Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Lef (10-CD)

by Various Artists
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Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical
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Item:  BFY 15720

CD Details

  • Number of Discs: 10
  • Released: April 23, 1996
  • Label: Bear Family

Tracks on Disc 1:

  • 1.Boll Weevil, The - Carl Sandburg
  • 2.Patriotic Diggers - John Allison
  • 3.London's Bridge Is Falling Down - Charles Seeger
  • 4.Rissility Rossolty - Charles Seeger / R. Crawford
  • 5.Old Grey Mare - Ruth Crawford
  • 6.Hands - Charles Seeger
  • 7.Ragged Hungry Blues (Part 1) - Aunt Molly Jackson
  • 8.Ragged Hungry Blues (Part 2) - Aunt Molly Jackson
  • 9.I'm Going to Organize, Baby Mine - Sarah Ogan Gunning
  • 10.I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister - Tillman Cadle
  • 11.Raggedy, Raggedy - John Handcox
  • 12.No More Mourning - John Handcox
  • 13.Join the Union Tonight - John Handcox
  • 14.We're Going to Roll the Union On - John Handcox
  • 15.There Is Mean Things Happening in This Land - John Handcox
  • 16.Farmer's Letter to the President - Bob Ferguson
  • 17.Farm Relief Blues - Bob Miller
  • 18.11 Cent Cotton, 40 Cent Meat - Bob's Boys (Bob Miller)
  • 19.Hootenanny Song, The - Miller's Bullfrog Entertainers
  • 20.Bank Failures - Bob Ferguson & Scalawaggers
  • 21.Rich Man and the Poor Man, The - Bob Miller
  • 22.Poor Forgotten Man, The - Bill Palmer (Bob Miller)
  • 23.Soup Song, The - New Singers
  • 24.Internationale, The - New Singers
  • 25.Rise Up - New Singers
  • 26.United Front - New Singers
  • 27.Forward, We've Not Forgotten - New Singers
  • 28.In Praise of Learning - New Singers
  • 29.On the Picket Line - Manhattan Chorus
  • 30.Hold the Fort - Manhattan Chorus
  • 31.Casey Jones - Manhattan Chorus
  • 32.Sit Down - Manhattan Chorus
  • 33.Write Me Out My Union Card - Manhattan Chorus
  • 34.We Shall Not Be Moved - Manhattan Chorus
  • 35.Join the Union - Manhattan Chorus
  • 36.Solidarity Forever - Manhattan Chorus

Tracks on Disc 2:

  • 1.Strange Funeral in Braddock, The - M. Baumann / Elie Siegmeister
  • 2.Abraham Lincoln (Parts 1 & 2) - Earl Robinson
  • 3.Joe Hill - Earl Robinson
  • 4.Spring Song - Earl Robinson
  • 5.Old Chisholm Trail, The - Tony Kraber
  • 6.Old Paint (The Horse With the Union Label) - Saul Aarons
  • 7.Capitalistic Boss (Part 1 & 2) - Saul Aarons
  • 8.Little Theather on the Right - Harrison Dowd
  • 9.Little Theater on the Left - Harrison Dowd
  • 10.Nine Foot Shovel - Josh White
  • 11.Chain Gang Boun' - Josh White
  • 12.Trouble - Josh White
  • 13.Goin' Home Boys - Josh White
  • 14.Cryin' Who? Cryin' You! (Parts 1 & 2) - Josh White
  • 15.Told My Captain - Josh White
  • 16.Jerry - Josh White
  • 17.Southern Exposure - Josh White
  • 18.Uncle Sam Says - Josh White
  • 19.Jim Crow Train - Josh White
  • 20.Bad Housing Blues - Josh White
  • 21.Hard Times Blues - Josh White
  • 22.Defense Factory Blues - Josh White

Tracks on Disc 3:

  • 1.Strange Death of John Doe, The - Almanac Singers
  • 2.Billy Boy - Almanac Singers
  • 3.'C' For Conscription - Almanac Singers
  • 4.Washington Breakdown - Almanac Singers
  • 5.Lisa Jane - Almanac Singers
  • 6.Ballad of October 16th - Almanac Singers
  • 7.Plow Under - Almanac Singers
  • 8.Talking Union - Almanac Singers
  • 9.Union Train - Almanac Singers
  • 10.Which Side Are You On? - Almanac Singers
  • 11.Get Thee Behind Me Satan - Almanac Singers
  • 12.Union Maid - Almanac Singers
  • 13.All I Want - Almanac Singers
  • 14.Songs For Bridges - Almanac Singers
  • 15.Babe O' Mine - Woody Guthrie
  • 16.Blow Ye Winds, Heigh Ho - Almanac Singers
  • 17.Haul Away, Joe - Almanac Singers
  • 18.Blow the Man Down - Almanac Singers
  • 19.Golden Vanity, The - Almanac Singers
  • 20.Away, Rio - Almanac Singers
  • 21.Coast of High Barbary, The - Almanac Singers
  • 22.Greenland Fishing - Almanac Singers
  • 23.Dodger Song, The - Almanac Singers
  • 24.Ground Hog - Almanac Singers
  • 25.State of Arkansas - Almanac Singers
  • 26.Hard, Ain't It Hard - Almanac Singers
  • 27.I Ride an Old Paint - Almanac Singers
  • 28.House of the Rising Sun - Almanac Singers
  • 29.Weaver's Song, The - Almanac Singers

Tracks on Disc 4:

  • 1.Dear Mr. President - Almanac Singers
  • 2.Belt Line Girl - Almanac Singers
  • 3.Round, Round Hitler's Grave - Almanac Singers
  • 4.Side by Side - Almanac Singers
  • 5.Deliver the Goods - Almanac Singers
  • 6.Reuben James - Almanac Singers
  • 7.Boomtown Bill - Almanac Singers
  • 8.Keep That Oil a Rollin' - Almanac Singers
  • 9.I'm Looking For a Home (Housing Song) - The Priority Ramblers
  • 10.Amsterdam Maid - The Priority Ramblers
  • 11.Song of the Free - The Priority Ramblers
  • 12.In Washington - The Priority Ramblers
  • 13.Overtime Pay - The Priority Ramblers
  • 14.Quinte Brigada - Seeger & Glazer / Hawes / Lomax
  • 15.Jarama Valley - Tom Glazer / B. Hawes / Lomax
  • 16.Spanish Marching Song - Seeger & Glazer / Hawes / Lomax
  • 17.Cook House / The Young Man From Alcala - Seeger & Glazer / Hawes / Lomax
  • 18.Quinte Regimento - Seeger & Glazer / Hawes / Lomax
  • 19.Quarter Master Song - Seeger & Glazer / Hawes / Lomax
  • 20.Little Man on a Fence - Josh White / The Boys
  • 21.Jim Crow - Union Boys
  • 22.You Better Get Ready - Union Boys
  • 23.Hold The Fort / We Shall Not Be Moved - Union Boys
  • 24.U.A.W.-C.I.O. - Union Boys
  • 25.Hold On - Union Boys
  • 26.Solidarity Forever - Burl Ives / The Boys
  • 27.Dollar Ain't a Dollar Anymore, A - Union Boys

Tracks on Disc 5:

  • 1.Horace Greeley - Earl Robinson
  • 2.Kevin Barry - Earl Robinson
  • 3.House I Live In, The - Earl Robinson
  • 4.Man's a Man For a That, A - Earl Robinson
  • 5.Drill Ye Tarriers Drill - Earl Robinson
  • 6.Frozen Logger, The - Earl Robinson
  • 7.Jefferson and Liberty - Earl Robinson
  • 8.Sweet Betsy From Pike / Dirty Miner - Earl Robinson
  • 9.Grand Coulee Dam - Earl Robinson
  • 10.Free and Equal Blues (Parts 1&2) - Earl Robinson / Delroy Wilson
  • 11.Century of the Common Man, The - Sir Lancelot
  • 12.I'm a Native American Nazi - Vern Partlow
  • 13.Join the U.A.W.-C.I.O. - Vern Partlow
  • 14.Keeping Score For '44 - Vern Partlow
  • 15.U.A.W. Train, The - Vern Partlow
  • 16.Susan's in the Union - Vern Partlow
  • 17.Rollback Blues, The - Vern Partlow
  • 18.Mama Don't Allow - Vern Partlow
  • 19.Farmer-Labor Train - Woody Guthrie
  • 20.So Long, It's Been Good to Know You - Woody Guthrie
  • 21.Talking Sailor - Woody Guthrie
  • 22.Sally, Don't You Grieve - Woody Guthrie
  • 23.Citizen C.I.O. - Josh White
  • 24.No More Blues - Josh White
  • 25.We've Got a Plan - Tom Glazer
  • 26.Social Worker's Talking Blues - Tom Glazer
  • 27.I'm Gonna Put My Name Down - Tom Glazer
  • 28.Freedom Road - Josh White

Tracks on Disc 6:

  • 1.Landlord - Josh White
  • 2.Beloved Comrade - Josh White
  • 3.Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier - Josh White
  • 4.Beloved Comrade - Josh White
  • 5.Man Who Couldn't Walk Around, The - Josh White
  • 6.I'm the Guy - Josh White
  • 7.Little Man Sitting on a Fence - Josh White
  • 8.When the Country Is Broke - Tom Glazer
  • 9.Money in the Pocket - Tom Glazer
  • 10.Our Fight Is Yours - Tom Glazer
  • 11.Moses Green - Lee Hays
  • 12.Rankin Tree, The - Lee Hays
  • 13.Talking Bilbo - Lee Hays
  • 14.This Old World - Lee Hays
  • 15.No One Stooge - Bob Claiborne
  • 16.Song of My Hands - Bernie Asbel
  • 17.Mad as I Can Be - Bernie Asbel / Pete Seeger
  • 18.Jackie Robinson - Lord Invader
  • 19.High Price Blues - Brownie McGhee
  • 20.Black, Brown & White - Brownie McGhee
  • 21.Nix On Mundt / Nixon - Anna Beyer
  • 22.Daily Worker's Song, The - George Levine
  • 23.Taft-Hartley Blues - Unidentified
  • 24.Parnell Thomas Blues - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham
  • 25.Turn Me Loose - Malvina Reynolds / B. Oliver
  • 26.Snowball - Berries
  • 27.Swingin' on a Scab - Berries
  • 28.On to Sacramento - Mario Casetta
  • 29.Atomic Talking Blues - Vern Partlow
  • 30.Newspapermen Meet Such Interesting People - Vern Partlow
  • 31.Passing Through - Dick Blakeslee

Tracks on Disc 7:

  • 1.Listen Mr. Bilbo - Pete Seeger
  • 2.Joe Hill - Pete Seeger
  • 3.O.P.A. Shout - Pete Seeger
  • 4.Voting Union - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 5.Get Out the Vote - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 6.Dollar Ain't a Dollar Anymore, A - Tom Glazer
  • 7.Dollar For P.A.C., A - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 8.Oh, What Congress Done to Me - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 9.Four P.A.C. Nursery Rhymes - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 10.D.D.T. - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 11.Fare Ye Well, Bad Congressman - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 12.No, No, No Discrimination - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 13.Voter, Oh Voter - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 14.Intro / Commonwealth Of Toil - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 15.We've Got Our Eyes on You - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 16.Talking Union - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 17.Preacher and the Slave, The - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 18.Which Side Are You One? - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 19.Solidarity Forever - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 20.Whole Wide World Around, The - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 21.Hold The Fort / Conclusion - Pete Seeger / Tom Glazer
  • 22.Talking P.A.C. - Pete Seeger
  • 23.Conversation With a Mule - Pete Seeger
  • 24.Farmer Is the Man, The - Pete Seeger
  • 25.Join the Famer's Union - Pete Seeger
  • 26.Talking Atom - Pete Seeger
  • 27.Newspapermen Meet Such Interesting People - Pete Seeger
  • 28.Skillet Good and Greasy - Pete Seeger
  • 29.T For Texas - Pete Seeger
  • 30.Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase - Pete Seeger

Tracks on Disc 8:

  • 1.Walk in Peace (Part 1) - Sir Lancelot
  • 2.Walk in Peace (Part 2) - Sir Lancelot
  • 3.Atomic Energy - Sir Lancelot
  • 4.Old Lady With a Rolling Pin - Sir Lancelot
  • 5.Red Boogie - Goodson & Vale
  • 6.Unity Rhumba - Goodson & Vale
  • 7.Elephant and the Ass - Goodson & Vale
  • 8.Hungry Rhapsody - Goodson & Vale
  • 9.Housing - Goodson & Vale
  • 10.People's Songs Chorus Ballad of F.D.R. - Goodson & Vale
  • 11.Jim Crow - Goodson & Vale
  • 12.Mein Shtele Belz - Berries
  • 13.Zhonkoye - Berries / Pete Seeger
  • 14.Travelin' - Pete Seeger
  • 15.Black, Brown & White Blues - Pete Seeger
  • 16.Death of Harry Simms, The - Pete Seeger
  • 17.Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues - Pete Seeger
  • 18.No Irish Need Apply - Pete Seeger
  • 19.Unemployment Compensation Blues - Mario Casetta
  • 20.Fireship, The - Betty Sanders
  • 21.Johnny, I Hardly Knew You - Betty Sanders
  • 22.Peeksill Story, The (Parts 1 & 2) - The Weavers
  • 23.Wasn't That a Time - The Weavers
  • 24.Dig My Grave - The Weavers
  • 25.Freight Train Blues - The Weavers
  • 26.Love Song Blues - The Weavers
  • 27.Hammers Song, The - The Weavers

Tracks on Disc 9:

  • 1.We're Keeping Score in '44 - Earl Robinson
  • 2.No More Blues - Josh White
  • 3.Lay That Ballot Down (Part 1 & 2) - Bill Oliver
  • 4.Fertilizer Song, The - Vern Partlow
  • 5.Talking F.T.A. - Vern Partlow
  • 6.Kiss the Boys Goodbye - Vern Partlow
  • 7.Round and Round the Canneries - Vern Partlow
  • 8.My Name Is Cannery Bill - Vern Partlow
  • 9.Bosses' Gang, The - Maria Alexander
  • 10.Bye, Bye Bosses - Maria Alexander
  • 11.New Walls of Jericho, The - Richard Huey
  • 12.Henry Wallace Is the Man - Royal Harmonaires
  • 13.Corrido to Wallace and Taylor, A - Abigail Alvarez
  • 14.Second Corrido to Wallace and Taylor - Abigail Alvarez
  • 15.Battle Hymn of '48, The - Paul Robeson
  • 16.Same Old Merry-Go-Round, The - Michael Loring
  • 17.I've Got a Ballot - Michael Loring
  • 18.Great Day - Michael Loring
  • 19.Wallace Button / Goodbye Harry - George Levine
  • 20.Henry Wallace - Agnes "Sis" Cunningham
  • 21.We Can Win With Wallace - Bill Oliver
  • 22.Work With Wallace - Malvina Reynolds
  • 23.Century of the Common Man, The - Sir Lancelot
  • 24.Wallace Is the Man For Me - Sir Lancelot
  • 25.Yankee Doodle, Tell the Boss - Alan Lomax
  • 26.Intro/ New York City - The Weavers
  • 27.Marcantonio For Me - Fred Hellerman
  • 28.Skip to the Polls - The Weavers
  • 29.Marcantonio For Major - Fred Hellerman
  • 30.Now, Right Now - Laura Duncan
  • 31.We Shall Not Be Moved - The Weavers
  • 32.Oh, Freedom - Pete Seeger
  • 33.Ben Davis - Pete Seeger
  • 34.M.T.A. - Unidentified
  • 35.People's Choice, The - Unidentified
  • 36.Keep a-Goin' and a-Growin' - Fred Hellerman

Tracks on Disc 10:

  • 1.Riddle of Thurman Towns, The - Robert DeCormier / Bernardi
  • 2.Grapes to Pick - Gerald Gallant
  • 3.Medley - Fred Hellerman
  • 4.Medley - Unidentified
  • 5.Party Is Here to Stay - Unidentified
  • 6.Pity the Downtrodden Landlord - Bob Hill
  • 7.Hammer Song, The - The Weavers
  • 8.Banks of Marble - The Weavers
  • 9.Spring Song - Ernie Lieberman
  • 10.Songs of My Hands - Ernie Lieberman
  • 11.My Old Man - Ernie Lieberman
  • 12.I'm on My Way - Ernie Lieberman
  • 13.In Contempt - Ernie Lieberman / Duncan & Smith
  • 14.Die Gedanken Sind Frei - Ernie Lieberman / Duncan & Smith
  • 15.Walk Along Together - Ernie Lieberman / Duncan & Smith
  • 16.Put My Name Down - Ernie Lieberman / Duncan & Smith
  • 17.Hold On - Ernie Lieberman / Duncan & Smith
  • 18.Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel - Osborne Smith
  • 19.I've Got a Right - Laura Duncan
  • 20.We Shall Overcome - Jewish Young Folk Singers
  • 21.Talking un-American Blues - Betty Sanders
  • 22.Old Bolshevik Song - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 23.Cloakmaker's Union, The - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 24.Land of the Daily - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 25.Our Line's Been - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 26.In Old Moscow - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 27.Unite For Unity - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 28.Bill Bailey - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 29.Last Internationale, The - Joe Glazer / Bill Friedland
  • 30.Giveaway Boys in Washington, The - Joe Glazer
  • 31.Joe McCarthy's Band - Joe Glazer
  • 32.I've Got to Know - Woody Guthrie
  • 33.This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie

Product Description:

DISC 9:
Earl Robinson: We're Keeping Score In '44; Josh White: No More Blues; Bill Oliver: Lay That Ballot Down (part 1 & 2); Verne Partlow: The Fertilizer Song;; Talking F.T.A; Kiss The Boys Goodbye; Round And Round The Canneries; My Name is Cannery Bill; Maria Alexander & Others: The Boos Gang; Bye, Bye Bosses; Richard Huey: The Walls Of Jericho; Royal Harmonaires: Henry Wallace Is The Man; Abigail Alvarez: A Corrido To Wallace And Taylor; A Second Corrido To Wallace And Taylor; Paul Robseon: The Battle Hymn Of '48; Michael Loring: The Same Old Merry-Go Round; I've Got A Ballot; Great Day; George Levine: Wallace Button/Goodbye Harry; Sis Cunningham: Henry Wallace; Bill Oliver: We Can Win With Wallace; Malvina Reynolds: Work With Wallace; Sir Lancelot: The Century Of The Common Man; Wallace Is The Man For Me; Michael Loring/Alan Lomax: Yankee Doodle; Tell The Boss; The Weavers: Intro/New York City; Fred Hellerman: Marcantonio For Me; The Weavers/Hope Fox: Skip To THe Polls; Fred Hellerman: Marcantonio For Major; Laura Duncan: Now, Right Now; The Weavers: We Shall Not Be Moved; Pete Seeger/Hope Foye: Oh Freedom; Pete Seeger: Ben Davis; Unidentified Vocalist: M.T.A.; The People's Choice; Fred Hellerman: Keep A-Goin' And A-Growin.
DISC 10:
Decormier & Bernardi & Booth: Riddle Of Thurman Towns, The; Gerald Gallant: Grapes To Pick; Fred Hellerman: I Don't Want To Be Adjusted/Stand Up And Be Counted/The Progressive; The Party Is Here To Stay; Bob Hill: Pity The Downtrodden Landlord; The Weavers: The Hammer Song; Banks Of Marble; ERnie Lieberman/Hope Foye: Spring Song; Ernie Lieberman: Songs Of My Hands; My Old Man; I'm On My Way; Lieberman & Duncan & Smith: In Contempt; Die Gedanken Sind Frei; Walk Along Together; Put My Name Down; Hold On; Osborne Smith: Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel; Laura Duncan: I've Got A Right; Jewish Young Folksingers: We Shall Overcome; Betty Sanders: Talking Un-American Blues; Joe
Glazer/Bill Friendland: Old Bolshevik Song; The Cloakmaker's Union; Land Of The Daily Worker; Our Line's Been Changed Again; In Old Moscow; Unite For Unity; Bill Bailey; The Last Internationale; The Giveaway Boys In Washington; Joe McCarthy's Band; Woody Guthrie: I've Got To Know; This Land Is Your Land.
Leave it to Bear Family Records to release a ten-disc collection of Communist and leftist-activist songs that only a dyed-in-the-wool Republican can afford! However, there's a lot of stuff on these discs -- songs about lynchings, anti-union murders and riots, and other injustices, including wretched working conditions permitted by earlier governments, et cetera. There's folk material, of course, but also cowboy songs, country songs, blues and country-blues. These ten CDs also tear down the stereotype of the dry and doctrinaire political song.
Highlights include Disc One ("The Roots of the Folk Revival,") which is primarily given over to the oldest union songs and farm-related protest songs. Disc Three is given over to the Almanac Singers; this body of work was recorded when the official Communist Party line (to which they adhered) was non-aggression against Nazi Germany. Some of the music on Disc Four ("Fighting the Fascists") was surprisingly complex, given the spartan conditions under which a lot of it was done. Disc Seven ("Pete Seeger: 1946-48") is mostly made up of Seeger's masterpieces Roll the Union On and Songs for Political Action. Disc Nine ("Campaign Songs: 1944-1949") represents the last significant cohesive body of topical political songs to come from the American left. By the time of Disc Ten ("An Era Closes"), the Left couldn't do more than snipe at the reactionaries setting the agenda and the passive moderates who stood by. The sound quality on most of the material in this set is astonishingly good and the ten discs are accompanied by an over-200-page hardcover book featuring historical and musical essays, photographs, session information and lyrics -- one of the finest documents of the relationship between music and politics of the period that has ever been published. ~ Bruce Eder

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