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Period Music: Links

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The answer to my query regarding how much interest there is in military music packs for CMBB seemed to be "not much,” so I will probably not bother putting them together and distributing as a “mod.”

However, since at least a few people were interested, I thought I would post a few links where many of these can be found. Most are period recordings and quality is generally good (given the source). Mostly 128kbps MP3 files.

La Seconda Guerra Mondiale: Musiche e Canti d'Epoca: In Italian, but easy enough to decipher. A lot of old standards plus lots of Finnish and Italian music.

Oronzos Page of National/Military Music : Something from everywhere. Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, even Japan, Nationalist China, Slovenia. Wonderful stuff, much of which I’d been looking for a long time.

Finnish War Time Songs : Lyrics for most of the Finnish pieces on the first two sites. Some translation.

WWII music lovers enjoy...and post other sites if you know of any that have material not on these two. I’d still like more from the “minors.” Oopps...EUII terminology slipping in. I mean more from the “less well known” combatants.

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Good links. If one wants to appreciate what people actually listened to for entertainment, I think that would be harder to do. I doubt that soldiers sat around often listening to Army music or band music, classical and popular music would have been more common.

A friend and myself put together some recordings for use at WW II Living History events; I can't speak for the Germans and Russians, but the most popular music of the times for the Brits, Canadians and Americas was stuff done by civilians; check out the names of B-17s for evidence of that, many took the titles of popular songs and used them as plane names. We found a lot of 1940s stuff like Pistol Packin' Mama which would seem familiar to present day country music lovers. "Ain't Misbehavin'", "Stormy Weather", and stuff like that was what was listened to and enjoyed by soldiers in their off time, not army music or marches. "White Cliffs of Dover" and other sentimental songs were popular, I know Lili Marlene was a sentimental favourite in Germany, and would probably guess that the same held true for the Russians. Erika was another sappy one that was popular among German soldiers.

I saw an interview once where a Luftwaffe pilot made fun of whomever decided that Bombs on England would inspire them. Given the choice of listening to a song inspired by a military march, that started out with aircraft engines and talks about dropping bombs on the English, or a folsky love song, most soldiers seeemed to have preferred the latter.

Just as today, you will find few US soldiers sitting in barracks listening to National Emblem or Sousa marches if they have the option of heavy metal, rock, jazz, or pop. I would venture more GIs know who Britney Spears and be able to name her songs as they come on the radio, as opposed to who Sousa was or being able to identify by name any of his pieces.

Most of the "popular" stuff of the 1940s seems hard to find, especially in downloadable form on the internet. In the German case, as mentioned the most recognized (today) "pop tune" was Lili Marlene. It had a military theme, but was a far cry from the popular notion of German soldiers sitting around in their jackboots listening raptly to Badenweiler Marsch. There was a certain fondness for American pop music even in Nazi Germany.

I think by its very nature, military or martial music leaves people cold, perhaps accounting for the lack of interest you speak of, Malakovski. As an historian, I find it intersting, but to be honest would be a bit disturbed to hear that people would prefer to sit and listen to it to the exclusion of anything else. Even soldiers generally listen to it only when on parade, because they have to!

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Well, I certainly wasn’t suggesting anyone sat around listening to this stuff at the front, with the exception of a very few. I like it as turn-planning background music for that “period feel,” although most of the German stuff is so oompah, oompah it’s unbearable. I can’t believe the mighty ubermenchen actually thought that sounded martial.

Anyway, I would love to get my hands on popular music from the period, but I’ve never really come across any. I couldn’t believe finding Lili Marlene in Finnish...that was the gem of the bunch if you ask me. I understand there were variations on it by theater as well as by country...I’d love to find some others someday.

RE: Bombs over England...you mean the stupid engine noises were part of the original version? I assumed some idjit added those later...

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I dimly recall it being Adolf Galland who talked about Bomben auf England and the engine noises, but am open to correction. I do think it was part of the original recording but am not an expert.

Blackadder talks about the "traditional warm German welcome"; The World at War played Bomben auf England and Sir Laurence added some narration, translating it as

We are flying over Poland

We bring her death, and ruins...

Don't know if that was actually a stanza or not, but it occurred to me at some point that those words might also represent the "traditional German love song"....? :D

Probably not, but we kid the Germans.

"On the heath there blooms a blossom

And it's name is Erika.

Hotly, 100,000 bumblebees swarm around her..."

Not exactly the same.

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