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Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan? (Phil Thomas)

Metchosin 03 Sep 01 - 02:40 PM
Metchosin 03 Sep 01 - 02:55 PM
Gareth 03 Sep 01 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Angry student 09 Sep 13 - 04:05 PM
Stewart 10 Sep 13 - 12:44 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Sep 13 - 01:50 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 15 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,mg 23 Feb 15 - 02:22 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: ARE YOU FROM BEVAN?
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 02:40 PM

Couldn't find this in the DT and thought it might get buried in the Geographical Satisfaction thread. Very appropriate for Labour Day.

Location: Vancouver Island
Date: 1912 to 1915 (see notes)
Informant: Words and Music by Phil Thomas
Source: Thomas, Philip J. Songs of the Pacific Northwest.
Saanichton, B.C.: Hancock House Publishers Ltd., 1979. 131.


ARE YOU FROM BEVAN?

Well, hello, stranger, how do you do?
There's something I'd like to say to you.
You seem surprised I recognize;
I'm no company stool but I just surmise
You're from the place I'm longing to be.
Your smiling face seems to say to me
You're from the island, your land and my land,
So tell me can it be-

CHORUS: Are you from Bevan? I said from Bevan
Where those fields of stumps they beckon to me.
I'm glad to see you!
Tell me how be you,
And those friends I'm longing to see?
If you're from Union Bay or Courtenay or Cumberland
Any place below that Bevan second dam-
Are you from Bevan? I said from Bevan,
'Cause I'm from Bevan too!

Now it was way back in 19 and 12
Our gas committee was put on the shelf.
First we walked out, then we were locked out-
Then by a foul we were all but knocked out.
Our union miners faced guns and jail,
Hundreds of us were held without bail,
But by August 1914 our labor they were courting,
But they blacklisted me-


"Are You From Bevan?" is a mixture of nostalgia and grim recollection. The song tells in brief the story of a two-year episode in the long struggle of the coal miners of Vancouver Island to have the major mine owners accept their right to form a union.

In the song a man-no longer a coal miner on the island-hails another whom he remembers from one of the colliery communities in the Cumberland area. He recalls the incident which precipitated the two-year dispute, the firing and blacklisting of the miners' representative on a Gas Committee at one of the Dominion Collieries' mines. He then tells of the men's reaction in Cumberland in September, 1912, where the blacklisted miner had sought work only to be turned away by the management.

They took a joint "holiday" to protest this discrimination and to discuss what further they should do. The next day the management ordered them to take their tools from the mine unless they would sign individual two-year contracts. The song then refers to the "foul" that nearly knocked them out.

The "foul" was collusion in strike-breaking activities between the provincial government of McBride and Bowser and the owners of Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Ltd.

The strike-breaking included: employment in Cumberland of imported miners and Chinese labourers whom the employers were able to intimidate; turning a mine and its townsite into an armed camp with special police and eventually with militia; condoning of armed strike-breakers at Extension, near Nanaimo, when there was no evidence to suggest that the strikers were armed or intending to arm themselves; arrest by duplicity of men gathered in Nanaimo in peaceful assembly; and finally maintaining military rule over the entire mining area to ensure that no union organization could possibly succeed."*

*From -Philip Thomas, Songs of the Pacific Northwest


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan?
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 02:55 PM

This song is special to me because my great-grand Uncle Ezra was killed, at age 19 and my great grandfather injured in a deep mine explosion at Wellington No. 5 Pit in the area, which had subsequent profound reprecussions for our family.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan?
From: Gareth
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 03:04 PM

Sounds suspisiusly similar to South Wales at that time !

Half a world away, and coal owners and goverments were all the same.

Agaim Very much thanks, Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan? (Phil Thomas)
From: GUEST,Angry student
Date: 09 Sep 13 - 04:05 PM

I am currently in an English class in Vancouver. Every friggin day we sing sing this song. If this song were never written our lives would never be ruined every morning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan? (Phil Thomas)
From: Stewart
Date: 10 Sep 13 - 12:44 PM

Sung by Paddy Graber

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan? (Phil Thomas)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Sep 13 - 01:50 AM

The song is obviously patterned on ARE YOU FROM DIXIE?

Or was that fact so obvious that no one thought it was necessary to say?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan? (Phil Thomas)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 10:06 AM

Yes, there should be some credit given to the writers (George L Cobb and Jack Yellen, 1915) of the music "Are You from Dixie?" A little bit of plagiarism here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Are You From Bevan? (Phil Thomas)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 02:22 PM

I feel for the student who had to sing this every day. We had to sing listen to the mockingbird over and over and over...


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