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Author Topic: Songs of the WWI era  (Read 8603 times)

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Bob Michel

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Songs of the WWI era
« on: August 13, 2015, 10:04:34 AM »

Fellow concertinists might be interested in a project I've undertaken over at www.concertina.net.

For some time I've been recording videos of songs--some well-known, some obscure--from roughly the years 1910-1920. Since I've been using (Anglo) concertina more and more for vocal accompaniment of late, I've decided to lean on it more heavily in future videos, and also to concentrate on songs (not exclusively war-related) of the Great War.

Mostly I focus on less well-known material of American origin--Tin Pan Alley was very busy in those years--but to kick off this phase of my recording I thought I'd do homage to perhaps the two most famous WWI songs of all, both from the U.K.:

http://youtu.be/AEqH4_9KVOg

http://youtu.be/GE0XlvgRpgk

I'd be thrilled if any other squeezebox players wanted to take a hand in these researches. Further details are at http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17935.

Bob Michel
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2015, 11:35:13 AM »

Well sung, nice swing, and lsome lovely 'chewed' chording … an example to those of us who try to sing with melodeons.

I have long done some WW1 song a cappella - do they count? :|glug
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 11:49:51 AM »

If you sing, 'While I've a lucifer to light my fag', then it's the tobacco that counts.


John
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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2015, 12:07:22 PM »

But don't let it count to three.  Nobody wants the third light.
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Bob Michel

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 12:44:12 PM »

I have long done some WW1 song a cappella - do they count? :|glug

Thanks, Chris. My mother always told me to chew my chords. Of course, I may have misheard her.

I'm just working out how to approach this accompaniment business, but the principle "less is more" keeps asserting itself. So yes, a cappella by all means.

Bob Michel
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 07:50:31 PM »

The film "oh what a lovely war" is a great source of material if you can find it
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Bob Michel

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 08:04:25 PM »

The film "oh what a lovely war" is a great source of material if you can find it

Indeed it is--I haven't thought of that film in ages. I should definitely watch it again now.

A lot of the songs I've worked up, or am planning to work up, come from my own collection of sheet music. But there are some excellent online sources as well. This one is the best I've found:

http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/i/image/image-idx?sid=da534aea06f3ac2260eee2e18cd7ba27;page=index;c=umkcwwismic

Bob Michel
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Bob Michel

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2015, 07:26:35 PM »

Off to Tin Pan Alley, then, for the first American song in the project, "Send Me Away with a Smile" (1917):

http://youtu.be/VJEi_QLAyS4

Further details at:

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17935&page=2#entry171428

Bob Michel
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 09:52:00 AM »

.
   "Yanks are coming" surely a must?

       But please get on with it …
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Bob Michel

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 10:01:18 AM »

"Yanks are coming" surely a must?

Given my soft spot for the music of that period, I confess that I'm oddly unwowed by George M. Cohan (apart from "You Won't Do Any Business If You Haven't Got a Band," which I've found to be all too true). Too familiar, maybe. But maybe I can gird my loins.

Bob Michel
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 10:13:33 AM »

Buddy, can you spare a dime is one I occasionally do

clearly post war, but  its second verse is full of references to WW1
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Bob Michel

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 10:25:02 AM »

Buddy, can you spare a dime is one I occasionally do

That one's essential to any set of Depression songs. The lyricist Yip Harburg kicked off the '30s with it, then finished the decade with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Not a bad run.

Bob Michel
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 10:38:56 AM »

Buddy, can you spare a dime is one I occasionally do

That one's essential to any set of Depression songs. The lyricist Yip Harburg kicked off the '30s with it, then finished the decade with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Not a bad run.

Bob Michel
Near Philly

One of the very best.

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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 07:53:00 PM »

June Tabor's Waltzing Matilda. Written by Ben Bogle I think. Absolute tear jerker and so true.
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Lester

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 07:58:35 PM »

June Tabor's Waltzing Matilda. Written by Ben Bogle I think. Absolute tear jerker and so true.

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda written by Eric Bogle sung here by the writer, much better than JT's version in my opinion.

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2015, 10:15:24 PM »

Eric Bogle is the master of songs about WW1 but is not of the era so may not qualify. A certain politician once said that a favourite (Bogle) song was written by a soldier who died in the war, which amused Eric Bogle. The individual in question may have been misinformed but does have a bit of a reputation for mendacity where warfare is concerned. If including EB's songs I would recommend the original version of "No Man's Land" rather than the Irish "Green Fields of France" variant. It makes more sense and is better. I know a man who is capable of singing "As If He Knows" but there cannot be many who can. As tearjerkers go it has no equal in my estimation. Sounds like a great project - don't know if I can help beyond mangling a couple of WW1 pipe marches.
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Bob Michel

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2015, 10:58:02 PM »

Eric Bogle is the master of songs about WW1 but is not of the era so may not qualify.

It's surely a tribute to Eric Bogle that "No Man's Land" and "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" are among the first songs--right up there with "Tipperary" or "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag" (or, over here, "Over There") that spring to mind when someone says "music of the First World War." But they are, alas, songs of the '70s, and so not on my playlist this time around. Which needn't deter anyone else from having a go at them, of course.

I would be very grateful if anyone could point me towards the lyrics of a "No Man's Land" parody (not the one posted at Mudcat Café) which I heard only once, at a session nearly twenty years ago, and of which I remember only one line: "Did nobody tell you you're allowed to shoot back [vel sim.]?" No disrespect to Mr. Bogle intended, but it was beyond brilliant. Or seemed so that night.

Bob Michel
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« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 10:59:40 PM by Bob Michel »
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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2015, 11:14:59 PM »


http://youtu.be/AEqH4_9KVOg


Amazing track man! Congratulations! It awakes me wishes to play the concertinas

(concertinas, that I call here between friends as "jelly pot noise boxes" ahahhaha because call also the normal melodeon as "noise boxes" ahahhah.. so I need to explain to friends here, that these are like smaller "noise boxes" being like jelly pots!  ;D ;D So the termination: "jelly pot noise boxes").

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Mike Hirst

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2015, 01:56:45 AM »

A few favourites to add to the list.

  • Roses of Picardy
  • Long Long Trail
  • The Rose of No mans land
  • Keep the Home Fires Burning
  • Nearer My God to Thee
  • Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers
  • Mademoiselle from Armentières
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Broadland Boy

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Re: Songs of the WWI era
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2015, 02:55:18 AM »

Lillibulero (sp?) is a tune of the era (and probably older)  and was sung to by the WWI soldiery, as a toddler I remember my grandfather singing something to it and being told 'not in front of the boy' by grandma, whereon he would continue in whistling mode, I never found out what the song was, presumably something a bit off colour - any ideas ?

Interesting thread on mudcat http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31970#417879 and http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/ww1-songs/ which you may well have checked already.
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