Pick yourself up, dust yourself off

As I mentioned previously, I think the extent to which Obama trash-talked his predecessor during the inaugural has been overstated. I heard Chris Matthews hyperventilating on this theme yesterday, including Obama’s admonition.

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America” meant that Obama believed Bush was leaving behind a nation that is lying down in the dust.

Although Obama’s message was certainly serious, and there was almost no levity in the speech, I feel certain that rather than referring to ex-Pres. Bush, Obama was actually citing the lyrics from Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields standard “Pick Yourself Up,” sung and danced to by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1936 film “Swing Time.

It goes like this:

Nothing’s impossible, I have found.
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off,
Start all over again.

Don’t lose your confidence if you slip.
Be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up; dust yourself off;
Start all over again.

Because I’m a minor old movie buff, it was actually one of my favorite lines in the speech, and a pretty good philosophy of life too. For the sake of decorum, I’m just as glad that Obama didn’t sing it, but I wouldn’t mind hearing Aretha Franklin take a stab.

This link will get you Fred Astaire singing it.

And if you have three more minutes to waste on such silliness, here’s a YouTube clip of Fred and Ginger dancing to it. (The gag is that Fred is trying to help dance instructor Ginger impress her stupid boss by pretending that she has just taught him to dance.)

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ed Stych on 01/21/2009 - 03:06 pm.

    “Christ” Matthews? I know he thinks he is, but …

    Pretty funny typo …

  2. Submitted by Eric Black on 01/21/2009 - 05:29 pm.

    Thanks Ed. Got it. Fixed. Mr. Matthews is Christlike no more.

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