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Lyr Add: Conservative ballads

Related threads:
Folk Songs for Conservatives (80)
Right Wing Folksongs (86)
right-wing 'folk' (44)
Folk Singers who are Politically Conservative (290) (closed)
Lyr Req: Conservative Song (5)
Republican or Conservative folk singers (97)
Studio 360 segment: right-wing folk (37)
Folk Songs of the Far Right Wing (36)


toadfrog 13 Jul 03 - 06:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jul 03 - 06:37 PM
Uncle Jaque 13 Jul 03 - 06:43 PM
SINSULL 13 Jul 03 - 07:06 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Jul 03 - 07:23 PM
mack/misophist 13 Jul 03 - 07:54 PM
SINSULL 13 Jul 03 - 08:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jul 03 - 08:51 PM
toadfrog 14 Jul 03 - 01:19 AM
Stewie 14 Jul 03 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Gerry 06 Apr 08 - 07:29 AM
Phil Cooper 06 Apr 08 - 09:16 AM
oldhippie 06 Apr 08 - 02:11 PM
Janice in NJ 06 Apr 08 - 05:06 PM
Acorn4 06 Apr 08 - 05:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Apr 08 - 05:16 PM
Ref 06 Apr 08 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Gerry 16 Apr 08 - 08:51 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Apr 08 - 02:44 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: C.I.O. (Billie Menshouse)
From: toadfrog
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 06:27 PM

Dick Greenhaus mentioned somewhere that he had looked for an anti-union mountain song, specifically this one, and it was not to be found. I thought it might be available in California, and it is:

C.I.O.

(Allegedly "Billie Menshouse")
^^^
I had a job; was well content, and pleased in every way.
I worked with a smile and a song on my lips, and was happy from day to day.

My heart was filled with peace and joy my family was happy too;
And days were spent in sweet content, and troubles they were few.

The Ashland Tannery was where I worked, the men, like me, I know
Were satisfied with their own jobs, then come the C.I.O.!

They spread ill-feeling among the men, the bosses and laborers alike.
Then came the day the men were forced to organize and strike.

The pickets were placed in front and back and men kept out by force!
In stead of settling in a peaceful way, they took the roughest course!

The men got mad and started fights, and then were haled in court!
They were fighting against the very thing that brought them their support!

They began to quarrel among themselves. Even the best of friends;
It got so bad that it looked as though the troubles would never end!

Bricks were hurled and names were yelled, and they used their clubs and sticks.
The men grew weary but it wouldn't stop until the cause was licked.

The scrap yard, like the Tannery were having their troubles too;
All those strikes and the C.I.O. to Ashland were something new.

But finally through efforts of Mr. Shaut, who stood by us like a man,
We resumed our daily duties under our friend, Mr. Houlahan [sic].

Those days are finally gone and past, I was pleased to see them go,
And I hope I never hear again those words– the C.I.O.

Jean Thomas, Ballad Makin' in the Mountains of Kentucky (1939) at pp. 240-241. Thomas says the song is from one Millie Menshouse, "whose forbears were sturdy German peasants who, in their early days, toiled in the charcoal furnaces which dotted the foothills of Kentucky." Thomas provides no tune. It seems not to scan very well, but then, not all the songs in the Little Red Song Book scan, either.

The same book contains an even more conservative ballad, this one about the sin of banjo-picking:

^^

NO TITLE GIVEN

(Ostensibly by one Rufus Mitchell)

Come all you men and maidens, and harken unto me;
I will tell you my condition and what it used to be.

I used to be a sinner, that wandered from the Lord;
I neither heard His counsel nor read His Holy Word!

My name is Rufus Mitchell, the truth to you I'll tell;
I used to drink and gambol and picked my banjo well!

I kept my evil habits and served as Satan's slave;
Although my conscience told me, I had a soul to save!

In spite of all my conscience, I'd tell what was not true;
I would sing a lively ditty and pick my banjo, too!

In wars between the parties, the gray coats and the blue,
I volunteered for freedom; I picked my banjo too!

In scouting I was skillful; in battle I was brave.
Thought nothing about life or death but to liberate the slave.

I came into this country to see what I could do;
I kept my evil habits and picked my banjo, too!!!!

Then fever came upon me and brought me niear the grave,
And many Christians told me I had a soul to save.

I went to hear the gospel to see if His Word were true;
I laughed and mocked the preacher, and picked my banjo, too!

And when he called for sinners, the tears streamed in my eyes;
I bowed before the alter, I laid my banjo by!

I prayed and pled for mercy; Christ filled my flowing cup;
I went home rejoicing and burned my banjo up.
Come all you wicked sinners, to meet me on that shore,
Where we will walk and worship, where banjos are no more.

Thomas, supra, at pp. 180-181. There are no banjos in heaven! I hope the above moral is not wasted on you mudcatts! Repent before it is too late!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 06:37 PM

Can't see how that latter one is particularly conservative, big or small C. No suggestion that he was supposed to be wrong on the slave issue. Just on banjos and such. I don't much like Puritans myself, but they aren't the same as conservatives, as King Charles I could testify.

Reminds me of the Ould Orange Flute - now I wonder if that's a humorous rewrite of an original like that...

As for the first one, I'm sure plenty of strike-busting songs must have been commissioned by the bosses. The thing is, did they ever pass into the oral tradition?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 06:43 PM

Wasn't it Charlie Brown who opined that every little boy, at birth, should be issued a banjo?

I really don't think God's got any major issues with banjos, do you?

(Gorsh; I hope not!!!)

Come to think of it, I don't see a lot of early Hymns written for the instrument....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 07:06 PM

The John Birch Society

"If Mommie is a Commie
Well, you've got to turn her in..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 07:23 PM

I was once told that God, being omnipotent, could of course play the banjo any time he felt like it; but that, being also a god of love, he refrained from doing so.

I can't imagine that, if he existed, he would have any problem with we lesser beings having a nice time plunking away, provided we didn't annoy the neighbours too much, or frighten domestic animals. He never once complained while I was learning the fiddle, which was rather good of him in the circumstances, as it must have been quite a trial for an omniscient -even if mythological- entity.

I bet there are hymns arranged for banjo, though; at any rate late 19th/early 20th century. Some time when God's more officious middlemen down here on Earth weren't looking too closely, perhaps.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: mack/misophist
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 07:54 PM

SINSULL's comment sent me to the digitrad for the words. Her fragment sounds like talkin'blues. What a shame it isn't. Would one of you artistic types care to write it? Talkin', that is.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 08:27 PM

Link To John Birch:



@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6503


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 08:51 PM

Well there's always Dylan's Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues

Maybe it's time someone updated it. For example:

I wus lookin' high and low for them Reds everywhere
I was looking' in the sink an' underneath the chair.
I looked way up my chimney hole,
I even looked deep inside my toilet bowl.
They got away...


Somehow sounds very topical, except it's not Reds this time.

Yeah, I know this has drifted a bit of a way from "conservative ballads".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: toadfrog
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 01:19 AM

RELATED THREAD here.

McGrath, that song has to be from the heart; the bosses would not have paid perfectly good money for a song that doesn't scan any better than that. Another question is, how many of those political songs of the 30's through 60's ever really "passed into the oral tradition." Some doubtless did. Probably a lot more in the U.K. than here; I still don't think songs automatically become traditional because they are sung for 15 or 20 years at self-consciously folksy hootenanies.

The motto of the John Birch Society was, "This is a republic, not a democracy, let's keep it that way!" That has to be the basis for a song, but I only got this far:

BIRCH ANTHEM
(Tune- "This Land is Your Land")

This is a Rebublic, it is not a democracy,
So kindly spare us your pious hypocrisy!
From our Fox News broadcast, to our glorious plutocracy!
This land belongs to me, me, me!

As I was walking ..........[can anyone finish this?]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 03:45 AM

'Barry's Boys' is also good fun: Click Here

Does anyone know anything about June Reizner who penned this and also 'Friendly, Liberal, Neighbourhood KKK'? Good writer - what other songs has she written?

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 07:29 AM

Sorry to take near 5 years to answer Stewie's question - she wrote a couple of other songs the Mitchell Trio recorded, What This Country Really Needs Is Another Movie Star (someone else has just started a thread about this one), and Alabama Mother.

Of course, none of these are Conservative ballads, at any rate, not pro-conservative ballads.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 09:16 AM

Fleming Brown recorded a song on his folk-legacy album called "Flag of Blue, White & Red." Which he claimed was a traditional song, though there was a rumor that he wrote it himself. But it also had an anti-union sentiment. Art Thieme would know more about Fleming than I.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: oldhippie
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 02:11 PM

I have this 1963 LP, "Folk Songs For Conservatives" by Noel Parmentel Jr & Marshall J Dodge 3rd on the Toad label. Song titles are:

Sweet Selma Levine
Rock's Big Candy Mountain
Orally
We Shall Not Be Moved
Won't You Come Home, Bill Buckley
Hang Down Your Head Tom Dewey
Red River Valley (TVA)
I Dreamed I Saw Ray Cohn Last Night
D've Ken John Birch
Hang Earl Warren


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:06 PM

The Coal Tattoo by Billy Edd Wheeler combines anti-union sentiments with pie-in-the-sky dreams about being happy mining coal in Heaven. Does that qualify?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Acorn4
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:12 PM

Once you enter the field of country music, I'm sure there are plenty, the redneck classic "Okie from Muskogee", by Merle Haggard being, I suppose, the prime example.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 05:16 PM

Now our MP's in parliament, our safety to keep
Now we hope now we put him there, he won't sit and sleep
But he'll always have my vote if he never fail
To keep down the price of a pint of good ale
(From Glorious Ale - words slightly changed to the way I know them.)

Not explicitly Tory - but at the time that'd probably have been the party of the MP in question.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Ref
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 10:11 PM

I don't hear Coal Tattoo as anti-union. It sounds disappointed with the UMWA, which a lot of rank-and-file miners were in later years when the corruption took root.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 08:51 PM

It occurs to me that Phil Ochs got a few swipes in at the unions (though aimed from the left, not the right). In Love Me I'm A Liberal:

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
Of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
As long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Also in I Ain't A-Marching Any More:

Now the labor leader's screamin' when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason,"
Call it "Love" or call it "Reason,"
But I ain't marchin' any more.

And the whole point of Links On The Chain was to citicize the unions (for not being radical enough). After going over the early, heroic history of unions, he goes

And then in 1954, decisions finally made
The Black man was a-risin'fast, and racin' from the shade
And your union took no stand, and your union was betrayed
As you lost yourself a link on the chain, on the chain
As you lost yourself a link on the chain.

[two verses omitted here]

And the man that tries to tell you that they'll take your job away
He's the same man that was scabbin' hard just the other day
And your union's not a union til he's thrown out of the way
And he's chokin'on your links of the chain, of the chain
And he's chokin' on your links of the chain.

For now the times are tellin' you the times are rollin' on
And you're fighting for the same thing, the jobs that will be gone
Now its only fair to ask you, boys, which side are you on?
As you're buildin' all your links on the chain, on the chain
As you're buildin' all your links on the chain.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Conservative ballads
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Apr 08 - 02:44 AM

Wasn't Casey Jones a scab?
Jim Carroll


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