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GUEST,AdatheCadre Lyr Req/Add: Harry Pollitt-political satire song (33) RE: Req/Add: Harry Pollitt-political satire song 14 Feb 10


The Folk Tradition is a wonderful thing! The words of songs alter and the historical events they commemorate get lost. Communists, at least in Britain were not much like that steel spectacled bloke in Dr Zhivago and did laugh, havew a drink and sing comic, as opposed to revolutionary songs! Harry was a Bolshie started life as one of those songs. Just for the record, Harry Pollitt was a real historical figure and was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain between 1929 and 1956,except for a short but important period between October 1939 and 1941, and its Chairman from 1956 until his death in 1960. The song was written in the early 1930s, that is 30 years before he died, by a woman Party member whose name I cannot remember. Does anyone out there know? Harry was a Lancashire man, he loved Music Hall, but though many comrades were active in the folk revival he did not really appreciate folk music. "Too old!" he is reported to have said about "The Cutty Wren" He did think Harry was a Bolshie was very funny and it became a favourite at informal Party gatherings and sing-songs, alongside other comic songs and pastiches. He did indeed give his permission for it to appear in the Common Muse, Chatto and Windus 1957. Ada the Cadre, from which I stole my mudcat name was another Communist comic song, to the tune of Gilbert, the filbert the Colonel of the nuts.
"I'm Ada, the Cadre, the comrades think I'm fine,
There's lots of competition to keep me onh the line,
With Mahon and with Pollitt I'm matey as can be.
I'm Ada, the cadre, the Belle of the DPC."


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