Sunday, November 30, 2008

Music of 42nd Parallel

Just finishing up Volume 1 of John Dos Passos's U.S.A. Trilogy: 42nd Parallel. Throughout the novel, there are two different interuptions in the story: Newsreels and Camera Eyes. In a future post I'll deal with the Camera Eye sections. The Newsreels are populated with actual newspaper headlines and stories along with lyrics from popular songs. Here are the songs from 42nd Parellel:
  • Newsreel I - "There's Many a Man Been Murdered in Luzon"
  • Newsreel II - "Alexander's Ragtime Band"
  • Newsreel III - "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away"
  • Newsreel IV - "My Alamo Love" (from The Tenderfoot)
  • Newsreel VI - “Moonlight Bay” written by Edward Madden & Percy Wenrich (who I am related to)
  • Newsreel VII - "Cheyenne," 1906, written by Harry Williams & Egbert Van Alstyne
  • Newsreel VIII - "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie"
  • Newsreel X - "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," 1911, written by Seymour Brown & Nat D. Ayer
  • Newsreel XI - “I’m Going to Maxim’s” (From Frank Leh├ír’s The Merry Widow)
  • Newsreel XII - “On the Banks of the Saskatchewan” written by C.M.S. McLellan & Ivan Caryll from The Pink Lady
  • Newsreel XIII - "I've Got Rings On My Fingers," 1909, written by Weston and Barnes & Maurice Scott; and "La Cucaracha"
  • Newsreel XIV - "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee," 1912
  • Newsreel XV - "There's A Girl in the Heart of Maryland," 1913, written by MacDonald & Carroll
  • Newsreel XVI - I couldn't find the song(s) mentioned in this newsreel. The lyrics are "I want to go to Mexico/Under the stars and stripes to fight the foe” and "And the ladies of the haren/Knew exactly how to wear ‘em/In oriental Bagdhad long ago.” This might be two songs, or it might be one.
  • Newsreel XVII - "The Curse of an Aching Heart"
  • Newsreel XVIII - "Its A Long Long Way To Tipperary," 1912, written by Jack Judge & Harry Williams
  • Newsreel XIX - "Over There," 1917, written by George M. Cohan


Andrew Seal said...

The harem song in Newsreel XVI is a 1913 Irving Berlin song, "In My Harem" (

I have yet to find the other song.

Dennis Beach said...

False on the Newsreel XVI song. It's not Irving Berlin; it's "Bagdad" by Victor Herbert, from the musical, "The Lady of the Slipper" (1912). Here's a YouTube link to a performance by Bill Murray