Songs played a very important role in the world wars. It was a great tool to convey a message or to protest at the same time as it conveyed a sense of the war through it.
World War I and World War II, needless to say, both eras were so cruel to the entire universe. People from all corners participated in it in their own form. Not only with guns and bombs, but people also took the songs as a weapon. There were a lot of songs released at that time to protest certain things. Renowned poets and singers have composed various songs which have helped to make a big difference through her.
During the two world wars, countless songs were released. Some became even more popular and shaped the war. Some famous songs are-
World War I Songs-
Keep household fires burning:
One of the renowned and famous songs from World War I is “Keep the Home Fires Burning”. The song was composed by Ivor Novello and written by Lena Guilbert Ford. First, in 1914, the song was released as ‘Till the Boys Come Home’. The soundtrack became popular in the UK. On the track, it was said to wait for the soldiers of the nation who fight for the country. Through this song they try to motivate the soldiers to fight the adversary.
Pack your problems:
The song “Pack Up Your Troubles” is a very famous song which was released in 1915. The full name of the song is “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile”. The soundscape was composed by Felix Powell and written by Welsh songwriter George Henry Powell. The inspirational song was featured on the American show called Her Soldier Boy. This particular song has also been performed in different languages which has gained popularity in different regions and parts of the world.
‘Noël des enfants’, the patriotic song was released in 1916. It was written and composed by Claude Debussy. This track has a different perspective on the war. Most of the songs were made to encourage the soldiers, but this song painted a completely different picture. The World War was one of the main reasons for the food shortage. A lot of people were dying for it. With this song, Claude Debussy tried to say that at Christmas the children of France do not want toys but they want bread to live and win the war.
In 1917 the song ‘Over There’ was released. The song was popular in both World Wars in the United States. This was not used in the Vietnam War, but later it was used in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This track was written by George M. Cohan. The reason behind creating this song is to influence young American talent to join the war and fight for their nation. It inspired more people to go into battle.
Farewell of the Slavic woman:
“Farewell of the Slavic Woman” is a Russian patriotic march. The song was written in 1912, at the time of the First Balkan War. Later in 1915 it was also used in the First World War. This was done to honor Slavic women who accompanied their husbands in the First Balkan War. It was composed by Vasily Agapkin. This march was used as the unofficial anthem of Admiral Kolchak’s White Army. Later, the song was redone with different lyrics in times of different wars.
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy:
The ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ is a song from World War II. The song was recorded in 1941 by The Andrews Sisters. It was written by Don Raye and Hughie Prince. This song gained immense popularity in the United States and reached number six on the US pop singles chart.
Let’s not be bestial with the Germans:
‘Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans’, song was released around the time of World War II in 1943. This exemplary track was composed by singer-songwriter Noel Coward. It didn’t become popular then, but later in the live performance it got a massive response. But in the future, this song was banned by the BBC for some reason.
The Russian song “Katusha” was released in 1938. It is a Soviet folk song and a military march. The march was composed by Matvey Blanter and written by Russian author Mikhail Isakovsky. This song became popular around the time of World War II. It is one of the popular war songs of the time.
Kiss me goodnight Sergeant Major:
The song “Kiss me Goodnight Sergeant Major” is a song from World War II. The track was released in 1939. It was written by Art Noel and Don Pelosi. This track was followed by another soundscape “Good Morning Sergeant Major” which was released in 1940.
‘Bella Ciao’, the popular Italian protest song was sung in the 19th century. The song was sung by the deep mondina singers. It was designed to protest against the worst condition of the rice fields in northern Italy.