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When have songs changed anything

GUEST,ruairiobroin 24 Feb 10 - 05:25 AM
Sailor Ron 24 Feb 10 - 09:07 AM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Feb 10 - 09:13 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Feb 10 - 09:21 AM
Deckman 24 Feb 10 - 09:29 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Feb 10 - 12:17 PM
mg 24 Feb 10 - 12:42 PM
Bert 24 Feb 10 - 12:45 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 10 - 02:03 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Feb 10 - 03:58 PM
Aeola 24 Feb 10 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Tinker from Chicago 24 Feb 10 - 04:37 PM
BrunoCP 24 Feb 10 - 04:40 PM
Dave MacKenzie 24 Feb 10 - 04:57 PM
Reinhard 24 Feb 10 - 05:06 PM
lillyruben 24 Feb 10 - 06:55 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 25 Feb 10 - 12:08 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Feb 10 - 04:01 AM
Tim Leaning 25 Feb 10 - 04:31 AM
Fred McCormick 25 Feb 10 - 05:03 AM
Folkiedave 25 Feb 10 - 05:34 AM
Jim McLean 25 Feb 10 - 05:39 AM
Jack Campin 25 Feb 10 - 05:49 AM
greg stephens 25 Feb 10 - 06:05 AM
autoharpbob 25 Feb 10 - 06:30 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 10 - 06:34 AM
Bernard 25 Feb 10 - 06:43 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 Feb 10 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,ruairiobroin 25 Feb 10 - 01:11 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 10 - 01:23 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 10 - 01:23 PM
Young Buchan 25 Feb 10 - 01:24 PM
Tim Leaning 25 Feb 10 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,mg 25 Feb 10 - 08:44 PM
mark gregory 25 Feb 10 - 10:30 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Feb 10 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Neil D 26 Feb 10 - 09:00 AM
Morris-ey 26 Feb 10 - 09:09 AM
Young Buchan 26 Feb 10 - 09:16 AM
Young Buchan 26 Feb 10 - 09:19 AM
Paco O'Barmy 26 Feb 10 - 09:19 AM
Morris-ey 26 Feb 10 - 09:38 AM
Fred McCormick 26 Feb 10 - 09:51 AM
Young Buchan 26 Feb 10 - 10:36 AM
Fred McCormick 26 Feb 10 - 10:40 AM
Bernard 26 Feb 10 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Neil D 26 Feb 10 - 02:50 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 10 - 06:19 AM
Mo the caller 06 Aug 17 - 05:52 AM
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Subject: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: GUEST,ruairiobroin
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:25 AM

In a thread on what not to sing in UK Folkclubs the original question got somewhat lost in a plethora of other discussions. This thread might be more appropriate for one particular debate therein.
I suspect that the singing of little songs have made significant differences on the planet.   They have raised conciousness, on any number of issues.
I, personally, am convinced that the teaching of Irish Patriotic songs
( They're only Rebel Songs to the English , Unionists and uninformed) to schoolchildren in the Republic of Ireland prior to the 1966 celebration of The Rising, helped to raise a political awareness that some took into battle shortly afterwards. the Brown stuff hit the fan in the Occupied Six Counties 2 years after the 66 celebrations and the Irish National broadcaster stopped playing all the stuff that had been , on some ocasions beaten into us . They knew then and they were not known for their enlightenment, the power of song in effecting political change.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 09:07 AM

And if you go back to 1687, did not 'Lilly be laro' sing 'KIng James out of three kingdoms'? [along with a little help of William of Orange
of course]. Ron


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 09:13 AM

Surely, in the US, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? was influential. Not to mention We Shall Overcome. Maybe Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 09:21 AM

It is difficult to recall the Civil Rights movement in the US without remembering the songs that were very much a part of it.
The unifying role of the songs on, say, the Aldermaston Marches did a great deal to take your attention away from your bleeding feet.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 09:29 AM

How about "Go Down You Murders, Go Down", in Great Britain in the mid 1950's. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:17 PM

May we have the thread title amended so that the verb agrees in number with the subject, please?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: mg
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:42 PM

Why? That is the way he or she wrote it. mg
    We consider thread titles to be indexing elements for our threads, so we regularly standardize thread title spelling, grammar, and format to make the titles more informative and easier to find. Bad grammar and spelling may be quaint, but they are rarely functional.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:45 PM

Jim, I think that the songs sung by the CND were a great influence on polititians at the time of the Cuba crisis.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:03 PM

I started this thread and when I want a lecture in grammer I'll go back to school.
I started it because it was a question asked in another thread and I thought the subject warranted space on it's own.   Knew you couldn't resist this one Jim and fairly sure the people who were arguing against songs having made a difference may get an education.

You're right Ron, William of Orange, with, and let's us not forget it, the Pope's support.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:58 PM

I think that songs made a great difference at one time:

"If a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation"
                                  Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun 1655-1716.

I'm not sure to what extent that is the case nowadays.
I became fascinated with the way songs were once used as weapons when I was asked to give a talk on song and history at our local historical society. This is part of my notes (at the risk of making this too long).
These songs were quite often not reliable in their facts. Not only do you have to take into consideration the limited ability to travel, communicate and pass on and receive information, which in the process becomes distorted, but often, for instance, they were specifically intended to raise sympathy for a cause or act as a call to action, and so they expressed an often biased and partisan picture. Of course, this can also be true of established formal history. I'd need more than one hand to count the number of contradictory accounts I've read about The Easter Rebellion, for instance.   
Perhaps it might be worthwhile to give one of the more extreme examples of what British politicians describe as "being economical with the truth".
The Battle of Cromdale took place at the end of the Scots Jacobite rebellion of 1698. In May of that year a 1,500 strong Jacobite army encamped near the Haughs of Cromdale on the banks of the River Spey; haugh being a Scots word for a flat meadowland beside a river. Their leader, General Cannon, neglected to ensure that sentries were posted, so the English army was able to surround the rebels and put them to rout.
The ballad, "The Haughs of Cromdale", which written about the events, describes how the Scots, despite stiff resistance, were forced to flee, and goes on to tell how they re-grouped under James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, returned and defeated the English. The ballad became a great favourite throughout highland Scotland, and soon after its composition it was being sung all over The North.   It is still to be found as a march in the repertoires of the pipe bands of the Highland regiments.
Essentially, the facts presented in the ballad are true; the Scots army was routed at Cromdale and General Montrose did lead an army against the English and defeated them. Unfortunately, the second battle described in the ballad took place 43 years before the first, and General Montrose had been dead for over forty years before the defeat at Cromdale. It appears that the unknown ballad maker, unable to accept such an ignominious defeat, joined two different battles together making the Scots army the final victors, thus playing his part in keeping the Jacobite cause alive for another 48 years until the final downfall at Culloden in 1746 under "Bonnie Prince Charlie".

"Jim, I think that the songs sung by the CND"
I would like to believe that our singing ourselves hoarse as we marched past Windsor Castle on the way to Trafalgar Square caused HM to lie awake at night, but it certainly did make you realise that you were not on your own, which is something money couldn't buy, especially for some of us who were dipping our toes into public political activity for the first time.
I don't think they changed the minds of those upstairs, but I like to think it was part of making the don't-knows ponder a little on the issues; the establishment, I think, knew this and took great pains via the press to present us as a rabble.
The song did something else; they acted as a record of our side of the argument - how many people had heard of Jimmy Wilson before the song - I hadn't.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: Aeola
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:26 PM

I think the songs are more of a record of what happened rather than actually changing things, although they could sway some of those borderliners after the event.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: GUEST,Tinker from Chicago
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:37 PM

Dunno about that, Aeola. Sure the songs are very often written after the event, but many songs helped create motivations before events happened. Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Barry McGuire, Buffy Ste. Marie and many others wrote and recorded anti-war songs during the Vietnam days, helping to raise consciousness and eventually end the war. "There Were Roses" certainly made a lot of non-Irish understand the human tragedy of The Troubles, which may have contributed to their cessation. And on a much smaller level, song has traditionally been used in courtship and wooing, resulting in not a few marriages and births.

And lest we forget, music has also been used negatively, to rouse destructive impulses. Hitler certainly understood that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When has songs changed anything
From: BrunoCP
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:40 PM

Grândola Vila Morena, a portuguese folk song by Zeca Afonso, was the signal announcing the beggining of the Carnation Revolution in '74.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:57 PM

And you still can hear me singin' to the people who don't listen to the things that I am sayin' prayin' someone's gonna hear,
And I guess I'll die explaining how the things that they complain about are things they could be changin', hopin' someone's gonna care.
I was born a lonely singer and I'm bound to die the same
But I've got to beat the hunger in my soul,
And if I never have a nickel I won't ever die of shame
'Cause I don't believe that no one wants to know.


To Beat the Devil. Kris Kristofferson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Reinhard
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:06 PM

The French Revolution took on momentum after Ah! Ça Ira had been superseded by the Marseillaise.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: lillyruben
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 06:55 PM

songs can change the way people think sometimes, all you are doing is sowing a seed, the songs I am learning to write send out strong messages and i get people asking me to sing them again, they are not world changing but they get people thinking, then slowing down on their ever increasing need to just live for themselves instead of thinking outside the square sometimes as this can be quite refreshing


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 12:08 AM

United Breaks Guitars by Dave Carroll is a recent example of the power of a song.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:01 AM

William Worthy By Phil Ochs.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:31 AM

"It is difficult to recall the Civil Rights movement in the US without remembering the songs that were very much a part of it."
I find that too JC ,but isn't it mainly a fairly wealthy,Caucasian, recollection?
Over here in uk whenever there are documentaries,reusing all the old footage,it is usually about how the nice white folks sang songs that broke the chains of the oppressed.(no it isn't but you could get that impression)
May be some of you that were actually there could post some links where we could go have a look or a listen to some more relevant and less well used songs?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 05:03 AM

Tim. Check Sing For Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs. Smithsonian Folkways. CDSF 40032, for some stunning examples of Black civil rights songs. Maybe they didn't attract as much media attention as the offerngs of Baez, Paxton etc., but they were there nonetheless.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 05:34 AM

The unifying role of the songs on, say, the Aldermaston Marches did a great deal to take your attention away from your bleeding feet.

And got me (and I know of others) sufficiently interested to learn more about where those songs came from.

Change anything? Only my whole life!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 05:39 AM

I was told by Winnie Ewing, the Scottish nationalist MP who was elected to the Westminster Parliament in 1967 that my LP Scottish Republican Songs (sung by Nigel Denver) and various other songs I wrote, helped her gain the seat. The songs were written for an occasion hence not sung much now. I also wrote 'The USA are Gi'en Subs Away' (1960) which became a regular chant on CND marches 'keeping up moral'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 05:49 AM

That quote from Fletcher is always taken out of context. What he had in mind was that the popular ballads of his time seemed all to promote lasciviousness, drunkenness and irresponsibility - he wasn't talking about conscious political movements but change in social mores, rather like somebody 250 years later grumbling about how rock and roll led to drug abuse and teenage pregnancies.

Maybe it did. Jefferson Airplane certainly encouraged my generation to try acid and the Stone Roses must have boosted the sales of Es tenfold. Attitudinal change is just as real as a change in government.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 06:05 AM

Rock Island Line certainly totally transformed my life, and that of many other people. The ripples that spread from that song covered the world.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: autoharpbob
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 06:30 AM

What about "Joe Hill" in the US, and "Manchester Rambler" and the Kinder trespass in the UK?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 06:34 AM

Tim,
"I find that too JC , but isn't it mainly a fairly wealthy, Caucasian, recollection?"
From this side of the Pond, maybe; I think those who participated got more of the real picture.
There was a magnificent television series called 'Eyes on The Prize' (I think) which covered the history of the C.R. movement - well worth looking out for if it's still available.
Would also highly recommend the book, Voices of Freedom – an oral history of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s to the 1980s
All this has inspired me to make a list of published collections of protest songs which we have, which I'll post later.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Bernard
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 06:43 AM

To be strictly accurate, although Ewan MacColl was one of the Trespass instigators/organisers, it is my understanding that he didn't write the song until afterwards...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:08 AM

Coming pretty much up to date this thread tells of one such song. Much as I don't particularly like it the comment from th eauthor is -

And good news for those who care-- the song was forwarded to our local tobacco control policy director, who is making certain all vendors and festival staff next year are apprised of the smokefree policy and required to comply as part of their contract. A very real victory for a saucy little bit of satire.

There you go!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: GUEST,ruairiobroin
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:11 PM

I'm sure "Blackleg Miner", gave a few subtle hints in it's day.
Read Peggy Seeger and E MacColl's Springhill Mining disaster song was instrumental in changing mining practices in Nova Scotia

P. Kearney's Soldiers Song , The original version in English, was sung by the Rebels surrendering in Dublin ,1916. They sung it coming out of the GPO and later when they were being marched for transportation,as a mark of defiance. This act of defiance in the face of , apparently,absolute defeat helped change Dubliners attitude to the Rebels and attracted more to their cause. The Song later translated into Irish , became the National Anthem


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:23 PM

A quick sprint around our shelves. I was going to confine this to political songbooks and pamphlets, but decided it might be of interest to make it a historical list of collections and works on political and social themes as a response to those who argue that political songs have no place in our clubs.
I have probably overlooked many (didn't venture into the loft) – would be grateful for fillers-inners
Jim Carroll

AMERICAN
Hard Hitting Songs For Hard Hitting People Alan Lomax, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.
Songs of Work and Protest                 Edith Fowke and Joe Glazer
Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti                   Woody Guthrie Oak Publications
IWW Songbook (numerous editions)
The People's Songbook                    Alan Lomax etc.
Various Guthrie collections

ENGLAND
Songs For Peace (CND),
Strike Songs (Rego and Polikof Strikers)   United Clothing Workers T U
Big Red Songbook                           Mal Collins, Dave Harker, Geoff White
Songs For The Sixties                           MacColl and Seeger
Topic Songbook   W.M.A
If I Had a Song   W.M.A.
All Together Now                           Eric Winter
Hold The Line Again                           Hackney & Islington Music Workshop (at least 3 vols)
10th World Festival of Youth and Students Songbook Berlin 1973
Coaldust Ballads                        A L Lloyd
Come All You Bold Miners (2 editions)        A L Lloyd
Shuttle and Cage                
New City Songster   (20 odd editions.)    Peggy Seeger
Political Songs of England From the Reign of John to that of Edward II         Thomas Wright
Radical and Red Poets                           Edmund and Ruth Frow
Songs of the Durham Coalfield                Jock Purdon
Easington Explosion & other Pit Songs        Jock Purdon
Anon handwritten miners Poems from Picton Library, Liverpool
Victoria's Inferno                        Jon Raven
Songs of a Changing World                Jon Raven
Black Country Colliers                        Jon Raven
A Touch On The Times                        Roy Palmer
Ballad History of England                Roy Palmer
Sounds of History                        Roy Palmer
Poverty Knock                                Roy Palmer
The Painful Plough                        Roy Palmer
My Song Is My Own – 100 Women's Songs    Kathie Henderson, Frankie Armstrong and Sandra Kerr
Songs of The People                        Brian Hollingsworth
Broadsides of the Industial North        Martha Vicinus
Songs of the Rump 1639-1661
Radical Squibs and Loyal Riposts                Edgell Rickwood
Songs of Toil                                Karl Dallas
Casvalier Songs and Ballads of England        Charles Mackay
Jacobite Songs                                G S McQuoid


SCOTLAND
Scottish Rebel Songs   Jim McLean
Rebel Ceilidh Song Book   William Kellock
Scotish Pasquils                                Probably William Maidment
Jacobite Relics                                James Hogg


IRELAND
Easter Rising in Ballad and Song           C Desmond Greaves
Songs and Recitations of Ireland (numerous editions)
Irish Songs of Resistance                    Patrick Galvin
The Age of Revolution                        Terry Moylan
Songs Composed During The Rebellion of 1798   William Ball esq.
Voice of the People                        Michael Mulcahy, Marie Fitzgibbon   
Songs of Irish Rebellion                         Denis Georges Zimmermann
The Hungry Voice, Poetry of the Irish Famine Christopher Morash
An Duanaire – Poems of The Dispossessed    Seán Ó'Tuama, Thomas Kinsella
Songs of Struggle and Protest                   John McDonnell

ANALYSIS
Song and Democratic Culture                Ian Watson
Music & Tradition in Early Industrial Lancashire 1780-1840 Roger Elbourne
The Industrial Muse                        Martha Vicinus
The People's Past                            Edward Cowan    (Chap. Folk and Protest by Norman Buchan)
The Jacobite Song                        William Donaldson
Society and The Lyriac                        Thomas Crawford
The Collier's Rant                        Robert Colls
Freedom of The Air -                          Josh Dunson
Lonesome Traveller (Life of Lee Hayes)   Doris Willens
The Ballad Mongers                           Oscar Brand
Land Where The Blues Began                    Alan Lomax
American Folksongs of Protest            John Greenway
Pastures of Plenty                        Woody Guthrie
Bound For Glory                               Woody Guthrie
Born To Win                                Woody Guthrie
Only a Miner                                Archie Green


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:23 PM

Whoops
Shuttle and Cage    Ewan MacColl

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Young Buchan
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:24 PM

My 19th cent. history is a litle shakey, but I saw Zulu enough times to think that Rhyfelgyrch Gwyr Harlech was pretty powerful...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:08 PM

Thanks Fred and Jim.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:44 PM

whole singing revolution in Estonia. Google.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: mark gregory
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 10:30 PM

Maybe we could better ask "When have songs not changed anything"?

One aspect of the revival has been the digging up and refurbishing of songs (and poems) and giving them some currency after years of relative dormancy. Old songs reappear when they are needed along with a constant crop of new ones.

and Roy Bailey said:

"I don't see songs themselves as changing the world. They reinforce sentiments. When people come to one of my shows, they arrive as individuals but, I hope, leave with a shared purpose and inspiration.

"Songs won't change the world, but can encourage others to do so. They can act as a form of unification.

"One of the great joys of 'The Writing On The Wall', when Tony Benn and I perform together, is to celebrate the rich tradition of opposition to tyranny.

"People like Wat Tyler will be remembered far longer than turncoat politicians like Tony Blair"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 03:46 AM

Hope people don't mind me taking up the space. This is some of the information we gathered for a song we recorded from a number of Irish Travellers, probably one of the most popular we got from them.
Jim Carroll

PATRICK SHEEHAN
My name is Patrick Sheehan,
My years are thirty-four;
Tipperary is my native place —
Not far from Galtymore;
I came of honest parents —
But now they're lying low —
And many a pleasant day I spent
In the Glen of Aherlow.

My father died, I closed his eyes
Outside our cabin door —
The Landlord and the Sheriff, too,
Were there the day before —
And then my loving mother,
And sisters three also,
Were forced to go with broken hearts
From the Glen of Aherlow.

For three long months, in search of work,
I wandered far and near;
I went unto the Poorhouse
For to see my mother dear —
The news I heard nigh broke my heart;
But still in all my woe [
I blessed the friends who made their graves
In the Glen of Aherlow.

Bereft of home, and kith and kin —
With plenty all around —
I starved within my cabin,
And slept upon the ground!
But cruel as my lot was,
I ne'er did hardship know,
Till I joined the English army,
Far away from Aherlow.

"Rouse up there, says the Corporal,
You lazy Irish hound,
Why, don't you hear, you sleepy dog,
The call 'to arms' sound?
Alas! I had been dreaming
Of days long, long ago —
I awoke before Sebastopol,
And not in Aherlow.

I groped to find my musket —
How dark I thought the night;
O, blessed God, it was not dark,
It was the broad day-light!
And when I found that I was blind,
My tears began to flow,
I longed for even a pauper's grave
In the Glen of Aherlow.

A poor neglected mendicant
All in the public street,
My nine months' pension now being out,
I beg from all I meet;
As I joined my country's tyrant
My face I'll never show
Along my kind old neighbours
In the Glen of Aherlow.

Oh! blessed Virgin Mary,
Mine is a mournful tale,
A poor blind prisoner here am I
In Dublin's dreary jail;
Struck blind within the trenches
Where I never feared the foe,
And now I'll never see again
My own sweet Aherlow.

Then Irish youths, dear countrymen,
Take heed of what I say,
For if you join the English ranks
You'll surely rue the day,
So whenever you are tempted
A-soldiering to go,
Remember poor blind Sheehan
Of the Glen of Aherlow

NOTE: On 28th September, 1857, The Freeman's Journal published the following information: A young man named Patrick Sheehan was brought up in custody of Police constable Lynam, charged with causing an obstruction to the thoroughfare in Grafton Street. The constable stated that the prisoner was loitering in Grafton Street for the purpose of begging, having a placard on his breast setting forth that he had served in the Crimea in the 55th regiment; that he had lost his sight in the trenches before Sebastopol, and that he was discharged on a pension of six pence per day for nine months; and that this period being now expired, he was now obliged to have recourse to begging to support himself. A Crimean medal was found on his person.. . The prisoner was committed for seven days for begging.
Reading this article, Kickham saw there an opportunity "to discourage enlistment in England's service by exposing the savage ingratitude she displays to those who become disabled while soldiering for her." With the song, the Kilkenny Journal printed a letter from the author explaining that he had done his best to compose his verses in the popular style: "I wrote them tough and vigorous, such as the old ballads of the people used to be, that they may seize on the popular ear and produce the intended effect on the popular heart, and mind, and spirit of the country. And for this object there is nothing like a rough, but racy street-ballad ..."
Kickham was successful in his attempt, for the ballad was soon sung in the streets all over Ireland; it appeared on many broadsides, the only changes being in the punctuation. It is said to have shamed the government into inquiring about the ex-soldier, to whom a life pension of a shilling a day was granted.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:00 AM

"Hurricane" by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Morris-ey
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:09 AM

No, is the simple answer.

Is there any cogent and verifiable evidence that any song actually changed anything to the extent that some are claiming?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Young Buchan
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:16 AM

Presumably Leadbelly felt that 'Governor O K Allen' achieved something.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Young Buchan
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:19 AM

And if John England had clipped the hedge singing The Good Ship Venus instead of Seeds of Love there would be no Mudcat. Discuss.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Paco O'Barmy
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:19 AM

"Feed the World" - Midge Ure/Bob Geldoff.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Morris-ey
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:38 AM

"Feed the World" - Midge Ure/Bob Geldoff."

joking?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:51 AM

Young Buchan. The story that Leadbelly sang his way out of prison by appealing to Governor OK Allen is a myth. He does appear to have sung his way out of the Sugarland pen with an appeal to Governor Pat Neff, and it is true that he recorded a petition to Allen while in the Angola prison. However, his release from Angola was granted on the grounds that he had acquired enough "good time". IE., time off for good behaviour.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Young Buchan
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 10:36 AM

Bugger!

And apparently Father Christmas is starting to look doubtful too!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 10:40 AM

Dunno about Father Christmas, but if you want to find out anything about Leadbelly, I can strongly recommend the Charles Wolf/Kip Lornell biography, The Life and Legend of Leadbelly.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Bernard
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 10:42 AM

"Feed the World" - Midge Ure/Bob Geldoff."

joking?


Erm... serious, I would suggest. Think of all the cash raised for charity... twice!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 02:50 PM

Three days after this performance,John Sinclair was released from prison when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state's marijuana statutes were unconstitutional.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: When have songs changed anything
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 06:19 AM

"Is there any cogent and verifiable evidence that any song actually changed anything to the extent that some are claiming?"

As Sailor Ron pointed out at the beginning:
Lilli Burlero
According to legend this tune first appears in 1641 in Ulster. Richard Talbot (1630-1691), a Catholic and royalist, had been made Earl of Tyrconnel after the Restoration and King James II later appointed him Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1686). He pursued strong pro-Catholic policies. Even after James was deposed in England Tyrconnel governed Ireland in James' name. Irish Catholic forces were eventually defeated by William. English and Irish Protestants took up the song as their melody during that time.
According to one source the words "lillibulero" and "bullen al-a" were used as a rallying cry for the Irish to recognize one another in the uprising in 1641. Later (1687) Thomas, Lord Wharton (1640-1715), wrote a set of satirical verses titled Lillibolero regarding the Irish problems and set them to a melody arranged by Henry Purcell in 1678. Purcell's arrangement was based on an older tune under the name Quickstep which appeared in Robert Carr's Delightful Companion (1686). It became popular immediately. After the Stuarts were deposed, Lord Wharton, a strong supporter of William III, boasted that he had "rhymed James out of three kingdoms" with his tune.*

There is enough evidence to suggest that, at the very least Patrick Sheehan's pension was restored as a direct result of the song.

"No, is the simple answer."
Is there any verifiable evidence to back up this somewhat definitive atatement? I would guess "No, is the simple answer".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: When have songs changed anything
From: Mo the caller
Date: 06 Aug 17 - 05:52 AM

I found this thread while looking for lilli burlero (preparing a dance programme which includes a dance to the tune).

It struck me that in the days before the tabloid press could claim that they had won a general election a song might 'strike a chord' in the public imagination in the same way, to amplify (or distort) feeling.


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