1932

A song from 1932 that I’ve been checking out lately. An apt tune for this month – I’ve been focusing on people in NYC struggling with homelessness. 

“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,

Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,

Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,

And I was the kid with the drum!

 

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

 

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

 

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.Say, don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

 
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