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Lyr Req/Add: The Colour-Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl)

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF ACCOUNTING
BRITAIN'S MOTORWAYS
DIRTY OLD TOWN
FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE (2)
GO DOWN, YOU MURDERERS
GOODBY TO THE THIRTY FOOT TRAILER
JOY OF LIVING
MANCHESTER RAMBLER
MY OLD MAN
NOBODY KNEW SHE WAS THERE
NORTH SEA HOLES
SCHOOLDAYS END
SECOND FRONT SONG
SHELLBACK SONG
SHOALS OF HERRING
SONG OF THE IRON ROAD
THE BALLAD OF TIM EVANS
THE FIRST TIME
THE TERROR TIME
THE TROOPER CUT DOWN IN HIS PRIME
THE WEEK YOUR MAN'S AWA' or FISHERMAN'S WIFE


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Lyr Add: Legal Illegal (Seeger/MacColl) (4)


Catrin 28 Aug 00 - 03:26 PM
Pene Azul 28 Aug 00 - 04:56 PM
Pene Azul 28 Aug 00 - 05:02 PM
Stewie 29 Aug 00 - 02:47 AM
Joe Offer 29 Aug 00 - 03:36 AM
Catrin 29 Aug 00 - 04:36 AM
John in Brisbane 29 Aug 00 - 07:39 AM
Joe Offer 21 Mar 01 - 07:42 PM
nutty 22 Mar 01 - 06:29 AM
GeorgeH 22 Mar 01 - 11:29 AM
Musicman 22 Mar 01 - 01:01 PM
IanC 22 Mar 01 - 01:13 PM
nutty 22 Mar 01 - 03:18 PM
Joe Offer 22 Mar 01 - 07:19 PM
Joe Offer 23 Mar 01 - 05:30 AM
Billy Weeks 26 Oct 11 - 10:10 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 13 - 07:45 AM
Billy Weeks 12 Feb 13 - 07:48 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 13 - 10:49 AM
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Subject: Ewan Macoll song
From: Catrin
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 03:26 PM

The other current Ewan Macoll thread brought to mind that there's one of his songs song that a friend of mine sings occasionally. I've been pestering him for the words but you know....

I can't remember what it's called but it's about a factory strike where the workers want to impose a colour bar (accusing 'blacks' of taking jobs or something). The story goes that the unions refused to support that strike because 'this is the kind of ignorance the unions have always fought' or something. I can't find it in the DT (probably because I don't know the words or the title(?)).

What I do remember is that it's a powerful song.

Help, anybody?

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: Pene Azul
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 04:56 PM

This page lists a song called "The Colour Bar Strike" from Second Shift with Peggy Seeger, but give no further info.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: Pene Azul
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 05:02 PM

This page also contains this citation:
Colour-Bar Strike - Mayo, Charlie/MacColl, Ewan
Critics Group. Sweet Thames Flow Softly, Argo ZDA 47, LP (1966), cut# 15

Jeff


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE COLOUR-BAR STRIKE (Mayo, MacColl)^^
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 02:47 AM

Here you go:

THE COLOUR-BAR STRIKE
(C.Mayo/E.MacColl)

My union badge shows two joined hands
With a lighted flame in common fight
But trouble's brewing in the sheds
For both these working hands are white

But working hands are white and black
And the work they do is all the same
But prejudice and fear come in
To break the grip, and dim the flame

The shunters broke the grip one day
Kings Cross goods yard went on strike
Not in a fight for better pay
But a coloured man they did not like

They did not like the coloured man
They wouldn't work with him, they said
In truth, it touched their overtime
And to a colour bar it led

The colour bar strikers soon went back
Jim Figgins led the NUR
And when they asked for his support
He said, 'We'll have no colour bar'

Jim Figgins said, 'Get back to work
This is a strike we'll not support
This is the kind of ignorance
That unions have always fought'

But though the union won that fight
The pressure's there and rising higher
Smoke rises in the engine sheds
And where there's smoke there's always fire

Men don't let smoke get in your eyes
Kindle that flame and keep it bright
To proud tradition still be true
And make those joined hands black and white

Source: transcribed from The Critics 'Sweet Thames Flow Softly' Argo LP ZDA 47
. PS.

Cheers, Stewie.

^^


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Subject: Ewan MacColl Songbook
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 03:36 AM

http://www.pegseeger.com says that Peggy is publishing The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook and it should be ready in the Autumn of 2000. I can hardly wait.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: Catrin
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 04:36 AM

Thank you, thank you everybody - I have been trying to get those words for years (seriously!). One request on the Mudcat and it takes less than twenty-four hours!!!

Joe - I'll be on the look out for that book too!

Catrin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 07:39 AM

Catrin and Joe, I haven't yet found my index to the published book of the Radio Ballads but my memory tells me that it's in there. I don't have access to a copy of this book in Brisbane, but if you can locate a copy, the tune is notated in there - I hope. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 07:42 PM

Still haven't seen the songbook. Anybody know anything about it?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: nutty
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 06:29 AM

MacColl published this in THE SINGING ISLAND (Belwin - Mills Music Ltd 1960) and says ...........

"Since folksong is concerned with the daily stuff of people's lives, it is not suprising that social and political matters are, from time to time , used as themes.
Charlie Mayo , a locomotive fireman at Kings Cross Loco Depot, wrote this hardhitting song immediately after the colour-bar strike of the Kings Cross railwaymen in 1957.
We publish it as an interesting example of contemporary song in the folk idiom"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 11:29 AM

I don't recall it as being in the Radio Ballads (though I've not listened to the whole set as yet . . )

BTW I'd strongly recommend Singing Island to anyone who can find a copy . . wonderful, and highly varied collection of songs old and less old. ISTR it's actually jointly attributed to Peggy.

G.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: Musicman
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 01:01 PM

catrin... just gotta know the right places to look!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: IanC
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 01:13 PM

Hi folks

I've seen a copy of "The Singing Island" in the British Library. You're unlikely to be able to find one yourself because it was a fairly small circulation pamphlet type book, aimed at schools etc.

It's actually a pretty important piece of work because it includes the versions of both "The Black Velvet Band" and "The Wild Rover" which were recorded by "The Dubliners" as hit singles in the 1960s and subsequently became the "standard" versions (the former collected from Harry Cox in 1953 and the latter from Sam Larner in 1956 or 9 I think).

If you've got a copy of the book, hang onto it (unless you want to sell it to me!).

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: nutty
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 03:18 PM

My copy cost £1.50 ( so it must have been bought in the 70's ) It contains 96 songs and I'm sorry Ian .. it is not for sale


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Subject: Ewan MacColl songbook
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 07:19 PM

OK, here's the respons from www.pegseeger.com:
The Ewan MacColl Songbook's projected appearance is now Summer 2001
Now we know.
-Joe Offer-
Duplicate post deleted. --JoeClone. *smirk*


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ewan Macoll song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Mar 01 - 05:30 AM

Yeah, and I knew I had double-posted - the second one was to correct a spelling, but then I forgot to delete the first. These JoeClones are getting far too crafty for me.
This could be a deep philosophical issue - what happense when the clones are better than the original - should we delete the original???
-Joe, the original-
Nah - we still need the blueprint. No one's better or worse. We all simply have different abilities and different ways of messing up. We don't have many opportunities to catch you making a boo-boo! --JC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Colour Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl)
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 10:10 AM

A little added information: Charles Mayo, who wrote 'The Colour Bar Strike' while he was a steam locomotive fireman, much later became the Education Officer at the Independent Broadcasting Authority. He is now retired and living in the West Country.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: The Colour-Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 07:45 AM

Contributors to this elderly thread may like to know that the words of Charles Mayo's 'The Colour Bar Strike' appeared in John Rose 'Solidarity Forever: !00 Years of King's Cross ASLEF' 1986.

Charlie himself has recently published 'Ghosts of Steam: the diary of a young locomotive fireman at King's Cross Depot 1952-1954' - a very limited edition available from Sue Elliott at 47 Brentham Way W5 1BE (bevansue@globalnet.co.uk) at £12 incl p&p.

The diary is reproduced in facsimile, which gives it great immediacy, even if it makes for slightly slower reading. The thoughts and experiences of a young man of the far left in a gruelling job with companions conditioned to tabloid right wing views (leading at one time to the notorious strike) makes a great story. It ends quite suddenly with his winning a life-changing scholarship to Ruskin College. The short (typeset) Introduction by the Charlie Mayo of today, looking back over sixty years, gives all the context you need. At the end he includes two more of his ballad texts.

MacColl's setting of CBS, sung by EM himself, is available on Youtube.

Charlie is still with us, resident in Polperro.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: The Colour-Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl)
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 07:48 AM

Sorry, I lost me cookie. That last GUEST was me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: The Colour-Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 13 - 10:49 AM

The note to this song when it appeared on Topic Record 'Second Shift' (1958) was as follows.
"Charlie Mayo, locomotive fireman of Kings Cross loco depot, wrote the words to this hard-hitting song immediately after the colour bar strike of the Kings Cross railwaymen in 1957. The air is by Ewan MacColl."
Judging by how Ewan made tunes, I would guess that he based this one on'Searching For Young Lambs".
Billy - Thanks for letting us know that Charlie is still going strong and a link to where we can get his book.
Jim Carroll


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