SINGING IN THE RAIN
Anne Greene here. On the 14th day of April I wrote about what Scottish men wore under their kilts, and what happened to their kilts. I told you that you would find more spectacular information about what changed the Scottish Highlanders and their way of life in my book Masquerade Marriage.
This 14th day of May, I’m writing once again about events during World War II. You’ll discover so much more in my book Angel With Steel Wings that will release September 2014.
During World War II the American people kept their spirits and hopes high with the many new songs that blossomed during the first dark years of the war when America was losing the battle to Hitler’s Germany and Japan’s Hirohito.
And overseas, American troops had regular access to radio in all but the most difficult combat situations. American troops listened to popular music on Armed Forces Radio between bouts of combat.
The song, They’re Either Too Young or Too Old took a light-hearted look at the men left for the women on the home front while American Troops were off fighting the war.
Popular songs like Sentimental Journey, I’ll be Seeing You, Moonlight Serenade, and I’ll be Home for Christmas, all spoke of women’s longings for loved ones overseas and the troops longing to be home. Those songs gave society’s blessing that it was okay to miss your man because he was fighting for the good of Americans everywhere. And the many patriotic songs brought smiles to faces and pride to the hearts of Americans on the home front and abroad.
Earlier in the century big band music had become wildly popular and still was in the 1940s. Some of the more popular war songs were:
There’ll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs of Dover by Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra.
Be Careful It’s My Heart by Irving Berlin. 1942
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters 1941
Comin’ In On A Wing and A Prayer by The Song Spinners
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore by Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me by 1942 by Stept, Brown, and Tobias.
Every Time We Say Goodbye by Cole Porter 1944
GI Jive by Johnny Mercer
I Don’t Want To Walk Without You by Harry James & His Orchestra 1942
I’ll Be Seeing You by Bing Crosby
It’s Been A Long Long Time by Harry James
I’ll Get By As Long As I Have You by Harry James & His Orchestra
Kiss The Boys Goodbye by Frank Loesser 1941
Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition by Frank Loesser 1942
People in the USA held the same desires as their leaders, and the government counted on popular music to reflect the same war aims that Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted. Everyone hoped for a quick final victory over the Axis, and the songs about a world after the war with the boys coming home met those wishes.
This unity gave the USA an enormous energy that allowed the nation to accomplish far more at less human cost than the other major powers in the war. So in the driving rain of war where almost every citizen lost a loved one, music kept spirits high.
Have you heard any of these popular songs, and if so, which is your favorite?
Leave a comment and one lucky winner will win my book, A Texas Christmas Mystery. Please leave your email address so I can contact you for your address.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement releases soon. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won several awards. In 2014, her World War II novel, Angel With Steel Wings, about WASPs, women test pilots will release. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one, and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s other books, her blog, travel pictures, and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com.
Don’t forget to leave a comment. Anne loves to talk with her fans.
Hey Ann. What a fun post. I recognized a couple of those titles. I know my grandmother would recognize most of them. I have one of those old radios that has been in the family since before WWII.ReplyDelete
I love "Don't get around much anymore" but I've only heard Harry Connick Jr.'s version. But I adore Linda Ronstadt and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra--every single song is amazing on that CD. Great music form the greatest generation. Thanks for a terrific post!ReplyDelete
Kathleen, I'll have to find Harry Connick Jr.'s version. I'm sure I'll love it too. Thanks for your kind words.Delete
I just sang "I'll Be Home for Christmas" this past December, and didn't realize that it was a song about loved ones gone to war and wanting to be home for Christmas. No wonder it has such a wistful sound.ReplyDelete
I do recognize quite a few of those songs, and I used to be an old movie buff, back when AMC's classic movies were actually what I call the classics - from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Those were the good days of popular music and movies!
Yes, the music was inspiring back then. I try to find those old movies every chance I get, but reading a good historical book set in the early 1900s is excellent as well.Delete
I am writing books set during WWII and would you believe I don't have a soundtrack. I should know better. Man O and I love Casablanca and As Time Goes By gets us every time.ReplyDelete
Love the discussion!
I think my favorate might be As Time Goes By. I love it.Delete
These are way before my time but I recognize several of the titles. Especially 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'!ReplyDelete
I recognize the songs from my research and from old movies. But they all tug at my heart.Delete
I love this blog! Thank you all for sharing your valubale time with us history lovers. Great article, Anne. No romance with history is complete without its music. After losing my dad, a WWII vet, "I'll Be Seeing You" has become even more special, particularly when Mom plays it on their turn table.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the kind words. We have a number of great writers on this blog. I'm so glad you joined me today. I post every 14th day of the month and hope you will become a frequent visitor.Delete
Oh, my! You're talking about my childhood. These are the songs I grew up with. I could sing the words to almost all of them as I read the titles here. I have tears in my eyes as I remember those days and those songs and what they meant to people around me during the war. The songs were written and sung with heart to entertain, remind us of our boys and girls in harm's way, and salute our armed forces. My sister, cousin, and I loved to sing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy as little girls. We loved the old movies then, too. I was always Bette Davis, the dramatic one, and my sister was Betty Grable, the sexy one, and my cousin was Betty Hutton, the crazy one. What fun we had pretending.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the memories, Anne. I love books about WWII, but the movies get to me and I have a hard time watching them. I love all those old songs, but my favorite song was I'll Be Seeing You with White Christmas a close second.
Hi Martha, thanks for stopping by. Even with the dark days of the war, Americans were so upbeat. That was the Greatest Generation is so many ways. And the songs were just as great as the people. I'm so happy to bring back your memories. Next time I see you, you can sing I'll Be Seeing You to me.Delete
Thanks, Anne. I look forward to seeing you again. I can tell you the words of the song, but don't ask me to sing it with the voice I have today. :)Delete
Loved reading through this post. Very interesting! I only recognized two of the song titles listed! Even though I'm old, maybe I'm still too young for most of those songs! lolReplyDelete
I love Christmas books and I read Christmas books and play Christmas music all year round. Lifts my spirits if I'm feeling down. I would be delighted to win a copy of, A Texas Christmas Mystery!
Your name is in the pot for winning A Texas Christmas Mystery and if you win, I know it will lift your spirits.Delete
a wonderful posting...thanks for sharing :)ReplyDelete
kmkuka at yahoo dot com
Thanks for visiting Karen!Delete
I'm not good at knowing songs by their "titles", so I am sure I may have heard some of those but don't know off hand. Amazing to think music had that much influence on the Americans in the war! I do believe it, though. I always have music going, I have to have something in the background at all times to keep me motivated.ReplyDelete
farmygirl at hotmail dot com
Hi Susan, It's nice to meet with you here. Music is a motivator all right, especially if that music is sorely needed as it was during WWII. Those were some of the great songs of the twentieth century. Hearing a recording makes you sing along and dance. They were easy listening.Delete
I have indeed heard of some of these songs. Thanks for the reminder of what they mean!ReplyDelete
Hi Naomi, Thanks for visiting with me here. I'm surprised you've heard these songs. That was more your grandmother's day wasn't it? A good number of them came from popular muscials during that period. I wouldn't be surprised if the songs didn't have a resurgance in popularity one day.Delete
I recall hearing "Be Careful It's My Heart" in "Holiday Inn" starring Bing Crosby. Music, movies, dances, church all were important in taking in raising spirits during the war.ReplyDelete
Hi Wesley, Be Careful It's My Heart is one of the songs I don't think I've heard. I will have to look for the DVD "Holiday Inn" just so I can hear that song. Of course, I love those old movies too. Yes, back then Church was far more important than it seems to be today. Of course, when your country is in trouble, people tend to pay attention to the things in life that are really important. And with so many families losing loved ones to Whom else can they turn?Delete
I love your Scotland heros and will probably love the WWII ones too. WWII was over by the time I was born. I'm a baby boomer, but I recognized several titles. My favorite was It's a Long, Long Way. I liked the jazz of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B too.ReplyDelete
ehmanders at cox dot com.
Hi Elaine, yes some of those songs lasted long after the war ended. And rightly so. Those were good songs and music. Who can sit still when they play Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B?Delete
Thanks for loving my Scottish warriors! They are dear to my heart.
I've heard of some of these songs, but not all. If I had to pick my favorite it would be "I'll Be Seeing You" by Bing Crosby.ReplyDelete
Hi Debbie, nice to see you again! That song, I'll Be Seeing You, really pulls at the heartstrings. (old saying). I'm still deep in the middle of writing a WWII book so those old sayings just pop right up.Delete
The only one I recognized was "I'll Be Seeing You", great song. :-) Bless you, Anne, and thanks for the chance to win a copy of "A Texas Christmas Mystery". :-)ReplyDelete
HI Gwen, hope I can call you that. Sorry you don't have some memories to invoke. You're in the pot for the drawing. Nice to see you here.Delete
I love the music of the 40's & have cd's with many of the songs you listed & several of the bands, also - too many to pick a favorite.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your books!
Hi Bonnie, It is hard to pick a favorite. I haven't heard all the songs either, but the ones I've heard really stay with you. They are so easy to sing and dance to. And the message each carries is so direct, no quibbling as to its meaning. Nice to meet you here.Delete
My mother loved any of the jitterbug tunes that the Andrew Sisters sang. She would crank our old table radio as high as it would go. Meanwhile my Dad flew in a Dauntless from an aircraft carrier on reconnaissance missions over the Pacific ocean. I curled in the old navy platform rocker and snuggled with my pink stuffed elephant while I wished and prayed for my Daddy to come home safe and sound. When Dad did come home on leave, the record player ground out the classical music that calmed his shell shocked nerves. Would love to be an influencer for Angel With Steele Wings if you are doing that. Put my name in for the draw, too. Blessings, Cass Wessel, website, http:www.wordsabouttheword.comReplyDelete
You brought tears to my eyes. You were there. I'm so glad your Dad came home. So many of those pilots did not. I can picture your mother jitterbugging with prayers in her heart for her dear husband. I'll remember you as an influencer.
My dad was at Pearl when it was bombed, so growing up, these were the songs I remember hearing. I loved dancing w/ my father to Glenn Miller's songs, but out of your list, I'd have to say, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" was/is my fav. Thanks for the great walk down memory lane.ReplyDelete
Hi Sandy, Did you learn how to jitterbug? I'm so glad your dad survived Pearl Harbor. I so love evoking memories. I'll be doing so again on this blog. I write about the WWII era and Scotland during the final days of the Highland Clans, so stay tuned (as they used to say on the radio).Delete
Thanks for a wonderful post, Anne. My favorite WW II song was and is "When the Lights Go on Again (All Over the World)," sung by Vaughan Monroe, "The voice with hair on its chest." It's nice to remember the apparent unity of the nation in those times. If was effective even if illusory: It happened because the American Communist Party, that had been pacifist while Germany and Soviet Russia were allies, suddenly became passionately anti-Nazi when Germany invaded Russia. The rest of the Left followed and remained until the war ended. Then the Party purged its leaders and opposed "Imperialist wars," and the far left has been there ever since. Yes, there's that skunk at the picnic, but the public was blissfully unaware of it at the time and enjoyed that wonderful feeling of unity that we haven't had since. And the songs of those years were great--not particularly because of the war but because of the quality of the words and music.ReplyDelete
Hi Donn, lovely to see you here. Yep the words and music of the songs were great. I recognize the name Vaughan Monroe and of course the name of the song "When the Lights Go On Again" and what the song was all about, but that's one of the few songs I haven't heard. Do you know of a CD or a movie where that song is sung?Delete
I love WW II songs...they are so beautifully done and have such sweetness to them...I think my favorite is Smile Awhile....it was in a couple old movies and it is so sweet to think to smile when you say goodbye...till we meet again. truckredford(at)gmail(dot)comReplyDelete
Hi Eliza, Those songs are so different from the ones today, and I think there are many people who miss the quality of the music. Nice to see you here visiting again!Delete
What you wrote was beautiful and brought a memory to me that gave joyful tears. I was raised in a small town and my family were close friends with another family and this man owned a small barbershop on Main Street. As a younger girl, I had long hair and it finally needed the ends trimmed. Mom took me to the barbershop (of course a special time when no men were there) and he trimmed the ends of my hair. Mom said he fussed the whole time about cutting that baby's hair. Time went on and I moved from this small town. I got a call one morning and my special barber had passed away. Two requests for the funeral; his cousin sing "How Great Thou Art" and the baby play "Sentimental Journey". His favorite song that he hummed and sung around the barbershop. Great, great memories!!! Thank you for your writing today!! Also, thank you for entering me in the giveaway!!ReplyDelete
Barbara, it's my pleasure. I love to hear about these memories. Sweet!ReplyDelete
It's Been A Long, Long Time ~ My daddy played that on our baby grand piano when I was a little girl ~ Moonlight Becomes You, Moonlight Serenade, and my very favorite Clair de Lune ~ 1890 French for Moonlight... beautiful musicReplyDelete
Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
Hi Kathleen, how fortunate you were to have your father's music right in your own home! I had to rely on streo and CDs. It's Been A Long, Long Time is a beautiful piece.Delete
I love the music from this era! My favorite is Be Careful It's My Heart sung by Bing Crosby, it is such a romantic song.ReplyDelete
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com
Hi Merry, What a lovely name you have. I must find a CD and listen to Be Careful It's My Heart. That's one of the few 1940s songs I haven't yet heard. Thanks for visiting.Delete
Hi, Anne. The only one I've heard is the newer version of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. The titles all sound interesting, though.ReplyDelete
Hi Janalyn, I haven't heard all these songs either, but they are great aren't they? Nice to see you here!Delete
I grew up hearing so many of those songs. One of my favorites was I'll Be Seeing You. I also love I'll Be Home for Christmas. Thank you for the interesting post!ReplyDelete
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com
Hi Kay, I love I'll Be Seeing You as well. But all the songs I've heard are so very good. I Love them.Delete
I still love, "Don't Sit under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else But Me." And everything by Tex Beneke and Spike Jones.ReplyDelete
Hi Richard, Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me was my mother's favorite song! I'm so happy to hear it was your favorite as well! Thanks for visiting!Delete
I'Ve heard of a few. I always enjoyed listening to Bugle Boy.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing, Anne.
Hi Christina, Bugle Boy seems to be a great favorite as well as I'll Be Home For Christmas and I'll Be Seeing You. Lovely songs.Delete
I love all of these songs and heard and sang them many times through my life. My oldest brother was a medic in WWll. Also had 3 brother-in-laws, and several friends and cousins in this war, several giving their lives helping to win this war. Hard to pick a favorite when I loved all of these, but guess will pick Sentimental Journey and I'll be home for Christmas. Songs with so much feelings. Thats when some of the best songs were written. We lived in Houston then so my dad could work in the shipyard. My sisters used to meet guys at the USO and invite several to our house for Sunday dinner. I remember this well, tho I was only 9 and 10 at the time. I would love this Christmas book. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)comReplyDelete
Hi Maxie, So nice to hear your memories! You're a child of the Greatest Generation. You have some strong memories. Many of the WWII songs lasted into the 1950s I think. I just read a magazine article about Doris Day and she sang Sentimental Journey. Good to meet you here. Every 14th day of the month I'll be sharing either about the WWII war days or about Scottish history. Both are close to my heart.Delete
I'm sure I've heard some of those in movies but not enough to recognize them. I do love music though. It lifts my spirits so I can see how it would lift others up.ReplyDelete
I sing in a 150 voice choir every Sunday and one of the highlights of my week is Thursday night practice and Sunday Morning worship with Spiritual songs. Singing is a spirit pick-up for sure! Those old songs of WWII express so many emotional themes.
Gwendolyn Gage was randomly selected to win a copy of A Texas Christmas Mystery. Gwen, I'll send you an email for your address. Thanks again for visiting.ReplyDelete
Hi, Anne... absolutely love your subject of women test pilots in WWII, it will be hard to wait for that one. You can count on me as an influencer and spotlights over on my "Lilly's Book Club" for whenever the time comes around, too. I've written things in this era, as well, and enjoyed many days listening to old radio broadcasts as a means of "time traveling" back to those times. My favorite song is "Apple Blossom Time" (Harry James and the Andrews Sisters, 1941).ReplyDelete
Recently, while I was visiting my dad, who was a radio operator on one of the Liberty ships and is now in an Alzheimer's facility, a gentleman with an accordion came to entertain the residents with dozens of those very songs. It was the most amazing thing! Many of the people I had passed by day after day in a near comatose state, were smiling, clapping, and tapping their feet. Suddenly, Dad raised his hands and flagged over one of the nurses, who thought he must need something that couldn't wait. When she helped him stand up to take him out of the room, he began to shuffle his feet... he wanted to dance! So, she shuffled right along with him through the rest of the song, and they both had such fun it splashed onto everybody. Almost like a ripple of love and unity moving over that usually dark pond. Yes, I believe there is something so good and uplifting in those old songs that they can still touch even the quietest of hearts. Maybe it's hope? Whatever it is, it's wonderful.
So, glad you have it in your heart to bring some of these things back to life, and I'm sure ANGEL WITH STEEL WINGS will be a blessing to many!
I know I'm too late to enter the giveaway, but did want to read your article. I was a child during WWII, but as a teen the songs were still on the movies, etc. There was emotional depth to those songs as well as musical beauty. Too bad we don't have such today. I'd love to read your book, too. http://chatwithvera.blogspot.comReplyDelete