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Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)

Related threads:
Folklore: ballad of ho chi minh - which record? (9)
(origins) Origins: Ho Chi Minh Blues (2)


Gareth 23 Feb 03 - 05:09 PM
pavane 23 Feb 03 - 06:06 PM
Joe Offer 23 Feb 03 - 06:57 PM
Gareth 23 Feb 03 - 07:00 PM
Mark Cohen 23 Feb 03 - 07:18 PM
masato sakurai 23 Feb 03 - 08:48 PM
Cluin 23 Feb 03 - 09:12 PM
Joe Offer 23 Feb 03 - 09:19 PM
Gareth 24 Feb 03 - 06:41 AM
Dave Bryant 24 Feb 03 - 07:23 AM
pavane 24 Feb 03 - 07:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 03 - 12:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 03 - 01:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 03 - 04:28 PM
belfast 25 Feb 03 - 05:16 AM
Wolfgang 25 Feb 03 - 08:59 AM
GUEST 11 May 07 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,guest 15 Mar 08 - 02:27 AM
GUEST 14 May 08 - 10:54 PM
Little Hawk 15 May 08 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Albert 16 May 08 - 01:08 AM
mg 16 May 08 - 02:27 AM
MartinRyan 16 May 08 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,guet atze 01 Oct 09 - 03:35 PM
Wolfhound person 01 Oct 09 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,atze 06 Nov 09 - 02:21 PM
Wolfgang 06 Nov 09 - 02:42 PM
Wolfhound person 06 Nov 09 - 04:39 PM
brezhnev 06 Nov 09 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,atze 06 Nov 09 - 09:24 PM
GUEST 27 Nov 09 - 04:29 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Ballard of Ho Chi Min
From: Gareth
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:09 PM

Continuing my search for Songs what have been forgotten, (or overtaken politically)

The Ballard of Ho Chi Min - possibly by Ewan McColl - I certainly heard him sing this one in the Singers Club at Grays Inn Road in the early 70s.

DT No response

Forum - no Hits

Google No show under various combnations

Chorus "Ho Ho Ho Chi Min"

Also "The're the Army of Uncle Ho"

"All he knew was sweated Labour, Exploitation his ABC"

Gareth

Any aging lefties remember this one ???

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballard of Ho Chi Min
From: pavane
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:06 PM

Yes, the chorus to Ewan McColl's song WAS Ho Ho Ho Chi Min. But that's ALL I can remember of it. It was too left-wing for my taste, and I didn't pay much attention.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:57 PM

Hi, Gareth - this Google search brings up a bit of information, but my Internet service is so slow today that I can't pull much of it up. The song is in the new Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook that Peggy Seeger put out last year. You'll find a very interesting comment about the song here (click). There is an intriguing mention in the Digital Tradition (click) that Barbara Dane used to sing "Ballad of Ho Chi Minh" - but alas, no lyrics.
Well, I guess that's all I found. I guess we're going to have to break down and buy that songbook. I've been meaning to do it for quite a while.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballard of Ho Chi Min
From: Gareth
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:00 PM

Damn - More expense - Joe I thank you, we'll have the aging 'Tankies' song book yet

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballard of Ho Chi Min
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:18 PM

The Ballard of Ho Chi Minh? Oh, it's just a typo. I thought this was about Seattle going even farther over to the left.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballard of Ho Chi Min
From: masato sakurai
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 08:48 PM

"The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh" (by Ewan MacColl) is on a recently reissued CD, serie Folk Music Revival Living Folk -- The London Critics Group (KING [Japan] KICC 5762; originally ALBATROS [Italy]), which has Japanese translations only. According to Brunnings' Folk Song Index (Garland), the lyrics are in Sing Out! (Vol. 17, No. 6, 1968); MacColl & Seeger's I'm a Freedom Man; and Irwin & Fred Silber's Folksinger's Wordbook, none of which I have.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballard of Ho Chi Min
From: Cluin
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 09:12 PM

I saw these lyrics in a folk songbook somewhere not long ago. I'll try and do a defrag of my brain and see if I can't remember where later. When I saw the lyrics, I remember thinking, "Boy, Ewan MacColl had definitely written much better stuff than this!" That Ho, Ho Ho Chi Minh line sure didn't read well on parchment...

But I wonder if he was still backing this song years later. It doesn't appear on the compiliation "Definitive" Ewan MacColl CD (Black & White) I got from Green Linnet a couple of years ago. That doesn't mean much though, I suppose.

As an aside, I think his "The Joy of Living" is one of the most beautiful things ever written.


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Subject: ADD: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (Mac Coll)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 09:19 PM

Ah, bless you, Masato!

Ballad Of Ho Chi Minh
(Ewan MacColl)
       Dm
Far away across the ocean,
                            Am
Far beyond the sea's eastern rim,
       Dm
Lives a man who is father of the Indo-Chinese people,
         Bb       A7      Dm
And his name it is Ho Chi Minh.

Refrain:
       A7    Dm
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh.
       A7    Dm
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh.
From Viet back to the Saigon Delta
From the mountains and plains below
Young and old workers, peasants and the toiling tenant farmers
Fight for freedom with Uncle Ho.
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, etc.

Now Ho Chi Minh was a deep sea sailor
He served his time out on the seven seas
Work and hardship were part of his early education
Exploitation his ABC.

Now Ho Chi Minh came home from sailing
And he looked out on his native land
Saw the want and the hunger of the Indo-Chinese people
Foreign soldiers on every hand.

Now Ho Chi Minh went to the mountains
And he trained a determined band
Heroes all, sworn to liberate the Indo-Chinese people
Drive invaders from the land.

Fourteen men became a hundred
A hundred thousand and Ho Chi Minh
Forged and tempered the army of the Indo-Chinese people
Freedom's Army of Viet Minh.

Every soldier is a farmer
Comes the evening and he grabs his hoe
Comes the morning he swings his rifle on his shoulder
This the army of Uncle Ho.

From the mountains and the jungles
From the ricelands and the Plain of Reeds
March the men and the women of the Indo-Chinese Army
Planting freedom with vict'ry seeds.

From Viet back to the Saigon Delta
Marched the armies of Viet Minh
And the wind stirs the banners of the Indo-Chinese people
Peace and freedom and Ho Chi Mmli.


Copyright © 1967 by Stormking Music Inc.

Source: Irwin & Fred Silber's Folksinger's Wordbook, 1973
Cluin, I think you're right. This song and many others MacColl wrote, sound like propaganda to me. At his best, MacColl was brilliant, and wonderfully poetic. This song sounds like the product of a mindless ideologue.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 06:41 AM

Thanks, one more filed away.

In passing a looks as if possibly some of McColls stuff was filed in the memory hole.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:23 AM

Just as a matter of interest, on one of the sites in Joe's thread, it states that Peggy had a marriage of convenience to Alex Glasgow. I've always thought that it was Alex Campbell. Am I wrong ?.

I believe that the incident was the inspiration for Cyril Tawney's song "New Names for Old".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: pavane
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:24 AM

If that Folksinger's Wordbook is the one I have (A large blue book, my copy is defective, missing the first 20 or so pages) then I wonder how they got away with including so much copyright material without attribution or, presumably, royalties.
(Although they did actually attribute some of Ewan McColl's songs to him)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 12:55 PM

It was Alex Campbell.

Not MacColl's best. Oddly enough it reads like a translation - of the sort that is more worried about getting a one-for-one accurate version of the words, rather than standing back to get the overall feeling right. Not that I'm suggesting it is a translation, but it plods along.

Contrast it to Peggy Seeger's Ballad of Che Guevara (which I've never heard sung - anyone know the tune?).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 01:45 PM

Talking of translations, this thread set me thinking and I dug out a copy of Ho Chi Minh's Prison Diary in verse, from when he was jailed by Chiang-Kai Shek's police in 1942. You'd have thought that a song about the man would maybe have taken some note of the fact he was a poet.

"Wearily to the wood the birds fly seeking rest.
Across the empty sky a lonely cloud is drifting.
Far away in a mountain village, a young girl grinds nut maize.
When the maize is all ground, the fire burns red in the oven."


(Translated by Aileen Palmer, published 1967)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 04:28 PM

I see that the DT gives the tune for Peggy Seeger's song
"Che Guevara
as "Tune adapted from 'Banks of Sweet Primroses'", which is given here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: belfast
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:16 AM

Ewan and Peggy used to produce an occasional songbook, "The New City Songster". In one issue (which I have, but not here) is "The Ballad of Che Guevara" and the tune given is very similar to "The Banks of the Sweet Primroses". In the NCS it is given as a two part-harmony piece. It's pretty good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:59 AM

As an aside: Ho Chi Minh translates as He who is enlightened

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 07 - 07:39 AM

Đó chính là vị lănh tụ kính yêu của chúng tôi


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 02:27 AM

the Vietnamese and the land of Vietnam never forget Uncle Ho. You have your own religions, we have Uncle Ho


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 08 - 10:54 PM

Most Vietnamese remember Ho Chi Minh without crying but with tears in their eyes.

He is more than our leader, he is our (Big) UNCLE

Regards

A Vietnamse with Russian citizenship


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 May 08 - 09:15 PM

Ho Chi Minh fought to free his country from foreign colonial domination by the French, the Japanese, the French again, and then the Americans. He is the hero and the father of his country, just like George Washington in the USA, just like Fidel Castro in Cuba, just like Simon Bolivar in South America. They all fought to oust foreign armies and end foreign domination of their homeland.

Long live Ho Chi Minh!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST,Albert
Date: 16 May 08 - 01:08 AM

Yes I seem to recall that the US slaughtered a million Vietnamese as its military rained bombs and explosives down on the cities and towns of Vietnam.
Hundreds of men women and children were butchered at My Lai as US soldiers ran amok but that was only one of numerous massacres of civilians.
Ewan's song has to be seen in that context!
Albert


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: mg
Date: 16 May 08 - 02:27 AM

Right. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 May 08 - 06:09 AM

No - left.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST,guet atze
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 03:35 PM

any of you know what`s the first record it appeared on?
because the version in this; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hfpQeQZCnA
is not live and older than this 1970 or 68 "living folk" record


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 03:58 PM

I don't know what recordings it was on, but I distinctly remember singing it (with others of the group I was with, including 2 Critics members) on a beach at a campsite near Leningrad, on the 22nd August 1968.

If that helps date it. I have the words written out in a book of the period, but I can't lay my hands on it at present.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST,atze
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:21 PM

too bad you dont know
but what you wrote sounds very interesting
how does something like "singing the ballad of ho chi minh at a beach near leningrad" come about?

living in the germany of today, one constantly is being told that the "east" was scorned and shunned by "western" intellectuals, artists and the left in general at least as of 1968

now, i dont believe that to be entirely true as for example maccoll played at the "festival des politischen liedes" in berlin as late as 1988 (anywhere information about that?)

but its hard to come by facts how things like these actually worked


so i would be really interested in how you wound up on that beach near leningrad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:42 PM

maccoll played at the "festival des politischen liedes" in berlin as late as 1988 (anywhere information about that?)


Festival des politischen Liedes

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 04:39 PM

I was with a coachload of other young people, on an economy holiday. Most of us sang and or played, a sizeable minority were in the Critics Group circle or influenced by it.
Originally we were going to go through E. Germany and Poland but the leader (who was Swiss) had been told it wasn't possible, earlier in the summer.
The route took us through W. Germany to a ferry to Denmark, up through Sweden and across to Finland.
We crossed the border into Russia on 21 Aug 1968. I was one of the few Russian speakers / readers - pretty poor but better than nothing. Accommodation had been booked at a campsite near Repino (to put it in Western script). We sat on the beach there and sang - just what we did most evenings. We had two days tourism in Leningrad - one day with a guide, but on the second we went into the city by train, on our own.
We discovered that if we said we were English, then people would talk to us. They wouldn't talk to Americans. A couple of young men showed three or four of us the Aurora, and the Peter & Paul fortress etc. We swopped things - I had a pack of biros, but I forget what I got for it.
For many years I kept the official newspapers of the day which I brought out - the "local papers" were taken from us at the border as we left.
But my abiding memory is of teaching anti-Vietnam songs, and other stuff, to the few locals who joined us. One tuned someone's guitar into balaliaka (sp??)tuning and played "Moscow Nights", I think it was.

Quite a surreal experience in retrospect.

I still haven't found my songbook - I've got stuff stowed away at present due to building works. But I know it's there somewhere!

Paws


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: brezhnev
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 08:35 PM

Not sure about the chords, but the refrain used to get chanted by angry students rampaging arm-in-arm through the streets of frightened cities in 1968:
         
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh!
         
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST,atze
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 09:24 PM

tja, wolfgang, thanks a lot for this link to THE fountain of wisdom
(how do you make one of these smileys pointing out that no offense was intended?)





wolfhound thanks for this memory and dont bother looking for the words, they are easy to find (in this thread ) im just desperately trying to find this old version of the song

thanks again


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 04:29 AM

We chanted

"We shall fight, We shall win
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh"

and

"Hey, Hey, LBJ
How many kids did you kill today?"


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