History,  Music

Top of the Pops, 1940

From a conversation between CBS Radio London correspondent Edward R. Murrow and Berlin correspondent William L. Shirer, broadcast from Amsterdam on January 18, 1940 (included in the book “This is Berlin”: Radio Broadcasts from Nazi Germany.)

What’s the most popular song in Berlin now?

Shirer: A little piece, written soon after the outbreak of the war, called We March Against England [English translation here]. It’s a very catchy tune, the sentiment is popular, and everybody’s singing it. Have you any popular war songs over there?

Murrow: The best effort so far is a tune called We’re Going to Hang Out the Washing on the Siegfried Line. Another popular tune has a good strong Teutonic flavor. You may remember it was popular in Prague when you were there during the Czech crisis. It’s called The Beer Barrel Polka. But the messenger-boys and street sweepers are whistling and humming Franklin D. Roosevelt Jones. That’s probably the most popular tune in England today.

No wonder the Nazis lost the war. That and the Three Stooges, of course.