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Song Of The Great War: Keep The Home Fires Burning



To mark the centenary of The Great War, Retrospective presents a fascinating musical portrait of the recordings people enjoyed while they “kept the home fires burning” and of the songs written during that cataclysmic period. There was plenty of jingoism (Over There!), but even more escapism (If You Were The Only Girl In The World), and perhaps the strongest thread was one of pure nostalgia for simple love (Roses Of Picardy). The programme is split into two halves with the first 13 tracks consisting of original recordings made at the time by such as John McCormack (The Sunshine Of Your Smile), Billy Murray (K-K-K-Katy) and Al Jolson (You Made Me Love You), in which the sentiments still shine through the primitive pre-electrical sound. The second half features a baker’s dozen of the most popular songs of 1914-1918 as interpreted by later artists – Paul Robeson (A Perfect Day), Bing Crosby (Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral) and so on – the revivals often being inspired by World War II.

Song Of The Great War: Keep The Home Fires Burning


“This Songs of the Great War selection has been thoughtfully compiled and attractively produced.” Jonathan Woolf,

“Altogether this release may have very little to say about the war, but it has plenty to say about the evolution of popular music in the 1910s and popular taste at that time. For anyone interested in this, or just wanting to hear some of the golden voices and golden melodies of a century ago, it holds a strong attraction. “  David Chandler,