Recent Additions
   & Updates
Search the site


Site Information
Resources

Hearing history

Keep the home fires burning

This song was written in 1914 with music by Ivor Novello (right) and lyrics by Lena Ford. It quickly became popular in England. Its sentimentality was  better suited to the Home Front  than the Western Front.


This midi file and many others sequenced from songs of the period can be found at Music of the Great War

Ivor Novello

You can also hear a RealAudio version of a vintage recording by John McCormack
RealAudio Version

They were summoned from the hillside, they were called in from the glen, 
And the country found them ready at the stirring call for men. 
Let no tears add to their hardships, as the soldiers pass along, 
And although your heart is breaking, make it sing this cheery song: 

Keep the Home Fires Burning, 
While your hearts are yearning, 
Though your lads are far away they dream of home. 
There's a silver lining, through the dark clouds shining, 
Turn the dark cloud inside out, 'til the boys come home. 

Overseas there came a pleading, 
"Help a nation in distress." 
And we gave our glorious laddies, honor bade us do no less, 
For no gallant son of freedom to a tyrant's yoke should bend, 
And a noble heart must answer to the sacred call of "Friend." 

Keep the Home Fires Burning, 
While your hearts are yearning, 
Though your lads are far away they dream of home. 
There's a silver lining, through the dark clouds shining, 
Turn the dark cloud inside out 'til the boys come home. 

 

In the twenties, Ivor Novello, who was born in Cardiff in 1893, was a huge star of the silent screen, but he began his show business career as a composer, having his first song published in 1910, at the age of seventeen. He went on to write songs for musical comedies and revues in London. In 1914 he composed, Keep the Home Fires Burning, which made him famous, literally overnight. After entertaining the troops in France, in 1916 he became a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service and survived two crash landings.

 

Read about one of America's most popular wartime songs
Over There

Member of the History Channel
visit aftermath books
In association with Amazon

Aftermath - when the boys came home

Wednesday 22 February 2006