Sheet music of World War I


Sheet music relating to WWI (1914-1918)

Hocken Collections' sheet music relating to The Great War of 1914-1918 (WWI) is a select group of (mostly) local songs illustrating the development of attitudes to war. From patriotic, supportive songs that celebrate war efforts, to sombre words and melodies that describe loss and anguish, the music reminds us that war affected all areas of life.

Ideas of nationhood and identity in song further emerged during times of war. Loyalty to the Empire, and national patriotism peaked during wartime; emerging songs both inspired support for the war effort, and emphasised New Zealand's allegiance to their mother country of Great Britain.

New Zealand songs of the First World War have, to an extent, been lost – they are not performed widely, nor have they been recorded for a modern audience. They are sparsely documented, and often, the names of both lyricist and composer have been forgotten - over time the music was discarded or abandoned.

Little information is found on local music around wartime, though early newspapers often had short snippets or advertising about war-era music. Therefore, little information on the sheets is held at Hocken Collections, and often no firm date of publication is available. Regardless, the WWI sheet music collection is significant as it documents the local sentiment of the era.


Various collectors

Collection Items

In the firing line" Dedicated to our "heroes" at the front
Sheet music of Albert H. Light's "In the Firing line." Cover also reads 'Sung with enormous "success" by Abel Rowe and leading vocalists for "The armies of Europe War Film Company."'

Somewhere in France, dear Mother
Sheet music of Jack O'Connor and Arthur LeClerq's 'Somewhere in France, dear Mother." Front cover also reads: "special revue edition"... featured in Fred Coyne's London revue "Something Doing" on the B. J. Fuller circuit. Seller's stamp reads…

The Southlanders: New Zealand territorials march
Sheet music of Alexader Lithgow's "The Southlanders: New Zealand territorials march"

Back to home, sweet home - and you
Sheet music of Louis A. Benzoni's 'Back to home, sweet home - and you'.

The rose of no man's land
Sheet music of Jack Caddigan and James A. Brennan's 'Rose of no man's land'

Be loyal to your King (An Englishman's lesson to his son)
Sheet music of E.R. Martin's Be loyal to your King (An Englishman's lesson to his son). Martial song.

A-N-Z-A-C (Australian-New Zealand Army Corps)
Sheet music of Tom Armstrong's A-N-Z-A-C (Australian-New Zealand Army Corps). 'Introduced in J.C. Williamson's Ltd brilliant successful pantomime "The house that Jack built." shop stamp reads 'Palings, Sydney.'

Anzacs, well done!:
Sheet music of Ambrose G. Gregory and Sergeant W. Darwin's Anzac's, well done.

The Union Jack forever: Patriotic song
Sheet music of Fredk. L Dean's The Union Jack forever: Patriotic song

A fragment from France
Sheet music of Arthur Johns' and Gwyneth Tucker's A fragment from France.

Sons of the Empire
Sheet music of J.S. Donaldson and G.E. Robertson's Sons of the Empire. Inscription reads "with kind regards and best wishes from Geo. E. Robertson, Xmas 1914."

Your King and country want you: A woman's recruiting song
Sheet music of Paul A. Rubens' Your King and country want you: A woman's recruiting song. Front cover also reads: Entire profits of this song will be devoted to Queen Mary's "Work for Women" fund. Signed Paul A. Rubens, and seller's stamp reads…

Wait till the clouds go by: A good cheer song
Sheet music of Louis A Benzoni, and Ivan M Levy's Wait Till the Clouds Go By.

Our glorious dead: Memorial song to British Empire
Sheet music of Guy Michell and William Darwin's 'Our glorious dead.' printed message on cover reads 'May be sung without fee or license; mechanical rights reserved This song should be sung on all memorial occasions it is dedicated to our heroes who…

Mother of men
Sheet music of Tom Armstrong's 'Mother of men'

Daddy, Soldier Daddy
Sheet music of A.H. Pettitt and J. Stroud's 'Daddy, soldier daddy.'

Heroes of the Dardanelles: song
Sheet music of 'Heroes of the Dardanelles: song'
Sung by Mr. Peter Dawson; sung by John Ralston, also Malcolm McEachern

ANZACs for ever: March
Sheet music of Edyth Rosehall's 'ANZACs forever: march'

Neath the light of a perfect peace : song
Sheet music of Arnold Abbott and Hal Abbott's 'Neath the light of a perfect peace.'

Our New Zealand boys and Game of politics
Also Legend of New Zealand wild flowers
cover reads: smoke Winifred cigarettes

We shall get there in time
Sheet music of A.R.Don and H.S.B. Ribband's 'We shall get there in time'
Front cover reads: Post a copy to your soldier friend. It will cheer him in camp and on march.

Our Territorials: A chorus march song,
Sheet music of A.R.Don and H.S.B. Ribband's 'Our Territorials: A chorus march song.'

The Soldier
Sheet music of Albert H. Light's 'The Soldier'
Stamp reads 'The Anglo-American music Stores'

Where are the lads of New Zealand tonight?
Sheet music of R.P. Weston, P.C. Cole and Hermann E. Darewski's 'Where are the Lads of New Zealand tonight?'

There's only one way home boys: "It's through Berlin"
Sheet music of Barrie Marschel's 'There's only one way home boys "it's through Berlin"'
Stamp reads: "The Anglo-American music store'
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