His story is a series of vivid pictures of battle and the horrors left behind the charging troops. Humour and tragedy go hand in hand in this latest work of realism from the pen of the author of Children of the Dead End. You have often asked me what are the favourite songs of the soldier on Active Service, the rhymed lines which give expression to his soul. It is difficult to give an answer, the mere words are "dud"shells, which drop harmlessly to earth close to their objective. The soldier and his song cannot be separated from their surroundings.
'It's a long way to Tipperary'
For a long time, historians did not study the popular music of — Perhaps it seemed trivial to concentrate on analysing entertainment during such a tragic period, when so many were living in deep fear at the Front, or waiting for a horrific telegram at home. When wartime popular music was mentioned, it was presented either as a form of spontaneous jingoism defending the Empire, or a morale-building way of putting on a brave face. Popular song does not reflect or illustrate history that is produced elsewhere, in muddy trenches or panelled ministerial chambers. Popular song is history: it encompasses a series of mass activities singalongs, music hall attendance, the buying of sheet music that are part of the history of society.
Share this page
Warning: these songs have not been bowdlerised, i. If you are offended by such language, it is suggested that you read no further. Some were taken up by soldiers in later wars and reworded accordingly. See R. Palmer 'What a lovely war! This was also the source for the versions of most of the songs given below. It's a long way to Tipperary, it's a long way to go.
Britain Since the s. Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, And smile, smile, smile. While you've a lucifer to light your fag, Smile, boys, that's the style.