This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Friday, February 1, 2019

The House I Live In (#BOTB)



 “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”
—Coretta Scott King

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
—Langston Hughes

       These quotes state truths that more people in our time need to hear and think about.   At times I get so cynical  about the way things are, but that is likely because we get bombarded every day with negativity and dishonesty. 

      In honor of Black History month I offer for my Battle of the Bands two notable black male vocalists with their renditions of a song first made popular by Frank Sinatra...



Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.



The House I Live In

          To some these days this song might sound rather mushy and maudlin, but it does express a sense of tradition and love for country of which many might approve. Though the song first appeared in a stage musical review in 1942, it was embraced by the public in 1945 when it was used as the centerpiece of the opposition to anti-Semiticism film The House I Live In.

         Ironically the music was written by Earl Robinson, a member of the Communist party who was blacklisted during the McCarthy hearings, with lyrics by Abel Meeropol, a liberal activist who had also at one time been a member of the Communist party.

          I'm sure this music won't be everyone's cup of tea, but maybe if you don't care for it you can chill a bit and pretend it's a big glass of ice cold sweet tea on a sweltering hot summer day.   If you'd like to hear how Sinatra did the song you can go here or this link will take you to the entire Oscar winning short film it came from (it's only about 10 minutes long, but it carries a worthy message).  Please don't vote on this version--save your vote for one of the two artists featured below....


Paul Robeson  "The House I Live In"   (1947)




Sam Cooke   "The House I Live In"   (1960)





Time to Vote!

     Let's join together and vote!  What's your favorite between these two choices?   Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday February 8th
   
            Next Wednesday I'll have an Insecure Writer's Support Group post so I do hope you'll drop in before then.  But definitely come back to see if your favorite song version came out with the most votes.  I think I can predict this outcome pretty easily, but we've all been surprised by these Battle outcomes in the past.   We'll see!

             Do you think the USA has changed for the better or worse since World War 2?  What do you think is better?  What do you think is worse?  

             








41 comments:

  1. Thanks for those two wonderful true quotes Lee.
    Loved the song on this BOTB. I am old enough to remember Paul Robeson but prefer the Sam Cooke version.
    Enjoy this weekend and new month.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I don't think many people today remember Paul Robeson.

      First vote goes to Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Alex, soulful Sam is smooth...

      A vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I love Paul Robeson and am waiting for Hollywood to make a film about him one day. I love his singing with that deep baritone but for this song, I prefer Sam Cooke. it was easier to understand Cooke's singing with the way the music went than with Robeson's rendition. I love those quotes and they are so true. I do think that it has gotten worse and i would add Canada to that mix. Of course, there are some things that are better, more advances in fight to eradicate disease but I believe people have become....dumber to be blunt. Not much is taught in schools about history so the average kid knows little about WW2 never mind before. We grew up with this basic knowledge and we had more patience. It is has actually been found that, back in the 1980's, the average attention span was 9 minutes, now it is 9 seconds. I believe the IPad, facebook, Instagram etc... has all contributed to this. I think kids are not taught independence and are given too much. We live in an entitlement era right now. The increase in racism we hear right now has always been there but it is now more widely shown. I think greed is also on the rise...greed for more money, power, things etc...I also wish for the time of Murrow, Cronkite, Severeid...etc because they just reported the news, it was not sensationalized like it is now. The film, "Network" seems to have shown what we have now. Gone are the days of the variety show-the vaudeville of TV...it has been replaced by reality shows which suck the brains out of people, like The bachelor, Fear Factor, Big Brother and those kardashiasses. There is my lengthy spiel:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I agree that over all people have become dumber. We've got too many things we don't have to think about much anymore and too many things that aren't worth thinking about that much consuming our thoughts anyway. Technologically has dumbed us down a great bit.

      Hey, you're saying a lot of the things I would say as well.

      Looks like we've got a trend going with another vote for...

      Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Very easy choice for me, Lee: SAM COOKE.
    I don't usually care much for that "operatic" style of singing Paul Robeson (who was also a Communist, by the way) engaged in.

    >>... “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”

    That quote made me think of [Link> THIS SIGN which I found posted in a Carson City window recently.

    >>... Ironically the music was written by Earl Robinson, a member of the Communist party who was blacklisted during the McCarthy hearings

    Nope. I guess at this point, I might as well give up all hope that a majority of Americans will ever truly understand what happened during the so-called "Red Scare" or "Witch-Hunts".

    But in a nutshell, the McCarthy hearings, which took place in the Senate, were exclusively centered on ferreting out Communists in our government / military. It was not concerned with entertainers such as actors, screenwriters, songwriters and singers, etc. Americans always want to lump the whole thing together and blame it all on Senator McCarthy and his hearings, and that only further maligns and slanders the name of Joe McCarthy. (Exodus 20:16)

    [Link> THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JOE McCARTHY'S SENATE HEARINGS & THE 'HOUSE UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE' (HUAC) HEARINGS. (I mean, the difference other than the fact that one took place in the Senate and the other took place in the House of Representatives.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, hating can consume who we are and take us far off course from who we would like to become.

      Seems like we mostly hear about the folks in arts and entertainment when it comes to the "Commie purge" of the fifties. But that's probably the community that talked most about it and the folks the public wanted to hear about. More marshmallow martyrs for the consumption of the masses.

      A vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. Ha ha ha! What a great battle this time, Lee!

    I cast a very strong vote for Paul Robeson. He had a great voice, and I have several of his albums. Cooke's version is fine... but Robeson is superb.

    But I am also throwing in points to Robeson for irony. With the overwhelmingly positive lyrics about America that he sings, I frankly don't know how he managed to get them out. You know the history. He is thought of these days with great fondness by the left for his (quite proper) complaints about mistreatment of blacks. But as always, they forget about the negative. His views were simply wacko about a lot of stuff. He loved and praised Stalin, and that is AFTER he went to Russia and learned firsthand that a friend was put to death by the Communists and that the friend talking to him would be killed soon himself. He kept that meeting secret and continued to praise the Soviets and knock America. Sheesh.

    Interestingly, I think the lyrics of Robeson's version differ from those of Cooke and Sinatra. They are MORE patriotic, mentioning Jefferson, Paine, and Lincoln.

    I've at least kept you from a shutout!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-Gun, thank you for saving me from that dreaded shut-out which I figured where this was heading. I knew that Sam Cooke had the edge here, but I'd watched that Sinatra short film recently and felt that the present political/social climate needed to hear the message again.

      Thanks for the insight provided. It is weird how some people start thinking and especially after they gain fame and fortune.

      Finally, a vote for Paul Robeson.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. No doubt about it, I'm voting for Sam Cooke. Much more pleasing to my ears.

    ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another vote for Sam Cooke. I couldn't get into Paul Robeson's version of the tune. Personally, I don't like his voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, Robeson's voice does take some getting used to if one can be able to appreciate it at all. You're not alone in your opinion.

      Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke,
    Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke,
    Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke,
    Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke,
    Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke,
    Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke,
    Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke, please...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, well if you're going to be so ebullient about it...

      A vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Lee,

    I enjoyed both versions. I almost went with Sam Cooke. I love his easy on the ears sound but honestly I felt Paul Robeson's version is more geniune sounding and I give Paul.

    I think for a time things got better after WWII but in the past 30-years things have gotten drastically worse. Liberties that were fought for in the 60s is reversing with hatred burning stronger than ever. People have lost their moral compass and replaced common sense with arrogance and stupidity. Our world is heading down a very destructive path. I pray that the next generartion sees the error of their parents moving toward a better future.

    Nice battle. Have a good weekend, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, you stated your case very well and I agree.

      A vote for Paul Robeson.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I vote for Sam Cooke. I agree with Cathy that the Paul Robeson is probably more authentic but personally I like the softer tones of Cooke. I also prefer the pitch and variations in the melody and the orchestra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan B, I think many would agree.

      A vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Oh no! This is a hard one for me to choose between. They are both so good in their own ways. I love both their voices, but I guess I'll have to go with Sam Cooke, because even though I know of Paul Robeson and admire him, I absolutely ADORE Sam Cooke. I keep waiting for them to make a movie about his life...so Sam Cooke it is. I really liked the quotes. Thank you for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, a movie about Cooke sounds like something with potential.

      Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Hi Lee!

    Hope you're staying warm.

    What a great song! I really like Sam Cooke - no wait, I LOVE his version! The other guy, not so much.

    I love the messages in this post. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, I'm trying to stay warm--and dry.

      A vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Paul Robeson is one of my heroes, and I love how much soul he puts into the song, but I ended up slightly preferring the Sam Cooke version. His vocals are smoother, making the song feel more emotional.

    Some things have changed for the better since WWII (such as scientific and medical breakthroughs), while others have become worse (like SJWs in the Woke Stasi). There's always a trade-off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, I had to look up "SJWs in the Woke Stasi"--kind of get the reference, but don't have the interest or time to devote to totally get it.

      A vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee


      Delete
  14. thank you for sharing lovely songs.
    have a great day

    ReplyDelete
  15. Definately agree with your open- pretty much where my flaming post today came from. And the biggest problem is that the worst haters are the ones that don't even realize they do it.


    On my way down to the comment box, I gather that Sam has this one pretty much in the bag. But, you know what, the other dude has some pipes! Gimme #1...

    ReplyDelete
  16. CW, and the haters I've encountered were the ones accusing me of the hate when I was only try to reason things out.

    The "other dude" definitely needs a boost of support.

    A vote for Paul Robeson.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  17. I really like Sam Cook's version better. I like his sweet tenor voice and the orchestra playing in the background. This is a great patriotic song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ais, I'd never heard this until recently, but it is a moving piece of patriotic music.

      A vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. I absolutely love Paul Robeson and listening to his version of this song was a treat. There's not enough Paul Robeson songs playing on any given day. He really was a fantastic talent.

    But you put that great artists up against Sam Cooke and even I caved and gave Sam my vote. Lordy, that smmoth, soulful voice...so awesome and heartfelt. Love it.

    As for America post - WW II...I know that there's a slew of positive things that have happened, but I yearn for the old days. I hate that I said that...it makes me sound like your old granny...but, there ya go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, there is much to be missed about the old days I agree. And I don't think it makes us sound old to think that.

      Another vote for Sam Cooke.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee