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Canadian Historical Sound Recordings

Songs of the First World War

A by-product of the First World War was the great number of popular and patriotic songs and recordings, so well-received in North America. The following list is a selection of some of the best-known songs written or recorded during that era, as well as some lesser-known songs. The list is not comprehensive. We have also included some older pieces, such as patriotic songs and marches, which were revived when the war broke out.

Selected recordings in Library and Archives Canada's collection of 78-rpm discs, chosen for their Canadian content, were digitally reproduced for this site with permission. Many of these songs are therefore available for listening via RealAudio. To find out more about the process used in preparing these recordings, refer to the Technical Notes provided.

The songs are grouped by subject:

Patriotic Songs - Canada
Patriotic Songs - United States
Recruiting Songs
Anti-war/Pacifist Songs
The Troops Depart for the Fighting
A Soldier's Life/Real Events
The Lonely, Homesick Soldier
Songs Sung by the Soldiers
Humorous Songs
The Proud Folks Back Home
The Home Front/Women's Role
The Child Left Behind
Songs Referring to the European Front
Looking Forward to the Troops Returning Home
Those Lost in Battle

References for Song Lists