A well-written song makes you feel a thought - Yip Harburg

Right now I am interested in my socially conscious lyrics and being the times we are living in am looking at the famous Depression Era song 'Buddy or Brother can you spare a dime'.

The lyricist Kip Yarburg was introduced to the composer Jay Gorney by Ira Gershwin and they were trying to put lyrics to a tune that Gorney knew as a child -originally a Polish lullaby. On their walk to central park they met a well groomed young man who asked them 'buddy can you spare a dime' and so a great title was born and a classic song written.

In an interview, lyricist "Yip" Harburg spoke about words and music. A well-written song, he said, "makes you feel a thought." I really want to learn to write like that - to make people feel a thought. Yip was originally a verse writer who along the way became a successful businessman in order to support his family that is until the Depression hit in Oct '29 and it forced him to change career.


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