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Patriotic Odes

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"Over There"
U.S. Army Field Band Soldiers' Chorus. A Tribute to the American Soldier. LP 9706

QuickTime   MP3

Patriotic Odes: Over There

By 1914, Tin Pan Alley, New York's "Street of Songs, " was in full swing. At the beginning of the "war to end all wars," sheet music publishing had entered its heyday. American songwriters churned out over 30,000 new pieces during the war, and publishers fueled national fervor with pleas on sheet music covers to "Buy United States War Savings Bonds." Some copyright holders even donated proceeds to the war effort, a move which combined equal parts patriotic spirit and marketing savvy.

The enormous output of popular song in both this war and World War II shared common themes: praise for the bravery of our fighting troops; pride for traditional symbols of freedom like the "Grand Old Flag;" and the duties of citizenship, whether in armed service or on the home front. Further bolstering wartime sentiments, songwriters caricatured the enemy in derisive songs.

In the roles of the sexes, however, there was a marked change from the first war to the second. Although both wars gave women new opportunities to move into jobs vacated by fighting men, sheet music covers of the World War I era continued to portray women in traditional roles: knitting, nursing, reading and writing letters. Their French counterparts danced, drank, and flirted their way across those same covers. On the other hand, by World War II, women appeared in uniform alongside men.



Bureau of Libraries and Periodicals A.E.F., Y.M.C.A. Popular Songs of the A.E.F. Paris: [Salabert?], 1918.

From the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.





War Songs for Home Singing. Philadelphia: The North American, 1918.

Gift of Patrick Scott to the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.





Carr, Howard, Harry Russell, and Jimmie Havens. We Don't Want the Bacon--What We Want Is a Piece of the Rhine! Chicago: Arcade, 1918.

From the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.





Cohan, George M. Over There. New York: William Jerome, 1917.

From the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.




Nelson, Ed. When Yankee Doodle Learns to "Parlez Vous Françaisais." Lyric by Will Hart. New York: A. J. Stasny Music, 1917.

From the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.






Von Tilzer, Harry. The Little Good for Nothing's Good for Something After All. Lyric by Lou Klein New York: Harry Von Tilzer, 1918.

From the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.





Egan, Jack. We'll Do Our Share (While You're Over There). Lyric by Lew Brown and Al Harriman. New York: Broadway Music, 1918.

From the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.





Arlen, Harold. Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive (Mister In-Between). Lyric by Jonny Mercer. New York: Edwin H. Morris, 1944.

Purchased with the Robert and Virginia Tunstall Trust Fund.





McHugh, Jimmy. Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer. Lyric by Harold Adamson. New York: Robbins Music, 1943.

Purchased with the Robert and Virginia Tunstall Trust Fund.





Uncle Sam Presents Irving Berlin's All Soldier Show "This Is the Army." New York: Artcraft Lithograph & Printing, [1942?]



Photograph of Irving Berlin. From left to right, Dr. Staige Blackford, unidentified captain, Irving Berlin, and Harris Holmboe. Eighth Evacuation Hospital, [Southern Italy], [1944].

Gift of Staige Davis Blackford.




Berlin, Irving. Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning. New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder, 1918.

From the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.



Joining the ranks of entertainers who fought to sustain morale in American camps abroad, Irving Berlin, in his hit song, "Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," voiced the soldiers' perspective on camp fatigue. His endeavors to entertain raised not only moods but money. His military musical Yip, Yip, Yankee performed in 1918 by the men of Camp Upton--many in drag--brought in $150,000 to build a service center at the training camp. Later, This is the Army, Berlin's World War II contribution, drew $10 million for the Army Emergency Relief.



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