We have landed in Salt Lake City and as we remember all of the things we forgot to pack we would like to bring to you a piece of music from the era of the Great War.
Although it is now one of the songs “definitively synonymous with the First World War” and even regained popularity during World War II and the Vietnam War, it was originally discarded. As the story goes “Pack up your Troubles” was originally written in 1915 by George Powell, under the pseudonym George Asaf, and composed by his brother, Felix Powell and when they first listened to it they deemed it “piffle” (i.e. rubbish). Only after they won first place in competition for marching songs,which they had entered the song in as a joke, did they realize its merit.
The song was covered by a number of artists including Murray Johnson and Reinald Werrenrath. Its popularity continued far beyond into the modern day where it is sampled for songs, featured in media, and in 1932 there was even a movie titled “Pack Up Your Troubles.”
Unfortunately, the implications of the song, had disasteros effects for George Powell. While performing it to soldiers on the Western Front and watching them sing it as they walked into battle, many of whom would never return, caused him to become deeply depressed and after the war he was a broken man. Ultimately, this led him to commit suicide in 1942; however, he had reserved the rights to his song and his family were secure financially after his death.
To learn more about this song and the authors behind it click on the links below.