Listening to Mark Liberman's discussion on The World, I was struck by his declaration that Obama's "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America," saying that it may become a historical moment of speechifying if, indeed, America does pick itself up, dust itself off, and begin the work of remaking itself.
Geoff Nunberg at Language Log singles out this phrase as a source of inspiration and an allusion to Jerome Kern's great tune, sung by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Swingtime. You can click on the link to his post to see Fred and Ginger do it in the movie. That version remains the standard, naturally, but here's another good one by Diana Krall:
But what are we picking ourselves up from? If Obama continues to hark back to classic Americana in his speeches, perhaps we can start to forget moments like these from the president who preceded him:
Maybe there is hope after all.