KS2 Music / Dance / Drama / History: World War 1 Performance Pack - 'Archie Dobson's War'. Music - Part 3: Can you, can you remember?

The final programme of music resources linking to World War 1. The medley of contemporary songs includes 'Over there' and 'Home! Sweet home!' while the original song to learn - 'Can you, can you remember?' - invites the singers to reflect on the War and its enormous cost in human lives. The backing tracks for the songs are available as downloads from these pages and from the Sound Resources programme, where you'll also find sound effects sequences which can be used to enhance your staging of the play 'Archie Dobson's War'.

Music - Part 3: Can you, can you remember?

Before the programme

Discuss how the third music programme moves from the turning point of World War 1 to its aftermath, exploring ways we might learn from the events and ‘remember’ them. Ask the children if any of their families (or local people, or museums, etc) have any items they could loan (eg photographs, copies of letters, poems, documents, etc), which might help to share memories across the generations, back to a hundred years ago and into the future.

Summary

Facts and figures

Against a background of trenchwar sounds, we hear of the ninemillion soldiers who died, twentymillion soldiers who were wounded and of the twenty million plus other people who lost their lives as a direct result of World War 1.

‘End in sight?’ medley A

Remember and sing the simple words to ‘We’re here because we’re here’, set to the tune of the famous ‘Auld lang syne’.

‘End in sight?’ medley’ B

Listen to and copy two lines at a time of ‘Over there’, a lively American patriotic song, written to motivate American troops in 1917.

‘End in sight?’ medley’ C

Hum the first part of the famous ‘Home! Sweet home’, then join in the easy words for the last three lines.

Bugle calls

Listen to part of the ‘Last Post’ (based on a slow, quiet bugle call) heard at Remembrance Day each year – giving a chance to reflect on lost lives and space to think.

'Can you, can you remember?' – verse 1 and chorus

Learn to sing the music in sections, beginning with a quiet, reflective ‘rising-fifth’ like the Last Post (line 1), then shifting this up in pitch (line 2), then with pauses on the words ‘singing’ and ‘ringing’ (lines 3-4), then with a tune falling and rising like pealing bells (lines 5-6, the chorus).

'Can you, can you remember?' – verse 2 and chorus

Sing with controlled emotion in the voice, to reflect the words’ focus on anger, pain and fear and the questions in the chorus.

'Can you, can you remember?' – verse 3 and chorus

Sing with warmth and softness in the voice.

'Can you, can you remember?' – verse 4, chorus and coda

The ‘coda’ (extra endsection) is just the same as the first line sung slowly and thoughtfully and with a long pause on the last note. Verse 4 is a chance to reflect on how memories can be shared across the generations.

‘End in sight?’ medley performance

Perform ‘We’re here because we’re here’, ‘Over there’ and ‘Home! Sweet home’, joined together.

'Can you, can you remember?' – whole song

Perform the whole song, remembering the pauses on ‘singing’ and ‘ringing’ (verse 1), controlled emotion (verse 2), warmth and softness (verse 3), quiet reflection (verse 4) and the long pause on the last note (coda).

Clips

Medley: 'End in sight?' (vocal)

Medley: 'End in sight?' (backing track)

'Can you, can you remember?' - Vocal version

'Can you, can you remember?' - Backing track

Resources

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

More from this series

Music - Part 1: Listen to the fields
audio
Music - Part 2: Stuck, stuck in the middle
audio
Dance - Part 1: Countdown to war
audio