An Enduring Love Letter to America [VIDEO]

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An Enduring Love Letter to America [VIDEO]

An Enduring Love Letter to America [VIDEO]

Independence Day is about the nation, its ideals, principles and people. For one young immigrant it was also about gratitude for saving his life and his love of his adopted country.

“Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music” — Jerome Kern

Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilen May 11, 1888) came to America with his parents and seven brothers and sisters, arriving at Ellis Island in 1893 from Tolochin, Byelorussia. In the grinding poverty of Lower East Side of Manhattan, young Irving would deliver newspapers and sing on the streets for pennies that would add to the contributions from all the children at the end of the day. By the time he was 20, with no musical training, he had taught himself piano and was collaborating with others on songs.

Berlin was a prolific writer, in the course of his life of 101 years the songs numbered well over 1,000, many of them classics we hear and recognize today — “How Deep Is The Ocean,” “Blue Skies,” “White Christmas,” “Always,” “Anything You Can Do,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Cheek To Cheek,” “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody,” “Heat Wave,” “Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning,” “Easter Parade”, “Let’s Face The Music And Dance.”

But, in 1918, while serving in the Army, Berlin wrote a song that was both prayer for his nation and clearly shows his love. It would debut in 1938 and go on to be one of the most enduring of patriotic songs: God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

[more about Irving Berlin here]

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