MIAGD: Make it a great day
While in high school I watched a Fourth of July television program that included a fantastic arrangement of Irving Berlin‘s, “This Is A Great Country,” also made popular by crooner, Perry Como.
Several years later during a private directing lesson with my mentor, Joshua Logan, we began going through one of his songbooks; I accompanied, Mr. Logan sang. Mr. Logan was a decent singer but the dear man could and did, sing with a mighty gusto.
As I turned through the book I came upon, “This Is A Great Country” and was prepared to turn the page. Mr. Logan grew exceptionally excited.
“Oh, no, Son, we have to do this song! This is from the musical MR. PRESIDENT that I directed back in the early 60s. It had Robert Ryan and Nanette Fabray as the first lady. It didn’t… never mind.” Mr. Logan sat taller on the bench, placed his hand on the piano where he would energetically smack out the tempo, and said commanding gusto, “OK, I am ready!”
With fists dramatically punching the air like a drum-major leading a mighty band, we sang the song. It was glorious. Mr. Logan was not only traveling down his fantastic, incredible memory lane, he was also swearing his allegiance to the red, white and blue through the rousing song.
Listen to different versions of the song:
I still love “This Is A Great Country” and often find myself repeating the lyrics, “take a look in your history book and you see why we should be proud.”
So, happy birthday, USA! Despite the hideous turmoil in which we are mired, it’s still a great country.
Let’s all make it a great day so we can continue working in the spirit of our Founding Fathers to make it a great country.