The following is a guest post by Retired Senior Cataloger Sharon McKinley.
Everyone loves Inauguration Day! What’s not to like? Flags fly, people cheer, and federal employees in the Washington area get the day off, because no one wants to compete with them for seats on Metro.
We in the Music Division are joining in the celebration with a few presidential songs from the It’s Showtime database.
The Passing Show of 1913 included “Inauguration Day,” by Al Brown and Harold R. Atteridge. This little ditty is one of the few that addresses this festive event directly, and we are pleased to offer it in its entirety. Cover model Charlotte Greenwood was a noted dancer with long legs and a long career in Hollywood, which included appearances in the Carmen Miranda classic The Gang’s All Here (1943) and Oklahoma (1959).
Kisses for my President was a 1964 movie comedy starring Polly Bergen as the first woman elected president, with Fred MacMurray as the first first-hubby. The good news about this ground-breaking movie is that Polly gets elected. The bad news is that it’s 1964, and the minute she gets pregnant, she quits, taking on her rightful role as a stay-at-home mom. Oh, well, it was a thought, anyway.
Then there’s The Phantom President, a 1932 film with George M. Cohan, Claudette Colbert, and Jimmy Durante. It features a plot device some of our candidates could put to good use: a totally boring candidate has a “stunt double” for public appearances: a medicine show pitchman. Just in case you were wondering how Durante pulled off looking like Cohan, he didn’t: Cohan played both roles. We have 2 songs from this production: “We need a man,” by Cohan, and “Give her a kiss,” by Rodgers and Hart.
I think there’s some room here for new popular songs about Election Day, and a movie or show just waiting to feature them. Start writing, and you too may someday be enshrined in our collections!
For more information about inaugurations past, check out the January/February issue of the LCM, Library of Congress Magazine, here: http://www.loc.gov/lcm/