- Cover: American Boy / Swat the Kaiser!
- p. : “American Boy” (Swat the Kaiser)
|Composer||Hunt, Ernest H. [Harold] |
|Lyricist||Howard, Walter |
|Publisher||Portland, OR : E. H. Hunt |
|Year of Publication||1917 |
|Date of Copyright||1917-05-23|
|Physical Description||1 score, voice and piano ([1-2], 3-5,  p.)|
|Comment||Written by two Portland residents, this title was first performed on April 19, 1917, a month before it was copyrighted. Local performances continued at least through the end of 1917, but there is no indication the song enjoyed any wider success.|
- The copyright registration is for the manuscript. The registration indicates that D. H. McCash (rightly Dudley Huntington McCosh) arranged the music, although this name does not appear on the manuscript copy. McCosh appears in Portland city directories in the 1910s as a "musician." The copyright line, p. , assigns registration to "E. H. Hunt, People's Theatre, Portland, Ore."
- Louis Hartt Compton was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Oregon National Guard in January 1914 and served in the American Expeditionary Force for two years, beginning March 26, 1917. In addition to his military career, Compton was very active in the Y. M. C. A. and served as a song leader in that organization. Very possibly he was a personal friend of either Ernest H. Hunt or Walter Howard; their song, dedicated to Compton, was copyrighted just three days before Compton's enlistment.
- The members of the Ad Club Quartette, as pictured on the cover, were (clockwise from top left) Fred Bauer, first tenor; Dolph Thomas, baritone; H. W. Frost, bass and musical director; and Warren Erwin, second tenor.
- The lyrics include several quotations referring to patriotic songs: Grand Old Flag, My Country, 'tis of Thee, and La Marseillaise. The phrase "swat the Kaiser" originated during the Spanish-American War and reappeared in 1914, even before the Great War started. After the United States declared war in April, 1917, it quickly became ubiquitous. Walter Howard's lyrics were the first use of the phrase in a song, but several more followed before the end of 1918.
- The title was first performed by the Ad Club Quartette at a patriotic rally in Portland, Oregon, on April 19, 1917, though the manuscript was not copyrighted until a month later and publication probably occurred no earlier than June 1917. From the lyrics one would infer that this was intended as a recruiting song, but there is no indication that it was used that way. This was the only printing, and no recordings or piano rolls have been found.
|Musical Note||A march song in compound duple meter (marked "Tempo di Marcia"), Hunt's music is heavily infused with fanfare figures, some of which approach but do not quote actual bugle calls. Although the lyrics reference several patriotic tunes, the only true quotation appears to be from La Marseillaise, appearing as usual in the penultimate phrase. However, a near-quotation of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" appears slightly earlier, apparently morphing into "The Girl I Left behind Me," and the lyrics reinforce that reading. The form is unusual but convincing: a verse of 28 bars (8+8+4+4+tag) with a refrain of 40 bars (8+8+4+4+2+2+4+4+tag). Brief modulations (to the relative minor, to the supertonic) are direct but effective.|
|Dedication||p. : Respectfully dedicated to 1st Lieut. Louis H. Compton, 3rd Ore. Inf.|
|Subject - Topic|
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Songs and music.
- Popular music -- United States -- 1911-1920.
- Soldiers -- United States -- Songs and music.
- Recruiting and enlistment -- Songs and music.
- William II, German Emperor, 1859-1941 -- Songs and music.
- Soldiers -- United States -- Pictorial works.
- [verse 1] Don't you hear the bugle calling, / Now's the time, Step in line, / Don't you see "Old Glory" waving, / Three cheers for the "Grand Old Flag;" / Attention, forward march, "American Boys," true blue, / Stalwart men, Gallant men, Patriots thru and thru, / Ready to fight, Ready to do or die:
- [refrain 1] You can depend on the boys to do their duty, / From the land of the U. S. A. / You can depend on the girls with all their beauty, / In the land of the U. S. A. / North, South, East, West, Ready to do their share, / Cooks' sons, Farmers' sons or son of a millionaire, / Swat the Kaiser, That's the cry, Sir; / And we won't come home till the job is done for we're full of the spirit of sixty-one; / March On! March On! March On!
- [verse 2] To be a sailor or a soldier, / Now's the time, Step in line, / Get a musket on your shoulder / And stand by the "Grand Old Flag;" / Wilson, America, "My Country! 'tis of Thee," / Honor, Freedom, We fight for Liberty, / We need you all, Answer the call today: /
- [refrain 2]
|Musical Genre||March song|
|Repository||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sousa Archives and Center for American Music|
- Cartoon of a US soldier, left, holds a rifle by the muzzle like a baseball bat, preparing to hit a puzzled Kaiser Wilhelm, on his knees, right; BR, inset photograph of the Ad Club Quartette. Orange, brown, and blue on white; signed BL.
- Top: The Great March Song Success—
- BR: As sung by the famous Ad Club Quartette
|Back Cover Description||Text only: Here's the slogan / Swat the Kaiser|
|Performance Medium||Voice and piano |
- Series 2, Box 12, Folder 4
- Record Series 12/9/96
|Collection Title||James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection, 1836-1986|
|Collection||James Edward Myers World War I Sheet Music Collection|