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Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain

GeoffLawes 22 Apr 10 - 07:02 PM
GeoffLawes 23 Apr 10 - 08:35 AM
GeoffLawes 05 Mar 11 - 08:34 PM
GeoffLawes 05 Mar 11 - 08:40 PM
MartinRyan 06 Mar 11 - 04:43 AM
GeoffLawes 07 Mar 11 - 06:48 PM
MartinRyan 07 Mar 11 - 07:25 PM
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Subject: Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 07:02 PM


THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SPAIN / THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN


I am collecting Songs In English About The Spanish Civil War on this thread
HERE.

I have started this separate thread because already the information that I am seeking is spread widely across different Mudcat threads and I think a new thread is the most effective way to collect it and focus upon the song (or songs?)which I wish to sort out.

I first ecountered the song as lyrics called THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SPAIN. The lyrics, *A , (below) were posted HERE by Suffet who wrote them down after hearing them sung in a pub in Galway in 1987. At that time, they were sung to the tune of Sean South/Roddy McCorley. In the same thread Martin Ryan tracked the song down to the pen of Joe Mulheron. A new thread called THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN was then started HERE by belfast who posted another set of lyrics, *B , (below) with no indication of the tune employed. Belfast also added:

' In another thread about "The Patriot Game" the words of a song, "The Battlefields of Spain",were posted by Suffet. It was said to be to the same tune as "Sean South". Martin Ryan pointed out the similarity between some of the lines and "The Bantry Girl's Lament". He later correctly identified the author as Joe Mulheron. (Joe would know "The Bantry Girl's Lament" from the singing of Tim Lyons.)   Above are the words as written and sung by Joe Mulheron. The folk process has added quite a bit to the original and dropped a verse or two.'


Recently, I came across this video on YouTubeHERE using a song called THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN sung by Pol MacAdaim.It has a variant set of lyrics, *C ,(below) which is set to the tune of the Bantry Girl's Lament.There was another YouTube video,HERE , in which the tune of The Bantry Girl's Lament is again used with slightly different lyrics, *D (below). The maker of the video says that it is sung by Pol MacAdaim and that he wrote the song. I have contacted Pol MacAdaim who said that the second version is in fact performed by Gerry Jones and :

' I wrote the comment regarding Gerry Jones, as I know Gerry and that is his recording, I know this because I mixed it for him.
The version performed by me was written by Joe Mulheron and myself. Joe wrote the main body of the song and I rewrote the last two verses. I hope that helps.'

SO, we have different, though related, lyrics sung to two different tunes and I therefore think it is sensible to list these as two different songs:THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SPAIN and THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN. In the Song List in the other thread I shall do that . However I would like to try and track down the development of the second song from the first.The following are things I would like to know:

1) Is Joe Mulheron still alive?
2) When did he write the original of these two songs?
3) When did the song aquire its second title ?
4) Did Joe Mulheron originally set The Battlefieds of Spain to the tune of Sean South/Roddy McCorley?
5) Did Joe Mulheron ever set the lyrics to the tune of The Bantry Girl's Lament ? If not who did?
6) Did Joe Mulheron ever record his song in any version?
7) Was Joe Mulheron responsible for any of the variations in the lyrics? (The lyrics given by Suffit have a mythical hero, John Riley, so the song is a symbolic rather than a factual narrative, in the same way that MacColl's Jamie Foyers is. The other sets of lyrics all name real life Brigaders as a way of honouring them, rather as Christy Moore did in Viva La Quince Brigada.
8) Do you know nything else that is informative about these songs?

Below I have alpha numerically labelled every verse of the four sets of lyrics so that they are easier to identify in discussion.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

*A
Subject: Lyr Add: THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SPAIN
From: Suffet - PM
Date: 20 Feb 02 - 09:07 PM

To the same tune of "Roddy McCorley" and "Sean South" is this song from the Spanish Civil War.

THE BATTLEFIELDS OF SPAIN

For the James Connolly Column of the International Brigade Tune: "Roddy McCorley" (or "Sean South")

A1
Oh, workers dear, did you hear our comrades' call to arms?
It echoed in the cities and it echoed on the farms,
In shipyard and in factory, and upon the fields of grain,
To defend our fellow workers on the battlefields of Spain.

A2
John Riley was a trade union man, our shop floor he did lead,
He fought against the fascist thugs, he fought the bosses' greed,
And now he leads the Connolly Column of the bold Fifteenth Brigade,
And he's gone to fight the fascists on the battlefields of Spain.

A3
Who will call the meeting now and who will take the chair?
And who will lead us out on strike when we demand our share?
For Johnny, brave young Johnny, at home shall not remain,
For he's gone to fight the fascists on the battlefields of Spain.

A4
If fascist bullets won't permit our Wild Geese to come home,
Their tragic loss to Ireland we'll never cease to mourn,
For they fought for the Connolly Column in the bold Fifteenth Brigade,
And they died for the Spanish working class on the battlefields of Spain.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*B
Subject: Lyr Add: THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN (Joe Mulheron)
From: belfast - PM
Date: 08 Feb 03 - 11:12 AM

THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN
(Joe Mulheron)

B1
Who will call the meeting now and who will take the chair?
Who will lead us out on strike, demand an equal share?
For Johnny, Brave young Johnny, in Ireland won't remain
For he's gone to fight the fascists in the civil war in Spain.

B2
With men from many countries you fought to save Madrid
No one knows just how you held: the world all knows you did.
The people armed with sticks and stones against the tanks they came
And they drove back Franco's army from the city once again.

B3
Hitler sent the bombers in, Mussolini sent his guns
The church excommunicated all her daughters and her sons
They fought to make us equal, take back the rich mans gain
And they died in muddy trenches in the civil war in Spain.

B4
McCrotty, Derry City, Danny Boyle from Belfast town
Dinny Cody from south Dublin, they fell on Spanish ground
Kit Conway, Tipperary, Charlie Donnelly from Tyrone
Frank Ryan taken prisoner, he never would come home

B5
And if fascist bullets won't permit our Johnny to return
This grievous loss his Belfast friend will never cease to mourn
He fought for the Connolly in the brave Fifteenth Brigade
And he died for Spanish workers in the civil war in Spain.

There is no indication in this Mudcat post of the tune to which these words are sung
---------------------------------------------------------
*C
THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN
As sung by Pol MacAdaim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC1yYEr46jQ

C1
Who will call the meetings now? Who will take the chair?
Who will call us out on strike,to demand our equal share?
Danny dear old Danny, in Belfast won't remain,
For he's gone to fight the fascists in the civil war in Spain.

C2
Hitler sent the bombers, Mussolini sent big guns,
Mother Church sent curses on her daughters and her sons.
The people armed with sticks and stones, against the tanks that came,
And they drove back Franco's armies, to the city once again.

C3
They came from many countries to fight and save Madrid.
No-one knows just how you held but the whole world knows that you did.
They fought to make us equal, to win back rich man's gains
And they died in bloody trenches in the civil war in Spain.

C4
You fought well at Jarama, in Aragon as well.
On the plains of old Cordova, sure they blew you all to hell.
You crossed the Ebro River, your blood, the banks did stain.
Erin lost her fighting men at the civil war in Spain.

CHORUS
They fought to make us equal, to win back the rich man's gains
And they died in bloody trenches in the civil war in Spain.

C5
Thomas Lynch from Dublin, Danny Boyle from Belfast town,
David Walshe from Ballina, sure they fell on Spanish ground.
Kit Conway, Tipperary, Mickey Kelly from Ballinasloe ,
Frank Ryan taken prisoner, sure he never would come home.

CHORUS
They fought to make us equal, to win back the rich man's gains
And they died in bloody trenches in the civil war in Spain.

C6
And the fascist bullets won't permit dear Danny to return.
This fateful loss we Belfast folk will never cease to mourn.
Well they fought for the Connolly Column, the brave Fifteenth Brigade.
Danny died for our freedom in the civil war in Spain.


CHORUS
They fought to make us equal, to win back the rich man's gains
And they died in bloody trenches in the civil war in Spain.

----------------------------------------------------------

*D
THE CIVIL WAR IN SPAIN
As sung by Gerry Jones http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqOzR17u7B0

D1
Ah who will call the meetings now and who will take the chair?
And who will call us out on strike, demand our equal share?
For Johnny brave young Johnny, in Ireland won't remain,
For he's gone to fight the fascists in the civil war in Spain.

D2
Ah Hitler sent the bombers, Mussolini sent big guns,
And Mother Church sent curses on her daughters and her sons.
They fought to make us equal, take back the rich man's gain
And they died in muddy trenches in the civil war in Spain.

D3
Ah with men from many countries they fought to save Madrid.
And no-one knows just how you held but the world all knows you did.
The people armed with sticks and stones, against the tanks that came,
And you drove back Franco's armies, to the city once again.
D4
Ah you fought well at Jarama, likewise at Teruel.
On the plains of old Cordova, sure they blew you all to hell.
When you crossed the Ebro River, your blood, the banks did stain.
Aye Ireland lost her fighting men in the civil war in Spain.

D5
Dick Kelly from Roscommon, Danny Boyle from Belfast town,
Mick Kelly from Tipperary, sure they fell on Spanish ground.
Kit Conway, Tipperary,Jimmy Kelly from Ballinasloe ,
And Frank Ryan taken prisoner, sure he never would come home.

D6
Well if fascist bullets won't permit our Johnny to return.
His fateful loss we Belfast folk will never cease to mourn.
For he fought with the Connolly Column, in the brave Fifteenth Brigade.
Aye Johnny died for freedom in the civil war in Spain.


HISTORICAL NOTE on the Irish Brigaders named in the sets of lyrics using http://irelandscw.com/ibvol-IBvolF-K.htm
*A There is no Brigader listed as John Riley.
*B There is an Eamon McGrotty from Dublin, not McCrotty; Dinny Coady not Cody from Dublin; the others are as described.
*C All Brigaders are listed as described in the song.
*D There is a J Kelly from Roscommon not Dick; Mick Kelly was from Ballinasloe rather than Tipperary; there is no volunteer listed as Dick Kelly; the rest are as described.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 08:35 AM

Joe Mullheron is alive and well and will be performing in Kinvara next week.

I have just received an email from Martin Ryan who did some of the research mentioned above and he says:

Coincidentally, Joe Mullheron is due in Kinvara, where I live, next week - to sing at a festival. Unfortunately, I'm actually heading to Dingle in Kerry on the day - to sing at another festival! If he arrives the previous night, which is quite possible, I might see if he has a copy of the broadsheet version he produced many years ago. He might be able to give us a scanned copy, at least.

Perhaps Martin or someone else could tell Joe Mullheron about this thread and ask him to come here and give us an authoritative account of his song (or songs ).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 08:34 PM

I was given Joe Mulherron's email address by Linda Walker and in response to an email from me Joe replied with the following email:

Geoff
             I wrote the connolly column back in the 70`s . The tune was the bantry girls lament . A number of people took it up ,polished it up and added their own verses ,Its the folk tradition ,I was honoured . I did get the tune from Tim Lyons . Keep up the good work . Joe Mulheron



Thanks Joe.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 08:40 PM

So Joe's original title for the song was The Connolly Column


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Subject: RE: Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 04:43 AM

Or The Cononolly Column as I've explained elsewhere!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 06:48 PM

I have just noticed that I have a typo in the post above which reproduces Joe Mulheron's email. I put an extra r in Mulheron - Cononolly's revenge for sure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Battlefieldsof Spain/Civil War In Spain
From: MartinRyan
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 07:25 PM

Definitely - there's a pear of you in it! ;>)

Regards


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