KS2 Music / Dance / Drama / History: World War 1 Performance Pack - 'Archie Dobson's War'. Music - Part 1: Listen to the fields

Music Part 1 - Listen to the fields

Music resources linking to World War 1. This programme has a medley of contemporary songs to learn - including 'It's a long way to Tipperary' - and also an original song which explores the mood in the summer of 1914 and provides a curtain-raiser for the school play 'Archie Dobson's War'.

Before the programme

Discuss how the main context for the programme is the hot summer of 1914 before the outbreak of war, the enthusiastic recruitment songs at the beginning of the war and the sense of foreboding about what might follow.

What we will be doing


The children are asked to remember their early experiences, then imagine to when their parents were young, then their grandparents, great-grandparents and even great-great-grandparents, linking to the situation in 1914...

'Recruitment medley’ A

The children tap their knees in time, while following the words of a patriotic song ‘Your King and country want you.’

'Recruitment medley’ B

Listen to two lines at a time of the chorus to ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’, then copy the words and tune.

‘Recruitment medley’ C

Perform the tune of the chorus to ‘Pack up your troubles’, ‘doo’-ing, then humming, then whistling, then singing to ‘la’. Repeat, making the sounds flow.

Drills sequence

Imitate four short military drum-rhythms by clapping, and learning that these worked like a ‘code’ to convey orders. Listen to bugle-calls for ‘advance’, ‘cease-fire’ and ‘wake-up!’

Listen to the fields, verse 1

Learn the song in sections. In the first part (lines 1-5) the tune rises and falls in ‘phrases’ with melodic ‘leaps’, with references to birdsong and quiet church-bells. The second part (lines 6-12) is faster and busier (four beats in a bar), with step-wise ups and downs, to reflect the stream and river, the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the town and the sunset.

Listen to the fields, verse 2

Here the words need to flow naturally. The children ‘linger’ on quiet notes at the end, slowing down to hold the last note, as the thunder rumbles in the distance...

‘Recruitment medley’ performance

Make your voices bright and positive for ‘Your King and country want you’, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ and the tune of ‘Pack up your troubles

Listen to the fields, whole song

Perform the whole song, returning to the slow, thoughtful mood, reflecting the summer of 1914 and the serious times ahead. Try to blend all voices together for a smooth, thoughtful sound(as if one voice).


Medley: 'Off to the Front!' (vocal)

Medley: 'Off to the Front!' (backing track)

'Listen to the fields' (vocal)

'Listen to the fields' (backing track)


Teachers' notes
Archie Dobson's War - The Playscript
Music cues and SFX

More from this series

Music - Part 2: Stuck, stuck in the middle
Music - Part 3: Can you, can you remember?
Dance - Part 1: Countdown to war