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Folklore: Anarchism and folk music

Spleen Cringe 09 Oct 08 - 12:13 PM
The Borchester Echo 09 Oct 08 - 12:21 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Oct 08 - 12:32 PM
TheSnail 09 Oct 08 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Oct 08 - 12:44 PM
The Borchester Echo 09 Oct 08 - 12:59 PM
Acorn4 09 Oct 08 - 01:17 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Oct 08 - 01:21 PM
The Borchester Echo 09 Oct 08 - 01:22 PM
akenaton 09 Oct 08 - 01:34 PM
The Borchester Echo 09 Oct 08 - 01:39 PM
akenaton 09 Oct 08 - 01:51 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 Oct 08 - 02:11 PM
akenaton 09 Oct 08 - 02:19 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 Oct 08 - 02:22 PM
akenaton 09 Oct 08 - 02:40 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Oct 08 - 02:43 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Oct 08 - 03:52 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Oct 08 - 03:53 PM
Leadfingers 09 Oct 08 - 08:56 PM
Charley Noble 09 Oct 08 - 09:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Oct 08 - 09:06 PM
Ross Campbell 09 Oct 08 - 11:41 PM
Thompson 10 Oct 08 - 02:56 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Oct 08 - 04:03 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Oct 08 - 04:06 AM
Ruth Archer 10 Oct 08 - 04:34 AM
The Borchester Echo 10 Oct 08 - 04:38 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Oct 08 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 10 Oct 08 - 06:21 AM
quokka 10 Oct 08 - 08:13 AM
theleveller 10 Oct 08 - 10:10 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Oct 08 - 12:50 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Oct 08 - 01:09 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Oct 08 - 01:55 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Oct 08 - 02:08 PM
Charley Noble 10 Oct 08 - 09:56 PM
Ross Campbell 10 Oct 08 - 11:01 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Oct 08 - 11:15 PM
Jack Blandiver 11 Oct 08 - 06:28 AM
Les in Chorlton 11 Oct 08 - 08:15 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Oct 08 - 03:56 PM
Mark Ross 12 Oct 08 - 02:17 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 Oct 08 - 02:27 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Oct 08 - 04:29 AM
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Subject: From Kropotkin's lighthouse...
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 12:13 PM

I posted this elsewhere on the forum...

Hey, let's leave WAVworld behind and start a new thread on anarchism. Much more fun...

The changing of the lightbulb is the task of the lightbulb itself.

Anyone remember top Welwyn Garden City based anarcho-popsters the Astronauts? At their best - songs like 'Typical English Day' - they did cracking, very English sounding folk-rock. And, just for The Beard, free jazz polymath Lol Coxhill guested on one of their albums.

And don't get me started on anarcho-locomotive enthusiasts, Blyth Power...

Building the new thread in the shell of the old...

Ok, so its a bit of a shakey start to a new thread but what the hell. Let's see what happens...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 12:21 PM

Well, skipping over all the punks and other pretendy anarchists, I could cite Red Fly The Banners O (to the tune of Green Grow The Rushes O) but I think it's really Leninist if not Stalinist.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 12:32 PM

I think for the purposes of this thread we may have to include the anarcho-lite hippypunks (or militant liberals as we used to call 'em)...

Sod the vegans, though...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 12:43 PM

anarcho-locomotive enthusiasts

They're running most of the British railway system.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 12:44 PM

What about actual anarchist songs? Here is the anarchist anthem, published anonymously in Paris, 1908 and very popular, especially with the Makhnovites where it became practically a folk song.
Pretty dreadful, but authentic.

Let us sing a song beneath bolts of lightning,
Beneath explosions and bullets, beneath the flames,
Beneath the black banner of monumentous struggle,
Beneath the sound of trumpets!
Let us tear down, brothers, the palaces and idols,
Break the chains and bonds;
Enough of the of the submissive slavery-
We'll drown out the sorrow of the nation with blood!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 12:59 PM

brothers

Think I prefer to sing this:

As we go marching marching in the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens a thousand mill lofts grey
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing bread and roses, bread and roses.

As we go marching marching we battle too for men
For they are women's children and we mother them again
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread but give us roses.

As we go marching marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew
Yes it is bread we fight for but we fight for roses too.

As we go marching marching, we bring the greater days
The rising of the women means the rising of the race
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes
But a sharing of life's glories, bread and roses. bread and roses.

Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes
Hearts starve as well as bodies, bread and roses, bread and roses.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Acorn4
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:17 PM

There was a group of anarchists who used to gather in an alehouse I used to frequent in the late seventies.

They rather lost their cred when they said they were going to have a meeting to draw up a constitution.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:21 PM

The Banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door
And the vaults are stocked with silver
That we have sweated for


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:22 PM

an alehouse I used to frequent

O'Donoghue's?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: akenaton
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:34 PM

Hi Diane...I didn't realise that you were a proper leftie...Ake


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:39 PM

Dunno what you think a "proper leftie" is but I was a Morning Star reporter / subeditor for quite a few years during which time I wrote the f*lk column and drank / sang quite a bit in O'Donoghue's (among other places).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: akenaton
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:51 PM

Good for you...I've had a few jars in O'D's meself(touch of satire there) and had a lot of pals in King St.
Suppose I'm comin' round to the anarchist idea nowadays.
Don't know if that's mellowing or becoming more militant :0)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 02:11 PM

How Many Members of the Communist Party of Great Britain does it take to change a light bulb?

Seven.

Because they all have to be there to show solidarity.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: akenaton
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 02:19 PM

Have you got a death wish?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 02:22 PM

Marxism is the Opiate of the Intelligentsia


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: akenaton
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 02:40 PM

How do you get your buzz then?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 02:43 PM

There is a great letter in the Guardian today reminding us that Clause Four was taken from Labour Party membership cards after Blair became Leader. The writer expects that it will appear on his next bank statement.

It's a funny old world isn't it? Now, who said that?
Chiz

L in C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 03:52 PM

Ok then...

Two Good Men
Woody Guthrie


Say, there, did you hear the news?
Sacco worked at trimmin' shoes;
Vanzetti was a peddlin' man,
Pushed his fish cart with his hand.

Two good men a long time gone,
Sacco an' Vanzetti are gone,
Two good men a long time gone,
Left me here to sing this song.

Sacco's born across the sea,
Somewhere over in Italy;
Vanzetti born of parents fine,
Drank the best Italian wine.

Sacco sailed the sea one day,
Landed up in the Boston Bay.
Vanzetti sailed the ocean blue,
An' landed up in Boston, too.

Sacco's wife three children had;
Sacco was a family man.
Vanzetti was a dreamin' man,
His book was always in his hands.

Sacco earned his bread and butter
Bein' the factory's best shoe cutter.
Vanzetti spoke both day and night,
Told the workers how to fight.

I'll tell you if you ask me
'Bout this payroll robbery.
Two clerks was killed by the shoe fact'ry,
On the streets in South Braintree.

Judge Thayer told his friends around
That he had cut the radicals down.
"Anarchist bastard" was the name
Judge Thayer called these two good men.

I'll tell you the prosecutor's name,
Katzman, Adams, Williams, Kane.
The Judge and lawyers strutted down,
They done more tricks than circus clowns.

Vanzetti docked in nineteen eight;
Slept along the dirty street,
Told the workers "Organize,"
And on the 'lectric chair he dies.

All you people ought to be like me,
And work like Sacco and Vanzetti,
And everyday find ways to fight
On the union side for the workers' rights.

Well, I ain't got time to tell this tale,
The dicks and bulls are on my trail.
But I'll remember these two good men
That died to show me how to live.

All you people in Suassos Lane,
Sing this song and sing it plain.
All you folks that's comin' along,
Jump in with me and sing this song.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 03:53 PM

Or a personal favourite...

Puff the magic dragon
Lived by the sea
He didn't have a lot to say
But he believed in anarchy


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 08:56 PM

Anarchy and Folk Music can NEVER mix - Anarchy is FAR too organised !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 09:01 PM

In a more innocent age we learned this lullaby from mother:

The Bomb Song

In the anarchist's attic, so lowly and so mean,
All amidst the fumes of nitro-glycerine;
They're busy making fuses, and filling cans with nails,
And the little Slavic children set up this mournful wail.
Oh, it's Sister Sasha's turn to throw the bomb (bomb, bomb);
Last night it was thrown by Brother Thom (Thom, Thom).
Mamma's aim is bad and the Cossacks all know Dad,
So it's Sister Sasha's turn to throw the bomb (bomb, bomb).

Sister Sasha took the bomb and started off;
"Oh, mind you now," said Mamma, "to blow up Templehoff."
And so the anarchist family waited, till dusk turned into dawn,
The anarchist family waited and sang this mournful song:
Oh, it's Brother Petros' turn to throw the bomb (bomb, bomb);
Sister Sasha's gone the way of Brother Thom (Thom, Thom);
Mamma's aim is bad and the Cossacks all know Dad,
So it's Brother Petros' turn to throw the bomb (bomb, bomb).

Brother Petros went out, a bright faced Slavic lad;
He wore his Sunday suit, the only suit he had?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 09:06 PM

In 1649 to St George's Hill
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people' s will
They defied the landlords
They defied the laws
They were the dispossessed
Reclaiming what was theirs

We come in peace, they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the land in common
And to make the waste land grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it can be
A common treasury for all.

The sin of property
We do disdain
No one has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Now everywhere the walls
Rise up at their command.

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feeds the rich
While poor men starve

We work, we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to masters
Or pay rent to the lords
We are free men
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory

Stand up now
From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed -
Only the vision lingers on

You poor take courage
You rich take care
The earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace
The order came to cut them down


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 11:41 PM

Live;
Eat;
Be silent;
Die.

Apparently an anarchist comment on what the system expects of us. (Seen on a wall in Katoomba, NSW, about twelve years ago).

Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 02:56 AM

What's Clause Four?

Like the lightbulb jokes.

The Internationale is the anarchist anthem. The IWW songs - Pie in the Sky By and By, Joe Hill, and so on, would all be anarchist.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 04:03 AM

Sex Pistols?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 04:06 AM

CLAUSE 4 of Labour Party constitution:

"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service."

(Sidney Webb. 1917)

Rewritten by Blair in 1995 as:

"The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect."

Spot the difference, and understand why we are where we are now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 04:34 AM

"The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party."

Stop it! I'm trying to work!

*Wiping away tears of laughter*


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 04:38 AM

It's the "we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect" that gets me.

(Wiping away genuine tears of grief)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 04:40 AM

I am reluctant to re-open the history of the Labour Party / Government but I have to say to those who never liked Blair or New Labour fair enough.

But those of us who had worked in the Party from, in my case 1974, to 1992, advocating Clause 4 and a programme for Government that barely smelled of Socialism, what people chose was 18 years of Thatcher. I could see no evidence by '92 or '97 that people would choose Clause 4.

People voted Labour because they were sick to death of the Tories and they liked even loved Blair. Blair was extremely popular with the general public. It wasn't my 18 years of leafleting and knocking on doors that made the difference it was Blair, Brown, Campbell and so on.

But I have to recognise the supreme irony of an American government nationalising banks!

Now, where are those leaflets?

Chiz
Les


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 06:21 AM

You have it all wrong!

I've found the original version, before the penultimate rewrite:

"The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party, or at least it would be if I could just find a dictionary with pictures or until the Darkness (which I listen to so the people of Great Britain will know how hip I truly am) set the definition to music. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, I guess that sounds nice, doesn't it, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our very bestest true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, but at the same time in nobody's hands, because that isn't truly fair, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe the revenue services, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect similar in some ways to the free spirit of the 1960s, but in a very respectable format which appeals even to dyed-in-the-wool Tories."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: quokka
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 08:13 AM

I couldn't resist


"ARTHUR: Well, I am king!


DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. And how d'you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers! By 'anging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society. If there's ever going to be any progress with the--
WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.
DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting-- By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,-- But by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: theleveller
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 10:10 AM

Just been reading an interesting article in the New Statesman about Robert Wyatt, whose back catalogue is being re-released in October by Domino Records. Not folk, exactly, although his Sea Song does appear on Rachel Unthank's The Bairns.

Anyone remember Soft Machine?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 12:50 PM

Yet another Wyatt back-catalogue re-release? Ho-hum - means I might have to buy them all over again, though by & large I'm happy enough with the Hannibal editions which, I suppose, are getting on a bit now.

There's some choice Wyatt-era Soft Machine clips on YouTube, my favourite presently being this, which is the first of two parts featuring the Ratledge / Wyatt / Hopper trio doing Moon in June.

Much as I love Wyatt, his politics leave me cold, just more upper-middle-class polemicising which, for me, has marred much of his last two albums (compared to the relatively a-political Shleep) though, perhaps ironically, I regard Matching Mole's Little Red Record as something of a classic, and the heavily politicised experimental 80s Italian radio sessions (available as a free download from BigO from time to time) is some of his finest work, especially Opium Wars - now I'd love to hear Rachel Unthank covering that!

It's like Henry Cow - filching their music wholesale from Zappa and playing it with a po-faced earnestness that missed the essential humanity, profanity & humour that made Zappa's work (Uncle Meat especially) so appealing in the first place. Whilst Wyatt is less obviously derivative, he's at his best bordering the surreal and the impressonistic, as he does on Rock Bottom, or else working with his wife's more abstract landscapes (as he does on Shleep) or even Edward Gorey's macabre narratives. I used to have an album of him singing John Cage songs too, I wonder what happened to that?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 01:09 PM

PS : It's like Henry Cow - filching their music wholesale from Zappa and playing it with a po-faced earnestness that missed the essential humanity, profanity & humour that made Zappa's work (Uncle Meat especially) so appealing in the first place. - not just appealing, but genuinely challenging & in every sense radical. Henry Cow's lyrical extremes made about as much sense as Tales from Topographic Oceans and, dare I say, had the same 6th form appeal. Wyatt's are a little clearer perhaps, but I've got along too well with righteousness at all, political or otherwise.

Nice idea for a thread anyway, Spleen. Shame they had to bring politics into it!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 01:55 PM

How did we get this far in this thread without mentioning the great old anarchist/wobbly, U. Utah Phillips? Oh, if only he were here to join in this thread!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 02:08 PM

Back in the day, there was an anarchist/libertarian/ bunch in NYC that included such luminaries as Dave Van Ronk and Dick Ellington. In his later years, Van Ronk turned conservative and became a Stalinist.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 09:56 PM

Dick-

Was that when Dave Van Ronk co-authored The Bosses Songbook?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 11:01 PM

From "Homicide: Life on the Street" (currently showing on itv4 in UK):-

Munch:- "Thomas Paine said it best 'Disorder is the only handmaid of true democracy'".

Bayliss:- "Thomas Paine never said that!"

Munch:- "He was getting around to it".



Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 11:15 PM

Charlie-
Yep.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 06:28 AM

but I've got along too well with righteousness at all, political or otherwise.

That should be, of course, NEVER got along with righteousness...

Otherwise:

Anarchy is the mirror humanity must look into to see how far it still has to go. (Anais Bender)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 08:15 AM

Sean,
how do you feel about the righteous Timothy Taylor Landlord served in the Beech?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 03:56 PM

Very nice, Les! But not a patch on the craft-brewed ale of Bare Arts in Todmorden - did a gig there last week, an absolute revelation, and an education in beer, art & hospitality! Check it out Here.

Pic: Sedayne at Bare Arts, 4th Oct 2008


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Mark Ross
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 02:17 PM

Surprised that no one has mentioned Utah Phillips, a great practicing anarchist who said the "anarchy is not a noun, it's a verb."

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 02:27 PM

Sean,

Bare Arts in Todmorden looks like an amazing place and you look very "at home" did lots of people have a good time?

Chiz
Les


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Anarchism and folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Oct 08 - 04:29 AM

Well I cetainly had a good time, Les - which is a fair indication that the others did too as I can only enjoy performing if the audience are with me. However, mine hosts did ply me with a rather strong imperial stout doing the interval on account of a problem with the valve on one of their party-pigs which altered reality rather. Fortunately for me the audience were in a similar state of inebriation so they followed me quite happily along a few merry detours and down one dead end, but we soon recovered...


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