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Right Wing Folksongs

07 Jan 99 - 04:26 PM (#52594)
Subject: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Dr John

Please note: this is not a political thing and I don't want to know any BUT why are there no right wing folk songs? Would the people with a right wing bias listen to bougeois chamber music and the like? Does a song by a merchant bank with lots of money, a big car, a grand house etc not work? Are folk songs basically protest songs and these people have nothing to protest about? (I suppose Mull of Kintyre would be such a song if it had the merit to pass into the folk tradition) After all many of the "folk" I know whom you would think would create the wonderful songs we know as folk music have horrible right wing views. (sort of Alf Garnett)Or is because the intellectual collectors of folk songs with left wing tendencies supressed either deliberately or unconciously such music? No one I've spoken to can answer this. Thrown open to you out there!

07 Jan 99 - 05:06 PM (#52600)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: SteveF

No right wing folk songs!? I think the problem clearly is that we each have a different idea of what is 'left' and what is 'right.' Too many anti-right folk associate conservatism only with excessives of wealth, militarism, bigotry or other repugnant ideals.

If that is your idea of right-wing thought, just tell us so, and we will find you the songs. No flaming.

Or if you will accept that conservatism is the support of more modest virtues such as family values, patriotism, high moral standards, etc. -- again, just let us know -- and we will overwhelm you with our list of song titles.

-- SteveF

P.S. - An appeal to all posters who enter this thread: Let's stick to music; no speech-making!

07 Jan 99 - 05:28 PM (#52611)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus

I strongly suspect that the paucity of right-wing (read conservative) folksongs is less due to the political leanings of the folk than the leanings of those who collect the songs

07 Jan 99 - 06:22 PM (#52622)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Sandy Paton

Hey, Dick:

Don't you have a copy of that old Boss's Songbook from the early 60s? Some of those would be fun to post.

Fleming Brown recorded "Flag of Blue, White and Red" on his Folk-Legacy album (now only as a "custom" cassette, I fear) - strong "right-to-work" song from the coal fields of southern Illinois. He claimed to have collected it from someone who preferred to remain anon, but I've always suspected that he wrote it. No proof, though.


07 Jan 99 - 06:45 PM (#52628)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Liam's Brother

My recollection is that in the early 1960s there were guys who looked like The Kingston Trio or Limelighters who had a more conservative repetoire. I can't remember the names because I wasn't interested.

You do hear expressions of ambition or middle class desire in traditional song, of course, e.g. in "The Girl I Left Behind" there are these lines...

The first time I left Ireland, for Scotland I was bound
And sailing up to Glasgow we viewed that pleasant town
Where trade and money were plentiful and the girls to me proved kind
But me heart beat sore for Erin's shore and the girl I left behind.

The Fisher Family LP on Topic had on it a song about the stock market or, properly, the South Sea bubble... interesting, I think, and a GREAT melody.

Perhaps well-to-do people want others to play music for them. I used to sing with a guy who played pipes. Some time later it was said to me that he had become "Malcolm Forbes personal piper." One day I was at a European-American Chamber of Commerce talk by one of the Forbes brothers (not Steve, but the one who's Publisher of American History magazine). This Forbes was a fairly warm speaker so, at the recption which followed, I thought I'd ask about my friend of old.

"I believe we have a friend in common," I said to him and gave the piper's name. "Oh, yes, he used to do some work for us," said Forbes, letting me know that (despite all their Scots hype) pipers were still employees in the Forbes Castle.

All the best,

07 Jan 99 - 06:50 PM (#52629)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Pete Peterson

I remember from an old Sing Out when the question came up that Pete Seeger quoted the Fleming Brown song which Sandy has alluded to-- but the prizewinner was by the Rinehart Brothers on the 100% label (private label) which was "The Old Firey Cross" (to the tune of The Old Rugged Cross) and on the other side somthing to the tune of Casey Jones which went The Ku Klux Klan's gonna have a big parade The Ku Klux Klan-- or know the reason why The Ku Klux Klan's gonna have a big parade Won't you please tip your hat when the flag goes by Seems to date from the 1920s. That's about as right wing as I can imagine Pete

07 Jan 99 - 07:05 PM (#52633)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Mike Billo

I believe the guys that Liam's Brother are refering to were the Goldwaters(named for conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater) who made one album "Folk Songs for Conservatives". As far as the scarcity of conservative views in Folk Music, there are overwhelmingly conservative points of view voiced in commercial Country & Western music which is the direct descendant of various folk musics.

07 Jan 99 - 07:25 PM (#52640)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: rich r

I may regret saying this in public, but I have that album by the "Goldwaters", not that I've listened to it in over 30 years and not that it would be wrong if I had listened to it and I don't recall actually buying it, but somehow acquired it.

rich r

07 Jan 99 - 07:56 PM (#52651)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer

While their music may not have been "traditional," there were a number of fresh-scrubbed acts in the 1960's that called themselved "folk" were were certainly not left-wingers. "Up With People" is the first that comes to mind, and I think it's safe to say the new Christy Minstrels fit right in there.
I suppose if you're thinking of protest songs, then you're right in thinking that there are very few right-wing protest songs. There are certainly many patriotic songs that could be considered part of the folk tradition - are they right-wing? There are many songs that praise family tradtions and values - is THAT right-wing? There are songs of hate, and I like to think they die before they become part of the folk tradition - but I hope that's not what you mean by right-wing.
I think there's plenty of music here in our database that would be quite satisfying to people who call themselves political conservatives.
-Joe Offer-

07 Jan 99 - 07:59 PM (#52652)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Chet W.

You know what IS lost here in America?; it's the art of the civil argument. Whenever I visit other countries (which is usually the Czech Republic, but occasionally elsewhere) I see people in social situations discussing, sometimes with much vigor, politics (oh my god), religion, philosophy, how to raise children, etc, etc. Sometimes the discussions turn into loud arguments, but the thing is that it never even enters the mind that the participants will not be friends at the end of the evening. It's tragic that here we cannot do this. We have to agree not to make speeches, no "flaming", and it seems clear that those who disagree are not going to end up being friends. Bring up any of the above topics in a social situation and you will be considered at the very least in bad taste, or (as the polite among us have taken to doing in this forum), you will be ignored. It really is too bad.

Had a great time over there on my Christmas trip by the way. I get to play with the best dixieland jazz band in Prague (of which there are many). Did miss lurking on the Mudcat, even though I don't say much anymore.

Wishing everyone a great year, Chet W.

07 Jan 99 - 08:30 PM (#52657)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan S.

What about Okie from Muskokie. Some where I have a copy of the Bosses Songbook I will have to learn some of them just to crush a few stones of the ones who only think of music to be used for a political cause. Hell just enjoy it. "You can shove the workers up your ass I've got the foremans job at last."

07 Jan 99 - 08:35 PM (#52658)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan S.

I just remembered What about the song popular at the time of WW1 that had the line "Dont be like the cur in the story, Dont bite the hand that is feeding you" Does any one remember the name of it?

07 Jan 99 - 08:43 PM (#52661)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Art Thieme

Sandy, Fleming did own up to having written "Flag of Blue, White And Red"...A man's got a right to earn his bread...

And it was a good song with a valid point of view--a point of view that has taken root and grown in recent years. Just ask the Air Traffic Controllers Union.

There's nothing like flush times to turn good Democrats (and union folk) into Republicans who take credit for their luck with the stock market like a lottery winner who says his smarts caused him to pick the winning number.


07 Jan 99 - 09:31 PM (#52672)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Pete M

I'll second that Chet. I've also had many heated arguments in the pub in the UK about politics etc which ended with us buying each other another pint, but its not "done" in NZ. One of the reasons I like this forum is that we can discuss these topics.

As to Dr. John's question I'm not sure I agree with Dick, I would not have thought that the great collectors / archivists: Child, Broadwood, Baring-Gould, Sharpe etc would have regarded themselves as left wing, or be so regarded. I would suspect that the most originators of folk songs were either working class or in the case of broadsheet ballads, writting for that market.

Steve F, I am of course defining "right wing" in the context of the class struggle, "morality" is a debased term since its capture by the self styled "moral majority", "christian" etc political groupings; likwise patriotism. I've no idea what is meant by "family values", presumably a US term?

Unfortunately, as Art has pointed out, self interest, or the cult of the individual (me first) is promoted constantly by the US led media, and the dominance of mass entertainment has led to a profliferation of omphalistic songs in this vein which is marketed by the perpetrators as folk.

Like Dr John I am none the less interested in the existence of any right wing folk songs.

Pete M

PS I wouldn't mention commercial C&W and folk in the same breath!

07 Jan 99 - 09:36 PM (#52673)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Barry Finn

Would the song "Bold (Senator) McCarthy" fit in here? Barry

07 Jan 99 - 10:36 PM (#52689)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus

Well, (in some sort of order) Sandy- We do have several songs from the Bosses' Songbook in the DT, and will have more in the future. Also some from the U of Chi's Person's Songbook (ca 1949).

Leaving out Child, who really wasn't a collector, most of the great collectors had a definite leftish bent, getting more pronounced as we progressed from Sharp thru Lomaxes and Seegers. I've been conucting a quiet campaign to seek out traditional songs from the "wrong" side---Irish Orange songs, American Tory songs, anti-union songs---with but moderate success, though I've seen references to them. There are a lot of splinter group songs from the 20's through the 60's attacking Communists, usually from the standpoint of Socialists, Trotskyites and other left-wing non-conformists.

07 Jan 99 - 10:51 PM (#52695)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Charlie Baum

I remember hearing a conservative protest-song singer played on Robert Sherman's WQXR show "Woody's Children" circa 1970. My frayed memory recalls the name "Tom Hall." He sang a song called "Singing the Blues About the New York Times," attacking that newspaper's allegedly consistently liberal bent.

Does anyone else remember this singer? Do I have his name right? Does anyone actually have his recording(s)?

--Charlie Baum

07 Jan 99 - 10:56 PM (#52696)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Sir

Terms of Right or Left, Liberal or Conservative seem to change sides at times. A communist sympathizer in the US is considered a left winger but the same person would be discribed as a conservative by the media if they are from the former Soviet Union. There are other examples of how the terms "Conservative, Moderate and Liberal" or even "Radical" change by the viewpoint of the one speaking.

If a conservative then is one who draws from a traditional basis would any folk song reflecting a sentimental point of view (home, family relationships, friendship etc...) be considered a conservative folksongs.

My friends on the left side of the aisle, please don't think I've just called you a bad name - one should enjoy the spectrum of music and thought without being hung up on labels!

07 Jan 99 - 11:21 PM (#52699)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill

I am a conservative who has been listening to and collecting folk music for nigh these 40 years...I started in the womb, yeah...and agree it is hard to find so-called conservative folk songs, patriotic songs notwithstanding. Afterall, a folk song is by definition a song written by the 'common folk' or working its way over time into people's consciousness. While it is understandable the the people would sing the praises of labor martyrs, or social injustice, or an eventful occurance, it is less likely they would sing the praises of a CEO or a police raid or such. Well maybe some folkie out there would write a paean to the stock market reaching new heights, nayh.

08 Jan 99 - 10:35 AM (#52763)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bill Cameron

Disclaimer: I'm an unrepentant socialist...

As has already been pointed out, conservative folk-songs are known as country music--and tend to enjoy much more wide-spread popularity (and readio play) than yer basic left-of-center singer-songwriter stuff. It has a lot to do with "formatting"--I would argue that the country and MOR music industry are a great deal more censorious than the folk music world. Remember the fuss a few years ago when Garth Brooks released a song called "We Shall Be Free" that seemed to imply, in a single line, support for gay rights? The only reason it was released at all was that, as the number one country megastar in the world, Garth had the clout to do so (just one of various ways he's tried to influence the industry). It was the first of his songs in a long time that not only _didn't_ make number one, it didn't even make the top ten. Probably because it didn't get played by many key country stations, and didn't get "heavy rotation" on most others, unlike his red, white and blue stuff.

I am not using "conservative" as a pejorative term, since there are of course many wonderful songs that don't express anything but conventional sentiments. But in much of the mainstream music industry, there are lines over which you do not step...

There is, however, considerable evidence that its not that conservative songs don't exist, but that us folksingers don't care to sing them. (It seems you have to go back about two centuries, to the Jacobite rebellion in particular, to get away from that "left-right" thing. Few people in their right minds would argue that "Bonnie Prince Charlie" was worth the blood shed on his behalf (the ever-quotable Dick Gaughan has said "he was about as much use to Scotland as a dose of cholera") but we don't really need to take sides on the merits of the cause, it's clear that the Jacobites had better songs, so we sing them. )

Regarding the alleged biases of collectors--well the songs they got would be reflective of where they went looking for them, wouldn't they? The late Peter Bellamy was interested in this topic, and studied it by bypassing collectors altogether and analysing the repertoires of three very traditional English singers: Harry Cox, Sam Larner and the Copper family, who "collected themselves" (they have a family songbook they started in 1922). Note that these are all southern English rural singers, not a strongly unionized area. Anyway he classified 210 songs as either "content with one's lot" --'here's a health to our masters', "neutral" or "critical of the status quo". Of the latter songs he found exactly three, one of which was "Hard Times of Old England".

Course, if you analysed the repertoire of Aunt Molly Jackson, or Ian Robb for that matter, you'd get a different story. There are all kinds of "folk" out there, and if they have one thing in common, it's that they sing what they want to sing, (unless censored) and its one thing to say "you can't sing that song here"--this is common--but quite a different thing to say to someone "you _must_ sing such and such a song in your repertoire to show balanced viewpoints". Screw that, we are who we are.

The naturally short shelf-life of political, topical songs is of course a factor that results in the disappearance of most explicitly left- or right-wing songs shortly after their creation.

"Corporate Folk Songs"? Remember the little red book, "Songs of the IWW", with lots of Joe Hill and like that? I recently saw an unintentionally hilarious imitation of it called "Songs of the IBM". It was very clearly a 1930's PR exercise in the sincerest form of flattery. as the layout and format was the same as the Wobbly book, but of course blue instead of red. The "songs" themselves consisted of purple paeans (sp?) of praise to the top level IBM executives of the time, arranged in strict hierarchical order from the chairman on down...which pretty much illustrates why these never became folk songs. Who the hell would want to sing them?

Oh dear, I've gone on far too long... soapbox is getting slippery. Bill

08 Jan 99 - 11:14 AM (#52770)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Mo

How about the fact that folk songs are traditionally "of the people" - and therefore are more inclined to reflect the views of the 93 per cent who possess only 16 per cent of the wealth (a quick mental inversion of 7:84 there - the name once taken by a fine Scottish theatre company). I know this is no place for speechifying so I won't, but claiming that "family values, patriotism, and high moral standards"(Steve F) are the preserve of the right wing is a view I can't go along with I'm afraid. It just ain't so - well, not in the UK anyway. Cheers, Mo

08 Jan 99 - 11:16 AM (#52772)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bill D

I also suspect that this subject is a bit like finding 'requited' love songs--those who HAVE love are too busy to write and sing. One has to consider where the impulse to compose and create comes from: 'conservatism' and 'right-wing' very often describes those who are very much involved in setting limits on others, or preserving privileges for certain groups.(yes, I know that is far too simplistic) So, when I see people who define themselves as conservative, they usually appear(at least to me) to be people who either do not 'make music' or adhere to strict limits in what they DO sing..(patriotic songs, church music of certain types..etc). Of course there are exceptions...I am just arguing that from the beginning, music has often been a way to express one's personality and ideals...and the creating, singing, collecting and preserving of folk songs simply tends to be weighted toward those aspects of life which involve the liberalish, left-wingish aspects of the human condition.

(there's probably 2 or 3 PhD theses here if one had the time & inclination...I think I'll go sing something instead)

08 Jan 99 - 11:57 AM (#52783)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Gene

RE:Allan S. post.. popular at the time of WW1
that had the line
"Dont be like the cur in the story,
Dont bite the hand that is feeding you"
Does any one remember the name of it?

Gene Autry sang that in one of his early movies
I have it somewhere...have to look...
Believe the last part is the title...
Don't Bite The Hand That's Feeding You..

08 Jan 99 - 01:12 PM (#52802)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan S,

Thanks Gene. I will try to find it Allan

08 Jan 99 - 01:41 PM (#52809)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bert

...why are there no right wing folk songs?

Perhaps because they didn't get banned.
The only one that comes immediately to mind is "Here's a health unto His Majesty"

I agree with Mo though, about "family values, patriotism, and high moral standards".

There was no one more patriotic than Woody Guthrie, and folkies are patriotic enough as a group that "This land is your Land" has become the folk National Anthem.

Of course us lefties don't confuse patriotism with blind allegiance to any particular government's military activities.
Also, family values and high moral standards consist of more than just going to church.


08 Jan 99 - 04:08 PM (#52849)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: hank

I think part of the problem is there are extreem left-wing songs, so you think the concervatives must have extreem songs too. Only problem is extreem is a bit contray to definition.

Exactly what conservative stands for is up for debate. For that matter so is liberalism. If you find two people who agree with each other on everything you will have shown me at least one fool, perhaps two. With that in mind I'll try to add a few things: conservatives believe that you can and should make yourself better. They belive that only you are standing in the way of your ability to afford a million dollar house. (most also don't want a million dollor house, and would agree that a large house doens't bring happiness) Therefore conservatives belive that you should use your abilities to make your life as good as it can be. concervatives belive that liberals stand for doing whatever you want, and if your too lazy to work you should be paid to stay in bed all day. Note that concervatives are not against helping those who are unable to work, they just belive that there are very few such people. Concervatives want a goverment for protection byond thier ability to protect themselves. They see liberals as wanting protection from things they could very well deal with themselves.

The above is how I see concervatives in the US, as others have pointed out in other countries they stand for very different things. Also note the "they see" up there. reality is in the eye of the beholder.

As for why there are no songs, most concervatives belive in doing something not singing about it. In their eyes, a liberal would write a song about needing more blood doners (a netural topic I hope) while they accually sit in that chair and take the needle every 3 months. Of course the liberal will take the needle too, but liberals would write a song about it.

You decide how much of the above is true.

08 Jan 99 - 07:58 PM (#52893)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: johnm

Go find any old Red Army record and most of those songs would have been conservative reactionary pieces that would have gotten anyone singing them shot in the USSR before WW11 when Stalin needed to call on Russian patriotism to defeat Hitler. They are still "conservative" songs today when Russians are trying to get back to their preCommunist heritage. In a similar but slightly different vein, does anyone sing any Confederate songs, except in a very defensive way. And yet they are part and parcel of Americana. Political protest songs move easily to "folk songs" not for any reason having anything to do with the music, but more with the politics. Write a song about Bill Gates being persecuted by the DoJ

08 Jan 99 - 10:43 PM (#52943)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill

To Allan S.--Re: Cur in that story

Heard that song this past Saturday on a tribute to Gene Autry on a local, L.A., public radio least I think that's where I heard it. If I am home between 5&7 of the PM tomorrow, I'll call in and try to find out what CD it is on. By the way, I searched on All-music Guide to tray to find the title, but nothing seemed right in the Gene Autry collections.

Dang, I haven't done this much research since college-- what a boon a PC would have been way back then!

08 Jan 99 - 11:51 PM (#52962)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Don Meixner

I don't believe that traditional songs care one bit about politics left or right. Only peole who write songs seem to care. I know many musicians in my area who sing folkmusic and are very conservative politically. The topical purpose of a song is what may be political. I loved Phil Ochs songs and so did my Dad. Dad was a republican through and through but he found an honesty in Phils lyrics. "Power and Glory" and "Freedom Calling" were songs he enjoyed. As a member of the WWII generation he felt an understanding for the song "Celia". Dad was at odds with Viet Nam and was damn glad that with four sons none of us had to go. He would have supported our choices which ever they were however. He thought "The Draft Dodger Rag" was a hoot. I remember a song called "Chinese Christians" that was definately anti- communist sung by a fellow I haven't heard since. "The Ballad of Rodger Young" was certainly a bit jingoistic but it told a true story in a folkstyle. Many old songs we identify as traditional were in their day political. "The Rigs of the Time" and "Parcel of Rogues" are clearly topical but so many years out of context we don't know where their politics really lay. And except for the history of such things which I enjoy I don't really care what way they are. I just sing em.


09 Jan 99 - 12:07 AM (#52963)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: rick fielding

Anyone ever hear of a chap named Hollinder (or something like that). I was playing a festival in New England a few years back and saw him sitting with a guitar in front of his trailer in the parking lot. I asked someone who he was and they reacted somewhat negatively, so my curiosity was definitely piqued. I spoke to him for a few minutes and he talked me into buying a record album. I didn't listen to it for several weeks but when I did I was surprised to find out it contained a number of stridently pro-Vietnam songs, written in a contemporary folk style. Although I was very familiar with groups like "Up With People", and The "New Christy Minstrels" I'd never encountered a solo folk singer writing and singing right wing songs. Can't think he got much work!

09 Jan 99 - 09:03 AM (#53002)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill

For Allan S. again: Woke up this morning (that sounds like the start or an Ian & Sylvia song) and the first line ...and maybe the title...of the song came to me, "BE TRUE TO YOUR UNCLE SAMMY" If not the first line, it is in there somewhere. Could this possibly be by George M. Cohan?

09 Jan 99 - 11:30 AM (#53017)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan. S

Hi John Be glad you woke up this morning If youre on top of the grass youre ahead of the game {grin} I have a copy of "who wrote that song and tried to look it up the only one I could find was "Be true to your School" Close but no cigar. Perhalps I could find a Gene Autry fan club??? Is there a book of WW 1 songs?? other Ideas?? By the way along this thread I heard the following definitions Conservitive= One who accepts the world as it is. Liberal= One who wants to change the world as he thinks it should become. If you want to e-mail me if you find anything on that song. THanx Allan

10 Jan 99 - 04:01 AM (#53137)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer

Well, click here to get to an "Uncle Sammy" song, but not the right one. Good collection of WWI songs, though. I checked ASCAP and BMI, and didn't find "Be True To Your Uncle Sammy"
-Joe Offer-

10 Jan 99 - 10:43 AM (#53160)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The Shambles

Again it depends on your point of view. Was it true that Ronald Reagan thought that Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The USA' was a song that he could support?

10 Jan 99 - 10:45 AM (#53161)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus

I've been thinking about this topic for a while. Most (certainly not all, but most) of the "left wing" folk songs that are generally ttthought of date back to the era between WWI and WWII. During that period, group singing was popular--I remember "follow the bouncing ball" singalongs at the neighborhood movie houses between features--and the organized left-wing groups, from the IWW to the Communist Party made use of this by having topical songs composed. They weren't the only ones, though. Many companies (I recall IBM, GE and Fuller Brush) had songbooks for their employees, which preached their obviously right-wing sentiments, usually as parodies of well-known songs: "There's a place in my heart that no other can fill, for a company that's fair and can boast of good will...", to the tune of Mother Machree.
Similarly, colleges, high schools and even elementary schools had songs praising these establishments. And if we're discussing "folksong" that expresses right-wing (read conservative) sentiment, there's the vast body of hymns and gospel songs.
Earlier, during the Civil War, say, there were songs ardently espousing both sides; the same thing occured in the American Reolutionary War.....
I guess my thesis is that folks sing all sorts of stuff, while collectors do a great deal of filtering. Sharp and bBaring-Gould undoubtedly collected a vast amount of bawdy material, but deleted or bowdlerized it in their published collections; just about every collector (with the blessed exception of Randolph) simply refused to collect songs that the fols sang that the collector didn't consider "folk" and most of the other collectors in the 30's to 50's had a strong leaning towards the political left, and collected accordingly.

10 Jan 99 - 01:27 PM (#53176)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill

To Joe Offer & Allan S:

I probably had the title wrong when I suggested it might be "Be True to Your Uncle Sammy". I have heard the song (whatever the name) several times over the years, most recently 8 nights ago; I was trying to reconstruct it. I was somewhat thrown off by Allan S. referring to it as a WWI song, my own first thought was WWII. Gene (see newer thread 'bite the hand...') likely has it right. If Johnny Bond wrote the song, it would be WWII. I've searched several music webs but couldn't find it, and am too lazy to download Gene's reference. By the way, if I were to now guess the title, I would go with "If You Don't Love Your Uncle Sammy"

10 Jan 99 - 04:15 PM (#53204)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Tim Jaques

Lots of right wing C & W songs. I personally don't like the terms right and left wing. They are outdated, and our opinions don't come in packages. The right wing C & W songs to which I refer might more accurately be called reactionary songs, songs which either support the status quo or long for some past that never existed. Of course, if you like the status quo or prefered the past, then these songs would accurately reflect your sentiments.

10 Jan 99 - 04:26 PM (#53207)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Tim Jaques

Actually, I suppose "Steepleford Town" can be considered a right wing folk song, since it speaks well of the fox hunting gentry. And The Methody Parson and The Ranter, because they make fun of religious dissenters as sex-minded, thieving, hypocrites.

I suspect there must have been English folk songs mocking the Puritans, as after the antics of the Puritans under Cromwell (abolishing Christmas, stabling horses in the cathedrals, showing extreme religious intolerance) that could well be expected. I seem to recall that the words to the dance, Cuckolds All In A Row (aka Cuckolds All Awry), mock Londoners as cuckolds. (London supported Parliament over the king.) Charles II loved dancing to that tune and he may have had the lyrics in mind.

11 Jan 99 - 01:31 AM (#53331)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Jon Bartlett

Who was it said that Conservatives think the world is dog against dog, but Liberals think it's exactly the opposite?

My own distinction between "us guys" and "them guys" is whether you go along with the old Anarchist (Emma Goldman?)line, "As long as one person is in prison, I am not free". Traditionally, wasn't the distinction was between whether you thought humanity was basically bad (or sinful) or basically good (and thus redeemable), Liberals being this side of the line and Tories the t'other?

Protest songs, by definition surely, oppose those in power, and since the Left has never been "in power" in the west (though there's been several pinkish parties in government), we know of no rightist protest songs. IMHO: Jon the offsider

11 Jan 99 - 02:07 AM (#53340)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer

Well, one way or another, good songs survive. I think every group has plenty of good, old songs that are treasured because of their ability to provide inspiration.
-Joe Offer-

11 Jan 99 - 05:36 AM (#53364)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Frank in the swamps

Just a hypothesis... Folks who are comfortable with the status quo will enjoy songs of love, praise, humor, heroes, etc. Those who are getting stiffed are going to sing protest songs. There may be an inherent bias toward song subject matter among different economic groups. Who would bother to sing...

My government is good,

My job is real fine,

I'm payed lots of money,

Play golf most of the time.

A documentary from back in the 70's called "California Riech" about a bunch on screwball kkk types had an interesting scene, these idiot losers were standing in the yard, one had a guitar and they sang a very jaunty, pleasant little tune with the following absurd lyrics...


America for the white,

Africa for the black,

Send them apes back to the trees,

Ship those niggers back.

Let the bells of freedom ring,

The white man's day is near,

No more nigger civil rights,

No more nigger queers.

America for the whites, Repeat. It was a very classic Anglo-American folksong type, the melody could be generic "rallying song".

Frank i.t.s.

11 Jan 99 - 12:37 PM (#53432)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The Shambles


I'm glad we didn't ban that one, it might have been a hit.

But what do you do with songs like that, once thet exist, you can't un-invent the wheel can you?

11 Jan 99 - 12:44 PM (#53433)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus

What you do is what folk have always done: sing the ones you like, ignore the ones you don't

11 Jan 99 - 07:58 PM (#53510)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The Shambles


Do you still collect them?

And then ignore them?

12 Jan 99 - 12:16 AM (#53572)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus

Shambles- Yep. The DT contains loads of material that I personally dislike, detest and/or am bored silly with. But it was never intended to be a collection of what I like; just a compilation of what people are singing.

"Folk", remember, is NOT a synonym for "good".

12 Jan 99 - 01:46 PM (#53682)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Margarita

It would seem that the answer to your question lies in being able to define CONSERVATIVE.

If you define liberal as anti-war, then I would think that PATRIOTIC BOASTS of any country would be considered more along conservative lines, as they tend to tout successes at battle in war. N'est ce pas?


17 Apr 01 - 01:10 AM (#442265)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: toadfrog

The Europeans have some rousing right-wing songs. Like Cara el sol, Cadet Roussel[sp?], and Wir sind das Heer vom Hakenkreutz.

Maybe it's just as well we Americans don't have so many songs like that. But see Maryland, My Maryland.

Hey! Now I think of it, I'll bet there are 37 Jacobite songs on the DT. That's pretty right-wing. I'll bet there are 37 Jacobite songs on the DT. That's pretty right-wing. Fashionably right-wing, but right-wing nonetheless.

17 Apr 01 - 03:44 AM (#442319)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,AKRick

The terms right-wing and left-wing (or liberal and conservative) are practically useless. Todays corporate-fed conservatives piously pose as the heirs of the founding fathers, without realizing that Jefferson and Madison (the architechs) considered "the monied incorporations" the greatest threat to democracy. Today's govt. "liberals" are just as indebted to their corporate benefactors. Richard Nixon, a "conservative" who expanded the welfare state, was closer to the spirit of the "radical" Thomas Paine (who advocated a "senior security" fund) than Bill Clinton, a "liberal" who went out of his way to "end welfare as we know it". Power, whether political, economic, cultural, etc., moves down and up more than right and left. Folk music has long been the voice of those without power. It has been, for the most part, handed down thru the generations by the those who felt the oppression of aristocracy, southern 'Jim Crow' culture, or whatever thumb is lived under. It only seems leftist by today's blurred definitions. Whether it's Woodie Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, or Rage Against the Machine, these folk (until I hear a horse sing) artists that sing about these topics are only shining a light on the injustices power can wield. As for those in power, they can always hire a Haydn, John Phillip Sousa, or material(re: corporate)girl to write their music.

17 Apr 01 - 09:24 AM (#442425)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: LR Mole

Interesting and extrordinarilly civil thread. I believe one reason that the U.S. tends toward classing "folk music" with the downtrodden, have-not,hostile-to-establishment types is the chilling effect of McCarthyism, which keeps cropping up like Sauron. When writers, actors, and singers can be barred from making a fair living because of political views (even those they had in their youth), songs can become the only voice of the voiceless ones. Anger, both inner-and outer-directed, gets in the way of reasonable discourse. (And of course, long ago it was the lord who hired the minstrel, and told him when to go away.)

17 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM (#442716)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo

Re: Songs of the IBM.

IBM actually had a company song, and in the early days of the PeeCee, they had a program that would teach all the loyal employees the song, with a bouncing ball to lead them through it. . . .

Never learned it myself; I wasn't there for long enough.

FWIW on the definitions of liberalism versus conservatism, I got this definition:

"Capitalism is the system in which man exploits his fellow man. Under communism, it's the other way around. . . ."


-- Arne Langsetmo

17 Apr 01 - 02:48 PM (#442745)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: artbrooks

Somewhere around I have a tape by a guy named Barry Sadler called "Ballads of the Green Berets", which comes from around the period of the US's military success and socio-political failure in SE Asia. I haven't listened to it in years, but my recollection is that it exemplifies the comments made previously that one person's folk is another's country-western. Perhaps we tend to reserve the "folk" basket for anti-anything songs, and refer to pro-whatever songs as "patriotic" or "popular".

07 Oct 01 - 01:34 AM (#566611)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Genie

This thread seems worth reviving, as the new "political correctness" in the wake of 9-11 seems to cast liberals (paficists, at least) as "unpatriotic." [Sorry, 'spaw, if you don't like old threads revived, just skip this one.}

Artbrooks, above, made one of the points I was thinking as I read this thread--that Ballad Of The Green Berets could just as easily have been called "folk" as "country," except for people's preconceived ideas about music genres and politics.

FWIW, I have heard folk-style songs written and sung by pro-life protestors at their rallies.
I've heard right-wing sounding talking blues (even on Rush's show).

If you want to see/hear "right wing folk songs," rent the Tim Robbins movie "Bob Roberts." One of the folk songs Bob Roberts (and his folky female partner) sings (in melodious folky style, with guitars) proclaims,
"Drugs stink. They make me sick.
Those that sell 'em, and those that use 'em,
Hang 'em high from the highest tree,
Without a trace of sympathy!"

I might also mention that the song of Hitler Youth (Tomorrow Belongs To Me) sounds, melodically, a lot like the old German folk song Die Lorelei.
Other countries besides the US and the UK, as has been pointed out above, may have plenty of songs that we wouldn't call "liberal."


07 Oct 01 - 03:22 AM (#566635)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Clint Keller

Well, since you asked--

If you don't like your Uncle Sammy
Then go back to your home o'er the sea
Go back to where you came
Whatever be you name
But don't be unfaithful to me!
If you don't like the stars in Old Glory,
If you don't like the Red, White & Blue,
Then don't be like the cur in the story
Don't bite the hand that's feeding you!

Heard Tiny Tim sing it on the TV some years back (in his natural baritone.) My father used to sing it; he thought it was pretty funny. I always supposed it dated from WW1, but I don't know why.

Clint Keller

07 Oct 01 - 07:48 AM (#566700)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: DMcG

If you are including written-in-the-folk-style as opposed to absorbed into the tradition, one of my friends wrote a song that in praise of capitalism called "The Company Director" way back in the 60's - I would have to search back for the words and melody if anyone is interested.

On the other hand, I always thought it was intended to be satirical. (On the third hand, he went on to become a lawyer ...)

27 Jan 04 - 02:20 PM (#1102725)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Martin

Well, even if it was true that right-wingers never compose songs /maybe they just neglect this mean of persuasion/ there were moments in history when part of conservatives and extreme leftists strangely unite for a common goal. The most exclusive case was isolationism movement short time before WW II in the U.S. There was a famous group named Almanac Singers, who made full album named Songs for John Doe, expressing not pacifism, but extreme willingness to avoid war at any cost. One of the songs has a chorus: "plow under... every fourth American boy!" Which was taken out of of the speech of famous pro-Hitlerite Charles Lindbergh, isn´t it?
And what about Barry Sadler and his "Universal Pacifist"? Sorry, can't remember the full text now, but the message is: "He doesn't have the courage to be free".

27 Jan 04 - 03:06 PM (#1102754)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: musicmick

As Dick and I come from the same era and influences, I am in agreement with him in terms of the labor based, socialist bent of the major figures in American collecting. The Lomaxes, the Seegers, Carl Sandburg, Kenny Goldstein were all leftist to one degree or another. The primary publication of the folk revival, Sing Out!, was an unashamedly advocate of "progressive" causes. The Weavers, who influenced millions of folksingers, were overtly politicaly aport.
I hope everyone knows that the Bosses Songbook was not a right wing creation. It was compiled (mostly, by Roy Berkeley and Dave Van Ronk) as a parady of the classic left wing People's Songbook. Van Ronk, of course, was about as far left as one can be and stay out of jail. There was a story that he had been kicked out of a Trotskyite splinter group for being too radical, but I don't believe it.
In those days, we had a sense of humor about our political passions. I remember a great anti-CP song called
The Ballad of Harry Pollet" that ended with the lines,

The moral of the story is easy for to tell,
If you want to be a Bolshevick, you ought to go to Hell.

                     Mike Miller

27 Jan 04 - 03:51 PM (#1102786)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus

Well, I suspect that "Farther Along" is about as conservative as you can get.

27 Jan 04 - 04:47 PM (#1102814)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,guest

27 Jan 04 - 04:49 PM (#1102815)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,euclid

27 Jan 04 - 04:55 PM (#1102822)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs

What about "Send the Buggers Back" as featured on Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights?...

27 Jan 04 - 05:10 PM (#1102834)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Walking Eagle

There is a WV folksong from the civil war that is pro-south called The Casto Hole. I was thinking of Dixie as well, but don't know. Might just be a case of un PC instead of right wing.

I'm just learning how to use my scanner, so if you'd like THe Casto Hole, send me a PM and be ready to wait. I scan via broadband, so a DSL or Dial-up set up might not work. Send me your computer specs.

27 Jan 04 - 07:42 PM (#1102969)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe_F

"'Arry Politt" is, I suppose, antiCommunist, but it is very genial satire, and I first heard it from a socialist. It is hard to imagine a proper Tory coming up with

St Peter said to 'Arry, "And is your 'eart contrite?"
"I'm a friend of Lady Astor's." "Well, O.K., then, that's all right."

A song that might be regarded as right-wing in its rejection of welfare ("The government dole will rot your soul") is "The Idiot" by Stan Rogers.

27 Jan 04 - 09:12 PM (#1103048)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer

It might not be completely on this topic, but take a look at: War Songs: A Discography of Patriotic and Pacifist Propaganda.
Here's another: War Songs, a discography prepared by Country Joe McDonald

Martin, we have Universal Pacifist unattributed in the Digital Tradition. All my search attempts led right back to the Digital Tradition as the original source. Do you have any documentation that would give proof to your attribution to Barry Sadler? It's not listed at (Harry Fox Agency).

-Joe Offer-

27 Jan 04 - 09:14 PM (#1103050)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: freda underhill

dick - what about this version of Farther Along by Woody guthrie

Farther Along

Traditional, Arranged and adapted by Woody Guthrie

Tempted and tried, we're oft made to wonder,
Why it should be thus, all the day long;
While there are others, living about us
Never molested, though in the wrong.

cho: Farther along, we'll know all about it.
Farther along, we'll understand why,
Cheer up my brothers, walk in the sunshine
We'll understand it all, by and by.

When death has come and taken our loved ones,
Leaving our homes so lone and so drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper
Living as sinners year after year.


Often I wonder why I must journey
Over a road so rugged and steep,
While there are others living in comfort
While with the lost I labour and weep.


Farther along we'll know all about it,
Farther along we'll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by.

We'll understand it all by and by.


27 Jan 04 - 09:25 PM (#1103055)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The Fooles Troupe

The problem with "The idiot" is that today, ther are far fewer jobs 'in the outback' or in the country,because of changed economic circumstances.


27 Jan 04 - 09:26 PM (#1103057)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Teresa

I'm going to steer clear of the "right-wing" label. But here are some things off the top of my head that might be considered controversial:

Several of stan rogers: including House of Orange and one I'm not sure I remember the exact title for, possibly "The Nancy"? And "General Brock"? Those might be controversial for those in the US, anyway. :)

I don't know how prevalent it is now, but at the last bluegrass festival I attended in Northern California, there were Confederate flags prominently displayed, and there were those who were very uncomfortable with that. And also at bluegrass fests, you'll find the Sunday morning gospel singing, which may not have been "right-wing" formerly, but might be considered that
by some.

27 Jan 04 - 09:53 PM (#1103073)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer

Freda, I think you've posted the gospel song, Farther Along. The Woody Guthrie song is "I've Got To Know.". It's also in the Rise Up Singing songbook - but I wouldn't say it's a right-wing folksong. Maybe some of Woody's "Columbia River" songs could be construed as right-wing, since they were bought and paid for by the U.S. Guvmint (led by that old right-winger, FDR???).
-Joe Offer-

28 Jan 04 - 12:29 AM (#1103150)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: LadyJean

I believe there are any number of excellent Confederate songs. Check the mudcat lyrics.

28 Jan 04 - 01:01 AM (#1103164)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer

I posted "The Casto Hole" in Civil War Ballads because it seemed to fit better there.
-Joe Offer-

28 Jan 04 - 01:36 AM (#1103178)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: musicmick

It seems to me that, if one can avoid knee jerk invective, American conservatives oppose collective solutions to social problems (poverty, inequality, racial interaction, etc) and American liberals favor societal solutions to societal issues. Thus, songs that promote individual rights reflect conservative values and songs that exhort group response reflect liberalism. In this regard, religious songs would seem to be more in the liberal camp yet those people who most often identify themselves as conservatives are, frequently, the most likely to identify themselves as religious. There is certainly no more obvious an example of "group conciousness" than organized religion. Should Gospel be classified as right wing or left?
Private property rights is the main bone of contention between right and left. Conservatives champion property rights and oppose laws that limit them. Does that mean that songs about owning your own farm or house are right wing? Wasn't the promise of land the real lure that brought the Europeans to America? Weren't your parents and mine denied the right to own land in Europe (mine sure were) and isn't the American Dream about owning your own home? Does ownership taint, by nature? Does a mortgage include membership in the Republican Party? Was Lee Hayes a closet conservative when he wrote, in "Times Are Gettin' Hard", "...Gonna have the best old farm that you have ever seen."?
My point is that it might be well to consider those things that unite left and right, to stop demonizing one another and to appreciate that neither side has a monopoly on rightiousness.

28 Jan 04 - 05:47 AM (#1103264)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

Right-wing folk songs? There's thousands of the buggers. Just go for a pint in Twickenham after a rugby match (if you can get anywhere near the bar) and you'll see what I mean.

28 Jan 04 - 06:24 AM (#1103289)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs

The version of "To Be a Farmer`s Boy" by the late Gordon Hall would fit the bill perfectly.

28 Jan 04 - 07:35 AM (#1103328)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Billy Weeks

If folk songs include anything vaguely musical that is transmitted orally (and Mudcatters tend to be an inclusive lot) then some right wing nerd should be collecting the vile racist chants heard at football matches when black players are on the field.

And there are plenty of examples of Nazi songs (right wing enough?) that went, for a time, into popular tradition in Germany. The first time I heard 'The Horst Wessel Lied' I thought it had a really terrific tune and the lyrics struck me as inspiring. Trouble was, 'terrific' meant spreading terror and 'inspiring' meant inspiring hatred.

At the lighter end off the right wing spectrum - I agree with musicmic that many of the most amusing, seemingly anti-left songs (Arry Pollit is a good example) were actually sung with gusto by the farthest left of the lefties. See Digitrad 'The Foreman's Job' and related threads for parodies of The Red Flag - and add

The People's flag is palest pink
And not as red as you lot think.

The left has always been moderately good at self-mockery.

28 Jan 04 - 09:26 AM (#1103410)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The O'Meara

Stereotypes and cliches are generally based on a grain of truth. Winston Churchill said "If you are not a liberal when you're young you have no heart; if you're not a conservative when you're old you have no brain." Liberal thought tends to be emotional, while conservative thought tends to be intellectual. (The extreme in either direction is not good.) MOst "folk" music tends to be emotional rather than intellectual and therefore appears to be liberal, or left wing. Songs about broken hearts and anger at the establishment are emotional stir up an entertain an audience, whereas economics and Darwin's theory of evolution put the audience in a trance.
Crying makes better folk music than thinking.


28 Jan 04 - 09:32 AM (#1103417)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bobjack

Right wing folk songs. Hmmmmmmmmm surely they are very short because you will fly off the back of the bloody wing on take off!

28 Jan 04 - 09:58 AM (#1103434)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Banjo,London

Incredibly strange music Vol 2: RE/Search publications.

I found an album here called "Sing Folk Songs To Bug The Liberals" by The Goldwaters. on Greenleaf Records It dates from 1964.

I reckon thats a right wing folk song album!

Anyone heard it?

28 Jan 04 - 10:09 AM (#1103450)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus

Taking as a simplistic working definition that the left is trying to change present conditions and the right is trying to preserve them or return to earlier ones, almost all of the Copper Family songs are right wing, in that they celebrate existing social structure and practices. So are all the gospel songs that preach acceptance today in exchange for improvement tomorrow--ably parodied by "Pie in the Sky".
    Many of the Left Wing "folk songs"--Pete's, Woodies etc.--were composed and promoted by an organized group seeking to promote an agenda. The Right didn't have--and didn't need--such a group.

28 Jan 04 - 10:10 AM (#1103452)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: musicmick

Oh, now I see. By "Right Wing" you mean Nazi or KKK or some other fun bunch like that. Well, yes, they have their songs. I suppose that "Deutchland Uber Alles" qualifies, under Mudcat definition and, from what I have read on so many threads, so does the "Star Spangled Banner" and "Hatikva". How about Ireland's "Soldier Song" or "O, Canada"? Aren't all national anthems gingoistic and separatist?
If racism is the provence or the right, how would you classify all those songs about the winning of the west, and how about Irish songs like, "One Sunday mornin' while on my way to mass/ I met a bloody Orangeman and killed him for his pass"? Hey, if we include anti-British songs, we can come up with lots of "right wing" songs.
If, on the other hand, by "right wing", you mean all those hateful bigots who aint us, then I guess the answer is no. After all, if there were any right wing songs, that would mean that right wingers were folk singers like us. Perish the thought.

28 Jan 04 - 11:20 AM (#1103530)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Stephen R.

As many contributors to this thread have pointed out, there are definitional problems with 'right' and 'left', 'coservative', 'liberal', and 'radical'. Look through Child and you will find many ballads that reflect an aristocratic perspective; I think these might fairly be called 'conservative', but it would make no sense to try to locate them on the contemporary left-right continuum. The farmer became a villain in many English folk songs when the social situation changed; when hired farmworkers were treated like family, ate with the farmer and so on, there was little need for such songs, and when there is some reference to 'the master' it is usually favorable; once the farmer distanced himself from his employees and regarded their labor as a commodity to be had at the lowest possible price, songs changed too. Songs arising among the industrial working class reflect the situation brought about by the industrial revolution. The draft protest song is a traditional genre in eastern Europe, as is the orphan song, but are these songs of the 'left'? I don't think the category applies. Is 'Dixie' a right-wing song? I suppose it depends on context: if sung in Alabama or Mississippi during the heyday of the civil rights movement, it certainly could be seen that way, but in the 19th century context I am not sure that it would be meaningful to speak of it in those terms. John Calhoun describes the condition of industrial workers in words that might be called reminiscent of Marx if Calhoun did not antedate Marx. Reality seldom fits comfortably into simply bimodal analytical categories, and neither do folk songs.

Stephen R.

28 Jan 04 - 09:58 PM (#1103949)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bo Vandenberg

Doesn't Monty Python have a song about 'money'????

29 Jan 04 - 12:02 PM (#1104385)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs

I have lived my entire life in New England, much of the time in very poor and rural areas. We should all be very careful associating the right wing with people who are by nature, culture and temperment very conservative and resistant to change, especially when it is a politically imposed idealogy. As narrow minded and stubborn as my neighbors might be (to my flawed way of thinking) I know I can count on them no matter what happens in my life. Many of my left leaning folkie friends could learn a thing or two about tolerance from them. I created a series of songs centered on people in these communities. I think it almost qualifies as right wing folk music. Fires In the Belly

29 Jan 04 - 01:40 PM (#1104468)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Peacehaven'r

Oooh goodee! Great debate which as usual poses as many questions as it answers.

The only part I am vaguely qualified to take part in is the bit which impinges upon the Copper Family repertoire. It's absolutely true as Bill Cameron reports that by examining repertoire of traditional singers rather than published collections of song the picture is interesting. Peter Bellamy latched onto the fact that we had these 'innocent hares', 'sweet primeroses' and 'daffadowndillys' and loved it! I believe that he too had to defend the Copper repertoire against those who thought it too good to be true.

In the early days of the 'revival' Bob was more than once challenged over the vaildity of the repertoire. His answer is one of absolute truth, but may be unpalateable to some. Rottingdean was essentially an agrarian community and had been up until after the Great War; its populace comprised agricultural labourers and their families amongst others. There was but one main employer, the local landowner, and in the case of Rottingdean, a benign one, a Quaker family the Beards. They provided work under what for the time were quite extraordinary conditions - workers were kept employed throughout the winter months without the more commonplace lay-offs suffered elsewhere. There was, to our way of thinking a patronising 'lady bountiful' distribution of clothing and blankets to the needier folk and use of farm acres for growing produce for home consumption. But in the terms of the time in which they lived these people felt themselves well treated. These were not the conditions in which the seeds of revolution would be sown. This was not a place where songs reflecting a dissatisfaction with life in general would be found.

As Bob has said (and I paraphrase) "there was always a man ready to put a Cowslip through his buttonhole, cock his cap to the world and sing a song in praise of the country life and work he loved".

The Coppers repertoire was not born of the grinding poverty found in both agrarian and industrial communities in other parts of Britain. It had an entirely different background. The singers were poor but they weren't starving, and people like Bob's grandfather Brasser and his father Jim always looked on the bright side of life. In their songs they found, as Bob has written, their drama, their poetry, their music and their philosophy. Snuggled in that safe little part of Southern England, enjoying a (for England) temperate climate, hard but regular work and a roof over their heads no wonder they sang as they did.

Theirs were not the songs of right or left. More a representation or snapshot of what a group of working class Englishmen felt truly represented their particular lot in their particular time - whatever we may think about it.

Even the one song of dissent, "Hard times of old England" ends with a typically optomistic note.

29 Jan 04 - 03:44 PM (#1104550)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus


"Right" or "Left" are no more value judgements than are "folk" and "Pop"--just characterizations.

30 Jan 04 - 01:40 AM (#1104893)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: musicmick

Yes, they are, Dick, and they both have songs extolling their values.
Songs that stress individualism, independance and distrust of institutions and laws are the anthems of conservativism. Songs that laud interdependance, communal concern and group social activism are the hymns of liberalism. Since all of these areas are worthy and even laudible, folks of both camps sing each others songs without embarrassment.

30 Jul 05 - 09:48 PM (#1531844)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,prestonoides

That "America for whites Africa for blacks" ditty above was printed and distributed by the tiny group of American NAZI's who holed up in Glendale, CA in the early 1960's (Before their Fuehrer, Rockwell assumed room temperature).
There's also, as I recall, a verse:
Ring that Bell, Shout for joy, Whiteman's day is here.
Twenty million ugly coons, Already on the pier.
TG that the American NAZI's have never been anything but a tiny bunch of disenfranchised human ciphers (albeit armed to the teeth).
Anyway love 'em or hate 'em, the WWII NAZI's had the bitchenest uniforms (especially the SS). LOL

31 Jul 05 - 12:38 AM (#1531885)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Janice in NJ

WARNING! Contains offensive language!

In the mid-1960s there was a small group of wise ass college boys from New Jersey who called themselves the Rat Finks. They prided themselves on what they claimed were their ultra-conservative politics. In reality they were just a bunch of infantile jerks who went around singing songs with truly disgusting lyrics like these:

To the tune of Jingle Bells:

Riding through the Reich, in a Mercedes Benz,
Killing every kike, making lots of friends,
Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat, mow those bastards down,
Oh, what fun were going to have when he Nazis come to town!

They caused a big fuss for a couple of years, and then they disappeared as suddenly as they appeared. Maybe they grew up. One hopes so.

21 May 16 - 12:23 AM (#3791398)
Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Lin

To Dr. John

There was a song released on the Decca Label in 1965 called, "Dawn of Correction" by a group called, The Spokesmen. Three conservative looking guys singing their retort to the gloom and doom of Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction."
The Spokesmen wanted to relay a message of hope for the future and support of the boys in Vietnam.

Have you ever heard this song before? I think you can find it on Youtube to listen to.

21 May 16 - 04:08 AM (#3791403)
Subject: ADD: The Dawn of Correction
From: Joe Offer

I wouldn't say "Dawn of Correction" is a conservative song, but it certainly has a more positive point of view than you'll find in "Eve of Destruction." Well, it's anti-Red, but so was everybody in the US in the 1960s.

(Madara / White / Gilmore)

The western world has a common dedication
To keep free people from Red domination
And maybe you can't vote, boy, but man your battle stations
Or there'll be no need for votin' in future generations

So over and over again, you keep sayin' it's the end
But I say you're wrong, we're just on the dawn of correction

There are buttons to push in two mighty nations
But who's crazy enough to risk annihilation?
The buttons are there to ensure negotiation
So don't be afraid, boy, it's our only salvation

So over and over again, you keep sayin' it's the end
But I say you're wrong, we're just on the dawn of correction

You tell me that marches won't bring integration
But look what it's done for the voter registration
Be thankful our country allows demonstrations
Instead of condemnin', make some recommendations
I don't understand the cause of your aggravation
You mean to tell me, boy, it's not a better situation?

So over and over again, you keep sayin' it's the end
But I say you're wrong, we're just on the dawn of correction

You missed all the good in your evaluation
What about the things that deserve commendation?
Where there once was no cure, there's vaccination
Where there once was a desert, there's vegetation
Self-government's replacing colonization
What about the Peace Corps organization?
Don't forget the work of the United Nations

So over and over again, you keep sayin' it's the end
But I say you're wrong, we're just on the dawn of correction
But I say you're wrong, we're just on the dawn of correction

So over and over again, you keep sayin' it's the end
But I say you're wrong, we're just on the dawn of correction


The Dawn Of Correction lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics from (correction)

Dawn of Correction:

Eve of Destruction: