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What did you do in the war, Ewan?

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Joe_F 21 Dec 09 - 06:32 PM
The Sandman 21 Dec 09 - 06:46 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Dec 09 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 22 Dec 09 - 10:17 AM
MGM·Lion 22 Dec 09 - 12:53 PM
Bryn Pugh 23 Dec 09 - 05:13 AM
Phil Edwards 23 Dec 09 - 05:59 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Dec 09 - 09:31 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 23 Dec 09 - 09:41 AM
Folkiedave 23 Dec 09 - 12:13 PM
Les in Chorlton 23 Dec 09 - 12:16 PM
Phil Edwards 23 Dec 09 - 12:31 PM
Les in Chorlton 23 Dec 09 - 12:39 PM
Jack Blandiver 23 Dec 09 - 12:58 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 23 Dec 09 - 01:07 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Dec 09 - 05:15 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Dec 09 - 10:24 PM
Effsee 23 Dec 09 - 10:36 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Dec 09 - 03:24 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Dec 09 - 03:53 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Dec 09 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Dec 09 - 04:52 AM
theleveller 24 Dec 09 - 05:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Dec 09 - 05:16 AM
The Sandman 24 Dec 09 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Dec 09 - 06:21 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Dec 09 - 06:54 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Dec 09 - 07:44 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Dec 09 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Dec 09 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Burton Coggles 24 Dec 09 - 09:55 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Dec 09 - 10:39 AM
Charley Noble 24 Dec 09 - 10:44 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM
michaelr 24 Dec 09 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Reinhard 24 Dec 09 - 12:50 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Dec 09 - 03:16 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Jan 16 - 04:38 AM
The Sandman 13 Jan 16 - 07:40 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jan 16 - 07:42 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jan 16 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,Musket 13 Jan 16 - 02:18 PM
The Sandman 13 Jan 16 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Musket 14 Jan 16 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Dave 14 Jan 16 - 03:24 AM
GUEST 14 Jan 16 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,guest 14 Jan 16 - 11:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Joe_F
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 06:32 PM

MtheGM: I don't know if it applies to Lord Randall, but there appear to be dialects in which "true-love" is almost a word in itself & the "true" adds nothing to the meaning. I have more than once heard "my false true-love". If so, the irony might be greatly muted.

For me, the dramatic moment in the song (missing in many versions) is when Lord Randall switches from "For I'm weary wi hunting" to "For I'm sick at the heart", giving up pretense.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 06:46 PM

stick with Thomas The Rhymer,a much better song,but each to their own.
Lord Randall[imo]is a boring song.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 10:12 PM

JoeF: I always regard 'false true-love' as a deliberate oxymoron: a most effectively concentrated formulation; so that it is saying in effect, in only 2/3 words, "I thought she was my true love but it turns out that alas she is nothing of the sort". True poetry! I agree with you re the effectiveness of the 'weary/sick' shift.

Dick: TtR a wonderful song indeed; but diffuse, whereas Randall is concentrated, all emphasis on the one dramatic incident of the man telling his mother what has happened. Which one finds the more poetic/dramatic is indeed a matter of taste. Someone [Scott? Child? Kitson?]* said perceptively that ballads tend to 'begin in the fifth act', making them intensely dramatic. Randall seems to me a particularly fine example of this phenomomenon.

(*PS have googled - it was Thos Gray, he of Elegy In Country Churchyard, who made this cogent observation.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 10:17 AM

MtheGM

It could be early 1959 when Ralph Rinzler first arrived in London. He was at the Ballads and Blues during the summer/autumn. I was attending Peggy's guitar classes during June (still in fact have three roneo copies of the songs she was teaching) very soon after that she had to leave the UK for a spell and Ralph took over her lessons. I later in the year received a letter from Peggy saying that she would shortly be back and continuing lessons. I had to reply saying I wouldn't be able to take up her offer as national service had grabbed me in the last few months of it's existence.
Although you mention that Ralph was staying in an expensive hotel I suspect that it wouldn't have been too long before someone offerd him a bed somewhere less expensive.
He was indeed one of the most pleasant guys on the scene at the time and went on to make a huge contribution intoducing us to the music of Doc Watsson,Clint Howard and Fred Price for starters, re-introducing Clarence Ashley back to the world and helping Bill Monroe at a time when he was strugglng. In addition he did some field recording among the Cajuns and went on at the Smithsonian to produce annual festivals in Washington DC.
Sadly he left us too early.

Hoot.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Dec 09 - 12:53 PM

Many thanks, Hoot. Yes, indeed; he only lived to 60! I certainly retain kindest recollections of him.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:13 AM

Coming from the same generation as Jim Carroll ; having been tutored by Jim (and hence indirectly by Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger), I had thought politics of any hue inseparable from Folk Song.

I s'pose if I had to quantify my own political allegiance I am probably slightly on the right of what the Labour Party was before it was betrayed and suborned by the likes of Blair.

There was a Folk Concert in 1981 at Withington Town Hall, set up by the Local Public Libraries, and hosted by Mike Canavan.

I was asked to sing, and sang Eric Bogle's "Band Played Waltzing Matilda" - or rather, I tried.

I dedicated the song to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Generalissimo Leopoldo Galtieri, and the dead of both Nations.

I was hissed off stage. I still sang, and the song was received first in dead silence, and then to a slow hand clap.

Good job Ewan had been cremated, or he would doubtless have been spinning in his long bed.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:59 AM

Sad story, Bryn - I wonder if it'd be any different now? (The Falklands War was 1982, though.)

When I was first getting up to sing I worked up four or five songs, one of which was Between the Wars. I never really liked BtW - the tone's a bit grandiose, and the concluding line about moderation seems all wrong - so when the second Iraq War broke out I had slightly mixed feelings: appalling news, but at least it gave me a cast-iron excuse for not singing that song!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 09:31 AM

Hi Bryn - one of the things Peggy remarked on following the death of Ewan was that he died when Thatcher was at the height of her power.
I've always thought it a great shame that he never lived to witness that wonderful moment as she drove away from Downing Street with tears in her eyes, like a child who has had her favourite toy confiscated.
Ooooh, it makes you glow inside to remember it.
Mind you, we're still living with the damage she inflicted.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 09:41 AM

One wonders to what extremes of tyranny Thatcher would have descended to, if in a position to do so? I believe she could have been an extremely terrifying dictator given the chance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 12:13 PM

I had the worst ever man flu and was lying in bed unable to move. Had you pushed a £50.00 note within five yards of me I couldn't possibly have got hold of it.

Then lying in bed I heard that she had resigned. Cured.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 12:16 PM

We are always in for the long game, she came she went ...........

L in C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 12:31 PM

I believe she could have been an extremely terrifying dictator given the chance.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened. In South Yorkshire I think she's remembered about as fondly as William the Bastard.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 12:39 PM

Rumour has it she had a complete collection of The Radio Ballads and used then to psych herself up before Prime Ministers Question Time

L in C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 12:58 PM

Kipling was her favourite poet...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 01:07 PM

"There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Sure, but place her in a military coup situation for example, and the brutality witnessed there would be small fry by comparison (IMO). I think the (whole) British public genuinely only got a small taste of what she would have been capable of if granted free reign.
I believe she could have rivaled any political monster of the 20thC, if the power structures in place at the time, had enabled it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 05:15 PM

Not forgetting that her friend and mentor was General Pinochet
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 10:24 PM

A counterblast to all this o·so·predictable smug self·satisfied leftie bollox:—

To attract all this sort of yah-boo from a bunch of pathetic stuck·in·a·40s·Crippsian·groove lefties she must have done something right [which is both intended and not intended punningly — I think].

Do you genuinely think we were/are better off with Blair & then Brown pissing us all about? Away you!!!!! Our present troubles are down to that pair of wankers & you all know it in your ♥s: anti-Thatcherism is based on a combination of misogyny & doctinaire Marxist pigshit. The country hadn't been as worth living in as under her since the end of WWi, & hasn't been since for all Major's efforts to keep her momentum going after she cocked up on the Council Tax (the only thing she got wrong in 14 years) & had to go. You all know it's true, you are just in denial. If the railways had been privatised according to her wishes, e.g., instead of with this dog's·brekkie of separate organisations to grease the points and clean the shit out of the loos...

OK, so hate me the lot of you — I should cocoa...

luvyaz-all justa same! Mxxxxx


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Effsee
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 10:36 PM

MtheGm, I'm hoping you are quoting someone else's views here with that post!
Excuse me while I laugh until I vomit!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 03:24 AM

Sorry Mike - Effsee just said it for me
The mines, the unions, her parading around in uniform while sending young men to die in the Falklands, destruction of British industry, the careful dividing of Britain into rich and poor, her efforts to prevent on of the great mass-murderers of the 20th century from coming to trial, "There is no such thing as society........." even to the extent of using her office to keep her criminal son out of jail - give us a break! She even came into the public notice by depriving schoolkids of their daily milk!
I have no time for those upstairs nowadays - but she was one monster, and will be remembered as such by history.
If you have a case to make for the lady please don't insult us by hiding it behind "misogyny & doctinaire Marxist pigshit", nor by pointing at other politicians as a justification for her behaviour - you're better than that.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 03:53 AM

I have no time for those upstairs nowadays

This is an echo of a stray verse I picked up for Turfman from Ardee which I've never been able to account for as it doesn't feature in any of my sources (Barry, McPeake (?), Bellamy et al):

We talked about our country and how we are oppressed;
The man we sent to parliament has got our wrongs addressed;
But I've no time for members now - nor nothing else you see;
Because we're led by bloody humbugs said the Turfman from Ardee


Odd that whenever I sing it, it invariably finds its way in there. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 03:59 AM

Nice on SO'P never came across it anywhere else (the verse) - where did you get it?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:52 AM

I think that Thatcher did real and lasting damage to our country through her fervent embrace of 'free market' dogma. This semi-religious bullshit has then been equally fervently embraced by her successors. Now our manufacturing industries have all been flushed down the toilet, our high streets are full of estate agents, charity shops and takeaways, and not much else (not to mention jam-packed full of millions of cars because even f*cking budgies have the 'freedom' to own a car and pollute the environment with it nowadays!). And property developers cram every available inch of open space with 'luxury' houses and apartments which ordinary people can't afford to buy. Marvellous!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 05:11 AM

"a bunch of pathetic stuck¡¤in¡¤a¡¤40s¡¤Crippsian¡¤groove lefties"

"all know it in your ¢¾s: anti-Thatcherism is based on a combination of misogyny & doctinaire Marxist pigshit"


Strange, isn't it, that the only response the righties have to critics of Thatcher and her cohorts is to resort to puerile name calling. Now that really is pathetic. Well, let's face it, no-one could support her policies.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 05:16 AM

I've no idea, Jim - it's been puzzling me for a while now...

*

I think historians will look back on this as the Thatcher era too - she shafted the miners using the same global-warming myths that are presently being used to deface the countryside with ugly & hopelessy inefficient wind-farms and rail-road in a new wave of nuclear power stations. Thus I will roam as Quixote, add odds with the times for the very best of reasons, forever tilting at wind-farms...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 05:52 AM

interesting.I am not sure how privatising the railways properly,helps.
MGM could you explain what you mean,how would you have liked to have seen the railways privatised?
I understood that the railways were nationalised after the second world war, because the private companies that were running them were not able to make a profit.
Also in 1955, a major modernisation programme costing £1.2 billion was authorised by the government. This included the withdrawal of steam traction and its replacement by diesel (and some electric) locomotives.,this was paid for by taxpayers.
how are private companies going to raise similiar money for investment,while maintaining a profit.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 06:21 AM

" ... she shafted the miners using the same global-warming myths"

I don't think that global warming is a myth, SO'P - there's a pretty strong scientific concensus that says it's a reality. It makes good scientific sense as well - if you pump heat into a system it becomes more disordered.

Nevertheless, I agree with you to the extent that windmills are not the answer. I have a strong suspicion that they are a highly visible token gesture (it looks like our leaders are doing something about global warming - while in reality they couldn't give a sh*t). Meanwhile windmill manufacturers and erectors are able to make a tasty profit. The fact that these monstrosities represent a further defacement of our once beautiful land is irrelevant to our leaders who see the environment as merely something to be raped and plundered.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 06:54 AM

Dig in folks - it's going to be a loooooong Christmas - and some of us won't get home, I suspect
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 07:44 AM

Last year was the coldest winter in the UK for 30 years, this year it is worse, this doesn't really help the case for the global warming theorists.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 08:27 AM

Dave - I think one of the theories of the effects of global warming is a reduction or stopping of the Atlantic heat conveyor, bringing colder winters to the UK.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 08:58 AM

"Last year was the coldest winter in the UK for 30 years, this year it is worse, this doesn't really help the case for the global warming theorists."

You're talking about weather and not climate. Climate is the average weather of a region over a longish period. Remember that you can get bitterly cold winters in Greece - but they've got a warmer climate than we have.

The theory of global warming (a theory backed up by lots and lots of eveidence) suggests that as the climate of a region like the UK becomes warmer (and more disordered) we can expect more and more unusual weather events.

I thought that Johan Hari, a journalist on the 'Independent' newspaper put the global warming sceptics in their place the other day when he put forward the analogy of a family going on a long flight (say across the Atlantic). They are approached first by a group of flight engineers who tell them that they are not happy with aircraft and thinks that there's a good chance that it will crash. The family is next approached by the management of the airline, together with representatives of their marketing and PR departments, who tell them that there's absolutely nothing to worry about and that everything will be fine! Who should the family believe? I tell you now that I would be cancelling my ticket and asking for refund! The 'engineers' (scientists) have told us that the 'aircraft' (the planetary climate) is going to crash and the 'management and their flunkies' (ignorant, greedy bastards) have a vested interest in denying it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Burton Coggles
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 09:55 AM

" ... she shafted the miners using the same global-warming myths"

I'm not arguing that the miners weren't shafted. But the very real concern at the time was acid rain, not global warming.

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 10:39 AM

The last 3 Labour-led Parliaments got a number of things wrong, probably too many to list, and a number right, ditto.

The international banking collapse and climate change overshadow everything else and they are not simply the consequence of government policy.

The biggest failure of judgement was Blair and the War. When those on the liberal-left have finished blaming the current government for almost everything, they will encourage the election of a government that was just as keen on the war, very late on Green issues, no idea about the banking colapse or anything else much.

Now that will be much better wont it?

L in C
PS Ewan went AWOL and spent the war hiding in Urmston, Manchester. Further details in Ben Harker's book.


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Subject: LYr Add: Turfman from Ardee
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 10:44 AM

SOP & Jim-

Peter Bellamy sang a version of this song mentioned above:

The Turfman From Ardee
Contributed with foreword by Vince Hearns"

"When I was a young lad I often heard this song sung on the Walton's Programme on a Saturday on Radio Éireann, I cannot remember who the singer was. Waltons published the lyrics in their series "Sing an Irish Song" No 10 "Merry Moments" and they attribute its composition to a Patrick Akins. I certainly remember when Margaret Barry recorded it in 1965, indeed I have a copy of the recording her lyrics are somewhat different. I give the Walton's version here."

For sake of health I took a walk last week at early dawn,
I met a jolly turf man as I slowly walked along,
The greatest conversation passed between himself and me
And soon I got acquainted with the turfman from Ardee.

We chatted very freely as we jogged along the road,
He said my ass is tired and I'd like to sell his load,
For I got no refreshments since I left home you see,
And I'm wearied out with travelling said the turfman from Ardee.

Your cart is wracked and worn friend, your ass is very old,
It must be twenty summers since that animal was foaled
Yoked to a cart where I was born, September 'forty three
And carried for the midwife says the turfman from Ardee

I often do abuse my ass with this old hazel rod,
But never yet did I permit poor Jack to go unshod
The harness now upon his back was made by John McGee
And he's dead this four and forty years says the turfman from Ardee.

I own my cart now, has been made out of the best of wood,
I do believe it was in use in the time of Noah's flood
Its axle never wanted grease say one year out of three.
It's a real old Carrick axle said the turfman from Ardee.

We talked about our country and how we were oppressed
The men we sent to parliament have got our wrongs addressed
I have no faith in members now or nothing else you see
But led by bloomin' humbugs, said the turfman from Ardee.

Just then a female voice called out, which I knew very well,
Politely asking this old man the load of turf to sell
I shook that stately hand of his and bowed respectfully
In hope to meet some future day, the turfman from Ardee.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM

The verse is also in the version in O'Lochlainn's More Irish Street Ballads (which has been posted here: the Turfman from Ardee). O'Lochlainn's notes add little info on the song, except for the tune source.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 12:34 PM

Shouldn't it be "Its axle never wanted grease save one year out of three" ?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Reinhard
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 12:50 PM

Peter Bellamy sings "but one year out of three" on Both Sides Then:

For the sake of health I took a walk one morning in the dawn,
I met a jolly turfman along the road as I went on,
A friendly conversation came between this man and me
And that how I came acquainted with the turfman from Ardee.

We chatted very freely as we jogged along the road,
Says he, "My ass is tired and I'd like to sell my load.
For I had no refreshments since I left my home you see,
And I'm tired out of travelling," says the turfman from Ardee.

Says I, "My friend, your cart is worn, your ass is very old,
It must be twenty summers since the day that he was foaled."
"I remember well when he was born, September '43
And he cantered from the midwife," says the turfman from Ardee

"And many's the time I abused the beast with this rough hazel rod,
Although I own I never did see poor Jack go unshod.
The harness that is on his back, it was made by Sam McGee,
And he's dead this two and twenty years," says the turfman from Ardee.

"I know my friend, my cart is worn, but it's tough old Irish wood,
It must have been in constant use since the time of Noah's flood.
The axle never wanted grease but one year out of three,
It's a real old Carrick axle," says the turfman of Ardee.

Just then I heard a female voice that I knew very well,
Politely asking this poor man his load of turf to sell.
I shook the steady old hand of his and he bowed respectfully,
And I hope I'll meet some future day wth the turfman from Ardee.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 03:16 PM

Thanks Charlie, Mick and Reinhard.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 04:38 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 07:40 AM

Interesting to reread this thread.


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 07:42 AM

"Interesting to reread this thread."
Ony if you want to avoid the real issues of Ewan as an artist
I suppose you had your reasons Mike!!
Seems like letting the dogs loose to me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 08:09 AM

Sorry, Jim. See what you mean. I refreshed it to let Dick see a particular post which was relevant to some correspondence going on between us, & it seemed the simplest way to get it across to him. Didn't mean to stir up the whole of the old controversy. Now that it has, I presume, served its purpose, perhaps this ancient thread can be left to drop off the end again.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 02:18 PM

You wish.


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jan 16 - 02:35 PM

I think Ewan was a good artist, I booked him at the club I was runnin. A good singer, with good presentation, BOTH OF THEM GAVE AN EXCELLENT EVENING.
He was in my opinion the best and most prolific songwriter from the uk folk revival.


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 14 Jan 16 - 02:55 AM

I doubt anybody can disagree with that Dick. (Although he will remain my example of "never meet your Heroes.")

The thread is exploring his principles he wore on his sleeve with the reality when he had the opportunity to put them to the test.

He was such an enigma and time will morph him into a larger than life character so it is both proper and of interest that this is discussed. He is after all, a historical item with a legacy.


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 14 Jan 16 - 03:24 AM

Ewan MacColl was one of the most important UK songwriters of the 20th century, in my view up there with McCartney, Bowie, Britten, Lennon. But it is a pity that amongst non-aficionados, he is best known for a piece of schmalz.


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 16 - 06:01 AM

Of course he is remembered for that. The old socialist had to set up an offshore fund to keep the taxman away from the royalties.

Tongue in cheek can lead to urban myth. Someone sang Space Oddity at a club the other night and I couldn't resist shouting that Bowie went downhill after The Laughing Gnome. I said it for a laugh of course because Bowie has been the soundtrack to my life, and in parts so has MacColl.

Still, for someone to write a song decrying thousands of miners and conveniently keep quiet about when he was asked to sacrifice his time fighting fascist forces forty odd years earlier? Complicated character.


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Subject: RE: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 14 Jan 16 - 11:52 AM

Although an aged person I had never heard of MacCall, or for that matter any of a number of the so called superstars of English traditional singing, until around 2001.
When the Kist of Riches came online, a few years back, I made a point of listening to MacColl/Millar on that site and I must say, as a native speaker of Scots, I was not impressed by his artificial rendering of that language in the songs sung, it may be he improved with practice over the following years, these recordings being from the very early 50s. and I have never heard any of his more recent attempts.
Having read all the posts in this thread one conclusion I have come to is that he must have been quite an actor, having been able to outwit the Police, civil and military, for a period of some 4/5 years.
The summit of his acting career at the end of that period being the convincing of a medical panel that he was not responsible for his actions.


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