“Just Remember Pearl Harbor”


"Wasn't that an awful time at Pearl Harbor? What a time, what a time... When the Japs came passing by, Three thousand lost their lives." The bombings of the ships are mentioned, and the singer says, like Moses, the Americans won't give up


This is a very strange piece, in that nearly every line is reminiscent of some traditional song or other (notably "Wasn't That a Mighty Time," but also "The Titanic (I - It Was Sad When That Great Ship Went Down)" [Laws D24] and "Oh Mary Don't You Weep" and others). But it doesn't seem to scan to any of them, or much of anything else for that matter.

The song was collected from schoolchildren apparently in 1943; is it possible that they or one of their teachers assembled it? It might explain the style of the piece.

It's hard to say how much after Pearl Harbor this song was written; there are no real dated items except the attack itself. The only person mentioned is MacArthur, and this is confusing. It does not mention his successful Pacific campaign. But neither does it mention his badly mismanaged defense of the Philippines, in which he let his entire air force be destroyed on the ground, and instead of retiring his inadequate garrison to Bataan at first opportunity, at first tried to slug it out with the Japanese, leaving him with neither the troops nor the supplies to defend himself. - RBW

Historical references

  • December 7, 1941 - Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor damages most of the battleships of the U. S. Pacific Fleet
  • December 8, 1941 - Japanese attack the Philippines and other Pacific targets


  1. BrownII 241, "Just Remember Pearl Harbor" (1 text)
  2. Roud #6624
  3. BI, BrII241


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1944 (Brown)
Keywords: battle war death
Found in: US(SE)