Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, both were song lyricists, with only Strouse knowing how to compose music, wrote several Broadway classics together. Their best-known work in their collaboration was Bye, Bye Birdie which was inspired by the events of Elvis Presley being drafted into the Army and serving oversees in then West Germany.
This could have been the reason why Norman Lear commissioned Adams and Strouse to compose the simple song Those Were The Days as the theme to Lear’s hit comedy All In The Family, in which Archie Bunker more so than his wife Edith lament about the days of his youth when he and yes the “dingbat” were taught to fear and honor God, and build a community that is just as God honoring. The opening credits with Archie and Edith (played by Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton respectfully) singing the theme song was recorded six times during the nine-year run of AITF. Indeed, the early 20th Century at least before Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had no welfare state and everybody pulled their weight. That was just one great thing about those days and not just Glen Miller and the LaSalle. There was something called morality which was to be respected and never challenged. "Girls were Girls and Men were Men," just as the Holy Bible said…back then it might have been a response to the 1960’s youth. Today it means a whole lot more which I will get to later. I will disagree on the "Mister Hoover" reference, for I would prefer a Calvin Coolidge or a Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ronald Reagan was only governor of California at the time and no one thought he would make a run for President…wrong.
The next paragraphs focus on the lesser-known lyrics of the song. If you want to hear it in full, click here.
Now while the freaks were in the circus and its respected tents or whatever, it should noted that P.T. Barnum had a bold Christian worldview if not himself a Christian. He was first a Democrat who later switched to the Republican Party when he realized which of the two political parties at the time actually supported the push back against slavery. Hint, it was the Democrats that wanted that pushback. Barnum was also reported to have actually taken care of those “freaks” in his circus tent and more. Slave or Freak according Barnum; "A human soul, 'that God has created and Christ died for,' is not to be trifled with. It may tenant the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, an Arab, or a Hottentot—it is still an immortal spirit." Barnum was much more than looking for suckers…if any…and if he really said that.
Hair was short and long skirts were a representation of the God ordained gender roles, in what men and women were expected to do by the time they reach adult hood. The man becomes the provider and head of his wife. The wife answers to her husband keeps house and is the direct superior of the family’s children, but father still has final say. Kate Smith reenforced the need for God, and to give him the honor in the creation of what we know today as the United States of America. On top of that, Smith’s recording of God Bless America is the most popular version coupled with being her signature song. I should also note that Irving Berlin wrote the song and was a Jew. Side Note; he also gave us White Christmas.
So “just what went wrong” as the full-length version of Those Where The Days asks? I have an answer. The short version of this answer is lots of things went wrong, and it entails questioning God and his Law. The longer version would take years of research laying out the people who took America in that wrong direction. Granted Mark Levin and others have helped the research, but here is my take on just want went wrong.
For starters and the sake of this piece, I lay the blame at the VERY songwriters of Those Where The Days. They themselves of the Broadway elite coupled with Norman Lear and the Hollywood elite contributed to what went wrong in our nation. John Dewey and his so-called Progressive Education, and Herbert Croly who cofounded the left wing rag The New Republic. Others I lay the blame on for what went wrong include; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, TR, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Norm Chomsky, Charles Frances Potter, Howard Zinn, Lawrence Lader, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jane Fonda, Anne Nicol and Annie Laurie Gaylor, Margret Sanger, John Maynard Keynes, Sarah Weddington, Edward R. Morrow, Walter Cronkite, Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Barack Obama…the list is endless.
Now the long-haired men that get mistaken as girls…some of them now want to be girls, and vice versa when it comes to women who want to be more than Tommy Boys and actual men. You can blame that same progressive blob for embracing the gender blender…which in turn is really about our attempt as the human race to mock God and get away with it. I could have blamed Elvis and the Beatles but they were products of the progressive mob…although The King did a few Gospel albums. John Lennon…well he was good at shaking his fist at God, with his more popular than Jesus crack and the Communist/Marxist anthem Imagine and Lennon was the first of the fab four to meet his maker…Gone Too Soon Indeed. Elvis took his own life three years earlier.
Now there are some things we can’t go back to…but we still can go back to the basics. The left will fight tooth and nail for sure. The Last thing we want to tell our children is how America was once free. That would be a very sad lamentation for our children and grandchildren. Those Were the Days, indeed…and the likes of Adams and Strouse played their part in helping take the God centered basics of Liberty and Freedom away…and for what? A Brave New World, Sexual Liberation (including abortion rights and LGBTQ expression), Personal Gain, Radical Individualism and Autonomy? Shameful…truly Shameful.
One More Time WITH Feeling…(Singing) Those Were The Daaaaaaaays!
Happy Easter & Passover.