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MMD > Archives > March 1998 > 1998.03.07 > 12Prev  Next

Norbert Schultze & "Bombs over Britain"
By Douglas Henderson

While moving some recent MMD issues on to an external drive, I read
your comments about "Bombs", in relation to German World War II music
about England.

Over thirty-five years ago, I read an interview with Norbert Schultze,
who composed "Lilli Marlene", and he said that there was postwar trouble
because of a piece he composed for a UFA motion picture called "Fire
Christening".  This was that "Bombs over Britain" number.

I was living a block from the Library of Congress at the time, so in
those early days of facsimile machines, I went to the Music Department
and discovered they had three original copies of the score, complete
with gramophone record advertisements and a lithograph of German planes
diving bombing on Great Britain.

The composer said in the magazine article (and on a later television
documentary) that he was forced to write this film score and that it
had no musical significance.

He was right!  I thought it might make a good roll, based upon my
prior experience with the "Lilli Marlene" melody, but it was just what
I call 'telegraph key' music: rhyming couplets with simple notes
hopping along.  (If you think Polly Wolly Doodle or Achy Breaky Heart
-- really the same melody! -- is a great song, then this anti-British
number would be right up your alley.)

Needless to say, the roll was never made.

I forgot all about this piece until I read your reference in the MMD.
How time flies!

Douglas Henderson

 [ Artists like Schultze survived the concentration camps by doing what
 [ they had to do, and doing their best (most of the time).  Below are
 [ some more recollections about the composer of Lili Marlene.
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 7 Mar 1998, 13:43:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Bombs, Britain, Norbert, over, Schultze

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