A melody from the trenches

Perhaps the most famous of Canada's soldier songwriters, Rice claimed to have come up with this tune while on guard duty at Ypres. A sales manager from Montreal, Rice had enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery at the beginning of the war.

Dear Old Pal.pdf (3.17 MB)

"No cruel Hun could make them run"

Imperial unity in a common cause was the theme of this patriotic song, which mixed animal metaphors and referred to "the bulldog breed" hearing "the lion's roar."

"Step into Khaki and defeat German hate"

Described as "the most catchy and prettiest of all war songs," Foley's lyrics asked Canadians to remember the fate of Belgium as they thought about the war.

Strike.pdf (33.31 MB)

Cheering Johnny Canuck

Perhaps the most successful of Canada's early war songs, Manley's lyrics paid tribute to all Allied soldiers but had special praise for Johnny Canuck.

Good Luck.pdf (37.58 MB)

Singing of Canada

Another piece sung by Mildred Manley, "Canada's greatest child vocalist," this was a typical patriotic song that contained only a hint of the reality of war.

I Love You.pdf (38.01 MB)

A Canadian nurse looks homeward

Only the illustration of the nurse set this composition, billed as "one of the biggest Hits on the market," apart as a war song.

Take Me Back.pdf (36.87 MB)

Missing home at Christmas

This unidentified gunner could have been spending his fourth Christmas away from his family, and might have had another three Christmases apart still to endure.

The only colour that matters

According to this song, khaki (the colour of Canadian soldiers' uniforms) was the most stylish colour in the fashion season of 1915.

Khaki.pdf (2.69 MB)

An air letter from overseas

Air letters such as this one were distributed to servicemen and women in Britain, and were given priority in cargo space. Each person was allowed to send four air letters per month.

Pulling the Kaiser's moustache

The composer dedicated this piece to his "life long chum" Frederic Langstone, who joined the 5th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery at the beginning of the war. A graduate of Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Langstone was killed in action in April 1918.

When Jack.pdf (38.72 MB)