Songs And Shows Of World War I, The [World War One]



This programme concludes BBC Radio 2’s exploration of the music of the Great War. Russell Davies and archive voices tell the story of the last year of the war, illustrated with the music of the time.

While some songs from the era have lived on to this day (After You’ve Gone, Over There. K-K-K-Katy, I’m Always Chasing Rainbows) there are plenty of excellent, witty and amusing compositions that are rooted in their time (If He Can fight Like He Can Love; You’d Better Be Nice To Them Now; I Don’t Want To Get Well).

As Russell and the many voices tell the story of the final year of the war, we learn of the birth of the RAF, the death of both The Red Baron (Manfred Von Richthofen) and the man who introduced The Foxtrot, Vernon Castle.

Poignant moments in the programme include Harold, brother of the great War Poet, Wilfred Owen, describing their last meeting before Wilfred’s return to the trenches – only to be killed a week before the Armistice; and citizens of Paris, receiving the news that “La Guerre Est Gagnee” .

Russell Davies concludes his exploration of the music of the Great War

Music and documentaries marking the centenary of World War One