Frank Sinatra – What is America to Me – The House I Live In

Frank Sinatra

“The House I Live in”

What is America to Me

In 2007, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


From Wikipedia

More Information

The House I Live In is a ten-minute short film written by Albert Maltz, produced by Frank Ross and Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Frank Sinatra. Made to oppose anti-Semitism and racial prejudice at the end of World War II, it received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.

Sinatra takes a “smoke” break from a recording session. He sees more than 10 boys chasing a Jewish boy and intervenes, first with dialogue; then with a little speech. His main points are that we are “all” Americans and that one American’s blood is as good as another, all our religions are equally to be respected.

In the film, Sinatra sings the title song, and his recording became a national hit. The lyrics were written in 1943 by Abel Meeropol under the pen name Lewis Allan. (Meeropol later adopted Michael and Robert, the two orphaned sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after the 1953 execution of the couple.)

Meeropol was enraged that in the film, the second verse was cut. Meeropol protested against the deletion of the verse referring to “my neighbors white and black” when Sinatra’s movie was first shown.

The music was written by Earl Robinson. Robinson was later blacklisted during the McCarthy era for being a member of the Communist Party. He also wrote campaign songs for the presidential campaigns of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry A. Wallace, and, in 1984, Jesse Jackson.

The song originally appeared in the musical revue, Let Freedom Sing, which opened on Broadway on October 5, 1942.


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