“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”, also sung as “Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?“, is one of the best-known American songs of the Great Depression. Written in 1930 by lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and composer Jay Gorney, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” was part of the 1932 musical Americana; the melody is based on a Russian-Jewish lullaby Gorney’s mother had sung to him as a child.
It was considered by Republicans to be anti-capitalist propaganda, and almost dropped from the show; attempts were made to ban it from the radio. The song became best known, however, through recordings by Bing Crosby, Al Jolson and Rudy Vallee. They were released right before Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s election to the presidency and both became number one hits on the charts. The Brunswick Crosby recording became the best-selling record of its period, and came to be viewed as an anthem of the shattered dreams of the era. [more at Wikipedia]