John A. Walsh
"Philadelphia, 1918" tells the story of an immigrant's experience living in Philadelphia in the early 1900's. Life was hard for the song's protagonist, but 1918's Spanish Flu pandemic would make those days gone by pale in comparison.
I wrote this song in December 2019 for the January 2020 meeting of The Song Colony, a regular songwriter's gathering, in Marietta, Ohio. Each month, a challenge word or phrase is chosen for creative inspiration for the next session.
The challenge word for the month was "fever" - for some reason, I almost immediately thought of the flu pandemic of 1918. I knew of this story, but not much in the way of detail. After researching this stunning chapter of history in the early 1900's, I had the story line for the song.
Little did any of us know what the whole world would be experiencing within six weeks of presenting this tune at the January meeting of The Song Colony. There are eerie similarities between what happened in 1918 and what's happening now as I write this in March, 2020.
Note: ALL proceeds from downloads of "Philadelphia, 1918" will be donated to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund through July 4, 2020.
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