The Sunday Magazine

Robert Harris on 20 pieces that changed the world: 'Brother Can You Spare a Dime?'

Our music guru, Robert Harris takes us on a cultural journey through music. In conversation with Michael Enright, Robert explains why this song (idiosyncratically chosen by Robert himself) made such an impact on the hearts and minds of listeners.

A little more than a decade ago, The Sunday Edition launched one of the most popular series we have ever run — 20 Pieces of Music That Changed the World, with Robert Harris.

Musicologist and broadcaster Robert Harris (CBC)

All of the music featured in that series was both very much of its time ... and timeless.

In 2009, as the world was in the depths of a severe recession in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, Robert devoted an episode to the Depression-era classic, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? and other songs that spoke to the anxieties and hopes of the millions and millions of people in the grip of economic hardship.

And now, as the world spirals into perhaps the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and people again are deeply worried about their financial present and futures, here is Robert Harris and Episode 10 of 20 Pieces that Changed the World. It first aired in March, 2009.

Click 'listen' above to hear the full conversation.


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