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Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF ACCOUNTING
BRITAIN'S MOTORWAYS
DIRTY OLD TOWN
FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE (2)
GO DOWN, YOU MURDERERS
GOODBY TO THE THIRTY FOOT TRAILER
JOY OF LIVING
MANCHESTER RAMBLER
MY OLD MAN
NOBODY KNEW SHE WAS THERE
NORTH SEA HOLES
SCHOOLDAYS END
SECOND FRONT SONG
SHELLBACK SONG
SHOALS OF HERRING
SONG OF THE IRON ROAD
THE BALLAD OF TIM EVANS
THE FIRST TIME
THE TERROR TIME
THE TROOPER CUT DOWN IN HIS PRIME
THE WEEK YOUR MAN'S AWA' or FISHERMAN'S WIFE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: You and I (Ewan MacColl) (16)
Lyr Req: Blast Against Blackguards (MacColl) (4)
Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl) (38)
Chord Req: The Father's Song (MacColl/Gaughan) (17)
Lyr Req/Add: The Colour-Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl) (19)
Lyr Req: Companeros (Ewan MacColl) (15)
Champion at Keeping them Rolling (20)
Lyr Req: Legal Illegal (Ewan MacColl) (9)
Schooldays Over - sung by Chieftains (15)
Ewan MacColl singing First Time Ever (29)
Come All Ye Gallant Drivers/Drivers' Song-MacColl (19)
Lyr Add: Ring the Summer Home (Ewan MacColl) (3)
Keelaghan Tab Request: My Old Man (MacColl) (3)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Lag's Song (Ewan MacColl) (24)
Lyr Req: Kilroy Was Here (Ewan MacColl) (29)
Lyrics Correction: Joy of Living (Ewan MacColl) (50)
ADD:The Ballad of Stalin (and other Stalin songs) (45)
Lyr Req:Jock Hawk's Adventures in Glasgow (MacColl (52)
Lyr Req: Driver's Song (Ewan MacColl) (18)
Help: Ewan MacColl: Bless 'Em All (19)
Lyr Req: The Ballad of Trades (Ewan MacColl) (12)
Lyr Req: My little son / Britain's Motorways (9)
Lyr Req: The Terror Times (8)
Lyr Req: Shellback Song (Ewan MacColl) (11)
Lyr Req: Dunnes Stores (Christy Moore) (12)
Lyr Add: Northern City (Ewan MacColl) (31)
Ewan MacColl's Japanese tune? (19)
Lyr Req: Androids (Ewan MacColl) (8)
Chord Req: Legal Illegal (Ewan MacColl) (12)
(origins) Origins: Ballad of Tim Evans (Ewan MacColl) (11)
Lyr Req: Dracumag (Ewan MacColl) (10)
Lyr Req: I Am a Rover (MacColl) (17)
Lyr Req: Tall and Proud (Peggy Seeger) (4)
(origins) Lyr req: The War Game (MacColl) (6)
Lyr Add: Father's Song (Ewan MacColl) (9)
Lyr Req: The Second Front Song (Ewan MacColl) (9)
Lyr Req: Join the British Army (Ewan MacColl) (5)
Lyr Add: Legal Illegal (Seeger/MacColl) (4)


zander (inactive) 18 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM
MMario 18 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM
zander (inactive) 18 Apr 00 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Mrr 18 Apr 00 - 03:22 PM
Ed Pellow 18 Apr 00 - 03:31 PM
Joe Offer 18 Apr 00 - 03:31 PM
zander (inactive) 19 Apr 00 - 03:04 PM
zander (inactive) 19 Apr 00 - 04:06 PM
Joe Offer 01 Nov 06 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,zander 01 Nov 06 - 02:22 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 06 - 04:23 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 06 - 04:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Nov 06 - 05:17 PM
Effsee 01 Nov 06 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Matthew Smith 11 Apr 09 - 01:24 PM
Leadfingers 11 Apr 09 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,neseattle 24 Aug 09 - 01:32 AM
Leadfingers 24 Aug 09 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,MtheGM 24 Aug 09 - 02:44 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 24 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Aug 09 - 02:56 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Aug 09 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Aug 09 - 03:43 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 24 Aug 09 - 04:27 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 24 Aug 09 - 04:43 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Aug 09 - 07:37 PM
Leadfingers 24 Aug 09 - 08:11 PM
Dave Sutherland 25 Aug 09 - 03:13 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Aug 09 - 05:50 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 25 Aug 09 - 07:11 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Aug 09 - 07:18 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 25 Aug 09 - 07:43 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Aug 09 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,weerover 25 Aug 09 - 09:37 AM
Joe_F 25 Aug 09 - 08:23 PM
Leadfingers 27 Aug 09 - 08:30 AM
Effsee 27 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM
Leadfingers 27 Aug 09 - 01:49 PM
Paul Burke 27 Aug 09 - 02:02 PM
Rog Peek 28 Aug 09 - 02:21 PM
Joe_F 09 Aug 13 - 10:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Aug 13 - 12:35 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Aug 13 - 12:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Aug 13 - 01:54 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Aug 13 - 03:01 PM
Joe_F 09 Aug 13 - 06:15 PM
Joe_F 10 Aug 13 - 06:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Aug 13 - 07:32 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Aug 13 - 04:43 AM
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Subject: The Grocer
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM

Looking for the complete words to ' The Grocer ' by Ewan MacColl, it's from his CD ' Antiquites '. Please help this is the third time I have posted this and not one reply yet. Many thanks, Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer
From: MMario
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 03:07 PM

Did you ever consider the possibility that no one who has seen your post knows the answer?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 03:08 PM

Yes but I'm an optimist mate


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 03:22 PM

Got any partials? I might know it but not under that title or by that artist... if you give a few lines, perhaps that would help?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 03:31 PM

Dave,

Mrr's suggestion is a good one - post any info you have (partial lyrics, what the sleeve notes say etc.) and we may do better.

Believe me, we do try our best

Regards

Ed


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Subject: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 03:31 PM

Dave, please see our Mudcat FAQ for instructions on how to use our "filter" to find previous threads. It would have been better if you could have posted a new message to the original thread to refresh it, rather than starting four threads. Multiple threads tend to divide tand confuse the subject, and make it less likely that you'll get an answer.

Why don't we work up a group transcription? Type up what you hear and post it in this thread, making sure to put <br> line breaks at the end of each line. When you're done, I'll take a listen and post what I hear. I admit that I can't understand a lot of it, but maybe we can come up with something together. Sounds like a fascinating song.
Anybody got a MacColl songbook?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 03:04 PM

Here goes with some of the words, it's a long song about the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. I think the tune is traditional, but I dont really know.

Come all you argumentative sods that like to chew the rag
And stand in a bar for hours on end on beery talking jag
Sit down and park your feet a while, and give your mouths a rest
And Ill tell you about a dame they call the guardian of the west.
Her hair was the best that money could buy her eyes were powder blue
I swear the would'nt have looked out of place on a frozen cockatoo
She'd a nose like the blade of a metal saw, and a voice like a tungsten drill
She used it to bore the natives when she'd a couple of hours to kill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 04:06 PM

Re above message , this is just the first verse. Regards Dave


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GROCER (Ewan MacColl)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 02:17 AM

THE GROCER
(Ewan MacColl)
[tune "The Garden Where the Praties Grow"]

Come all you argumentative sods who like to chew the rag,
Who'll stand at a bar hour after hour on a beery talking jag;
Sit down and park your feet awhile and give your mouths a rest,
And I'll tell you about the dame they call the "Guardian of the West."

Her hair was the best that money could buy; her eyes were china blue;
I swear they wouldn't 'a' looked out of place on a frozen cockatoo.
She'd a nose like the blade of a metal saw, a voice like a tungsten drill.
She used it to bore the natives when she'd a couple of hours to kill.

When she was a puking babe in arms, she read in a magazine
About the royals and decided then she'd like to be the Queen;
But the job had already been taken, so she stamped her foot and said,
"If I can't be the Queen or the Prince of Wales, I'll he the PM instead."

And so she moved from NW4 to a pad in Downing Street,
A well-found joint where she and a hunch of deadbeats used to meet;
And they'd all dance round the table, then have a cosy chat;
And in between she'd practice her elocution on the cat.

The lady often said she'd like to have lived in the Golden Age,
Before the days of the unions and the National Minimum Wage;
And she sighed when she thought how Hitler had smashed them all to hell;
"What he could do I can do better," she said, "and probably twice as well."

And so she set out on the job of castrating them one by one,
All except the E.T.U. and that had already been done;
Teachers and civil servants and workers down the mine
Needed a taste of the lady's whip to make them toe the line.

The printers they came out on strike and she went for them tooth and claw,
Nurses and firemen struck as well, she belted them with the law;
They may be gallant heroes when they're saving people's lives,
But they're just a bunch of layabouts when they're asking for a rise.

Well, the lady's reputation plummeted down into the red,
But trouble blew up in the Falklands, it was jam on her gingerbread;
"Thank God for a nice little war," she said, "this is Britain's finest hour!"
So a couple of hundred swaddies died so she could stay in power.

The day a Polish shipyard became a casualty
She rushed to see Lech Walesa, crying "Solidarity!"
"O stay with us, my love!" he said, but she answered with a frown:
"I've got to rush hack to Glasgow, dear, to close a shipyard down."

She doted on brave Colonel North and all that he represents;
And she stuck like shit to a blanket to her favourite president;
And she's madly keen on Bushy-tail of the dear old C.I.A.,
And she carries a torch for Botha and General Pinochet.

Once behind the counter in her father's grocer shop,
She sold butter and jam and flour and Spam and everything else, the lot;
But now the merchandise has changed, old prices don't apply;
She's selling the nation off in lots to all who want to buy.


Pebby Seeger's Notes:
    Ewan had an odd attitude towards grocers. It might have been due to his own poverty- stricken childhood when his family was continually in debt to the local grocer; or perhaps it was the rumour that the present royal family can be traced back to a grocer who made his fortune by victualling Napoleon armies...no matter. Margaret Thatcher's father was a grocer and Ewan wasn't about to let her forget it.


from The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,zander
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 02:22 AM

Thanks Joe, I bought the book a couple of tears ago.

Great song though, Ewan hated Thatcher with a vehemence.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 04:23 AM

Peggy wrote in the preface of Ewan's songbook that one of the great tragedies of his life was that she was still in office when he died.
He didn't live to see her leave Downing Street in tears - shame
Didn't know about 'Antiquities' CD - any information would be appreciated.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 04:48 PM

Another example of MacColl's sense of humour. It's just lumpen , dull rhyming verses without a trace of fun. He definetly was a boring old Maxist.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 05:17 PM

But aren'r we all Maxists on the Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Effsee
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 07:53 PM

"Ewan hated Thatcher with a vehemence"...and he wasn't alone!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,Matthew Smith
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 01:24 PM

The word used in verse 8 was "squaddies", a British slang word for soldiers of low rank.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 01:34 PM

Dont forget that Ted Heath was always 'Grocer' Heath in Private Eye


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,neseattle
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 01:32 AM

I just put the song on youtube "Ewan MacColl - The Grocer"

I'm looking for the lyrics sheet too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 03:53 AM

Dont forget the 'Other' grocer song - Alistair Clayre's can be found back in 2003

The Invisible Backward Facing Grocer


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,MtheGM
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 02:44 PM

Re the note above re 'swaddies/squaddies' - 'swaddies' is a fairly widespread dialect [esp Irish - see the well-known 'Hand Me Down Me Petticoat'] variant of 'squaddies'.
Well, Ewan would have hated Thatcher with a vehemence, & as someone remarks above he wasn't the only one. But this is an ill-natured, witless song to my mind, not worthy of the considerable poet that EM at his best could be: what kind of socialism and 'Brotherhood of Man' is it to sneer at someone because her father happened to be of petit-bourgeois origin? In my review of his 'Journeyman' autobiog for the Times [16 Mar 91], I wrote that I admired his fine Radio Ballads songs and songs of men-at=-work like "Champion At Keeping 'Em Rolling", 'but wouldn't give a dime a dozen for the political songs of which, he tells us, it was his aim from the sixties to the eighties to write at least ten each month'. The song which is subject of this thread strikes me as a pretty dire example of this genre.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 02:55 PM

MGM,Zander asked for the words he did not ask for your opinion of the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 02:56 PM

Ah diddums, Schweik.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 03:33 PM

I mean, the idea of a comment ever straying from the OP of a thread has nevernevernevernever been seen on this site before. O peccavi peccavi, mea maxima culpa.
   There now, Scweiky-honeybun: happy now?
               Kisskiss Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 03:43 PM

'But this is an ill-natured, witless song...'

MtheGM, I agree.

Why is it that other prime ministers are no subject to the never-ending ridicule that Margaret Thatcher sees?

I can remember when the slums of London and the crime of Glasgow were among the worst in the world. When the UK school system was a laughing-stock. When unemployment was terrible and the economy was in the doldrums for long periods of time. When people in London died from breathing the smog. The Thames was a sewer. Yet the PM's in power during those times are forgiven and forgotten.

Give it rest, guys!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 04:27 PM

Micheal Grosvenor Meyer,well despite your silliness,it is fact,the guy asked for some words,now I know this is difficult for you,because you have spent so much time being a critic,but the OP did not ask for your opinion.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 04:43 PM

Sorry, incorrect spelling, Michael Grosvenor Myer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM

Of course, ducky: as I said before, the idea of a thread everevereverever straying from a 9-year-old OP is absolutely unprecedented. So the entry above of GUEST on 01 Nov 06, for example, just can't have happened. Grovel·grovel·grovel, Schweiky·darling, & I hope it keeps fine for you...

Tho, mind you, in the post before your last two, GUESTleeneia seemed quite glad of my opinion: there is obviously a rebellion in the offing against the sacred Law·According·To·Schweik. Beware. Cave. Watch·yer·arse!

Thanks for your courtesy in correcting the misspelling of my name — which you know; as I don't yours, concealed behind that unconvincing alias. I don't expect it's really Jaroslav Hasek, is it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 07:37 PM

Don't agree with MtheGM, but am grateful for his opinion.
I don't think The Grocer was MacColl's best song by any means, but I think, like many political pieces, it served its purpose.
I once spent 6 months in Manchester Central Library poring over microfilm of old Chartist newspapers looking for songs for a project I was involved in.
Among several thousand, I don't think there was a single one among them that was singable, but I have no doubt that they served their purpose at the time they were made.
From conversations I had with some of Ewan's contemporaries, I gathered that he must have written many times the number that survived and went into print.
Wonder who would find a use for:

That lovely night, the night we met,
There were whistling bombs in the air.
No bankers dining at the Ritz,
And the refugees slept in Berkley Square.

I may be right, I may be wrong,
But the newspapers say it's no lie.
The rich folk's children sailed away,
And left all the workers' kids to die.

Certainly not deathless prose - an interesting peep at our past though!
"Give it rest, guys! "
Sorry Leeneia - while I realise Maggie didn't have it easy, what with having a crook for a son (who only managed to stay out of prison by grassing up his mates) and a best mate who turned out to be a mass murderer - but fair's fair - she screwed us so surely we're allowed a little snipe now and again.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:11 PM

MacColl DID have at least one 'fun' political song ! Had a pop at Jim Callaghan's lot AND the Red Guard as well with his 'China Rag'
Or IF you want the FULL Title - DEEP breath !!

'The Democratic Peace Loving Peoples of the West Will Not be Overtaken By the Revolutionary Hordes of the Peoples republic of China Rag '

The Chorus is :-

Cnina my old Chine you've led your kids astray
But send them over here to us and we'll show them the way
We'll help them to get with it , we'll stop them being square
With LSD thats almost free we'll banish every care


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 03:13 AM

Surely Mr Grosvenor Myer with his unquestionable knowledge of folk music must be aware of the political broadside tradition over the ages;a tradition that MacColl was striving to emulate. These squibs were never meant to become classics; the prime objective was to get them into circulation with the undestanding that they would enjoy a short shelf life. Trawl through a number of back editions of MacColl and Seeger's "New City Songster" (where you will find China Rag) to see the number of songs which now appear dated and lacking their original impact but which were most powerful in their time.
Prime Ministers such as MacMillan, Wilson, Heath even Blair have been lampooned and satarised in the folk clubs, and beyond, but if Thatcher suffered more it is not only that she deserved it but she bloody well invited it!
Did you mention unemployment in your list leeneia??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 05:50 AM

Certainly, Dave. I just don't find this one a particularly impressive example, even within the genre you rubricate; so am exercised as to why, 9 years ago, anyone should have wanted to make it the subject of a specific thread searching for what seemed to me an indifferent lyric even within the standards of the ephemeral political lampoon of which you speak.

But thank you for taking my comments with reasonable seriousness, unlike that self·appointed arbiter of the direction any thread may proceed, the egregious Schweik, who appears to take on himself powers of censorship as to what one may post, by purporting to read the mind of, and self-importantly over-protect the interests of, the OP. [Do you hear me talking to you, Schweik? Are you there? And YOU have the effrontery to call MY comments silly! LOL!]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 07:11 AM

yes ,the following comments,are silly
I mean, the idea of a comment ever straying from the OP of a thread has nevernevernevernever been seen on this site before. O peccavi peccavi, mea maxima culpa.
   There now, Scweiky-honeybun: happy now?
               Kisskiss Michael .
Of course, ducky: as I said before, the idea of a thread everevereverever straying from a 9-year-old OP is absolutely unprecedented. So the entry above of GUEST on 01 Nov 06, for example, just can't have happened. Grovel·grovel·grovel, Schweiky·darling, & I hope it keeps fine for you...
look,I am not your ducky,or your darling,so take your comments somewhere else.
I am Dick Miles,
I frequently sign my posts,I have been a professional folk singer for over 35 years,I have also[in the past] run folk clubs,one was not too far from you in Bury St Edmunds.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 07:18 AM

Thatcher used unemployment as a political weapon whilst allowing her chosen ie. the bankers and city whiz kids to get rich under her philosophy that ' greed is good ' if you had been there at the time Leenia and been unemployed, worried sick all the time about paying the rent and feeding and clothing the kids you wouldn't be so sympathetic towards her.

Listen to MacColls song ' Looking For A Job ' and you might get some idea of the absolute despair of unemployment, it's soul destroying, and Thatcher did it on purpose.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 07:43 AM

Dave,I agree with you,it was a most depressing time,and writers like MacColl and Rosselson,did much to keep peoples spirits up.
MGM, at this time was employed as a critic for a national newspaper,enjoying the theatre in Cambridge.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:17 AM

OK Dic: my tone might have been a bit wanting, and I genuinely do regret if you were offended; but I still can't see why you took such vehement objection to the expression of a perfectly tenable [even if not universally agreed with, see Jim's comment] opinion on a song whose lyric was requested by the OP 9 [count them: NINE!] years ago, and denounced my having ventured to do so in such immoderate terms. As the point of my "silly" comments was, it is not universally the case that these threads stick tenaciously and unwaveringly to their original theme and never stray therefrom into related matters, such as evaluation or analogues or any such relevant questions. I honestly couldn't see what I had written to provoke such an out·of·bed·the·wrong·side response from you; and if my replies struck you as 'silly', it was because I was trying to keep the tone reasonably light in the face of, what struck me as, your peculiarly heavy·toned denunciations. I note you have separately started an anti-critic thread: to which I shall not contribute as my bona-fides might be questioned as I obviously couldn't approach it objectively. But I shall read it and I hope learn from it; and I wish it - and you - well. But I can't see that critic is such a shameful trade as to disqualify one from expressing an opinion even when one is not being paid or employed to do so. That strikes me as {if such a term exists} a jobist attitude...

Best {unhypercritical} regards   Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:37 AM

The tune to which MacColl sings this on the recording I have is the same as Enoch Kent's "The Button Pusher": I don't know whether this was an original of "The Garden Where the Praties Grow", but certainly not the one I am familiar with.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:23 PM

Leadfingers: Can you post all of the China Rag? I have a tape of him singing it for the Buffaloes, but, as you might expect, it is none too intelligible.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:30 AM

Sorry Joe ! I have the Lyric SOMEWHERE but I a damned if I can lay a hand on them just now ! And its TOO ong ago since I have sung it that there is NO way I can remeber the verses !
Maybe some one else can help ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Effsee
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 12:08 PM

Joe F,I can send you a copy of the "China - rag" in jpg form if you let me have your e-addy by pm.
Terry on it's way to you!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 01:49 PM

Thanks Frank ! The GOOD Side of the Cat again !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 02:02 PM

Why does everyone want to have a pop at Thatcher, leenia? Well, we've only had one worse prime minister since her.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Rog Peek
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:21 PM

Ewan did not of course live to witness the political demise of Margaret Thatcher. When I used to sing this song occasionally a few years ago, I took the liberty of concluding with a verse of my own:

Her days in power were numbered as the election it grew near,
It broke her heart to hear those words "You'll have to go my dear"
I'm sure she wakes in a sweat at night and thinks she's on the rack,
Dreaming of those bosom pals who stabbed her in the back.

For me, to see her go would have been enough, but the manner of her parting really was icing on the cake.

I hope he would have approved.

Rog


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Subject: Lyr Add: China Rag
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 10:27 AM

Listening as best I could, the other day, to the tape of MacColl & Seeger at the Buffaloes, it occurred to me to pursue the ...China Rag again. It appeared in a periodical called New City Songster, which has become rare, but damned if Harvard doesn't have it! on microfiche! A nice librarian scanned it onto my thumb drive. Here it is:

The Freedom Loving Peoples of the West Will Not Be Overtaken by the Revolutionary Hordes of the People's Republic of China Rag

by Sandra Kerr and Ewan MacColl (1968)

Come all you loyal Britons who complain about your lot.
Count your many blessings and you'll see what you have got.
Compare your life with others' -- go down upon your knees:
Thank God you were not born an underprivileged Chinese.

CHORUS:
China, me old China, your kids have gone astray.
Send them over here to us and we'll show them the way:
We'll help 'em to get with it, we'll stop 'em being square,
With L.S.D. that's almost free we'll banish every care.

It's great to know you're British, to know that you are free,
To know that uncle Harold's looking after you and me.
Just consider China -- she's really had it now.
Who'd exchange our Harold for the thoughts of Chairman Mao?

Thank God for our newspapers! We have a press that's free.
Thank God for King and Thompson and for Auntie B.B.C.!
Thank God we've got Prince Philip to give us good advice,
To tell us to work harder for our little bowl of rice!

They have no Heath, no Callaghan, no other clever bods,
No psychedelic happenings -- poor Oriental sods!
No pot, Green Stamps or bingo, no Batman in Chinese,
And unlike good old Britain, they have got no wages freeze.

We're proud of our traditions, our British way of life,
And flower power and Woman's Hour will shield us from the strife.
The Chinese they have Mao Tse-Tung, the Vietnamese have Ho,
But we've got Coronation Street and Daz and Fairy Snow.

They can have their revolution, and yet the time will come
When, led by Tricky Dick and Harold, we shall overcome.
Though prices rise and wages fall, we'll lead a better life,
And thanks to Barbara Castle, peace will reign in place of strife.

Tune (verses & chorus) in solfa (scale is drmfsltDR; dot means continuation):
s.m.s.s.m.rd..D.D.D..DR.D.l.....
D.D.D.t.l.s.s.m.m.r.r.m.r.......
s.s.s.l.s.m.d...D.D..DR.D.l.....
D.D.D.R.t.l.s.m.d.r.d.d.t.d.....

I have corrected a couple of typos and regularized the eccentric capitalization & punctuation.

The spoof of Chinese-style naming reminded me that the commune I belonged to in the 1970s bought an impressive flatbed truck & named it "The West Shines Yellow Higher Industrial and Agricultural Truck" -- for short, "Higher Industrial" or, to be naughty, "Higher Yellow".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 12:35 PM

"I can remember...When unemployment was terrible and the economy was in the doldrums for long periods of time."

How wonderful that those times are gone...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 12:57 PM

We've got the full set plus 20B - an unbound collection of 20 songs which were circulated a year or so after the series finished + plus the one which was withdrawn and replaced because one of the songs sounded too much like 'Eleanor Rigby'
Anybody looking for anything specific, please don't hesitate to ask.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 01:54 PM

Great songwriter - but not when it came to being funny, or effectively satirical.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 03:01 PM

" but not when it came to being funny, or effectively satirical."
Hmmmm..
Depends on your sense of humour I suppose, and in some cases, whether his satire goes against your particular grain
Legal, Illegal - Nation of Animal Lovers - Ivor - China Me Old China - White Tornado - Tall and Proud - Yankee Doodle - Banks they are Rosy - Parliamentary Polka - Cut Price Hero - In Place of Strife.... all hit the mark for me, or else they did when I first heard them and there's plenty more where they came from.
He didn't write 'funny' songs, but the satire could cut your legs off.
The year before I moved to London I was working in their home while the Festival of Fools was being performed
In the evenings I went in to see the Festival and meet the Group and some of the people who turned up.
Night after night I watched audiences curl up during the "Greet Grootingbrit" scene, a satire on British and American imperialism - not a song but a solo recitation - I never saw it bettered , before or since.
He wasn't known particularly for his humourous songs, and occasionally they could be heavy handed, but no humour - you must be talking about someone I didn't know,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 06:15 PM

I think "and we'll show them the way" & "no Batman in Chinese" are funny. But I agree that that song is an exception.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 06:18 PM

However, to be mean, one might credit his coauthor with the funny touches.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 07:32 PM

As you said, Jim, it depends on your sense of humour.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 04:43 AM

"However, to be mean, one might credit his coauthor with the funny touches."
Mean indeed - something I have long become used to.
As a matter of record, as far as texts were concerned Ewan invariably chose to work alone to my knowledge.
But there again - any stick to beat a long-dead dog.
Jim Carroll


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