{ subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/nls-music-notes.php' }

Day of Infamy

Today is an anniversary of special significance for many U.S. citizens.  There have been two previous posts by Katie Rodda about the impact of war on music (Veterans Day and Armistice Day and The Music and Sounds of the Vietnam Era) relating how music affected the era and events.

Lasting approximately two hours, the attack on Pearl Harbor disrupted lives and families for generations to come.  Popular music in the United States was turning towards a blend of sophistication from the big bands, ballads, and sometimes plain old fun. But Europe also had their favorites and anthems, still sung today (I’m imagining a British pub and camaraderie emerging after a few pints.)

We have audio and braille materials in the NLS Music collection available for our patrons. Victory at Sea, a television documentary about the war focused on naval battles and was orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennet from twelve themes composed by Richard Rodgers. There Are Some Days You Don’t Forget, DBM 01179, is a Mike Whorf Kaleidoscope program with memories of Pearl Harbor and D-Day. What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, available at DBM 00869 includes “Sentimental Journey” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”, possibly an optimistic farewell for a wartime romance. “I’ll Be Seeing You” is also available in braille at BRM 07455 for high voice and piano.

But, there are fun and uplifting songs as well; a particular favorite of mine is “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, brought to the front by the Andrews Sisters with its fun lyrics and swing rhythms. It’s available for piano at BRM 07840. “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” along with “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” and “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) the White Cliffs of Dover” are all available in BRM 25727, Hits of the Forties. And Just Standards Real Book, C edition at BRM 36374 is a recent BARD upload with lots of great tunes including another edition of “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “It’s Been a Long Long Time,” and “I’ll Get By (As Long as I Have You.)”

The movie From Here to Eternity takes place in an exotic locale unknown to U. S. citizens until December 7, 1941. The movie’s composers were nominated for an Oscar in best music score category.  DBM 00556 features an interview with George Duning, one of the composers.

Overview of beaching ramp, showing water entry. View facing northwest - U.S. Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, Waipio Peninsula, Waipo Peninsula, Pearl City, Honolulu County, HI

Black and white photo of the view facing northwest – U.S. Naval Base, Pearl Harbor