Sassoon, Owen and Graves
The history of Craiglockhart
The War's effect on ordinary people
links to related sites
Acknowledgements, credit and contact
Pat Barker's trilogy
Music, prose and trench art
Other representations - Popular music

The songs that became popular during the war were not just for the soldiers. They were sung by the general population too in order to encourage patriotism. The words and tunes were simple so that they could be remembered easily, and sometimes they were sentimental love songs and sometimes ironic as criticisms were made about conditions brought about by the war. The soldiers used the songs to release their fears and frustrations at being at war.

The British songs in particular, encouraged the women left behind to be supportive of their sweethearts, husbands and brothers. 'Tommy's Mail Day' for example, is about a mother and sister telling their son and brother how proud they are that he is 'doing his bit for the war'.

'Keep the Home Fires Burning' (heard frequently in the trenches and thus much-hated by Sassoon) was a song of reassurance, a way of telling the soldiers that 'normality' would be re-established when they returned home at the war's end.

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Sir Harry Lauder