Songs of War: sheet music in Queensland 1914 - 1918

The collections of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland contain a wide variety of material related to the First World War, including photographs, documents, newspapers, diaries, maps, posters, books, magazines, letters, and medals.

Popular song played an important part in the cultural life of Queenslanders. Stirring patriotic songs were written to encourage recruitment, boost morale, and reinforce a sense of patriotism.

The following items are a selection of popular songs either composed by Queenslanders or published in Queensland during the First World War.


Boys of Australia music cover

Boys of Australia

Words and music by J.T.Caves (John Thomas), bandmaster, No. 1 Depot Band, A.I.F.
Queensland : Valley Art Printing Co., 19—
"Dedicated to the Australian Imperial Forces”

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Boys of Australia
Australia unfurl the flag music cover

Australia unfurl the flag!

By G. Neech (George Christian) Brisbane : Sapsford, 1914
“In aid of the Patriotic Fund, 1914.”

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Australia unfurl the flag!
Hear our soldiers' cry music cover

Hear our soldiers' cry

By Lorna Maud Harrison (Mrs. John Harrison) Brisbane, Qld. : Carter Watson, 191-
"Sung by Miss J. Brodie Breeze to organ accompaniment by Mr. Percy Brier on the night of Mr. Hughes' reinforcement campaign speech, Brisbane, 4th October, 1916".

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Hear our soldiers' cry
Calling Coo-ee music cover

Calling Coo-ee: when I hear you calling coo-ee I shall know that you are back

By Harold Middleton Brisbane : W. H. Paling & Co., c1924
"Successfully featured by Mr. G.P. Hanna's celebrated 'Diggers' at Cremorne Brisbane".
A fox-trot with a real Australian flavour

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Calling Coo-ee
Our boys at the front music cover

Our boys at the front: military song

By M. Egan-Mulry (1863-1934) Brisbane : H. J. Diddams & Co. Printers, between 1914 and 1918
"Dedicated to Lady Goold Adams".

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Our boys at the front: military song
Black watch junr music cover

Black watch junr

Music by Henry Hawkins, words by A.C. Phillips Brisbane : The Carter-Watson Co., 19--
"Black watch junr. to black watch senr"..
"Written for the 42nd Battalion, A.I.F".
"Sung by Will F. Cameron".

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Black watch junr
The song of the 42nd Battalion A.I.F. music cover

The song of the 42nd Battalion A.I.F.

Music by Henry Hawkins, words by A.C. Phillips Brisbane : The Carter-Watson Co., 19--
"Battalion souvenir copy"

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The song of the 42nd Battalion A.I.F.
When I march home music cover

When I march home

By Mark Rooke S.l. : Morcoms, c1919
"Stirring march song with a catchy chorus"

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When I march home
The liberty song of Australia music cover

The liberty song of Australia

Words and music by Teeby, arranged by St de Polotynski
Brisbane : H. Pole & Co. Ltd., 19--
"As featured by the Australian Diggers' Choir, under the direction of Lieutenant St. de Polotynski"

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The liberty song of Australia
The day of victory song music cover

The day of victory song

Music by Ernest Gollmick, words by E. T Shorley (Ezra Thomas) (1868-1946)
Rockhampton, Qld. : Printed by Record Printing Company, 1918?
"In commemoration of the signing of the Armistice, 11th November, 1918".

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The day of victory song
Joy bells are ringing music cover

Joy bells are ringing

Music by Helena Miller, words by E. T. Shorley (Ezra Thomas) (1868-1946)
S.l. : s.n., 191-
"Dedicated to the heroes of the great war". The peace song.

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Joy bells are ringing
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