This morning's post is inspired by the awful Depression Era Hobo Wedding featured at Etsy. If you're going to mock the poor, you need to know some people will be offended. The family needs to step away from the Twitter accounts and stop play-acting as martyrs for a minute.
Charlie Chaplin is a man who made his name creating funny films at a time when people really needed an escape. Though his most famous character was a tramp, he was always the hero and the kindest person in the room. He was not mocking a culture for financial gain; he was using a culture to create a sense of relatability with an audience. Of course, if someone came out now and made a rip-roaring comedy about being homeless during Depression Era America that white-washed over any actual hardships, people would be offended.
Thankfully, even back then, that is not what Charlie Chaplin did. For all his comedic, directorial, and writing skills, I believe I am mostly a fan of his music. He composed many of the original songs in his films. Embedded above is the original instrumental version of "Smile." About 20 years later, John Turner and Geoffrey Parkins added lyrics to the song. This became a hit as sung by Nat King Cole.
It's an effortless and sweet little song that warms the heartstrings. It's optimism concentrated into a 2-3 minute period. I wish more artists nowadays would actually have such a cheery disposition about music
Any favorite Chaplin songs or musical moments? Sound off.
Feel free to vent about that Depression Era Hobo-Chic wedding in the comments. I like the contrast between what Chaplin did and what these people thought was a tribute to their extreme poverty that meant they could only spend $15000 on a 150 person wedding. Just keep it PG.