Talk – Singing the War in France, December 2013

Public Talk

The Song of the Poilus, Collection of songs and poems written and sung by Lucien Boyer in the armies of the Republic, published by Francis Salabert, Paris (colour litho)

‘Singing the War in France’
Wed 18 Dec – 5pm-6pm
Samuel Alexander Building – Main lecture theatre – The University of Manchester
Free, open to all
As part of its Sixth-Form talks, the University of Manchester is running a series of weekly events, open to all, and commemorating the First World War. On 18 December, Dr Barbara Lebrun (French Studies) will speak about ‘Singing the War in France’, a talk of special interest to students of French, History and Music.

As early as August 1914, professional cabaret singers started to write and perform songs that addressed the conflict, initially with much patriotism and enthusiasm for France’s participation in the war. Around 1916 however, as the war dragged on and the dead grew in numbers, so the kinds of musical and popular entertainment offered to the troops and the civilians changed, often representing the war with more ambivalence and anti-militaristic sentiments. This talk will introduce some of the best known French acts and songs of the Great War.

Book a place (free event open to Sixth-formers and the general public; booking is required)



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