Popular Music

Cultural Blog: Popular Music Instructions

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Due Date: by noon on 11/29/2017

For your third and final cultural blog post I want you to research a famous popular music song from WWII. Although some of the below choices are originally American (and even German), they were all played frequently in Britain during the 1940s.

To complete this assignment you will need to pick one of the following songs to research and write about. Each song can only be done once, so choose early if you want your pick. Once you decide, email me your choice and I will add your name next to the song. If there is a song you want to do that is not on this list, email me so we can discuss your proposed song.

The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” – Fahmida

The Andrews Sisters, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” – Tiffany

Arthur Askey, “Kiss me Goodnight, Sergeant Major” – Saudia

Bing Crosby, “I’ll Be Seeing You” – Claudia

Marlene Dietrich, “Lili Marlene” – Isa

Flannagan and Allen, “Run Rabbit Run” – Deen

George Formby, “I Did What I Could With my Gas Mask” – Sidney

Vera Lynn, “The White Cliffs of Dover” – Saima

Vera Lynn, “We’ll Meet Again” – Gobind

Glen Miller & his Orchestra, “In the Mood” – Nia

Glenn Miller & his Orchestra, “Moonlight Serenade” – Arggelys

Vaughn Monroe, “When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World” – Zunara

Once again, I expect that your research will come from scholarly sources, historically-focused blog posts, and newspaper / magazine articles. Be sure to cite your sources in your post. Your response should be at least 500 words in length and include 1) a YouTube video or recording of the song, 2) the lyrics to the song (if applicable), and 3) historically accurate photographs of the singer and/or venue. NOTE: The lyrics do not count as part of the word count. 

Your post should include the basic details about the song (who sang it, when it was published) and discuss why this song might have been a hit with wartime audiences. You should also use some of the questions below to guide your research:

  1. By close reading the lyrics / tune / vocals, why do you think this song was such a hit during wartime? What is the message to wartime listeners?
  2. Who wrote / sang the song? What can you find out about the writer / singer?
  3. What year did the song come out? Does it have any specific significance for the historical moment?
  4. Where would this song have been sang / heard?
  5. For what specific audience do you think the song was intended?
  6. Are there other popular versions of this song? What is the song’s history?
  7. Does this song have a lasting significance in the cultural memory?

Remember to choose the “Popular Music” Category on the RHS of the screen. Also, be sure to choose an appropriate featured image so that we keep the aesthetics of our class site top notch. Make sure this image isn’t too large. You want to play around with this to make sure the image sizes for our thumbnails stay the same.

Your final score for this blog will be determined by your ability to follow the above directions, the quality of the research, and the quality of writing/aesthetics of the post.

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