War stimulates many emotions, heroic, despairing and contrasting feelings, it leaves with exciting and devastating memories”. (Savona & Straniero, 1981: 12)
This was particularly true when the echoes of the last shots of WWI died down throughout the Italian Front.
The Mountain War, despite leaving ravaged countries and more than two million causalities on both sides of the Eastern sector of the Alps, has also inspired some of the finest expressions of popular music.
One hundred year later, the legacy of that repertoire is experiencing a comeback linked to its centenary, but also the widespread revival sentiment revealing itself through celebrations, commemorations, reissue of collections of original recordings and new projects inspired by those tragic events.
WWI researcher Carlo Perucchetti confirmed,
“The more I delve in the repertoire, and the more I realise that I have before my eyes an extraordinary quantity of material.
The best quality of the research I lead since 2000 is that it has a supranational character.
The soldiers’ and popular songs, marching band music and singer-songwriters songs I’ve collected reflect indeed a supranational identity.
That’s because, basically, every major European countries fought during WWI”. (Perucchetti, 2015)
During the conflict, those songs had the most diverse functions.
Officials used them to affirm and remember the reason why common soldiers were fighting, at the same time, songs also helped those soldiers to bear the war dramas and sacrifices.
K. A. Wells stated:
“Throughout World War I, music was indeed s prominent feature on the home fronts and the battlefields.
Popular music, therefore, sat...
... middle of paper ...
...ce also singing the places where they fought.
A glaring example is the popular “Chanson de Craonne” which was written by the French soldiers and can be easily linked with the Italian “Gorizia, Tu Sia Maledetta” because of its antimilitarist inspiration.
While “Lent a Vén Doberdón”, an Hungarian song about Doberdón hill where the Hungarian Army suffered heavy losses, can be related to the Italian tune “Fuoco e Mitragliatrici” which was referring to the bloody battle on San Michele hill.
“Thanks to their historical and musical significance, as soon as someone will pronounce the name of one of those places, it will also be unavoidable to remember what happened there, and the hundred years that distance ourselves from those episode will immediately evaporate.
Next to music, only movies and photos can recreate the same feelings”. (Perucchetti, 2015)
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