WWI Centennial Talk: “Over There: Songs that Rallied the Homefront”
As part of the Museum’s World War I Centennial Lecture Series, on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4 pm, Hoboken Museum Development and Membership Manager Eileen Lynch and musicologist Lois Dilivio will present a lively program, “Over There: Songs that Rallied the Homefront.“
Our two hosts have compiled a selection of WWI-era sheet music from the Library of Congress collection that represent the popular songs that were written to stir patriotic feelings during World War One. “Over There,” a tune that endures in modern memory, is just the beginning. Some of the songs mention Hoboken, which was the main port of embarkation and return for some 2 million troops, and other songs were published right here in Hudson County.
One of the songs they have unearthed is “Hell, Heaven or Hoboken,” handwritten by Sgt. L.A. Scott, from the battlefields of France, in Oct. 1918. Another song, “A Mother’s Surprise,” mentions Hoboken, but was written in Chicago. Some of the music was published by local music publishers, and the sheet music sold in Jersey City music stores.
Most middle class homes had a piano or other instruments. Lynch and Dilivio will share copies of vintage sheet music from the period and lead singalongs, which would have been the way most Americans enjoyed music in the days before most households had record players. They will also demonstrate a working, vintage hand-cranked Victrola record player, which also dates to the period and was manufactured in New Jersey. “
Due to popular demand for our previous lecture series, advance reservations are strongly advised. Sign up by clicking the button below. Admission will be collected at the door, lectures are $10 ($5 for members); bus tours are $20 ($10 for members).
The lecture series is funded by a special project grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission.