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Great Waters Mighty Organ Harmonies

Sing-a-long wartime songs

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One of a series of six films made in the 1940s originally entitled 'Let's Have a Sing Song'. This film features one-time BBC staff organist Reginald Foot on his Wurlitzer Organ encouraging a cinema audience to sing-a-long to wartime favourites 'Let's All Go Down The Strand', It's A Sin To Tell A Lie', 'Around the Corner', The Sunshine of Your Smile' and 'She Was One of The Early Birds'. The film's title and opening credit 'Great Waters Mighty Organ Harmonies' is incorrect and was spliced to the beginning of the film from a different source many years ago. The film was found in the Playhouse Cinema, Dundee.

Questions & Activities


  • Who do you think made this film and why?
  • Where do you think this film would have been shown?
  • Why do think the film has the wrong title?
  • What is a Wurlitzer, where would you find one and what was special about them?
  • Why did they have organs in the cinema?
  • What are the songs about?
  • Do you think this film is entertainment or propaganda?
  • How do you think this film would have been received by the audience of the day - positively or negatively?
  • Are there any modern equivalents of this type of film?
  • Were you surprised at the final image of the film?
  • Have you been to a sing-along film?
  • Why did people need entertainment during the war?
  • Why was cinema and song important for moral?
  • Where do people communilly sing now?
  • Who is the worm at the end of the final song and why is he mocked?


Music / Media Studies: Take a song of your own choosing and create a pop video or storyboard for a video with stills or cartoons.

History: Research how mass popular entertainment has changed since 1940.

History / Media Studies: Find out about Reginald Foort and the Wurlitzer organ.

ICT: List all the electronic media equipment that you own. What might be the entertainment media of the future?

Creative Writing: Write a dialogue between an elderly grandparent and modern young person, talking about what each does for fun and entertainment.

Media Studies: Research the history of organs and pianos as part of cinema exhibition.

Music: Create and stage a karaoke sing-song event for your school.

Music / History: Research other examples of wartime songs. Find a tune from World War II and write your own words to it (e.g. Vera Lyne).

Media Studies: Create your own version with modern animations or cards with words on.

Music / History / World War II: Entertaining the troops were important during wartime. Research Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields. Who are the modern equivalents?

Music: Write your own song about love and loss or departure in a style of your choice.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-211-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 1642
Date 1940
Genre Cinema Trailer
School Subject History, Music, Science, Technologies, Social Studies, Expressive Arts, Media Studies
Subject Matter World War 2
Who Exclusive Films (distributor), Reginald Foort (organist)
Where Dundee, Nethergate
Event Sing-a-long
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 6:20
Film Length 06:20