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Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt (John Watt)

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HE KELTY CLIPPIE


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GeoffLawes 19 Nov 11 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Guest TF. 20 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Guest TF 20 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM
GeoffLawes 20 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Guest TF 20 Nov 11 - 02:37 PM
John MacKenzie 20 Nov 11 - 04:00 PM
GeoffLawes 21 Nov 11 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Guest TF 21 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM
GeoffLawes 22 Nov 11 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,Guest TF 22 Nov 11 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Guest TF 22 Nov 11 - 02:37 PM
GeoffLawes 22 Nov 11 - 06:11 PM
GeoffLawes 22 Nov 11 - 06:50 PM
GeoffLawes 22 Nov 11 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Guest TF 23 Nov 11 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Trevor Sheridan 24 Nov 11 - 07:06 AM
GeoffLawes 24 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 08 Dec 12 - 06:13 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: OWT FOR NOWT (John Watt)
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:17 PM

Can anyone complete the chorus in its Spanish version at the end of Johnn Watts Spanish Civil War Song Owt For Nowt?
I have, below, put the English lyrics which I can identify from his recording Heroes, a Neon/Watt production issued by The Tradition Bearers, LTCD3001, 2000, downloadable at www.go2neon.com

The song has also been recorded by Jim Bainbridge
on his "Lights on the River" CD.
I am collecting the words for another thread Here
called Songs in English about the Spanish Civil War but that is now too extensive to be a good place to harvest information from Mudcat's 'passing trade'.

OWT FOR NOWT
by John Watt


When you're lounging on the beaches of Espagna's sunny shore,
And the hawkers group like leeches ' helados, por favour?',
Remember Franco's icy reign as you ride on RENFE's rails,
Think on the terror and the pain that are locked in Spanish goals.

CHORUS
Espagna, you bled from Bilboa to Seville,
While the ghosts of your dead,
Oh they walk the beaches still,
So while you're busy getting laid and you're raising merry hell,
Think on what the price was paid for your dirt cheap San Miguel

A holiday for Adolph's plane's, with Spain the practice course,
While Uncle Joe he pullled the reins when he backed the losing horse,
As all you left Madrid to bleed as you watched the game being played,
The backbone of Espagna's need International Brigade.

Costa Brava , costa plenty, more than you will ever know.
And Antar San Vincente , where all the tourists go,
No-one gives you owt for nowt, when you think that you've got friends,
That Espaagna soon found out, each one pursues his ends.

Espagna de sangraste, Bilbao a Sevilla,
   Mientras ---?--- las fantasmas
Andan por la playa
Cuando tu estas borracho
A la noche --?-- al hotel
--?- miu grande
---?--- San Miguel.

Thanks, Geoff


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Guest TF.
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 08:08 AM

Hi Geoff. Here are some amendments for you from the hand of the late JW himself.
Point 1. For the ñ in España hold down the option key and type n, release and type n again.
Line 4; Think of the terror and the pain that lurked in Spanish jails.
Line 9; Think of what the price was paid.....
Line 11; While Uncle Joe he pulled the reins when he'd backed a losing horse.
Line 12; As Alba left Madrid to bleed as she watched the game...
Line 15; And that card from San Vincente...
Spanish Chorus; España tu sangresta de Bilbao a Sevilla,
                Mientras tanto, los fantasmas andan por la playa,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 08:16 AM

Sorry, Spanish chorus again.
España tu sangresta a Bilbao a Sevilla,
Mientras tanto, los fantasmas andan por la playa,
Cuando tu éstas borracho, a la noche el hotel,
Que un precio muy grande, por el San Miguel.

In Spanish you would leave off the 'h' in hotel and helados and probably drop the 's' at the end of helados. Oh and don't pronounce the 'u' in Miguel.
Slainté,
Tich.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 11:49 AM

Tich, Guest TC, - Thank you very much for your corrections and the complete Spanish chorus. I have now altered the lyrics accordingly on the other thread, Songs in English about the Spanish Civil War, for which I gave the link above in my initial post.

Do you happen to know the year when the song was written? It was clearly written many years ago when Spain was more obviously dirt cheap as a tourist destination than it is today.Since you had the words from John Watt himself, is there anything else you could tell us about the origins or history of the song?

The Alba correction which you gave to produce the line
As Alba left Madrid to bleed as she watched the game being played

was a bit puzzling. The Duke of Alba was a prominent Spanish supporter of Franco during the Spanish Civil War but the reference is obviously not to him because of the she which follows. Alba is, of course, the Gaelic name for Scotland so that is the more likely meaning - although the implied criticism of Scotand seemed harsh since its official attitude to the SCW was the responsibility of the British government. I went back to the recording and I am now certain that John Watt is actually singing Albion and not Alba so the blame is correctly attributed to Britain.

Thanks again for the help Tich and if any anyone has any more information about the song it would be great to have it posted here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 02:37 PM

Hi Geoff. In 1994 John was doing some work for the WEA on the Spanish Civil War. Here are John's notes on the song. 'In 1936, 38 people from the mining villages of Fife joined the 5000 Britons who fought for the International Brigade in Spain. Willie Gallagher, Communist MP for West Fife acted as special correspondent for The Daily Worker in Spain. The last surviving member of this party, Hugh Sloan from Buckhaven died on 20th Dec 1994'. The song was written in that year. John had a great story (presumably told to him by Hugh) about Hugh Sloan meeting Ernest Hemmingway who was sitting on the tail of a truck Hugh was supposed to be guarding. The conversation went something like, Hugh; "Get off that truck you". Hemmingway, puffing on a cigar, "What if I don't pal?" Hugh; "Then I'll fuckin' shoot ye". Hemmingway got off the truck. Tich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 04:00 PM

Is that Mr Frier?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 02:30 PM

Thank you for the extra information about the song Tich.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM

Hi Geoff. My understanding is that "Alba" is the Duchess of Alba.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 11:07 AM

With the benefit of your tuning of my ear to the Scots pronunciation, Tich,I have listened to the recording over and over and it seems certain to me that John is singing Albion. This also makes most sense in view of the history since Britain was a major villain in the conflict because of its policy of non-intervention. Non-intervention caused the Spanish Republic to "bleed to death" from the lack of arms to defend itself against internal and international fascism and was IMHO the major reason for Franco's victory.
Having listened to the recording repeatedly I now think that San Vincente in the line
And that card from San Vincente, where all the tourists go
may not be the correct interpretation of the resort that John is naming. It sounds more like San Depente but I can't find any Spanish resorts of that name. Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 12:19 PM

Geoff, I have the words typed by JW and signed by him in his notes on the song. No matter what it sounds like he is singing, I don't think there is scope for discussion. Tich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 02:37 PM

Geoff, San Vincente is in Mallorca. San Vicente is in Asturias. Take your pick.T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:11 PM

Thank you for the provenance of your lyrics Tich - when did John Watt give them to you?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 06:50 PM

I don't think that there was a Duchess of Alba during the period of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Wikipedia's entry on the 17th Duke of Alba, who was Franco's ambassador in London in that period, says that his wife died in 1934. He may have married again but I could not find any reference to a second wife.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 07:02 PM

HERE on Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 07:14 AM

Geoff, there's a point where you have to remember it's a song and not a historical document. Songwriters (and indeed historians) have always played fast and loose with facts. I can't remember when John gave it to me but it's typed rather than from a word processor so certainly more than ten years ago. Having just conducted his funeral two weeks ago I'm content to put his work where it will be noticed and remembered. BTW there's another San Vincente just south of Alicante. I've driven past it and I'm pretty sure John will have on his several sojourns around the back roads of Spain. T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GUEST,Trevor Sheridan
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 07:06 AM

Out of interest the title does not seem very "Fife". and both Jim Bainbridge and I have wondered about it


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt by John Watt
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM

On the cd notes John said
Owt for Nowt:Yorkshire expression " You don't get owt for nowt"- you don't get anything for nothing- the price Spain paid for involvement of Germany and Italy (Nationalists) and Russia (Republicans)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Owt for Nowt (John Watt)
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 06:13 PM

re the expression 'owt for nowt' friends of John will know that the late Dave Brady (one- armed concertina player, carpet seller on Newcastle quayside and driver for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as well as an excellent singer with Swan Arcade) was a good pal of John's- I have good reason to think that was why John used such an identifiably Yorkshire expression at all!


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