The House We Live In – My apologies to Frank Sinatra

I have been wrestling with how to celebrate July 4th (243rd Birthday of America) with a poem. I recently heard Amanda Gorman, the National Youth Poet Laureate recite her Independence Day poem: Believer’s Hymn of the Republic on CBS. She will perform it again tonight  accompanied by the Boston’s Pops Symphony playing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. She became my inspiration.

I also remembered a song by Frank Sinatra my father loved and would play all the time called “The House I Live In”. I became a little sad and thought about what my dad would say about what is happening in our country these days.The country he loved so much. Both songs helped me compose my poem.


The House We Live In  by Melba Christie



Sometimes I wonder

If I have lost my way

Sometimes I do not know

what is the right thing to say

about the house we live in.

Is it just a plot of earth?

A main street without a name,

I so want to be so proud;

But sometimes I feel a little shame,

because children now fear

the playgrounds, some the faces that they see

the violence and the fights

Are not we all a part of the we.

What happened to the proud eagle’s flight?

Respect for each other’s views?

The howdy and the handshake are so rare and few

and the right to speak my heart out

what happened to all that too?

The house we used to live in

was roomy and very warm

we knew how to huddle together

with the menace of a storm.

The house we lived in was always great to me.

Not just a slogan or even a flag,

It was a very meaningful word – Democracy!

We live in a house

that needs a little repair.

A real truth, a love of liberty for all

the promise that we knew

“A House divided cannot stand”

I know that

so do you

it is about knowing

out of many we are one.

Let us continue to build

on the foundation that they

built 243 years ago.

A beautiful plot of earth

From sea to shining sea

all races, all religions

all genders

We all want to be free.

So let us join all our

great voices

let us get ready to sing

America the beautiful

Let freedom ring!

The answer to the question,

What is America to me?

The people, We The People!

We The People!

All races, all religions,

All the faces that I see



America to me!

Happy 4th of July!

And God Bless Us All!

And God Bless America!