably the version that Robeson sang. It could be I confused "Earl Robinson" with "Paul Robeson," but I could swear it was Paul Robeson's rather distinctive voice I heard. Do you know anything about a film version in which the song was sung by someone other than Sinatra?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 09:32 PM

Perhaps the radio version you referred to, Joe, was what I remembered as "a 30-minute film." Could it have been sung by Paul Robeson in the NBC radio drama?

BTW, I've been searching the net for info but haven't found a MIDI (for others--I know the tune and the chords) or info about Robeson or Millard Lampbell or about the radio broadcast. I wonder if an audio of that broadcast is still available. NPR seems at least to have got hold of the longer song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In
From: Genie
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 02:01 AM

Oops, Joe, I see that you did transcribe some of the lyrics from a Robeson (as opposed to Robinson) recording. I didn't catch that on a quick scan of your posts. But was Robeson the voice of the song in the radio show?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The House I Live In (Meeropol/Robinson)
From: GUEST,Felipa
Date: 14 Jan 17 - 04:28 PM

a song to sing for next Friday's US presidential inauguration

btw, I just saw Paul Robeson video of "The House I Live in" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3syulBjkng&index=9&list=PL9wgmC1DCXk1B5pNNArxHiM7MeHILmxCG (needs proper authorship attribution)


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