From the Library of Congress: “The Shell Shock Shake”

This piece of 1919 sheet music titled “The Shell Shock Shake” is not among the representations of shell shock that appear in the special issue, but it’s a fascinating artifact from the Library of Congress digital collections that captures an attempt to put the indescribably human cost of the war into familiar cultural language, perhaps to begin coming to an understanding of the social meaning of “shell shock” in the postwar world, where politics were settled (albeit temporarily) at Versailles while the internal worlds of psychologically injured soldiers remained indefinitely tumultuous.


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