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The Gift of Music | CDs | Music of the War Years | Doing a Grand Job
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Doing a Grand JobFavourite Songs of the 40sEvery citizen - man, woman and child - was involved in the war effort: in the fields, in the home, and in uniform either at the front or behind the scenes. This is a nostalgic collection with a hint of a woman's perspective of the war, with humour and silliness mixed in with fear, love and longing.1 Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition Kay Kyser2 Blackout Bella Douglas Byng3 On the Siegfried Line Elsie & Doris Waters4 There's a boy coming home on leave Flanagan & Allen5 London Pride Noel Coward6 Blitzkrieg Baby (You can't bomb me) Fred & Doris Fisher7 Fanny is evacuated now Ronald Frankau8 Moonlight Serenade Glenn Miller 9 We must all stick together Billy Cotton & his band 10 I did what I could with my gas mask George Formby11 This Is the Army, Mr Jones Ambrose and His Orchestra12 The Sailor with the Navy Blue Eyes Ambrose and His Orchestra13 Oh how I hate to get up in the morning Evelyn Dall14 The White Cliffs of Dover Vera Lynn 15 The Homecoming Waltz Ivy Benson & Her Girls Band16 There'll always be an England Sam Browne 17 Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer Anne Shelton18 Corns for my country The Andrew Sisters19 Bless 'Em All George Formby20 When They Sound the Last All Clear Donald PeersCCL CDG1182Cover image: Marching Women The Advertising ArchivesP& C 2007 Classical Communications LtdMade in Great BritainEveryone who lived through the Second World War has their own personal memories of the period and the strong community spirit which bound the nation together. It elicited from the British people a unity, a sense of common purpose, the like of which had not been seen before. From the moment that War was declared on Sunday September 3rd 1939, we banded and bonded together to resist a common enemy. Within weeks, husbands, fathers and sons were sailing or flying off to fight the foe.On the home front, we did not sit still. Women took their men's places on either industrial assembly lines, or as part of the Women's Land Army, helping to provide the country with food at a time when U-Boats were destroying merchant ships bringing supplies from America. And the 'Dads' Armies' were also ready and eager to play their parts.Through it all were the songs, ever the songs. It was the age-old British way of dealing with trouble and crisis by singing about them. In 1915, we cheerfully sang 'Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile! Smile! Smile!' Now, yet again, we were singing songs about parting and reunion: Flanagan and Allen echoed the feelings of millions with There's A Boy Coming Home On Leave whilst Donald Peers longed for that wonderful day When They Sound The Last All-Clear. Patriotic fervour was given voice in a stirring song which became a second National Anthem - There'll Always Be An England. Our indominitable spirit was movingly expressed by Noel Coward in his London Pride and George Formby saluted our brave fighting forces with the rousing Bless 'Em All. These were bittersweet years - a time when we needed good popular music most of all. What star could be more appropriate to our nostalgic programme than a singer whose voiced warmed the hearts of a generation. She is, of course, Vera Lynn, who will be forever known as 'The Forces' Sweetheart', and her poignant The White Cliffs of Dover still retains its emotion-charged appeal. That vital tonic, humour, was liberally dispensed in the comic and novelty songs of the War years. At the outset, a combative mood was established with the exuberant Washing on the Siegfried Line and we could all sympathise with the sentiments of This Is The Army, Mr.Jones and Oh How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning. On the home front, the realities of war were amusingly realised in George Formby's I Did What I Could With My Gas Mask and Fanny Is Evacuated Now from Ronald Frankau.For every man or woman who lived through it, World War II was a defining moment, a period of transition that changed our lives forever. The songs cannot replicate the experience: nothing, in fact, can, which is probably just as well. But they do impart a flavour, a taste, of what it was like to be British, fighting for peace and justice, for our country - and for one another.
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