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An English protest song.

GUEST,Brian S 18 Apr 06 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,wordy 18 Apr 06 - 10:16 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 06 - 10:19 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 06 - 10:51 AM
TheBigPinkLad 18 Apr 06 - 11:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 06 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,wordy 18 Apr 06 - 12:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Apr 06 - 12:08 PM
GUEST 18 Apr 06 - 12:14 PM
GUEST 18 Apr 06 - 12:41 PM
melodeonboy 18 Apr 06 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,wordy 18 Apr 06 - 02:54 PM
The Badger 18 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM
Barry Finn 18 Apr 06 - 07:58 PM
Grab 18 Apr 06 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,wordy 19 Apr 06 - 10:07 AM
Paul Burke 19 Apr 06 - 10:28 AM
pavane 19 Apr 06 - 11:07 AM
GUEST 19 Apr 06 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Brian S 19 Apr 06 - 12:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 06 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,wordy 19 Apr 06 - 01:41 PM
GUEST 19 Apr 06 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Apr 06 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Apr 06 - 05:23 PM
The Badger 19 Apr 06 - 08:30 PM
pavane 20 Apr 06 - 10:33 AM
JohnB 20 Apr 06 - 10:48 AM
Bert 21 Apr 06 - 03:06 AM
Grab 21 Apr 06 - 08:13 AM
Tootler 21 Apr 06 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,DG 22 Apr 06 - 06:47 AM
weerover 22 Apr 06 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,DG 22 Apr 06 - 10:03 AM
weerover 22 Apr 06 - 03:25 PM
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Subject: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,Brian S
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 08:29 AM

Sweet England?

As I was walking one morning in may,
I notice my country with growing dismay.
I met a sweet lady with her head in her hand,
saying 'alas there's no democracy in my own land.'

She said 'I come from sweet England, and all is not well.'
'Our sacred democracy is in its death knell.'
'The British government has taken it away.'
'But I for one refuse to obey.'

'The Scots have their parliament the Welsh have one too.
An English parliament is long overdue.
But the Scottish Raj rules those they don't represent.
Then demand our money, without our consent.'

'We're treated with disgust when we inevitably complain.
Branded "little Englanders", considered with distain,
But all we want is our own democracy,
Not lies, spin and unaccountable bureaucracy'

'Now we learn our counties are to be taken away.
Instead we should be loyal to the "12 parts of the UK"
Democracy abolished, England Dismissed
Enough is enough. Time to resist.'

I cried 'wake up sweet England before it's too late.'
'Wake up and demand our own English state'.
For liberty, democracy and an end to our pain.
One day sweet England will have its parliament again.


You may not agree with this, think it any good, and I apologise sincerely if it offends anyone, but as people involved in folk music and with St George's day approaching, you may be interested in this interpretation of a traditional folk song. The intention of this was to highlight what I (and may others) see as a government that is riding roughshod over the democratic practices and rights of the English. I have been so incensed that I felt a burning need to articulate my sense of unfairness. So I choose a song (Sweet England) from the English folk tradition to do this. It's appeared on Campaign for an English parliament's website (http://www.thecep.org.uk). Now I may be wrong in my opinion, (and looking back on the song it may be over the top) but there you have an example of old Folk song reinterpreted as a protest song for a current event.

Brian S


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 10:16 AM

Awful scansion and words that just don't sing. A bad song that is a perfect example of the curse of folk songwriting-the subject being everything and the craft being nothing.It's just a piece of very poor pamphleteering. I mean, try and sing this line with a straight face;
'We're treated with disgust when we inevitably complain.!
That's TERRIBLE writing!


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 10:19 AM

i think its good. some lyrics id have written different but it is a very nice sentiment.

well done. bout time more folk enjoyed st georges day.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 10:51 AM

'We're treated with disgust when we inevitably complain.!
That's TERRIBLE writing!

Fair enough. That was is the first time i've ever attempted to write anything like that, and I did struggle to convey what I was feeling. The sentiments came from strong emotions, not any abvious talent.

Brian S


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 11:26 AM

Well, I don't agree with you Brian, but at least you're doing something about your concerns. I would agree it's a bona fide method of protest.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM

Better than some I have heard, Brian. Treat the stuff you will inevitably read here as constructive criticism and use it to improve your song. It is a very difficult thing to do I know but rather than let any negative comments put you off show us you can make it better. See if 'Wordy' will act as your editor.

Don't let your song be hijacked by anyone for their own political ends either - I think you may know to whom I refer!

Good luck and remember to sing it somewhere on Sunday:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 11:56 AM

racist shit


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 12:04 PM

"a very nice sentiment".
That's the problem. It may be or it may not be, but what it's writer wants it to be is a song, and that is what it isn't. I suggest the writer tries to make his point by telling a story that illustrates it, and engages the sympathy of the listener.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 12:08 PM

Beautiful timing, Guest:-)


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 12:14 PM

thanks gnome.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 12:41 PM

Thanks for the criticism. But i was a bit taken aback by the racist shit comment. The shit i can take, but the racist stuff is unfair. It should nothave come across like that. I'm sorry if it did, but that's really not what i was getting at. I was directing my anger at issues such as The West Lothian question, The Barnett formula, unelected regional quangos etc. Ie. Instituational undemocratic practices...


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: melodeonboy
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 12:48 PM

Whatever one might think of the quality of the songwriting, it's both ignorant and lazy to call it "racist shit".

The Scottish and Welsh both have their own individual representaive bodies, and good luck to them. It had never occurred to me to call them "racist" because of it.

And I wish contributors would use some sort of title so that I know which "Guest" is saying what. Go on, give yourselves some sort of name; it won't kill you!


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 02:54 PM

No it's not racist at all. The Scots in particular do have one or two songs that fit that category and sing them with passion, however an appeal for an English parliament seems to me to be quite fair and one I would endorse.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: The Badger
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM

Well done Brian - keep at it and ignore the "Unknown Guest" comments. He/she/it is obviously a racist shit.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 07:58 PM

"Racist shit" that's helpful. Don't mind some of the jerks. The point you want to make it up to you. The song itself wasn't to bad a jop in my opinion, so it didn't scan that well, 1st try, again not to bad. First drafts usually suck if you haven't been at it for a while. Bring it back to the drawing board, sometimes you gotta bring it back X number of times before it takes on it's real shpe then you go back & smooth it out. And sometimes if your reall lucky it's almost done on the 1st go round, practically written it's self. Kepp at it, it's a pretty good job for a start.
Barry


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Grab
Date: 18 Apr 06 - 07:59 PM

Asking for a English Assembly (England and Wales already have a Parliament and it's in Westminster, hence the "Welsh Assembly" rather than "Welsh Parliament") isn't racist. However it *is* verging on the kind of song that the Bastard Nazi Prickheads would like, so be warned that it might be misconstrued...

The words are in danger of turning into a pastiche though. Maybe if you used something a bit more recent then you'd feel more comfortable writing in a contemporary style? The Levellers would be the obvious choice for a protest song, but there's plenty of other choices.

More than one verse without the word "democracy" might be nice. Also "the British government" is a tautology - which other government would it be? ;-) I'd be tempted to use "Westminster and Whitehall have taken it away" - a bit of alliteration to help it stick in the mind, and it's more specific than just "fight the system, man".

Graham.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 10:07 AM

Maybe this is a thread on its own, but the point Grab makes is well taken. The writer can never know what happens when he sets his songs free. I've just read a Louis Theroux book on American sub-cultures in which he talks about two American Nazi bands recording "Green fields of France" along with the extreme racist rubbish they write themselves. I'm sure Eric Bogle would hate this, but there is nothing he can do about it.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Paul Burke
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 10:28 AM

I don't think it's racist anything, but it's a bit close to UKIP in their sorry-for-themselves mode. The basis of it- that the regional assemblies will be depriving us of both local (county) democracy and preventing a National assembly- is a bit dubious.

Like when have the counties represented anything or anyone other than the bunch of lawyers, estate agents and car dealers who constitute the local ubermenschschapp as they do now and have done since they got it off the local petty squires?

And how would a national assembly represent both Esher and Mansfield adequately?

Personally, I object to regional assemblies- but because they would be designed to provide increased opportunities for the type of soft graft that has surrounded honours sales recently. They are only concerned to make life easier for the Immune- like those who are convicted of crimes, but still get cushy telly jobs and newspaper commissions from their media mates.

So, all in all, a poorly written song, but also a poorly thought out song. perhaps the two are related.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: pavane
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 11:07 AM

A good protest song doesn't usually consist of a direct criticism of its target.

Look at something like 'A hard rain's gonna fall'


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 11:16 AM

yeah but some good protest songs hit directly at their target.

masters of war


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,Brian S
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 12:44 PM

Back again, and have been given much food for thought. Thank you. A few comments:
"However it *is* verging on the kind of song that the Bastard Nazi Prickheads would like, so be warned that it might be misconstrued..."

This didn't occur to me. I thought the song was being noble, by calling for democracy and equality for England, and I thought this is how it read. However, I may have been naive in thinking this.

"More than one verse without the word "democracy" might be nice"

Do you know I never realised. Perhaps this indicates how "word blind" people (especially me) can be.

"England and Wales already have a Parliament and it's in Westminster, hence the "Welsh Assembly" rather than "Welsh Parliament"

Well I'm in disagreement with this. Everything that is passed on Westminster can be voted on by all mps wherever they are from (including Scotland), even when it is for English only legislation. Hence it is the British parliament. So there ;0)

I also thought the content was being specific, thought trying to find rhymes for the West Lothian question and the Barnett formula is not easy.

"So, all in all, a poorly written song, but also a poorly thought out song. perhaps the two are related."

Poorly written maybe, but I don't think poorly though out. Maybe I should give a reference to my opinions, though it's clear that opinions around this subject will differ.

So taking on board what's been said, my challenge now is to write a protest song that has better rhyming, more specific, can't be misconstrued as racist and isn't repetitive! A challenge! Thank you.

Brian S


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 01:29 PM

Well done, Brian! If only everyone could behave in such a mature and civilised way (Including me that is!)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 01:41 PM

Go for it Brian!


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 04:39 PM

whatever. these type of lyrics stir hatred and everyone on here knows but is fannying around the subject.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 05:17 PM


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 05:23 PM

[bollocks to that hypersensitive "Enter" key !!!!!!!!!!]




this CD is worth a listen to for inspiration


Chumbawamba      "English Rebel Songs 1381-1984"


http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00009QI2H/203-8652701-8975145


Track Listings
1. Cutty Wren
2. Diggers Song
3. Colliers March
4. Triumph Of General Ludd
5. Chartist Anthem
6. Bad Squire
7. Song On The Times
8. Smashing Of The Van
9. World Turned Upside Down
10. Poverty Knock
11. Idris Strike Song
12. Hanging On The Old Barbed Wire
13. Coal Not Dole


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: The Badger
Date: 19 Apr 06 - 08:30 PM

I don't think that the English,Scots and Welsh are different races! Nationalities perhaps - but GUEST likes to muddy the waters with emotional statements. The fact that Scots and Welsh MPs can vote on matters concerning England only is an obvious anomaly in our system - but it will not change whilst Scots MPs keep Tony in power.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: pavane
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 10:33 AM

Hanging on the old barbed wire is just the sort of thing I meant.
Also, Masters of War is aimed at anonymous warmongers of all nationalities, not just a specific few.

High Germany is a good example of an early anti-war song, with the
"Cursed be the Cruel Wars... "verse at the end.

Anyway, we never had a democracy anyway. Not sure what the UK/US system SHOULD be called instead, though. Once elected, our MP's have little or no need to take any notice of the people they are supposed to represent (just look how they ignored all the protests against the licencing act). Party Whips are much more influential.

And I am sure you have heard of 'Divide and Rule"

US - government by the very rich
UK - going the same way, maybe.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: JohnB
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 10:48 AM

To me the song does not have the wherewithall to stand the test of time. Keep on working it, I have a friend who rewrites his songs constantly. Some he has been playing around with changes for the ten years I have known him. He even has a CD and half the songs are different now.
If so many people here don't think it's great, it's probably not. Keep at it and make some changes, make it great.
Manchester Rambler is a protest song too, though not obviously.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Bert
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 03:06 AM

Keep at it Brian and don't get discouraged.

Sure it doesn't scan in places but a good performer can often get around that.

Your next one will be better.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Grab
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 08:13 AM

Well I'm in disagreement with this. Everything that is passed on Westminster can be voted on by all mps wherever they are from (including Scotland), even when it is for English only legislation. Hence it is the British parliament. So there ;0)

Sure - having Scottish MPs voting on England/Wales-specific issues is fundamentally unfair. What I was trying to say (and maybe being a bit too smart-arse about ;-) was that technically England and Wales are one country, and Scotland is a second country. Hence Scotland can have its own "Parliament", but if England and Wales get governing bodies for their specific bits then they can only be "Assemblies".

Apologies to any Welsh who are now jumping up and down and frothing at the mouth, screaming "we're a separate country, boyo!", but constitutionally that's where things are. Technically Wales is a princedom which is a part of the combined England-and-Wales kingdom. And that's why it's a "United Kingdom", because it's two separate kingdoms (England-and-Wales, and Scotland) combined under one king to rule them all, one king to bind them... sorry, wrong book there.

Incidentally, can anyone else see Gordon Brown as the leader of the Ringwraiths? And David Cameron sneaking around going "mine, precioussss"? Ian Duncan Smith made a much better Gollum though.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 07:43 PM

Does that make Tony Blair Saruman?


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,DG
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 06:47 AM

I'd like to think of Menzies Campbell as Gandalf...

As for the song, I think its certainly trying to make a valid point (I am English, but raised in Scotland - so I know about anti-English feeling and ideas of nationhood) but you're trying too hard.

There is a song on the last Bert Jansch album about 9/11, and as much as I love Bert Jansch the song is rubbish. Trying to say too much, too obviously in songs just doesn't work. It's much better when you allude to something without it being completely obvious.
That is the reason why the early Dylan stuff is so good. It can be taken a number of ways.

Even something like 'Masters of War', which is obviously dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis, never mentions anyone or anywhere by name, which makes it much more powerful. Dylan back then asserted that his songs weren't 'protest' songs at all, which kind of backs up what I'm trying to say.

Sorry, ended up rambling a bit there... I hope you get the idea anyway.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: weerover
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 08:47 AM

Make it democratic at a stroke - get rid of Scotland from the UK. As a Scot I'd happily settle for that.

wr.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: GUEST,DG
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 10:03 AM

Ahh, the old Scotting nationalism...
Historically there's obviously a great case for it, but economically no chance.


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Subject: RE: An English protest song.
From: weerover
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 03:25 PM

"economically no chance" - recent release of government papers show that the Westminster government knew in the 70s that an independent Scotland would be wealthy even as they were telling us the opposite. See the UK press over recent weeks if you still doubt it.

wr.


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