Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Music Hall – not just a lovely war? | objectingtowar

I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier Cards
I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier Cards by FirstNightVintage

Re-blogged from objectingtowar.

It’s hard to imagine but one hundred years ago the cultural life of this country was very different. People were not watching The Apprentice on TV or even listening to The Archers on the radio. Books and newspapers were, of course, common but for most ‘ordinary’ people their entertainment was performances and music. The most powerful of these was the music hall.

In 1914 music hall was harnessed in the service of the war with patriotic songs calling on men to enlist and claiming that we’d be in “Berlin by Christmas”. In many ways this was propaganda from below. This was ordinary people swept up in the excitement of the war enthusiastically writing and performing pro-war numbers rather than a centralised, government ordered propaganda campaign.

You can see this in the tone of some of the songs that were far from respectable (for the time). For instance, this number saying that all the ladies love a man in uniform; “The Army and the Navy need attention, / The outlook isn’t healthy you’ll admit, / But I’ve got a perfect dream of a new recruiting scheme, / Which I think is absolutely it. / If only other girls would do as I do/ I believe that we could manage it alone,/ For I turn all suitors from me but the sailor and the Tommy,/ I’ve an army and a navy of my own!”…

Read more: Music Hall – not just a lovely war? | objectingtowar.

One comment on “Music Hall – not just a lovely war? | objectingtowar

  1. First Night Design

    Reblogged this on First Night History.

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