Inauguration ’09: Invoking Astaire and Rogers

The first inaugural speech to invoke the great American standard, “Pick Yourself Up,” Jerome Kern music, Dorothy Fields lyrics.

From the text of President Obama’s speech: “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

From the lyrics of “Pick Yourself Up,” famously performed in the 1936 film, “Swing Time,” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. (YouTube clip.)

Nothing’s impossible, I have found.
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off,
Start all over again.

Don’t lose your confidence if you slip.
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up; dust yourself off;
Start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired
‘Til the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again.
So take a deep breath;
Pick yourself up;
Dust yourself off;
Start all over again.

Wonderful song, excellent sentiments…

Diana Krall performs it.

UPDATE: And how much more Presidential than a reference to Jay-Zee and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.”

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Kathy says:

    At first I started to get emotional but Arethra Franklin’s rendition of that famous song I disappointed me so much. It did not inspire me at all. It was almost like lisenting to Roseanne Barr when she made a jerk of herself by screaming the National Anthem at the ballgame. I stopped watching the rest of the festivities after Franklin sang the song. She has lost her ability to carry a tune and can’t reach any high notes. It should have been sung by someone like Celine Dion. Poor decision by whomever decided to pick Franklin.

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