2: Text excerpt, Berlin's daughter on why he wrote "God Bless America."
This is a quote from an article in Performing Songwriter, an online periodical managed by Lydia Hutchinson, a long-standing member of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), and a music journalist.
Suggested Activity: Berlin’s intention, as understood by his daughter, is made clear here: he wanted to thank America and remind others to be thankful along with him. Discuss with students: do Berlin’s intentions for the song still matter? Do the meanings we assign to the song tend to match or disrupt Berlin’s intent? What if a song means one thing to its writer and other things to its listeners nearly a century later?
Source: Bill DeMain, "Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America,'" Performing Songwriter, performingsongwriter.com, May 11, 2014, http://performingsongwriter.com/god-bless-america/.