Skip to NavigationSkip to Content
Syracuse University Libraries
horizontal rule
 

Patriotic Songs

The majority of the songs listed below were written in the early period of American involvement in World War II and reflect the patriotic fervor that arose in the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Decca America Calling  America Calling material

America Calling (1942)
Composed by: Meredith Willson
Performed by: Fred Waring & his Pennsylvanians
Label: Decca 18485-B (1942)

"America Calling exhibits many of the typical American values found in WWII songs, two of which are the indominatable American spirit and a statement of American beliefs and inspirations. This song, like many others, boosted the morale of the country and encouraged many men to enlist in the armed services. The song reminds Americans just what they are fighting for." Megan Baronitis

Decca Cowards over Pearl Harbor
Cowards Over Pearl Harbor (1941)
Composed by: Fred Rose
Performed by: Denver Darling
Label: Decca 6008-A (1941)

"This song was recorded two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The mood is very somber and slow, very heartfelt and meant to make the listener feel sympathy and sorrow. However, the song defiantly puts America in the right, and shows us to be on God's side, which is a huge morale booster. It also shows the indominatable American spirit because the lyrics talk about how America will win and overcome the evil of Japan." Gabe Honig

Decca how about a cheer for the navy
How About a Cheer for the Navy (1942)
(From This is the Army)
Composed by: Irving Berlin
Performed by: All Soldier Orchestra and Chorus
Label: Decca 18477B

"How about a Cheer for the Navy was written by Irving Berlin as part of his all-soldier musical This is the Army. The song is sung by sailors who feel they do not receive the same attention as the army. The lyrics of the song refer to quite a few famous figures of the day. The sailors say that William Knox, the Secretary of the Navy, deserves as much respect as Henry Stimson, the Secretaty of War. There is also a mention of Astor and Vanderbilt, two famous New York millionaires, who the sailors bring up to show how high class the navy is. The song portrays the strength, patriotism, and importance of the navy in World War II. It conveys,through lyrical content and musical style, all of the characteristics that the public could hope to find in the forces defending the nation ." Michelle Bradbury


Bluebird On the old assembly lineOn the old assembly line material
On the Old Assembly Line (1942)
Composed by: Ray Henderson
Performed by: Glenn Miller & his Orchestra
Label: Bluebird B-11480-A (1942)

"This song no doubt raised the spirits of thousands of Americans who had to work in boring, tedious jobs. It enabled them to take pride in themselves, because they too were working to win the war, just like the soldiers. The voices of the members of the different professions show the wide variety of work that it takes to win the war." Karen Chesley

Decca Remember hawaii
Remember Hawaii (1941)
Composed by: Meredith Willson
Performed by: Bing Crosby with Dick McIntire & his Harmony Hawaiians
Label: Decca 25025B/Album A461 (1942)

"Remember Hawaii produces nostalgic thoughts about how Hawaii used to be before the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, and how that incident has forever changed the perception of the tropical paradise. Bing Crosby's approach to the lyrics is basically to set a somber, almost reflective/contemplative tone. He sings the song slowly, and repeats the chorus twice at the end of the song to reiterate the message of not forgetting what happened on the island, and in turn to the nation." Eric Shay

Decca Something for the boys
Something for the Boys (1942)
Composed by: Cole Porter
Performed by: Paula Laurence with Orchestra and Male Chorus
Label: Decca 23363-A (1944)

From Cole Porter's 1943 patriotic Broadway musical starring Ethel Merman. "This song acts as a musical pinup. It is narrated by a woman who is used to going around with many men and has now adjusted her lifestyle to include soldiers. The military is portrayed in an easy-going way, telling how the soldiers enjoy spending time with this woman until 3 A.M." Joshua Kanuck
 
 

Decca There's a blue star shining bright
There's a Blue Star Shining Bright (1943)
Composed by: Jack Foy, John Ravencroft, Ira Bastow, George Howard
Performed by: Red Foley
Label: Decca 6102-B (1944)

"This Country and Western style song falls into the patriotic category with overtones of mom and home. The song explains why there are blue star banners in windows. A home or workplace displayed a banner with a blue star to indicate that a family member or employee was proudly serving their country in the military. The song implies that the star not only represents the individual in the service but symbolizes and shines for freedom, liberty and America." Shirley Ellerbruch

horizontal rule bottom