Robert and Sadye Wier Papers


Tom Turpin



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Alternative Title

Italy France and England have been fight'n a long long time


World War I- era notated music for voice and piano dedicated to the 92nd Division at Camp Funston. Cover art features a Black soldier marching with a rifle over his shoulder.

Publication Date


Time Period



African American soldiers ; Popular music--United States--1911-1920 ; World War, 1914-1918 -- Songs and music


Black soldiers ; sheet music ; World War I ; Wier, Sayde

Geographic Location

Saint Louis (Mo.)


Historical Context: This song includes either a title or lyrics, along with a cover illustration that place it in the category of “blackface” performance. With theatrical roots in the West as far back as the 15th century, blackface entertainment “[displays] Blackness for the enjoyment and edification" of non-Black audiences, often through derogatory and racially insensitive means (Strausbaugh, Black Like You, 2006). Blackface’s place in American popular culture began with early 19th century musical performances, featuring white actors “blacked-up” with burnt cork or shoe polish. Performances used dominant stereotypes of African Americans and presented a musical discourse on American racial divisions. Songs relied on lyrics and titles using racial epithets, as well as illustrations that audiences received as both racially “authentic” and entertaining (Lott, Love and Theft, 1993). In the process, blackface songs introduced cultural depictions of African Americans still present in popular culture (Stephen Johnson, ed., Burnt Cork, 2012).

Object Type


Format (original)

1 score ([1]. 2-3, [1] p.) : ill

Format (digital)


Digital ID

MFM_MSS_313_1918_012444919 Sheet Music

First Line of Chorus

When Sambo hits the trenches what a difference there will be,

First Line of Song

Italy France and England have been fight'n a long long time


Mississippi State University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Division, Manuscripts Unit, Wier (Robert and Sadye) Papers, Sheet Music




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When Sambo Goes to France