We Work For The Russians

Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Songbook
Lingua: Inglese

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The Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Songbook

Ulla Moltved: The only waterpost at Greenham Common, summer 1984.
Ulla Moltved: The only waterpost at Greenham Common, summer 1984.

Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp was a peace camp established to protest at nuclear weapon being sited at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, England. The camp began in September 1981 after a Welsh group called "Women for Life on Earth" arrived at Greenham to protest against the decision of the Government to allow cruise missiles to be based there.

On 1 April 1983, tens of thousands of protestors formed a 14 mile human chain from Greenham to the Aldermaston nuclear power station and the ordnance factory at Burghfield.

On 4 April 1984, the women were evicted from the Common by Newbury District Council. However by nightfall the women all returned to reform the camp.

The last missiles left the camp in 1991 but the camp remained in place until 2000 after protestors won the right to house a memorial on the site.


Il Campo della Pace delle Donne di Greenham Common era un Campo della Pace formato in segno di protesta contro le armi nucleari in corso di installazione presso la base aerea della RAF di Greenham Common, nel Berkshire, in Inghilterra. Il Campo ebbe inizio nel settembre del 1981 dopo che un gruppo gallese, chiamato "Women for Life on Earth", era arrivato a Greenham per protestare contro la decisione del governo britannico di consentire l'installazione dei missili Cruise.

Il 1° aprile 1983, decine di migliaia di manifestanti formarono una catena umana lunga quasi 20 chilometri da Greenham fino alla centrale nucleare di Aldermaston ed alla fabbrica di pezzi di artiglieria di Burghfield.

Il 4 aprile 1984 il campo fu fatto sgomberare dal Consiglio Comunale di Newbury; ma, la sera stessa, tornarono tutte quante per riformarlo.

Gli ultimi missili lasciarono la base nel 1991, ma il Campo delle Donne per la Pace rimase sul luogo fino al 2000, quando le sue promotrici e partecipanti ottennero il diritto di erigervi un monumento commemorativo.

Fight The WinterThe Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Songbook

This song book is a reprint ... of a reprint, beginning its life with us in Manchester over a year ago! Remember the little yellow flip-over? We began with a copy of one of the many personal collections kept by Greenham women around the world. Other songs were added. It was completed in time for the last December 12th.

Later, came the comments: why not an index? no music? no guitar chords?

Prompted by a need to challenge the invitation and sponsorship of a MAN to represent women's experiences in a musical narration - 'Gates of Greenham' at Manchester Free Trade Hall, we began re-working Greenham's song book: The intention was to present at least a part-record through song and graphics, a women's experience of Greenham, BY WOMEN, to sell before and after the performance. Unlike Tony Biggin, we had NO sponsorship then, the 100 copies soon ran-out. There were requests for more. And reminders ... weren't there still some songs missing ?! So ... here's the next edition!!

There's been lots of women involved one way, or another: women writing songs (and adapting well known 'men's songs); women inspiring songs, listening, joining in, collecting songs, singing for music- writing, writing-out words, collecting graphics from old leaflets and newsletters, pasting-up and collating ...funding other women to pay a Manchester Women's press. All round, lots and lots of us!! And none of us named: We had many discussion about this. Finally, we felt, because it would be impossible to name all women, many unknown to us, and the fact that the book is not a money-making venture, no 'credits' list should be added. All we can say is ...haven't we all done well!

We hope to create a tape of at least one verse of every song for those who are blind or don't find the music helpful. This will hopefully be created at Orange Gate on December 12th. Copies of the tape will then be available from addresses below at £1. per copy to cover tape and postage costs... the message has to be, songs are for all to sing, and we can all join in, however unpractised our voices are, if we have the words and an idea of the tune.


from Greenham Song Book,
c/o 411 Manchester Road, Leigh, Lancs.
or 42 St. Hilda's Road, Old Trafford, Manchester 16.
Please send enough to cover cost price £1.50 and postage. Donations welcome.
Because sponsorship has been received, all monies received will go to Greenham.

[No information about editors.
Picture source: The Greenham factor, December 1982.]

[Some of the songs in the songbook from Greenham Common had appeared in the Anti-nuclear songbook published by Mushroom Bookshop and Peace News in Nottingham and in the A Greenham Song Patchwork.

Others Greenham songs were published in the undated Chant down Greenham songbook produced by the Greenham Umbrella. The rare Chant down Greenham has some songs not included in the Greenham Common songbook: Stand Up, The Universal Soldier, Masters of War, Rebecca's Song, Hard Days Night, After The Bombs Have Fallen, Power To The People, Down By The Riverside and Picket For Peace.]

Greenham songs are growing and changing all the time. This collection is got together by Hackney Greenham Drummers affinity group as a contribution to 'Sound Around the Base' December 11 1983[.]
Please make copies and give them to others.
(Printed by Calverts North Star Press)

The Danish Peace Academy


2. Brazen Hussies
3. The Chief Of Police
4. There's A Hole In Your Fence
5. Trident Trident
6. You Can't Kill The Spirit
7. Out Of The Darkness
8. Lilly Of The Arc Lights
9. The Vine And The Fig Tree
10. Here At Greenham On A Spree [Layabout Song]
11. A Little Help From My Friends
12. That's What Gets Us By
13. Bella Ciao
14. We Are The Daughters Of Amazon
15. We Work For The Russians
16. Building Bridges
17. Under the Full Moonlight We Dance [Full Moonlight Dance]
18. Lies
19. I Am A Witness To Your War Crimes
20. Carry Greenham Home
21. Swift As The Wind My Sisters Are
22. Da Do Ron Ron
23. With Our Lovely Feathers We Shall Fly
24. Which Side Are You On?
25. Reclaim The Night
26. The River Is Flowing
27. Four Minutes to Midnight
28. You Say Our Earth is Out of Bounds (A Song For Molesworth)
29. Our Digger's Song
30. Digger's Song (The World Turned Upside Down)
31. Chant Down Greenham
32. At the Peace Camp
33. We are Gentle Angry Women (Singing For Our Lives)
34. We Like the Flowers
35. Mothers, Daughters, Wives
36. Sarah's Song
37. Bridget Evans
38. Elsie's Song (Chat and Nuke you Talks)
39. Holloway Song
40. Lonely Holloway Prison
41. Oh Holloway
42. We are the Witches
43. Silo Song
44. Silo Action Song
45. Cosmie Green with Envy Song
46. Greenham Lullaby
47. Womanly Times
48. Smash the System
49. Stand Up
50. Peace Camp Newbury, Berkshire
51. Rainbow Ditty
52. Take the Toys away from the Boys
53. We don't torture
54. Who are the Witches?
55. Yesterday's Children
55. Linking Arms Circling Round
56. Leave us Alone
57. Muncher Song
58. Strangest Dream
59. Just a Little While to Stay Here
60. We are the Flow and we are the Ebb
61. Nightmare Song (Nagasaki Day '82)
62. Tomorrow
63. The Waters of Babylon
64. Your Children are not yours
65. Breaths
66. Bye Bye Blackbird
67. Now I'm a happy Dyke
68. Leah's Song
69. Non-Monogamy Song
70. Feet on Solid Ground
71. Don't Think Twice
72. It Ain't Me Judge
73. She Changes Everything
74. Women for Peace
75. I have dreamed
76. Silver's Dragon Song
77. On This Mountain
78. The Earth is our Mother
79. Bent Ladies
80. Revolution Talk
81. We'll Come Back
82. For the Police
83. There's A Sentry
84. Festival of Light - words but no music
85. Bailiffs Song - words but no music
86. Grenham Common (Oklahoma) - words but no music

About the song:

No information about author and composer

Source: Feminist Archive South.


For the past three months, a hot meal has been delivered every weekday evening to the Women's Peace Camp using the Greenham Food Van. The meals on wheels service started in November, 1984, and will continue indefinitely. The Greenham Food Van is the idea of Ascot Nuclear Disarmament Group. The group wanted to provide a regular and reliable hot meals service to help maintain the Women's Peace Camp throughout the winter.
The group acquired a transit van, had it made roadworthy, and insured and taxed it. The inside of the van has been fitted with a table and two-ring gas cooker for heating and serving food.
Ascot Nuclear Disarmament Group co-ordinate a rote of Peace groups within a 30-40 mile radius of Greenham Common who take it in turn to provide a meal. Local peace groups from Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire have used the van so far. Local groups decide on a menu and prepare a meal.
A driver and helper from the local group then take the van to Greenham and stop at each gate around the perimeter of the base to serve food to womem camped there: Fifty-to sixty meals are provided each evenin~ at 8 different locations around the base. The food provided is vegetarian/vegan and received enthusiasticaly as it is impossible to cook good food with the continuous, daily evictions of the Peace Camps.
The cost of maintaining, insuring, and taxing the Greenham Food Van have been met through donations and standing orders from individuals and Peace Groups nationwide.
The cost of food and petrol have been paid by the local groups using the van.
For more information, contact Merle Mindel, Ascot Nuclear Disarmament Group, Tel. Ascot 228770


Anne Lee: I was able to spend only short stays at Greenham, but still remember the food runs. I stayed at Indigo Gate, the main gate on the north side of the base. The USAF c. 1986 moved itseveral hundred metres further west. We then called it Woad Gate (woad was an ancient blue dye with which ancient Britons painted their bodies when confronting the Roman adversary). The campsite was on the road verge.
At one stage there were 9 camps: 7 at the Gates, identified by the women as the colours of the rainbow. Between Green and Blue Gates, there was Emerald camp - opposite the Cruise Missile Silos and between Red and Orange was Red Gap, where an internal road terminated at the fence, but there was no gate - it would, however, have been possible for the USAF to have brought out the missile convoy through Red Gap.
The evictions were carried out by Council Bailiffs (mainly 'Baldy' and Willis) eqipped with a refuse muncher truck and a flat-back lorry for larger furniture items. In the early days of the evictions they used to steal womens' property without giving the women time to pack up and leave and physically assault women (see TV programme Carry Greenham Home). After complaints the Bailiffs were accompanied by a police escort to ensure they did it legally. The women were permitted to load all the gear into cars, vans and onto prams. It is legal to move along the highway, but not to camp. After the Bailiffs had gone it was possible to return and set up camp again. This meant that we couldn't leave the camp site, to do water runs, etc, until after the Bailiffs had been.

In the winter of 1985 Newbury District Council decided to evict the Greenham Women and clear them out forever. This necessitated making it impossible for women to live on the campsites.
The Bailiffs then started work at 7am and worked continuously round the perimeter evicting all the camps, then starting again and working until 7 in the evening. During the worst of the winter weather it was not possible for the women to be unpacking the camp gear each time. As the Bailiffs put out the fires with fire extinguishers, it was difficult, sometimes not possible, to relight the fires and make a hot drink before the Bailiffs got back. The camps might be evicted up to five times a day. It went on day after day after day in the winter.
The hot food runs made survival possible. They also brought firelighters, dry wood, dry blankets and other essentials. There was also an international financial support network for Greenham.
Women at Woad Gate made up this song (to the tune of 'Beside the seaside, beside the sea')
Baldy and Willis are getting on now.
Well over 40 I should say,
But they're still little boys and they like to play with toys -
The yellow muncher and the wee white truck.
We Work For The Russians
We work for the Russians
At tuppence* a day
They ask us to stay here
And that's why we stay
We drink lots of vodka
And that's why we're gay

[* twopence or two pennies.]

inviata da CCG/AWS Staff - 24/12/2007 - 13:55

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