Something for the weekend. God Bless America sung by the imperishable Kate Smith. This song became the rallying song for the United States during World War II. Witten by Irving Berlin in 1918 while he was serving in the Army and revised by him in 1938, it was performed by Kate Smith on her radio show in 1938 and became an immediate hit, reaching unbelievable heights of popularity during World War II. The song is a prayer to God, as the first stanza, rarely performed today, makes clear:
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
God bless America, My home sweet home.
Few entertainers became so connected with one song as Kate Smith did with God Bless America. A Protestant, Kate Smith attended Mass for years prior to her conversion to Catholicism. So we have a hymn asking God to bless America, written by a Jew, sung by a Catholic and loved by a largely Protestant country. What a wondeful place America truly is! (more…)