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Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri

DigiTrad:
THE INTERNATIONALE


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: The Internationale (23)
Lyr Req: The Internationale - various languages (20)
Lyr Req: l'Internationale in Irish? (7)
Lyr Add: New words for the 'Internationale' (1)
Lyr Req: The International (Gallagher & Lyle) (12)
robeson recording of Internationale? (7)


Fedele 23 Apr 00 - 06:15 AM
The Shambles 23 Apr 00 - 06:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 00 - 06:13 AM
Fedele 24 Apr 00 - 01:49 PM
The Shambles 24 Apr 00 - 02:54 PM
Ed Pellow 24 Apr 00 - 04:26 PM
The Shambles 25 Apr 00 - 03:30 AM
Callie 25 Apr 00 - 08:21 AM
GeorgeH 25 Apr 00 - 08:28 AM
catspaw49 25 Apr 00 - 08:53 AM
M 25 Apr 00 - 11:04 AM
canoer 25 Apr 00 - 12:21 PM
Fedele 25 Apr 00 - 01:53 PM
zander (inactive) 25 Apr 00 - 02:46 PM
Fedele 28 Apr 00 - 02:33 PM
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Subject: Billy Bragg's Internationale
From: Fedele
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 06:15 AM

To whom thinks that the English lyrics to the Internationale look old-fashioned and unsingable, and translated in a too literarian language: Scottish radical rocksinger Billy Bragg shares your view, and so he wrote his own version of the lyrics. I think they are both modern and convincing. To read it, check his beautiful site at www.billybragg.co.uk, click on Songs, and find The Internationale. The song is in a really interesting EP with the same name, so take a look at the other songs too.

Together with Woody Guthrie's daughter, Nora, he also set the lyrics to many songs Woody wrote when he was still capable of holding a pen but not a guitar. The result was the LP "Mermaid Avenue", followed by a live CD from the tour that followed. The lyrics are obviously available on the same site. The second volume to Mermaid Avenue is expected to come out this summer.

Trust me: keep an eye on this guy! Travel wide and far on his site and report me any impression.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 06:49 AM

I saw him on TV the other night and he did give a good rendition of 'The Goodies' old hit 'The Funky Gibbon'.

He is also appearing at the 'TUC's' Tollpuddle Martyrs Rally, that is held in the village, this year.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 06:13 AM

"Scottish radical rocksinger Billy Bragg" - Scottish the same way Bob Dylan is Irish. But you are right. He's a great singeer, a great songwriter, and the Internationale is a fine somg. And he's radical all right - though he'd probably prefer to have it "Socialist", given the ambiguity of what radical can mean.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: Fedele
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 01:49 PM

I said "radical" because I didn't want to scare anyone by saying "socialist"... What about being Scottish? He -IS- Scottish.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 02:54 PM

If being born in Dagenham now to be considered being born north of the border, I think I may be Scottish too?


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 24 Apr 00 - 04:26 PM

Shambles,

Billy Bragg wasn't born in Dagenham. He was born on Dec 20, 1957 in Barking, Essex, England.

He also spent all his childhood there, hence the title "The Bard of Barking"

You are of course, far less wrong than Fedele.

Fedele. Where on earth did you get the thought that he was Scottish from?

I'd be interested to know

Ed


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 03:30 AM

I do stand corrected Ed.

Barking is nearly a mile and a half east of Dagenham

But of course that then makes him Welsh. (smiles)


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: Callie
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:21 AM

Nuffink wrong with the old version of The Internationale. His version is nice though. Don't like his version of Nicaragua Nicaraguita. Too much bad Spanish pronunciation and reverb (reverb reverb reverb).

Saw him a few times in Sydney. Put on some FANTASTIC shows a few years ago. Saw him last year, doing Mermaid Avenue stuff, and couldn't really hear the words to the songs - they were very fuzzied by the big rock show arrangements the band were doing.

Still love "Between the Wars" and "Power in a Union" best

Callie


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: GeorgeH
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:28 AM

Within the UK, I'd suggest "Socialist" is more devalued than "Radical" so I'd go with Radical as a description of Bragg - though he still styles himself as Socialist.

But on what basis does Fedele claim that Bragg regards the traditional words of "The Internationale" as "old-fashioned and unsingable"? As far as I can tell, he seeks to complement rather than replace the original.

Fortunately the Bragg site seems more reliable than Fedele's ramblings . . . (though to my hearing SOME of the Guthrie settings come across as pretty well unsingable, but that's another matter).

And note that Bragg is booked to appear at the UK's two top Folk festivals this summer - Sidmouth and Cambridge.

G.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 08:53 AM

Having nothing to do with politics or geography and strictly an opinion.......I bought the Guthrie album and I really don't care for the guy. I don't care if he's a cross-dressing, Marxist, Persian, living in East Snowshoe, Qatar.....I don't like him. Just an opinion. He seems to have a good following so I think I must be missing something.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: M
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 11:04 AM

Hello, Billy Bragg has been around at least a decade and a half. He's just doin' it his way...carrying on the tradition of folk/rock protest. When he first started, he was bringing it to the disaffected youth of England, but now, what with political climate change and all, I'm not sure who the audience is (besides those of us who remember him from before). This man will never sell out. Personally, I liked Mermaid Avenue, and conceptually, I couldn't think of a better person to do it.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: canoer
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:21 PM

I like the energy and determination in BB's songs. And the note of confidence always there, in the eventual triumph of the oppressed.

RE the Internationale, his version must be viewed only as a "complement" to the original. The original was written with a clear sense of the struggle between the workers and the capitalists, that is, it is a class anthem. The BB version has, at every important juncture, removed the class theme and replaced it with "the people" theme. Which may be radical but has lost the social stance of the original. IMHO.

Larry C.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: Fedele
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:53 PM

Sorry. I was really sure he was Scottish; don't know why, maybe I thought his accent was Scottish. Billy says he regards the old English lyrics "unsingable" (I remember the precise word) and old in the back cover of the EP. I lent it to a friend it by now, but I'll report his words when I get it back. He reminds that most versions were hastly translated by foreign delegates at a SFIO (the French Socialist Party) congress in 1886 (?) when they all heard the original French version of L'Internationale for the first time.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 02:46 PM

There was a TV film made about Billy setting Woody's unpublished songs to music, if anyone out there saw it, did they notice the startling physical resemblence of Billy Bragg to Woody. Regards to all, Dave


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Subject: RE: Billy Bragg's Internationale / W. Guthri
From: Fedele
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 02:33 PM

Here's what Billy wrote: "Eugene Pottier wrote the original lyrics of the I. after the fall of the Paris Commune in 1871. This was set to music by Pierre Degeyter, a textile worker from Lille who composed the tune for his factory chorus in 1888. 8 years later the song was adopted by the French Workers Party as its annual congress (1). Foreign delegates wrote down hasty translations and by the turn of the century it was being sung by socialists, communists and anarchists all over the world in dozen of languages (2) and was most recently heard being sung by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square during the pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989. (3) Shortly after that ecent Pete Seeger (4) asked me to sing the I. with him at the Vancouver Folk Festival. I told him I thought the English lyrics, whose translator is unknown (5), were archaic and often unsingable. He agreed and suggested I write some new lyrics to Degeyter's stirring tune.

Some notes I make: (1) ANNUAL congress ?!? Left parties in Italy use to have a congress every 4, 5, or 6 years just to tell the Secretary how he is good and intelligent. It seems that real Socialists in older time were much more intelligent and used to meet and discuss more often. (2) Isn't there a Yiddish version? Lemme know. (3) Students protesting against that Stalinist regime were not asking for McDonald's or free trade, and they were not singing some MTV cretin pop song. (4) Who's he? Lemme know. (5) See the other thread about The Internationale.

I think Billy and Woody look like each other maybe because they are both true sons of the people who look around and use their brain.


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