Friday, June 01, 2012

Songs To While Away The Class Struggle By (Kind Of)-Until We Meet Again: The Love Songs of World War II

In this series, presented under the headline “Songs To While Away The Class Struggle By”, I will post some songs that I think will help us get through the “dog days” of the struggle for our communist future. I do not vouch for the political thrust of the songs; for the most part they are done by pacifists, social democrats, hell, even just plain old ordinary democrats. And, occasionally, a communist, although hard communist musicians have historically been scarce on the ground. Thus, here we have a regular "popular front" on the music scene. While this would not be acceptable for our political prospects, it will suffice for our purposes here. Markin.

Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of The Inkspots performing I’ll Get By.

CD Review

Until We Meet Again: The Love Songs of World War II, various artists, Smithsonian Institute, 1993

Joshua Lawrence Breslin comment:

My late mother (Delores, nee LeBlanc) from the French-Canadian sections of Olde Saco up in Maine was an inveterate letter-writer and letter saver. After she passed on I went up into the attic of our old tumble-down working class house on Atlantic Avenue to start the long process of sorting out her “legacy.” What I discovered was that not only did she save her own received letters but those of her family, her brothers and sisters mostly. One written by her sister, Nina, from World War II three-cent stamped and all shook me up for days. Here it is and in it is the essence of what the CD mentioned above is all about.

December 13, 1942

Hi Jimmy,

I hope this letter gets to you okay and that you are in good health and good spirits. We haven’t heard much recently about Guadalcanal so we are taking that as a good sign that things have settled down and you can rest. Even my father, my straight arrow Army World War I father, says you guys are doing a hell of job mopping up the Japs out there. Sorry for the swear but, you know Dad, that’ how he speaks when he talks about stuff like that. I guess that means that you are okay and that he has gotten over the fact that you chose to go into the Marines instead of waiting, like a lot of guys, a lot of guys like Jimmy LaCroix, Delores’ beau, to be inducted into the Army. I am proud of you and hope your every waking thought (and dreams too) are of me. Well, except when you are shooting or doing Marine stuff.

Jimmy, every time I listen to the radio and hear I Don’t Want To Walk Without You I get a little teary and think of that last night we had together before you shipped out. Oh, I am not crying about what we did and why I let you go as far as you did. No that only brings me closer to you. What I am teary about is that you had to go away right away and I didn’t get a chance to tell you it was okay. That I was your girl forever now whatever happens. The same thing happens when I hear your old favorite song We’ll Meet Again. Remember when we fought half the night a couple of week s before you left about whether that song or I’ll Never Smile Again was the cat’s meow. And then I Don’t Want To Walk Without You won in the end. Funny, hah.

Say, I had been feeling a little funny lately, a little sick, not much nothing to worry about but I feel better today because I am writing you. Gee, I wish you were here and we could go somewhere and dance, and do you know what. I wouldn’t let you down. Well, that’s about it for tonight because my pen is running out of ink.

Always your girl- Nina

P.S. The envelope that contained this letter bore the makings- Return To Sender-Deceased stamped across the front. Jimmy Dubois had been killed under a hail of enemy fire while trying to rescue a buddy on hellhole Guadalcanal on December 10, 1942. RIP-Jimmy Dubois-JLB

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