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Objective: Analyze the lyrics of “d day Dodgers” and “When the Tigers Broke Free” and relate them to the Italian campaign during wwii discuss the influence and use of propaganda during World War II. Analyze the impact that war has on everyone

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Song Activity: World War Two

1. Analyze the lyrics of “D Day Dodgers” and “When the Tigers Broke Free” and relate them to the Italian campaign during WWII

2. Discuss the influence and use of propaganda during World War II.

3. Analyze the impact that war has on everyone involved.


“Lili Marlene” 1939

Words: Hans Leip

Composed: Norbert Schultz

“D Day Dodgers” app. 1944

Words: Mainly soldiers from Britain and America, but also many others from Canada, New Zealand, Algeria, Brazil, India, and Poland.

Composed: Nobert Schultz (D Day Dodgers was set to his tune of Lili Marlene)
“When the Tigers Broke Free” 1979

Words: Roger Waters

Composed: Roger Waters with Pink Floyd
Day 1 Lesson: 45 minutes

Essential Question: How can music unite people, especially during war? What impact does music have on war?

1. Do-Now: What type of music do you think was popular during WWII? Why?

2. Listen to “Lili Marlene” in German with a focus on the music not the lyrics

3. Small groups: What is the song about? Is it sad? Happy? Is it a military song? A popular song? What types of instruments were used? Do you dance to it? Etc.

4. Board Graphs: Have students create bar graphs about the song. Students should chart how many people think the song is a military song, march song, happy song, sad song, dance song, etc. Have students create other categories.

5. Listen to song again: Write a 1 paragraph story to accompany the music of the song. Remind students to write the story in WWII time period.

6. Discuss stories

7. Listen to English translation and compare lyrics to stories.

8. Provide history of the song.

9. Closure: Why was this song popular with both the Axis and Allied troops? Did it unite all of the troops? Why or why not?
Extension: Why was this song originally banned? Why was music controlled by the Goebbels? Research various Jazz songs that were banned in Germany. Compare those songs to “Lili Marlene”

Day 2 Lesson: 45 Minutes

Essential Question: What impact does music have on war?

1. How can music be used during war? (Propaganda, hope, inspiration, etc) Discuss

2. Review “Lili Marlene” from yesterday

3. Introduce information about battles on Italian front (Battle of Anzio)

4. Discuss why the Italian campaign might not be as famous as Normandy

4. Play: “D Day Dodgers”

5. Small group: Lyric analysis and discuss

6. T-P-S: How would you feel after Lady Astor’s comment? Why?

7. Pass out War Front photos of the Battle of Anzio. Using information from the song and the photos, create a political cartoon depicting the situation faced by the Allied soldiers located in Italy.

Closure: While serving on the Italian front, would this song make you feel better? Why? What impact would this song have on you?
Day 3 Lesson: 45 minutes

Essential Question: Who wins with War?

1. Do you know anyone in Iraq? Imagine how you would feel if you had family there.

2. Review “D Day Dodgers” and Italian campaign information

3. Play Song “When the Tigers Broke Free”.

4. Small groups: Focus on the music not the lyrics. How does it make you feel?

5. Play Video and provide lyrics: How does the song make you feel now?

6. Analyze the lyrics and compare to the information already provided about the Battle of Anzio.

7. Small groups: Using the song “D Day Dodgers” write a verse expressing your opinion of the war in Iraq.

Closure: Who wins and loses in war?

History of “Lili Marlene”
Hans Liep wrote a poem in 1914-1915 during World War One about leaving his love behind to fight in war. Title gets its name from Liep’s two loves Lili and Marlene. In 1939, Nobert Schultz, mostly known for his music set to German propaganda films, wrote a tune to the poem. Schultz recorded the song with the lyrics performed by German cabaret singer, Lale Anderson. The song was a huge failure and would be a success until August 18th 1941 when the song would become embodiment of a timeless theme: “the sadness of separation brought by war”.

In 1941 the German army needed music to stock a new broadcasting station in Belgrade. “Lili Marlene” was one of the 100 records purchased. When Radio Beograd needed a song to conclude the nightly broadcast to German troops in North Africa, they settle on Lale Anderson’s “Lili Marlene” because of the bugle-call introduction.

When the song was played as the last song on August 18th, 1941, it gained popularity immediately among the German soldiers. However, Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief, disliked the song because it was too sentimental. He immediately had the song banned because he thought it was bad for morale and because Lale Anderson was openly associating with Jews.

The “Lili Marlene” ban did not last long. German soldiers immediately began writing the radio station requesting to hear the song. After the soldiers’ protest, the song became Radio Beograd's last song of the day. Eventually, the multinational allied soldiers located in North Africa heard the song and fell in love with it too. Soon “Lili Marlene” translations were made to various languages and became the unofficial song of ALL World War Two soldiers.

“Lili Marlene” probably has saved the life of its singer, Lale Andersen. Anderson was disliked by the Nazis because she refused to sing for soldiers guarding the Warsaw ghetto and because she openly associated with Jews. When the Nazis discovered her plans to flee to Switzerland, Goebbels demanded that her version be replaced by a marching music version or one by the Wiener Sängerknaben. Lale Andersen soon became fearful that she would be thrown into a concentration so she attempted suicide (1944) was unconscious for three weeks.

Soon after the suicide attempt BBC London spread the news that Lale Anderson died in a concentration camp and English radio stations began playing the song several times a day repeating the news. Goebbels realized immediately that this was Allied propaganda and presented Lale Andersen alive as a proof for an 'Allied lie'. Andersen was then required to report twice a week to the Gestapo. She eventually fled to her grandparents and survived the war on the island of Langeoog. She died in 1972 at the age of 64.

Lili Marlene” 1915
Vor der Kaserne
Vor dem großen Tor
Stand eine Laterne
Und steht sie noch davor
So woll'n wir uns da wieder seh'n
Bei der Laterne wollen wir steh'n
|: Wie einst Lili Marleen. :|

Unsere beide Schatten

Sah'n wie einer aus
Daß wir so lieb uns hatten
Das sah man gleich daraus
Und alle Leute soll'n es seh'n
Wenn wir bei der Laterne steh'n
|: Wie einst Lili Marleen. :|

Schon rief der Posten,

Sie blasen Zapfenstreich
Das kann drei Tage kosten
Kam'rad, ich komm sogleich
Da sagten wir auf Wiedersehen
Wie gerne wollt ich mit dir geh'n
|: Mit dir Lili Marleen. :|

Deine Schritte kennt sie,

Deinen zieren Gang
Alle Abend brennt sie,
Doch mich vergaß sie lang
Und sollte mir ein Leids gescheh'n
Wer wird bei der Laterne stehen
|: Mit dir Lili Marleen? :|

Aus dem stillen Raume,

Aus der Erde Grund
Hebt mich wie im Traume
Dein verliebter Mund
Wenn sich die späten Nebel drehn
Werd' ich bei der Laterne steh'n
|: Wie einst Lili Marleen

English Translation

At the barracks compound,
By the entry way
There a lantern I found
And if it stands today
Then we'll see each other again
Near that old lantern we'll remain
As once Lili Marleen.

Both our shadows meeting,

Melding into one
Our love was not fleeting
And plain to everyone,
Then all the people shall behold
When we stand by that lantern old
As once Lili Marleen.

Then the guard to me says:

"There's tap call, let's go.
This could cost you three days."
"Be there in half a mo'."
So that was when we said farewell,
Tho' with you I would rather dwell,
With you, Lili Marleen.

Well she knows your foot steps,

Your own determined gait.
Ev'ry evening waiting,
Me? A mem'ry of late.
Should something e'er happen to me,
Who will under the lantern be,
With you Lili Marleen?

From my quiet existence,

And from this earthly pale,
Like a dream you free me,
With your lips so hale.
When the night mists swirl and churn,
Then to that lantern I'll return,
As once Lili Marleen.

History of “D Day Dodgers”

D-Day is a military term used to denote a day of attack or landing. However, “D Day” has become synonymous with the Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War Two. While the Normandy invasion is the most famous, there were many D-Days before then, especially for the Allied troops in Italy.

The sarcastic term “D-Day Dodger” was used to describe Allied servicemen who fought on the Italian front. The soldiers fighting in Italy felt that their sacrifices were ignored after Normandy. However, many allied service personnel were being killed or wounded on the Italian front. Therefore "D-Day Dodger" was a sarcastic reference to someone who was avoiding "real" combat by serving in Italy.

The term “D Day Dodger” was made famous by British Member of Parliament, Nancy Astor. She had received a letter from a disgruntled British soldier who signed it "D-Day Dodger". She mistakenly assumed that it was a harmless nickname with positive meaning and replied to the letter using the same term. However, the servicemen in Italy felt slighted by Astor’s ignorance since they had been in several “D Days” of their own before Normandy.

Partially because of Astor’s comment, many servicemen in Italy began singing their own song “D Day Dodgers” set to the tune of “Lili Marlene.” Several versions of the song exist; however, thee song generally (and sarcastically) refers to how easy the soldiers’ life was on the Italian front even though they lacked support and several of their own “D Days”.

D Day Dodgers

We are the D-Day Dodgers,
Out in Italy,
Always on the vino,
Always on the spree.
Eighth Army skivers and their tanks,
We go to war in ties like swanks.
For we are the D-Day Dodgers,
In sunny Italy.

We landed at Salerno,
A holiday with pay.
Jerry brought his bands out
To cheer us on his way,
Showed us the sights and gave us tea,
We all sang songs, the beer was free.
For we are the D-Day Dodgers,
The lads that D-Day dodged

Palermo and Cassino
Were taken in our stride,
We did not go to fight there,
We just went for the ride.
Anzio and Sangro are just names,
We only went to look for dames,
For we are the D-Day Dodgers,
In sunny Italy.

On our way to Florence,
We had a lovely time,
We drove a bus from Rimini,
Right through the Gothic Line,
Then to Bologna we did go,
And went bathing in the River Po,
For we are the D-Day Dodgers,
The lads that D-Day dodged

  We hear the boys in France

Are going home on leave,
After six months service
Such a shame they're not relieved.
And we're told to carry on a few more years,
Because our wives don't shed no tears.
For we are the D-Day Dodgers,
Out in sunny Italy.

Once we had a "blue light"
That we were going home,
Back to dear old Blighty,
Never more to roam.
Then someone whispered: 'In France we'll fight,'
We said: 'Not that, we'll just sit tight,'
For we are the D-Day Dodgers,
The lads that D-Day dodged.

Dear Lady Astor,
You think you know alot,
Standing on a platform
And talking tommy rot.
Dear England's sweetheart and her pride,
We think your mouth is much too wide
From the D-Day Dodgers,
Out in sunny Italy.

Look around the hillsides,
Through the mist and rain,
See the scattered crosses,
Some that bear no name.
Heartbreak and toil and suffering gone,
The lads beneath, they slumber on.
They are the D-Day Dodgers,
Who'll stay in Italy.

History of “When the Tigers Broke Free”

This song was written by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd for the film “The Wall”. The song was written about the death of Roger Waters’s father Eric Fletcher Waters. Eric Fletcher Waters served for Company C of British Royal Fusiliers during World War Two as a part of the Italian Campaign. Waters was killed during Battle of Anzio in January 1944, as described by the song.

Key Terms used in Song: Anzio: Battle of Anzio - Tigers: German Tanks

“When the Tigers Broke Free”

It was just before dawn one miserable morning
in black forty-four
when the forward commander was told to sit tight
when asked that his men be withdrawn
And the generals gave thanks as the other ranks
held back the enemy tanks - for a while
And then the Anzio beachhead was held for the price
of a few hundred ordinary lives

And kind old King George sent mother a note
when he heard that father was gone
It was, I recall, in the form of a scroll
with golden leaf and all
And I found it one day in a drawer of old
photographs hidden away
And my eyes still grow damp to remember
His Majesty signed with his own rubber stamp

It was dark all around
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free
And no one survived from the Royal Fusiliers Company C
They were all left behind
Most of them dead
The rest of them dying
And that's how the High Command took my Daddy from me


The Official “Lili Marlene” Website

Complete with translations, recordings, and sheet music in various languages
Official “D Day Dodgers” Website

Various music videos of songs

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