Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag

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"Pack Up Your Troubles"
Song
Published 1915
Genre March
Composer Felix Powell
Lyricist George Henry Powell

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"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile" is the full name of a World War I marching song, published in 1915 in London. It was written by Welsh songwriters, George Henry Powell under the pseudonym of "George Asaf", and set to music by his brother Felix Powell.[1][2]

It was featured in the American show Her Soldier Boy, which opened in December 1916.[3]

Performers associated with this song include Edward Hamilton, the Victor Military Band, James F. Harrison, Murray Johnson, Reginald Werrenrath, and the Knickerbocker Quartet.[4]

A later play presented by the National Theatre recounts how these music hall stars rescued the song from their rejects pile and re-scored it to win a wartime competition for a marching song.[5] It became very popular, boosting British morale despite the horrors of that war. It was one of a large number of music hall songs aimed at maintaining morale, recruiting for the forces, or defending Britain's war aims.

Lyrics[edit]

The song is best remembered for its chorus:[6]

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile,
While you've a lucifer to light your fag,
Smile, boys, that's the style.
What's the use of worrying?
It never was worth while, so
Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile.

Full lyrics are here.[7]

In other languages[edit]

The Dutch version goes:

Pak al je zorgen in je plunjezak en fluit, fluit, fluit!
Aan alle moeilijkheden heb je lak, fluit man en 't is uit!
Waarom zou je treuren, het helpt je niet vooruit,
Dus: pak al je zorgen in je plunjezak en fluit, fluit, fluit.

The Spanish version

Guarda tus penas en el fondo del morral y rie ya!
Ponte contento y así venceras la dificultad!
Siempre estarás alegre, nunca triste estaras, jamás!
Guarda tus penas en el fondo del morral y rie ya.!

The German version:

Weit ist der Weg zurueck ins Heimatland, so weit, so weit
Dort bei den Sternen ueber'm Waldesrand liegt die alte Zeit
Jeder brave Musketier sehnt heimlich sich nach dir
Weit ist der Weg zurueck ins Heimatland, ja weit, so weit!

Literary references[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indiana University Sheet Music". Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag and smile, smile, smile. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  2. ^ Pegler, Martin, Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War Osprey Publishing, 2014, ISBN 9781427804150, pages 263-264.
  3. ^ Paas, John Roger (2014). America Sings of War: American Sheet Music from World War I. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 38, ISBN 9783447102780.
  4. ^ Paas, John Roger (2014). America Sings of War: American Sheet Music from World War I. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 38, ISBN 9783447102780.
  5. ^ "National Theatre : Productions : Pack Up Your Troubles". Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  6. ^ Scott K. Williams (September 1, 2001). "Old Kit Bag". Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  7. ^ Saturday, 22 August, 2009 Michael Duffy (2009-08-22). "Vintage Audio - Pack Up Your Troubles". First World War.com. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  8. ^ "Smile, Smile, Smile - Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)". Classiclit.about.com. 1918-09-23. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 

External Links[edit]