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Over There

I have always been a fan of musicals and the great songs sung on the musical stage or in the Hollywood movies. My one all-time favorite musical was about the life of songwriter and composer George M. Cohen who wrote a lot of patriotic song in his time. One of the most inspiring and wonderful songs which he wrote during WWI was “Over There”. It was equally inspirational to the young men marching off to war and fighting overseas as it was to everyone who remained on the home-front.

On April 6, 1917, everyone everywhere opened up their newspapers and saw the headline which announced that America had declared war on Germany. While most people were contemplating the news George M. Cohen started humming a tune. He was a man of many talents dancer, singer, actor, songwriter, playwright and even Broadway producer. He composed many spectacular flag waving, foot tapping, sing-along songs such as “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, “Give My Regards to Broadway” and “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy”.

By the time the morning on that day was over Cohan had already written a good deal of the song “Over There” and it went on to become very popular during and even after wartime. Almost overnight the song became a huge success and by the time WW I came to an end over two million copies of it had been sold. One of the most popular versions of “Over There” was sung by Nora Bayes. The song is all about the “Yanks” or Americans going “over there” or overseas to help fight the “Huns” or Germans during WW I. When it was all over, over there in 1936 George M. Cohen was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for having written this song.

Here is a link to YouTube and this song. Below are the lyrics. You can sing along. I chose the version sung by James Cagney who played George M. Cohen in the musical about his life “Yankee Doodle Dandy” in 1945.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2ktNsYMaag 

Lyrics to “Over There” by George M. Cohan

Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gunTake it on the run, on the run, on the runHear them calling you and meEvery son of liberty

Hurry right away, no delay, go todayMake your daddy glad to have had such a ladTell your sweetheart not to pineTo be proud her boy’s in line.

CHORUS (repeated twice):Over there, over thereSend the word, send the word over thereThat the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are comingThe drums are rum-tumming everywhere

So prepare, say a prayerSend the word, send the word to bewareWe’ll be over there, we’re coming overAnd we won’t come back till it’s over over there.Over there.

Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gunJohnnie show the Hun you’re a son of a gunHoist the flag and let her flyYankee Doodle do or die

Pack your little kit, show your grit, do your bitYankees to the ranks from the towns and the tanksMake your mother proud of youAnd the old Red White and Blue.

CHORUS (repeated twice):Over there, over thereSend the word, send the word over thereThat the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are comingThe drums are rum-tumming everywhere

So prepare, say a prayerSend the word, send the word to bewareWe’ll be over there, we’re coming overAnd we won’t come back till it’s over over there.Over there.

What do you think?

6 points

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