The Wade Hall Sheet Music collection features a great deal of music from the first two decades of the 20th century, especially music related to World War I. Maybe because America took so long to enter the war, it seems to have had a lot of time to consider what the war was about and what it might mean to eventually fight in it. Over the next year, as WWI reaches its centennial, we’ll be regularly featuring some of this music.
While a lot of WWI music is directly addressing one side of the war or other, consoling France or threatening Germany, much of it is directed at Americans, appealing to their patriotism. Today, we look at two prominent symbols of freedom featured in the cover art — and sometimes even the lyrics — of the WWI sheet music in our collections. Click any of the images below to see the full-size version.
First, the Liberty Bell.
More common are images of the Statue of Liberty. Because it was given to us by France, our eventual ally in the war, it was an especially potent symbol of why America was considering entering the conflict.