Singing The Past To Life

Our extended repertoire of popular songs now covers the entire period from 1870 to 1939. The following descriptions give a brief overview of the range of our performance material. You can book a performance with one of our Learning Packs, or without as a performance in its own right.

The late Victorian songbook

Now reaching back to the late Victorians, our repertoire has been enriched with some wonderful songs from the final years of Victoria’s reign, including music-hall hits like The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery (1885), Ask A P’liceman (1889), Lily of Laguna (1898), Daisy Bell (1892), as well as parlour songs like A Bird in a Gilded Cage (1900), The Rose of Tralee (c1850), and She Wandered Down the Mountain Side (1860).

The Edwardian songbook and la Belle Époque

With a repertoire of musical moods and popular songs all the way from the elegant drawing rooms of Downton Abbey to the rumbustious fun of the Music Hall, with occasional forays into American vaudeville, Radio Days will bring to life the social and cultural world of Edwardian England with such songs as I Do Like To be Beside the Seaside (1907), Down By The Old Mill Stream (1908), By The Light Of The Silvery Moon (1909), Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1910), and Moonlight Bay (1912).

Songs of the Great War.

From the recruiting songs of the Music Hall at the beginning of the war through soldiers’ songs of the estaminet and the trenches, from the poignancy of Ivor Novello’s stirring Keep The Home Fires Burning to the barbed pathos of the anonymous Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire, from the romance of If You Were the Only Girl In The World to the cynicism of If You Were the Only Boche In The Trench, Radio Days offers the some of the most memorable popular songs from the First World War.

The Roaring Twenties

The war is over! It’s the decade of the flapper and it’s time to dance! Radio Days offers a broad selection of popular music from the the Jazz Age, from dance hits like The Charleston and Black Bottom to pop songs like Ain’t She Sweet, Whispering, That’s My Weakness Now, and many, many more that distil the essence of the social, artistic, and cultural dynamism of that vibrant decade.

The Glamorous Thirties

The good times ended abruptly after the Wall Street crash of 1929, and much of the Thirties were under the influence of the economic downturn that started in the USA and had a big impact in Europe. A time of poverty while the richest families would try to escape reality with big luxurious parties and the poor would escape through popular entertainment, for which Radio Days have songs like Putting on the Ritz. In Britain the golden age of cinema is emerging. The 1930s is a time in which jazz thrives and swing band music is a must.

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