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Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version

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BLOOD RED ROSES


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radriano 18 Aug 17 - 05:36 PM
Lighter 18 Aug 17 - 06:17 PM
radriano 18 Aug 17 - 06:43 PM
radriano 18 Aug 17 - 07:05 PM
MoorleyMan 19 Aug 17 - 05:00 AM
Lighter 19 Aug 17 - 10:33 AM
Snuffy 19 Aug 17 - 02:53 PM
Greg F. 19 Aug 17 - 06:01 PM
radriano 21 Aug 17 - 03:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Aug 17 - 04:01 PM
radriano 21 Aug 17 - 04:57 PM
MoorleyMan 21 Aug 17 - 06:19 PM
radriano 22 Aug 17 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,ripov 22 Aug 17 - 12:58 PM
radriano 22 Aug 17 - 02:22 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 17 - 03:27 PM
radriano 22 Aug 17 - 05:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 17 - 07:29 PM
radriano 25 Aug 17 - 05:17 PM
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Subject: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 05:36 PM

There are numerous threads about the shanty Blood-Red Roses but I was not able to find mention of the origin of the World War 2 version that Mimi and Richard Farina sing. It's ironic that I should have come across this right after the Charlottesville business with neo-Nazis recently. We're having a Sea Music Festival in San Francisco this weekend and I wanted to sing this.

Here are the lyrics they sing:

My good old Captain said to me
Go down, you blood-red Roses, go down!
"We'll plunder to a high degree!"
Go down, you blood-red Roses, go down!

Chorus:
Oh, your boots and poses
Go down, you blood-red Roses, go down!

Around the German lines we'll go
For ashes make the flowers grow

Around Japan we'll have to go
For that is where the hot winds blow

On Eastern seas we're bound to sail
For sunken ships will tell no tale

On no-man's land we'll dance around
We'll drive the roses underground


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 06:17 PM

More here:

http://mudcat.org/detail_pf.cfm?messages__Message_ID=3469474

My two cents: written long after WW2.

Apparently to be sung by ghost pirates.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 06:43 PM

Hello Lighter,

Yes, I suspect that you are correct.

No-man land is usually a reference to World War 1, not 2 so the lyrics are a jumble of stuff.

Thanks, Man!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 18 Aug 17 - 07:05 PM

Hello again Lighter,

I looked at the links you gave me. I must have passed by that reply to one of Blood-Red Roses Origins threads. It was kind of mind-numbing going through all that stuff.

The Nazi business is kind of personal for me. My parents were Polish immigrants. My mother narrowly escaped the Holocaust but all of her relatives were lost - murdered by the Nazis. Children of survivors often have to deal with parents who were so damaged by the war that they could barely cope with life afterwards.

Thanks for your help with this. I appreciate it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 05:00 AM

Hi again Radriano, glad to see you're still around!
I too recall this version, I learnt it from the Ian Matthews (Southern Comfort) album Second Spring, but yes it's identical to the Farinas' version, which I'm guessing Ian would've been familiar with (he brought Reno Nevada to Fairport after all). But nowhere is there any explanation of the provenance of this version, and I too was always puzzled by the jumble, the apparent mix of WW2 and WW1 terminology. I admit, I tend to like singing this version in amongst bookending some of the verses from the "usual" version/s, it stops things from getting too predictable!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 10:33 AM

Thanks for the post, radriano. Songs mean different things to all of us.

What are "boots and poses"?

(OK, I know what they are, but what are they doing together?)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 02:53 PM

What are "boots and poses"?

Maybe it refers to Jackboots and Nazi Salutes?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 06:01 PM

That's "Pinks and Posies"- flowers both.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 21 Aug 17 - 03:55 PM

Hello all,

Yes, "boots and poses" would refer to Jackboots and Nazi salutes.

Here's another interesting link with the term blood-red roses: I've heard it said that "Blutrote Rosen" (Blood Red Roses) was Hitler and Eva Braun's favorite song.

I was told by a local (San Francisco) singer that Richard Farina wrote the lyrics but I have not had confirmation of that from any other source.

Although "no-man's land" is a World War 1 reference it is still a relevant term, the definition being an area or strip of land that no one owns or controls, such as a strip of land between two countries' borders.

I sang this version at the Sea Music Festival we had in San Francisco on August 19th and I added an additional verse:

On no-man's land we danced around
And we'll drive the alt-right underground

Hi MoorleyMan! Haven't been on Mudcat much but I'm still alive and kicking. Peter Kasin and I are about to release our fourth shanty album! We're calling it "We'll Haul & Sing Together."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Aug 17 - 04:01 PM

My mate does the old non-rhyming dirty poem to it

As I was walking by St Pauls
Go down you blood red roses, go down
A woman grabbed me by the elbow
Go down you blood red roses, go down

Etc.

I am sure you can find the other lines. They fit perfectly!

:D tG


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 21 Aug 17 - 04:57 PM

Hello all,

The Hitler's favorite song thing is not true, at least I've found no corroboration for it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 21 Aug 17 - 06:19 PM

I can't believe the Hitler thing either, Radriano.

Appreciate the universal application of No-Man's Land.

And yes, do keep me posted re your next CD with Peter - assuming you have my "usual" email details (I too don't tend to post on Mudcat much these days.)... It's been a long time since With Shipmates All Around!

Cheers,
D


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 12:32 PM

MoorleyMan,

I've done some more digging on the Hitler reference I mentioned. Apparently it comes from:

Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich (German: Der Untergang: Hitler und das Ende des Dritten Reiches), a book by historian Joachim Fest about the last days of the life of Adolf Hitler, in his Berlin Führerbunker in 1945. The book was originally published in Germany in 2002. The English translation was released in 2004. The book formed source material for the 2004 German film Der Untergang (The Downfall) in 2004.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 12:58 PM

A Pink is also a wound from a sword, (hence I believe the flowers name, after their looking like drops of blood on the ground); and a Posie is also a floral wreath, for funerals as well as celebrations.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 02:22 PM

Ripov,

This thread is about a different version of the song. There's no pinks and posies here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 03:27 PM

Since this thread is current, some might be interested to see the link I posted in another current thread, to a Trinidadian kalinda version of "Bunch of Roses."
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=162686&messages=4#3873085


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 05:09 PM

Hello Gibb,

Yes, I did see that thread. Very interesting.

How are you? It's been awhile, hasn't it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 17 - 07:29 PM

I'm good Richard, thanks.
I paid a visit to Carriacou earlier this month, in a way following up on chanties that Alan Lomax recorded there in 1962. Although some of those chanties found release on a commercial disc, my impression is that they are barely known by the community of people who tends to take an interest in chanties. One reason for this (I think) is that they have never been "filed" (so to speak) as chanties. Indeed, Lomax and similar folklorists were coming into the situation with a pre-formed idea of what chanties are which, to an extant, prevented them from seeing the full import of these songs to the topic. Further, their work has caused the local people to downplay the significance of their chanties to the extent that they think of them as a British import (and thus less notable than their other traditions, which the folklorists marked as "African").

Sorry for the thread drift! -- but it came to mind because, as I see it, there is little in actual evidence to point to the "Bunch of Roses" chanty belonging to a "White" / English (I do realize these labels are problematic!) cultural thread *aside* from the fact that Hugill included in his book and the fact that, being thus placed in a particular mid-century Anglo framework of "sea shanties" (e.g. by the folk performers like Bert Lloyd), many people working in this Anglo Folk framework have tended to extrapolate various meanings related to what they associate with "the sea", eg. deep sea whalermen, Royal Naval forces, and the like. The evidence -- of a game song in Trinidad, of a stick fighting song in Trinidad, of an Afro-Bahamian launching song, of Hugill getting the song from Harding the Barbadian, of Adams (1879) having it from an all Black crew -- tends to be ignored in favor of (what I think many performers imagine as) a picture that Jolly Jack Euro/American seaman were singing this all over the seas while dwelling on nautical imagery of Nelson's battles!

Again, sorry for the thread drift, but I see the potential for another coat of paint being slapped on the Jolly Jack Tar narrative of these songs here, and I wanted to step in in my role as paint-remover! :-) In short, we can go round and round speculating on if the red roses were British sailors' jackets or pools of whale blood, based on free-association based in what Anglo sailors may have done according to some [New] England folklorist or we could get to seeing what people in the Caribbean and the Bahamas and the Southern Black American community were actually doing and what they still actually remember -- which lies outside the common frame of reference of Folkies. (*getting off my donkey now!*)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version
From: radriano
Date: 25 Aug 17 - 05:17 PM

Gibb,

Yes, I agree with you. Having gone through the various threads related to the meaning of the shanty "Blood-Red Roses" it's clear that there is no definitive answer and the contribution to shanties from various black cultures is indeed enormous and vastly underplayed and misunderstood.


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