I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen Sheet Music

Despite having a hugely successful home grown music and film industry in the Second World War, British people still enjoyed watching films and listening to songs produced in the United States and the latest musical hits from Hollywood movies were specially produced as sheet music for the British market. The musical ‘This is the Army’ was hugely popular in 1942 and one hit from it was ‘I left my Heart at the Stage Door Canteen’:

This sheet music was printed in England for the British market and as was typical for the time it is a single sheet, folded to give four pages. the front has an attractive illustration, with the music and words inside:

The sheet music misses out large parts of the full song from the film and just focuses on the memorable chorus. Irving Berlin’s full set of lyrics for this song reflect the sentimentality of the era:

[Verse:]
Old Mister Absent-Minded, that’s me
Just as forgetful as I can be
I’ve got the strangest sort of a mind
I’m always leaving something behind

[Refrain:]
I left my heart at the Stage Door Canteen
I left it there with a girl named Eileen

I kept her serving doughnuts
Till all she had were gone
I sat there dunking doughnuts
Till she caught on

I must go back to the army routine
And every doughboy knows what that will mean

A soldier boy without a heart
Has two strikes on him from the start
And my heart’s at the Stage Door Canteen

The Stage Door Canteen was a popular entertinment venue for allied soldiers on Broadway in New York. In addition to shows, the canteen offered off-duty military personnel opportunities to unwind in various ways, including dancing with hostesses and female entertainers, eating, and writing letters home. Food was provided free. Between 5 p.m. and midnight daily, the canteen served 200 gallons of coffee, and 5,000 cigarettes were smoked.

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