View Full Version : Songs from WWII

Churchills Ghost
18th Sep 2013, 20:28

What are some of your best songs from WWII?

Here's one I've always liked:


19th Sep 2013, 02:18
I've always liked Lili Marlene - sung by friend and foe alike.

Interesting article about the song in the Daily Telegraph here:
The story behind the song: Lili Marlene - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/3561946/The-story-behind-the-song-Lili-Marlene.html)

19th Sep 2013, 02:24
Sorry to head off on a tangent CG, but there was a clip on You Tube - that I can no longer find - that featured an orchestral arrangement that was recorded outside and included the noise from the bomber stream passing overhead. It was a totally moving piece, one to raise the hair on the back of the neck.

Churchills Ghost
19th Sep 2013, 11:28
Warmtoast, this is what I can find:


Pigboat, am having a look round to see what I can find.


19th Sep 2013, 12:15
A WWII tune, played by today's Squadronaires.

RAF Squadronaires - In The Mood - YouTube

19th Sep 2013, 19:12
Seeing the Vera Lynn pic reminded me that in the 80s and early 90s when I was Treasurer of the RAF Equitation Association, the Secretary was a guy who was Dame Vera's son-in-law. She turned up at most events and presented the prizes. A lovely lady and one of the people I have been most pleased to have met

19th Sep 2013, 23:15
There are a couple of radio stations on the net playing music by J Last that I like for background music whilst computing:
J-Last (http://j-last.playtheradio.com/)
RadioGentlemen - James Last - Bert Kaempfert - Max Greger ... (http://radiogentleman.free.fr/)

Just now I heard him playing "Roll out the Barrel" (German title Rosamunde).

So I'd add "Roll out the Barrel" to the list of memorable WW2 songs.

20th Sep 2013, 01:58
I'll recommend WMKV (http://www.wmkvfm.org) as a source for WWII era music (as well as the whole spectrum 20s thru 50s). Music runs about 12 hrs/day, with news & info spread around the rest of the day.

And one WMKV presenter, the late Bill Nimmo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Nimmo), served in the African campaign in WWII, and got his start in show biz helping set up Vera Lynn's show for the troops! I had great pleasure serving as his audio engineer when he was in his 90s. ;)

Churchills Ghost
20th Sep 2013, 08:02
Ian16th, that was a very well played rendition of In the Mood!

Some nice links there Warmtoast/Barit. :ok:

20th Sep 2013, 08:15
Here's (http://lrdg.hegewisch.net/lrdglilimarlene.html) a link to a rendition of Lily Marlene in German. Also English and German lyrics, and an SAS version.

Anthony Supplebottom
20th Sep 2013, 08:35
And if you are interested in WW II films you can watch The Bridge at Remagen here -

The Bridge At Remagen [1969 - HQ] - YouTube

20th Sep 2013, 10:37
@ pigboat:
I think that you may be thinking of Nightingale sings as RAF bombers Fly - YouTube

Not orchestral but an amateur recording of a nightingale singing in a Surrey garden in 1942: and then the sound of bombers fading in as they pass overhead.

20th Sep 2013, 14:35

I now have WMKV bookmarked!

Smashing :ok:

joy ride
20th Sep 2013, 16:33
I heard a song in a WW2 film about RAF bomber crews. Our heroes were around the piano in the mess singing a song to the tune "My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" at the expense of our US allies' bomb loads. The first 2 lines were interrupted:

"I took a Flying Fortress up to thirty thousand fe..."
"How far?"
"I took a Flying Fortress up to twenty thousand fe..."
"How far?"
"I took a Flying Fortress up to seven thousand feet but I only had a tiny little bomb."

This amused me, but I have no idea what the film is called or if it is available in any format.

21st Sep 2013, 12:17
This piece is interesting on two levels, the video and subtitles describe the decoy site constructed and operated at Hayle in Cornwall during WW2, while the background music to it is a medley of popular wartime songs performed by an army choir, plus a "cleaned-up" version of "Roll Me Over in the Clover"...


21st Sep 2013, 15:34
Spike Milligan, when a gunner in North Africa, found a poem scrawled on a wall somewhere...

"I love you in your negligee,

I love you in your nightie,

But when moonlight flits across your t*ts,

by Christ all F*cking mighty!"

Still makes me smile :)

21st Sep 2013, 16:58
Churchills Ghost & others, not sure if this could be of any interest to you, not WW II music but WW II flying (although simulated) made by using the computer game Wings of Prey.

I have a friend at uni who is working on a computer animation project called "electric history" and he tells me that in the future people will be able to order videos about any battle they want as long as the historical data can be provided.

The video creators will then use the data along with multiple sources of existing related data to create action sequences of specific battles which have never before been shown in animated form. WW II will be the first era to be covered by the project.

Hope you like it, I know its not "real" but I am told that soon it will become even more authentic.

Battle of Britain - Spitfires Defend British Warships - YouTube

21st Sep 2013, 19:48
Lancman that is wonderful, thank you. I can't remember if that was the piece or not. I recall the birds but I seem to remember there was a lady playing a harp. :confused:

HeliStudent that seems to be a worthwhile project, I wish your friend success. A bit of friendly advice. The theme music should not be allowed to override the action. Ride of the Valkyries is a good choice for that particular sequence, but I find I had to turn the volume almost off as it was a distraction from the action in the clip. Hope that made sense.

23rd Sep 2013, 23:38

I saw that movie too. it was on TCM and I think it was called "reach for the stars"...or something close, it was taken from the RAF motto.

The air base was being taken over by US bomber crews and the RAF guys were singing about the flying fortress and got caught by an American Colonel.

the other lines were something about the B17 going so fast it chased itself into a spin.

quite funny...but I will compare the films, "12 O'clock High" and Command Decision" as better films than the one I mentioned.

just found it: ''the way to the stars" or "johnny in the clouds".

my favorite song of ww2 is this one...to the tune of colonel bogey march:

hitler has but just one ball

goering, has two but they are very small

himmler and something similiar

and poor goebels has no balls at all.

joy ride
24th Sep 2013, 07:41
Many thanks flarepilot, I had a feeling someone else here had to know about that film! I saw it about 25 years ago, I think on Channel 4; it did not strike me as being particularly great but I would like to see it again sometime.

24th Sep 2013, 07:56
joyride, you are welcome...I think it is available on DVD but it may be in the USA format of NTSC not PAL.

but its out there.

I agree , not the best film, but if you remember it 25 years later, it made an impression upon you.

try seeing the film, "the purple heart" about torturing and trying in a civilian court some doolittle raiders.

24th Sep 2013, 10:48
"I love you in your negligee,

I love you in your nightie,

But when moonlight flits across your t*ts,

by Christ all F*cking mighty!"

...which can also be sung to the air of "Amazing Grace", with an optional/alternative first line:

"Amazing Grace, I love your face...." etc etc

astir 8
24th Sep 2013, 18:47
Going back to Pigboat's post about a song with aero engine background noise

.....Errr, wasn't that Bomben auf England??? :ouch:

24th Sep 2013, 20:34
When we lived in the States Dad bought Oscar Brands LP "The Wild Blue Yonder" featuring 16 Air Corps songs. Bit of a collectors item now, had such classics as "Save a Fighter Pilot's Ass" and "Itazuke Tower"....most of them involved dying in horrible ways at the controls of some old clunker or being shot down - lots of gallows humour prevalent in those days, of course.

There are a few samples on here - the 1956 versions are the ones from the LP, takes me right back...

The Wild Blue Yonder - Oscar Brand,The Roger Wilco Four | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic (http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-wild-blue-yonder-mw0000863395)

25th Sep 2013, 19:06
those songs, like "THE COPILOTs SONG" is available on a youtube search

28th Sep 2013, 01:30
My favourite would have to be:

He jumped from forty thousand feet without a parachute
And he ain't gonna jump no more

Glory, Glory what a hell of a way to die
And he ain't gonna jump no more

They scraped him off the runway like a pound of strawberry jam
And he ain't gonna jump no more

They sent him home to Mother (in a jam jar)
And he ain't gonna jump no more

She put him on the mantlepiece for all the friends to see.
And he ain't gonna jump no more



Churchills Ghost
28th Sep 2013, 09:22
This song always puts a smile on my face! :)


Private Jones came in one night
Full of cheer and very bright
He'd been out all day upon the spree
He bumped into Sergeant Smeck
Put his arms around his neck
And in his ear he whispered tenderly.....

Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant-Major
Tuck me in my little wooden bed
We all love you, Sergeant-Major,
When we hear you bawling, "Show a leg!"

Don't forget to wake me in the morning
And bring me 'round a nice hot cup of tea
Kiss me goodnight Sergeant-Major
Sergeant-Major, be a mother to me

Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant-Major
Tuck me in my little wooden bed
We all love you, Sergeant-Major
Even when your neck grows rather red

Don't forget to wake me in the morning
And bring me 'round a nice hot cup of tea
Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant-Major
Sergeant-Major, be a mother to me

28th Sep 2013, 10:49
I first heard these songs as an LP in 1962. They are II WW songs from the USAAF. Still available to download.