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Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'

Domdaniel 05 Jul 18 - 03:25 AM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 18 - 04:01 AM
Domdaniel 05 Jul 18 - 05:22 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Jul 18 - 06:26 PM
Domdaniel 10 Jul 18 - 09:13 AM
Domdaniel 10 Jul 18 - 09:16 AM
Domdaniel 11 Jul 18 - 05:14 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 11 Jul 18 - 09:14 AM
Domdaniel 12 Jul 18 - 05:23 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Jul 18 - 05:56 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Domdaniel
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 03:25 AM

So I'm working through the list of songs I got at a camp last week, trying to learn all the good ones, but there are one or two I can't find ANYWHERE (which is sort of why I joined MC in the first place).

So I'm requesting any information anyone has on this: a triumphal sounding ballad about taking back the for 'us'/'we'. Each verse was a description of the ways of life/activities which were practised/would result 'when/if we had the land' (last line of each verse). I can only remember one couplet from it, the last two lines of a verse:

"and we'd take what we need and we'd let it grow back / If we had the land!"

Unsurprisingly the song was called 'When we had the Land' by everyone who referred to it.

I realise this is a bit of a long shot, with little to go on, but no-one said folk music was easy! Tune really swings so I'd really like to find it again.

Cheers everyone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 04:01 AM

Usually, I'm really good at this, but you stumped me both times. Can you contact the singer?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Domdaniel
Date: 05 Jul 18 - 05:22 PM

I thin k you're right Joe. I'll have a go at contacting the singer(s) and post anything I get back.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Jul 18 - 06:26 PM

While searching for the phrase "we had the land" I found this, in Wikiquote:
When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.

This quote, often attributed to Jomo Kenyatta, [and sometimes to Desmond Tutu,] was first written in a fiction play published by holocaust doubter Rolf Hochhuth, in his controversial "The Deputy, a Christian Tragedy" (1964), Grove Press, p. 144. No reference to any historical or original source was given.

In "Desmond Tutu: A Biography" (2004) by Steven Gish, p. 101; is clarified [that] Tutu used it as a joke which was not of him.
Relevant?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Domdaniel
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 09:13 AM

I found that when I was looking too Jim. I like it too, but I don't thiunk it's relevant to finding the song (pretty relevant to thew message though!).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Domdaniel
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 09:16 AM

FOUND IT! I emailed he singers and they got back to me with some info. It's by the King Driscolls (anyone ever heard of them? Any info?) and there is also a recording with the band singing (mostly) on their own here.

I will add the song in a bit, by I'm a bit tired for transcribing lyrics right now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Domdaniel
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 05:14 AM

Hello everyone. I started transcribing the lyrics today. I'm happy that I have most of it, but there are some words/lines which i just can't make out. Can anyone else help out and fill in the blanks for me?

If your up to try, here are the recordings I've been working from:



And this is what I have so far of the lyrics, with ????s for unknowns:


WE WANT THE LAND

We want folk in the fields and smoke in the lanes
Not villages left empty by commuter trains
We want real rural life not a picture postcard
And we want the land

We are farmers and grafters and we're hard working souls
And we don't want employment or to do what we're told
Want to build a new future with our own bare hands
And we want the land

Well we can't pay house prices and we can't pay the rent
But we can tow an old trailer we can put up a tent
We can make the farmyards and fields our new homes
If we had the land

We could work fields by hand from morning till late
Without combines or tractors or glycol phosphate
????
If we had the land

And the woodlands could ring with the sound of the axe
We'd carry cartloads and van loads and loaves on our backs
And we'd take what we needed and let it grow back
If we had the land!

And the villages would whistle with work life once more
???
And the late bus to town wouldn't run anymore
If we had the land

With scrap metal old floorboards and fresh coppiced wood
We'll build a ramshackle England where the old one once stood
And it wouldn't be perfect but it would be good!
If we had the land

So if you ??? what I'm singing or you just hate your job
You like manual labour or upsetting snobs
Join the raggle taggle convoy that they call a mob
And cry we want the land


Finally, I know nothing about music notation at all but if anyone wants to transcribe(?) or notate(? again) the tune for the database that would be really great!

Blues skies, thanks everyone, Dom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 09:14 AM

Domdaniel

I think your missing bits are:

  We'd wipe barren wee-takers away with out sweat

  Through stomping beer spilling on the old pot floor

  ... feel ...


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Domdaniel
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 05:23 PM

Thanks Mick! At some point soon I will make an proper digital tradition add thing.

Blues skies, Dom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'When/If We had the Land!'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 05:56 PM

Just noticed my typo - should read "with ouR sweat" in that first line I gave!

Mick


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