Til We Meet Again: Songs of the First World War

In costume

Stirring and poignant, the popular songs of "The Great War" help us understand what average people, here and abroad, were thinking and experiencing during a time of great upheaval. New technology improved daily life but brought death on the battlefield on an unprecedented scale.

Many World War I songs are patriotic and upbeat, but others lament the futility and waste of trench warfare, or poke cynical fun at those in charge. After three years of striving to stay neutral, the U.S. suddenly shifted gears in 1917, and songwriters literally changed their tune overnight. I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier became It's Time for Every Boy to Be a Soldier. As in all wars, cheery songs lifted spirits despite hard times, while others expressed longing for safety and home.

Diane wears the graceful clothing of the time and accompanies her crystal-clear singing on a parlor guitar. Enjoy, and sing along, to:

  • Til We Meet Again
  • It's a Long Way to Tipperary (and a sly variation, That's the Wrong Way to Tickle Mary!)
  • Over There!
  • Good Morning, Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip! (slip a name of any nationality into the Zips and get a patriotic American)
  • Pack Up Your Troubles
  • Forward, Joe Soap's Army
  • You'd Better Be Nice to Them Now (meaning the ladies, taking on many new jobs)
  • How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?
  • Keep the Home Fires Burning

To book this performance, please contact us. email

"Thank you for your beautiful performance at the Bidwell House! You were even better than last year, which was a tough act to beat. I heard from every person how much they enjoyed the afternoon and how the combination of your storytelling and explanations and then your beautiful voice singing the songs was just perfect.
Please come back again!"

-- Barbara Palmer, The Bidwell House Museum, Monterey MA (2012)