The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169613   Message #4141214
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
05-May-22 - 04:29 PM
Thread Name: Any May songs?
Subject: RE: Any May songs?
FACING THE CHAIR (Andy Irvine) From Andy Irvine's recent double CD OLD DOG LONG ROAD – VOL.2. Another song about Sacco and Vanzetti
Facing the Chair Andy Irvine: mandola & vocal Recorded in Dreieichenhain, Germany on 3rd December 1982.

Being a massive fan of Woody Guthrie’s from an early age, I bought his records as they came out. “Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti” came out on Folkways in 1960. Woody had recorded it in 1946/47 but was not really satisfied with the result. I had not heard of these two Italian anarchists whose trial for murder in Boston had led to them being found guilty and executed in the Electric Chair in 1927.

His lyrics made a great impression on me and I studied the books which had been written about these events. As the trial unfolded, the bias of Judge Thayer became more and more evident and I came to the conclusion, along with Woody and most other socially minded people that a terrible injustice had been perpetrated. I wrote this song after visiting the courthouse in Dedham MA where so much of this trial had been held.

Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody (1963-65) strongly opposed capital punishment and "vowed that he would not sign a death warrant even for the Boston Strangler, if he were ever caught and convicted." In 1977, Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation vindicating Sacco and Vanzetti, stating that they had been treated unjustly and that no stigma should be associated with their names.