Hearts, Minds and the First World War, Part 2: On the Home Front

While the American Doughboys went to aid the Allies in the war in Europe, civilians back home would experience temporary yet tumultuous changes in work life, domestic living and popular culture. War production in American factories would be focused on churning out products for the fight. Even before wartime involvement, in a state of preparedness, inventor Thomas Edison agreed to formulate “a department of inventions and development” for the Navy, shortly after the sinking of the luxury liner Lusitania in 1915.[1] Henry Ford, who had initiated his anti-war “peace Ship delegation” in 1915, had announced that his factories will be “at the disposal of the United State Government and will operate without one cent of profit”[2] just two years later. Private business had been required to “regulate consumption of fuel, agricultural products and other materials vital to war”[3] including the publishing houses of Tin Pan Alley who were allowed to continue publishing despite an impending paper shortage in 1917; songs were considered “essential to win the war” by the Committee on Public Information.[4] Thrift and saving were constant themes during the war, consequently, the American diet reflected the necessities of war since “Food is Ammunition—Don’t waste it.”[5] With meat, eggs and wheat rationed, light breakfasts consisting of a single soft boiled egg and a single slice of toast became fashionable,[6] as did so-called Victory gardens, encouraging citizens to grow their own food. President Woodrow Wilson even had his own garden and employed a herd of eight sheep rather than gardeners to help maintain the White House lawns.[7] If there was a lack of food, cigarettes were abundant as an appetite suppressant or anxiety remedy.[8] With so much happening in American culture on the home front and so many families separated during this time, songs were “a touchstone by which to cope with the anxieties of war,”[9] and so “songs of optimism, hope, sentiment, and nostalgia for home”[10] became pop gold, some titles selling millions of copies. Winning hearts and minds would consequently require a level of emotion not espoused by rousing patriotic numbers.

While rousing march numbers about American pluck and imperturbable optimism certainly gave music audiences and consumers an upbeat melody and provided an enthusiastic soundtrack for entry into the First World War, they rarely reflected the ordinary lives of civilians on the home front. Most pop songs about domestic life in America while the boys were over there were sentimental in nature, in opposition to the bellicose quality of marches. Descriptions of mothers and sweethearts, lonely, sad and fretful are conspicuous in lyrics and on covers of sheet music. But such maudlin emotionality is not the principle focus of these domestic songs, instead, the sentimentalism is a point of departure for introducing various ways of cheering up and getting through wartime. Instances of soldiers consoling sweethearts and mothers with pronouncements of swift return are common as were patriotic assurances regarding soldierly duty and pride. Sentimental songs also feature characters staying busy for the sake of outpacing the anxieties brought on by loved ones in the war and a plethora of pop songs featuring smiling, whether having “nothing to do with victory or fighting”[11] came onto the song market. So called “baby ballads” featuring toddlers both emphasize the tragic realities of warfare, while also providing consumers with cute imagery of small children praying or doing adult tasks like using the telephone. Sentiment would change drastically by the end of the war, when remembering and celebrating the war’s end became departures for poignant reflection. While the topical fad of patriotic marches about soldiers going to off to war gave American audiences pep and patriotic feelings, war ballads containing sad characters and the various ways of mollifying their emotional trepidations, helped to cheer up the home front.

Ostensibly, domestic songs during the war are character-centric and during the First World War, images of mothers were commonly representative symbols of wartime domestic living, including images within songs. One poster features an image of a mother with outstretched arms as though offering the viewer a comfortable hug, imploring “Women! Help America’s sons win the war.”[12] Domestic life on the home front was austere with everyday items rationed. In one letter to her son, a mother describes her life as “these meatless, wheatless, heatless, gasless, waterless, moneyless days…there is nothing new around here except a little less weather.”[13] Mothers had, in fact, already been central characters in pro-isolation songs like “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier” and “Don’t Take My Darling Boy Away,” the lyrics of which describe mothers who are terrified that their sons will become casualties of war. However, when the United States entered the war in 1917, representations of mothers in lyrics would evolve to more sentimental forms, including songs about sons departing for the war and consequently, mothers left behind on the home front. It had become vogue to stitch sadness into the lyrics of songs by 1918; sentimental ballads featuring depressed and detached characters whose dreams have all disappeared like “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” and “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” became multimillion sellers. Maternal songs sometimes reflect this trend by characterizing mothers as “old and grey,”[14] or as wishing to “drive the clouds away”[15] or as “filled with despair.”[16] The covers of sheet music feature old mothers solemnly clutching knitting needles and crucifixes, while fathers are noticeably absent in sentimental songs. Nostalgia for their sons’ childhood provides comfort in some lyrics expressing maternal domesticity. For example, in Billy Baskette’s “Each Stitch is a Thought of You, Dear,” a mother reflects on how “the cradle stopped rocking for my four big men”[17] and in Jack Egan’s “We’ll Do Our Share (While You’re Over There),” a mother remembers when her soldier was a baby and that “in dreams I seem to see you back on my knee.”[18] With American entry into the First World War in 1917, songs about maternal domestic life adjusting without one or more sons added sad sentiment into songs.

Another common song topic, saying good-bye to one’s sweetheart, is also an unavoidable trend tinged with fretful sentiment particularly about the uncertainties imparted by of the Great War. Like mother songs, sweetheart songs have a cohesive underlying theme of sadness and loneliness, one song is matter-of-factly titled “While You’re Over There in No Man’s Land, I’m Over Here in Lonesome Land;” the cover illustrates the fretful emotions offered in the lyrics.[19] Although the song “If He Can Fight Like He Can Love (Good Night Germany!)” is a rousing march celebrating the departure of a soldier with amusing lyrics like “If he’s half as good in a trench As he was in the park on a bench/Then ev’ry Hun had better run,”[20] songs about loneliness and separation would be the de facto love song during the war. Saying good-bye and being separated for an indefinite amount of time are, common themes. In Louis Weslyn and Al Piantadosi’s “Send Me Away with a Smile,” advertised as a “war love song with universal appeal,” a soldier tells his sweetheart that “It may be forever we part, little girl, And it may be for only a while,”[21] highlighting the uncertain nature of the ongoing conflict in Europe. Other departure songs of soldiers saying good-bye to sweethearts like Joseph Howard’s “Somewhere in France is the Lily”[22] and Richard Whiting’s “Till We Meet Again”[23] feature similar ambivalence of indefinite length of separation. The second verse of “My Sweetheart is Somewhere in France” by Mary Earl expresses anguished yearning while the sweetheart on the home front wistfully gazes at a picture of her soldier boy:

Ev’ryday I kiss his picture, And I tell him I’ll be true,

Just as he is to his country, And the old red, white and blue,

Both night and day I yearn, I pray and pray for his return;[24]

A rash of titles highlighting the uncertain nature of the war’s geography came onto the song market with titles like “When the Moon Is Shining (Somewhere in France),” “Somewhere (Somewhere in France)” and “Somewhere He’s Marching.” But the war love song is inherently romantic, and consequently saying good-bye is coupled with dreamy and dewy imagery. In “Till We Meet Again,” the couple says good-bye in front of a “high garden wall” set against the backdrop of clouds rolling by.[25] In “Somewhere in France is the Lily,” the couple says good-bye in a lush garden when “morning has its glow.”[26] In sentimental sweetheart songs, there is sadness in the uncertainties of war; however, their settings reflect the romantic nature of a couple saying good-bye.

While sad, nostalgic or fretful sentiment is predominately featured in song lyrics about people on the home front, such sentiment is only the context in which the song takes place. It is unlikely that music audiences and consumers would enjoy being perpetually reminded of the emotional void left by a departing family member, instead, various themes of cheering up to ameliorate wartime loneliness and sadness become important and poignant themes. One such method of the cheering up when domestic life looks bleak is to reassure those lonely mothers and sweethearts that, even though the length of separation from their soldiers is uncertain, their boys will auspiciously return and the tumult will be just a memory. In the aptly titled “Cheer Up Mother, Cheer Up Father,” the soldier addresses his family and reassures them that the length of time will be worth it, “For the more you miss me/All the more You’ll kiss me”[27] he declares. In “My Sweetheart is Somewhere in France,” a sweetheart reads a letter from her solider and romantically thinks of how she will “put all [her] heart in one fond glance”[28] when the two eventually reunite. In a time when saying good-bye was more common than saying “I love you,” sweetheart songs featuring weddings gave audiences an eventual happy conclusion to an otherwise uncertain future. In “Till We Met Again,” the romantic lyrics of the soldier comfort her since “wedding bells will ring” and “ev’ry tear will be a memory,” [29] when he eventually returns. One song, the patriotic Geoffrey O’Hara march “K-K-K-Katy,” in which the title character initially fancies the soldier Jim for his sharp uniform, Jim buys a wedding ring with the intention of marriage before going over “to meet the foe.”[30] Such sentiment worked well for sales, “Till We Meet Again” would eventually sell upwards of three and a half million copies of sheet music in just a few months.[31] Although sadness is a major part of sentimental songs of the home front, cheering up is a much more important aspect for characters within the lyrics, who will be reunited once the war concludes.

But it was difficult if not impossible to escape the myriad of patriotic messages during the Great War, and so, patriotism can also be found in sentimental songs about domestic life. Messages about spending money on Liberty Bonds in a time of thrift were abound, including “What Are You Going to Do To Help the Boys? with a refrain which castigates consumers if they do not purchase the Bonds,

If you’re going to be a sympathetic miser

The kind that only lends a lot of noise

You’re no better than the one who loves the Kaiser

So what are you going to do to help the boys?[32]

Citizens sometimes found solace in domestic patriotic work. For schoolteacher Florrie Gaffney, who thought the constant barrage of patriotic support for Liberty Loans was “wonderful,” took beaming pride that her school sold “$3500 in bonds and 400 Thrift Stamps”[33] in a single day. Sentimental songs with grief-stricken family members and sweethearts offered patriotic counterpoints of how they should think positively and take pride in the work being done “over there,” that their boys will do a good job and make family members proud. In “Send Me Away with a Smile,” the soldier tells his sweetheart that “Tho’ I love you so, It is time to go, and a soldier in me you’ll find…you would not have my stay behind,”[34] suggesting that it would be unwise to urge him to stay at home. In Mary Earl’s “Cheer Up Mother,” the soldier reflects on his own father’s experience in the “field of glory” and attempts to cheer up his mother by saying that he will do an equally heroic job,

Mother, don’t you know How long long ago Dad would sit me on his knee,

Point to his old gun, tell me how they’d won Many hard won victories,

May your years from now I’ll tell my son how I helped our country free,[35]

Maternal pride is a theme of “We’ll Do Our Share (While You’re Over There),” in which a mother tells her departing boy that she is proud of him “you know this vict’ry must be won/And it’s up to you son.”[36] Within the floral and maudlin imagery of “Somewhere in France Is the Lily,” a song where flowers like Shamrocks, Thistles and Roses represent Irish, Scottish and English soldiers in the war, American vitality is positively characterized as “the flower of youth.”[37] While the sweetheart in “While You’re Over There in No Man’s Land (I’m Over Here in Lonesome Land)” is the epitome of loneliness, she is nevertheless “Proud you are mine, proud to know that you’re in line.”[38] Although sadness is part of the trend in domestic songs, so is the theme that people are proud of their soldiers and that thinking about this pride brings more positive messages of these songs.

The First World War on the home front, however, was not a time to be idle, wistfully clinging to sentimental feelings even if sentiment had been key components of the pop songs of the day. People busied themselves in war production, volunteering and generally staying active. For many women, doing work during the war was a great change in pace. Volunteers Addie D. Waite Hunton and Kathryn M. Johnson vivaciously laud that their volunteer work with the YMCA in France was “the greatest opportunity for service that we have ever known.”[39] While there are more lively enthusiastic songs about war production, like the Walter Hawley song “Watch the Bee Go Get the Hun,” in which an American factory is characterized as a busy bee hive in which stamping “U.S.A.” on each article is one step closer in bringing down Kaiser Bill,[40] other more sentimental songs describe the need to keep busy to stay ahead of despair. In “Each Stitch is a Thought of You, Dear,” a mother knits her “heart in each garment” for all of her boys in the war and she will be “proud to do it again.”[41] In the cheery, humorous number “Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts for Soldiers,” Susie enthusiastically spends her spare time in front of the Singer sewing machine. Even though her mother is beaming with pride, apparently Susie is not very good at it suggested by the refrain, “Some soldiers send epistles, say they’d rather sleep in thistles/Than the saucy soft short shirts sister Susie sews.”[42] Staying stoic was equally as important as staying busy on the home front; soldiers in Europe encouraged their families back home to stay strong. One soldier writes, “All I want of you all is to keep ‘the home fires burning’ and it will not be long until we come marching home.”[43] Various songs instruct the listener to be productive during the war, and so, a plethora of similarly subtitled songs came onto the pop market like “When the Boys Come Home,” “We’ll Keep Tings Going (Till the Boys Come Home),” “Set Aside Your Tears (Till the Boys Come Marching Home),” and “Place a Candle in Your Window (Till You Laddie Boy Comes Home).” In “Keep the Home Fires Burning (Till the Boys Come Home),” audiences are told to “let no tears add to their hardship” since “we gave our glorious ladies, Honor us to do no less.”[44] In “Send Me Away with a Smile,” a soldier acknowledges the strength of his girl by saying that she can persevere since she has “the heart of a soldier too.”[45] However, despite the platitudes of being told to be strong, it is interesting to note that sales of the occult-themed board game Ouija, in which players try to connect with spirits by asking question, inflated in 1918, selling over a million units.[46] People being busy and staying strong are common motifs and method of cheering up by getting one’s mind off the war.

A more obvious method of getting people to remain happy and escape from the sadness of being separated from loved ones, is to tell audiences, rather matter-of-factly, to stay happy and just smile. Naturally, with the sad and lamenting feeling that some characters were feeling in certain sentimental domestic war songs, there are ways in which these characters are instructed to smile through their tears and that everything will be fine. In “We’ll do Our Share (While You’re Over There),” a mother recounts how everywhere “mothers are smiling tho’ their eyes are longing,”[47] suggesting that just trying to smile through the war was a common, if not universal method of getting through the day. A soldier also instructs his grieving mother to “keep on smiling all your cares beguiling”[48] in “Cheer Up Mother, Cheer Up Father.” In “While You’re Over There In No Man’s Land (I’m Over Here in Lonesome Land),” the sad and lonely sweetheart thinks how her feelings may impact her soldier’s work and that “if smiles will help you get through, then I’ll dry my tears just for you.”[49] A British song to become a hit in the United States, “Pack Up Your Troubles in An Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile,” cheers up audiences by telling the story of a soldier with a “funny smile”[50] suggesting that soldiers over there were jovially having fun. But there is a much more commercial feel to these smiling songs, that singing along to that very song will bring one’s spirits up, consequently adding to that song’s popularity. In “Keep the Home Fires Burning (Till the Boys Come Home),” the very song is promoted “And although your heart is breaking, Make it sing this cheery song,”[51] a rather clever way to advertise the title by telling consumers how happy it is.   The song “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny Oh!,” not a song actually written about the war, came with a special “patriotic version” instructing the consumer “To ev’ry chap you meet on the street, You can sing this little song.”[52] The trend of staying happy became a prominent feature of pop songs of 1918, including the song “Smiles” from The Passing Show of 1918, a song which lists the ways in which various kinds of smile makes one happy, and consequently sold two million copies of sheet music within six months of release.[53] Various titles featuring smiling became part of the pop culture radar during 1918, including titles like “Have a Smile,” “Miles of Smiles,” and “You’re in Style When You’re Wearing a Smile.” If consumers were sad on the home front, a plethora of messages about smiling and staying happy would encourage hearts and minds.

However, there is one theme of cheering up that became a prominent trend during the First World War, showing audiences that it was not just mothers and sweethearts left on the home front. Songs featuring children and toddlers looking for their fathers, so-called baby ballads, left an indelible mark on the song landscape during 1918. There is abject sadness woven into these lyrics as babies are described with “years are filled with tears,”[54] along with their grieving mothers. Despite the heroic portrait of General Pershing on its cover, the Lew Porter song “Hello Gen’ral Pershing (How’s My Daddy Tonight?),” for example, both baby and mother are longing “for Daddy o’er the sea.”[55] The song “Just a Baby’s Letter Found in No Man’s Land” offers the image of a child’s letter trampled in the mud and muck of the front line, with soldiers reading it and sobbing with tears.[56] However, unlike mother and sweetheart songs in which the bleakness of the domestic situation is balanced with various methods of cheering up, baby ballads balance sad emotion with the inherent cuteness of the descriptions of toddlers praying or trying to use the telephone. In “Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There),” a mother eavesdrops as a child prays for her father at bedtime, a charming scene captured on the cover of the sheet music.[57] The ill-fated letter found in “Just a Baby’s Letter Found in No Man’s Land),” simply reads the heart-warming message “I love you, Daddy,”[58] one can nearly visualize the child-like penmanship in the page. Cuteness reaches epic proportions when telephones are involved. In “Hello, Gen’ral Pershing (How’s My Daddy To-Night?),” a baby slumbers softly next to the telephone waiting for a reply after making an initial attempt at reaching the General.[59] The cover of “Hello Central! Give Me No Man’s Land” conspicuously features the heart-warming image of a small child on tip-toes trying to reach the telephone hanging on the wall.[60] Cuteness is a theme in “We Want Our Daddy Dear, Back Home (Hello Central, Give Me France),” in which a child calls France to tell his daddy that there is a new baby in the home, and after which, none other than President Wilson cancels the war to get the soldier back home.[61] With this sort of content, the cuteness is amplified by the unlikelihood of the situation; it is doubtful that a toddler would be able to fathom the war and elicit blatantly patriotic themes. For example, in “Some Where in France is Daddy,” a toddler is not likely to have the sort of patriotic feelings about his father going off to war with lyrics like,

I pray ev’ry night for the Allies

And ask God to help them win

For our Daddy won’t come back

Till the Stars and Stripes they’ll tack

On Kaiser William’s flag staff in Berlin[62]

In the case of the wartime baby ballad, while there are sad and often tragic themes, these are balanced through various methods of showing children, babies and toddlers partaking in cute or patriotic themes, some of which are highly dubious and used to sell the imagery appropriate for the times.

What would become known as the First World War would end in November 1918 with the Allies advancing on Germany and eventual international negotiations for peace. Going to get Kaiser Bill, a theme in many songs, would not come to fruition; Wilhelm II abdicated on 9 November 1918.  Before Tin Pan Alley acclimated to a song market without consumer need for war songs, the home front would experience one last type of war song celebrating or commemorating the war and its impact on soldier and civilian life. The humorous song “How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?),” in which rural parents anxiously await their sons’ return after the war ends, tells how they worry that international travels will lead to “Jazzin’ around And paintin’ the town,” and that “They’ll never want to see a rake or plow.”[63] Richard Whiting’s waltz “Hand in Hand Again,” the sequel to “Till We Meet Again,” is full of the same dreamy sentiment of its predecessor without a plot, summarizing what audiences were thinking themselves perhaps, “But a smile lurks today Where a tear used to stray/And the curtain of darkness is drawn.”[64] While these familiar themes of comical characters and sentimental waltzes came a new topic of remembering what had happened. It was law, in fact, that “peace songs were banned, however, as comforting to the enemy”[65] during the Great War and so audiences had no access to messages of peace, but that changed with the war’s conclusion. The song “Good-bye Shot and Shell!” celebrates the “World-Famous policy of lasting peace” and also informs audiences of the horrors of the war, including “cooties, rats and stenches…gas bombs, torture filling…baby killing.”[66] In “The Dream of a Soldier Boy,” advertised as a “wonderful new idea,” a soldier on the battlefield dreams of international cooperation when “all nations are kind to each other.”[67] Even Thomas Edison who “has never permitted his voice to be recorded for the public,” told people that “’American’ has a new meaning in Europe,” but in celebrating American aide, we should not forget the troops of European countries as well.[68] With the end of the war, sentimental songs about the war’s end concluded Tin Pan Alley’s wartime production.

The legacy of the First World War would be one of death, remembrance and of memorials of gravestones; the number of casualties is truly staggering, with 65 million troops mobilised, over eight and a half million died among all sides of the conflict, including 115,000 Americans and 21 million injured.[69] John Keegan refers to the legacy of the First World War “no brave trumpets sound in memory for the drab millions who plodded to death on the featureless plains of Picardy and Poland.”[70] Americans would have a substantial effect on the war, and according to German general Erich Ludendorff Americans “became the decisive power in the war.”[71] American society during the war had undergone dramatic changes including the passage of one constitutional amendment allowing women the right to vote and another in debate over the legal status of alcohol. A global influenza pandemic would kill more people than the war; taking around 50 million lives worldwide,[72] including nearly seven hundred thousand Americans, six times the number of casualties on the battlefield.[73] As far as pop song history is concerned, the topical fad departed as soon as it appeared, and all of the plucky marches about American soldiers or sentimental numbers about American citizens trying to cheer up would become pop memories in the ever-changing currents of the music market. By 1920, the new sounds of a suddenly commercially successful genre called Jazz would become the fascination of consumers, composers, record companies, publishing houses and a bevy of new orchestras across the country.

References:

Baldwin, Neil. Edison: Inventing the Century. New York: Hyperion. 1995.

Blanke, David. The 1910s. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 2002.

Curcio, Vincent. Henry Ford. New York: Oxford University Press. 2013.

“The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918.” National Archives. Accessed 11 October 2014. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/.

Ellis, Edward Robb. Echoes of Distant Thunder: Life in the United States, 1914-1918. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan Inc. 1975.

Ewen, David. Panorama of American Popular Music. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc. 1957.

Gaffney, Florrie. Florrie Gaffney to Joe Gaffney, 30 April 1918. In Linda S. George. Letters from the Home Front: World War I. New York: Benchmark Books. 2002.

H., Agnes E. Agnes E.H. to Joe Gaffney, 8 February 1918. In George, Linda S. Letters from the Home Front: World War I. New York: Benchmark Books. 2002.

Hensler, Lester. Lester Hensler to Mother and Father, n.d. In Virginia Schomp. Letters from the Battlefront: World War I. New York: Benchmark Books. 2004.

Hischak, Thomas H. The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 2002.

Howard, Michael. The First World War. New York: Oxford University Press. 2002.

Keegan, John. The First World War. New York: Vintage Books. 1998.

Marks, Edward B. They All Sang: From Tony Pastor to Rudy Vallée. New York: The Viking Press. 1934.

Porteous, R.H. “Women! Help America’s Sons With the War.” Poster. 1917. Reproduced in Paret, Peter, Beth Irwin Lewis and Paul Paret. Persuasive Images: Posters of War and Revolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1992.

Sanjek, Russell. American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, Volume III: 1900-1984. New York: Oxford University Press. 1988.

Schaffer, Ronald. America in the Great War: The Rise of the War Welfare State. New York: Oxford University Press. 1991.

Sheridan, John E. “Food Is Ammunition—Don’t Waste It.” Poster. c.1918. Reproduced in Paret, Peter, Beth Irwin Lewis and Paul Paret. Persuasive Images: Posters of War and Revolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1992.

Tindall, George Brown and David Emory Shi. America: A Narrative History, volume 2, 8th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 2010.

Waite Hunton, Addie D. and Kathryn M. Johnson. “The YMCA and Other Welfare Organizations.” Contained in Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I. Margaret R. Higonnet, ed. New York: Penguin Group. 1999. 283-286.

Songs Cited

Baskette, Billy (music) and Al Sweet (lyrics). Each Stitch Is a Thought of You, Dear. New York: Leo Feist In. 1918.

Darewski, Hermann E. (music) and R.P. Weston (lyrics). Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts for Soldiers. New York: Francis, Day & Hunter. 1914.

DeCosta, Harry (music) and James M. Reilly (lyrics). We Want Our Daddy Back Home (Hello Central, Give Me France). M. Witmark & Sons. 1918.

Donaldson, Will (music) and Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics). How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?). New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co. 1919.

Earl, Mary. Cheer Up, Mother. New York: Shapiro, Bernstein & Co Inc. 1918.

——-. My Sweetheart is Somewhere in France. Newark, NJ: Mary Earl. 1917.

Egan, Jack (music) and Lew Brown and Al Harriman (lyrics). We’ll Do Our Share (While You’re Over There. New York: Broadway Music Corporation. 1918.

Hawley, Walter. Watch the Bee Go Get the Hun. New York: Meyer Cohen Music Pub. Co. 1918.

Howard, Great. Somewhere in France Is Daddy. New York: Howard and LaVar Music Co. 1917.

Howard, Joseph E (music) and Philander Johnson (lyrics). Somewhere in France (Is the Lily). New York: M. Whitmark & Sons. 1917.

Jerome, M.K. (music) and Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics). Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There). New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co. 1918.

Lawrence, Ray (music) and Bernie Grossmann (lyrics). Just a Baby’s Letter (Found In No Man’s Land). New York: The Joe Morris Music Co. 1918.

Meyer, George W (music) and Grant Clake and Howard E. Rogers (lyrics). If He Can Fight Like He Can Love, Good Night, Germany!. New York: Leo Feist Inc. 1918.

Monaco, James V. (music) and Alfred Dubin (lyrics). The Dream of a Soldier Boy. New York: M. Witmark & Sons. 1917.

Novello, Ivor (music) and Lena Guilbert Ford (lyrics). Keep the Home Fires Burning (Till the Boys Come Home). New York: Ascherberg, Hopwoop, & Crow Ltd. 1915.

O’Hara, Geoffrey. K-K-K-Katy. New York: Leo Feist Inc. 1918.

Olman, Abe (music) and Ed Rose (lyrics), patriotic version by Ray Sherwood. Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh! Chicago, IL: Forster Music Publisher. 1917.

Paley, Herman (music) and Alfred Bryan (lyrics). Cheer Up Mother, Cheer Up Father. New York: Jerome H Remick & Co. 1918.

Peck, Gerald (music) and Lou Spero (lyrics). Good-Bye Shot and Shell! New York: Jos. W. Stern & Co. 1919.

Porter, Lew. Hello, Gen’ral Pershing (How’s My Daddy To-Night?). New York: Shapiro, Bernstein & Co Inc. 1918.

Powell, Felix (music) and George Asaf (lyrics). Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile. New York: Francis, Day & Hunter. 1915.

Schwartz, Jean (music) and Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics). Hello, Central, Give Me No Man’s Land. New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co. 1918.

Stanley, Jack (music) and Jessie Spiess (lyrics). While You’re Over There in No-Man’s Land (I’m Over Here in Lonesome Land). Chicago, IL: Will Rossiter. 1918.

Van Alstyne, Egbert (music) and Gus Kahn (lyrics). What Are You Going To Do To Help the Boys?. New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co. 1918.

Weslyn, Louis and Al Piantadosi. Send Me Away With a Smile. New York: Al Piantadosi & Co Inc. 1917.

Whiting, Richard A. Hand in Hand Again. New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co. 1919.

——-. Till We Meet Again. New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co. 1918.

Cylinderography

Edison, Thomas A. Let Us Not Forget. Edison Record. 6540. 1919. Found at Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project. http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr%201=1020&num=1&start=1&query=cylinder5907.

[1] Neil Baldwin, Edison: Inventing the Century, (New York: Hyperion, 1995). 345.

[2] Henry Ford qtd in Vincent Curcio, Henry Ford, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 97.

[3] Ronald Schaffer, American in the Great War: The Rise of the War Welfare State, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 47.

[4] Edward B. Marks, They All Sang: From Tony Pastor to Rudy Vallée, (New York: The Viking Press, 1934), 194.

[5] John E. Sheridan, “Food is Ammunition—Don’t Waste it,” Poster, c.1918, contained in Peter Paret, Beth Irwin Lewis, and Paul Paret, Persuasive Images: Poster of War and Revolution, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), 86.

[6] David Blanke, The 1910s, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), 113

[7] Edward Robb Ellis, Echoes of Distant Thunder: Life in the United States, 1914-1918, (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1975), 401.

[8] Blanke, 120.

[9] Ibid, 187.

[10] David Ewen, Panorama of American Popular Music, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc, 1957), 29.

[11] Thomas H. Hischak, The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopedia, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), 327.

[12] R.H. Porteous, “Women! Help America’s sons win the war,” Poster, 1917, contained in Peter Paret, Beth Irwin Lewis and Paul Paret, Persuasive Images: Posters of War and Revolution, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), 70.

[13] Letter from Agnes E.H. to Joe Gaffney, 8 February 1918, contained in Linda S George, Letters from the Home Front: World War I, (New York: Benchmark Books, 2002), 29.

[14] Billy Baskette and Al Sweet, Each Stitch Is a Thought of You, Dear (New York: Leo Feist Inc, 1918).

[15] Jack Egan (music) and Lew Brown and Al Harriman (lyrics), We’ll Do Our Share (While You’re Over There), (New York: Broadway Music Corporation, 1918).

[16] Herman Paley (music) and Alfred Bryan (lyrics), Cheer Up Mother, Cheer Up Father, (New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co, 1918).

[17] Baskette and Sweet, Each Stitch Is a Thought of You, Dear.

[18] Egan, Brown and Harriman, We’ll Do Our Share (While You’re Over There).

[19] Jack Stanley (music) and Jessie Spiess (lyrics), While You’re Over There in No-Man’s Land (I’m Over Here in Lonesome Land), (Chicago, IL: Will Rossiter, 1918).

[20] George W. Meyer (music) and Grant Clarke and Howard E. Rogers (lyrics), If He Can Fight Like He Can Love, (Good Night Germany!), (New York: Leo Feist Inc, 1918).

[21] Louis Weslyn and Al Piantadosi, Send Me Away With a Smile, (New York: Al Piantadosi & Co Inc, 1917).

[22] Joseph E. Howard (music) and Philander Johnson (lyrics), Somewhere in France (Is the Lily), (New York: M. Whitmark & Sons, 1917).

[23] Richard A. Whiting, Till We Meet Again, (New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co, 1918).

[24] Mary Earl, My Sweetheart is Somewhere in France, (Newark, NJ: Mary Earl, 1917).

[25] Whiting, Till We Meet Again.

[26] Howard and Johnson, Somewhere in France (Is the Lily).

[27] Paley and Bryan, Cheer Up Mother, Cheer Up Father.

[28] Earl, My Sweetheart is Somewhere in France.

[29] Whiting, Till We Meet Again.

[30] Geoffrey O’Hara, K-K-K-Katy, (New York: Leo Feist Inc, 1918).

[31] Russell Sanjek, American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, volume III: 1900-1984, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 35

[32] Egbert Van Alstyne (music) and Gus Kahn (lyrics), What Are You Going to Do to Help the Boys?, (New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co, 1918).

[33] Letter from Florrie Gaffney to Joe Gaffney, 30 April 1918, contained in Linda S George, Letters from the Home Front: World War I, (New York: Benchmark Books, 2002), 32.

[34] Weslyn and Piantadosi, Send Me Away with a Smile.

[35] Mary Earl, Cheer Up Mother, (New York: Shapiro, Bernstein & Co Inc, 1918).

[36] Egan, Brown and Harriman, We’ll Do Our Share (While You’re Over There).

[37] Howard and Johnson, Somewhere in France (Is the Lily).

[38] Stanley and Spiess, While You’re Over There in No-Man’s Land (I’m Over Here in Lonesome Land).

[39] Addie D. Waite Hunton and Mathryn M. Johnson, “The YMCA and Other Welfare Organizations,” contained in Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I, Margaret R. Higonnet, ed, (New York: Plume, 1999), 283.

[40] Walter Hawley, Watch the Bee Go Get the Hun, (New York: Meyer Cohan Music Pub. Co, 1917).

[41] Baskette and Sweet, Each Stitch Is a Thought of You, Dear.

[42] Hermann E. Darewisky (music) and R.P. Weston (lyrics), Susie’s Sewing Shirts for Soldiers, (New York: Francis, Day & Hunter, 1914).

[43] Letter from Lester Hensler to Mother and Father, n.d. contained in Virginia Schomp, Letters from the Battlefront: World War I, (New York: Benchmark Books, 2004), 22.

[44] Ivor Novello (music) and Lena Guilbert Ford (lyrics), Keep the Home Fires Burning (Till the Boys Come Home), (New York: Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crow Ltd, 1915).

[45] Weslyn and Piantadosi, Send Me Away with a Smile.

[46] Blanke, 129.

[47] Egan, Brown and Harriman, We’ll Do Our Share (While You’re Over There).

[48] Pelay and Bryan, Cheer Up Mother, Cheer Up Father.

[49] Stanley and Spiess, While You’re Over There in No-Man’s Land (I’m Over Here in Lonesome Land).

[50] Felix Powell (music) and George Asaf (lyrics), Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile, (New York: Francis, Day & Hunter, 1915).

[51] Novello and Ford, Keep the Home Fires Burning (Till the Boys Come Home).

[52] Abe Oman (music) and Ed Rose (lyrics), patriotic version by Ray Sherwood, Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!, (Chicago, IL: Forster Music Publisher, 1917).

[53] Hischak, 327.

[54] M.K. Jerome (music) and Sam M Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics), Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There), (New York: Waterson Berlin & Snyder Co, 1918).

[55] Lew Porter, Hello Gen’ral Pershing, (How’s My Daddy To-Night?), (New York: Shapiro, Bernstein & Co Inc. 1918).

[56] Ray Lawrence (music) and Bernie Grossmann (lyrics), Just a Baby’s Letter (Found in No Man’s Land), (New York: The Joe Morris Music Co, 1918).

[57] Jerome, Lewis and Young, Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There).

[58] Lawrence and Grossmann, Just a Baby’s Letter (Found in No Man’s Land).

[59] Porter, Hello Gen’ral Pershing, (How’s My Daddy To-Night?).

[60] Jean Schwartz (music) and Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics), Hello, Central, Give Me No Man’s Land, (New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co, 1918).

[61] Harry DeCosta (music) and James M. Reilly (lyrics), We Want Our Daddy Dear Back Home (Hello Central Give Me France), (New York: M. Witmark & sons, 1918).

[62] The Great Howard, Somewhere in France is Daddy, (New York: Howard and LaVar Music Co, 1917).

[63] Walter Donaldson (music) and Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young (lyrics), How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm? (After They’ve Seen Paree), (New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co, 1919).

[64] Richard A. Whiting, Hand in Hand Again, (New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co, 1919).

[65] Edward R. Marks, They All Sang: From Tony Pastor to Rudy Vallée, (New York: The Viking Press, 1934), 195.

[66] Gerald Peck (music) and Lou Spero (lyrics), Good-Bye Shot and Shell!, (New York: Jos. W. Stern & Co, 1919).

[67] James V. Monaco (music) and Alfred Dubin (lyrics), The Dream of a Soldier Boy, (New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1917).

[68] Thomas A Edison, Let Us Not Forget,” Edison Record, 6540, 1919, accessed 1 October 2014, found at Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project, USC Santa Barbara, http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr%201=1020&num=1&start=1&query=cylinder5907.

[69] “Total War Casualties,” contained in Michael Howard, The First World War, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 146.

[70] John Keegan, The First World War, (New York: Vintage Books, 1998), 421.

[71] Erich Ludendorff, qtd in George Brown Tindall and David Emory Shi, America: A Narrative History, 8th ed, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010), 1005.

[72] Ellis, 462.

[73] “The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918,” National Archives, Accessed 11 October 2014, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/

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About morganhowland

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in American History. I am also a music nerd who likes keeping up with current music and knowing anything about pop songs of the past. Combining the two ambitions into a blog of essays on various topics of popular song history seems like an appropriate thing to do.

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