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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barack Obama channels Astaire and Rogers

One of the lines that stuck with me from Barack Obama's Inaugural address, one that I've heard repeated several times today, came when he said, "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." Something about the words rang a bell, and after a little Googling, I realized they echo the song "Pick Yourself Up," a show tune/jazz standard sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Diane Krall. Apparently lyricist Dorothy Fields and composer Jerome Kern wrote it for the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical Swing Time (which, appropriately enough, dates back to 1936, when the United States was still struggling to get out of the Great Depression). Here's the clip from Swing Time: listen out for the line "Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again:"

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