Today's Featured Artist: Michael Godard
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David Bowie Remembered - A Collection of Unpublished Portraits by Terry O'Neill
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God Bless America
Digital Art - Fine Art Photography & Digital Art
"God Bless America" Digital Art by Barbara Chichester, dedicated to my Father...remembering him and his Military service to the Country..."God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song. "God Bless America" takes the form of a prayer (intro lyrics "as we raise our voices, in a solemn prayer") for God's blessing and peace for the nation ("...stand beside her and guide her through the night...").Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside. The lyrics at that time included the line "Make her victorious on land and foam, God bless America...as well as "Stand beside her and guide her to the right with the light from above. Music critic Jody Rosen comments that a 1906 Jewish dialect novelty song, "When Mose with His Nose Leads the Band," contains a six-note fragment that is "instantly recognizable as the opening strains of "God Bless America". He interprets this as an example of Berlin's "habit of interpolating bits of half-remembered songs into his own numbers." Berlin, born Israel Baline, had himself written several Jewish-themed novelty tunes.
In 1938, with the rise of Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation European immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show. Berlin had made some minor changes; by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. He also provided an introduction that is now rarely heard but which Smith always used: "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." (In her first broadcast of the song, Kate Smith sang "that we're far from there" rather than "for a land so fair.
May 22nd, 2013
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