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For Veterans Day, a great ballad from World War I

On this Veterans Day, a century after the start of the war that was supposed to end all wars, I thought I'd share one of my favorite songs from that era (strange how closely music and war have always been).

"Dear Old Pal of Mine," published in 1918 as World War I was finally winding down, was said to have been inspired when a Canadian soldier, Gitz Rice, a private at the time, was on sentry duty along the front lines at Ypres. His feelings of longing for his dear old pal at home found expression in words by American-born lyricist Harold Athol Robé. Rice composed the melody for the song, which, I think, perfectly captures the tenor of the times.

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And speaking of tenor, I never miss an opportunity to post a clip of John McCormack, one of my favorite artists from the golden age of voices. No one could sell a sentimental ballad like McCormack, as you can hear in his version of "Dear Old Pal of Mine."

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