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League Of Notions

Al Stewart
Lingua: Inglese


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[1995]
Album: "Between the Wars"


History and references behind Al Stewart's songs from www.alstewart.com

League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international organization formed after World War I to promote cooperation, peace and security. The basis for the League is found in the Treaty of Versailles,which provided for such an international assembly. The United States, which failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, never became a member.
Based in Geneva, the League was useful in settling minor disputes, but it was unable to stop acts of aggression by major powers, such as Japan's invasion of Manchuria (1931), Italy's conquest of Ethiopia (1936), etc. It collapsed early in World War II, and was dissolved in 1946.
The League established a pattern, however, that was later emulated in the development of the United Nations.

Churchill's Hiccup

Legend has it that Winston Churchill has eaten a particularly good meal before one of the sessions of negotiations that led to the Treaty of Versailles. According to this legend he hiccuped and his hand jerked while drawing the border of what is today Jordan, producing the strange jog in the border which was just left. There is no evidence that this legend has any validity, but it's a story that was widely told by the wags of the time to explain the oddity.

Woodrow Wilson ( 1856 - 1924)

Twenty eighth President of the United States (1913 - 1921).
Wilson saw himself as the personal representative of the American people. He developed progressive programs of reform, and took a leadership role on an international level. In 1917 he proclaimed that US entrance into World War I was a part of a crusade to make the world "safe for Democracy".
Wilson graduated from Princeton (then the College of New Jersey) and University of Virginia Law School. He earned a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University, and became President of Princeton in 1902. He became Governor of New Jersey in 1910, and President of the United States in 1913.
Wilson went hefore Congress in January 1918 to clarify what he saw as the goals of US participation in World War I. His 14 points, included the basis for what was to become the League of Nations ... although the US never became a part of that body.
After the Germans signed the Armistice in 1918, Wilson went to Paris to try to build an enduring peace. The political tide had turned at home, however, and the Treaty of Versaille failed to receive ratification in the US by 7 votes.
Wilson, against the advice of his doctors, mounted a national tour in an effort to mobilize public sentiment for the Treaty. Exhaustion was believed to be one of the causes of the stroke he suffered at that time, and he nearly died. Nursed by his second wife, he lived until 1924.

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

British statesman and military hero, his career spanned both World Wars. He overcame a childhood stutter to become one of history's greatest orators.
Winston Churchill served as Britain's Prime Minister twice, including during World War II.
He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1953, and was awarded the Order of the Garter in that same year.

T. E. Lawrence (1888 - 1935)

Popularly known as "Lawrence of Arabia", T.E. Lawrence as born on August 16, 1888 in Wales.
After graduating with honors from Oxford in 1910 he assisted on a British Museum excavation in Iraq. When war broke out with Germany in 1914 he was posted to the Military Intelligence Department in Cairo.
In 1916 the Arabs revolted against the Turkish Empire,and Lawrence was sent to Mecca on a fact-finding mission. He ultimately became the British liaison officer to the Arabs.
After the war Lawrence served in the British Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, where he worked for the cause of Arab independence. Despite his efforts Syria, Palestine and Iraq came under French and British rule. By 1920 British efforts to impose colonial rule on Iraq resulted in open rebellion. With Lawrence's assistance, Winston Churchill had achieved a settlement of the situation by the summer of 1922.
In March 1935 he retired to Dorset, England. Two months later he was thrown from his motorcycle in a traffic accident. He died from head injuries a few days later without ever regaining consciousness.
I'm here sitting in the wreck of Europe
With a map of Europe
Spread out in a hall of Versailles
And every single nationality and principality
have come for a piece of the pie

I'm sitting in the wreck of Europe
With a map of Europe
And the lines and the borders are gone
We've got to do this jigsaw puzzle
It's an awful muddle
But somehow we've got to go on

Lawrence of Arabia is waiting in the wings
He's got some Arab sheikhs and kings
And we're in debt to them somehow
Lawrence of Arabia has got this perfect vision
Gonna sell him down the river
There's no time for him now

I think I'm gonna take a piece of Russia
And a Piece of Germany
And give them to Poland again
I'll put together Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia
And hope that is how they'll remain

Then I'll take a bit of Turkey
Then a lot of Turkey
This is all quite a heady affair
There's Persia and Iraq to pick up
And there's Churchill's hiccup
And we can't leave it up in the air

Woodrow Wilson waves his fourteen points around
And says "The time to act is now
Won't get this opportunity again"
Woodrow Wilson has his fourteen points
But Clemenceau turns to Lloyd George
And says "You know that
God himself had only ten"

Today I'm carried by a league of notions
(It's a league of notions)
By a league of notions
I don't think I quite understand
(I don't think I understand)
I only know from this commotion
(From this commotion)
There's a chance that we could turn
The world in the palm of our hands
(We can turn the world in the palm of our hands)

Voices in the corridors of power
Candles burning hour by hour
Still you know that to the victors go the spoils
Such a great responsibility to make it fair
And there must be some reparations now
And don't forget the oil

Today I'm carried by a league of notions
(It's a league of notions)
By a league of notions
I don't think I quite understand
(I don't think I understand)
I only know from this commotion
(From this commotion)
There's a chance that we could turn
The world in the palm of our hands
(We can turn the world in the palm of our hands)

Pax vobiscum
Wo-Oh, Pax vobiscum

inviata da Marcia - 8/4/2009 - 14:44



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