the good old days before radio, television, the
internet and iPods, songs drew families, neighbors,
communities – and soldiers together. Join us at
Windsor Historical Society on Thursday, June 14 from
7-8:30 p.m. for Soldiers’ Songs of World War I with
Michael McCann, who will perform songs of the era
using his personal family collections of World War I
memorabilia to illustrate the lyrics. This program
is sponsored by Alford Associates.
former paratrooper and Green Beret, McCann draws on
his combat experience, knowledge of military
history, and satchel of songs written by and about
soldiers to tell powerful stories about World War I
from the soldiers’ perspective. Soldiers’ songs deal
with getting enough to eat, staying warm and dry,
escaping death and injury, yearning for families and
loved ones at home. Soldiers sang songs to keep up
their spirits and make work go faster. Because
soldiers were frequently on the move, advancing long
distances with burdensome loads, many soldiers’
songs have a steady marching tempo.
Soldiers’ songs were popular on the home front
during and after the war. People bought printed
sheet music and gathered around pianos in homes,
saloons, and dance halls to sing together. This was
the era of the barbershop quartet and school and
community choral groups. Song was truly a part of
American culture, and World War I song tunes like
“Over There” and “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary” were
popular, familiar, and timely enough to be recycled
in World War II. Many are familiar to us today.
Audience members will receive song sheets and are
invited to sing along with McCann if they wish.
Soldier’s Songs of World War I program is offered in
conjunction with the Society’s new exhibition, Over
There: Windsor and World War I, sponsored by Alstom
Power, an anonymous donor, Rabbett Insurance Agency,
and Windsor Federal Savings, with support from The
Kernan Agency. Guests are encouraged to tour the
show before or after the program and discover
Windsor’s contributions to the war on the
battlefield, home front, and in U.S. military
posts. Cost for the program is $6 for adults, $5
for seniors and students, and $4 for WHS members.
Parking is available around Palisado Green and in
the Windsor Discovery Center parking lots.