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"When We March Through Berlin Town"

When We March Through Berlin Town is a jaunty tune clearly aimed to lift the spirits the troops and encourage men to enlist. The soldier at the centre of the song says farewell to his sweetheart, Jeannie, because the King of England is needing ‘laddies big and broad’. He assures Jeannie that he will wear her sprig of heather in his old Scotch cap when they defeat the Germans and occupy Berlin. The tone of the song is one of supreme optimism.

Year:1915

Location:Recorded in the United Kingdom

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"When We March Through Berlin Town"

When We March Through Berlin Town is a jaunty tune clearly aimed to lift the spirits the troops and encourage men to enlist. The soldier at the centre of the song says farewell to his sweetheart, Jeannie, because the King of England is needing ‘laddies big and broad’. He assures Jeannie that he will wear her sprig of heather in his old Scotch cap when they defeat the Germans and occupy Berlin. The tone of the song is one of supreme optimism.


Year: 1915

Length: 03:27

Production Company: unknown

Credits: Written and composed by Fred E. Cliffe and Lawrence Wright / Vocalist: Murray Johnson

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title: 230339


People: Fred E. Cliffe, Lawrence Wright, Murray Johnson

Location: Recorded in the United Kingdom

Tags: Australia, music, popular music, Fred E. Cliffe, Lawrence Wright, Murray Johnson

Subject: victory, propaganda


Image Title: Screenshot from NFSA title: 32854

Image Source: NFSA title: 32854


In his early years Fred E. Cliffe toured the music halls as a lightning sketch artist. While he began writing for lyrics around the time of the First Wold War he really came to fame as a lyricist working with Harry Gifford in the 1930s and 40s, supplying material for George Formby Jr, one of the most popular entertainers in Britain during that time.

Lawrence Wright was a popular music composer and publisher and wrote, or co-wrote, over 600 songs including the well-known, Are We Downhearted? No! (1914), a line that is reprised in When We March Through Berlin Town.

Murray Johnson is possibly better known for his recording of Pack Up Your Troubles (1916), a song virtually synonymous with the First Wold War.