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Music can serve essential purposes during wartime. It can boost morale, lift spirits, demonize the enemy, and help define the cause for which the nation is fighting. It can also give expression to some of the public's deepest emotions.

As in World War I, there were many morale building songs like "We Did It Before and We'll Do It Again" by George Tobias and Cliff Friend, and "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" by Frank Loesser. There were also jingoistic songs like "Der Fuehrer's Face," "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap", and "Let's Put the Axe to the Axis." "God Bless America," which Irving Berlin had written during World War I but which he had put away, became a new national anthem during the second world war.

But, in general, the most popular songs of the war years were deeply sentimental songs, like Berlin's "White Christmas" or "Sentimental Journey" by Bud Green, Les Brown, and Ben Homer. Romantic ballads - such as "I Don't Want to Walk Without You" - spoke to Americans' pangs of separation and loss. The desire to remain upbeat in a time of global conflict was apparent in Harold Arlen's "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive."

Good Morning, Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip!
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