The Songs That Fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945

TitleThe Songs That Fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsJones, John Bush
Number of Pages364
PublisherBrandeis University Press
CityWaltham, MA

World War II was one of the most fertile periods of American popular songwriting. This outpouring of music included romantic ballads, rhythm numbers, dance tunes, and novelty songs, and the war itself occasioned the writing, publishing, recording, and performance of thousands of war-inspired songs. Although a central part of home front popular culture during World War II, these war-related and war-inspired songs had never been systematically analyzed or interpreted. In The Songs That Fought The War, John Bush Jones examines hundreds of these tunes in the context of the times. He begins with a look at the contemporary music industry and the astonishing array of songwriters prior to Pearl Harbor and during the war. Then he turns to songs written and popularized before Pearl Harbor, including tunes that touted isolationism and patriotism in the late 1930s, songs written by Americans about the European allies, and songs from England that became popular in the United States.

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