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From The Archives

From the archives

17 January 2015

9:00 AM

17 January 2015

9:00 AM

From ‘Music and the war’, The Spectator, 16 January 1915: The war, so far, has not thrown up any supreme musical product. It would be an affectation to pretend that the taste of the average British soldier is elevated. As in the Boer War, his repertory is confined to music-ball tunes and songs of an extreme and lugubrious sentimentality… The average ‘Tommy’ does not sing folk-songs or graceful chansons populaires, e.g., ‘Meunier tu dors, ton moulin va trop vite’, like our allies, but at least he does not submit to dictation from above: be chooses for himself. The curious fact about ‘Tipperary’, a marching song of a mild ragtime order and the one outstanding war tune of the campaign, is that it was adopted by the soldiers, and was never popularised by any music-hall singer of repute.


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