Friends of Garfiled Park

Veterans Day Tribute “Over There”

Hello to all our Veterans!
Thank you for your service, your dedication, and courage.

On this Veterans Day, I’d like to tell you the story behind one of the most famous—if not the most famous song of World War l.

“Over There”   

Always a favorite at my house. This song was an encouragement to both the soldiers heading out and the families on the home-front. It makes you want to wave the flag—and give a big shout-out! to the troops.

This story begins on the morning of April 6, 1917……

Across America the newsies were shouting the headlines:
“The United States Declares War on Germany!”

People just stared at one another across the breakfast table, stunned and fearful of what would come next. Prayers.

In one home, one man began humming—if you’re George M. Cohan that was a normal day. One of the brightest stars on Broadway and a bold patriot.

He was a remarkable: Actor. Dancer. Singer. Songwriter. Playwright. Broadway Producer. And composer with a heart for his Country.

The favorites like, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

George M. was always humming. Walking around with a melody or lyric in the making. That April morning was extraordinary. By the time he arrived at work it had all come together—the verses, the chorus, tune and title—!

“Over There” became the battle cry of America, at home and in the trenches.

George M. Cohan: awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for writing “Over There”.

Lyrics to “Over There” by George M. Cohan
Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gun
Take it on the run, on the run, on the run
Hear them calling you and me
Every son of liberty

Hurry right away, no delay, go today
Make your daddy glad to have had such a lad
Tell your sweetheart not to pine
To be proud her boy’s in line.

CHORUS (repeated twice):
Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming
The drums are rum-tumming everywhere

So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We’ll be over there, we’re coming over
And we won’t come back till it’s over over there.
Over there.

Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gun
Johnnie show the Hun you’re a son of a gun
Hoist the flag and let her fly
Yankee Doodle do or die

Pack your little kit, show your grit, do your bit
Yankees to the ranks from the towns and the tanks
Make your mother proud of you
And the old Red White and Blue.

CHORUS (repeated twice):
Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming
The drums are rum-tumming everywhere

So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We’ll be over there, we’re coming over
And we won’t come back till it’s over over there!
Over there!

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