War is always a frustration and the songs, ditties, parodies, poetry and stories serve many well-earned roles as a morale booster to facilitate camaraderie, to educate and to assimilate 'new recruits' and to allow that necessary ongoing de-fusing of tension. As with other periods of history when all is not well, like times of economic recession and depression, the songs tend to be short and not so sweet, and, army songs being what they tend to be very much to the point - boots and all!
This collection mainly comes from the first and second World Wars however, there is no doubt that many of these same songs were sung by the 'Diggers' who marched away to Korea, Malaya and Indonesia. As our entertainment patterns changed so too have our soldier songs and the collected material from the Vietnam War tends to be songs about air fighter planes, raids and gas bombs. The later songs still use parodies however, they are chiefly American popular songs. Warfare has also changed dramatically and this might explain why there are so few songs from the Gulf War. I guess it's hard to sing when you're sitting alone in a computerised fighter plane with one finger cocked on a button.