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Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?


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Description
In this time of year when emotions can swing from elation to sadness,
The Easy Aces would like to offer this little tune.
This just seems like the right time to be acknowledging our human frailties and triumphs.
How far we must go and how short a distance we have travelled.

lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)
PD


"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", also sung as "Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?", is one of the best-known American songs of the Great Depression. Written in 1931 by lyricist E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and composer Jay Gorney, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" was part of the 1932 musical, New Americana; the melody is based on a Russian lullaby Gorney heard as a child. It became best known, however, through recordings by Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee. Both versions were released right before Franklin Delano Roosevelt's election to the presidency and both became number one hits on the charts. The Brunswick Crosby recording became the best-selling record of its period, and came to be viewed as an anthem of the shattered dreams of the era.

The song asks why the men who built the nation – built the railroads, built the skyscrapers – who fought in the war (World War I), who tilled the earth, who did what their nation asked of them should, now that the work is done and their labor no longer necessary, find themselves abandoned, in bread lines. It refers to "Yankee Doodle Dum", a reference to patriotism, and the evocation of veterans also recalls military bonuses, which were a topical issue. (Source: Wikipedia)

Photograph: Unknown National Archives Feb. 1932
Source: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library
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Lyrics
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?
Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!
Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!
Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)
Song Stats
Hits: 2609
Comments: 38
Fans: 16
Plays: 150
Downloads: 66

Uploaded: Nov 27, 2010 - 04:52:07 PM
Last Updated: Nov 27, 2010 - 05:10:53 PM Last Played: Apr 05, 2017 - 10:24:36 AM
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Comments
alackbass said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Wow is this one great! Sylvia's backing track is smooth and provides the perfect foundation. I love the little piano fills at the end. Andy's sax echos with pain and sadness (go on and make that horn cry brother). And Michael makes this song his own! Did I mention the pro sounding mix!
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
alackbass said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Oh and One More Thing!
First!
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TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Andrew
Well, thanks Brother Andrew. Sylvia is the driving force here. MJK's vocals are reflective, serious and over-the-top excellent here. The mix was where I just shoved the glitter to the Right and the solos to the middle. Michael mixed his vocals prior to the sax track and so it was all a matter of not screwing it up.
-awigze

Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
lilmom said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Michael and Andy
How does a "mom" tell her kids she is so proud of them without giving them a big head! You two make me proud to say I'm part of this trio 'family'. Your professionalism is non-stop and your talents are over the top! i love you!
lilmom
Check out my latest song called Tribute to Jeannie and Ed
TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
lilmom
Well, you know we feel the same way about you "mom". Without you we are just noodling around. (speaking for myself actually, because MJK seems to know what he is doing) Thanks for thinking of us when you selected this song. -awigze
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
magnatone said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Brother
oh man - this is FABULOUS all you Easy Aces!! this combo of talents with the 3 of you is one of my fave ongoing collab teams at MJ - you just meld together so seamlessly! Congrats to each and all of you, and thanks for this treat!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Karen
Thank you for your kind words. We are all happy to do what we are doing.... and thank you for all of your support and for you being a good friend to all of us Easy Aces.
-awigze
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
Sigmund said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Spare a Dime?
This sounds great! The music soundbed is smooth and mellow; sax is superb and is oh so sultry. Another fine vocal performance from Michael rounds this out nicely - really fells perfect for the time. Enjoyed the listen - thanks!
Sig
Check out my latest song called Running with the Wind by Peter B, feat rok41
TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Sigmund
Thanks for your kindness my friend. We were all hanging outside of The Easy Aces Tavern last month when a kind gentleman walked up to us and asked us if we could spare some change. We rustled around and gave him a couple of bucks. We immediately looked at each other and grinned. Sylvia laughed out loud and said, 'I'll have something for you in a couple of days!" Gee that was swell. - awigze
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
jdholliday said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
wow
this is extremely well played by all, beautiful lament, that sax is haunting, Sylvia's backer is so smooth, and I think my all time favorite MJK vocal! This is 3 pros really showing their constraint by playing and singing all the right stuff the right way, very believable, the 3 of you raised the bar high on this one! Well done!
Check out my latest song called Please Help, Pride of NYC needs tracks!
awigze said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Thanks JD
Your words are what I was thinking about Sylvia's and Michaels work on this song.... There is something special about Michael's timbre here that evokes something that is kind of hard to grasp... almost like he was having that sort of day that perplexes, but inspires... ever have any of those? I knew that I was going to be challenged by their work; 'don't do too much'. I am not certain if I pulled that off, but at any rate, I am happy to have worked with them both again.
Check out my latest song called Tommy Cat
TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Thank you James
We are very glad you could stop and listen! We thought it time we did something a little different from the upbeat toe-tappers and I thought this song would be a very good choice for something different during these awful times we are going through. On behalf of Sylvia and Andy--very grateful to hear from you and for your kind words on our effort here! Take care now! (Michael)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
Carrie71 said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Awesome
Everyone did an excellent job. But that sax just...well Andy you are incredible! Lilmom's piano was awesome and MJK can sing with the best of them. Love it!
TheEasyAces said 2339 days ago (November 29th, 2010)
Thanks Carrie

Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
H3nry said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
You aced this one.
New guy here. I'm amazed at the quality of music on MacJams. Madonna and Justin Whatsizname have nothing on this crowd.
Check out my latest song called Dive Bomber
TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Thanks H3!
Now, don't you be sassing that Justin Timberlake! He's my role model and idol yanno (you believe me of course!) Thanks very much for listening and the gracious endorsement you've left us! (Michael)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
RAVENS said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Wow
What a fabulous arrangement, Sylvia. The sax is hauntingly stunning, Andy. The vocals are just okay. HA! They are excellent, Moe. You all are so talented & make a wonderful team. Great stuff!

RAVEN ;-)
Check out my latest song called Tattooed Scars (w/ Sigmund, Scofugate, Rok41)
TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Dani
I'm really glad you enjoyed the work that all three of us put into this--thanks for the special nods to me, Sylvia and Andy--we greatly appreciate it! (Michael)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
dave_b said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime
Great song! Nice arrangement, smooth and soulful playing from Sylvia & Andy. Michael's vocals did the song justice, haven't heard him do sad before.
Check out my latest song called Llarions Blues
TheEasyAces said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Dave!
You should hear me do "sad" right around April 15th every year! But all seriousness aside, we sure do appreciate your taking the time to stop and listen to our latest outing--and of course, for the very warm reception you've given it. You take care now! (Michael)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
michaeljayklein said 2340 days ago (November 27th, 2010)
Sylvia and Andy
Congratulations and thanks to you both for the superb work you put into this. I think we may have surpassed any previous records for turnaround speed on this one! Talk about alacrity!

Thanks again guys,

Photobucket


Michael
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
TheEasyAces said 2339 days ago (November 29th, 2010)
Thanks Michael
It got a little rangy for me, but hopefully it worked out okay! Besides, with Sylvia and Andy playing their hearts out, that made it easier! (Michael)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
Symphony101 said 2340 days ago (November 28th, 2010)
My favorite band
coming up with one of my favorite songs. This is so nicely done ! You all excelled on your respective parts guys. I heard this song when George Michael interpreted first, it was a cool surprize to hear this from The Easy Aces, and I love this version so much. Straight to the point, very nice version !
Check out my latest song called Standing On The Brink (w/ Mosaica)
TheEasyAces said 2339 days ago (November 28th, 2010)
Thanks again Yves
We really enjoyed hearing from you! (Michael)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
MarkHolbrook said 2339 days ago (November 29th, 2010)
Ok this is simply
far too excellent... It is not fair to have so dang much talent in one place... you guys need to spread it around! Andy quit walking around! You went from front/center to the right... I hurt my neck following you.

This is spot on great! Simply outstanding!
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awigze said 2339 days ago (November 29th, 2010)
Mark
I fell out the window.... clumsy.
Check out my latest song called Tommy Cat
TheEasyAces said 2337 days ago (November 30th, 2010)
Thanks Mark!
Maybe this depression era song was too depressing (considering we are about THIS close to reliving that era these days--not sure!) Glad you liked our latest and thanks so much for the kind words! (Michael)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
PeterB7858 said 2338 days ago (November 29th, 2010)
Iconic
Great vocals Michael. Atmospheric sax and an all round fantastic effort on an iconic song. Collaboration at its finest. Thanks. Regards, Peter
Check out my latest song called Dancing In The Rain (GSB)
TheEasyAces said 2337 days ago (November 30th, 2010)
Peter
I think Andy did a very fine job with this, and I'm glad now I left a little extra room for him in lieu of a vocal refrain once I heard what he did in it. Both of these guys are SUCH a great joy to work either--every time! Thanks again and appreciated hearing from you! (Michael--you can always tell it's me because every sentence is exclamatory--just a bad writing habit I have!)
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
drakonis said 2337 days ago (December 1st, 2010)
The Russians have the great tunes
IThis is a superb rendition of this song of frustration and depression. You are all riding the edge of dirge, without falling into the pit of despair, a tricky line. AndySax really delivers the anguish with that sax work... Sylvia's music is perfection, and MJK's singing was emotionally charged without being sappy, it was just plain honest... a hard-hitting piece, exquisitely done!

ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Miwok
lilmom said 2336 days ago (December 1st, 2010)
DRAK!
Thank you so much for this fabulous comment. I think we all put our hearts into this one because it makes such a strong statement about the sad state of affairs today - so close to how it was back then! I'm sure I'm correct to say that Andy and Michael also appreciate this feedback from you. Thank you for giving us some of your listening time.
Sylvia
Check out my latest song called Tribute to Jeannie and Ed
awigze said 2336 days ago (December 1st, 2010)
Drak
when I first heard Michael's vocals there was a clean edge of soul searching and somberness. I was not expecting this but I know that in art such as this he has many expressions of mood and talent. Sylvia set the tone and they together forged an excellent tune. All I had to do was fall into their enviornment and believe in their vision. Thanks to you and taking the time to listen and comment.
Check out my latest song called Tommy Cat
Tiny_Man_Inside said 2336 days ago (December 1st, 2010)
well captured
Sort of depressing to listen to, but in a good bluesy way.
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michaeljayklein said 2336 days ago (December 1st, 2010)
Thanks Tiny
Yes, the title kind of gives you an idea of what is to come. Probably not as depressing as much of the @$&$#@! on the charts today but yes, it is depressing--I think the songwriters wrote that as a reminder to all who were not around during those bleak times. Thanks again and take care now, Michael
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
lengold said 2328 days ago (December 10th, 2010)
I absolutely
love this song - my Dad used to sing it to us kids.
This is a beautiful version of it. Downloaded. Thanks.
Cheers
Len


Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
lilmom said 2317 days ago (December 21st, 2010)
Sorry so delinquent to reply
For some reason, my notifications stopped working and I didn't see this until just now! I'm so pleased you could take time to listen and comment, Len. It is one of those old, old songs that a person either loves or hates. In any case, we 'aces' thought it was very appropriate to the times and wanted to show our combined empathy to the sad state of affairs for many folks these days. Thank you for listening! And thanks for the download! I'm sure Michael and Awigze feel the same.
Sylvia
Check out my latest song called Tribute to Jeannie and Ed
ste said 2270 days ago (February 5th, 2011)
hell
of a sax backing. love the guitar chinks and wonderful vocal performance
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TheEasyAces said 2256 days ago (February 20th, 2011)
Ste
Thanks Ste for the cool comment. Thanks to all from The Easy Aces!
Check out my latest song called ROUTE 66 (by Awigze, Sylvia & MJK)
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