Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Strawbs' Part of the Union

belfast 24 Feb 06 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Feb 06 - 09:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 06 - 10:03 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 06 - 10:07 AM
gnomad 24 Feb 06 - 10:19 AM
Purple Foxx 24 Feb 06 - 10:29 AM
GUEST 24 Feb 06 - 10:44 AM
number 6 24 Feb 06 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Guest 24 Feb 06 - 10:59 AM
John MacKenzie 24 Feb 06 - 11:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 06 - 11:38 AM
Purple Foxx 24 Feb 06 - 11:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 06 - 12:08 PM
Geoff the Duck 24 Feb 06 - 05:56 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 24 Feb 06 - 06:46 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 06 - 07:12 PM
Geoff the Duck 24 Feb 06 - 07:13 PM
Bainbo 24 Feb 06 - 07:40 PM
Geoff the Duck 24 Feb 06 - 07:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 06 - 08:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Feb 06 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,George McIntosh 25 Feb 06 - 01:48 AM
Dave Hanson 25 Feb 06 - 02:35 AM
Purple Foxx 25 Feb 06 - 03:17 AM
Geordie-Peorgie 25 Feb 06 - 05:45 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Feb 06 - 07:11 AM
Purple Foxx 25 Feb 06 - 07:24 AM
jillfiddle 25 Feb 06 - 03:47 PM
Purple Foxx 25 Feb 06 - 03:59 PM
akenaton 25 Feb 06 - 04:36 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 25 Feb 06 - 04:38 PM
Purple Foxx 25 Feb 06 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,guest 25 Feb 06 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 25 Feb 06 - 06:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Feb 06 - 06:52 PM
GUEST 25 Feb 06 - 06:58 PM
Tootler 25 Feb 06 - 07:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Feb 06 - 08:13 PM
GUEST 26 Feb 06 - 04:36 AM
Dave Hanson 26 Feb 06 - 05:26 AM
Roughyed 26 Feb 06 - 07:37 AM
Snuffy 26 Feb 06 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,v 26 Feb 06 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Van 26 Feb 06 - 08:27 AM
Purple Foxx 26 Feb 06 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Van 26 Feb 06 - 08:41 AM
Helen 26 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM
GUEST 27 Feb 06 - 10:15 AM
GUEST 27 Feb 06 - 10:50 AM
Santa 27 Feb 06 - 11:58 AM
Geordie-Peorgie 27 Feb 06 - 04:05 PM
belfast 02 Mar 06 - 11:33 AM
Purple Foxx 02 Mar 06 - 12:08 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 02 Mar 06 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Lanfranc the Cookieless 03 Mar 06 - 05:34 AM
Geordie-Peorgie 07 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Nicholas Waller 07 Mar 06 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,redmax 08 Mar 06 - 05:23 AM
Paco Rabanne 08 Mar 06 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,aj 08 Mar 06 - 07:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Mar 06 - 07:21 AM
melodeonboy 11 Mar 06 - 06:48 PM
Murray MacLeod 13 Aug 06 - 08:48 AM
GUEST 24 Nov 17 - 10:36 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: belfast
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 07:44 AM

In the BBC4 'Folk Britannia' it is said that 'Part of the Union' is an attack on the trade unions. This interpretation is repeated in the thread about the series. I hadn't really noticed the song before apart from noticing that it seemed to be based on Woody Guthrie's Union Maid. I've just looked at the lyrics and I'm wondering how it was known that it was attack on the unions. On the face of it the lyrics seem a slightly triumphalist celebration of union power. An ironic celebration perhaps considering the beating that the unions were to suffer at the hands of Thatcher's government.

Another question. If it was an attack on the unions, are the writers and performers of the song pleased that they did their little bit to destroy organisations dedicated to protecting the rights of working people?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 09:55 AM

either the strawbs were complete tory
wolves in sheeps clothing;
or 'liberal' drugged up irresponsinle hippies..
whatever,
the song was written and sung in a sarcastic 'ironic' tone
and could be construed as a sneer at trade union solidarity and 'power'


well, thats as i remember it going down 30 odd years ago
but buggered if i can remember any of the lyrics now
to prove any case against 'em..

besides i was only about 13 or 14 at the time,
and my dad was a factory shop-steward,
and anyway,
he probably thought it was only a 'harmless' daft
disposable singalong pop song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:03 AM

I never got into analysing it too closely. Just took it at face value. The only time I saw the Strawbs performing live, there didn't seem anything ironic or sneering about the way they sang it, and I don't think the audience took it that way either.

Sometimes irony is in the minds of the performer and not the listener, and sometimes the other way round. And sometimes neither.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:07 AM

Part of the Union


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: gnomad
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:19 AM

I'm with McGoH on this. Whether irony was intended or not, my recollection is that it was taken as a straight "Up Yours!" at the governing/boss classes, at least in the circles I haunted at the time.

That'a a problem of irony, refine it too much and you end up appearing to support what you intended to attack.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:29 AM

If I remember correctly Strawbs had a hit with this in early '73.
The earlist recollection I have of someone denouncing this as an anti-union song is not earlier than '82. Though I do remember Strikers singing it well before that.
Looking at the link McGrath provided it strikes me as being (intentionally?) a very ambiguous lyric. This is as McGrath pointed out in his last but one posting.
I have it in mind that some members of the Strawbs regrouped with Hudson-Ford under the name The Monks in '79 to record the genuinely awful "Nice legs shame about the face" Can anybody confirm or deny?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:44 AM

Originally called The Strawberry Hill Boys after Strawbery Hill teacher training college where they met.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: number 6
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:48 AM

I remember that song quite well ... during the Strawbs Canadian tour (which I saw them perform at the old Massey Hall) in 1973 ... they were invited by the Mine Mill/Canadian Auto Workers union to perform in Sudbury Ontatio, a concert fully endorsed by this union.

sIx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:59 AM

The Strawbs are playing in Holmfirth..www.holmfirthfestivaloffolk.co.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 11:19 AM

So though I'm a working man
I can ruin the government's plan
Though I'm not too hard
The sight of my card
Makes me some kind of superman.

Nothing ambiguous about that verse is there?

Giok


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 11:38 AM

I'd say it can be read several ways. You could sing it sneering, but equally you could sing it straight, as a way of saying "The Union makes us strong" - slightly tongue-in-cheek, but perfectly sincere.

As with many songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 11:54 AM

Fair criticism well made Giock but the lines you quote are what some Tories seemed to believe Trade Unionists did think & some Leninists seemed to believe they should think.
Both were correct in respect of certain individuals neither were correct of all Unionists.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 12:08 PM

Nothing wrong with the sentiments expressed in that verse, that I can see. The only question is whether they were sincere.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 05:56 PM

The record was NOT "The Strawbs" it was by "Hudson Ford" which contained peple who had also been members of the Strawbs.
I never regarded it as being anything other than SUPPORTING the idea of Union Power and solidarity of working peole against the crooks who control the cash.
Quack!
GtD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 06:46 PM

Sorry Geoff The Duck - It WAS released as a single by The Strawbs but it WAS written by Richard Hudson & John Ford who were the drummer & bass player respectively - The left the band after the single was released and formed Hudson/Ford

Ah aalways heard it as a 'tongue-in-cheek' song - Lines like "When I show my card to the Scotland Yard"

It come oot the same year that Sunderland got beaten in the final of the FA Cup by Leeds United - Aah wrote a parridy which went

Aah'm a Sunderland Fan
A wee-bit canny man
Aah'll say worra thik Don Revie stinks (Leeds Manager at the time)
yes Aah'm a Sunderland fan

John Betjemen it ain't but hey man, forra while (aboora fortneet) it was sung on the terraces at Roker Park by thoosands of people


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 07:12 PM

Anyone who was around in the 70's and took the slightest interest in the folk/rock scene will be well aware that the song was intended to be anti-union. There was plenty of publicity given to this issue in the pages of Melody Maker and NME at the time.

Dave Cousins, the "leader" of the Strawbs at the time of the hit, , was well-known for his somewhat unusual political views (unusual among musicians that is) and it came as no surprise when, after leaving the Strawbs, he became a highly successful businessman.

I well remember them performing this at a concert in the 70's , and there was no element of working-class solidarity in their rendition of "Part of the Union".

Quite amazing how distance lends enchantment ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 07:13 PM

Geordie-Peorgie - fair enough! Which were the singles Hudson Ford had in the charts then? (Inernet's crap if you want to find info you don't already have in print....
Quack!
GtD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Bainbo
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 07:40 PM

Geordie-Peorgie - '73 was the year of one of the biggest FA Cup upsets of the modern era - when Sunderland BEAT Leeds in the final, not the other way round. To this day, 1973 is a revered number on Wearside.

I remember the Strawbs singing Part Of The Union on Top Of The Pops, though as I was about 14 at the time it wasn't till many years later that the idea of irony in the lyrics occurred to me. Didn't they use a huge marching band-style bass drum for their appearance? Or are the intervening years and booze addling my memory?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 07:52 PM

Amazing how the people who claim ALL folkies are right wing radicals always sign on as "GUEST".
Pardon me if I just ignore any comments made under that title.
It wasn't until after Margaret "I hope she dies from some lingering and painful flesh eating bug" Thatcher got into power (1978 - I was in Cardiff in the constituency of Speaker George Thomas - so didn't actually have a vote that meant anything), that "Bashing" Unions baecame fashionable.
Quack!
GtD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 08:27 PM

Just because someone writes a song or record it doesn't mean they own it, or control the meaning people take from it. Irony has mnay levels.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 10:08 PM

That particular "guest" knows very well what he or she is talking about. The song was an attack on trades unions, and the writers made that perfectly clear at the time in interviews. So far as I remember, it was based on somebody's experience of working briefly in a factory (a student holiday job, I think: details, at any rate, were included in Melody Maker at the time; probably also NME).

I recall being shocked that so many people completely failed to understand the song at the time. One major union actually played it at their conference, making themselves look bloody ridiculous in the process.

Unfortunately, union-bashing was fashionable long before the arrival in power of the regrettable Thatcher. Sometimes it was deserved; but not nearly so much as is often nowadays imagined.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,George McIntosh
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 01:48 AM

"... one major union actually played it at their conference.."

Actually, no. Many major unions played it either at their conferences or at the discos after the business of the day. Whatever the original intentions of the writers, those unions at the time adopted it wholeheartedly and sang it lustily, everybody having both arms raised in celebration and solidarity. I know, cos I was there. Great.

Certainly beat the execrable "tie a yellar ribbon round the old oak tree".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 02:35 AM

A blatent rip off from Woody Guthrie and not even a nod in his direction.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 03:17 AM

Geoff the Duck, Huson Ford had hits with "Pick up the pieces " Burn baby burn" & "Floating in the wind" Bainbo you memory is correct about the big bass drum.
By the late 'Eighties "Part of the Union " had been rewritten as an advertising jingle for the Federaton Brewery.
Can't say I considered that a great loss.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 05:45 AM

Bainbo! How reet ye are - My addled brain again! Tharr'll teach uz te pontificate when aah've had mair than a skinful o' brew and a coupla scotches - Me heid is hung in shame

Wor Dave'll give uz what for coz he was THERE on the day - Aah had a ticket te gan wiv him but aah cudden't gan coz aah was 'detained at Hor Majesty's Pleasure' for a coupla weeks - The judge wadn't defer me sentence until after the final so I went in a week before the match and come oot a fortneet after - Aah had te watch it on the telly

Aah shoulda remembered coz I watched Bob Stokoe deein' the lap of honour like a spitfire at the whistle - He ran roond wiv his arms like wings.

Thanks Purple Foxx - Aah cuddent tell ye what songs Hudson Ford had in the charts - Ah think by then ah wuz into Suzy Quatro (or aah woulda been if she'd answered me letters!!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 07:11 AM

So someone writes a song that is (arguably) anti-Union, but expresses this ironically, so that that ostensibly it is pro-union. And people who are pro-union choose to take it at face value and use as a pro-union song, with the very elements in the song which might have been meant satirically becoming a way of making it more accessible, with the self-mockery undercutting the damaging implication that the left lacks a sense of fun.

Irony has many levels, but maybe "layers" is a better term, like an onion.

Is The Wild Rover more correctly classified as a temperance song or a drinking song. Is The Ould Orange Flute Green or Orange? Is The Patriot Game pro the gun or agin it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 07:24 AM

Errol Brown once sang "Imagine" to a Tory conference.
I don't think he was being Ironic. I put it down to him not being the brightest pixie in the forest.
Others might argue that the average Tory would find it easier to imagine no possessions than the song's author.
It's all part of the contrary cussedness of being Human.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: jillfiddle
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 03:47 PM

"Layers" as in: "You won't get me, I'm part of the onion"?
I used to like Hudson Ford. Wasn't the album caller "Nickelodeon"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 03:59 PM

Google search confirms "Nickelodeon" Jill.
Wikipedia claims Strawbs used to perform with Sandy Denny.
Anyone know anything about this?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:36 PM

Malolm and Guest are right.
Union man was ironical and most people were too stupid to get it.

I'm no Tory but I understand that a lot of Union power was corrupt and as ever gave influence to Union leaders rather than the rank and file.
Time and again they deserted their members and sold out.
How many ex union leaders ended up in the House of Lords??

Looking back, when the Unions became too powerful they worked against the interests of the workers.

Scargill of course is exempt from any criticism, as he realised what the govt were up to and had no alternative than to ask his men to fight to the death.
Must be the only time that a union leader has been sold out by most of his membership...Ake


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 04:38 PM

Yo Foxx! Sandy D wuz part of the Strawbs for a while and they actually had an album caalled (cleverly) "Sandy Denny & The Strawbs" which wuz apparently recorded in Holland or Denmark and issued on the "Hallmark" label - Aah bought mine at a "Fine Fare" supermarket in Cornwall in 1973

The tracks are still available on "The Strawbs Sampler" (WC CD2002)and the liner note at the bottom sez "In 1969 just 99 copies of this album were pressed on 12" vinyl as a publishing demo. There are just two known vinyl copies in existence. The record includes previously unreleased out-takes from the abandoned first Strawbs album"

Aah suppose that the "Hallmark" album was a cheapo re-release for mass-market - Aah think it wez only 99p (or 19/11d)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 05:35 PM

Geordie hinny you are the cat's pyjamas & the whippet's gannzy when it comes to esoteric information!
I remember Hallmark very well, that label provided a disproportionate part of my record collection back in the day.
Ah well,ditchin for the night now.
See yer the Morra.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:33 PM

If they all left the 'Stawbs' after the hit are there any Strawbs left now?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:43 PM

i've got that strawbs & sandy denny hallmark lp
stored away in a box somewhere at my dear old mums house..
this must be the 1st time i've thought about it in over 30 years..
i wonder now why i bought it and if i ever liked it..?????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:52 PM

Unions have their faults, like all human institutions, but without a srong union any employee is potentially naked among wolves. Millions of people have found that out the hard way in the last generation.

And the intention of a songwriter isn't all thta important. If people chose to take this song at face value, that wasn't because they were stupid, it was because irony is a game everyone can play at.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:58 PM

.. astute commercial songwriting that..

a lyric that will appeal equally to the £££££s
of both torys and trade unionists!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 07:01 PM

Scargill of course is exempt from any criticism, as he realised what the govt were up to and had no alternative than to ask his men to fight to the death.
Must be the only time that a union leader has been sold out by most of his membership


Bollocks! He was as much responsible for the mess that was the miner's strike as was Margaret Thatcher. For a strike to be called, the union required a 55% majority in a ballot. He did not get that majority, but called them out anyway. He led the miners into an unwinnable strike and split the union.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 08:13 PM

And the miners who believed the lies they were told, and who were fooled into not joining the strike lost their jobs just the same. As was planned all along.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 04:36 AM

Given all we know about hardship, accidents, explosions and death in the mines, I would have thought that their closure was for the long-term good. Isn't that what government is about - making decisions for the eventual improvement of society, even though they may be thoroughly unpopular in the shorter term.

Scargill, of course, was a complete twat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 05:26 AM

You stupid fucking moron guest, Thatcher closed the pits because she hated trade unions, the working class and miners in particular, not for altruistic reasons, she spent more in closing them than it would have cost to keep them open, It was her vendetta thats all.

Similarly she inflicted the ' poll ' tax on the Scots to punish them for voting out all the Scots tory MPs.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Roughyed
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 07:37 AM

The Strawbs were a strange band. Dave Cousins' first two albums were noted for extremely long fake mediaeval ballads (The Battle and The Boatman) which had great clunking lines of bathos every verse or three. Hudson and Ford joined the band and took it in a more 'commercial' direction and of course Rick Wakeman cut his teeth with the band.

The irony of Part of the Union was overtaken by events and it has been taken over by the trade union movement and sung with gusto because oddly enough it expresses a truth in the confidence that being part of a union can bring to workers. Seeing as that was the opposite of what Hudson and Ford intended I find that doubly amusing. Having said that, I can't stick the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:21 AM

"it's NOT the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me ...."

but everyone thinks it is. The Ironic sank in the same year as the Titanic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,v
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:23 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:27 AM

Oops - pushed wrong key.

Well said Eric the Red. Now we sit worrying about shortage of energy supplies and we're sitting on an island almost made of coal which we will probably never be able to access. Thatcher's pals who now run the coal industry ruin the landscape with massive open cast pits. where does the good of the people and their communities and environment come into that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:36 AM

"This island is almost made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal anfd fish in Great Britain at the same time."
Nye Bevan a very long time ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 08:41 AM

Unfortunately we have suffered too many of those in recent years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Helen
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM

I bought the Strawbs Bursting at the Seams record way back in 1974. My first boyfriend owned it and I didn't buy it for the Part of the Union song, because I never really thought much of it as a song, but I really liked the other songs on the album. Some tracks were very orchestrated but that was part of its charm.   It's still one of my favourite albums but I don't play because I never did connect my record player to my stereo after moving to this house a few years ago. I should reshuffle the connections and get out some of my vinyl records again: Emerson Lake & Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery, for example.

Re Strawbs - I was surprised to read the Gormenghast trilogy and find Lady Fuschia as a character in it. Finally the song made some sort of sense.

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 10:15 AM

GUEST,guest -

'... are there any Strawbs left now'

Presumably there are, or who is it who will be playing at Holmfirth under their name?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 10:50 AM

Steeleye Span maybe ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Santa
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 11:58 AM

There certainly were at least two original Strawbs, namely Dave Cousins and Brian Willoughby. However, Brian has recently left to do more work in support of Carolyn Craig. Nice couple, terrific guitarist. Presumably the current Strawbs still includes the original Dave Cousins.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 04:05 PM

Gan on Foxxy man!! The Whippet's Ganzey indeed - Aah've not hord that in a lang while!!

Last summer's Strawbs line-up had Daves Cousins & Lambert and (I think) Chas Cronk on Bass (But I'm probably wrang aboot that) - Aah knaa that Tony Hooper does occasionally step oot o' the shadows to play (No! not THE Shadows) and (o' course) Brian W

Aah remember seein' them in Plymouth (I think) and Dave C was deein' an impression of Little Jimmy Osmond - So Uncool!!!

Aah still think me favourite line-up was the 'Antiques & Curios" & 'Witchwood' versions although the early stuff wi' just Cousins, Hooper & Ron Chesterman (String Bass) was good an' aall.

And.... Aah still think Tony Hooper's one o' the best voices aroond

Anyway, Gerrontivit yebuggaz


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: belfast
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 11:33 AM

So it was written and sung ironically. Malcolm Douglas says so and he's usually right about this stuff. I'm still not sure how anyone just hearing the lyrics would have been "stupid", to quote someone else, not to recognise the irony.

To return to one of my original thoughts. It must be quite wonderful for the writer and performers to look at someone in a crappy job, working for a pittance, and afraid to complain for fear of the sack. They can boast, "I'm partly responsible for that. I did my miserable little bit to undermine the trade unions."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 12:08 PM

It,s as you say belfast.I'm trying to think of other similar examples.
I always felt sympathetic to Billy Bragg's claim that Duran Duran were as Political as he was.
Still occasionally wonder if any first time voters who opted for the Tories in'83 thought doing so would help bring that sort of lifestyle within their grasp.
Also I have never been entirely unsympathetic to those who claim that "Live Aid" was a process by which wealthy people in Western industrial democracies persuaded poorer people in their own countries to give money to wealthy people in the developing world by persuading them that this would bring Justice to poorer peoples in that environment.
Any other examples?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 01:00 PM

Billy Bragg? The Socialist Voice Of A Generation! Nee Sh*t!

One of Neil Pillock's lap-poodles! Like Pavlov's dogs - If ye mention Margaret Thatcher he still gets up and howls

So much foreez social conscience after aall that singin' aboot how hard it wez fo' the miners and what a canny blerk 'King' Arthur Scargill wez he's neatly tucked up in eez canny little mansion on the Dorset Coast - Hey but...... He's not lukkin fo' New England

Interestin' comment in a 'soialist' rag the day! TESSA stands fo' Tax Exempt Special Savings Account - Aah wunda what the Italian is fo' TESSA

Aah wunda what the French is fo' Deja Vu!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,Lanfranc the Cookieless
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 05:34 AM

Interesting!!

Geordie-Peorgie, I didn't believe that there could only be two surviving copies of "Strawberry Music Sampler No 1" in existence, so I did a little Internet research and found that this is what is claimed.

Well, make it three, because I have a copy in reasonable condition, and nobody's ever asked me about it !

Dave Cousins gave it to me in 1969 or thereabouts when I interviewed him in his home for Colchester Hospital Radio in advance of their regular (in those days) Easter Monday gig at Colchester Folk Club.

I got to know the Strawbs quite well at one time, and Rick Wakeman even offered to play at our wedding, only to let us down at the last minute because the Strawbs were doing a gig in Southampton on the same day as our wedding in Halifax.

Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM

Whey Alan!! If ye've gorrit on vinyl it must be worth a forchoon - Aa've gorrit on reconstituted CD!

Dave Cousins said at the gig two years ago tharrif ennyboddy had a copy of 'From The Witchwood' on vinyl that they're worth aboot £30 on the market - He wez reet miffed coz he's not gorra copy - Can ye imagine that? Aah've still gorra boora hundred copies of my forst album under the bed (Ninety six actually after I gave aall me friends and family a copy from the first press of a hundred)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 01:23 PM

I always understood that Dave Cousins didn't much care for "Part of the Union", or maybe just the way it hijacked the image of the Strawbs (it's probably their best known song) - maybe because he didn't write it. That version of the band split up not long after.

The Strawbs seem to be pretty active - there's currently a "Hero and Heroine" (mid-70s) lineup version of the electric band which finished a short tour March 5 and will be doing another in June, and some Acoustic Strawbs dates in April and May.

http://www.strawbsweb.co.uk/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,redmax
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 05:23 AM

Hearing about the unions embracing Part of the union reminded me about Reagan using Born in the USA for rallies. It seems people don't actually listen to the lyrics of the verses, so long as the chorus sounds suitably chest-thumping


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 05:45 AM

I'm surprised by this thread. I remember this grotty lttle song well. There was a lot of anti-union sentiment about at the time of its release, and having seen The Strawbs perform it several times on the telly, it looked very obviously anti -union.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST,aj
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:05 AM

The Sandy Denny and The Strawbs Hallmark is worth finding for the first recording of "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" which I personally think is much better than the version she later put down with Fairport.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 07:21 AM

The words of Born in the USA are pretty unambiguous, and they against everything Reagan represented. Take a look at them here . Not a trace of irony to be interpreted or re-interpreted.

With the Strawbs song it's a bit different. Plenty of room for reading it either way, as a straight affirmation of union membership and industrial action, or as a heavy ironical attack on those things.

Have a look at the words here - on the "Activism and protest song lyrics page" of "the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty".   The intentions of a song writer or of particular performers do not pin down a song to whatever meaning they might have had in their heads. Songs can take on a life of their own.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: melodeonboy
Date: 11 Mar 06 - 06:48 PM

I think flamenco ted's got it right: a grotty little song (from a grotty little band - my words!). No wonder punk shot it all out of the water!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 13 Aug 06 - 08:48 AM

For anyone unfamiliar with the song, they can hear it Here and make up their own mind


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Strawbs' Part of the Union
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Nov 17 - 10:36 PM

Having met Hudson and Ford I can assure you it was certainly NOYT pro union, Hudson was a fully paid up Tory and it was really a satire on the fact hat the british motor industry at the time by union organisers who didn't care whethe rthey caused as Hudson put it the rise of the factory's fall.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 July 11:44 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.