Monday, May 25, 2009

#76: The House I Live In

The house I live in
A plot of earth, a street
The grocer and the butcher
Or the people that I meet
The children in the playground
The faces that I see
All races and religions
That's America to me

As World War II came to a close in 1945, Frank Sinatra starred in a short film challenging anti-Semitism and racial prejudice. In the 10-minute movie, Frank intervenes upon witnessing a pack of boys bullying one child because of his religion. Frank sets them straight with some tough-talk and then sings the movie's title track, "The House I Live In," a patriotic number by the very liberal Earl Robinson and Lewis Allen. The song's second verse (referring to "my neighbors black and white") was cut from the film, enraging Allen to the point where he had to be removed from the movie theater. The film would go on to win an honorary Academy Award, and the song was covered later by everyone from Paul Robeson to Patti LaBelle.

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