We Will Remember

by Karl Hitzemann

We often get requests for songs that honor or celebrate various occasions. Such was the case for "We Will Remember." This piece was written in response to a teacher who requested a song for Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the end of the First World War, which took place on November 11, 1918. In 1931, the name was changed to Remembrance Day. Some of the Commonwealth member states, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, observe the tradition of Remembrance Day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. People pause in a moment of silence to honor and remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve during times of war, conflict, and peace.

As is the case with Memorial Day, the poppy is the symbol of Remembrance Day. Note that the lyrics at measure 26 say "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow." This is the first line of the poem, "In Flanders Fields," written by Canadian, John McCrae. Lieutenant Colonel McCrae served as a brigade surgeon for an Allied artillery unit. In April of 1915, McCrae was in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, in the area traditionally called Flanders. The day before he wrote his famous poem, one of McCrae's closest friends was killed in the fighting and buried in a makeshift grave marked with a simple wooden cross. Wild poppies were beginning to bloom between the crosses marking the many graves. Unable to help his friend or any of the others who had died, John McCrae gave them a voice through his poem. If you'd like to read the entire poem, a quick Internet search will help you find it.

The accompaniment for this piece is very solemn and reflective. It features piano, guitar, bass, snare drums, and a trio made up of a violin, a cello, and a flugelhorn. The song does have an optional second vocal part that adds some wonderful harmonies, but if you'd prefer to keep it unison, know that the second vocal part is covered by the solo violin. We have isolated this part and created a rehearsal track which you will find at our web site.

This song includes a "Diving Deeper Into The Music" learning assessment PDF.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.