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Archival description
War Songs from the first half of the twentieth century collection
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War Songs from the first half of the twentieth century collection

  • RC0583
  • Collection
  • 1898-1944

The focal point of this collection of sheet music is the First World War. These songs do not reflect the idea of war as it is commonly thought of in popular imagination: battlefields, trenches and heroic charges. These songs were not, for the most part, written for the soldiers. Instead, they reflect the daily experience of the Canadians who remained at home during the war and the way people thought about the effect the war was having on their lives and on their country. They do not address changes in society explicitly; instead they go deeper, preserving the visceral responses of Canadians to the war as it was happening. This sheet music offers an intimate picture of the conditions out of which post-war Canada grew.