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Lyr Req/ADD: Battle of Brownhills

Steve Parkes 04 Dec 98 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,999 06 Sep 12 - 07:48 PM
rumanci 14 Sep 12 - 07:49 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 12 - 03:27 AM
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Subject: Words to Battle of Brownhills?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Dec 98 - 08:43 AM

While I was posting to the McColl travelling People thread, I mentioned this song. It's called 'the battle of Brownhills' (in Staffordshire, England) and it was written twenty-odd years ago by a traveller named Johnny Connors.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Battle of Brownhills
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Sep 12 - 07:48 PM

Lyrics posted by Jim on the post below.

From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Sep 08 - 07:26 AM

message #2451461

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Subject: ADD: Battle of Brownhills
From: rumanci
Date: 14 Sep 12 - 07:49 PM

In order to answer this request here are the re-posted lyrics from the link above.


Come all me loyal Travellers and listen to my song,
It's about th'oul brave Travellers they bravely made their stand
When the police and those Midland security scamps come to break our trailers down.

Sure it was in old Brownhills me boys, our brave Travellers made their stand,
Against those so-called gentlemen, they were more like Hitler's mob,
They attacked our camp one October Sunday morning all at the dawn of day,
What a terrible shock they got me lads, when they heard what I had to say.

Now Gratton Puxon** was there too, that great man from London Town,
They saw the anger all in his eyes, he did answer them one and all.
The students too, may God bless them, they did answer to my call,
And said, "Johnny, we will camp with you, and with yous we will fall."

Now the Connors's and th'ould Cash's, Murphys, Doran's, and Doherty' and Hanrahan's were there too,
And not forgetting Roy Parkinson**, and the bold brothers O'Donald.

In Walsall town one evening, the balance of the day
When squad-car loads of those licensed thugs came to tow our trailers away,
Three little sisters asleep in bed, asleep in bed they lay,
May our lord have mercy on their innocent souls; they died in that 'viction that day.

At the graveyard in Bilston we laid them in their grave,
Our hearts were filled with sorrow, our brave heads bowed with shame,
It is the wicked and cruel law of Walsall Town that we have to blame.

So we've heard of glorious St. Patrick, and all he did for our Irish race,
But I only wonder if he forgot to banish all the snakes.
We will pray to Chris or Columbus (Christopher Columbus?) sure he found Americay,
And please God all in their own good time:
(Spoken) Human minded people will find the travelling people a place to stay and education for their children".

Rec. from "Pop's" Johnny Connors

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Battle of Brownhills
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Sep 12 - 03:27 AM

An explanation of this song, which we recorded from 'Pop's' Johnny in July 1973, under the Flyover at Shepherds Bush London.
Johnny was involved in the fight for Traveller rights throughout the 1960s in Britain.
He explained that he had made the song following an eviction at Brownhills in the West Midlands, where unsupervised hired bailiffs dragged caravans of a site, neglecting to check whether they were occupied.
One contained three young sisters who were burned to death when a solid fuel heater overturned.
The local press reported (falsely) that the children burned to death because their parents had left them unsupervised - as far s I know, nobody was ever charged with their deaths.
The West Midlands still has the reputation among Travellers as being the worst area of Britain to travel; it was a WM Justice of the peace Harry Watton who suggested to Charles Parker during the making of the Radio Ballad, The Travelling People, that all Travellers who refused to conform should be exterminated.
John sang the song for the first time at the commemoration for the Gypsy war dead in 1967 (in France, I think)
He wrote several songs, the best IMO being Gum Shellac, a brilliant potted history of Travellers, which contains the verse

All the jobs in the world we have done,
From making Pharaoh's coffins to building Birmingham

John can be heard singing Gum Shellac on our Travellers double CD, 'From Puck To Appleby' and he contributed a long autobiographical chapter to Jeremy Sandford's Gypsies, the book that first inspired us to record Travellers in 1973.
Jim Carroll

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