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"God Bless America--or, Mose and His Big Jewish Nose"

From the Jewish-Music list, via Cantor Sam Weiss, one last tribute this year to the anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence:

"That's the title of this July 4th Jewniverse.com article: thejewniverse.com/2013/god-bless-america-or-mose-and-his-big-jewish-nose/

"I first came across the vaudeville song (Before the Jewface CD brought it to our attention) in a much rarer alternate version of the sheet-music in which the title is ever-so-slightly modified by one word to make it ever-so-slightly less offensive: "When Mose With His Hand Leads the Band." Similarly in the lyrics, the line "He's unique with nothing else but just his nose" (which you hear in the Jewniverse recording link at 0:48) was changed to "And to see him lead they stand up on their toes." I just located a complete copy of this version of the sheet music here:


"Compared to the "Nose" cover attached to the "Jewniverse" article, the "Hand" cover shows an even more prominently preposterous proboscis, and when I first saw it I just knew that "hand" could not have been in the original title. Sure enough the anatomically correct original version soon was publicized in connection with the Jewface album release.

"Interestingly, both versions were published in 1906. My guess is that the milder title was issued to suit the more delicate sensibilities of the lady performer (Jeannette Dupre) seen in the bottom cameo photo. The recorded version on the Jewface album is slightly faster, and includes the second verse ("Katzenstein plays 'The Rhein'...") missing from the recorded link in this article.

"As far as interesting musicology on "God Bless America," the book described in this recent Forward article looks much more promising: forward.com/articles/179363/the-jewish-history-of-god-bless-america/"