It took me a long time to see “Gold Diggers of 1933,” but I am so glad I did, because of this master stroke that came at the end.
“Remember My Forgotten Man” is first spoken by Joan Blondell, then sung by an uncredited Etta Moten.
The singing is beautiful, a haunting, measured wail of heartache–be sure to listen all the way through the clip below.
Yet it was the spoken part that chilled me.
Equal parts restrained, embittered, and compassionate, you get the sense that the speaker wants to sink to her knees through the sheer weight of the injustice dealt out to those who’ve fought for our freedom.
Instead, she has to stay strong both for herself and for all the forgotten souls.
But she’s angry, too, oh, is she ever.
Give it a try.
“Remember my forgotten man?
You put a rifle in his hand
You sent him far away
You shouted, “Hip hooray!
–But look at him today.”
Do read this review as well. Within an excellent overview of the movie and an in-depth look at this song is this succinct point:
“We all struggle, but in your own struggle, remember the ‘forgotten men’. That hobo on the street could be a war hero. Do not abandon him. Do not forget him.”
It’s true: Our perceptions are not always reality.
Which made me think…
A couple years ago, I had the privilege of working on this video project that shows exactly what happens when you change your perceptions to reality. I’d never been part of any video project and the entire process was really cool.
But the point is, there’s a part in there that speaks strongly—without saying a word out loud—to the video just gone before. So if you feel like clicking on another video, try this one: