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Req: Songs of political despair

Fi 12 May 10 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,mg 12 May 10 - 03:44 PM
Bonzo3legs 12 May 10 - 04:42 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 10 - 06:33 PM
Jim Carroll 12 May 10 - 06:56 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 10 - 07:00 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 10 - 07:01 PM
Mr Fox 12 May 10 - 09:05 PM
Jim Carroll 13 May 10 - 03:51 AM
Richard Bridge 13 May 10 - 03:54 AM
Jim Carroll 13 May 10 - 04:25 AM
Richard Bridge 13 May 10 - 04:34 AM
Fi 13 May 10 - 05:35 AM
folkypaul 13 May 10 - 06:05 AM
brezhnev 13 May 10 - 06:09 AM
folkypaul 13 May 10 - 06:11 AM
Jim Carroll 13 May 10 - 07:21 AM
Dug 13 May 10 - 07:31 AM
Ron Davies 13 May 10 - 07:32 AM
bankley 13 May 10 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,How about this from singer songwriter Bill P 13 May 10 - 08:56 AM
Fi 13 May 10 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 13 May 10 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 13 May 10 - 11:33 PM
dick greenhaus 13 May 10 - 11:53 PM
GUEST 14 May 10 - 04:19 AM
Stewie 14 May 10 - 11:28 AM
Jim Carroll 14 May 10 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 14 May 10 - 03:40 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 14 May 10 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,Will Branch 14 May 10 - 05:21 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Songs of political despair.......
From: Fi
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:48 PM

Can anyone contribute any songs of political despair appropriate to the times we find ourselves in.... we might have occasion for a few in the next little (hopefully) while. Cheers


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs of political despair.......
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 May 10 - 03:44 PM

Can't help you. My philosophy is that life can be trouble enough without adding to misery via music. I prefer songs of hope but that is just me. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs of political despair.......
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 May 10 - 04:42 PM

Can anyone find songs of political delight?


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:33 PM

A Living Wage
Hilda's cabinet Band
Rigs of the Times
Thousands of 60s and 80s protest songs.
A-Begging I will go.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:56 PM

"Thousands of 60s and 80s protest songs."
Songs of hope Richard - those were the days before our lives were taken over by 'the suits' and when we believed we could sing the shit away.
"A-Begging I will go."
You have to be joking - one of the most 'two fingers up to the world' that I know.
All the political songs I know and sang were 'up yours' songs; can't think of ones of despair.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 10 - 07:00 PM

Masters of War.
Eve of Destruction.

Must be many more

Lines come to mind


"He turns to his garden, now he's turned 65"

from another song

"I just wanted to take a broom and sweep the bloody floor"


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 10 - 07:01 PM

All my trials


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALL THAT WAY FOR THIS + MOVING ON
From: Mr Fox
Date: 12 May 10 - 09:05 PM

Two by Oysterband

All that way for this

What we wanted was: chain lightning
what we wanted was: eight miles high
What we wanted was: free fall and our turn to fly

What we wanted was: more fireworks
everlasting 4th of July
What we wanted was: more stars in a bluer sky

All we wanted was something worth it
worth the labour, worth the wait
Then they take you up to the mountain
you see too late.

In the middle of a good time
Truth gave me her icy kiss
Look around, you must be joking
All that way, all that for this

What we wanted was: consolation
the band of strangers, help for pain
What we wanted was: to be sure no friends were lost in vain

What we wanted was: aggravation
a good cause and a bigger row
What we wanted was: the whole plantation, now, now, now

What we wanted was: rhyme and reason
what we wanted was: another way
what we get is: a tinpot heaven and we're too drunk to pray

What we get is: the old machinery
grinding on in the same old way
What we need is the sweet republic
- roll on Independence Day


Moving on

We walked these streets together, now we walk these streets alone
We asked the man for justice and he handed us a stone
In this great land of freedom we are taking up the slack
We pushed the stone to the top of the hill & we watch it rolling back

The way to hell is straight and sure
The way to heaven is long
The way to your heart is never ending
So I just keep moving on - Moving on
The way to your heart is never ending
So I just keep moving on

The brave are twisting in the wind, stupidity endures
And men with no identity will try to borrow yours
Danger is the lure for boys to help you now and then
But they fall from the wire in a Bay of Pigs and they don't come round again

I never felt myself alone or truly felt afraid
Until the hour I understood, by friends we were betrayed
Whose precious mouths are stopped with food, who cannot meet our eyes
Who laugh about their principles and brush them off like flies


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Subject: Lyr Add: LAMENT FOR THE DEATH OF A NOBODY
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 May 10 - 03:51 AM

On second thoughts:
MacColl wrote this for the 1968 Festival of Fools. It accompanied a news item commenting on the increase in the number of suicides of (mainly) men who had been presented with a watch by their employers and then forcibly retired from their jobs.
It was referred to by psychiatrists at the time as 'The Gold Watch Syndrome' - retired people not being able to cope with retirement.

LAMENT FOR THE DEATH OF A NOBODY
Tune; Six Dukes Went A-fishing.

1. As I was a-walking down by the Thames side
I spied a dead body washed away by the tide.

2. Borne along on the river, the body draws near
To the oily black water by Westminster Pier.

3. Grey-stubbled face with its halo of scum;
Eyes staring sightless at the high noonday sun.

4. The river-police take him by his shoulders and feet,
And bundle him round with a tarpaulin sheet.

5. They took him to Southwark, to the mortuary there;
They hosed down his body and shaved off his hair.

6. They weighed him and measured him under mercury arcs,
They noted his scars and distinguishing marks.

7. Numbered he lies on a bed of white tiles,
His life-story entered in the mortuary files.

8. They tagged his belongings, his clothes and a ring,
A pipe, some tobacco and a small length of string.

9. A pension-book the bearing the name Thomas Black,
An old-fashioned timepiece inscribed on the back.

10. For fifty years' service, for loyalty supreme-
From grateful employers, this token of esteem.

11. A good quieter worker, not given to strife;
Who never once questioned the boss in his life.

12. They gave him a watch when they bade him goodbye,
So that he could measure his life slipping by.

13. It ticked through the empty days, loud in his ears;
A bright death-watch beetle undermining the years.

14. Then one act of protest, one a moment of strife;
They called it a crime when he took his own life.

15. Now this lump of grey silence has finished with time-
He demanded so little-and that was his crime.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 May 10 - 03:54 AM

Good one Jim. Shortly we will need the same for the massive rise in the unemployed that the Con-Doms will give us.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 May 10 - 04:25 AM

'Con-Doms' - wonderful Richard; I do hope you said it first.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 May 10 - 04:34 AM

It seemed to me that "Con-Dems" did not really convey the right impression. As far as I know my formulation is original.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Fi
Date: 13 May 10 - 05:35 AM

Yeah, up yours songs will certainly do too and I'm open to anything inspiring when I'm in the mood. Con-Doms is great.... one to be spread around ;-) Thanks for everything so far. Here's another:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1-tcXX7bvo&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: folkypaul
Date: 13 May 10 - 06:05 AM

Shouldn't that be Com-Dems

PaulO


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOLD WATCH BLUES
From: brezhnev
Date: 13 May 10 - 06:09 AM

Cheers for the Lament for the Death of a Nobody, Jim. Puts me in mind of the Mick Softley song that Donovan made famous three years earlier on What's bin did...


Gold Watch Blues

I went up for my interview on the 4th day of july
The personnel man he questioned me until I nearly cried
Made me fill in forms until I shook with fear
About the colour of my toilet roll and if my cousin's queer

(chorus)
Here's your gold watch and shackles for your chain
And your piece of paper, to say you left here sane
And if you've a son who wants a good career
Just get him to sign on the dotted line and work for 50 years

He asked me how many jobs I'd had before
He nearly had a heart attack when I answered four
Four jobs in 20 years, oh, this can never be
We only take on men, who work on until they die

He took me outside to where the gravestones stand in line
This is where we bury them, in quickstone and in lime
And if you come to work for us, on this you must agree
That if you're going to die, please do it during tea? break

This story that you've heard, you may think rather queer
But it is the truth you'll be surprised to hear
I did not want no job up on the board
I just wanted to take a broom and sweep the bloody floor.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: folkypaul
Date: 13 May 10 - 06:11 AM

"The devil went down to London
He was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind
And he was willing to make a deal"

the question is, which one is the devil?

PaulO


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Subject: Lyr Add: PATRICK SHEEHAN
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 May 10 - 07:21 AM

Interesting the way some subjects prod the thought processes awake - didn't think I knew any 'songs of political despair' until this came up.
This is a song with enough despair in it to fell an elephant.
I've included the notes to it as I believe it is an example of the way that some songs use despair to make a point and try to improve the situation.
I believe that, in a way, MacColl's last verse for 'Nobody' adds that little touch of anger to despair.
Jim Carroll

PATRICK SHEEHAN
(1857)
TEXT: Broadside in the N.L.I. Written by Charles Joseph Kickham, under the pseudonym of Darby Ryan, Junior. First printed in The Kilkenny Journal, 7th October, 1857; ((Patrick Sheehan, a recruiting song for English recruiting officers)).

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 Hirish 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:0"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." (Quoted in James Maher's anthology The Valley near Slievenamon, p. 85.) 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: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Dug
Date: 13 May 10 - 07:31 AM

Try 'The follies of pollies' by John Dengate. (Tune - Euabalong Ball):

"The follies of pollies are rather a rort,
I'm no longer certain which side to support,
I voted for Labor through thick and through thin,
Perhaps I'm to blame for the mess that we're in..."


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Ron Davies
Date: 13 May 10 - 07:32 AM

I would think "Such A Parcel of Rogues In A Nation" would fit this thread--sounds like many would agree with the title at least.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: bankley
Date: 13 May 10 - 07:35 AM

"Change" which is posted here somewhere.. by Jt Oglesby and me (Thunder Thieves)

"Break Even" which I'll get Old Dude to post one of these days..

I have a bunch... so does Little Hawk btw


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Subject: Lyr Add: RIGS OF THE TIME
From: GUEST,How about this from singer songwriter Bill P
Date: 13 May 10 - 08:56 AM

RIGS OF THE TIME

A few new verses (written March '09) to an old favourite which will go on as long as people are singing.

Here's to those City bankers, I must bring them in
With their seven-figure salaries, they think it no sin
They've brought on recession, and it's going to get worse
But their pensions and bonuses have to come first

Honesty's all out of fashion
These are the rigs of the time, time, me boys
These are the rigs of the time

And next the gangmasters, I must bring them in
Importing skilled labour, they think it no sin
Paying chippies and bricklayers minimum wage
No wonder our tradesmen get all in a rage

Honesty's all out of fashion
These are the rigs of the time, time, me boys
These are the rigs of the time

Now those government ministers, let's bring them in
Charge two homes on expenses and think it no sin
But we must understand, they've such difficult lives
That they're forced to give jobs to their husbands and wives

Honesty's all out of fashion
These are the rigs of the time, time, me boys
These are the rigs of the time


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Fi
Date: 13 May 10 - 06:50 PM

When I mentioned the Con-Doms to a friend she said "what, to cover up a bunch of knobs"..... made me laugh anyway ;-)


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 May 10 - 07:15 PM

Yes, there is this monster of a song, sung by Lisa Kelly, from St. Patrick's Breastplate. Beautiful....they sent me the sheet music, and arrangement, as well.

As soldiers are chasing down some 'believers'..the believers(Christians), come to a clearing, in the forest. They know that if they go into the clearing, they will be easily seen, rounded up and or killed. Rather than enter the clearing, they shape-shift into deer, and this song is sung by them, as the soldiers move through them looking for their prey. The soldiers neither see, nor hear the Christians, who now look like deer, as this song is sung.

ENJOY!!!:

Prayer for Protection

Most Sincerely,

GfS


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 May 10 - 11:33 PM

Fi, and any and all others, who may be interested. The best we can do, as musicians, is to wallow in the despair, or try to describe it better....but rather, give them the opposite, from all the dark bickering. Give them peace and hope..and point the way. Give them beauty! Nobody gives a shit how hip you think you are, and/or how you can get it across, after all the other songs of that sort, has just worn out and grown tired!

As a composer, and recording artist, sound engineer etc. etc. I'm sharing this with you. If the beauty is there, and its pure communication, people begin to see the greater...and it is NOT the political, and economic strife, you would have been the part of something greater, that will outlast 'them'!~

Practice, practice practice..and do your homework. CARE!...It may be the only weapon in this struggle that brings peace!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 May 10 - 11:53 PM

For Trad material. try Wheels of the World
On a more modern(?) vein, there's always "Eve of Destruction"

And my pet one, The Merry Minuet (Rioting in Africa) which, sadly, never seems to go out-of-date.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:19 AM

"All the Good times are past and gone" by Mr Fox comes to mind, it is not political but it's a bloody good song.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Stewie
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:28 AM

'Sean O Duibhir an Ghleanna'. There are at least 2 threads devoted to it.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 May 10 - 01:23 PM

Somewhere in our collection we have a song we recorded (from a very fine traditional singer) entitled 'Seven Ways For A Man To Die' - will pass it on if I can find it, or if nobody else comes up with it beforehand.
In the meantime, a story we recorded that should be despairing (not political) but somehow wasn't.
A farmer a few miles from here was working in the field when he jagged his leg on a piece of rusty barbed wire.
He didn't do anything about the scratch, which turned septic and became so infected that he was taken into Ennis Hospital, where he was told that the leg had become so bad that it would have to be removed.
His neighbour came to visit him after the operation and asked him how it went.
"Good and bad", he was told.
"What went wrong" asked the neighbour?
"They operated and cut the wrong leg off" came the reply.
"That's terrible", your man sympathised.
"It's ok", the farmer said, "the other one's getting better".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 May 10 - 03:40 PM

Anyone ever hear of a song called "Snatchin' Defeat From the Jaws of Victory?" And, just when things seemed to be going so well......


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:54 PM

John Prine's "Paradise":

"...Mr. Peabody's coal train has has hauled it away."

Charles


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Subject: RE: Req: Songs of political despair.......
From: GUEST,Will Branch
Date: 14 May 10 - 05:21 PM

Not trying to promote myself here, but I wrote a bunch of songs in that mode and put them on a CD - some of the song titles speak for themselves: "Poverty," "Fog of War," "Deluge," ...

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/branch2


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