On an Overgrown Pathé

[On an Overgrown Pathe]

When Johnny Comes Coughing Home Again

Author: David Hoehl - TNT USA
Published: May, 2020

Here are some recordings to remind you of a time when "pandemic" did not equate to "social distancing" and "self-quarantine" and "stay at home order"--with disastrous results. The so-called "Spanish influenza" first made itself known in January 1918, three and a half years into the hellish conflagration that was World War I, at a time when contagion and the properties of microorganisms were not well understood and when dubious sanitation combined with massive international movements of combatants and non-combatants alike ensured it would quickly spread to all corners of the globe. By the time it subsided, the Spanish flu had infected about a third of the world's population, and its fatalities exceeded those from all the battles fought in the trenches. Oh, and here's a cheerful thought: the end date for that pandemic came a good two years after it began. Hunker down, folks--we're in this for the long haul.

World War I was Hell on earth in ways by no means limited to the influenza pandemic, but it did spawn some rousing good songs. Herewith, as we wrestle with our own viral onslaught, a medley from the era of that earlier pandemic for your entertainment. It ends with remarks by one of the great men of the age. All are from contemporary records played on contemporary machines. A few words about each:

I hope you enjoy this musical trip back to another troubled time as much as I did putting it together. Perhaps, if we all learn from the mistakes of that era, we can more easily pass through our own troubles. Meanwhile, a good tune is timeless!

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© Copyright 2020 David Hoehl - drh@tnt-audio.com - www.tnt-audio.com