A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  SearchSearch  

Share | 
 

 War Songs

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 13:46

A thread for posting songs etc related to warfare. Some wars, the American Civil War, World Wars One and Two, Vietnam produced songs and tunes which have become instantly identifiable with the conflicts, and causes in question, others are nowadays much less well known.

Start off with two from World War One, both original recordings;





Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 13:50

One of my favourites - Country Joe & The Fish at Woodstock with "Whoopee, We're All Going To Die!"

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 13:53

One of the best known of the American Civil War songs;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 14:01

@nordmann wrote:
One of my favourites - Country Joe & The Fish at Woodstock with "Whoopee, We're All Going To Die!"

 Haven't heard that one in years. From the same conflict;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 14:02

And of course ...

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 14:07

A war closer to home ...

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 14:14

Back to 1861;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 14:47

One of the most popular songs of the Second World War, Lili Marlene. First the original German version by Lale Andersen, then a British parody, "D-Day Dodgers", after comments in the House of Commons by Lady Astor that the Eighth Army were sunning themselves in Italy instead of fighting in France.



Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 15:23

I think this is an old folk song/sea shanty 

Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 15 Nov 2013, 23:59

I suspect few of the troops songs would have gone down well in polite society - for example, to the tune of "The Girl I left behind me" troops retreating from Mons in 1914 are reported to have sung

Kaiser Bill is feeling ill,
The Crown Prince, he’s gone barmy.
We don’t give a f*ck for old von Kluck,
And all his bleedin’ army

The rest is supposed to have been even less repeatable
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1109
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 00:43

Yes, I recall my father singing just slightly off-colour words to some of the war songs.  I feel Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree was one, but I can't think what he must have changed.  My father would not have sung (to me anyway) "Don't f**k under the apple tree with anyone else but me" - he did use such words but only when the truck refused to start or the sheep refused to be rounded up again.  Colonel Bogey lent itself to extra wording. 

Lili Marlene is one of my very favourite songs, mostly because I just like the tune and words, but also because of the idea it was popular with both sides in the war.  WWII songs are linked to Vera Lynn for me - a favourite of my father's but my grandmother belittled her, saying she had a nasal tone.  There seems to be three main styles of war songs - ones of longing from either the soldier or the people at home, and troop ones of mockery or fun, and encouraging ra-ra sort of lyrics.

Years ago, well decades ago really, I remember the minister at church telling a joke based on the song It's a Long Way to Tipperary (which I think of as a war song though perhaps it isn't, strictly speaking).  It was a sort of shaggy dog story based on a bird called a rarie up in a plane, ending with him plaintively saying, "It's a long way to tip a rarie."  Oddly someone mentioned that joke on another board very recently.  I'd never heard it between times.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 16:58

Yes, that is a fair point Gil. There are some songs, or versions thereof, which are unrepeatable.

Caro, It's a long way to Tipperary was a musical hall song which came out about a year before WW1 started and became, arguably, the best known song of the period

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 17:17

The writing of "It's A Long Way To Tipperary" can be dated precisely, very precisely indeed. It emerged from its creator's imagination and into the light of day between 9am and 1pm on the 31st January 1912 in The New Market Inn, Stalybridge, Cheshire. Jack Judge, music hall artist and the composer in question was five shillings to the good as a result, having been bet the previous night that he could not produce a new song and have it performed on stage with full musical arrangement by the following evening.

The full story can be found here:

It's A Long Way To Tipperary

The song's rapid rise in popularity during the war years, amongst an audience not always totally appreciative of the Irish connection, led to various myths arising suggesting that the Tipperary in question refers to an area in London (reinforced by reference to Piccadilly and Leicester Square in the chorus). These myths are still cited as fact today, though a reading of the lyrics in their entirety will quickly demonstrate the truth of the matter.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 17:25

Scottish-born Eric Bogle, writing almost 60 years after the event, composed what for many Australians has become the definitive song about Gallipoli. It was a huge hit in Ireland when recorded by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy. The lyrics are superb.

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 18:32

"Goodbye Dolly Gray" became the unofficial anthem of the troops and their relatives and supporters back home during the Boer War. Though now it is hardly remembered at all, it still retained sufficient significance in 1929 for Noël Coward to include it in "Cavalcade" when evoking for his audience the period around the time of the Relief of Mafeking. The song itself was an import however, having originally been composed by Americans Paul Barnes (music) and Will D.Cobb (lyrics) during the Spanish-American War of 1898. A subtle change of a word here and there was all it took to render it equally useful as a British song just a year later when the Second Boer War erupted.

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 19:45

@nordmann wrote:

Scottish-born Eric Bogle, writing almost 60 years after the event, composed what for many Australians has become the definitive song about Gallipoli. It was a huge hit in Ireland when recorded by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy. The lyrics are superb.

Great song, but highly misleading. For example, No Anzacs went to Suvla, where the landings were unopposed. The narrative fits Anzac cove instead.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 20:00

Bogle acknowledges the inaccuracies (his man has a tin hat - they weren't issued to ANZACs until after Gallipoli, and also he is recruited in 1915, meaning he must have used a Star Trek transporter beam to arrive at Gallipoli, with no time for even basic training, poor lad).

But then only a silly pedant would allow such things to get in the way of enjoying such a powerful and poignant song, I think.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 20:04

This Eric Bogle song, also about WWI, isn't literally accurate either. But it also proved a huge hit some years ago in Ireland.



Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1109
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 20:09

Both wonderful songs, anyway.  I think there are some descriptions in The Band Played Waltzing Matilda that don't quite fit, too.  The hat he mentions perhaps?  For several years at our Anzac Day service a young woman has sung it with guitar accompaniment.  Considering the rest of the service is very conservative and serious, like a church service from my childhood, I have often wondered if it would be appreciated.  But she is invited back year after year, and I only hear positive comments about her singing. 



No Anzacs on Suvla Bay?  The song Suvla Bay is based on an Australian killed in war there, but I suppose that doesn't mean he was with the Anzacs.  I have the sheet music for this and we used to sing it, or perhaps I mean my father used to sing it.  If I have managed to put it here (looks like it's in the middle of the writing) it is in waltz time, but I think we sang it in 4/4 time.  (As a child I used to sing "Suva Bay" getting muddled with Suva in Fiji.  Even now I am still visualising a Pacific Island scene.)
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 20:57

During WWII the Nazi administration did its best to restrict radio audiences to propagandist marches, interminable polkas and otherwise "approved" music of the Third Reich. They disapproved of silly sentimental songs almost as much as they did of "negroid" jazz or "jewish" American popular styles. However this song - "Goodnight, Mother" - proved unbannable, so popular was it with the womenfolk, many of whom were indeed the mother in question and whose sons had been sent off to fight and die.



This foxtrot - "Do You Want Me To Cry?" - was also a huge hit. Released in 1940, and dangerously close to the dreaded swing music of the enemy, its popularity simply grew as times became darker, morale diminished, and any reminder of happier days would be suppressed by Goebbels at his peril.



Though perhaps understandably this popular song - "Es Geht Alles Vorüber, Es Geht Alles Vorbei" (Everthing is Temporary, Everything Ends) - did in fact eventually get banned as its originally perceived meaning (the war will soon be won) changed in more and more people's minds to "we're about to lose everything".



And finally, here's one that managed to get itself banned by the Allies after the war! "Heimat Deine Sterne" (Home Your Star), in which a pilot dreams of going home, was an extremely popular song from a comedy filmed in 1941 "Quax, Der Bruchpilot" (Quax, the test-pilot). The film is a lightweight romantic comedy in which a lad who has won a prize of flying lessons is too cowardly to take them and returns home pretending to have qualified. His girl however has been "looking elsewhere" while he's been gone and so he resolves to go back and actually learn to fly, thereby conquering his fear and finally winning the girl. All very innocuous, except it turned out that Hitler loved the bloody thing and used to show it privately to guests in his house up in the Bavarian Alps. This was enough to get the film, and the song, placed on a banned list afterwards.

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 22:22

This could go here - or on the thread about learning history from songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eIK7Q5wyxM

Again, alternative lyrics were supplied by the Tommies -in part (and bowdlerised)

That's the wrong way to tickle Mary,
That's the wrong way to kiss.
Don't you know that over here, lad
They like it best like this.
Hooray pour Les Français
Farewell Anglaterre
We didn't know how to tickle Mary
But we learnt how over there.
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Sun 17 Nov 2013, 22:32

@Caro wrote:

No Anzacs on Suvla Bay?  The song Suvla Bay is based on an Australian killed in war there, but I suppose that doesn't mean he was with the Anzacs. 
The only Australian unit involved at Suvla was a Bridging Train.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Mon 18 Nov 2013, 09:42

I think it was Gil who mentioned this one before, about the Luftwaffe raid on Shetland in 1939, which killed a couple of bunnies and prompted this song;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Mon 18 Nov 2013, 09:56

Having had one from Flanagan & Allen, here is one from George Formby;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Mon 18 Nov 2013, 14:32

Not quite sticking with the ukulele theme - but perhaps the earliest known "war song" was one sung not by the folks back home, or even by the troops during idle moments, but by the army on the way into battle itself. There is a long and ancient tradition of music, especially trumpeting, playing a role in warfare. However Thucydides, writing in the 7th century BCE, recounted a battle between the Spartans and their enemy, the Argives, in which the bould bare-bums went one step better (well actually a quick two-step better). Since he deemed it worthy of mention we can assume that the technique must have astonished the poor Argives, and I don't blame the poor sods.

It seems that at this battle the Spartans (referred to here as Lacedaemonians) descended on their foe not only singing in chorus but in step and while being accompanied by a cohort of comrades playing double-stemmed flutes (aulos). The effect must have been akin to finding oneself up against a Busby Berkely chorus line with attitude, but it appeared to do the trick nevertheless;

"The Lacedaemonians meanwhile, man to man, and with their war-songs in the ranks, exhorted each braver comrade to remember what he had learnt before; well aware that the long training of action was of more saving virtue than any brief verbal exhortation, though never so well delivered.

After this…the Lacedaemonians slowly, and to the music of many aulos players stationed in the ranks by military law, and not for any religious reason, but in order that, stepping in time [to the music], they may advance evenly, and their ranks not be disordered, as is usually the case in large armies, in their approaches."


What they were singing is unfortunately not recorded ("I got rhythm, I got music, I got xiphos, Who could ask for anything more?" - or maybe given they were bare-arsed probably just "Cheek to cheek"?)
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Tue 19 Nov 2013, 13:23

I've heard that the US Army played songs by DMX and Eminem going into action in Iraq to get themselves hyped up.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Tue 19 Nov 2013, 13:34

That's the problem with the yanks, no class. Now those Spartans, when you saw them can-canning towards you you knew you were in BIG poo!
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Arwe Rheged
Praetor
avatar

Posts : 94
Join date : 2012-07-23

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Tue 19 Nov 2013, 17:24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K1BdDVvV9Q

A remarkably understated version of a WWI classic by Leeds' favourite rentacrowd lefties, Chumbawamba.

Regards,

AR
Back to top Go down
Gilgamesh of Uruk
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1400
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Tue 19 Nov 2013, 17:52

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fy3tSim3to

Not sure of the provenance of this - does it predate the children's rhyme, or is it derived from it? Certainly "war" versions to this tune date back at least as far as "The Recruiting Officer" by George Farquhar in 1706 - though these lyrics were written for the "Sharpe" TV series.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Wed 20 Nov 2013, 13:25

Adapted from Kipling's Barrack Room Ballads


Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Wed 20 Nov 2013, 16:33

A song that very few people realise was actually intended as an anti-Vietnam War ballad was "Daniel", sung by Elton John with lyrics composed by Bernie Taupin. They cut a verse prior to recording it in which Daniel was revealed to be a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran blinded in battle, leaving only vague references in the chorus from which this might be deduced.

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Wed 20 Nov 2013, 16:49

One however of which there is no doubt about the war in question - Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon" was written as a tribute to friends and acquaintances drafted into the conflict and upon whose accounts of their own experiences he based the lyrics.

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Wed 20 Nov 2013, 17:19

"I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier" cannot have pleased the British government much when it became a hit in 1915. The words however have as much resonance and relevance today.

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Thu 21 Nov 2013, 10:48

This recording is from 1957, though Shepard and Husky first recorded in 1953 just at the end of the Korean War. The sort of letter no serviceman overseas wants to receive;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Thu 21 Nov 2013, 14:09

Vietnam again, this song was originally written in 1967, but the most famous version came 2 years later from Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, about a paralyzed war veteran and his wife/girlfriend;

Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1109
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Thu 21 Nov 2013, 22:02

The Dear John song was the basis of the ad voted the best Australasian advertisement of the 1980s and was a great favourite.  http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/dear-john-basf-commercial-1981

It had a naive soldier in a sort of MASH setting receiving a cassette in the mail and being delighted it was from his girl.  The faces of the soldiers round him fall as they realise what it is saying.  It ends with "Even the bad times are good with BASF." The only spoken words are at the end:  "Play it again, John."  Fabulous ad.

But I love the Dear John song, so it was always going to appeal to me.  I have likely said this before but I remember telling my aunt once how I liked it, and she told me she hated it.  She said she and my uncle were teaching me to sing it when my mother died after childbirth when I was four, and they played it on the radio the day of my father's (obviously called John) funeral.  But I still love it and sing along with in the car, though often with tears flowing.  Maybe not the safest way to drive, but traffic here is light on many roads.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Thu 21 Nov 2013, 23:04

Good ad, Caro. I'd never seen it before.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 22 Nov 2013, 14:27

I like onions fried in oil;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 22 Nov 2013, 15:18

Army song from Imperial Germany;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 22 Nov 2013, 15:23

Patriotic song written in 1938, which was popular with the Red Army in WW2;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Wed 27 Nov 2013, 12:47

"Over There", US song from World War One;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Wed 27 Nov 2013, 13:53

Heard this one a lot over the years;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5747
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Thu 28 Nov 2013, 20:49

Weird but bloody wonderful:

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Nielsen
Consulatus
avatar

Posts : 303
Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Denmark

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 29 Nov 2013, 03:13

This one, composed in the 1920'es isn't quite unknown either, this version probably Czech ...
 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyI9Pj4CEdE
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3106
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: War Songs   Fri 29 Nov 2013, 14:34

Thanks, Per, for the original Czech song

I have heard a song Fanny Fox from Fulham with the slightly (slightly to modern ears) risque lyrics, as in the Frankau song, based on Lily of Laguna,however it is nowhere to be found.

 Lily of Laguna as a sing song from the wartime film The Way Ahead;



Another song from WW1, this one having a dig at Charlie Chaplin for not enlisting;

Back to top Go down
 

War Songs

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of expression ... :: The Arts-