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The Assignment is to listen to two recordings and read the lyrics. There is a brief description when you click on the links for the recordings, but I will review briefly here. The first recording of “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm” is of a band made up of African American veterans of WWI. The men in the band served as musicians in the war, not at the front. The second recording is by a popular singer, Nora Bayes, who was white and had already gotten acclaim for a version of “Over There,” a popular song about soldiers fighting “over there” in Europe.
I included the words because the words are not always clear from the old recordings. Use your textbook and class notes and the notes from the recordings to build context for the song. What was happening when the song was written, who were the listeners, who were the performers, etc.
As you analyze in paragraph 2, think about what the words of the song mean, and what might have been unspoken meanings. Think about the meaning depending on who the singer was? What sentiments or issues or choices faced returning soldiers. Had ALL the soldiers “seen Paree?” What else had they seen?
Finally, generate an argument. Remember that when you take a stand, someone might disagree with it, so give a reason that would justify discussion.
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