The House I Live In

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Friday, July 02, 2010

On this 4th of July weekend coming up, thoughts, as usual, will turn to picnics and patriotism.  With Americana in the air, one particular patriotic song caught the interest of WNYC’s Sara Fishko as it has wended its way through history.  In this edition of The Fishko Files, a story about music, politics and the U.S.A. 

Produced by:

Sara Fishko

Comments [5]

Lola Ferris from Old Bethpage, LI

I was listening to Frank Sinatra this afternoon singing "The House I Live in" on Jonathan Schwartz's show. It brought me back to my teen age years when you could be a leftist and be considered patriotic too. How far we've come. The words still resound with hope, even though the thoughts seem simplistic in 2010. Still, I remembered every word and it had the power to bring tears to my eyes. My complaint to Schwartz is that he mentioned the arranger but never gave credit to Lewis Allen and Earl Robinson, who wrote the song. Why, Jonathan?

Jul. 04 2010 04:05 PM
Kenjneth Bennett Lane, Laken Hiawatha, NJ from

Frank Sinatra introduced the song "The House I Liive In" in the film of the same name. The short subject film won an Academy Award that year. Words are by Lewis Allen and music by Earl Robinson, who also wrote the music to that other patriotic music, The Ballad for Americans." It was written in 1942 when Americans were really united against the Axis foe. However, there were some who sought to ascribe Un American intentions to these selections which are as ideal American as can be
.Kenneth Bennett Lane, Wagnerian heldentenor and opera composer: "Shakespeare" & "The Political Shakespeare"

Jul. 03 2010 08:56 PM
Ellie Schweber

In June 1992, my son's middle school performed Ballad for Americans. A grandmother sitting behind me, said, that she was pleasantly surprised that her grandson was performing in a formerly blacklisted show.

Jul. 02 2010 01:58 PM
Ellie Schweber from Bronx NY

I remember learning the song in the mid fifties in elementary school in the Bronx. We sang it at assemblies around Thanksgiving time. I also remember hearing it on the radio in the 50s.

Jul. 02 2010 01:00 PM

So in 1940-whatever, it took a house. More recently it took a village. Soon, who knows....

More seriously, it's worth remembering that the First Amendment guarantees the right of an American to be a communist, if he or she so chooses — despite the diktats of the House Un-American Activities Committee and its contemporary adherents like John Boehner or Alan Simpson or the Cheneys.

Jul. 02 2010 08:00 AM

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