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right-wing 'folk'

Related threads:
Folk Songs for Conservatives (80)
Right Wing Folksongs (86)
Folk Singers who are Politically Conservative (290) (closed)
Lyr Req: Conservative Song (5)
Republican or Conservative folk singers (97)
Studio 360 segment: right-wing folk (37)
Lyr Add: Conservative ballads (19)
Folk Songs of the Far Right Wing (36)


Thomas Stern 09 May 16 - 02:36 PM
Raggytash 09 May 16 - 02:42 PM
FreddyHeadey 09 May 16 - 03:50 PM
FreddyHeadey 09 May 16 - 04:06 PM
Greg F. 09 May 16 - 04:08 PM
Steve Gardham 09 May 16 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,HiLo 09 May 16 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,gecko 09 May 16 - 07:13 PM
punkfolkrocker 09 May 16 - 09:16 PM
Sandra in Sydney 09 May 16 - 11:38 PM
MGM·Lion 10 May 16 - 01:03 AM
GUEST 10 May 16 - 01:17 AM
Joe Offer 10 May 16 - 01:29 AM
MGM·Lion 10 May 16 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 10 May 16 - 02:20 AM
FreddyHeadey 10 May 16 - 04:53 AM
MGM·Lion 10 May 16 - 05:12 AM
Jack Campin 10 May 16 - 05:26 AM
matt milton 10 May 16 - 05:47 AM
matt milton 10 May 16 - 05:52 AM
MGM·Lion 10 May 16 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,saulgoldie (sans cookie) 10 May 16 - 10:56 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 May 16 - 11:05 AM
Steve Gardham 10 May 16 - 01:47 PM
MGM·Lion 10 May 16 - 02:13 PM
Dave Hanson 10 May 16 - 03:15 PM
Joe_F 10 May 16 - 09:59 PM
PHJim 10 May 16 - 11:08 PM
BobL 11 May 16 - 03:49 AM
GUEST 11 May 16 - 04:53 AM
matt milton 11 May 16 - 09:01 AM
MGM·Lion 11 May 16 - 10:07 AM
Vic Smith 11 May 16 - 10:34 AM
MGM·Lion 11 May 16 - 11:08 AM
matt milton 11 May 16 - 11:20 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 May 16 - 11:47 AM
Vic Smith 11 May 16 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Hollister 12 May 16 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,HiLo 13 May 16 - 04:26 AM
MGM·Lion 15 May 16 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,John Steward 15 May 16 - 02:42 PM
Fossil 16 May 16 - 08:13 AM
Joe Offer 20 May 16 - 03:03 AM
Joe Offer 20 May 16 - 04:38 AM
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Subject: right-wing 'folk'
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 09 May 16 - 02:36 PM

on CD from OMNI 167 (2012)

FREEDOM IS A HAMMER - Conservative Folk Revolutionaries of the Sixties
Janet Green
Tony Dolan
Vera Vanderlaan

notes by Bill Geerhart (20p booklet)

1 Fascist Threat
2 Commie Lies
3 The Hunter And The Bear
4 Inch By Inch
5 Termites
6 Comrade's Lament
7 Poor Left Winger
8 Run
9 Abolish, Abolish!
10 Father Against Son
11 Join The S.D.S.
12 Cuba Will Be Free
13 Cry, The Beloved Country
14 Remember Bloody Budapest
15 Harry Pollitt
16 New York Times Blues
17 My Song In The Wind
18 Freedom Is A Hammer
19 Let's Pretend
20 Hello World
21 Torch Of Freedom
22 America Awake!
23 Modern Paul Revere
24 Get Involved
25 Don't Bite The Hand That's Feedi...
26 Stand Up And Be Counted
27 One From One Leaves Two
28 Red Fire
29 Freedom Is A Hammer


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Raggytash
Date: 09 May 16 - 02:42 PM

And your point is?


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 09 May 16 - 03:50 PM

(I thought there was another thread about right wing or conservative Folk but I couldn't find it. ?)

more about the CD here...
"...Tony Dolan composes and sings folk songs. He also requires that the girls he dates subscribe to the conservative magazine National Review.

And this, it seems, is precisely how Dolan—a future conservative commentator and Reagan speechwriter credited with coining the phrase "evil empire"—preferred it."


http://spectator.org/articles/34062/dolan-not-dylan 


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 09 May 16 - 04:06 PM

This older thread
Folk Singers who are Politically Conservative
is closed at the moment...

thread.cfm?threadid=158936


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 May 16 - 04:08 PM

Great. Maybe Dolan can go to work for Trump & cook up some snappy little campaign tunes. "Deutschland über alles" comes to mind.

And of COURSE he was a Reagan speech writer- the senile old man sure couldn't write them himself. Some times he couldn't even read them off the teleprompter.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 May 16 - 05:11 PM

As good an oxymoron as I ever saw. They wouldn't last 2 minutes on the British Folk Scene.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 09 May 16 - 06:33 PM

Why is it an oxymoron ? Is folk only so called "left wing" ?


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST,gecko
Date: 09 May 16 - 07:13 PM

Beat me to it, Steve. Wouldn't get a guernsey on the Australian folk scene either.
YIU
gecko


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 May 16 - 09:16 PM

"Is folk only so called "left wing" ?"

Well.. a rousing chorus about the hard working day of a major global corporation CEO might catch on... ???? 😜


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 09 May 16 - 11:38 PM

Washington Times review of Freedom is a Hammer in the 'Life' section, page 10 (which is page 34 of the paper), continued on page 9.

Duck and Cover - Eerie Creepy Look at Cold War Culture website of cultural historical Bill Geerhart who put out this CD


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 May 16 - 01:03 AM

"wouldn't last 2 minutes on the British Folk Scene"

Eh? Well, now, Steve; lessee!...

I've been on British Folk Scene since mid-50s. Have done countless gigs; issued record on [alas now defunct] Brewhouse label (still a few copies left!); reviewed folk records, concerts, books regularly for The Guardian, The Times & many other journals; was for several years regular back-page columnist of Folk Review; have an online YouTube thread of 40 songs; contribute, so far several thousand times, on various topics on this very forum right up [obviously] to this present very moment, &c &c ...

have voted Conservative for many elections now, being a believer in old saying that 'the man who is not a socialist at 20 has no ❤; the one who is still one at 40 has no 〠'...

will be 84 this week — but ain't dead yet...

& like my dear dead friend Peter Bellamy, who lasted somewhat more than 120 seconds on the Scene, innit!, have never made any secret of these views & tendencies...

Some 2 minutes, hey!

Best regards
≈M≈


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 16 - 01:17 AM

Dear Michael:

You're not a right-winger, you're a Conservative - nothing wrong with that, and what after all, is worth more conserving than a folk heritage? "Right wingers", properly so called, are capitalist revolutionaries, as Marx said: they force non-capitalist cultures to become capitalist, they destroy all that is old and unprofitable.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 May 16 - 01:29 AM

Interesting list, Thomas. I'd like to see the lyrics to some of those. Is "Inch By Inch" the "Garden Song" by Dave Mallett?

And what about the song titled "Harry Pollitt"? Is that the song we have posted in this thread (click)? I hadn't thought of that one as a conservative song, but I guess it could be. I learned it from a Socialist, myself.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 May 16 - 01:49 AM

@ Jon Bartlett --

Take your point up to a point, Jon. But the Conservatives are pretty-well-universally regarded as being on the right of the political spectrum, the socialist parties [however designated] on the left. Once one comes up (as I take you to have done here) with good old Prof Joad's formula of "it·all·depends·what·you·mean·by", argument becomes fragmented and effete.

I still maintain accordingly that Peter Bellamy & I can well be rubricated under the heading normally and conventionally designated by the thread title.

Regards
≈Michael≈


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 10 May 16 - 02:20 AM

I imagine there are bound to be right wingers on the British folk scene but there don't seem to be many espousing right wing politics through song etc. Where there have been plenty on the left. Likewise in Scotland there are bound to be plenty in the folk scene who were No voters but virtually all who made their views known were in the Yes camp. Seems to me anyway!


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 10 May 16 - 04:53 AM

The tracks listed above are on Spotify if you want to check out the lyrics

FREEDOM IS A HAMMER


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 May 16 - 05:12 AM

"plenty on the left" ...

Much to the detriment of the scene imo, Allan. I repeat what I said in my Times review of Ewan MacColl's Journeyman: that he was "a considerable poet. His fine songs of men at work (Schooldays Over, Champion at Keeping 'Em Rolling, Shoals of Herring) ought to be widely anthologised. However, I wouldn't give a dime a dozen for the political songs of which, he tells us, it was his aim from the 60s to the 80s to write at least ten each month." Such bathetic tendentiousness drags any session down to portentous tedium.

And, yes, I know all about traditional songs of disaster & protest from High·Blantyre to 4d·A·Day; and about such as Tommy Armstrong & Mary Brooksbank: but I maintain my point as a generality.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 May 16 - 05:26 AM

The Terror Time is "bathetic tendentiousness", is it?

I imagine there are bound to be right wingers on the British folk scene but there don't seem to be many espousing right wing politics through song etc.

I'd guess I'd find none-too-deeply-coded rightist messages in James Blunt or Mumford and Sons if I could be arsed to read their lyrics.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: matt milton
Date: 10 May 16 - 05:47 AM

"However, I wouldn't give a dime a dozen for the political songs of which, he tells us, it was his aim from the 60s to the 80s to write at least ten each month."

Yes, but that basic complaint has little to do with politics per se, and more to do with the law of diminishing returns.

Writing ten songs a month for months on end about any subject at all - love, sex, work, food, dancing or indeed politics – is a tall order. Unless you are a superhumanly versatile songwriter. One great song is always better than ten so-so songs.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: matt milton
Date: 10 May 16 - 05:52 AM

I have a compilation CD of cold-war-themed bluegrass, old-time, blues and early RnB songs somewhere.

It's hugely enjoyable. The contributions range from left-wing comedic parodies of McCarthyite paranoia to alarmingly right-wing celebrations of the nuclear bomb, and their worryingly earnest counterparts on the left singing the praises of Uncle Joe Stalin. At a safe distance, political extremes in popular song can be enjoyed as non-PC kitsch and there's nothing wrong with that.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 May 16 - 08:09 AM

"The Terror Time" is perhaps an exception, Jack: as indeed are many of the songs from the Radio Ballads, which I eulogised practically unconditionally in the first article I ever wrote for Folk Review (Sept 1972): -

"It is not too much to say," I concluded, "that The Travelling People is one of the great contributions of modern art to tolerance and understanding."

Perhaps, as Matt implies above, one must take into account distinguished sf writer Theodore Sturgeon's 'Law Of Science Fiction':— viz "90% of science fiction is rubbish, because 90% of everything is rubbish." But I still wouldn't give that dime-a-dozen for the vast majority of all that 10-a-week-minimum tendentious bathos at that.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST,saulgoldie (sans cookie)
Date: 10 May 16 - 10:56 AM

"Well.. a rousing chorus about the hard working day of a major global corporation CEO might catch on... ???? 😜 "

Punkfolkrocker: I couldn't agree with you more if I had said it meself. Which I have, on many occasions. Also, I cannot see some high-and-mighty one in the wudience, being in the presence of "regular folk" who are interested in stories of "real people" having "real lives."

I mean, if they were interested, how could they feel good about themselves and their "work" knowing how the rabble have so much less, mostly in exchange for the HIGHENDONES' lavish lifestyle?

I dunno. Perhaps I am dead wrong in my assumptions and stereotypes.

Saul


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 May 16 - 11:05 AM

hhmmm... perhaps even a 'Trump' could wake up in the morning feeling blue and knock off a quick 12 bar
about how his butler has done him wrong... 😜

"The Billionaire's Breakfast Blues"...

[it's mudcat - song challenge...???]


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 May 16 - 01:47 PM

Happy birthday, Mike.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 May 16 - 02:13 PM

Many thanks, Steve!


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 10 May 16 - 03:15 PM

This thread reminds me of the old BBC R2 Folk and acoustic message board which was very right wing but the worst thing was that every time some new pre-pubescent pop idol came along someone would try to make out a case that it was really folk music. Some people seem to need to justify their beliefs.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 May 16 - 09:59 PM

Does a scab song count?
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-song-lyrics/Flag_of_Blue_White_and_Red.htm


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: PHJim
Date: 10 May 16 - 11:08 PM

An article on right wing folk songs from The Great Folk Scare.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: BobL
Date: 11 May 16 - 03:49 AM

There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happening and those who wonder what happened. Which ones are most likely to pour out their experiences into song?


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 16 - 04:53 AM

Take your point up to a point, Jon. But the Conservatives are pretty-well-universally regarded as being on the right of the political spectrum, the socialist parties [however designated] on the left.

By American standards most UK Conservatives are decidedly "pink".


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: matt milton
Date: 11 May 16 - 09:01 AM

Not sure Peter Bellamy's really the best example of a Conservative or right-wing folksinger, for the simple reason that you could listen to and enjoy his complete recorded output and not necessarily draw any conclusions about his politics.

That statement is of course debatable: his fondness for Rudyard Kipling poems could be said to be a giveaway. But even that is hardly banner-carrying: it doesn't really bear comparison with the politics-within-one's-art holistic approach of a MacColl or Pete Seeger.

Moreover there are plenty of left-leaning singers who sing folk songs that, taken at literal face value, might be jingoistic, or celebrating things they don't themselves agree with (e.g. whaling or hunting or a victory in war or a famous general).

The only original Bellamy compositions I've heard are from The Transports, and if I had to compare them with anything I might mention Brecht/Weill in terms of subject matter (e.g. 'Abe Carman')


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 May 16 - 10:07 AM

Not quite sure of your point, Matt. My assertion that Pete's political views were rightward-leaning is based on what I knew of his thinking, not on any specific part of his repertoire. We had many conversations, about politics and folk music and other music and various other topics, over the 20+ years of our friendship, so I knew much about his opinions on many things. I do not try to represent him as any sort of political proselytiser in his music; simply as one who happened to be both a folk performer and also, as it happened, a conservative in his views.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 May 16 - 10:34 AM

Mike Grosvenor Myer :-
my dear dead friend Peter Bellamy, who lasted somewhat more than 120 seconds on the Scene, innit!, have never made any secret of these views & tendencies...

and:-

I still maintain accordingly that Peter Bellamy & I can well be rubricated under the heading normally and conventionally designated by the thread title.

which leads to Matt Milton who was too young to know him writing:-

Not sure Peter Bellamy's really the best example of a Conservative or right-wing folksinger, for the simple reason that you could listen to and enjoy his complete recorded output and not necessarily draw any conclusions about his politics.


To me this is a good example of re-writing history by MGM blandly stating PB's politics and Matt not having met the man wondering if the content of Peter's songwriting is compatible with his politics.

Could I say to Matt that Peter was also "my dear dead friend" and to me he was very much his own man. He would not have lasted long in any political party because he was free-thinking, outspoken and forthright on many subjects and would not follow any party line. To me his major characteristic was that he was oppositional. In any discussion, he would wait for a consensus and then oppose the majority view - sometimes just for the hell of it. That meant that in the 60s and 70s he was often stating right-wing views in discussions where the prevailing tendency was of the left. He abhorred cant and dogma and wanted people to think for themselves. I reckon that is why he distinguished between the two leading communists of the scene at the time, Lloyd and MacColl having more time for one than the other. This did not prevent him being in awe of the power of MacColl's best lyrics.

I have seen it suggestions that Peter had some in his family who were activists in extreme right-wing organisations but I have never seen any convincing evidence of this.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 May 16 - 11:08 AM

Vic -- Pete's father, Richard Reynell Bellamy, wrote a book, of which I have a copy beside me at this moment, called "We Marched With Mosley: The Authorised History Of The BRITISH UNION OF FASCISTS" (©2013 Black House Publishing). He was interned under Emergency Regulation 18b during WWii. I remember Pete telling me quite early in our acquaintance, with a sort of ambivalent pride in his tone [& perhaps a certain degree of hyperbole] that his father had been "Mosley's number 2 of Blackshirts".

I agree that Pete could be 'oppositional' for effect and to keep the conversation ticking over; but would point out that the views I have attributed to him were told to me, personally, one-to-one, when he would stay over with us as he usually did when he had a gig around Cambridge, or for the Folk Festival. We would play a lot of Scrabble when we grew tired of chat.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: matt milton
Date: 11 May 16 - 11:20 AM

I was really only making the point that Peter Bellamy's politics – whatever they were – are undetectable within his recorded output.

His politics are not embedded in his songs (unlike Ewan MacColl's or Pete Seeger's).

I listened to Bellamy albums for many years before I knew anything about him as a person and I never heard anything that suggested any particular political persuasion in them.

I'm drawing a distinction between folk singers whose politics are immediately identifiable within the songs they sing; and folk singers whose politics we happen to know about via conversations with them or interviews.

I don't think a folksinger whose actual songs espoused for Conservative (capital C) or right-wing views - the way MacColl's do for the left – would have lasted very long on the UK folk scene.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 May 16 - 11:47 AM

It would be interesting if a compilation of 1980s n@zi skinhead OI bands and latter day B*P camp fire folk singers
could be issued by a UK esoterica collectors record Label...???

..and how many of us might buy [more likely illegally download..] it out of curiosity.....????? 😐


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 May 16 - 12:22 PM

Thanks for the link to the book, Mike. I might even try to read it one day, but that will have to be when the mountain of books that makes my bedside cabinet creak ominously has shrunk somewhat.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST,Hollister
Date: 12 May 16 - 12:29 AM

MGM Lion - According to my Grandpa Lemon, May 10th is corn planting day.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 13 May 16 - 04:26 AM

And for gods sake, don,t tell them you read Kipling!


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 May 16 - 12:28 AM

Any record of any traditional football chants having been collected from Sir Stanley Matthews, 1915-2000, Stoke City, Blackpool, and England, the "wizard of the dribble",

'the only player to have been knighted while still playing, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards' - wikipedia

and surely the most distinguished of all right-wingers

???

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: GUEST,John Steward
Date: 15 May 16 - 02:42 PM

The OP's not returned to comment, I wonder why?

    The OP is a serious music researcher who specializes in discographies and posts regularly on Mudcat. He'll be back.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Fossil
Date: 16 May 16 - 08:13 AM

Well, I woke up this morning
Went right back to sleep

Well I woke up this morning
Went right back to sleep

Let the butler get up
Show the tourists round the keep

Oh, I do like living
In my stately home

yeah, I do like living
In this stately home

So nice round here
I don't wanna roam...

and so on.


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 16 - 03:03 AM

Don't get too upset about these recordings, folks. If you listen with a sense of humor, these recordings are hilarious. Here's "Commie Lies," recorded by Janet Greene in 1966:
And Janet's "Fascist Threat": And as icing on the anti-Communist cake, here's a playlist starting with Janet Greene's "Poor Left Winger:

Have fun, and remember that most or all of these singers are....dead. So, don't get TOO mad at them.

-Joe-



This page (click) has lots of information about Janet Greene. Here's an excerpt:

    ANTI-BAEZ: THE JANET GREENE SONGBOOK

    Janet Greene's recorded musical output was limited to just eight songs during her anti-Communist heyday working for Dr. Fred Schwarz as Music Director at the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade (CACC). These "golden period" tunes were produced by Del Katcher and released as singles in 1966 on Chantico, the CACC house label. The tracks were also issued collectively, as an album side (Janet Greene Sings), on the Schwarz box set "What Is Communism?," a collection of his lectures on the Red Menace (Chantico UB2160; 1966). Ironically, it is Greene's musical contribution to Schwarz's spoken word miasma that makes the set a collector's item today, not the paranoid ruminations of the good doctor. The blatantly confrontational titles that Greene cut during this era (Commie Lies, Comrade's Lament, etc.) were packaged with covers featuring the sunny and optimistic visage of the artist. It is a delightfully subversive contrast that makes the music all that more enjoyable.

    In 1980, after a very long absence from the studio, Greene recorded two original songs for her self-released LP, "Country and Spanish Flavors." Greene rounded out this record with eight of her favorite standards including Crazy (written by Willie Nelson and made famous by Patsy Cline).


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Subject: RE: right-wing 'folk'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 16 - 04:38 AM

This page (click) has extensive information about the Freedom Is a Hammer CD detailed in the first message of this thread:

    Right Wing Folk Music

    by Les Marcott, inView, March 2013

    The 1992 film Bob Roberts dealt with an upstart Republican senate candidate (Tim Robbins) campaigning against the incumbent Democrat (Gore Vidal). The screenplay written by Robbins had the strange twist of his character being a conservative folk singer.  I remember Gore Vidal being great in his role, but the Robbins Bob Roberts character left me bewildered.  I realize the film was satire and meant to be a faux documentary, but still the idea of a conservative folk singer was anathema to me.  After all, like most people I considered folk singers left of center especially those of the 1960's variety.  But to my astonishment, I recently found out by reading an article in the December 20th issue of Rolling Stone that right wing folk singers actually existed.

    Freedom Is A Hammer compiled by writer/music producer/Cold War expert Bill Geerhart documents the little known movement with songs like Poor Little Left Winger, Fascist Threat, Commie Lies, Comrade's Lament,and Join The S.D.S.  These songs sung by Janet Greene, Tony Dolan, and Vera Vanderlaan were originally recorded between 1966-68 at the height of Vietnam, racial and political turmoil, and the insurgence of the counter culture.

    Janet Greene became the right's answer to Joan Baez.  Greene was a star of a popular children's program in Columbus,Ohio when she fell under the influence of Dr. Fred Schwartz and an anti-communist organization that he led.  Greene would set Schwartz's blistering tirades to song.  After three years of working for Schwartz, Greene left his organization in 1967 and began a 30 year career as a lounge club singer. It appears folk songs were not part of her nightclub act.

    Vera Vanderlaan and her husband William were Vermont dairy farmers when they decided in 1967 to protest the Vietnam War protesters by releasing their own brand of folk music America Awake. For three years, they performed their music and gave lectures.

    Perhaps the most prominent singer of the three included on Freedom Is A Hammer is Tony Dolan.  He was heavily influenced by Barry Goldwater after reading Conscience of a Conservative. Dolan was a Yale undergraduate when he came to the attention of The National Review and Firing Line host William F. Buckley Jr.  His right wing musical adventure was called Cry, the Beloved Country. Buckley wrote the liner notes for Dolan's album and promoted it in a syndicated column he wrote.  He would perform on both The Dick Cavett and The Merv Griffin shows.  His connections would help land a job as Ronald Reagan's chief speechwriter while he was president.

    A group not included on Freedom Is A Hammer, but no less interesting were The Goldwaters.  As you might surmise, the groups name was taken from Senator Barry Goldwater – the failed 1964 Republican nominee for president. The group was formed by two Nashville area brothers – Buford and Mark Bates. Mark was head of the Nashville office of Billboard magazine at the time the group formed in 1963.  His prediction that Goldwater would be the eventual nominee only helped to bolster the group's stature.  The brothers would rewrite lyrics to traditional folk songs and record an album called Folk Songs To Bug Liberals.  They toured and performed at Goldwater rallies wearing their matching red AuH2O (the periodic table symbols for gold and water) sweatshirts.  They once even shared a stage with Janet Greene.  According to one group member, the band even had its own groupies!  But with the landslide loss of Senator Goldwater, the group found no reason to continue and quickly disbanded.

    Even with the recent reexamination of right wing folk music, the movement will not be treated kindly by musical historians and deservedly so. And while the singers themselves possessed excellent singing voices (at least from what I've heard), the lyrics and melodies don't stand up well especially when compared with mainstream folk of that era.  Artists like Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and Peter Lafarge were master songwriters.  The music contained on Freedom Is A Hammer comes across as ideological screeds set to folk music.  The best music from the left did not come across that way.  Listen to songs such as There But For Fortune, I Ain't Marching Anymore, Blowing In The Wind, The Ballad Of Ira Hayes, and With God On Our Side just to name a few.  A liberal point of view sure, but the sentiments expressed were more thought provoking and more nuanced than those expressed by their conservative counterparts. The right thought the status quo just fine, the left did not and those buying folk music overwhelmingly sided with the left.  The conservatives love the marketplace and when it came to 60's folk music, the marketplace seems to have gotten it right.  Maybe folk music never was the right vehicle to covey conservative ideology as Dr. Fred Schwartz had hoped it would be.  Even the Goldwaters had to add Beatle songs to their set in order to make their performances more listener friendly. Talk radio appears to be the format for that dissemination.  Liberals have failed repeatedly to make any progress in that regard. Does anyone remember Air America?  Popular conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity does provide music to the faithful. An announcer welcomes listeners to "the Revolution!" followed by bumper music from country music star Toby Keith…will stick a boot up your ass.  It's the American way. It makes me long for the good old days of Janet Greene and Tony Dolan. At least Dolan had a legitimate point to make with his song Remembering Bloody Budapest.


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Mudcat time: 22 September 12:48 PM EDT

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