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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Week 23: WWII Propaganda

World War II seems to have set an end to the old tradition of topical ballads and songs: the quick and easily understandable response to an immediate event in the form of a song. The wars that followed in Korea and Vietnam gave voice to a more personal and expressive kind of songs. As for the Gulf and Iraqi wars we haven’t heard much at all. As for the decline of the jingly penny ballad this might also have something to do with the breakthrough of the phonograph record as this music was first and foremost spread by note sheets. Well, we leave that for the historians to work out. Let’s hear some music!
Donald Duck is having a nightmare, dreaming that he’s living in Nazi Germany and having to heiling Hitler all the time. The song featured in this wonderful short was 'Der Fuhrer's Face' (1943), also giving name to the film. After the war the Disney Corporation wasn’t too keen to let us se Donald in a Nazi uniform even if he was only dreaming. In fact it took over half a century before they finally released it in their fine Disney Treasures series. The song was immensely popular during the war and recorded by loads of artists. The same goes for 'Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammunition' (what a wonderful title). Written by the man who seemed to be getting a song out every time he sneezed, Frank Loesser. The version here is our favourite, beautiful singing and with some really advanced mixing for its day. Lets not forget Stalin, here he’s being praised by The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet. We did find a latter day version of this in the archives, done nearly note by note, on a single by Robert Wyatt (Rough Trade, 1980). Some people just never learn. Before we tune up for next weeks episode, with some genuine Nazi propaganda, we leave with you with a somewhat surreal sermon from Reverend Gates.

11. Johnny Bond – Der Furhres Face
12. The Southern Sons Quartet – Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammunition
13. The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet – Stalin Wasn´t Stallin´
14. Reverend J.M. Gates – Hitler and Hell

Earlier entries in "Fakes & Propaganda": Week 21 - Week 22

Note: All the mp3s in the last project "Christianity Vs. Satanism" will go off line as from tomorrow night.


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