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"Over There" (1917), a Patriotic World War I Song Written by George M. Cohan to Inspire American Troops

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On 5/2/2016 at 0:39 AM, DIShGo said:

I assume this tune is where the title of the book and film originate.

You're right. Like everyone else, I knew about "Over There," but I don't think I've ever heard the entire song before, and I certainly didn't remember the lyrics; only the three-syllable refrain; I always thought the name of "Johnny Got His Gun" was a word play on "Annie Get Your Gun." which was a 1946 Broadway Play (about Annie Oakley, it turns out) with music by Irving Berlin - with poor Johnny being on the receiving end, having "gotten" his gun in a way that was both unplanned for and ironic. This could not have been more wrong, although perhaps the title of "Annie Get Your Gun," too, was based on the opening lyrics of "Over There."

Anyway, I was struck by the quality of the voice singing the version of "Over There" to which you linked. I did a little research, and although I don't know who's singing your version - which sounds contemporary to WWI and is sung by someone with a very good voice - Enrico Caruso recorded a version of this 1917 patriotic song in 1921 to honor the American troops who lost their lives in the war.

 

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