Vintage Audio - Over There

George M. Cohan's "Over There" Click to download as MP3 Click to download as MP3 Click to download as MP3

Reproduced below are the lyrics to America's best-known World War One song, Over There.  Written by George M. Cohan the song was widely performed by various artists (initially by Charles King) from its publication in 1917.

Cohan later recalled that the words and music to the song came to him while travelling by train from New Rochelle to New York shortly after the U.S. had declared war against Germany in April 1917.

Just as It's a Long Way to Tipperary was a smash-hit success during the early days of the war in Europe, so Over There proved a nationwide hit in the months immediately following America's enthusiastic entry into the war.

Cohan himself was formally recognised by Congress with the award of the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor - albeit in 1940.

Three versions of the song are available here: the first by Billy Murray recorded in 1917 the second by Nora Bayes, similarly recorded in 1917; and a version recorded by the renowned tenor Enrico Caruso in 1918.  Use the player above to listen to all three renditions.

Over There

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Take it on the run,
On the run, on the run.
Hear them calling, you and me,
Every son of liberty.
Hurry right away,
No delay, go today,
Make your daddy glad
To have had such a lad.
Tell your sweetheart not to pine,
To be proud her boy's in line.
(chorus sung twice)

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Johnnie show the Hun
Who's a son of a gun.
Hoist the flag and let her fly,
Yankee Doodle do or die.
Pack your little kit,
Show your grit, do your bit.
Yankee to the ranks,
From the towns and the tanks.
Make your mother proud of you,
And the old Red, White and Blue.
(chorus sung twice)

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there -
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
So prepare, say a pray'r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there.

A "creeping barrage" is an artillery bombardment in which a 'curtain' of artillery fire moves toward the enemy ahead of the advancing troops and at the same speed as the troops.

- Did you know?

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