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1st Anti-War Hit

Owen Woodson 15 Nov 12 - 06:53 AM
GUEST 15 Nov 12 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Nov 12 - 11:06 AM
Ernest 15 Nov 12 - 11:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 12 - 11:47 AM
IanC 15 Nov 12 - 11:49 AM
pdq 15 Nov 12 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,999 15 Nov 12 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,999 15 Nov 12 - 12:47 PM
JedMarum 15 Nov 12 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Nov 12 - 01:00 PM
Stringsinger 15 Nov 12 - 02:35 PM
John MacKenzie 15 Nov 12 - 02:49 PM
frogprince 15 Nov 12 - 02:54 PM
pdq 15 Nov 12 - 02:55 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 12 - 03:11 PM
Owen Woodson 16 Nov 12 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Lighter 16 Nov 12 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 16 Nov 12 - 09:21 PM
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Subject: 1st Anti-War Hit?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 06:53 AM

This links to a recording which the Stop the War Coalition are claiming as The first anti-war hit: I Didn't Raise my Boy to be a Soldier. Recorded 1915 by the Peerless Quartet.

Given the amount of anti-war feeling which existed in the US at that time, I'm wondering whether the American recording industry might have thrown up other examples.

Does anybody know of any?


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 08:14 AM

mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=205

USA Civil War


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 11:06 AM

Both songs were popular hits, but "I Didn't Raise my Boy to be a Soldier" is thoroughly pacifistic. "All Quiet" says the Civil War is tragic, but it doesn't assert it's just an exercise in futility.

I'm inclined to agree with the claim.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: Ernest
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 11:38 AM

I`d say that there were anti-war songs that were quite popular long before 1916 (gaining there popularity through printed materials like broadsheets etc.), but hits and hitparades originated only with the recording industry...


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 11:47 AM

I'm not sure if Mrs McGrath would count. It could date from Napoleonic times, though there's no firm citing of it till a lot later. And its pacifist credentials might be challenged on the grounds that it was a favourite marching song for the Irish Volunteers in the years leading up to 1916.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: IanC
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 11:49 AM

Johnny I Hardly Knew You?

:-)


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: pdq
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 12:03 PM

The lead tenor with the Peerless Quartet was a Canadian who used the name Henry Burr.

In his 30+ years of recording, Burr is credited with at least 6-8000 songs, done under dozens of names.

He said in an interview toward the end of his career that the number may have been closer to 13,000. The World Record for a recording artist.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 12:27 PM

More about him here.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 12:47 PM

The following may be in part responsible for a seeming lack of anti-war songs in the USA in WWI.

"The Espionage Act of 1917 was passed to prevent spying but also contained a section which criminalized inciting or attempting to incite any mutiny, desertion, or refusal of duty in the armed forces, punishable with a fine of not more than $10,000, not more than twenty years in federal prison, or both. Thousands of anti-war activists and unhappy citizens were prosecuted on authority of this and the Sedition Act of 1918, which tightened restrictions even more. Among the most famous was Eugene Debs, chairman of the Socialist Party of the USA for giving an anti-war speech in Ohio. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld these prosecutions in a series of decisions. Conscientious objectors were punished as well, most of them Christian pacifist inductees. They were placed directly in the armed forces and court-martialed, receiving draconian sentences and harsh treatment. A number of them died in Alcatraz Prison, then a military facility. Vigilante groups were formed which suppressed dissent as well, such as by rounding up draft-age men and checking if they were in possession of draft cards or not."

from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_World_War_I


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 12:55 PM

Interesting discussion today, as missiles from Gaza land again on Tel Aviv.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 01:00 PM

The "antiwar song" as a recognizable category didn't appear in the U.S till the 1950s or '60s. It was barely noticeable before 1965 and the Vietnam War.

BTW, principal credit for "I Didn't Raise my Boy to be a Soldier" goes to Alfred Bryan, the lyricist, and Al Piantadosi, the composer.

It was revived by American isolationists and others in 1939-1941.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: Stringsinger
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 02:35 PM

One important song that was quashed by the FCC was Sam Hinton's recording of
"Ol' Man Atom". It started to become a big hit. Penned by Verne Partlow, a newspaper man from L.A., it was based on the talking blues ala "Talking Union".

The chorus: "Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Alamagordo, Bikini".


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 02:49 PM

The Kerry Recruit?


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: frogprince
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 02:54 PM

"I'm Ol' Man Atom, and this is my thesis:
Peace to the world, or the world in pieces"

Hadn't thought of that in many long years.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: pdq
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 02:55 PM

The conservative Western Music stars the Sons of the Pioneers recorded "Old Man Atom" on July 17, 1950. Hard to believe that wasn't before Sam Hinton adopted it.

Ken Curtis is a member of the group but not lead singer on this song.


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 12 - 03:11 PM

American Revolution

mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5314

Johnny Has Gone For To Soldier


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 16 Nov 12 - 06:01 AM

Thanks for the contibutions, but I think I mustn't have made myself entirely clear. I'm not concerned with tracing the earliest anti-war song as such. That's probably scratched on the walls of some cave or other.

What I'm wondering is whether there were any other anti-war tin pan alley hits from the same period, or possibly even earlier, or whether the Peerless Quartet's example was unique?


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 16 Nov 12 - 08:03 AM

I've read a lot about the WW1 period in the U.S., and I don't believe I've ever come across a reference to another *extremely popular* pacifist song at that time.

Presumably others were written during the period of neutrality (1914-17), but I don't know of any that became hits.

During the Civil War various Copperhead songs were printed with lines like, "Abraham Lincoln, what are you about?/ Stop this war, for it's played out!" Their point was political, not ethical, and I don't think any of them could reasonably be called "hits." The idea of a Southern song protesting the war was virtually unthinkable.

And I'm drawing a distinction between songs that protest specific wars and songs like "I Didn't Raise my Boy" which oppose all war on principle.

You might want to look at a little book called "The Best Anti-War Song Ever Written," published by Mudcat's Dick Greenhaus. Until the First World War, even "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye!" was generally understood as humor.

(Pacifist *poems,* however, have existed since at least the 18th century.)


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Subject: RE: 1st Anti-War Hit
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 16 Nov 12 - 09:21 PM

Arthur McBride should be in there somewhere.

But if we are looking for real "HITS" then Willie McBride was a genuine one in Ireland.

Further afield "The Times They Are a-Changing" or "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" come to mind


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