About the song
This is a music hall song that became popular as a World War 1 marching song. First published in 1915. It has been recorded by lots of people over the years. Here’s a link to a 1917 recording of Helen Clark singing it. As with many songs, it is the chorus that has become famous, The verses are not so well know. Here’s a version showing the lyrics – which are very much of their time and may require a bit of contextualisation.
We thought that the sentiment of the song has a strong resonance in today’s challenging times.
The partner song “Corners Up” was written to reinforce the message of overcoming adversity.
Learning the song
It’s likely that the children will have heard the tune of “Pack up your troubles”. This can make it both easier and harder to teach! Watch out for what happens to the tune in b2, b6 andb14. Can children explain / demonstrate what happens the notes?
“Corners Up” was written as a counter-melody, a harmony line that stands on its own as a separate song. This should make it easier to perform in two parts.
There are quite a lot of words to fit in, and (apologies) the recording is a bit fast.
There are a few tricky chromatic passages eg the C sharp in b7 into the C natural in b8.
Watch out for the little turn round in the melody b11 into b12.
Also watch out for change in the melody of “Corners up” at b 14.
It will sound great accompanied by ukuleles and or guitars.