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Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite

Joe Offer 30 Aug 04 - 03:21 AM
John in Brisbane 30 Aug 04 - 10:13 AM
Joe Offer 03 Sep 04 - 10:58 AM
Joe Offer 06 Sep 04 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 06 Sep 04 - 07:35 PM
Hayyim Feldman 09 Aug 09 - 04:41 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Aug 09 - 02:48 PM
GUEST 30 May 13 - 01:31 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 30 May 13 - 04:29 PM
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Subject: ADD: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 03:21 AM

My friend Mrs. Lev has struck up an acquaintance with Bill Friedland, and Bill sent her this song. Mrs. Lev says the song is supposed to be sung to the tune of "Butcher Boy." The Digital Tradition has Butcher's Boy, but the tune doesn't seem to work with the Trotsky lyrics. Is the DT tune the correct one for "Trotsky"?
-Joe Offer-

(Walter Cliff aka Walter Gourlay) (Tune: The Butcher Boy)

Oh, Mama, I saw one on the Square, heck-el-ing a Y-C-Ler there.
I could see that she was doing fine, for she had better twists and curves
Than any party line.

A Trotskyite, a Trotskyite, I wanna marry a Trotskyite.
The bourgeoisie, they don't appeal to me,
A Yipsel girl must keep me company.
Oh dearie, no Y-C-L for me,
I only want a Trotskyite to bounce upon my knee.

In spite of Bronx and Brooklyn dialects, the Yipsel girls have got a lot of sex.
They know their Engels and they know their Marx
And we've discussed Das Kapital on Sundays in the parks.

They know their love, they know their politics,
l'm crazy for those female Bolsheviks.
I know we agree in the theory of the State
And so I'm sure that one of them would make a perfect mate.

The Yipsel girls have given their consent
To Marx's laws of full development;
My, how dames and dialectics,
Trotsky, love, and Lenin, and sex appeal can mix.

I know about Joe Stalin's Comintern,
And "surplus value" is just what I should learn.
But my education has never gone above
Beginning of "Utopian and Scientific Love".

As workers of the world we must unite,
So I'll do it with a Trotskyite.
We'll join our hands in a union strong
And they'll play "Solidarity" for our wedding song.

'Twill be a Dual Power Regime,
We'll collaborate, strange as it may seem.
And we'll begin, my wife and me,
To read Engels' "Origin of the Family."

My wife and I will go to bed at nights:
"United Front" between the Trotskyites.
And when she's out on Yipsel work instead,
I'll buy Labor Action to take her place in bed.

Oh, you'll never know Bolshevism's charms
Until you've had a Yipsel in your arms.
Joe Stalin would change his party line
And the Gay-Pay-Oo would pay to woo
A comrade such as mine.

Written about 1941. Further information here (click)
"Yipsel" - nickname for Young Socialist (Young People's Socialist League, YPSL -
It's also the Yiddish word for "squirrel," and the middle name of lyricist Edgar Yipsel Harburg.

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 10:13 AM

Here's another one, but I don't think it'll fit either:

T:The Butcher's boy
D| G3/2 D/2 G A|G E D c|
B/2B/2 G B d| c3 B/2 c/2|
d3/2 G/2 B3/2 A/2| G G D =F|
E C D A| G3|

I should add that I had to clean up the notation fairly arbitrarily, so it's probably far from 'authentic' now.

Regards, John

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Sep 04 - 10:58 AM

Still looking for somebody who can suggest a tune that will work. Has anybody ever heard this song sung?
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Sep 04 - 07:07 PM

Got another note from Mrs. Lev. She says the tune may be a popular song from the 1940's with a title something like "I Wanna Marry a Butcher Boy." Google doesn't help - anybody remember a song like that?
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 06 Sep 04 - 07:35 PM

My mum used to sing

The butcher's boy the butcher's boy I want to marry the butcher's boy

Oh ma ma how happy I will be

Oh ma ma he's going to marry me

The tune would correspond to the first lines of the Trotsky chorus - I'll try to find the song.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: Hayyim Feldman
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 04:41 PM

Sholem aleichem,

I'm finding this thread a few years late, which may be a good thing because there is now good information about the Butcher's Boy song, including sample recordings from a few versions, available here:

As of this writing, Aug 9, 2009, the links to the music files (scroll all the way down to "Resources") are broken, but the brief samples from the source recordings at Amazon work fine.

By the way, I found this page when I followed a link for "I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite" (couldn't resist the title) from another Mudcat page for The Cloakmakers Union, which according to family lore was co-authored in the late '20s or early '30s by my wife's father (well before she was born), Jose (Bill) de la Torre Bueno, a book publisher and, in those days, fellow traveler. Unfortunately, Laura doesn't remember and may never have known the name of his friend, the other co-author. The lyrics and melody we have for it are slightly different. I suppose I ought to post this there.

-Hayyim Feldman
hayyim [at] tikkun [dot] org

Tikkun Magazine / Network of Spiritual Progressives

For a New Bottom Line of love, awe, and joy!

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 02:48 PM

"As I stroll along the Kremlin with a highly furtive air
You can hear the zeks declare
H must be a commissionaire
You can see the try, but they'll never guess
You can hear them sigh, but I won't confess
I'm the man who blows up railroad trains for Trotsky!"

(tune: The Man That Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo)

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
Date: 30 May 13 - 01:31 PM

Bill Friedland

It's interesting to see the correspondence above.

"I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite" was written by Walter Cliff who was part of a cluster of
your adherents to the Workers Party in 1940-2. The WP was an split offshoot from the main body of US Trotskyism, the Socialist Workers Party.

Walter was a great parody writer and the words were written to the tune of "I Wanna Marry the Butcher Boy". I can't help anyone who wants to trace down the tune but it was fairly commonly known in the 1930s and '40s.

It was never recorded.

When Joe Glazer and I recorded BALLADS FOR SECTARIANS in 1951 or '52, we did not include it because BALLADS consisted of anti-CP songs that had emerged in the polemical battles between the Trotskyites and the Stalinists.
BALLADS and SONGS OF THE WOBBLIES were the two record albums that Glazer and I sang.
A biographical sketch can be found in the Bear Family collection SONGS FOR POLITICAL ACTION which contains the original recordings.

Labor Srts was a self-created kind of co-op whose founding genius was Bill Kemsley, then the education director of the Michigan CIO Council. I worked as Kemsley's assistant in those days and Glazer was the education director of the United Rubber Workers. Kemsley pulled in some supportive others who were involved in the Michigan CIO leftwing network.
Labor Arts issued only those two records and then went out of business.

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I Wanna Marry a Trotskyite
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 30 May 13 - 04:29 PM

For the tune, you can hear the Andrews Sisters song at youtube: Oh Mama. There's also Dean Martin in Italian: Luna Mezzo Mare and some tenor singing Rossini La Danza, some of which you may recognise.

You can see some of the score at google books: Oh Mama! (The Butcher Boy). And there's information about these songs with various versions here: Looking for an Italian Song called The Butcher Boy in English


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