The songs of World War I are unusually revealing of the values and beliefs of their time. They show how American attitudes changed between 1914 and 1917, from “I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be a Soldier” to “Over There,” Most telling, though, were the love songs of those years, with their emphasis on parting, separation, and the longing to return. Then the songs changed abruptly when the War ended to express a new worldview that signaled the emotional and cultural beginning of the 20th century.
Part of a series of events by the President Woodrow Wilson House commemorating the beginning of WWI in Europe. In tandem with “Images of the Great War” exhibition in the Wilson House gallery.
“He doesn’t sing and he doesn’t dance, but he knows all there is to know about American popular music.”