Freitag, 31. Januar 2020

X-Ray Spex ‎- Oh Bondage Up Yours! (1977)

"Oh Bondage Up Yours!" was the band's debut single. Released in September 1977, it is regarded by critics as a prototypic example of British punk, though it was not a chart hit.

Lead singer Poly Styrene told Mojo magazine September 2008 about this song: "Most people think it was a kinky S&M song. But it was about breaking free from the bondage of the material world. I come from a religious background and in the scriptures the whole idea of being liberated is to break free from bondage. I had an idea of the bondage of slavery and all those images in history like the suffragettes or slaves being chained up. When I saw Vivienne Westwood's shop (Sex) and all her bondage trousers it symbolized all the other bondage elements I'd grown up with."

In Gillian G. Gaar's analysis, the song "eagerly steamrolled over the idea of objectifying women by confronting the notion head on". Raha writes, "Styrene and Logic were joyfully angry, liberated by the freedom punk afforded them." In Lauraine Leblanc's view, Styrene's compositions, and "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" in particular, exemplify the emphasis female punk artists placed on parody and paradox. As she describes, the first verse goes "Bind me, tie me, chain me to the wall / I wanna be a slave to you all!" Paradoxically, the chorus [runs]: "Oh bondage! Up yours! / Oh bondage! Come on!" As Styrene continue[s] on to the second verse, she reveal[s] that the song is not about sex, but about consumerism: "Chain store, chain smoke, I consume you all / Chain gang, chain mail, I don't think at all!" In this one utterance, Styrene transformed a seemingly masochistic plea into an indictment of consumer culture, denouncing the blind impulses of the mainstream shopper. In depicting herself as both an agent of and resister to her submission, she created a parody of both positions, juxtaposing them powerfully against each other.

A - Oh Bondage Up Yours!2:45
B - I Am A Cliché1:53

X-Ray Spex ‎- Oh Bondage Up Yours! (1977)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 29. Januar 2020

Fela Kuti - Alagbon Close (1974)

"Alagbon Close", originally released on the independent Jofabro label in 1974, marks the first full flowering of Afrobeat, as a music and as a principled political philosophy. 

Instrumentally, the album brings together the several signature elements of Fela’s Afrobeat, which had not previously been moulded into such a unified, finely-balanced form on record. Lyrically, it is a full-on confrontation with an enforcing power of the Nigerian state: Alagbon Close in Lagos was the headquarters of the Nigerian Criminal Investigation Department. 

Many of the musical elements which make "Alagbon Close" so compelling can be heard on earlier recordings, but on this album, Fela pulled them all together to devastating effect, in the process creating the classic Afrobeat paradigm.


A Alagbon Close 17:03
B I No Get Eye For Back 12:35

Fela Kuti - Alagbon Close (1974)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 27. Januar 2020

Manfred Lemm & Ensemble - Der singer fun nojt. Mordechaj Gebirtig, Jiddische Lieder Vol.2

Today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Army in 1945. The "Holocaust Memorial Day" is dedicated to the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. 

This is the second collection of songs by Mordechaj Gebirtig in interpretations by Manfred Lemm. 

Mordechaj Gebirtig was a great Yiddish bard, folk singer and labour poet. He has not performed them himself, as Gebirtig was killed in 1942 in the ghetto in Polish Krakau. 
Gebirtig belonged to the Jewish Social Democratic Party, a political party in Galicia which merged into the Jewish Labour Bund after World War I. The Bund was a Yiddishist proletarian socialist party, which called for Jewish cultural autonomy in a democratic Second Republic.
From 1906 he was a member of the Jewish Amateur Troupe in Kraków. He also wrote songs and theater reviews for "Der sotsial-demokrat", the Yiddish organ of the Jewish Social-Democratic Party. It was in such an environment that Gebirtig developed, encouraged by such professional writers and Yiddishist cultural activists as Avrom Reyzen, who for a time lived and published a journal in Krakow. Gebirtig's talent was his own, but he took the language, themes, types, tone, and timbre of his pieces from his surroundings, in some measure continuing the musical tradition of the popular Galician cabaret entertainers known as the Broder singers, who in turn were beholden to the yet older and still vital tradition of the badchen's (wedding jester's) improvisatory art.
He published his first collection of songs in 1920, in the Second Polish Republic. It was titled "Folkstimlekh" ('of the folk'). His songs spread quickly even before they were published, and many people regarded them as folksongs whose author or authors were anonymous. Adopted by leading Yiddish players such as Molly Picon, Gebirtig's songs became staples of numerous regular as well as improvised theatrical productions wherever Yiddish theatre was performed. It is not an exaggeration to say that Gebirtig's songs were lovingly sung the world over.

German singer-guitarist Manfred Lemm became obsessed by the works of Gebertig and collected, researched and adapted all his songs. Lemm put poems to music and brought his collection together in a weighty book, including lyrics, translations and music notations through which a peek into the life of Gebirtig is visible.


1 Der Singer Fun Nojt
2 Di Kortn-Lejgerin
3 Arbetloser-Marsch
4 Ich Hob Schojn Lang
5 Minutn Fun Bitochn
6 Undser Schtetl Brent
7 Huljet, Huljet, Kinderlech
8 Rejsele
9 Jankele
10 Motele
11 Schojn Schtil Is In Gessl
12 Oj, Bruderl, Lechajim Lechajim Klesmorim
13 Zu Majn Gelibter
14 Di Erschte Bletlech
15 Di Farfirte
16 Wig-Lid
17 Bejike
18 A Malech Wert Geborjn

Manfred Lemm & Ensemble - Der singer fun nojt. Mordechaj Gebirtig, Jiddische Lieder Vol.2
(320 kbps, cover art included

Sonntag, 26. Januar 2020

Ernst Busch - Eure Träume gehen durch mein Lied (Originalaufnahmen 1946 - 1953)

Ernst Busch (22 January 1900 - 8 June 1980) was a singer and actor. He was born in Kiel, Germany, and died in Berlin.

Busch first rose to prominence as an interpreter of political songs, particularly those of Kurt Tucholsky, in the Berlin cabaret scene of the 1920s. He starred in the original 1928 production of Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera", as well as the subsequent 1931 film by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.
A lifelong Communist, Busch fled Nazi Germany in 1933 with the Gestapo on his heels, eventually settling in the Soviet Union. In 1937 he joined the International Brigades to fight against fascism in Spain. After Spain fell to the Franco, he emigrated to Belgium, where he was interned during the Nazi occupation and later imprisoned in Gurs, France and Berlin. Freed by the Red Army in 1945, he settled in East Berlin, where he worked with Bertold Brecht and Erwin Piscator at the "Berliner Ensemble".

A beloved figure in the German Democratic Republic, he is best remembered for his performance in the title role of Brecht's Galileo, and for his stirring recordings of worker's songs, including many written by Hanns Eisler.


1 Trotz alledem 2:22
2 Kessel-Song 2:54
3 Über das Seefahren 2:58
4 Ballade von den Säckeschmeißern 2:59
5 Ballade vom Soldaten 3:02
6 Ballade von der Wohltätigkeit 2:53
7 Glück Auf, Ruhrkumpel 2:56
8 Kosakenlied 3:17
9 Herrlicher Baikal 2:37
10 Dank Euch, Ihr Sowjetsoldaten 2:40
11 Marie, Weine Nicht/In Sturmes Nacht 3:05
12 Die Alten Weisen/Spartakus 1919 3:15
13 Allons Enfants 2:47
14 Des Volkes Blut 2:41
15 Mein Sohn, was immer aus Dir Werde 2:47
16 Deutsche Weihnacht 3:05
17 Jeder Traum 2:41

Ernst Busch - Eure Träume gehen durch mein Lied (Originalaufnahmen 1946 - 1953)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 23. Januar 2020

Ernst Busch - Der Barrikaden-Tauber

Yesterday was the 120th birthday of Ernst Busch - a welcome opportunity to post more of his recordings.

Ernst Busch was born as a son of Mason Friedrich Busch and his wife Emma. He followed from 1915 to 1920 an apprenticeship as a mechanic and then worked at a shipyard. In 1917 he became a member of the Sozialistische Arbeiterjugend and in november 1918 he participated in the sailor rebellion in Kiel. In 1919 he became a member of the KPD.

In 1920 took Busch stage and singing lessons and he worked at various companies. In 1927 he established himself in the Berlin art colony and from 1928 he played in Berlin at the Volksbühne, the Theater der Arbeiter and the Piscator-Bühne in pieces of Friedrich Wolf, Ernst Toller and Bertolt Brecht. In the first production of the "Threepenny opera", he had a role as a police officer and in the film adaptation of 1931 he sang the famous "Die Moritat von Mäckie Messer". In Slátan Dudows film "Kuhle Wampe", he played a leading role and he sings the "solidarity song" from Brecht and Eisler.

After the seizure of power by the Nazis the SA tried to arrest Busch. He fled with his wife, the singer Eva Busch, to Netherlands, where he performed for the VARA. He then stayed in Belgium, Zurich, Paris, Vienna and finally the Soviet Union-

In 1937, Busch, as thousands of kindred spirits, moved to Spain, where he joined the International Brigades. He performed in Spain for the volunteers of the International Brigades and worked for Radio Madrid. With songs like the Thälmann-Kolonne, No pasaran Bandiera rossa and others he turned against fascism. After Franco 's victory, Busch moved back to Belgium, where he made recordings for Radio in 1938.

In 1940 he was arrested and deported to France , where he was interned until 1943 before  he could flee. However, he was again arrested and handed over to the Gestapo.

At the end of the Second World War, he was freed by the Red Army from the prison of Brandenburg. When he moved to Pankow (in the Soviet sector), he became a member of the Socialist Unity Party.

As an actor, he performed at the Berliner Ensemble, the Deutsches Theater and the Volksbühne.

Busch was also known for his performance of songs of Hanns Eisler and of international worker songs. In 1956, 1966 and 1979, he was awarded the national prize of the GDR. Between 1963 and 1975 he recorded for the Aurora record label about 200 of his songs on.

In 1961 he withdrew, officially out of health considerations, back from the scene. The real reason was supposedly his repeated criticism of the SED. Ernst Busch died on June 8, 1980 in Bernburg, 80 years old.

"Der Barrikaden-Tauber" is a collection of historic recordings from the 1930s, mastered from regular shellac releases on Gloria, Homocord, Versandhaus Arbeiter-Kult, Deutscher Arbeiter-Sängerbund and Keynote Recordings.


1 Ballade von den Baumwollpflückern 2:55
2 Das Lied von den Murmeln 2:55
3 Der brave Peter 3:14
4 Nur auf die Minute kommt es immer an 2:46
5 Solidaritätslied 2:23
6 Der erste Schritt vom rechten Weg 3:11
7 Ballade von der Wohltätigkeit 3:06
8 Stempellied 1929 3:07
9 Sechstagerennen 3:10
10 Lied der Bergarbeiter 2:52
11 Die Moritat von Mackie Messer 2:49
12 Das Lied von der Unzulänglichkeit menschlichen Strebens 3:33
13 Der Marsch ins Dritte Reich 2:40
14 Kampflied gegen den Faschismus 3:24
15 Lied der Moorsoldaten 2:58
16 Die Thälmann-Kolonne 2:55
17 Hans Beimler 2:21
18 Das Bataillon Edgar André 2:46

3 from the movie "Das Meer ruft" (1933)
4, 6 from the movie "Eine von uns" (1932)
5 from the movie "Kuhle Wampe oder: Wem gehört die Welt?" (1932)
10 from the play "Heer ohne Helden"
11, 12 from the movie "Die Dreigroschenoper" (1931)
13 after the English song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"

Ernst Busch - Der Barrikaden-Tauber
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 22. Januar 2020

Schmetterlinge - Proletenpassion

"Die Schmetterlinge" ("The Butterflies" in English) were an Austrian political-folk-band. They started as a folk ensemble but later evolved into a complex theatrical progressive band, with "Sparifankal" and "Floh De Cologne" touches, moving onto progressive rock-opera.
"Die Proletenpassion" ("Worker´s Passion) is their most important work. Written by the poet and dramatist Heinz Rudolf Unger, it was first performed in 1976.
It's the sung and spoken history of the working class through the centuries. Peasants' Wars, the French revolution etc. are represented of the "Schmetteringe" from the view of the working class. Historical original texts and texts by the band are performed with music of the respective centuries. The concept album offers a singular historical-musical outline of the European history of the working class and their struggle against exploitation and oppression. This piece of music is encouraging, critical, true, informative, and unfortunately something you will never learn in school.
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Ernst Busch - Es brennt (Chronik in Liedern, Kantaten und Balladen, Vol. 6) - Happy Birthday!!!

Today we celebrate the 120th birthday of Ernst Busch.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Busch (January 22, 1900 – June 8, 1980) was a German singer and actor. Busch first rose to prominence as an interpreter of political songs, particularly those of Kurt Tucholsky, in the Berlin Kabarett scene of the 1920s. He starred in the original 1928 production of Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera", as well as the subsequent 1931 film by Georg Wilhelm Pabst. He also appeared in the movie, "Kuhle Wampe". 

A lifelong communist, Busch fled Nazi Germany in 1933 with the Gestapo on his heels, eventually settling in the Soviet Union. In 1937 he joined the International Brigades to fight against the Nationalists in Spain. His wartime songs were then recorded and broadcast by Radio Barcelona and Radio Madrid. After the Spanish Republic fell to General Franco, Busch migrated to Belgium where he was interned during the German occupation and later imprisoned in Camp Gurs, France and Berlin. 

Freed by the Red Army in 1945, he settled in East Berlin where he started his own record label and worked with Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator at the "Berliner Ensemble". A beloved figure in the German Democratic Republic, he is best remembered for his performance in the title role of Brecht's "Life of Galileo" and his recordings of workers songs, including many written by Hanns Eisler. He also made a memorable recording of "Peat Bog Soldiers" ("Die Moorsoldaten").


1 Kampflied gegen den Faschismus 2:22
2 Kälbermarsch 2:14
3 Der Führer 2:22
4 Ballade von der Judenhure Marie Sanders 2:33
5 Der Marsch ins Dritte Reich 2:44
6 'S brennt 2:58
7 Denn ihr seid dumm 4:47
8 Emigranten-Choral 3:13
9 Die Moorsoldaten 3:03
10 Sachsenhausen-Lied 1:49
11 Die Ballade vom Baum und den Ästen 4:26
12 Das Lied vom SA-Mann 3:26
13 Buchenwald-Lied 2:24
14 Lilo Hermann 28:02
15 Solang die Mörder leben auf der Welt 2:15
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 20. Januar 2020

VA - Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left (CD 7 - 10)

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.


Disk: 7
1. Listen Mr. Bilbo - SEEGER & HAWES & HAYS & WOOD & KLEINMAN
4. Voting Union - SEEGER & GLAZER & HAYS & WOOD
5. Get Out The Vote - SEEGER & GLAZER & HAYS & WOOD
6. A Dollar Ain't A Dollar Anymore - SEEGER & GLAZER & HAYS & WOOD
7. A Dollar For P.A.C. - SEEGER & GLAZER & HAYS & WOOD
8. Oh, What Congress Done To Me - HAYS & SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD
9. Four P.A.C. Nursery Rhymes - GLAZER & SEEGER & HAYS & WOOD
11. Fare Ye Well, Bad Congressman - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & HAYS
12. No, No, No Discrimination - SEEGER & GLAZER & HAYS & WOOD
13. Voter, Oh Voter - SEEGER & GLAZER & HAYS & WOOD
14. Intro/Commonwealth Of Toil - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
15. We've Got Our Eyes On You - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
16. Talking Union - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
17. The Preacher And The Slave - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
18. Which Side Are You One? - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
19. Solidarity Forever - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
20. The Whole Wide World Around - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
21. Hold The Fort/Conclusion - SEEGER & GLAZER & WOOD & GILBERT
22. Talking P.A.C. - PETE SEEGER
23. Conversation With A Mule - PETE SEEGER
24. The Farmer Is The Man - PETE SEEGER
25. Join The Farmer'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

Disk: 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
12. Mein Shtetele Belz - THE BERRIES
14. Travelin' - PETE SEEGER
15. Black, Brown & White Blues - PETE SEEGER
16. The Death Of Harry Simms - PETE SEEGER
17. Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues - PETE SEEGER
18. No Irish Need Apply - PETE SEEGER
19. Unemployment Compensation Blues - BOOTS (MARIO CASETTA)
20. The Fireship - BETTY SANDERS
21. Johnny, I Hardly Knew You - BETTY SANDERS
22. The Peekskill Story (incl. Hold The Line), (parts 1 & 2) - THE WEAVERS & HOWARD FAST
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. The Hammer Song - THE WEAVERS

Disk: 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. The Fertilizer Song - 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. The Bosses' Gang - MARA ALEXANDER & OTHERS
10. Bye, Bye Bosses - MARA ALEXANDER
11. The New Walls Of Jericho - RICHARD HUEY & CHORUS
12. Henry Wallace Is The Man - THE ROYAL HARMONAIRES
13. A Corrido To Wallace And Taylor - ABIGAIL ALVAREZ
14. Second Corrido To Wallace And Taylor - ABIGAIL ALVAREZ
15. The Battle Hymn Of '48 - PAUL ROBESON
16. The Same Old Merry-Go-Round - 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 - SIS CUNNINGHAM
21. We Can Win With Wallace - BILL OLIVER
22. Work With Reynolds - MALVINA REYNOLDS
23. The Century Of The Common Man - SIR LANCELOT
24. Wallace Is The Man For Me - SIR LANCELOT
25. Yankee Doodle, Tell The Boss - MICHAEL LORING & ALAN LOMAX
26. Intro/New York City - THE WEAVERS
27. Marcantonio For Me - FRED HELLERMAN
28. Skip To The Polls - THE WEAVERS & HOPE FOYE
29. Marcantonio For Major - FRED HELLERMAN
30. Now, Right Now - LAURA DUNCAN
31. We Shall Not Be Moved - THE WEAVERS
32. Oh, Freedom - HOPE FOYE & PETE SEEGER
33. Ben Davis - PETE SEEGER
35. The People's Choice - UNIDENTIFIED
36. Keep A-Goin' And A-Growin' - FRED HELLERMAN

Disk: 10
1. The Riddle Of Thurman Towns - DeCORMIER & BERNARDI & BOOTH
2. Grapes To Pick - GERALD GALLANT
3. Medley: I Don't Want To Get Adjusted/Stand Up And Be Counted/We Will Overcome/The Progressive Party Is Here To Stay - FRED HELLERMAN
4. Pity The Downtrodden Landlord - BOB HILL
5. The Hammer Song - THE WEAVERS
6. Banks Of Marble - THE WEAVERS
8. Songs Of My Hands - ERNIE LIEBERMAN
12. Die Gedanken sind frei - LIEBERMAN & DUNCAN & SMITH & SANDERS
13. Walk Along Together - LIEBERMAN & DUNCAN & SMITH & SANDERS
16. Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel - OSBORNE SMITH
17. I've Got A Right - LAURA DUNCAN
19. Talking Un-American Blues - BETTY SANDERS
20. Old Bolshevik Song - JOE GLAZER & BILL FRIEDLAND
21. The Cloakmaker's Union - JOE GLAZER & BILL FRIEDLAND
22. Land Of The Daily Worker - JOE GLAZER & BILL FRIEDLAND
23. Our Line's Been Changed Again - JOE GLAZER & BILL FRIEDLAND
27. The Last International - JOE GLAZER & BILL FRIEDLAND
28. The Giveaway Boys In Washington - JOE GLAZER
29. Joe McCarthy's Band - JOE GLAZER
30. I've Got To Know - WOODY GUTHRIE
31. This Land Is Your Land - WOODY GUTHRIE

VA - Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left (CD 7 - 8)
VA - Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left (CD 9 - 10)
(320 kbps)

Sonntag, 19. Januar 2020

Charly Garcia ‎– Pic-Nic (1980)

Charly García is one of the most talented and influential figures of Argentine and Latin rock. He composed many generational songs and was obsessed with expanding the boundaries of pop music, along with the musician's role itself.

"Pic-Nic" is a compilation with songs by the Argentine rock soupergroup Serú Girán. Formed in 1978, the group consisted of Charly García (keyboards, synthesizers and vocals), David Lebón (guitars and vocals), Pedro Aznar (electric and fretless bass and vocals), and Oscar Moro (drums and percussion). It is considered one of the best in the history of Rock en Español, both musically, and conceptually and staging. It is also renowned for the virtuosity of its musicians.


A1 Perro Andaluz
A2 El Fantasma De Canterville
A3 Noche De Perros
A4 Autos, Jets, Aviones, Barcos
B1 El Mendigo En El Anden
B2 Viernes 3 A.M.
B3 Seminare
B4 Musica Para El Alma
B5 La Grasa De Las Capitales

Charly Garcia ‎– Pic-Nic (1980)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 18. Januar 2020

"Wer hat denn 1933 an Auschwitz gedacht?" - Sinti und Roma - Alltag und Diskriminierung im NS-Staat

Sinti and Roma, popularly known as gypsies, are the largest ethnic minority group in Europe, and have endured racism and discrimination for centuries. The Nazis killed some 500,000 of them in concentration camps and in raids.
Today former concentration camp prisoners, representatives of Romani organizations, and others commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the so-called "gypsy camp" in the Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz. During the night of 2 August and the morning of 3 August 1944, the last ca. 2800 Sinti and Roma detainees - among them children, women, and the elderly - left in the camp were murdered in the gas chambers there.

"For us Sinti and Roma, both concentration camps constitute a symbol of the affliction and death of hundreds of thousands of our relatives," said Roman Kwiatkowski, chair of the Polish Union of Sinti and Roma. "We, Sinti and Roma from all Europe, are united by the memories of the crimes committed by the Nazi dictatorship against our people."
Kwiatkowski and other Roma leaders called on European governments to protect Sinti and Roma against continuing racism, and to support economic development of the group.
The discrimination Roma face was evident at the Aug. 2 ceremony itself. The event was nearly cancelled after the Polish government withdrew a grant of 25,000 euros. It was saved by the Polish Jewish community.

Between 1933 and 1945 and Roma (“Gypsies”) suffered greatly as victims of Nazi persecution genocide. Building on long-held prejudices, the Nazi regime viewed Gypsies both as “asocials” (outside “normal” society) and as racial “inferiors” - believed to threaten the biological purity and strength of the “superior Aryan” race. During World War II, the Nazis and their collaborators killed tens of thousands of Sinti and Roma men, women, and children across German-occupied Europe.

For centuries Europeans regarded Gypsies as social outcasts — a people of foreign appearance, language, and customs. In modern Germany, persecution of the Sinti and Roma preceded the Nazi regime. Even though Gypsies enjoyed full and equal rights of citizenship under Article 109 of the Weimar Constitution, they were subject to special, discriminatory laws. A Bavarian law of July 16, 1926, outlined measures for “Combatting Gypsies, Vagabonds, and the Work Shy” and required the systematic registration of all Sinti and Roma. The law prohibited Gypsies from “roam[ing] about or camp[ing] in bands,” and those “[Gypsies] unable to prove regular employment” risked being sent to forced labor for up to two years. This law became the national norm in 1929.

When Hitler took power in 1933, anti-Gypsy laws remained in effect. Soon the regime introduced other laws affecting Germany’s Sinti and Roma, as the Nazis immediately began to implement their vision of a new Germany — one that placed “Aryans” at the top of the hierarchy of races and ranked Jews, Gypsies, and blacks as racial inferiors. Under the July 1933 “Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Defects,” physicians sterilized against their will an unknown number of Gypsies, part-Gypsies, and Gypsies in mixed marriages. Similarly, under the “Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals” of November 1933, the police arrested many Gypsies along with others the Nazis viewed as “asocials” – prostitutes, beggars, chronic alcoholics, and homeless vagrants – and imprisoned them in concentration camps.

The Nuremberg racial laws of September 15, 1935, (“Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor” and “Reich Citizenship Law”) did not explicitly mention Gypsies, but in commentaries interpreting these laws, Gypsies were included, along with Jews and “Negroes,” as “racially distinctive” minorities with “alien blood.” As such, their marriage to “Aryans” was prohibited. Like Jews, Gypsies were also deprived of their civil rights.

In June 1936, a Central Office to “Combat the Gypsy Nuisance” opened in Munich. This office became the headquarters of a national data bank on Gypsies. Also in June, part of the Ministry of Interior directives for “Combating the Gypsy Nuisance” authorized the Berlin police to conduct raids against Gypsies so that they would not mar the image of the city, host of the summer Olympic games. That July, the police arrested 600 Gypsies and brought them, in 130 caravans, to a new, special Gypsy internment camp (Zigeunerlager) established near a sewage dump and cemetery in the Berlin suburb of Marzahn. The camp had only three water pumps and two toilets; in such overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, contagious diseases flourished. Police and their dogs guarded the camp. Similar Zigeunerlager also appeared in the 1930s, at the initiative of municipal governments and coordinated by the quarters of a national data Council of Cities (reporting to the Ministry of Interior), in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and other German cities.
SS chief Himmler’s circular reveals the Nazis’animosity to Gypsies and, in the final paragraph, their rationale for seeking “a final solution of the Gypsy question.” The document also demonstrates the Nazis’ muddled thinking about “pure” versus “part” and “settled” versus “unsettled” Gypsies. The regime never produced the general “Gypsy Law” of the sort which Himmler envisioned near the end of this circular.
After Germany incorporated Austria into the Reich in March1938, the regime applied the Nuremberg laws to Austria’s Gypsies. Two special internment camps opened, one for 80 to 400 Gypsies, in Salzburg, in October 1939, and a second, in November 1940 for 4,000 Gypsies at Lackenbach, in the Burgenland, the eastern Austrian state bordering Hungary. Conditions at Lackenbach, which existed until the end of the war, were particularly atrocious, and many individuals perished there. Both camps concentrated Gypsies for police registration and forced labor and served as assembly centers for deportations to Nazi extermination and concentration camps.

A December 1937 decree on “crime prevention” provided the pretext for major police roundups of Gypsies. In June 1938, 1,000 German and Austrian Gypsies were deported to concentration camps at Buchenwald, Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Lichtenburg (a camp for women). A year later, several thousand other Austrian and German Gypsies became inmates at Mauthausen, Ravensbrück, Dachau, and Buchenwald concentration camps. In the camps, all prisoners wore markings of various shapes and colors, which allowed guards and camp officers to identify them by category. Gypsies wore the black triangular patches, the symbol for “asocials,” or green ones, the symbol for professional criminals, and sometimes the letter “Z.”

Dr. Robert Ritter, a psychiatrist who directed genealogical and genetic research on Gypsies, played a key role in the identification of Sinti and Roma prior to their arrest by the police. In 1936 Ritter became head of a research unit located within the Ministry of Health and later in the Central Police Office. Ritter and his assistants, in cooperation with the Criminal Police (detective forces) and their sub-office to “Combat the Gypsy Nuisance,” moved to Berlin in May 1938, worked to locate and classify by race all Gypsies in Germany and Austria.

It was probably Ritter’s “race-biological research” that SS chief Heinrich Himmler invoked in his circular on “Combating the Gypsy Nuisance” of December 8,1938, recommending “the resolution of the Gypsy question based on its essentially racial nature.” He ordered the registration of all Gypsies in the Reich above the age of six and their classification into three racial groups: Gypsies, Gypsy Mischlinge [part-Gypsies], and nomadic persons behaving as Gypsies. Himmler, who oversaw the vast security empire that included the Criminal Police, stated that the “aim of measures taken by the State to defend the homogeneity of the German nation” included the “physical separation of Gypsydom from the German nation.”

The children of Sinti and Roma were also victims, interned with their families in the municipal camps and studied and classified by racial scientists. Between 1933 and 1939, authorities took many Sinti and Roma children from their families and brought them to special. homes for children as wards of the state. Gypsy school-children who were truant were deemed delinquent and sent to special juvenile schools; those unable to speak German were deemed feebleminded and sent to “special schools” for the men-tally handicapped. Like Jewish children, Gypsy boys and girls also commonly endured the taunts and insults of their classmates, until March 1941 when the regime excluded Gypsies from the public schools.

As was the case for Jews, the outbreak of war in September 1939 radicalized the Nazi regime’s policies towards Gypsies. On Sep-tember 21; 1939, a conference on racial policy chaired by Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Main Office in Berlin, discussed the removal of 30,000 German and Austrian Gypsies to occupied Poland, along with the deportation of Jews. The “resettlement to the East” followed by the mass murder of Sinti and Roma in reality closely paralleled the systematic deportations and killings of Jews. The deportations of German Gypsies, including men, women, and children, began in May 1940 when 2,800 Gypsies were transported to Lublin, in occupied Poland. In early November 1941, 5,000 Austrian Gypsies were deported to the Lódi ghetto and from there to Chelmno, where they were among the first to be killed by gassing in mobile vans beginning in late December 1941 and January 1942. Similarly, in the summer of 1942, German and Polish Gypsies imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto were deported to Treblinka, where they were gassed. German Gypsies were also deported to ghettos in Bialystok, Cracow, and Radom.

During the war, some minor differences of opinion arose at the highest levels of government regarding the “final solution to the Gypsy question.” Himmler toyed with the idea of keeping a small group of “pure” Gypsies alive on a reservation for the ethnic study of these racial “enemies of the state,” but the regime rejected this idea. In a decree dated December 16, 1942, Himmler ordered the deportation of Gypsies and part-Gypsies to Auschwitz–Birkenau. At least 23,000 Gypsies were brought there, the first group arriving from Germany in February 1943. Most of the Gypsies at Auschwitz-Birkenau came from Germany or territories annexed to the Reich including Bohemia and Moravia. Police also deported small numbers of Gypsies from Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway.

At Auschwitz-Birkenau, officials set up a separate “Gypsy family camp” for Gypsies in Section BIIe of Birkenau: From the wooden barracks, the gas chambers and crematoria were clearly visible. During the seventeen months of the camp’s existence, most of the Gypsies brought there perished. They were killed by gassing or died from starvation, exhaustion from hard labor, and disease (including typhus, smallpox, and the rare, leprosy-like condition called Noma.) Others, including many children, died as the result Of cruel medical experiments performed by Dr. Josef Mengele and other SS physicians. The Gypsy camp was liquidated on the night of August 2-3, 1944, when 2,897 Sinti and Roma men, women, arid children were killed in the gas chamber. Some 1,400surviving men and women were transferred to Buchenwald and Ravensbrück concentration camps for forced labor.

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, special SS squads (Einsatzgruppen) and units of the regular army and police began shooting Gypsies in Russia, Poland, and the Balkans, at the same time they were killing Jews and Communist leaders. Thousands of Sinti and Roma men, women, and children are believed to have been killed in these actions, often carried out under the pretext that the victims were “spies.”

In western and southern Europe, the fate of Sinti and Roma varied from country to country, depending on local circumstances. Across German-occupied Europe, Gypsies, like Jews, were interned, killed, or deported to camps in Germany or eastern Europe. The collaborationist regime of Vichy France interned 30,000 Gypsies, many of whom were later deported to Dachau, Ravensbrück, Buchenwald, and other camps. In Croatia, members of the local fascist Ustasha movement killed tens of thousands of Gypsies; along with Serbs and Jews. In Romania in 1941 and 1942, thousands of Gypsies were expelled, alongside Jews, to Transnistria (western Ukraine) where most of the deportees died from disease, starvation, and brutal treatment. In Serbia, in the fall of 1941, German army firing squads killed almost the entire adult male Gypsy population, alongside most adult male Jews, in retaliation for German soldiers killed by Serbian resistance fighters. In Hungary, Germans and Hungarian collaborators began deporting Gypsies in October 1944.

The unreliability of pre-Holocaust population figures for Sinti and .Roma and the paucity of research, especially on their fate outside Germany during the Holocaust, make it difficult to estimate the number and percentage who perished. Scholarly estimates of deaths in the Sinti and Roma genocide range from 220,000 to 500,000.

After the war discrimination against Sinti and Roma in Europe continued. In the Federal Republic (West Germany) the courts agreed to compensate Sinti and Roma for racial persecution only for deportations which occurred in 1943 and latter. They did not push the date back to 1938 until the early 1960s. Today, with the rise of strident nationalism in many of the eastern European nations and unemployment throughout Europe, Sinti and Roma continue to face widespread public prejudices and official discrimination.

"Wer hat denn 1933 an Auschwitz gedacht?" - Sinti und Roma - Alltag und Diskriminierung im NS-Staat
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Lotte Lenya - Kurt Weill´s Seven Deadly Sins & Happy End (Bertolt Brecht)

Whether playing Anna in "The Seven Deadly Sins" or singing "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" ("Mack the Knife"), Lotte Lenya helped define the music of her husband, Kurt Weill. The duo literally created the soundtrack for the pre-war Berlin of our fantasies - an exotic land of nicotine and nightlife - where cabaret, jazz, and the odd American instrumental influence all coexist happily.


For the uninitiated Lenya's voice seems crude and untrained yet her interpretations of her late husbands work are the most compelling and astonishing. Here we hear some of her finest recordings of Weill's repetoire: This recording was made on the 9th and 10th of July, 1960, at the Friedrich Ebert Hall in Hamburg-Harburg, Germany. the conductor, Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, who has directed all the previous Kurt Weill recordings for Columbia, was one of the resident conductors at the Hamburg State Opera.

Forget subtlety - Lenya is all about emotion. On cuts like "Surabaya-Johnny," her German sounds fragile and sweet, but mostly she's just herself - bittersweet, raw, and (most of all) human. In spirit, Marianne Faithfull, PJ Harvey, and a host of others all kept the torch of Lenya's style going. But after listening to these songs in classic form (and in their original tongue), you'll never hear them the same way again. In "The Seven Deadly Sins" Lotte Lenya engages emotionaly with the music in a manner unparalleled in recent recordings. Although her deep voice does not provide the contrast with the orchestra achieved in its original scoring, the fact that this is music written with Lenya's voice in mind makes up for this. The music is, perhaps, Weill's most stunning. Brecht's scathing attack on Bourgeois morality, personified in Anna's conflicting drives towards sensuality and wealth, is perfectly set to music by Weill, who's constant changes in tempo and style underpin Anna's schizophrenia. Of the songs included in this compliation "Subaraya Johnny" has never sounded so beautifull.

"The Seven Deadly Sins" (German: "Die sieben Todsünden") is a satirical ballet chanté ("sung ballet") in nine scenes composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht. It was translated into English by W.H. Auden & Chester Kallman.

"The Seven Deadly Sins" was first performed in the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris on 7 June 1933, with choreography by George Balanchine. The lead roles were played by Lotte Lenya (Anna I) and Tilly Losch (Anna II). Nils Grosch writes that it "was met with bewilderment by the French audience (not just because the work was sung entirely in German). German émigrés living in Paris, however, were enthusiastic and considered it 'a grand evening." The production went to London opening at the Savoy Theatre under the title "Anna - Anna", on 28 June of the same year. It was revived by Lotte Lenya – Kurt Weill's widow – in the 1950s, however with the main singing part in version transposed to a fourth below its original pitch level which matched Lenya's new lower voice but didn't correspond to Weill's intentions. Another transposed version, down by a full octave, was used by Marianne Faithfull in her recording from 1997. The original higher version has been recorded by, among others, Elise Ross, Anne Sofie von Otter, Teresa Stratas and Anja Silja.

"The Seven Deadly Sins" tells the story of two sisters, Anna I and Anna II. Anna I, the singer, is the main singing voice. Her sister Anna II, the dancer, is heard only infrequently and the lyrics hint at the possibility that they are the same person: "To convey the ambivalence inherent in the 'sinner', Brecht splits the personality of Anna into Anna I, the cynical impresario with a practical sense and conscience, and Anna II, the emotional, impulsive, artistic beauty, the salable product with an all too human heart." "The Family", a male quartet, acts as the Greek chorus. Both sisters set out from the banks of the Mississippi in Louisiana to find their fortune in the big cities, and to send enough money back to their family to build a little house on the river. After the prologue, in which Anna I introduces the sisters and their plans, seven scenes are devoted to the seven deadly sins, each encountered in a different American city.
After arriving back home after seven years, the sisters ostensibly succeed in securing the means to buy the little house, but in the process Anna II envies all those who can engage in the sins she has been deprived of, and the epilogue ends in a sober mood, with Anna II's resigned response to her sister, "Yes, Anna."

For anyone who has recently got into Kurt Weill and not experienced how it should be heard then I would wholeheartedly recomend this compilation as a fantasic introduction.

Lotte Lenya - Seven Deadly Sins & Happy End
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Forbidden, Not Forgotten - Suppressed Music From 1938 - 1945

The box-set "Forbidden, Not Forgotten - Suppressed Music From 1938-1945" encompasses three discs of music, written by composers who, to quote the liner notes, "were persecuted, banned, isolated, imprisoned, or killed in Germany and other European countries in the years between 1933-1945, on the grounds of their race, religion, or political attitude."

The first two CDs are dedicated to composers from the Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto, all of whom were later killed in the German extermination camps. The liner notes explain:

"Some 60 kilometers outside Prague...A small 'camp town´ was created here out of a former imperial and royal castle and garrison town and functioned as a collecting point and transit camp for the major extermination camps. It was also a 'token camp' which was abused for propaganda purposes to impress international Red Cross delegations and was also the location of a documentary film, 'Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt'.
Through the concentration of so many well-known musicians, singers, conductors, and composers in one place, as of 1942-1943 Theresienstadt was able to develop into a unique, officially accepted music culture and production center...

There was no way out of Theresienstadt other than into death and destruction. As the first transports set off in 1942 in the direction of the extermination camps the camp´s leaders recognised the psychological importance of a lively cultural life, which the prisoners could organize themselves.

...Instruments started turning up one after the other and choirs, orchestras and chamber music ensembles were formed. Works from Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Smetana and Janacek were rehearsed without sheet music, learned off by heart and performed for an audience dressed in prisoner's clothing. Admission was paid for in pieces of bread - in that moment it was of less importance than the cultural experience. There soon followed premieres of the works of detained composers."

Disc one is dedicated to Gideon Klein (1919-1945) and Viktor Ullman (1898-1944). It contains Klein's 'Partita for Strings (1944)' and Ullmann's 'Piano Sonata No. 7,(1944)' 'Three Hebrew Boy's Choruses, (1943-44)' for unaccompanied chorus, and 'Three Songs After Poems of Freiedrich Hölderlin (1943-44),' for soprano and piano. Unfortunately, librettos are not provided, but the pieces on this disc are quite remarkable regardless, particularly Klein's lyrical Partita, with its intricate rhythms, and Ullmann's short choral pieces, simple and touching.

Disc two is dedicated to Pavel Haas (1899-1944) and Hans Krasa (1889-1944). It contains Pavel Haas' 'Study for String Orchestra,' and Krasa's 'Passacaglia and Fugue for String Orchestra,' 'Overture for Small Chamber Orchestra,' and a complete recording of his opera, 'Brundibar,' a children's opera in two acts.

What's so striking - and heroic - about Krasa's works is their playfulness and essential optimism, certainly the last thing one could expect given the composer's circumstances at the time of their writing. I can't help but think of Shostakovich's statement on Jewish folk music: "It's almost all laughter through tears."

Brundibar, a children's opera in two acts, was Krasa's main work while at Theresienstadt. To quote the liner notes:

"Brundibar is the story of the brother and sister Sepperl and Annerl they are supposed to fetch milk for their sick brother but they have no money. They try to earn street corners like the organ grinder Brundibar but fail. They are only able to collect some money when they are helped by a cat, a dog, and a sparrow to sing a lullaby. Brundibar steals it from them but with the help of the animals they are over to find and overpower him. The piece was extremely popular with children due to its simplicity, the clear message, and the hidden allusions to the circumstances of the day...all the voices and the figures have their own characteristics and especially the animals are of a loud and childish appeal, without ever appearing too cute.
Brundibar also quickly became a plaything of the propagandists on account of its sensationally positive effect and had to serve as fabricated proof of the 'good and normal' treatment of the Jews in Theresienstadt at all imaginable official occasions and visits. Rehearsals and performances were interrupted time and time again by the transportations until finally the last of the children left Theresienstadt for good at the end of September 1944. Hans Krasa followed them just a few days later and was murdered in Auschwitz in October 1944.

Brundibar is an important document of unbroken human hope and is eternally valid in its message - we can only exist if we are united when confronted with evil."

It's hard to imagine a more powerful contrast in style than between Krasa's music on disc two and the music of Karl Amadeus Hartmann, a German and conscientious objector, on disc three. The only composer included in "Forbidden, Not Forgotten" to have survived the war, Hartmann is probably also the most well-known. His Symphonies are works of great genius, and more than one complete recorded set is available. These works aren't included on disc three of "Forbidden, Not Forgotten," but perhaps his most popular piece is: the Concerto Funebre for violin and orchestra, in four movements.

Hartmann's music is more 'modernist' than the music on the previous two discs; indeed, it seems shot through with inescapable sorrow and anger. It's no accident that the overall mood that in addition that in addition to the 'Funeral Concerto,' the longest piece on this disc is a 'Funeral March' in a piano sonata. That sonata is entitled, "Sonata, April 27 1945." It is in three movements, and the Funeral March dominates - eleven minutes to the first and thirds' three-and-a-half and five, respectively. Its use of sustained tone clusters and jagged figurations evokes an inescapable atmosphere of pain.

The "Concert Funebre" follows, and I think this work is familiar enough that additional comment is pretty unnecessary; it is what it purports to be. The moments that most remain in my mind are the extremely dramatic uses of the solo violin's extreme upper registers, contrasted with immobile, grinding accompaniments in the low strings, conjuring "a voice crying out in a wilderness of privation."

Last on the disc is the "Second String Quartet". Using similar instrumentation as the Krasa Passacaglia and Fugue, it's a totally different world, one transfigured by the sorrow of the Nazi regime's totalitarianism and murderousness. Hartmann's works seem to attempt to plumb the 'madding depths,' those sorrows only alluded to in the pieces of the other two discs. This is ironic, in a way, as Hartmann was the only composer herein to actually live through the war. It is almost as if he saw his role as to express the terror which those millions murdered by the Germans and their allies were unable to express. And it is appropriate that those with voice would speak for those so cruelly rendered mute.

Note: There are existing two major organizations dedicated to promoting knowledge of the works of the Theriesnstadt composers: one, the Terezin Chamber Music Foundation, has a website at The other, the Viktor Ullman Foundation, was founded in 2002 by the pianist Jaqueline Cole and regularly features concerts of once-suppressed music in and about London. It's website is at

Thanks a lot to "dsch" at for all the information.

Forbidden, Not Forgotten - CD 1, 2, 3
(192 kbps, front cover included)

VA - Chansons Révolutionnaires Et Sociales

In France, political song had been developed since at least the time of the French Revolution of 1789 when there had been an explosion of song. The particular song form of the chanson has been seen as the key vehicle of political ideas. The supporters of the revolutionary Gracchus Babeuf went so far as to flypost the words of chansons, and to sing them in the streets and in the cafés.

In the period 1815-30, Pierre-Jean de Béranger was a pioneer of the political, republican chanson, with his strong anticlericalism, his call for the union of peoples and peace and against tyranny. However, he was essentially a liberal, and was neither revolutionary nor socialist. His songs were popular in the goguettes, a network of song clubs which sprang up in Paris in the 1820s. There, songs about love and drink were sung alongside political and ‘patriotic’ compositions.

These goguettes soon came under the scrutiny of the police, who led a campaign of repression against them, closing some of them down. The restored monarchy engaged in a ‘guerilla war’ over the freedom of the press... and of the chansons. At any moment, the police could ban the singing of a song in a goguette. The goguette of the singer Gille had to move several times in order to avoid such attention, for which he finally received a six-month jail sentence in 1847. Normally, the judiciary avoided this because the jury usually acquitted the accused in such cases.

The goguettes were a place for workers and artisans to go after work, which explains the predominance of songs about drink and love. But they played a major role in creating the ‘social’ chanson— the working class and socialist chansonniers of the 19th century had their apprenticeship in the goguettes.

The utopian socialist Saint-Simon exhorted artists to fulfil their social role as interpreters of ideas. So music and song occupied a key place in Saint-Simonian ideas. All their meetings were accompanied by song and pieces of music, as were those of the utopian socialist Fourier. Fourier, however, did not establish a strict norm for artists, saying that they should produce what they wished. Some ex-Saint-Simonians among the followers of Fourier organised singing lessons among the workers in 1839. The song and poetry of these workers represented the first signs of what Henry Poulaille, in the 1930s, called the proletarian writers — writers from among the people, who continued to live among them, and who represented a form of direct expression on the part of proletarians.

The 1848 Revolution brought a new flowering of political songs. Le Républicain lyrique appeared, a monthly magazine supported by the principal goguettiers favourable to the Republic. The reaction to the June Days and the repression that followed led many towards social reconciliation. Only chansonniers like Gille saw the new and revolutionary character of these events, which announced future social conflict.

Eugène Pottier, was the only goguettier of his generation to evolve towards socialism, and to conceptions which he himself at the end of his life qualified as communist and anarchist. Born in Paris in 1816, Pottier came from an artisan family. He was an advanced thinker, moving from the authoritarian communist ideas of Babeuf to libertarian communism by the end of his life. Most chansonniers with the exception of Gille and Pottier had not broken with republican and nationalistic concepts of liberty. Proudhon, the socialist thinker who began to develop some anarchist ideas, tells us that during his time in the prison of Sainte Pélagie in 1849 he had seen the political prisoners sing in a large crowd every evening. “Every evening, I remember with emotion, a half-hour before the cells were lockedup, the detainees gathered in the courtyard and sang the ‘prayer’; it was a hymn to freedom attributed to Armand Marrast. A single voice quoted the main verse and the 80 prisoners took up the refrain, which was then repeated by the 500 unfortunate prisoners detained in the other part of the prison. Later these songs were forbidden, which was a really painful aggravation for the prisoners. It was real music, realist, applied, of art en situation, like song in church, the fanfares on parade, and no other music pleased me so much.”

Joseph Déjacque was a man ahead of his time. He wrote poetry and songs putting forward his advanced anarchist ideas, an anarchism that he had evolved in advance of the birth of the anarchist movement. Fraternally criticising Proudhon for his failure to carry his thoughts through to their ultimate conclusion, his ideas were openly anarchist, revolutionary and communist, affirming the individual at the same time. In many ways he was the ancestor of both anarchist communism and of individualist anarchism. He was driven mad by grinding poverty, dying in Paris in 1864.

Under the Empire of Napoleon III, cultural resistance through songs continued. One of the most beautiful of French political songs, and indeed of French song in general, still known by many ordinary French people today, is Le Temps des Cerises (Cherry Time). The author, Jean-Baptiste Clément wrote it in 1867, and he wrote many more songs advancing the ideas of socialism, gaining the attention of the police. This period of repression led to the stifling of the goguettes. At the same time another decisive factor in their decline was the emergence of the café-concerts, which became popular generally. The development of caféconcert, then of music-hall, ended the activity of the singer on the edge of a market economy, and opened up song to business and the chance to earn a steady living and indeed have the possibility of becoming rich. In this process, the chansonlost its direct and spontaneous character. It was still a means of communication for the masses, but was more aimed at them than being produced by them, becoming more and more the business of specialists.
The bloody repression of the Paris Commune in 1871, with tens of thousands shot, imprisoned and deported, led to a new stage in political song. Pottier, forced to go into hiding in Paris, produced his most famous songs, La Terreur Blanche (The White Terror) and of course, The International. Indeed the International has more than a trace in it of anarchism, with its verse about soldiers turning on their officers and shooting them. The development of the First International itself led to a flowering of song. Indeed, the first specifically anarchist songs in French, date from the 1870s, produced by refugees in the Swiss Jura. The first, The Right of the Worker, written by the Alsatian Charles Keller, member of both the Commune and the International. It was very popular among the workers of the Jura.

The development of a specifically anarchist movement meant that anarchists wanted new songs. They were sick of singing the old songs, identified with the 1789 revolution and with bourgeois republicanism. Among the anarchists who came forward to write songs taken up by the movement were Constant Marie, a veteran of the Commune and a colourful and cordial personality. The police kept him under surveillance right up to his death in 1910. Another was the waiter, François Brunel, who wrote 32 songs between 1889 and 1893. The anarchist papers all printed songs and poetry, especially Le Père Peinard, edited by Emile Pouget which was a principal promoter of ‘propaganda by chanson’. Never again in the history of the French anarchist movement were so many songs (and poems) produced than in the 10 years between 1884-1894. And the songs were used at all the anarchist meetings, benefits, and evenings of entertainment organised by the groups. As one police infiltrator noted of an anarchist evening: “Towards 10pm, the conversations ended and it was the turn of the songs which went on till midnight. Each song was invariably saluted by cries of ‘Vive l’anarchie!’ All the songs were of an ultra-revolutionary character”. Because of the itinerant life of some anarchists, the songs did spread outside their circles, circulating all around the country.

Among the main themes of the anarchist songs were antipatriotism, antimilitarism, antiparliamentarism, the celebration of resistance and of life. Charles Favier was arrested for singing Les Antipatriots at a public meeting in 1897 for ‘provocation to murder’, but the charges were dropped.

Paul Paillette was one of the main anarchist song-writers of the period. An engraving worker, he produced 10,000 verses among them Heureux Temps (Happy Times) which treats lyrically of the future anarchist communist society and which is still popular in anarchist circles today. He was a poet of harmony, of love and nature and often dealt with the anarchist communist society of abundance where need had been eradicated. He became a full-time singer in the Montmartre cabarets, remaining faithful to the movement.

In the period after 1894 other songwriters came forward like Madeleine Vernet. She ran a libertarian orphanage L’Avenir social (Social future) and wrote many antimilitarist songs, continuing this work through WWI and into the ’20s. The great poet and songwriter Gaston Couté also emerged during this period. Regarded by some as one of the finest poets in the French language, his songs have become popular again in France. Born 1880 in the Loiret region, he started writing at the age of 18. He moved to Paris, leading a hard, bohemian existence there and singing in the Montmartre cabarets. He was a poet above all, with his love of the countryside mixed with a strong dose of subversion. His song Le Gâs qui a mal tourné(The Lad who turned out bad), like many others of his work, attacks the clergy and the local dignitaries, whilst celebrating his own resistance to the whole rotten system. He began to collaborate with the anarchist papers edited by Faure, where his texts appeared. He then moved from being a fellow-traveller of the movement to a ‘committed’ singer, supporting the ‘insurrectionals’ current around the paper La Guerre Sociale. This published 60 of his works, which dealt with the social and political events of the time from 1910. Among his most powerful works is Les Conscrits (The Conscripts). He died of TB the following year at the age of 30.

Alongside Couté, another important personality was Charles d’Avray, who came to anarchism after the Dreyfus case. His opinion was that “propaganda by song gives the most sure and effective results”. He organised tours all around the country, first of all, in 1907, with the anarchist Mauricius, who also wrote songs, then on his own. At his ‘spectacles-conferences’ he interpreted his repertoire and discussed his ideas with the audience. His topics were patriotism, parliament, free love, the future society. He was continually harried by the authorities and banned in Grenoble. He wrote 1,200 pieces and his songs became an integral part of the anarchist song repertoire. His rousing song Le Triomphe de l’Anarchie (The Triumph of Anarchy) is still popular to this day. Other singers included the individualist Lanoff.

In 1889 came a spectacular comeback of the goguettes, supported by those who wanted to defend ‘good chanson’ of a social-political nature. In 1901, La Muse Rouge was created. This was a body uniting most of the socialist and anarchist chansonniers, among them Constant Marie and Paillette. It ran goguettes and participated in festivals organised by workers’ associations and political groups, bringing out a magazine La Chanson Charles d’Avray Ouvrière (The Workers’ Song). It supported the old song-writers and encouraged new ones like Eugène Bizeau. An agricultural worker, he then became skilled as a vintner, something he exercised all of his life. Self-taught, he subscribed from the age of 14 to the anarchist paper Le Père Peinard. His anarchist songs were highly popular in the goguettes. He remained true to his ideas up to the last dying at the age of 106 in 1989!

The World War dealt a great blow to La Muse Rouge. Two of its singersongwriters were conscripted and died in the trenches. After the war, the cultural and political scene was never the same and there was a severe decline in anarchist song. The Communist Party attempted to take over La Muse Rouge. It failed, but the subsequent split, and the coldshouldering by the Communist Party, led to its rapid decline.

The post-war years One of France’s most famous and most popular singers, Georges Brassens, was a militant of the Fédération Anarchiste, writing his first article for their paper Le Libertairein 1946, subsequently helping editing it. Whilst his views were presented forthrightly in his songs, his subversive intentions were achieved by a mocking and satirical approach. His rise to fame led to a preoccupation with his career, though he continued to contribute generously to the cause and gave free performances at fundraising galas for the anarchist movement and appears to have maintained his anarchist views up to his death.

A figure of prowess of the Left Bank intellectuals and bohemians, Boris Vian was a jazz trumpeter, author of 10 novels and writer of 400 songs, many of which he performed himself. His most famous song Le Déserteur (the Deserter) strongly expresses his antimilitarism, a theme often touched upon in his work, along with his hatred of organised religion and bureaucracy, key elements in his anarchism.

Jacques Brel, a Belgian who spent much of his life in France, was another celebrated singer and song-writer of this period who also included a fierce antimilitarism, militant atheism and savage satires on the bourgeoisie in his songs. He was careful, however, not to be drawn on his politics in public. Unlike Léo Ferré, who regularly included references to anarchism in his songs, as did Georges Moustaki, a Greek born in Egypt who has spent most of his life in France. Both have made contributions to the anarchist movement and performed in benefit galas.

Unlike Brassens’ more gentle approach, Ferré’s songs sometimes contained incitements to insurrection and revolt. He was excluded from broadcasting over ORTF (the French version of the BBC) in the ’60s because of his anarchist opinions and his opposition to the Algerian war. One of his songs, Complainte de la Télé, lays into French TV as a prostitute touting for trade, and the télécratie, government by television. In other songs he fires broadsides at the pap served up on TV, which he sees as a morphine for the masses.

Moustaki celebrates the Spirit of Revolution in his Sans La Nommer (Without naming her) and his tribute to May ’68, written during the events in Temps de Vivre (Time To Live).

VA - Chansons Révolutionnaires Et Sociales
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 17. Januar 2020

VA - Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival (1978)

"Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival" is a hit double-LP of live recordings taken from various bands – mainly power pop, pub rock, punk rock and new wave groups - that played the Front Row Festival at the Hope and Anchor, Islington between Tuesday 22 November and Thursday 15 December 1977. It reached number 28 in the UK Albums Chart.

The Hope & Anchor has been described as a "seminal live venue" in 1977, catering for "both emerging punk / new wave bands and the numerous pub rock acts operating on the live circuit at the time". The same author called the album as "eclectic" with "superb performances from artists like The Stranglers, The Only Ones, X-Ray Spex, The Saints and The Suburban Studs alongside staple pub rock acts".


A1–Wilko Johnson Band - Dr. Feelgood 2:43
A2–The Stranglers - Straighten Out 2:58
A3–Tyla Gang - Styrofoam 2:04
A4–The Pirates - Don't München It 3:26
A5–Steve Gibbons Band - Speed Kills 3:30
A6–XTC - I'm Bugged 4:22
A7–Suburban Studs - I Hate School 2:37
B1–The Pleasers - Billy 1:59
B2–XTC - Science Friction 2:45
B3–Dire Straits - Eastbound Train 3:25
B4–Burlesque  - Bizz Fizz 5:00
B5–X-Ray-Spex - Let's Submerge 3:02
B6–999- Crazy 3:18
C1–The Saints - Demolition Girl 3:45
C2–999 - Quite Disappointing 2:00
C3–The Only Ones - Creatures Of Doom 3:18
C4–The Pirates - Gibson Martin Fender 3:26
C5–Steel Pulse - Sound Check 3:41
C6–Roogalator - Zero Hero 3:43
D1–Philip Rambow - Underground Romance 5:45
D2–The Pleasers - Rock & Roll Radio 2:29
D3–Tyla Gang - On The Street 3:00
D4–Steve Gibbons Band - Johnny Cool 3:29
D5–Wilko Johnson Band - Twenty Yards Behind 2:03
D6–The Stranglers - Hanging Around 4:16

VA - Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival (1978)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2020

Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee - Blues Hoot (1965)

Lightnin' Hopkins is the star of this live recording, made at an August 1961 concert at the Ash Grove in Hollywood featuring Hopkins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (with Big Joe Williams sitting in on three numbers). 

It isn't remotely unique, joining a long list of club recordings by all three, although the original LP (on the Davon and Horizon labels) was obscure enough that collectors may welcome this CD. The sound is excellent, and the original master tape has yielded one extra Terry/McGhee track ("Po' Boy") and one extra Hopkins/Terry/McGhee song ("Early Morning Blues") from the same show--the producers have also added on two more songs ("I'm A Stranger Here," "Trouble In Mind") from an L.A. Troubador show by Terry and McGhee, bringing the running time up to 60 minutes. The sound is excellent, the performances are spirited enough, and the addition of the ominous "Early Morning Blues" shifts the record more toward blues than the folk/hootenanny orientation of the released Hopkins/Terry/McGhee tracks. "Blues For the Lowlands" is the best of the Terry/McGhee tracks, beautifully showcasing their harmonica/guitar interplay. It is difficult to say, however, anything distinguishes this set from the other folk club recordings that Hopkins, Terry and McGhee left behind on other labels.


Lightnin' Hopkins
1 Introduction To Big Car Blues
2 Big Car Blues
3 Coffee House Blues
4 Stool Pigeon Blues
5 Ball Of Twine 

Lightnin' Hopkins With Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee And Big Joe Williams
6 Blues For Gamblers
7 Right On That Shore
8 Early Morning Blues 

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
9 Walk On
10 Blues For The Lowlands
11 Down By The Riverside
12 Blowin' The Fuses
13 Po' Boy
14 I'm A Stranger Here
15 Trouble In Mind

Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee - Blues Hoot (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2020

VA - Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left (CD 5 & 6)

"Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left" was the ARSC Award Winner in 1997: ''Best Research in the Field of Recorded Folk or Ethnic Music''.

This set is incredible and priceless. It is full of things from Pete Seeger's personal archives. Old recordings and photos not found anywhere else. The hefty hardbound book is a historical treasure trove covering the rise of political music in American culture, all the more stunning because it took a German record label to green light the project.

The set is chock full of great recordings by lesser know artists like Vern Partlow and Tom Glazer as well as obscure releases from the Almanac Singers, Bernie Asbel, Josh White and others. There will be some duplication if you own sets like "Little Red Box of Protest Songs" from Proper and recordings from Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers. This will be more than offset by the terrific book, which contains all the lyrics in addition to the extensive collection of photographs and history.

Disc 5 "World War II and the Folk Revival" features artists like Earl Robinson, Sir Lancelot, Vern Partlow, Tom Glazer and Woody Guthrie.

Disc 6 "The People´s Songs Era 1945 - 1949" is dedicated to artists like Josh White, Lee Hays, Lord Invader, Malivna Reynolds and others.


Disk: 5
1. Horace Greeley - Earl Robinson
2. Kevin Barry - Earl Robinson
3. The House I Live In - Earl Robinson
4. A Man's A Man For A' That - Earl Robinson
5. Drill Ye Tarriers Drill - The Union Boys
6. The Frozen Logger - Earl Robinson
7. Jefferson And Liberty - Earl Robinson
8. Sweet Betsy From Pike/Dirty Miner - Earl Robinson
9. Grand Coolee Dam - Earl Robinson
10. Free And Equal Blues (Parts 1 & 2) - Earl Robinson/Dooley Wilson
11. The Century Of The Common Man - 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. The U.A.W. Train - Vern Partlow
16. Susan's In The Union - Vern Partlow
17. The Rollback Blues - 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. - Tom Glazer/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

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

VA - Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left (CD 5 & 6)
(320 kbps)

Sonntag, 12. Januar 2020

Georg Kreisler - Allein wie eine Mutterseele (1974)

Georg Kreisler (1922 - 2011) was an Austrian (jewish) singer-songwriter, cabaret artist, satirist and author, basically known for his black humored and cynical songs - especially for the ‘everblack’ “Tauben vergiften”. wrote about Georg Kreisler:

"Performer Georg Kreisler has charmed audiences and critics on both sides of the Atlantic. And even as he enters his '80s, he still remains ageless.
Georg Kreisler is a living legend. His hundreds of songs, numerous plays and books and other writings are just as popular with today’s generation as they were 50 years ago when he first wrote some of them.

In fact, the multitalented octogenarian enjoys somewhat of a cult status in the German-speaking world. Not only has his work found its way into cabaret programs and literary events, but it is also quoted frequently or recited on talk shows and in everyday conversations.

“I’m very glad that some of the things I’ve written have found their way into daily conversations,” Kreisler says. “It’s a little bit of a marvel to me.” Hundreds of young singers try their hand at interpreting his clever and witty songs -- the genre that Kreisler himself acknowledges is his forte. “I often get commissions to write plays,” he says, “however, they usually end up asking me to include a song or two, which is fine. I guess that is what I do best.”

Escaping the Nazis

Born in Vienna in 1922, Kreisler actually started his stage career in New York where his family had immigrated in the 1930s to escape the Nazis. Young Georg had already started his musical education in Vienna, studying piano and violin and taking theory lessons. “My piano teacher saw that I was not that interested in developing a technique on the instrument,” he says. “She was right. I really wanted to become a conductor.”

The first years in the States were tough ones, says Kreisler, and while he continued to pursue a career as a conductor, he ended up giving piano lessons and coaching singers in order to help his family make ends meet. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S Army, where he worked as a translator and interpreter. It was during this time that he wrote a musical review for fellow soldiers that included many of his own songs. The show was so successful he ended up touring different regiments with the program.

Financially, things didn’t get easier after the war when Kreisler set out on his cabaret career in New York. “There were a number of hungry years,” says Kreisler, “I had a boss who stood at the door and controlled with a stopwatch how many laughs I was getting. If you got less than two a minute, you lost the job. That doesn’t happen in Europe -- they don’t think so commercially.”

Returning to Europe

After playing several New York clubs and touring other large U.S. cities, Kreisler enjoyed a four-year run at a New York venue called the Monkey Bar. During this time, he made several overtures to Hollywood, but realizing his attempts were futile, he decided in 1955 to return to Europe and try his hand at writing in his mother tongue.

“When I started writing German, I had to learn it all over again,” says Kreisler. Although he had already written extensively in English, it was, he says, through this rediscovery of his native language that he uncovered his talent for verse and rhyme.

European audiences responded to him with greater enthusiasm than their American counterparts had. “In New York if you do one good show then you’re invited back, but if the next one’s not up to it, then you are out,” he says. “There were lots of obstacles in Europe that were not problems in New York. There is a lot of censorship (in Europe) and they tended not to care about commercial success,” he says.

Courting controversy

Still, Kreisler was never free of controversy, nor did he try to avoid it. Many of his songs were actually banned from radio and television. His song “Please Shoot Your Husband,” for instance, was banned in the U.S. on the grounds that the title was immoral. Sometimes reactions in Europe were not entirely dissimilar. Some audience members left performances in disgust. Kreisler recalls one such incident where a woman left after hearing his very witty song that describes the desperate frustrations of a professional triangle player. “The woman screamed, 'I won't have a member of my philharmonic orchestra insulted like that' and left.”

Kreisler's cabaret didn’t stop at orchestral musicians or domestic affairs; it also took on the big themes. Politics and world affairs were often in the firing line. “Everything I write, I write out of the time I live in. So everything I write is political,” says Kreisler, who adds, “I think we live in a terrible time. I write comedy but it is a comedy that criticizes the time we live in.”

Austria, too, has been a target of Kreisler's humor. Although he has been back in Europe for over 40 years, Kreisler has retained his American citizenship.

In 1996, he published an open letter in a German newspaper addressed to a number of Austrian dignitaries. In it, he acknowledged receipt of official government birthday greetings on the occasions of his 50th, 60th, 65th and 70th birthdays from Austria, but commented that he had long been puzzled for two major reasons: First, having lost his citizenship through no fault of his own in 1938, he is not an Austrian citizen. He was not prepared, he wrote, to have to apply to have it back. Why, he inquired, was it not simply returned to him without question? Second, the cultural authorities in Austria had not only failed to furnish any support during the 40 years of his artistic career, they had, if anything, actively obstructed it. Kreisler was, therefor, declining in advance further official congratulations on the occasions of his 75th and subsequent birthdays."

1Wenn ihr lachen wollt3:33
2Wo kommt das Weinen her3:09
3Im Warenhaus4:06
4Der Fliegergeneral2:50
5Allein wie eine Mutterseele3:00
6Der Tag wird kommen3:04
7Das Ferienheim3:30
8Sie sind so mies3:36
9Wenn die Mädchen nackt sind3:14
10Wenn alle das täten5:18
11Zu leise für mich3:05
12Oper, Burg und Josefstadt2:36
14Die Gewohnheit2:24
16Du hast ja noch dein Grab4:58

The album "Allein wie eine Mutterseele" was recorded June/July 1974 (1 to 10) and Spring 1971 (11 to 16). The tracks 11 to 16 are the A-Side of the LP "Literarisches und Nichtarisches"

Georg Kreisler - Allein wie eine Mutterseele (1974)
(256 kbps, cover art included)