[78-L] Songs about the 1918 pandemic?

Rodger J Holtin rjh334578 at gmail.com.invalid
Mon Mar 16 21:24:09 PDT 2020


Dave King asked the same thing earlier this month.  Here's the synopsis:


Hello Everyone,

Did any early recorded music refer to the flu pandemic of 1918-19?

Or maybe it was so traumatic that people just wanted to forget about it ...

- Dave King

In response to Dave King: 

"Take Your Girlie to the Movies" (1919) has the line "Don't catch influenza
kissing in the dark."



"Ten Little Bottles" by Ballard MacDonald & James V. Monaco, sung by Jack
Norworth on Pathe 20458 b/w "I'm on Strike", released ca. early 1920.
     "Two little bottles standing on the shelf, hard luck had only begun
       for my wife's mother went and got the flu, and that left only one".

Peter Muhr


Pretty paltry list.  Apparently is WAS so traumatic that people just wanted
to forget about it.
The hillbillys hadn't been widely recorded by 1918, so we didn't get any of
that maudlin stuff from the likes of the Carter Family or the Dixon Brothers
about it, although somebody who knows and respects their stuff more than I
do might be able to reference something that they may have recorded in the
Depression that was rooted in the deaths of children or young mothers and
fathers leaving pitiable orphans.  But finding something that was reasonably
contemporary seems particularly sparse, perhaps for good reason, otherwise
Henry Burr would have cashed in.
Just my take on it, anyway.

Rodger Holtin
78-L Member Since MCMXCVIII

For Best Results Use Victor Needles

-----Original Message-----
From: 78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com
[mailto:78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com] On Behalf Of Gary Vankirk
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2020 6:22 PM
To: 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
Subject: [78-L] Songs about the 1918 pandemic?

Since the 1918 Spanish flu was such a major event I wonder if there were any
recordings, especially songs, about or referencing it.
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