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Mean Things Happening in This Land

John Handcox
Lingua: Inglese

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[1930s]
Parole e musica di John Handcox (1904-1992), cantautore e bracciante afroamericano dell’Arkansas, che negli anni della Grande Depressione fu militante del combattivo sindacato Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union.
Testo trovato sul solito, ottimo Mudcat Café

John Handcox

La traccia che apre la raccolta intitolata “John L. Handcox: Songs, Poems, And Stories of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union”, WVU Press, 2005.

Una canzone che ebbe molta fortuna anche in seguito, ripresa – di volta in volta con contenuti anche diversi - da Pete Seeger, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Agnes “Sis” Cunningham, Woody Guthrie. John Handcox si riferiva qui alle condizioni di lavoro e di lotta dei braccianti di alcuni Stati del sud ma c’è pure una strofa che s’interroga sull’inutilità della partecipazione degli USA alla Grande Guerra...
There is mean things happening in this land
Mean things happening in this land
But the people are [union’s] going on
The people are [union’s] growing strong
There's mean things happening in this land

[There is mean thing happening in this land
Mean things happening in this land
On the eighteenth day of May the union called a strike
But the planters and their bosses throwed the people outta their shacks.
There is mean things happening in this land]

There is mean thing happening in this land
Mean things happening in this land
Children crying in the street
They ain't got no food to eat
There's mean things happening in this land

There are mean thing happening in this land
Mean things happening in this land
We sent our boys all off to war
Now tell me what was it all for?
There's mean things happening in this land

There are mean thing happening in this land
Mean things happening in this land
If you're black or brown or tan
You're in trouble with the man
There's mean things happening in this land

There is mean thing happening in this land
Mean things happening in this land
But the people are [union’s] going on
The people are [union’s] growing strong
There's mean things happening in this land

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 25/5/2015 - 09:45




Lingua: Inglese

La versione di Pete Seeger dall’album “Gazette, Vol. 1”, Folkways Records, 1958.
Testo trovato sul solito, ottimo Mudcat Café

Gazette, Vol. 1
THERE IS MEAN THINGS HAPPENING IN THIS LAND

There is mean things happening in this land;
There is mean things happening in this land.
Oh, the rich man boasts and brags,
While the poor man goes in rags,
There is mean things happening in this land.

There is mean things happening in this land,
There is mean things happening in this land,
Too much cotton in our sacks,
So we have none on our backs.
There is mean things happening in this land.

There is mean things happening in this land,
There is mean things happening in this land,
To much groceries on the shelves,
So we have none for ourselves,
There is mean things happening in this land.

There is mean things happening in this land;
There is mean things happening in this land.
Oh, the rich man boasts and brags,
While the poor man goes in rags,
There is mean things happening in this land.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 25/5/2015 - 09:46




Lingua: Inglese

La versione di Agnes “Sis” Cunningham composta nel 1937 a quattro mani con il padre Chick. Antimilitarista pure questa.
Da “Broadside Ballads, Vol. 9: Sundown - Agnes ‘Sis’ Cunningham Sings Her Own Songs & a Few Old Favorites”, Folkways Records

Broadside Ballads, Vol. 9: Sundown
THERE ARE STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING

There are strange things happening in this land
There are strange things happening in this land
Oh, the rich man boasts and brags
While the poor man goes in rags
There are strange things happening in this land.

There are strange things happening in this land
There are strange things happening in this land
Oh, the farmer cannot eat
'cause he's raised too much wheat
There are strange things happening in this land.

There are strange things happening in this land
There are strange things happening in this land
Too much cotton in our sacks
So we have none on our backs
There are strange things happening in this land.

There are strange things happening in this land
There are strange things happening in this land
Lots of groceries on the shelves
But we have none for ourselves
There are strange things happening in this land.

There are strange things happening in this land
There are strange things happening in this land
Oh, we'll have even less to eat
When the drums commence to beat
There are strange things happening in this land.

There are strange things happening in this land
There are strange things happening in this land
But when working men refuse
To put on their old war shoes
There'll be good things happening in this land.

There are strange things happening in this land
There are strange things happening in this land
When the workers take a stand
And unite in a solid band
There'll be good things happening in this land.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 25/5/2015 - 09:47


La versione inedita di Woody Guthrie è già presente sulle CCG/AWS nell’interpretazione dei Blackfire: Mean Things Happening in This World

Bernart Bartleby - 25/5/2015 - 09:47




Lingua: Inglese

Covid 19 version by Jacky Chambers
MEAN THINGS HAPPENING

There is mean things happening in this world
There is mean things happening in this world
A deadly virus has arrived
And we had to stay inside
There is mean things happening in this world

There is strange things happening in this world
There is strange things happening in this world
From those bats it all began
From that market in Wuhan
There is strange things happening in this world

Now some mean things have happened to this world
Some mean things have happened to this world
Cross the world by plane it spread
Nearly half a million dead
Some mean things have happened to this world

There is mean things happening in this land
There is mean things happening in this land
Did not lock down here in time
Thought that things would be just fine
There is mean things happening in this land

There were mean things happened in this land
There were means things happened in this land
Boris went on shaking hands
He just didn’t understand
There were mean things happened in this land

And strange things happened to you and me
Strange things happened for all to see
Toilet rolls could not be found
Empty food shelves all around
Strange things happened to you and me

For too long there’s been austerity
For too long there’s been austerity
So if you’re sick and need a bed
Clap your hands and pray instead

Stay at home – protect the NHS
Stay at home – protect the NHS
But Dominic Cummings broke the rules
Took the rest of us for fools
There is mean things happening this land

Now mean things will happen in this land
Mean things will happen in this land
Mass unemployment lies ahead
Let’s do Brexit – now – instead!
Mean things will happen in this land

inviata da giorgio - 8/9/2020 - 09:51



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