Philip Nel > Courses > American Studies 201: Introduction to American Studies (Spring 1998) > Some Music from the 1930s > "Happy Days Are Here Again" & "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"
 
"Happy Days Are Here Again"
By Jack Yellen & Milton Alger
As recorded by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra, with Lou Levin, vocal (November 1929).
 
Happy days are here again,
The skies above are clear again
Let us sing a song of cheer again --
Happy days are here again
 
All together, shout it now --
There's no one who can doubt it now
So let's tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again
 
Your cares and troubles are gone --
There'll be no more from now on!
 
Happy days are here again,
The skies above are clear again
Let us sing a song of cheer again --
Happy days are here again
 
In 1932, this song was played at the Democratic presidential convention and became a campaign song for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
 

 
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"
By E. Y. Harburg & J. Gorney
 
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, 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 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-doodle-dom.
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?
 
In 1932, this song hit #1 for Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby (in separate recordings).

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