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The Army Ordnance Song

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Army Ordnance Arsenal Day, June 10, 1941, served a double function: it honored the 40,000 workers in the various arsenals, and it introduced to a nationwide audience Irving Berlin's new Army Ordnance song, "Arms for the Love of America."

Major General C. M. Wesson, Chief of Ordnance, had designated June 10 as Arsenal Day to commemorate the traditional role of the ordnance arsenals as the cornerstone of armament productions since post-Revolutionary War days. The program was broadcast by the National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System over coast-to-coast networks from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The soloist was Barry Wood, accompanied by the Lynn Murray Singers and the Army Band.

Berlin composed "Arms for the Love of America," a rollicking, snappy march, for General Wesson at the request of Lieutenant Colonel John B. Bellinger, executive assistant to the Chief of Ordnance. Lieutenant Colonel Bellinger suggested that the song symbolize the need for production and at the same time serve an inspirational purpose in defense industries.

All profits from the sale of copies by the publishers were donated to Army charitable and relief purposes.

On land and on the sea and in the air

We've got to be there, We've got to be there.

America is sounding her alarms

We've got to have arms, We've got to have arms.

Arms for the love of America

They speak in a foreign land, with weapons in every hand.

What ever they try we've got to reply in language they understand.

Arms for the love of America

And for the love of every mother's son

Who's depending on the work that must be done

By the man, behind the man, behind the gun

They're in the camps and in the training schools

Now give them the tools, they've got to have tools.

We called them from the factories and farms

Now give them the arms, They've got to have arms.

Arms for the love of America.

We've got to get in the race, and work at a lively pace.

They say over here we've nothing to fear but let's get ready just in case.

Arms for the love of America.

And for the love of every mother's son.

Oh the fight for freedom can be lost or won

By the man, behind the man, behind the gun.
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