We have come to the close of this miserable anniversary weekend. You know my feelings on the horrible inert passivity of the official observances, and of the loss of the wider war. But even the Internet cannot live on fecklessness, betrayal and elite contempt alone. So, as a palate cleanser for this wretched occasion, I thought we'd round things out with a musical remembrance and some pure unabashed love of country in a special audio edition of our Song of the Week. To help tell the story of "God Bless America", we'll hear Irving Berlin's great anthem sung by Kate Smith and Céline Dion (courtesy of my friends at Piccolo Studios in Montreal); by the composer himself - and by Congressional leaders, spontaneously, on the steps of the Capitol in the immediate wake of 9/11. We'll explore the song's origins in the First World War, and in a long forgotten ethnic novelty called "When Mose With His Nose Leads The Band".
You will note that a few of those we touch on in this tale have latterly been canceled, some deservedly so (Dennis Hastert), some entirely undeservingly, including Kate Smith herself, booted from their leaden rituals by both the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers. If you still follow these hideous stupid corporatist sports, you're a big part of the problem.
To listen to this show, simply click above.
~This show is adapted from the essay in my book A Song For The Season. You can order your personally autographed copy exclusively from the SteynOnline bookstore - and, if you're a Mark Steyn Club member, don't forget to enter your promo code at checkout for special member pricing.
If you enjoy this audio special, we now have a weekly broadcast Song of the Week, every Sunday on Serenade Radio in the UK. You can listen to the show from anywhere on the planet by clicking the button in the top right corner here. It airs thrice a week:
5.30pm London Sunday (12.30pm New York)
5.30am London Monday (2.30pm Sydney)
9pm London Thursday (1pm Vancouver)
If you're a Steyn Clubber and the above has you rabidly frothing white with foam, feel free to weigh in in our comments section. As we always say, membership in The Mark Steyn Club isn't for everybody, and it doesn't affect access to Song of the Week and our other regular content, but one thing it does give you is commenter's privileges. Please stay on topic and don't include URLs, as the longer ones can wreak havoc with the formatting of the page.