Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?


Came to be regarded as an anthem of the shattered dreams caused by America's Great Depression, "Brother Can You Spare A Dime" is one of the best-known American songs. It was written in 1931 by lyricist E.Y. "Yip" Harburg and composer Jay Gorney as part of the 1932 musical "New Americana."

The song was popularized by the recordings of Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee; released right before Franklin Delano Roosevelt's election to the presidency. Both recordings became number one hits on the charts. The Warner Bros.-released Crosby recording became the best-selling record of its period.



Brother Can You Spare A Dime
(Jay Gorney/E.Y.Harburg)

Once I built a railroad, made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a rairoad, now it's done
Brother can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it's done
Brother can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits
Gee, we looked swell
Full of that Yankee Doodle De Dum
Half a million boots went slogging through hell
I was the kid with the drum

Say don't you remember, they called me Al
It was Al all the time
Say don't you remember, I'm your pal!
Buddy can you spare a dime?


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George Michael, one of pop music's greatest song stylists performs "Brother Can You Spare A Dime" live accompanied by a full orchestra. It's big band music at its best!



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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:12 AM


25 Comments:

Anonymous rhodora said...

OMG! I love George Michael! Can't help giggling like a teenager whenever I hear his voice or see him on tv. "Ay! si George Michael!" with an accompanying shriek. hehehe. His 'Kissing a Fool' and 'Careless Whisper' were hits! His performance is always totally riveting. I really don't care about his sex preference. Basta, I love you George Michael!!!! (ooopss.. sorry got carried away... hehehe)

November 18, 2008 9:40 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

Eric, sorry I got so carried away when I saw George Michael that I did not pay attention to the message of your entry.

Indeed, what is called America's Great Depression is reflected too in individuals. I have seen so many people who were once at their best - very successful and popular and they rode on the laurels of their successes like there was no tomorrow. But years after, when the sun descends on them, they realize they have not prepared for the eventuality of age and consequently become depressed.

How awesome it was that this song 'Brother Can You Spare a Dime' was released in time before FDR's election. Incidentally, I also found a music video of President-elect Obama's battlecry "Yes We Can". I kinda like it. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY

November 18, 2008 9:55 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Timely post... as the world goes into recession.

November 18, 2008 9:59 AM  

Blogger Office Assistant said...

Thanks for sharing S. Enrique... I haven't heard the song before but the message is quite nice. It made me wonder where/what my childhood friends are doing right now? Hope their fine...

November 18, 2008 1:34 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

i remember Barbara Streisand singing this song.

after Wham, i was surprised to learn that it was George Michael who sang A Different Corner. i had goosebumps the first time i listened to his Jesus to a Child. his version of I Can't Make You Love Me is also beautiful.

November 18, 2008 5:05 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That is quite all right, Rhoda :)

As mentioned, I think George Michael is quite an attractive fellow, who also happens to be one of the finest living male vocalists. And this explains, why he remains to be well-respected by his peers in the music industry despite his sexuality.

I also take my hat off to him for fighting Sony Music for what he deemed an unfair recording contract. It was a legal battle that lasted for almost a decade.

I wouldn't be surprised if the general feeling in America today mirrors that of the early days of the Great Depression of the '30s. I am rooting for Obama's bipartisan leadership and administration to pull America off from such bleak economic state.

I'm praying for a brighter tomorrow.

November 18, 2008 9:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I can only hope, Sidney, that we do not see another Great Depression in this time and age.

November 18, 2008 9:28 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Office Assistant :)

November 18, 2008 9:29 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Haven't heard Streisand's version of this somg, Luna, but I like the brassy and bombastic interpretation of George Michael :)

A Different Corner is quite evocative and so is Jesus To A Child. Have your heard of "You Have Been Loved?" Awesome!

November 18, 2008 9:32 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

like rhodora, i got excited listening to George Michael's rendition of the song.:D the hopelessness in the fellow's posture blends in with the somber mood in your photo...o baka may hangover lang s'ya.:D

November 19, 2008 12:10 PM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

Recession is in the air perhaps Eric? Great photo and the backdrop... a church.

I have not heard of this song but my wife sid that she heard George Michael sung this at the last American Idol. Great soulful/blues song and very timely as well.

Reminded of my last act of kindness, gave a dollar in the casino to a guy even while I am losing. I guess it is better for him to get my buck than the casino.

For someone who can admit and swallow one's pride and beg, a dollar or a few coins would be an act of kindness no matter what. I believe in Karma.

November 19, 2008 1:33 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Possibly, Luna ... lol!

As for G.M.'s rendition, as said, it's big band music at its best :)

November 20, 2008 7:21 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Mario ... especially with the darkening economic landscape in America these days.

As for acts of kindness, saw the news clip on CNN about Starbucks' drive-in customers who paid for those behind them in line, which at one point made one customer cry with joy -- overwhelmed to find herself at the receiving end of such unexpected act of kindness. I still believe that human beings, for the most part, are inherently kind :)

November 20, 2008 7:31 AM  

Blogger Dennis Villegas said...

I love this song, especially Bing Crosby's classic version. Good songs are always revived these days. Thanks for sharing Senyor!

November 20, 2008 6:44 PM  

OpenID bwzone said...

It's a very nice and inspiring song particularly in these days when everyone is precariously watching the economy slide and praying to avert a worldwide depression. George Michael definitely did justice to the song :)

November 20, 2008 8:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Dennis!

Indeed, it's a powerful song. Turth be told, I', yet to hear Bing Crosby's rendition.

November 21, 2008 11:49 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

With the automobile industry begging for a bailout, and unemployment figures reaching an alarming high, many Americans are indeed extremely anxious these days, BW :(

November 21, 2008 11:51 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

"With the automobile industry begging for a bailout, and unemployment figures reaching an alarming high, many Americans are indeed extremely anxious these days..."

Hi Eric,

What's happening now I hope will be the end of "capitalism." Little by little the practical ideology of socialism is being rediscovered. The centralize distribution of wealth limited to the elite, specially CEOs of big multinational companies, while the poor working class have very little share of the "manna" is now obvious!

Can you imagine these CEOs of automobile industry who flew on their Private Jets from Detroit "Motor City" Michigan to Washington, costing each of them $20,000, begging for a bailout!!! A senator asked them... "You all came here with your private jets begging for a bailout, which cost a lot. May I ask to please raise your hand, any of you gentlemen willing to leave his private jet going back to Michigan?" None of these CEOs raise their hand!!!

Average CEO's salary is about $900,000 plus bonus which most of the time bigger! They recieve this amount whether their business forecast & decisions were good or bad! Like our CEO who stayed with us for three lousy years of bad decisions, getting yearly salary increase plus bonuses no matter how bad our business. Finally the company gave him $14 Million, as separation's pay!

The US government should strip the title & confiscate the properties of these auto makers' CEOs, for bad business administration & bad product that they have been producing for the past long years. They can't even produce a simple low fuel consumption car or an alternative fuel, one of the many reasons why consumer ignore their product! If the US decision is to bail the auto industry & save the economy, Tiyo Samuel should take over the business & spread the "manna" to the citizen, whom they took the tax money as "capital bail out."

Gas went up, because of the lousy high fuel consumption vehicles these Motor City companies are producing, vehicles whose life span... good for only 5 years. Unfortunately price of commodities are based on gas prices, so consumer product went up. Right now gas prices are down, but unfortunately the price of commodities, stayed! ...and yes, the price of commodities will increase once again as soon as the gas prices goes up!!!

Welcome Socialism!!!

Remember Eric, that we are on top of the Mayan pyramid. Things are getting faster, smaller & problems keep on coming... December 21, 2012 - end of the Mayan calendar.

Love your sepia photo of Binondo church!!! Thanks Eric & best regards,
ka tony

November 21, 2008 4:31 PM  

Blogger Dennis Villegas said...

Hi Senyor,
You might want to visit Yesteryear Music Gallery in Up Village, Quezon City as they have voluminous stocks of old LP records recorded in CDs. The telephone is 4366951. And yes, I heard Bing Crosby's version there ;)
Dennis

November 21, 2008 8:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Remember Eric, that we are on top of the Mayan pyramid. Things are getting faster, smaller & problems keep on coming... December 21, 2012 - end of the Mayan calendar."

I'd most probably ask you more about this when we get together in February, Ka Tony. I am really intrigued.

I saw that news clip on the CEOs of the auto industry. Shameful, really. No one wanted to give up his private jet.

You certainly have a valid point there about socialism.

Thank you, Ka Tony!

November 22, 2008 12:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing, Dennis. This is definitely a worthwhile trip to make. I will check it out :)

November 22, 2008 12:04 AM  

Blogger Office Assistant said...

Ka Tony,

I agree with you somehow about this socialism spirit in the air. Thomas Friedman on his book The World Is Flat made some simple explanation about this.

If socialism is coming, do you think revolution would comes next? And are we ready for that?

What we are seeing right now is an end of empire... just like what happened on some great nations found in our history books.

November 23, 2008 3:00 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hello Eric & Office Assistant,

Thank you both for the message & comment, I wish you all are doing well. Day by day life in the US today is like a round by round surviving a no win situation boxing bout in the ring. You have to keep on punching or loose your job, house, supporting your kid's education & your mind!

I appreciate both of your interest on my insight about the practicality of socialism at this present US & global economic problem. I'm not an economist nor an expert on dialectics of ideology. I taught, read and still a student of history, but I do have an opinion.

Yes, Office Assistant I came across "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman. In his book he wrote how the world became "flat" at the start of of the 1900s, how we must adapt to the problems, changes & terrorism that came out from it.


"If socialism is coming, do you think revolution would comes next? And are we ready for that?"

History repeats, which mankind keep on letting it happen. There's always an oppression or problem, then ideology, latter a revolution & after the take over, implementation of ideological principle. As always humans are not ready for changes or revolution, but we always adopt latter. Living things adopt to changes, for this reason we survived the changes on earth's environment & evolution. Just like putting a frog in a pan of water & placing it on a stove. Slowly the frog will adopt to the warm water 'till it boils that the frog can no longer stand the heat & try to scape from the pan.

Like you said, there's always end to an empire, most always the reason was the decay within ...GREED! Greed of power, wealth & possession by annexation to extend its scope, Rome, France, Spain, Portugal, China, England, Japan, USSR, etc...

Communism was the foundation of Christianity, whose commune congregation lived by sharing & development of Socialism, long before feudalism & capitalism. Christian communism & Marxism agree with economic aspects of Marxist theory, that capitalism exploits the working class by extracting surplus value from the workers in the form of profits. Exactly what happened in the centralize distribution of profit limited to the "elite capitalist," who invested in stock market without capital or invested their employees' 401K. These "elite capitalist," are like issuing checks without substantial money in their bank account or gambling someone else money & enjoying the profit!!! Can you imagine a simple working class citizen who issued a bounced check ...immediately, he will be locked in jail!

These "elite capitalist" own & owned banks. Many of their banks was subsidised & some bought by bigger banks, but many were closed & some are applying for chapter 11. These banks before this current economic crisis, were encouraging, urging, lending high loans to home owners to refinance their property up to third mortgage!!! Today more than one million homes are now in foreclosure, the highest rate ever recorded. According to CNN, Americans saw their net worth decline by $1.7 trillion in the first quarter - the biggest drop since 2002 - as declines in home values and the stock market ravaged their holdings.

Incidentally, the Mormons, practiced a voluntary form of Christian socialism in Utah, under Prophet Brigham Young. I've been to Cuba & witness the devastation & sufferings because of the US embargo on this country. Without the strong leadership of Castro & socialism, Cuba wouldn't been able to survive for 49 years after its revolution against capitalism, neocolonialism, graft & corruption!

Our country the Philippines, the socialistic foundation of Gat Andres Bonifacio's Katipunan was also dictatorial / monarchical, in the sense of controlling counter revolutionary activities of its early stage. Bonifacio based his ideas from the French Revolution & was aware of its failure because of the bourgeoisie & petty bourgeoisie's betrayal. Unfortunately because of the Supremo's idealism of uniting the Magdiwang & Magdalo factor, resulted to his murder/assassination! Once again the greed of political supremacy ended the socialistic Katipunan. The Katipunan that could have been our country's seed for success!!!

As long as there's exploitation of the working class by the capitalist who gets their income not from labor as much as from the surplus value they take possession from the workers who create wealth, there will be discontentment & will lead to changes or revolution.

Thanks once again & Happy Thanksgiving Day to you Eric, Office Assistant & to all,
ka tony

November 23, 2008 8:43 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Firstly, thank you Office Assistant for raising those points, and many thanks Ka Tony for sharing with us your insight on them.

You had once again left much food for thought, Ka Tony, which as in the past, took me time to digest. Also, as in the past, future blog articles of mine will be spurred by this insight of yours.

Thank you, Ka Tony and Office Assistant!

November 24, 2008 8:17 AM  

Blogger Office Assistant said...

Ka Tony,
Thank you very much.
I'll be waiting for more of your full-loaded insights on S. Enrique future blogs.

Cheers!

November 24, 2008 11:57 AM  

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