Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pick Yourself Up: Obama Inauguration Speech's Best Line Riffs on Dorothy Fields via Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Is Barack Obama now a not so secret Fred and Ginger fan?

Is it coincidence that Obama seems to have turned to a popular song written at the height of the Great Depression to find perhaps his most memorable line in today's inaugural speech?

"we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again"

Pick Yourself Up
(1936) lyrics Dorothy Fields, music Jerome Kern,
And pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.

The movie Swing Time was released in 1936; the Depression was raging and Fred and Ginger were cranking out light entertainment for RKO featuring opulent settings, popular music, lots of dancing and oft times offering a few chuckles at the foibles of the upper crust. In the process they also created a body or work that is unsurpassed in the field of American Musical Movies and indeed Dance on Film.

Pick Yourself Up is introduced first in song as Fred hits on Ginger, a ballroom dance instructor, by pretending he can't dance, a bit later its used in a classic dance sequence as Fred tries to save Ginger's job by showing her boss that she has indeed taught him to dance (much to Ginger's surprise.)

Will Barack and Michele have a number up their sleeves ala Fred and Ginger for the Inauguration Ball this eve? We will have to wait and see, but in the meantime enjoy this clip; it just doesn't get any better than this!

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