Patricia Hammond with guitarist Matt Redman. Photo: John Blackman

UK tour by Canadian singer who specialises in World War 1 popular songs

Posted on centenarynews.com on 10 November 2014
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UK Tour for Canadian Singer

Patricia Hammond is a Canadian-born but London-based mezzo-soprano singer. She has spent 10 years studying the background and styles of musicians and singers who performed Edwardian and WW1 popular songs – and is now on a UK tour singing songs from the war period.

The songs include WW1 favourites ‘If You Were the Only Girl in the World’, published in 1916; ‘The Rose of No Man’s Land’, a tribute to the Red Cross Nurses of the First World War; and ‘Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag’, the famous WW1 marching song, published in 1915.

The ‘Pack Up’ song was written by Welsh songwriter George Henry Powell under the pseudonym of George Asaf, and was set to music by his brother Felix Powell. It became highly popular during the war, and was regarded as an important morale booster for front line troops.

Lyrics:

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile,
While you've a lucifer to light your fag,
Smile, boys, that's the style.
What's the use of worrying?
It never was worth while, so
Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile.

Background to the Tour

In a phone interview, Patricia Hammond told Centenary News that people are “often very moved” at the concerts, and were also “curious to know more about the background to the songs”.

She explained that WW1 popular songs had their roots in the era of music hall performances, and many music hall stars went out to the France to entertain the troops.

It was also common-place at that time for people to buy the sheet-music of popular songs and play them at home and in pubs – with friends and family singing along. This was the era of what Patricia calls “active music, rather than passive listening”.

Patricia also includes WW1 German songs in her repertoire, which she says are rarely performed these days. They include a song from the trenches, ‘Bald, allzubalde’, composed by Ernst Brockmann in April 1916. Brockmann was killed in Verdun on July 1916.

Patricia Hammond’s UK tour includes the following performances:

November 10-11, WW1 songs, Fleetwood, Lancashire

November 21, recital of songs from the First World War, Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing

December 6, WW1 songs, the Brentham Club, Ealing.

Patricia performs with guitarist Matt Redman.

Visit Patricia Hammond’s website here

You can see Patricia Hammond singing here

Posted: by CN Editor

 

 

 

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