With the GOP primaries and Occupy movements swirling around us, your faithful correspondent thought that this song is particularly timely.
Written in 1931 at the height of the Great Depression, “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” was originally a Broadway tune. However, it caught the anguish of the day so well, it became a popular standard. The subject was the men returning from World War One (one of the highest casualty rates in history) to find that there was no work and no place for ex-soldiers.
Other videos of this song include photographs of the riots that mass unemployment caused. You might want to have a look at those as well.
If it does not play here, please go to YouTube.
This is a particularly heart-breaking version, recorded in 1932. It is sung by a very young Bing Crosby, decades before he became the dull, cardigan-wearing “Der Bingle.” The photographs depict people caught up in the events, including several famous Dorothea Lange portraits.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.