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After the September 11 terror attacks on the United States, the song became kind of a rallying cry in the United States - almost a second national anthem

This is the history of the melody "God Bless America." As disaster approached, this modest one-verse song became an instant success and a hopeful tune. "It's not a nationalistic song, but an expression of appreciation for what this nation has done for its inhabitants, of what home actually means," composer Irving Berlin remarked in a 1940 interview. Many Americans now regard "God Bless America" to be the count.

After the September 11 terror attacks on the United States, the song became kind of a rallying cry in the United States - almost a second national anthem. It was spontaneously sung by members of the U.S. Congress. During the seventh-inning stretch at many Major League Baseball games on holidays, Sundays, and special events the song has substituted "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." The song has also been sung at a number of major sporting events, including the Indianapolis 500 and a number of National Hockey League games.


USA Flag Mr. Jablonski stated why he thought there was such a renewed interest in "God Bless America" at this particular timePixabay

The beginning verse of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" is undoubtedly unknown to most people. It alludes to gathering storm clouds and rising voices in praise of just land. Most people who have heard it believe it was composed shortly before World War II since that is when it became popular. According to Irving Berlin's friend and colleague Ed Jablonski, "God Bless America" was composed for a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank after the close of World War I. Yaphank was a tiny hamlet near the Army base where Irving Berlin was stationed.

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But "God Bless America" never made it into that revue. Mr. Jablonski said, "In 1939, the war began in Europe, and he sort of felt that it could hit us. So he dug out this song from 1918, revised the lyrics a bit, and gave the song to Kate Smith, who was a very popular singer at the time." Berlin's friend Ed Jablonski was glued to his radio for that first performance. "I remember I heard it on November 11, 1939," he said. "I was a kid in high school then. And I really loved it. It's simple. It's to the point. It's not war-mongering."

He further mentioned, "All the royalties that came in from that song, which became one of the most popular songs in the country for years, all the income from that song went to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and people never forgot it. This guy was one of the really true patriotic Americans that I have met."

Mr. Jablonski stated why he thought there was such a renewed interest in "God Bless America" at this particular time. "Of course," He replied, "now it's even more memorable than before because of what happened. When something horrible happened, it's amazing how people worked together and helped one other. I've heard some wonderful things about what people are doing now. It happened after Pearl Harbour here. It happened during the Battle of Britain. And, it happened after the madmen ran into those towers." "God Bless America" by Irving Berlin is a song to freedom that has once again inspired a country". (VOA/JC)

(This article is a rehash from Voice of America)


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