Vintage Audio - Hello Central! Give Me No Man's Land
Written by Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young with music by Jean Schwartz, Hello Central! Give Me No Man's Land was published in New York in 1918. The song recounts the story of a child who attempts to use the telephone (then in recent use) in to order to call his father in No Man's Land; except that his father had been killed in fighting on the Western Front.
Al Jolson debuted the song in the play Sinbad. The version available using the player above was recorded by Henry Burr in 1918.
Hello Central! Give Me No Man's Land
When the gray shadows creep
And the world is asleep,
In the still of the night
Baby creeps down a flight.
First she looks all around
Without making a sound;
The baby toddles up to the telephone
And whispers in a baby tone:
"Hello, Central! Give me No
My daddy's there, my mamma told me;
She tip-toed off to bed
After my prayers were said;
Don't ring when you get the number,
Or you'll disturb mamma's slumber.
I'm afraid to stand here at
'Cause I'm alone.
So won't you hurry;
I want to know why mamma starts to weep
When I say, 'Now I lay me down to sleep';
Hello, Central! Give me No Man's Land."
Shrapnel comprised steel balls ejected from shells upon detonation.
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