(It became America’s prayerful song)


The singer was Kate Smith.

The composer was Irving Berlin.

 The American People embraced it.


Kate Smith had been a heavy-set, five foot eight singer of no great fame when she was first chosen to introduce God Bless America. She sang it on her radio show on Armistice Day (now Veterans Day), 1938 and America fell in love with God Bless America and Kate Smith. (You can still hear Kate Smith singing God Bless America by clicking here. Don’t miss it.)


If any one thing can help unite today’s divided America it is singing or reciting the words or just listening to God Bless America. It’s a song that reflects no political, religious, ethnic or skin color point of view; it’s just about being an American.


Some may say it’s only a song. It’s much more than that. It’s a prayer encompassing all patriotic, religious and political beliefs in all of America. In case you are not familiar with it I have included the lyrics.

Irving Berlin’s – 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
Through 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.

America was coming out of the Great Depression in 1938. There were still a few years of hard-times yet to go. There were few jobs and no jobs. It was still a time of struggle for millions of Americans (including my father and mother).


1939! Europe was at war!


Then came the surprise attack on the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. America was at war! Students, coal miners, factory workers, American men and women from all walks of civilian life became soldiers, marines, flyers, sailors, WACS and WAVES.


And God Bless America became the American song of prayer.

Speaking of America: See and hear Donald Trump’s (rumored)

favorite song about America and himself at the end of this piece.  




Paul Robeson introduced Ballad for Americans; a great patriotic story, in song, for all Americans, about the founding of America and the American story. There is no other song or ballad that can be compared with it. (God Bless America is a prayer, in song, and stands alone.).  


You can still hear Paul Robeson *(Never heard of him?). You will if you listen to him and chorus singing Ballad for Americans ... on You Tube.

Paul Robeson: Ballad for Americans - YouTube


In seventy-six the sky was red
thunder rumbling overhead
Bad King George couldn't sleep in his bed
And on that stormy morn, Ol' Uncle Sam was born.
Some birthday!

Ol' Sam put on a three cornered hat
And in a Richmond church he sat
And Patrick Henry told him that while America drew breath
It was "Liberty or death."

What kind of hat is a three-cornered hat? (chorus)
Did they all believe in liberty in those days? (chorus)

Nobody who was anybody believed it.
Ev'rybody who was anybody they doubted it.
Nobody had faith.
Nobody but Washington, Tom Paine, Benjamin Franklin,
Chaim Solomon, Crispus Attucks, Lafayette. Nobodies.
The nobodies ran a tea party at Boston. Betsy Ross
organized a sewing circle. Paul Revere had a horse race.

And a little ragged group believed it.
And some gentlemen and ladies believed it.
And some wise men and some fools, and I believed it too.
And you know who I am.
No. Who are you mister? Yeah, how come all this? (chorus)
Well, I'll tell you. It's like this... No let us tell you. (chorus)
Mister Tom Jefferson, a mighty fine man.
He wrote it down in a mighty fine plan.
And the rest all signed it with a mighty fine hand
As they crossed their T's and dotted their I's
A bran' new country did arise.

And a mighty fine idea. "Adopted unanimously in Congress July 4, 1776,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable
That among these rights are Life, Yes sir! Liberty, That's right!
And the pursuit of happiness."
Is that what they said? The very words.
That does sound mighty fine.

Buildiing a nation is awful tough.
The people found the going rough.
Still nobody who was anybody believed it.
Everybody who was anybody they stayed at home.
But Lewis and Clarke and the pioneers,
Driven by hunger, haunted by fears,
The Klondike miners and the forty niners,
Some wanted freedom and some wanted riches,
Some liked to loaf while others dug ditches.
But they believed it. And I believed it too,
And you know who I am.
No, who are you anyway, Mister? (chorus)

Well, you see it's like this. I started to tell you.
I represent the whole... Why that's it!
Let my people go. That's the idea!
Old Abe Lincoln was thin and long,
His heart was high and his faith was strong.
But he hated oppression, he hated wrong,
And he went down to his grave to free the slave.

A man in white skin can never be free while his black brother is in 
"And we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in
And this government of the people, by the people and for the people
Shall not perish from the Earth."
Abraham Lincoln said that on November 19, 1863 at Gettysburg,
And he was right. I believe that too.

Say, we still don't know who you are, mister. (chorus)
Well, I started to tell you...
The machine age came with a great big roar,
As America grew in peace and war.
And a million wheels went around and 'round.
The cities reached into the sky,
And dug down deep into the ground.
And some got rich and some got poor.
But the people carried through,
So our country grew.

Still nobody who was anybody believed it.
Everybody who was anybody they doubted it.
And they are doubting still,
And I guess they always will,
But who cares what they say when I am on my way

Say, will you please tell us who you are? (chorus)
What's your name, Buddy? Where you goin'? Who are you? (chorus)
Well, I'm the everybody who's nobody,
I'm the nobody who's everybody.
What's your racket? What do you do for a living?  (chorus)

Well, I'm an
Engineer, musician, street cleaner, carpenter, teacher,
How about a farmer? Also. Office clerk? Yes sir!
That's right. Certainly!
Factory worker? You said it. Yes ma'am.
Absotively! Posolutely! Truck driver? Definitely!
Miner, seamstress, ditchdigger, all of them.
I am the "etceteras" and the “and so forths" that do the work.
Now hold on here, what are you trying to give us? (chorus)
Are you an American?
Am I an American?
I'm just an Irish, negro Jewish, Italian,
French and English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Polish,
Scotch, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish, Greek and Turk and Czech

And that ain't all.
I was baptized Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist, Lutheran,
Atheist, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist,
Mormon, Quaker, Christian Scientist and lots more.
You sure are something. (chorus)

Our country's strong, our country's young, 
And her greatest songs are still unsung.
From her plains and mountains we have sprung,
To keep the faith with those who went before.

We nobodies who are anybody believe it.
We anybodies who are everybody have no doubts.
Out of the cheating, out of the shouting.

Deep as our valleys,
High as our mountains,
Strong as the people who made it.
For I have always believed it, and I believe it now,
And now you know who I am.
Who are you? (chorus)
America! America!

Ballad For Americans lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Music Sales Corporation

ArtistPaul Robeson


Read or hear it or both, (Paul Robeson Ballad for Americans You Tube. A must hear) and be doubly proud you are an American.




Paul Robeson was a black man, an American, of great talent and convictions (a singer, actor and humanitarian) who spoke and sang for America and Americans; especially black Americans. He was controversial, no doubt about that. Robeson in the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s fought for justice, particularly against lynching and segregation and equality for black Americans and for that he was called a communist (which he wasn’t). Hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify June 12, 1956 they demanded he name names of people he knew were or suspected of being communists. He refused seeing it as a lynching and anti-American. He was, in truth, embracing the American constitution.


His voice and actions on behalf of the downtrodden and persecuted can still be felt years after his death. He and his singing should be and can be heard on You Tube even after his death on January 26, 1976 in Philadelphia, PA. (Paul Robeson Ballad for Americans YouTube)




Just a Rumor:


Donald Trump’s (alleged) favorite song is...


Tomorrow Belongs to Me




 The sun on the meadow is summery warm

The stag in the forest runs free

But gather together to greet the storm

Tomorrow belongs to me


The branch of the linden is leafy and green

Our rivers give gold to the sea 

But somewhere a glory awaits unseen

Tomorrow belongs to me


Oh America, America show me the sign

Your children have waited to see 

The morning will come 

When the world is mine 

Tomorrow belongs to me


Some lyrics omitted and others altered

For the original music and lyrics click here: Tomorrow Belongs to Me – Cabaret - YouTube.  


Bob Flicker


For more go to...



 © robert 2014