[Marxism] Old YPSL Socialist Songbook online

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Sat Apr 24 01:24:37 MDT 2004

Interesting how many songs were lifted from the Little Red Songbook.
See: http://www.bloomington.in.us/~mitch/iww/lrs.html

I remember way back my Grandpa used to sing songs to entertain us
grandkids.  His rendition of "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" was belted out with
great gusto, gestures, facial expressions --and a high tweak of wit. 
I'm saying that it was not just the songs, per se, but how they were
interpreted by people that made them special and effective.

I'm working with a 93-year old veteran of the War in Spain.  He has
recordings of red songs from back in the day.  He likes listening to
Paul Robeson.  He says people just don't sing any more.  Folks used to
sing and hum and whistle all the time.  There were more amateur
musicians, too.  Nowadays people seem embarrassed to sing, unless it's a
national anthem, or a hymn.  It's got a lot to do with recordings and
radio, and socially alienated encapsulation in auto-mobiles.  

The communal experience, except for exceptional events, also seems less
likely in today's imperialist world than a hundred years ago.  But I did
notice that in Chile, ordinary youth did sing together, like in the
evening walking down the street, or to the beach in groups.  Years ago,
I was hanging out with some local Caribbean youths when one started
clinking a little stone against his beer bottle.  The three other local
guys took up the rhythm, on different objects, and were soon beating out
a funky groove  (I like that phrase!).  It was fun.  If they had CD
players they would probably have been headphoned away from each other.  

Just think:  the younger kids in that coastal village where I lived in
Chile made many of their own toys: kites, spin tops, scooters, etc.  But
they were attracted to video games.  They just didn't have the money to
buy them.  So they created their play instead of consuming it.

More information about the Marxism mailing list