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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:40 am 
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Victor IV
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
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Location: UK
jboger wrote:
Every one of these songs has a story worth exploring. I wonder why Tipperary is so closely associated with WWI? The subject is not so clearly the war. Perhaps it has to do with remembrance of home far away? Surely there must have also been songs in German and French. Italian?


Far from being concerned with military service the song, which was written in 1912, is about feelings of home sickness by Irish manual workers in London. It was made popular in the British Army by Irish soldiers using it as a marching song, and soon became the definitive song of WW1.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:53 am 
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Victor IV
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 1724
Location: UK
A few more WW1 records from my collection :

Fall In / Vernon Archibald.
What did you do in the Great War, Daddy? / Tom Clare.
Your King and Country need you / Robert Howe.
Private Tommy Atkins / Robert Howe.
Roses of Picardy / John McCormack.
When the war is over, mother dear / Ernest Pike (as Herbert Payne).
When the bells of peace are ringing / ditto.
Somewhere in France, dear mother / F.W.Ramsey.
There's a ship that's bound for Blighty / Frank Reade.

As Marco says, there are hundreds!

One which has eluded me is Caruso's "Over There" which despite being released by HMV in the UK is not an easy record to find.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:24 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 3:46 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
donniej wrote:
I want to Go Back There Again (probably my favorite)

Is it possible to listen to this song anywhere, since you consider it so special? A search on YouTube returned many performances with the same title, all of which apparently unrelated to WWI.


I just uploaded it for you. The disc info is in the description.
The artist is the same who sang "Take me out to the ball game", a fellow Philadelphian 8-)

https://youtu.be/Ah964umIqEQ


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:31 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 521
Location: Italy
CarlosV wrote:
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
There are hundreds.

Actually, it is harder to find pop music records from the period 1914-1918 that are NOT related to the war ...

Well... There were indeed many many "war" records issued, or at least Italian period brochures say so. However, very few of them are to be found on the market, while popular themes of the same time are overabundant*. I don't understand wether many of these records were dumped, or perhaps were destroyed during WWII, or if they are firmly in the hands of collectors. Anyway, they're very rare.

* and of questionable quality: I have to admit that in average I dislike the popular tunes of the period. Very few are catchy and stand time well. Most of them are boring and sung with stentorean macho voices which are unlistenable today, even for a well trained ear...

These observations are of course limited to Italy; it may be the opposite elsewhere!


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:37 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 521
Location: Italy
donniej wrote:
I just uploaded it for you. The disc info is in the description.
The artist is the same who sang "Take me out to the ball game", a fellow Philadelphian 8-)

https://youtu.be/Ah964umIqEQ

Thanks a lot Don, that was very kind of you! Indeed it's a nice tune, very well and delicately sung.
And issued on a Pathé vertical! That's a very nice piece in your collection! :)


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:59 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 pm
Posts: 513
It's quite clear to me that I am a rank beginner in this area and the collective knowledge of the Forum is enormous.

I wish to respond to something Marco wrote, namely that many, at least many of the Italian songs of this period, are musically uninteresting. That may be so (simply don't know) but they may be interesting from an historical perspective.

I now have quite a few questions to pursue. For example, I wonder if there are any anti-war socialist songs that were recorded during the war. The International Workers of the World (IWW), for example, were very active during this period in the US. None of the major record companies back then, for obvious reasons, would record such material, but perhaps some of it made it to disk. if not in the US maybe abroad.

I find the song "I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier" a very interesting title.You can find a write-up on Wikipedia.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:44 am 
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Victor II
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Location: Pittsburgh
Some songs that I can think of:
Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning (Irving Berlin)
Let's Bury the Hatchet
My Dream of the Big Parade(I think this was made after WW1)
There's a Vacant Chair At Every Table
Hello Central, Give Me No Man's Land


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:23 pm 
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Victor IV
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I've got a couple boxfuls of WWI records. Haven't looked over them in a very long time. I used have an interest in them and buy them indiscriminately, before I tired of the rote, rah-rah, jingoistic sameness of the lyrics of many of them. Ones I'd still play are those like Joan Of Arc sung by Willie Weston, or Lorraine (My Beautiful Alsace Lorraine) by Reinald Werrenrath. Of course I've played Caruso's Over There countless times.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 3:46 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
I just stumbled across BA 1618 - Ragtime Soldier Man. It's pretty fun and light hearted.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI popular music--my short list
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:49 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 521
Location: Italy
jboger wrote:
I now have quite a few questions to pursue. For example, I wonder if there are any anti-war socialist songs that were recorded during the war. The International Workers of the World (IWW), for example, were very active during this period in the US. None of the major record companies back then, for obvious reasons, would record such material, but perhaps some of it made it to disk. if not in the US maybe abroad.

That's an interesting question, and one that I considered while collecting records and refining my knowledge of history.

At the time of WWI Italy was a monarchy, and once the king (and the government) had decided to go to war, there was little to no space for people that didn't agree. There was prison, deportation and, in some cases, shooting for renitents. Severe punishments - from military jail, to being sent to suicidal missions, to decimation - were inflicted just for having written home that the life at the front was only "so and so". It really wasn't time for being skeptical about anything.

It has to be said, however, that even though some to-day essayists pretend to depict this war as unwanted by the soldiers (who in turn are depicted as ignorant peasants not knowing what they were doing), this is exactly that: "pretending". The idea of going to war was positively accepted by a very vast, cross-class majority of Italians; even the most prominent artists and intellectuals (D'Annunzio, Marinetti, etc.) were in favour of the war, and spent a lot of energy into propaganda. An unbelievable mass of people volounteered for the front. Later, but only later, they perhaps changed their minds. Before war, you could count on your hand (and you would left over some fingers) the number of intellectuals who warned that this war would last very long and would be going to be an unbelievable massacre.

So, although I can't affirm altogether that no pacifist songs were recorded during those years, I can very hardly imagine somone crazy enough to do so. And if he/they did, quite obviously they did on some obscure, off-brand record that circulated moving under. The major recording companies would never put themselves into such troubles.

More in general, socialist songs are very rare in Italy (I wonder if they are as well in other countries). Perhaps this is only a relative rarity: it was feasible to issue socialist records only in a short time lapse between WWI and the advent of fascism (the first years of the '20s), and it was a time in which gramophones and records were still classy items. Fascist records, that were issued in the '30s and '40s when gramophones and phonographs became a mass household, although quite scarce because paroxysmally collected, are abundant by comparison.

Concerning the quality of WWI-times songs, of course I've written an overall comment that contemplates noteworthy exceptions. I could also mention wonderful tunes celebrated at the times like Visione Veneziana or Serenata Medievale (also known as Serenade d'Autrefois) etc. However, the first is a barcarola, and the other a neo-classic piece. You won't find anything as the "Ragtime Soldier Man" mentioned by Don, in Italy. Perhaps a tango, if you're lucky enough. Add to that a stentorean super-macho voice with altered vowels and "n"s and "m"s, and voilà, you'll have your average indigestible Italian pastiche.

It may be a matter of taste but I prefer much more the Italian swing of the '30s and '40s. My, oh my were those singers and orchestras good! :rose:


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