The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39480 Message #2831884
Posted By: Joe Offer
06-Feb-10 - 07:56 PM
Thread Name: ADD:The Ballad of Stalin (and other Stalin songs)
Subject: RE: Req/Add: The Ballad of Stalin (Ewan MacColl)
Sorry, Atze, I don't see any evidence that MacColl ever recorded this song. Best I can do is a MIDI:
Here are Peggy Seeger's notes from Appendix IV (page 388) of The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook:
Ewan wrote a number of songs like this in his early years, alongside more subtle texts like "Dirty Old Town" and "Stalinvarosh." There is no doubt that Joseph Stalin was a brilliant wartime leader and that many of his reforms (notably his collectivisation programme) were correct and productive. Idolisation of Stalin by the left wing the world over continued until the 20th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (1956) when he was posthumously denounced by Khruschev for his "personality cult" and his human rights crimes. Disillusioned and subsequently turning to China for political role models, Ewan stopped singing this song or even referring to it. He would not have included it in the main body of such a book as this unless it were for reasons similar to mine: (1) as a sample of the old politics, which viewed the earth as mere clay out of which man fashion'S a world for man and (2) as a sample of his early work, highly dogmatic and low on finesse. It exhibits a lack of economy, an excess of cliches and filler lines, many awkward terms and an errant chronological flow. It has many of the characteristics of political songs of its time and is virtually a political credo set into verse and put to a tune.
It is just that.