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The Bosses' Songbook

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musicmick 16 Jul 02 - 02:17 AM
Mark Clark 16 Jul 02 - 02:31 AM
Suffet 16 Jul 02 - 06:16 AM
Coyote Breath 16 Jul 02 - 10:03 PM
Art Thieme 16 Jul 02 - 11:07 PM
harpgirl 16 Jul 02 - 11:14 PM
Burke 17 Jul 02 - 05:36 PM
Hollowfox 17 Jul 02 - 06:32 PM
Joe_F 17 Jul 02 - 06:50 PM
musicmick 17 Jul 02 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,Alexis 18 Jun 07 - 01:30 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jun 07 - 09:38 PM
Joe_F 18 Jun 07 - 10:07 PM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 08 - 01:04 PM
Mark Ross 13 Aug 08 - 02:38 PM
katlaughing 13 Aug 08 - 02:53 PM
Severn 14 Aug 08 - 12:40 PM
katlaughing 14 Aug 08 - 01:02 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Aug 08 - 01:09 PM
Severn 14 Aug 08 - 01:24 PM
EBarnacle 15 Aug 08 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,the_avb at yahoo dot com 30 Apr 09 - 09:51 PM
Charley Noble 01 May 09 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Chris Locke 22 Jan 10 - 07:52 PM
Mark Ross 22 Jan 10 - 10:35 PM
Mark Ross 22 Jan 10 - 10:36 PM
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Subject: The Bosses' Songbook
From: musicmick
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 02:17 AM

Does anyone remember the Bosses Songbook, that spoof of the People's Songbook that was created in the fifties by New York radical folksingers like Roy Berkeley and Dave VanRonk? Is it still in print? I remember some of the songs but I would love to have them all.

Mike Miller


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Mark Clark
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 02:31 AM

I remember it but I've never owned a copy. Haven't even seen one since back in those days. Still, I think it's been discussed here and a thread search may even locate someone who has a copy.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Suffet
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:16 AM

I have a copy, but it's buried somewhere on a bookcase shelf along with a squillion jillion tons of other stuff I haven't looked at in years. I do remember one song that begins...

They handed him his orders at Party headquarters,
Saying, "Pete, you're way behind the times.
This is not '38, it's 1947,
There's been a change in the Party line."



Pretty nasty stuff, but it had a lot of us laughing so hard we nearly peed in our collective pants. DvR was easily the funniest Trotskyite ever. Of course my friends who spent time hiding out in Mexico from Comintern thugs tell me that old Leon himself was quite a party animal!

Shee-it! It looks like I'm in for a health dose of line rectification at the next criticism self-criticism meeting.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 10:03 PM

Yas, yas, yas! what a great little book ('songs to stifle the flames of discontent') Lord, I HAD a copy. now where is it? If anyone can come up with a source PLEASE PM me! My favorite (which I still play from time to time) was "Slaves of Wall Street". I've convinced my girlfriend that it is an old union song! hee hee hee

CB


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 11:07 PM

Tom, I had one too. Just told Carol, who thought I still had it, that it vanished maybe 25 years ago.

Well, what's time to a pig?? ;-)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: harpgirl
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 11:14 PM

"what's dynamite dope to the pope
or religion to a brown ground hog?"

(oops, sorry for that thread creep)


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Burke
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:36 PM

Libraries with Item: "The Bosses' songbook :

NY NEW YORK UNIV
CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, BANCROFT LIBR, ARL
CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS, SHIELDS LIBR
CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, LA
IL UNIV OF ILLINOIS
LA TULANE UNIV
MI MICHIGAN STATE UNIV
NC UNIV OF N CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL
NH UNIV OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
OH BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIV
OHIO HIST SOC
OR UNIV OF OREGON LIBR
PA BALCH INST FOR ETHNIC STUDIES LIBR
RI BROWN UNIV
TN CENTER FOR POPULAR MUSIC, MTSU
WI UNIV OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, GEN LIBR SYS


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Hollowfox
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:32 PM

Interlibrary loan, here I come!


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Joe_F
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:50 PM

I have a copy, which I bought in California in 1958. Unfortunately, I have no scanner.

It names no names. I am delighted to learn that Dave Van Ronk was involved in it. Rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: musicmick
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:02 PM

Greetings to all my fellow aging leftists. I will be checking out those library sites and reporting them to the authorities, you may be sure. Do you remember that talking blues that went....

Listen here buddy, what's this I see

I see you're makin' more than me

It's plain to see we need a change

Let's look around and see what we can arrange

We need a union

How 'bout thge Soviet Union?

Wasn't it great when we were able to laugh at ourselves?


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: GUEST,Alexis
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 01:30 PM

Sorry for the belated addition -- found this thread while looking for an image of the cover. The IWW has copies of the Bosses' Songbook, which can be ordered by writing books@iww.org.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 09:38 PM

And somewhere in my bookshelf is a long neglected copy.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 10:07 PM

By now I have a scanner & copier.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 01:04 PM

Somebody was asking about this book in another thread. Can anybody post at least the table of contents?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Mark Ross
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 02:38 PM

THE BOSSES SONGBOOK
A collection of modern political songs of satire

collected and edited by
Dave Van Ronk and Richard Ellington


Second edition - 1959
Price: 50 cents

Published by
Richard Ellington
PO Box 104
Cooper Station
New York 3, N.Y.

Copyright 1959 by Richard Ellington






TWO POEMS
BOSSES LIFEGUARD
MODERN UNION MAID
SONG OF THE SOUTH
HOLD THE LINE
STALINGRAD, ODESSA AND VLADIVOSTOK
RIBALD REBERLS SONG
BALLAD OF A PARTY FOLKSINGER
RADICAL WHIFFENPOOF SONG
LUBYANKA PRISON
WHICH SIDE ARE WE ON
FINK'S SONG
JESUS CHRIST
TWELVE DAYS OF MARXMAS
BROTHERHOOD SONG
THE GOOD OLD PARTY LINE
LEFT-WING NEGRO'S SONG
INCOMPLETE CAPITALIST WAR SONG
THIS LAND IS THEIR LAND
WHEN JOHNNY COMES HOBBLING HOME AGAIN
BOMB DIRGE
DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI
TALKIN' MANAGEMENT BLUES
TALKIN' LITTLE ROCK
TALKIN' STALIN BLUES
THE RIGHT TO SUFFER BLUES
NIHILIST SONG
THE KOLKHOZ SONG
SALVATION ARMY SONG
NEW TALKIN' UNION BLUES POLITICIANS SONG
HINTS FOR THE BEGINNER
BASIC CHORD PATTERNS


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 02:53 PM

I posted links to two locations where you can buy a copy of it.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Severn
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 12:40 PM

One said that the seller was temporarily away and the other linked to the same seller said it was available and took my order, so we'll see what becomes of this. I'll be tracking this order, for sure!


Thanks Kat and Mark!


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 01:02 PM

Good luck, Severn!

Here's some info I found I thought might be of interest:

From Lee Hoffman's bio online HERE:

One evening, Dave came by with Larry Block. While we were gabbing one of us came up with a line or two of satire on a union song. That immediately led to several satires such as The Twelve Days of Marxmas and The Fink's Song. We decided there should be a collection called The Bosses' Songbook. Dave followed up by getting together with Dick Ellington and actually producing a chapbook of the stuff we'd written that evening and some satires that had been around a while. It sold out so quickly that they developed a larger fancier second edition.

and this about Dick Ellington,'s wife, from a small obit for her in 2001: She assisted Dick in the production of The Bosses' Songbook and had an illustration in it..

Not this book, but this was interesting, too, imo: Clickety.

Also, there's a fellow who has put the Socialist's Song Book online.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 01:09 PM

A much rarer issue was The Person's Songbook, from the U of Chi ca. 1949
I'd love to get my hands on a copy.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Severn
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 01:24 PM

And since I'll hopefully be getting a copy of the Second Edition, "The Ballad Of Pete Seeger" will be listed instead as "The Ballad Of A Party Singer"

Van Ronk talks of it in his memoir, "The Mayor Of MacDougal Street" (DeCapo Press 2006):


"The Bosses' Songbook" was popular in our circle and caused a fair amount of irritation in others. I was told on good authority that Pete was thinking of suing us, and for our second printing, we changed the title......(Dick Ellington remembered this quite differently. He heard that Pete found the song funny and actually performed it a few times, and as proof presented Pete's order for three songbooks.)




And thanks to Joe for starting the thread!


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for the mention of Lee Hoffman. I met her at several parties at Jo and Don Meisner's and we eventually exchanged autographed books. I treasure my copy of "The truth about the Cannonball Kid."


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: GUEST,the_avb at yahoo dot com
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 09:51 PM

My father left me a 1959 2nd edition if anyone wants an original copy. Email me for a picture.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 May 09 - 08:26 AM

Hmmmm?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: GUEST,Chris Locke
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 07:52 PM

I found a pdf copy that can be printed from the internet. An SDS archive has been microfilmed by the University of Wisconsin library. The link is www.sds-1960s.org/documents.htm. Scroll down toward the bottom of the list and you will find The Bosses' Songbook Part 1 Part 2 (7 MB PDF files) "Songs to Stifle the Flames of Discontent." This Trotskyite-tinged parody of "The People's Songbook" is a collection of modern political songs of satire. Collected and edited by Dave Van Ronk and Richard Ellington, 1959. These songs were written and passed along by people of every conceivable political and apolitical tendency, and sometimes they don't even express the serious views of the writers themselves. Often they poke fun at the ruling classes, be they capitalist or Soviet.


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 10:35 PM

Chris Locke, the url couldn't be found.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: The Bosses' Songbook
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 10:36 PM

OK, I got it to work.

Mark Ross


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