Over There, 1917
George M. (Michael) Cohan, 1878-1942 (Composer and Lyricist); Norman Rockwell, 1894-1978 (Illustrator); Leo Feist, Inc., New York, NY (Publisher)
Song Sheet, lithograph on paper
On loan from the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina
George M. Cohan’s Over There quickly ascended to the number one song in America and became America’s national wartime ballad. Cohan’s “dramatized bugle call” (his humble description of the tune) would never be matched in its euphoric, nationalist confidence in American victory, capturing the zeitgeist of the nation both audibly and lyrically. Adding to the popularity of this song sheet are the talents of Norman Rockwell, the acclaimed illustrator for numerous covers of the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell captures the camaraderie of American soldiers passing time through singing. The sale of song sheets allowed families and friends back home the opportunity to join in song with their boys overseas. More than two million copies of sheet music for Over There sold by the end of the war.