Pack up your troubles
In your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile;
While you've a lucifer
To light your fag
Smile, boys, that's the style. . . .
This corny ditty became almost sanctified by the countless heroic circumstances under which it was sung during World War I. The words were written in 1915 by a British vaudeville actor named George Powell. He and his piano-playing brother, Felix Lloyd Powell, who wrote the music, netted $60,000 from the song.
After the war Felix Lloyd Powell wrote other tunes, which were never very popular. He got into real estate in the town of Peacehaven on the Sussex Coast,...