Top 10 Songs from the 1940s

The 40s was a tumultuous decade, with the Second World War rocking the planet leaving devastation and carnage in its wake. One constant that got people through hard times and helped them rebuild their lives happiness was music. Some of the most extraordinary and talented musicians came from this era. In this little blog post of mine, I’ll attempt to pay homage to some of these incredible artists.

10. Buttons and Bows by Dinah Shore

Buttons and Bows by Dinah Shore Album Art
Released in 1948, this song was featured in the film The Paleface and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Although it was popular in the latter part of the decade, this song still lives on today in the memories of film buffs everywhere.

9. Only Forever by Bing Crosby

Only Forever by Bing Crosby Album Art
Another song from a film, the one and only Bing Crosby lent his voice to this classic, and he wasn’t the only big name to either. Nat King Cole and Al Bowlly also sung covers of this iconic song which was released in 1940.

8. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! by Vaughn Monroe

Let It Snow! by Vaughn Monroe Album Art
With lyrics by Sammy Cohn and music composed by Jule Styne, the story is that the track itself was written in Hollywood during a heatwave. The perfect song for a hot summer’s day!
7. ‘Round Midnight by Thelonius Monk

'Round Midnight by Thelonius Monk Album Art
This jazz classic was released in 1944 and has since become the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician. The classic just simply cannot be overlooked!

6. Baby It’s Cold Outside by Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting

Johnny Mercer Album Art
Margaret Whiting Album Art
This famous duet first graced our ears in 1944 and has continued to be one of the greatest songs ever written. In a call-and-response format, alike a few other tracks on this list it featured on the big screen for the film Neptune’s Daughter. 

5. You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis

You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis Album Art
Believe it or not, this song was originally a country tune. It’s actually become so famous that the American state of Louisiana has made this song one of their official state songs in honour of the man who sung it. And let’s be real, it’s a beautiful song that many kids and adults alike adore.

4. Auld Lang Syne by Guy Lombardo

Auld Lang Syne by Guy Lombardo Album Art
Although the song is technically a traditional one, this version is just a classic. Even today it’s played as the first song on New Years Day in Times Square.

3. White Christmas by Bing Crosby

White Christmas by Bing Crosby Album Art
Even though the festive season is over, this classic can’t be overlooked. I mean, how many versions of this song have you heard? If you’re answer was anywhere near mine, you’ll understand why this deserves a spot in my Top 10.

2. I’ll Never Smile Again by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers

I'll Never Smile Again by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, with Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers Record
Released in 1940 this single stayed at number one on the billboard charts for twelve weeks straight. This list wouldn’t truly be about the 1940s without Mr. Sinatra anyway!

1. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters


This song was probably the first recorded song that can be classified as jump blues and became a WWII hit. Fans of the comedy Pitch Perfect would recognise this song from boot camp in the second film. The song was so popular and extremely well-written that it was nominated for an Academy Award. Besides, who can go wrong with an Andrews Sisters’ song?

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