First, some background:
My New Year's resolution for 2015 was to begin, at long last, to assimilate some of the sheet music from the early 20th century that I've been collecting for the past fifteen years or so. I was originally attracted to the covers by Albert Wilfred Barbelle and other illustrators, but sooner or later I was bound to get curious about the songs themselves.
It's been a slippery slope, and by now I can count myself a serious fan of the American Songbook in its not-yet-quite-Great period.
To give my undertaking a little structure, I've tried to make YouTube videos of some of the songs as I've learned them. I've managed a good few since last winter.* Most are in no way concertina-related, though a few have concertina in the mix. And of course "Lena from Palesteena" (1920) is our anthem, or should be.
What I've discovered over time, though, is that most songs of the period that most interests me (1910-1920, give or take a couple of years) sit as well--to my ear--on the (Anglo) concertina as on anything else. And as I've been keen to improve my harmonic vocabulary and vocal accompaniment skills, I think it's time to move my project into Phase II.
What I'm proposing, then, is to bring the concertina to center stage in my next round of recordings, and also to concentrate on songs from the period of the First World War. These needn't be war songs per se, though there was certainly a surfeit of jingoism on Tin Pan Alley in those years. Frankly I'm more drawn to the (mostly neglected) antiwar songs, but there's room in my historical playlist for all perspectives.
This idea appeals to me in part because I think of the War as the concertina's high water mark, and partly because my own favorite instrument is old enough (c. 1890, I've been told) to have played some of these songs when they were new, and just possibly even to have been in the trenches. At times I'd swear it was downright happy to meet them again.
Most of the material in question is of American origin, and not terribly well known (that's the fun of it), but I thought I'd start things off with what might be the two most iconic songs of the era, in the English-speaking world at any rate; both are from the U.K. The first is probably the catchiest number associated with the Great War; the second might be the loveliest.
I'd be delighted if anyone else wanted to delve into this material with me; I'm sure others could come up with far more interesting arrangements and polished performances than mine have any chance of being. But I thought I'd share my plan with the group in any case. As I add new songs to the list I will post the links in this thread.
*For any who might be interested, here are the links to all the songs I recorded in the first phase of the project:
"I'll See You in C-U-B-A" http://youtu.be/FU92hZRyqSM
"I Miss That Mississippi Miss That Misses Me" http://youtu.be/hNLm9K6wxDQ
"The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" http://youtu.be/T_GrjW2GQCk
"Shine On Harvest Moon" http://youtu.be/O7ldCh7ErC8
"Somewhere in France (Is the Lily)" http://youtu.be/g7dRTox_P1k
"I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" http://youtu.be/a7J7P4UjGtI
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" http://youtu.be/taPG1kVnqPw
"Put Me to Sleep with an Old Fashioned Melody..." http://youtu.be/9ajMJ2lAEyo
"Oh! Frenchy" http://youtu.be/HgT8NIggcnE
"The Last Long Mile" http://youtu.be/etKBX_ksoAc
"Stay Down Here Where You Belong" http://youtu.be/4WsGCnwFedQ
"Lena from Palesteena" http://youtu.be/eUPp-s_z92s
"Come Josephine in My Flying Machine" http://youtu.be/BWknSkysthY
"They're Wearing 'Em Higher in Hawaii" http://youtu.be/WeYK_Y0SDFg
"The War in Snider's Grocery Store" http://youtu.be/LZOc1DCIXlo
"There Ought To Be Music in Every Home" http://youtu.be/0Rxrc957_eY
"You Can Stay But That Doggone Fiddle Must Go" http://youtu.be/VHChYF7l67A
Edited by Bob Michel, 12 August 2015 - 04:55 PM.