Patriotism And Patriotism In World War I

1106 Words5 Pages
Patriotism in World War I The First World War, a conflict between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers, began in 1914. The United States did not join the Allied Powers until 1917. The popular music during the mid-1910s displays the patriotism and nationalism shown by the American people during the time the United States joined the war. The United States was attempting to stay out of the war because they wanted to remain neutral and to maintain proper relations with foreign countries, but nonetheless, they joined because tensions with Germany were increasing and the Zimmerman Telegram was sent which suggests the idea of Germany becoming allies with Mexico. This was the starting point of patriotism in the United States because once the people saw war as inevitable, they began to feel confidence in the capabilities of their country, (Royde-Smith). Pieces of sheet music from this time period include “The Fight Is On. Song,” by J.R. Shannon and Carl D. Vandersloot; “America Today (Don’t Worry -- Uncle Sam’s Alright),” by Herbert Moore and W.R. Williams; and “When Woodrow Wilson Takes A Hand,” by S.E. Cox. These pieces are the beginnings of the contemporary American belief that the United States is superior to all opposing powers. The sheet music of wartime, therefore, reflects the attitudes of the American people throughout this period. The 1918 song, “The Fight Is On. Song,” by J.R. Shannon and Carl D. Vandersloot builds on the emotions of the United States entering into World War I. The cover of the sheet music depicts a soldier fighting for the Allied Powers, storming into a trench of the Central Powers to attack. The broader scene shown is on a battlefield, and the background portrays the chaos of war. Above the mayhem shown in this picture is a true symbol of patriotism: the waving American flag. The song’s lyrics target patriotic, pro-war Americans. The denotative meaning of the lyrics is that the United States is going to fight in the first World War. They are going to bring all of their power and strength to the battle and not stop until the war is over. The lyrics make several claims that the United States is fighting for their freedom. This is made clear when the song says, “For we are knowing
Open Document