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Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (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


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Lyr Req: Sheep Crook and Black Dog (Ewan MacColl) (39)
Lyr Req: Dunnes Stores (Christy Moore) (14)
(origins) Origins: Life of a Rover and its origins (8)
ADD:The Ballad of Stalin (and other Stalin songs) (66) (closed)
Lyrics Correction: Joy of Living (Ewan MacColl) (53)
Ewan MacColl singing First Time Ever (31)
Lyr Req: Companeros (Ewan MacColl) (20)
Schooldays Over - sung by Chieftains (28)
Lyr Req: You and I (Ewan MacColl) (16)
Lyr Req: Blast Against Blackguards (MacColl) (4)
Chord Req: The Father's Song (MacColl/Gaughan) (17)
Lyr Req: The Grocer (Ewan MacColl) (50)
Lyr Req/Add: The Colour-Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl) (19)
Lyr Req: Legal Illegal (Ewan MacColl) (9)
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)
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 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)


Susanne (skw) 17 Jul 99 - 09:13 PM
Mathew Raymond 02 Mar 14 - 02:54 PM
Mathew Raymond 02 Mar 14 - 03:50 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 14 - 06:08 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 14 - 06:23 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 14 - 06:52 PM
GUEST 02 Mar 14 - 06:57 PM
bubblyrat 03 Mar 14 - 06:24 AM
Johnny J 03 Mar 14 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 03 Mar 14 - 09:11 AM
GUEST 04 Mar 14 - 06:36 AM
Musket 04 Mar 14 - 06:57 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Mar 14 - 07:29 AM
Musket 04 Mar 14 - 07:49 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Mar 14 - 12:20 PM
Musket 04 Mar 14 - 02:00 PM
Jim Carroll 04 Mar 14 - 02:50 PM
Musket 05 Mar 14 - 07:08 AM
Johnny J 05 Mar 14 - 07:36 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 14 - 02:59 PM
Johnny J 06 Mar 14 - 10:56 AM
Musket 06 Mar 14 - 12:06 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Mar 14 - 12:39 PM
Johnny J 06 Mar 14 - 01:06 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Mar 14 - 03:02 PM
Johnny J 06 Mar 14 - 03:42 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Mar 14 - 08:18 PM
Jim Carroll 07 Mar 14 - 02:47 AM
The Sandman 07 Mar 14 - 03:28 AM
The Sandman 07 Mar 14 - 03:30 AM
Johnny J 07 Mar 14 - 05:35 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Mar 14 - 07:04 AM
MGM·Lion 07 Mar 14 - 08:12 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Mar 14 - 09:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Mar 14 - 10:23 AM
Johnny J 07 Mar 14 - 10:34 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Mar 14 - 10:41 AM
The Sandman 07 Mar 14 - 12:59 PM
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Subject: LYR ADD:Only Doing Their Job (Striking Miner)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 17 Jul 99 - 09:13 PM

ONLY DOING THEIR JOB
(Ewan MacColl)

If there's anyone there has a moment to spare
And can give undivided attention
I'd be grateful if you'd give a minute a two
And consider some points I would mention
There are slanderous tongues always ready to wrong
And murder the fine reputation
Of the lads with big feet who by pounding the beat
Are protecting the peace of the nation

There are shortsighted folks who insist that these blokes
Are just uniformed masters of thuggery
There can be no dispute if they didn't put the boot in
The country would all go to buggery
So try and keep calm when they're twisting your arm
Or planting a fist in your gob
When they're giving you hell in a cold prison cell
They're only just doing their job

When Hitler and Co. were running the show
Assisted by Germany's coppers
If a nose was too big or a mind was too active
Its owner was sure of the chopper
Socialists, Communists, Jews and trades unionists
Landed up dead or in quod
And the police were in there of course doing their share
But they were just doing their job

Il Duce the bully and Franco his cully
Both loaded their countries with chains
And in the front ranks of these two mountebanks
Were the police of both Italy and Spain
In South Africa, El Salvador, Guatemala
Where they call working people 'the mob'
The screams and the yells from the punishment cells
Show the police are just doing their job

If you're black or just brown, if you're jobless and down
If you speak for a world which is saner
If you stand up and fight for what's yours by right
If you're an anti-nuclear campaigner
Remember the chap in the comical hat
Is one of humanity's crosses
Wherever there's trouble, whatever the struggle
He'll be on the side of the bosses

^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Mathew Raymond
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 02:54 PM

Does anyone know the chords to this song? I love it


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Subject: Chord Req: Just Doing Their Jobs (Maccoll)
From: Mathew Raymond
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 03:50 PM

Really need the chords to this song!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Just Doing Their Jobs (Maccoll)
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 06:08 PM

I think the title is "only Doing Their Jobs".


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Just Doing Their Jobs (Maccoll)
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 06:23 PM

Sorry. The title is

"Only Doing Their Job" by Ewan MacColl. Now I will look for chords.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Just Doing Their Jobs (Maccoll)
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 06:52 PM

(C)If there's anyone there has a (F)moment to (G)spare
And can (C)give undivided at(G)tention
I'd be (C)grateful if (G)you'd (C)give a minute or (G)two
And (C)consider some (G)points I would (C)mention
(C)There are slanderous tongues always (F)ready to (G)wrong
And (C)murder the (F)fine reput(G)ation
Of the (C)lads with big (G)feet who by pounding the (G)(C)beat
Are protecting the (G)peace of the (C)nation

I think that's it. I will suggest two things for the future.

1) Provide the lyrics for which you need the chords.
2) Provide a link to where one may hear the song.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Just Doing Their Jobs (Maccoll)
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 06:57 PM

(C)If there's anyone there has a (F)moment to (G)spare
And can (C)give undivided at(G)tention
I'd be (C)grateful if (G)you'd (C)give a minute or (G)two
And (C)consider some (G)points I would (C)mention
(C)There are slanderous tongues always (F)ready to (G)wrong
And (C)murder the (F)fine reput(G)ation
Of the (C)lads with big (G)feet who by (C)pounding the (G)beat
Are pro(C)tecting the (G)peace of the (C)nation

Sorry, I fucked up. I think THAT'S it :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Mar 14 - 06:24 AM

Jimmy Miller didn't like any kind of authority ;but then he didn't even like his own name !! I don't care for communists personally ;their doctrines are at blame ,ye shall hear !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Johnny J
Date: 03 Mar 14 - 06:40 AM

Well, well.

The song is actually an account of Police Officers who are NOT doing their job but presented in such a way so as to try and convince listeners that this is how they all behave, are expected to behave, or ordered to behave.

Having said that I liked Ewan McColl and his songs even although I didn't always agree with his sentiments.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 03 Mar 14 - 09:11 AM

Leaving aside the question of the role of the police as agents of repression, where is there even the slightest evidence that Jimmie (not Jimmy) Miller disliked his given name?

And what the hell if he did? Eric Blair changed his name to George Orwell because he didn't like his given name. And he used his pen name to write an important futuristic novel about Britain as a police state!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 06:36 AM

Was Ewan McColl a pen name? I thought he actually changed his name, was his daughter really called Kirsty Miller?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Musket
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 06:57 AM

McColl was a dreamer and a opportunist. A very clever one and when he put his mind to what he made money out of, entertaining for profit, he could write some wonderful words. My sets normally contain at least one of the radio ballad songs.

I am saddened when something happens that undermines confidence in the police. They provide a massive public service for which the vast majority of people are grateful. When they get it wrong, the effects can be disastrous and when they behave like those they are paid to deal with, it undermines their authority in a way that needs draconian repair in order to support the 99% of police officers we rely on for society to function.

I could never be silly enough to compare the clever emotive words with reality, despite being an ex miner who was in the thick of it in '84. Bent coppers, bent political agitators and bent miners. Believe it or not, you can't relate being law abiding to any section of society. We saw it all. I suppose strictly speaking, the police who looked the other way whilst a few of us at Orgreave kicked the shit out of some Socialist Workers' Party morons who were stood at the back shouting "Charge!" weren't doing their duty by ignoring us. Still, better than taking sides and joining in I suppose.

No. McColl did what he did. He was an entertainer, as a songwriter, playwright etc and like all those in the entertainment business made money by exploring our emotions. At the time I was first listening to his words, I was also listening to the words of Noddy Holder. Same industry, same effect. Even Martin Carthy seems to have found out what I found forty years ago...

Not nice for the many police officers who enjoy folk and acoustic roots to have to hear such tripe all the same.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 07:29 AM

'Jimmy Miller didn't like any kind of authority'
Oh dear - I believe Robert Zinnermann felt the same about them - wonder what Ewan MacColl and Bob Dylan thought about them?
MacColl, Dylan, and thousands of other people in the public ete chose to be identified by other names - it seems to be incredibly childish to continue to address them by names they dropped.   
"McColl was a dreamer and a opportunist"
Dreamer yes, opportunist - how?
Throughout his life MacColl rejected opportunities that went against his principles.
He left the theatre company he helped set up because he believed that moving to London was betraying the reason of its existence.
He never wrote songs to sell, on the contrary, he wrote songs that guaranteed his not being accepted by those who would have bought his talents.
The only song he ever made money on was written (specifically for Peggy) twenty years before it was taken up my the music industry.
He devoted a night a week to helping other singers become better performers for nearly ten years while the rest of the folk 'superstars' were getting on with their careers.
Perhaps you would care to define MacColl's 'opportunism' - gi'e us a break Muskie - and gi'e him a break - he's been dead for a quarter of a century.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Musket
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 07:49 AM

I am Jim, honest! I have no axe to grind. He was politically very different to me, but then he lived in another age really. He was a grumpy bugger too, and yes, I have been on the wrong end of it. I interviewed them both on several occasions when I presented a syndicated folk programme that was sent (reel in post, showing my age) to over three hundred hospital radio stations. They liked what we did and they made a point of letting us know when they were in the area. He did tell me off for singing a song that wasn't "indigenous" once when I was a floor singer at a concert they did. I sang an American song, shock horror. Notwithstanding a lad from Salford with an affected Scottish name and his Dad's accent singing about the Norfolk trawler fleet, but I digress. Actually no, I don't. He said he was an entertainer, so was showcasing all types whereas he thought floor acts should be true to their roots. He may have been all he was, but as a young singer, I did tell him to get fucked...

I have good memories and the man remains one of my heros. A hero for putting in words what others can only dream. A way of describing in a few verses what historians would need a book to do. Whilst there was poetic romance in his words, people could recognise their work, communities dreams and aspirations in his words.

But he had to live. His trade was a trade. Opportunism isn't a dirty word. Take the radio ballads. Parker wanted song to carry on the imagery from the interviews, McColl took the opportunity when offered and the rest is, as they say, history. When events happened, he took the opportunity to write a song about it. Dennis Skinner chose "Daddy, what did you do in the strike" as part of Desert Island discs. When he first heard that, the strike wasn't even half way through! (I could give you the time and date with a bit of research. I followed him at a rally and opened my set with it, at Clowne Tech College, a few weeks after McColl wrote it.)

His leaving Theatre Workshop was perhaps, although who knows? more to do with his splitting up with his first wife than the geography of theatre.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 12:20 PM

People's attitudes to MacColl seem to differ - those who knew him well respected him; those who knew him superficially carried all the misinformation about him that you apparently do.
He wan't particularly a grumpy old bugger; he was far more approachable than most of the dominant figures on the scene and certainly a damn sight more helpful - I found Bert Lloyd friendly but unhelpful and virtually uncommunicative - secretive even - when it came to sharing information and ideas.
As I said, MacColl and Peggy were devoting a large part of their time (and access to their home and book and sound collection) to young singers when the rest of them were getting on with their careers - only members of the Critics Group, notably Frankie Armstrong and Sandra Kerr, ever did that to the extent they did.
The reason why MacColl left Theatre Workshop is fully documented and accepted, both from his own writings and from books on agit-prop theatre - you've just added another 'MacColl legend' to the collection with your "wife" reason - I've never heard it before; perhaps you have some information the rest of us don't!
The 'Indigenous' repertoire really has been hammered to death - there is a full explanation of it on the 'Living Tradition' website in a letter she wrote during the "Where Have All the Folk-songs Gone" controversy - look it up.   
The policy was a club one, originally inspired by Alan Lomax, to shift the attention of the revival away from singing Woodie Guthrie songs in a phony American accent, to exploring the British reperoire - it worked like a charm and it literally turned the whole revival around.
It was, as far as we were concerned, a club decision which was confirmed regularly by the Club Committee - both Pat and I were long-term members.
It is totally misleading and unfair to describe what MacColl or Peggy as "tradesmen".
Neither never compromised their approach to singing or the songs they wrote in order to earn a living
In fact, the greatest 'criticism' levelled against them was their "finger-in-ear" dedication to their songs.
The wrote their songs to suit their beliefs, not the market.
You told him to "get fucked" - it obviously had a deep effect on his approach to what he was doing.
I totally do not understand your reference to Parker - they were friends up to Charles death.
Charles approached MacColl with a proposal to make a programme on teh deat of a railwayman; the idea was to record a bit of actuality, write it up into a script and give it to actors to read.
They both decided that the actuality they recorded was too good to good to treat in that way so they used it to make The Radio Ballads - a totally combined effort - I suggest you read 'Set Into Song' - it'll tell you all about it.
MacColl was already a fully established figure, both on the Theatre scene and in the Folk revival before he ever met Charlie.
I stayed at his home in Birmingham in 1969, and was praising "his" Radio Ballads; he quite sharply told me, "they weren't mine, they were Ewans".
You certainly are a bit of a 'mythmaker'
We are working on a two-part radio documentary on MacColl's work at present - it's a bit like one of these postings - difficult to know where to start and finish.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Musket
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 02:00 PM

I don't want this to trawl on Jim, but my reference to Parker was that it was an opportunity to use his talents. I was making the point that opportunism isn't a dirty word. I'd be living in a much smaller house if I thought otherwise. McColl's standing or otherwise at that point is not the issue. Without the opportunity The BBC gave him, we would never have those wonderful songs. I could be wrong, but I don't recall any malice, chip on shoulder or class warfare in a single song of that work.

I don't pretend to have really known him, but the local archives have an unedited over five hours of interview we did where we touched on many subjects, and was chuffed to bits when he did a local concert, saw me, remembered who I was and asked if I would open, as his health wasn't up to it, and the organisers hadn't arranged floor or support singers.

If you are comparing, then the tape of me trying an opening question on Fred Jordan got played for its comedy more than anything. There WAS a grumpy old sod. He made up for it by answering a question about time to sing when he was younger by singing his pregnant pause version of Grandfather's Clock.

In any event, songs such as "only doing their job" are populist, cheap and playing to a crowd. Not exactly inclusive, are they? Yes, I did tell him to get fucked. But let's face it. He was an old man being less than nice to young impressionable singer songwriter for no helpful or artistic reason. I on the other hand was convinced I was only months away from the big break that never happened (in a rock band too at the time) and this old codger was telling me effectively that I would never get to drive a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool. I reckon get fucked was rather polite in the circumstances.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 02:50 PM

"In any event, songs such as "only doing their job" are populist, cheap and playing to a crowd. "
No it was not - it was what he believed and it was written at the time we saw the police waving their paypackets at striking miners as they escotred scabs into the pits
That isn't being populist and it certainly wasn't cheap or playing to the crowd when Mrs Pinochet (Neé Thatcher)was at her height.
Depends on which side of the picket-line you stand, I suppose.
As far as singing form your own backgrounds - it's a piece of advice I was grateful to have followed half a century ago and would offer to anyone myself - especially as I'm now living in Ireland and still have difficulty in not curling up every time I hear an 'Oirish' accent.
For no reason - !!!
Lomax's advice was what led us to singing Fred Jordan's songs rather than pretending we were Dustbowl Refugees or fugitives from a chain-gang - bless them all for giving it.
Grumpy - seem to remember you're not backward in coming forward in the grumpy stakes - bt maybe you're old like me.
At least he was honest in saying what he thought... would that others did the same more often.
Happy to debate this as long as you want - helps to revisit the prehistoric past
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Musket
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 07:08 AM

Just allow me a little rant eh Jim?

There were no scabs at the pits. The strike was not legal at my pit because we voted not to strike and the delegate lied at the conference in Sheffield that night.

Scab is an awful word, and strips away any understanding of human nature.

Some of my colleagues had the union funds sequestrated for that criminal act of not representing your members, and I am proud of being a worker who stood up to the filthy political agitators. We "scabs" were 95% of the miners by the way. Only a paltry 5% saw it through to the stupid naive end. Thatcher's agents each and every one of them, destroying our industry on her behalf.

Instead of singing about police doing their job, perhaps he should have sung about the policewoman who came to comfort my wife after the glorious workers pushed a note through the door telling me they know what time she took our baby to nursery every day? Perhaps the police were also busy following up NUM funds being used to buy forged MOT certificates if you allowed your car to be used for flying pickets at Immingham docks?

The glorious workers paradise McColl wished for never happened and never will. You know why Jim? You answer it yourself in the other threads. Priests there to protect the vulnerable and young prefer to fuck them. Politically driven union leaders turn a blind eye and encourage criminals.

McColl's mate Scargill is getting the deserts he deserves right now. He daren't even show his face in Barnsley, as even those who believed him at the time feel gutted and betrayed by Lord Muck, living it up in London on their money, using Thatcher's council house legislation to line his pockets.

Sorry Jim, but the past really is prehistoric.

Thankfully, most young people are too sophisticated to get suckered into class warfare. All politicians are derided by them, and no one cause gets respect without it being earned. Russell Brand was wrong, younger people aren't disaffected, they just aren't as gullible as those of us "of an age."


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Johnny J
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 07:36 AM

I'll not say too much about this but I recall that the whole dispute was an extremely heated affair and there was much misinformation and propaganda emanating from both sides.... Sadly, that happens with every debate, dispute, war and so on and will probably always be the case.

I was a member of the local Constabulary at the time and had to do duty on the picket line until my knee started "playing me up". That was a genuine ailment, by the way(Prior to be diagnosed with gout..now under control), and not a ruse to get out of things.
:-)

Overall, I think things were more civilised where we were in Mid Lothian although there was a lot of strong feeling within the local mining community.

There were some Police officers who enjoyed the overtime although I never saw them behave as crassly as to "wave their pay cheques in front of striking miners" but the majority of us didn't want to be there and would rather have been doing our normal jobs. It's not much fun to have to get up at 3.00am, walk(unless you had a car) to the nearest Police pick up point and then get transported to the picket line. Shifts were usually something like 12-15 hours in those days and, of course, management made sure that they worked the system so as overtime payments could be kept to the limit. Yes, most of us made some extra money but it was the very minimum which we were due and not some form of Thatcher bribe as many people tried to make out.

Of course, there were arrests, disagreements etc and mistakes made even where we were but, for most of the time, we didn't get along too badly. Many Police Officers had friends and family on the other side and this helped keep their behaviour in check. Also, there was also sympathy for striking miners too from many Police Officers even although it wasn't always openly expressed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 02:59 PM

"Sorry Jim, but the past really is prehistoric."
You take Mrs Pinochet's line on the miners strike - no scabs my arse.
Which more or less sums up your attitude to MacColl - he didn't - so he's guilty of everything you say he is.
It's o.k. to write songs if they agree with your point of view - is that correct?
"wave their pay cheques in front of striking miners"
They were filmed doing so, as was the mounted bobby about to cleave open the head of a miners wife with his baton.
Thatcher was allowed to use the police as a private army against men defending their jobs - recent revelations reveal that she was about to use the army in the same way.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Johnny J
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 10:56 AM

""wave their pay cheques in front of striking miners"
They were filmed doing so, as was the mounted bobby about to cleave open the head of a miners wife with his baton."

Have you or did Ewan have access to any evidence which suggested such actions were official Police policy at the time?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Musket
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 12:06 PM

Johnny is right. There were more sides to that story than Kinnock had faces.

Some forces brought their pet animals with them. The Met and Merseyside being two particular examples. Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire had the admirable attitude of having to work alongside mining communities afterwards.

My point is that points of view are one thing, but agreeing with romantic inflamed lyrics written to make money out of misery means you are ripe for being challenged.

A cleverly written song and thanks for reminding us who has to protect society from those who would use other than the ballot box to change it. He wrote some clever songs that nobody can deny were needed too, but it's one thing having a pop at political ideology, it's another to cleave apart communities.

But by the same token, real people read these threads Jim. Real people who are offended when armchair socialists use the word scab with no idea at all what they speak of. Decent people who rely on the police to protect society shake their heads when people think it is clever to believe the inflammatory shit McColl was capable of. As we see here, police and ex miners read these threads.

People on the whole are more sophisticated now and don't fall for polarised chip on shoulder claptrap. History, song and grinning idiots don't change society, rational arguments do. The songs of McColl are all good history and romance, but like the songs Christy Moore and The Clancy Brothers sang, a good song doesn't make a good idea. Celebrating murdering criminals was never my cup of tea. Neither is vilifying honest working people.

Whilst the mounted bobby was "about to" do whatever you want to read into that rather well known photograph, I would like to point out that a bloke called Michael Smith, dead now so can't defend himself, used to brag about how many thistles he could stuff up police horse's arses, and how he dragged a policeman off his horse and put him in hospital. No "about to" speculation there.

The local police protected us when we went back, and for that, decent society is grateful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 12:39 PM

"Have you or did Ewan have access to any evidence which suggested such actions were official Police policy at the time?"
They wre filmed; none of them were ever disciplined for doing what they did - wat more proof do you need.
The same was the case with the mounted thug with his baton - it was filmed, and the photograph appeared throughout the press - it is one of the most iconic photographs on the miners strike.
One of the longest running complaints throughout the strike was of the police removing their identification insignia before 'going into battle' never responded to and no disciplining of those who persisted in the practice.
The police took a partisan position throughout the strike and Mrs Pinochet took full advantage of their doing so.
The miners were fighting for their jobs and homes - never really understood what the police were fighting for!
I saw the same thing happen on the Aldermaston and Faslane marches, and during the Grosvenor Square anti-Vietnam war demonstrations I witnessed 'demonstrators' hurling wooden poles over (not into) the police lines, the later, turning up (in jeans and tee shirts) in the same police lines as part of the anti-demonstration defences - shit-stirrers who had posed as demonstrators in order to make us appear like violent thugs (still have some of the photos.      
No elected government had#s ever held an enquiry into such behaviour - the politicians are just as corrupt as the police when it comes to the public expressing their opposition to establishment behaviour.
Look, you pair of right-wingers - I'm happy to discuss how British democracy works anywhere you want, but for now I'm quite happy to have established that your opposition to MacColl's song is not artistic, but political
One of MacColl's great failings was that he refused to stick his tongue up the backside of the establishment
Lick away!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Johnny J
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 01:06 PM

" never really understood what the police were fighting for!"

I wasn't "fighting" for anything(It wasn't my job to fight), and never removed my "identification insignia"(I would have been disciplined), nor "went into battle".

If there were any under cover operations going on around me, I certainly wasn't aware of them but I certainly know that the regular CID, plain clothes officers weren't involved.

That's not to claim that such things didn't go on elsewhere though and I too have seen disturbing footage over the years.
However, in certain circumstances, even some more aggressive police tactics may be regarded as necessary and lawful but I'm not naive enough to believe that no individual officers ever over stepped the mark. Of course, if there is evidence of wrong doing, then they should be dealt with but it doesn't mean that such activity was common place or officially sanctioned.

I'm far from being "right wing" by the way, as many of my former colleagues would surely attest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 03:02 PM

"However, in certain circumstances, even some more aggressive police tactics may be regarded as necessary and lawful"
In this case, against workers who were fighting for their livelihoods and homes.
There has never been an argument that police removed their insignia before they carried out their dawn raids in Yorkshire and South Wales - it was widely reported and ignored by them upstairs.
That those in charge knew about it and did nothing makes it a police matter, not that of 'rogue' policemen.
Mrs Pinochet described the miners, those who supported them and trade unionists in general a "the enemy within" your stance on "necessary behaviour indicates that you go along with her.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Johnny J
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 03:42 PM

My stance on what might be considered necessary would be dependent on prevailing circumstances at the time but in accordance with the law and regulations.

In Scotland, at that time, police were only allowed to use a police baton for self defence, to secure the arrest of a particularly violent offender, or on the instructions of a senior office to assist in "quelling a riot" or some other serious scene of violent disorder.

It's not something which would be entered into lightly, believe me.

These days, the Police have got much more weaponry at their disposal. A sad sign of the times although I personally doubt that society has become any more violent in general.

The Police aren't perfect in Scotland, by any means, but they weren't guilty of the behaviour you have described nor are they comparable with law enforcers in discredited regimes such as Nazi Germany, Franco's Spain, South Africa during the apartheid era and so on. Nor would I choose to believe that the great majority of English Officers are either.

Songs such as these are a generalisation and I'd rather if song writers would focus on the specific issues and areas of concern rather than condemning everyone who happens to belong to a particular grouping of people.
These days, it seems to be bankers who are fair game which isn't much fun for the great majority of them who are only doing their job as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 08:18 PM

the strike was fought with a great deal of nastiness on both sides.

lets be honest musket - that business about the ballot was really what the strike was about. a lot of people in the 1970's were working for shit wages and we relied on powerful unions ,like the miners,to secure our rights.

with the strike weapon taken from us we had no power at all. what scargill said was that the law muzzling the strike weapon was immoral - and really it bloody well was. saying that there wasn't a ballot was sanctioning thatcher's right to take the strike weapon from our negotiators hands.

as for being railroded by the num, I knew lots of people who felt the same about the udm.
security services - they were everywhere. presumably the same gang of bastards who got thatcher elected, by all the dirty tricks detailed in spycatcher.
I was very disappointed that blair didn't clean out the security services.
my father was a cop - very left wing. a quaker, a member of cnd. you could have done a lot worse than having him walking the beat and protecting you from the bad guys - so could ewan.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 02:47 AM

"These days, the Police have got much more weaponry at their disposal."
Water cannon - gas grenades, tasers.... then we really would have had a police state.
We had the 'nasty miners' fighting the 'only doing their job' police then - not really interested in treading this ground over again.
The police have a long history of siding with the state against the people who pay their wages.
I was told that one of the great entertainments o my grandfather's and his fellow Liverpudlian's generation was when the Liverpool police came out on strike in 1911 for better conditions and pay and had to face lines of baton-wielding (guess what) policemen drafted in from elsewhere to prevent them from demonstrating
The song, while it is not the best MacColl ever wrote - says what needed to say pretty well, Muskie objects to what it has to say - nowhere to go beyond that as far as I'm concerned
It takes all kinds......
I would be interested in your views on the latest revelations of the Stephen Lawrence case where it has been revealed that instead of attempting to catch the killers of a young black man who they finally allowed to escape justice, the police had placed a surveillance on the Lawrence family.
I watched a fascinating debate on Question Time last night, where a panel of mainly politicians and your token Daily Mail journalist, all but one (Jewish writer David Aaronovitch, whose family had received similar treatment in the first half of the 20th century) came to the sme conclusion - the police are only doing there job - worth another song, don't you think - probably not.
Bobbies behaving badly
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 03:28 AM

I think i ought to put a good word in for MacColl, not only was he a fine song writer he was also a good performer, along with Lloyd and others he set up a network of clubs some of which are still going to this today, for this we should thank him. I had mixed personal experiences with him, on the other hand my brother found MacColl and Seeger, extremely courteous and helpful allowing him to enter their house while they were absent and research material.
as Jim points out many others have a stage name steve turner, johnny handle,to name a couple, nobody beefs on about johnny handle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 03:30 AM

my own name is.. Richard Josef Miles, not Dick Miles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Johnny J
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 05:35 AM

Jim,

I am disgusted too by the behaviour of The Metropolitan Police and it's not something which can simply be explained away by the presence of "bad apples" either. It is an "institutional" problem and this particular force appears to be worse than many others, in this respect. It is also unique in that it is directly accountable to The Home Secretary and, thus, there must inevitably be some question about its impartiality and partisanship. Having said that, it also seems to be a law unto itself as May herself is genuinely shocked by the behaviour of its officers or so it would appear.

Of course, it's not true that all other Police Forces behave impeccably either as The Hillsborough enquiry has shown or that, up here in Scotland, we are somehow necessarily better as so far we haven't had such scandals surface.

However, I would suggest the larger and more impersonal such organisations become(The same as financial institutions and large companies), the greater is the scope for misdemeanours and wrong doings, ill advised or even unlawful projects and procedures to go by unnoticed and to get covered up.

Unfortunately, the trend is towards even more centralisation and this is partly due to financial considerations. The Police like every other public service are subject to cutbacks and are being obliged to amalgamate and share their resources.
In Scotland, we now have a national Police Force which is NOT for the good, I'm afraid. In my view, The Police should be accountable to the local community which they serve and the larger and more distant the organisation becomes, this becomes increasingly less practical if not impossible.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 07:04 AM

Johnny
I don't think for a moment that you are bent copper, nor do I believe, are the majority of the police force.
I do believe that there are bent coppers, and I believe they occupy a position of trust and have powers exceeding any other single group of people in our society - rightly so.
In this position, we, as ordinary citizens are constantly put at risk by the 'bad apples'
The decision to investigate police behaviour is overwhelmingly left to the police themselves, and they investigate themselves, except in extremely serious cases, and even then, their word is taken above all others.
In those circumstances, I am quite happy that Maccoll, or anybody else, holds them to task every now and then - more power to their elbows.
A footnote to all this; after Ewan died, Peggy moved out of their home and it was put up for rent; Four policemen moved in as tenants.
I've often wondered how they got on with the blue plaque that was put on the house in tribute to the man who wrote nasty songs about them!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 08:12 AM

Prompted by your 0247 post, Jim, I have just watched Question Time on i-player. I didn't get the impression you seem to have done about overall complacency as to the police and their goings-on. There have undoubtedly been some intolerable lapses in policing lately, all of which come to light eventually, from Hillsboro to the most recent Lawrence revelations; and nobody on QT seemed to me to be trying to play these down.

Can't say I think this one of Ewan's best songs, but can see many of the arguments in favour of its sentiments, I greatly regret to say.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 09:17 AM

Would go along to some extent with your impression of the programme, but the problem with the Laurence case is that it has gone from disaster to disaster - his companion being arrested when he went to report the attack, deliberate inaction on the part of the police, indifferently presented evidence, no conviction, even though the perpetrators were nationally recognised, now the fact that the Lawrence family were spied on for their campaign.
I can accept that what happened was down to a small number of 'bad apples' but the follow up enquiry came to the conclusion that there was institutional racism within the Met; surveys since have indicated that not a great deal has changed.
The panel(except Aaronovitch) stressed the 'bad apple' angle and went with 'they are are only doing their 'difficult' job' which is only valid if there are signs of a move for change.
That said, their job is difficult and vital, but the prevailing situation can only make it more so.
Nice to discuss with you without shouting!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 10:23 AM

distance lends enchantment. these days we get misty eyed about the thin red heroes Kipling wrote about - how they were mercilessly flogged etc. fact is, they had shit job, and they behaved badly.

can there be any depressing view of humanity than dealing and having to treat with today's crop of career criminals. I should imagine - anybody who can't imagine how morally compromised they must have to be to do one day at this work - is an idiot. this is their lives.

my father was shocked by the film Scum - he said 'the police are no better than the criminals.

I remember saying - I don't care. I just want to be safe from shit like that. I don't want them on the streets.

be honest - few of us would have the stomach for a job like that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Johnny J
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 10:34 AM

"Johnny
I don't think for a moment that you are bent copper"

Jim,

Thankfully, I've been retired for almost twelve years.
:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 10:41 AM

"Thankfully, I've been retired for almost twelve years."
Bent by old age rather than the job then - d I know that feeling!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords: Only Doing Their Job (Ewan MacColl)
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 12:59 PM

my impression,based on my own experience is that they consist of good and bad,about 60 per cent bad,or 60 per cent that think they are there to protect the very wealthy or powerful rather than everyone.


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