To mark the WWI centenary this June, Sara and The Noisy Boys have been playing their original material alongside a selection of songs written in the WWI Era, including ‘Shine on harvest moon’, ‘I wonder who’s kissing her now’ and ‘If you were the only girl in the world’.'It’s surprising how many songs that we associate with the Jazz era of the 1030s and 40s were actually written a lot earlier .
“This project has been enlightening for me as I’ve uncovered a lot of interesting facts. For example; the original poetry for ‘Lillie Marlene’, whilst being a song strongly associated with WWII, was in fact written by a German soldier in the trenches of WWI”.
The concert features upbeat and light hearted music of the WWI era as well as some very moving songs and a famous poem called ‘From Steyning to the ring’ written in 1916 by a young officer in the 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. The soldier was John Stanley Purvis who became Canon Purvis of York and internationally famous for his versions of the York mystery plays:
I can’t forget the lane that goes from Steyning to the Ring
In summer time, and on the downs how larks and linnets sing
High in the sun. The wind comes off the sea, and oh, the air!
I never knew till now that life in old days was so fair.
But now I know it in this filthy rat-infested ditch,
Where every shell must kill or spare, and God alone knows which.
And I am made a beast of prey, and this trench is my lair -
My God, I never knew till now that those days were so fair,
And we assault in half-an-hour, and it’s a silly thing:
I can’t forget the lane that goes from Steyning to the Ring.