Frank Loesser wrote “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” in April 1942. It was only the second song for which he had written both the words and the music; the first had preceded it by three years. Yet it turned him into a celebrity. In her biography of her father, Susan Loesser writes:
Schoolchildren sang it in assembly; housewives hummed it while they ironed; the Office of War Information, concerned that the public might tire of it prematurely, limited its performance to once every four hours….The song sold over two million records and a million copies of sheet music.
Loesser enlisted in the Army the following fall. (To listen to Kay Kyser’s 78 RPM single of the song — a number one hit in 1943 — click here.)
Mark Steyn uses Loesser’s song to launch an excellent column on the progresive ethos supporting the rise of Barack Obama. Steyn focuses on the “God and guns” component of Senator Obama’s sermon to the San Francisco Democrats.
Obama’s sermon is a rich text. In addition to his disparagement of those who “cling” to God and guns, Obama imputed xenophobia (“anti-immigrant sentiment”) and racism (“antipathy to people who aren’t like them”) to the hicks in the sticks, as well as the “anti-trade sentiment” that he himself has sought to turn to his own uses. Indeed, it’s the San Francisco Democrats who seem most driven by antipathy to Americans who are unlike them in ways other than the color of their skin.