A Music Playlist for the Ages

Posted on Wed, June 21, 2017
  • by: Morgan Bulman, Digital Experiences Intern

Bella C. Landauer Collection of Aeronautical Sheet Music:

You wouldn’t think flying and music go hand in hand, but they do. Luckily for all the music-loving aviators out there, Bella Landauer, a veteran collector whose son was a pilot, began searching for aeronautical-themed sheet music in the early 1920s. Landauer scoured shops, publishing houses, auctions, and other private collections for records and their respective covers, usually illustrated with biplanes or famous pilots like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.

In celebration of #MuseumWeek, the National Air and Space Museum Library (a branch of the Smithsonian's Library system) presents a playlist featuring some of its most famous musical treasures. The selected songs reflect a fascination with aviation at the time — so whether it’s about getting away with a loved one on a balloon or crossing the transatlantic, this playlist provides a list of musical endeavors that seek to capture the golden age of flight (and we guarantee you’ll be humming along).

We were able to find most of these songs online in either Youtube or a sample of the music in Amazon. 

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

Come, Josephine, in my Flying Machine (Up She Goes!) (1910)
Words by Alfred Bryan and music by Fred Fischer. 
See the sheet music. 
You can listen to this one at the Library of Congress. 

"Come Josephine in my flying machine Going up she goes! Up she goes! Balance yourself like a bird on a beam In the air she goes! There she goes! Up, up, a little bit higher Oh! My! The moon is on fire Come Josephine in my flying machine Going up, all on, Goodbye!"

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

Cloud Kisser (1911)
By Raymond Birch
See the sheet music. 

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

The Aeroplane Rag (1913)
Words by Walker Felter and music by Carl Heil. 
See the sheet music. 

"Everything goes flying by, Aeroplaning thru' the sky." 

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

Ev'rybody ought to know how to do the tickle toe (1917)
This book of sheet music includes songs with lyrics by Otto Harbach and music by Louis A. Hirsch. 
See the sheet music. 

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

Lucky Lindy (1927)
Words by L. Wolfe Gilbert and music by Abel Baer.

Lucky Lindy! Up in the sky. Fair or windy, he's flying high. Peerless, fearless -- knows every cloud. The kind of a son makes a mother feel proud!

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

I’ll Fly To Hawaii (1929)
By Lou Davis and Joe and Ira Schuster.

I'll fly to Hawaii. Someone's calling me. Back to Hawaii and dear old Waikiki. My heart's on fire. I'll fly 'cross the sea. I'll fly to Hawaii. Where someone waits for me.

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight (1939)
Words and music by Dave McEnery. 

She radioed position and she said that all was well, Although the fuel within the tanks was low. But they'd land on Howland Island to refuel her monoplane, Then on their trip around the world they'd go.

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

The Bombardier Song (1942)
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart and music by Richard Rodgers. 

How's the weather ahead, Said the bombardier to the pilot, Hand us that pretty crate, 5 degrees to the right'll make it

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

Rosie the Riveter (1942)
Words and music by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb.

All the day long, whether rain or shine. She's a part of the assembly line. She's making history, working for victory. Rosie, brrrrrrrrrrr, the riveter.

Image: Smithsonian Libraries

Silver Wings in the Moonlight (1943)
Words and music by Hugh Charles, Leo Towers, and Sonny Miller. 

Silver Wings in the moonlight Flying high up above While I'm patiently waiting Please take care of my love Silver Wings in the moonlight Silver bird in the sky. 

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