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Phil Ochs

[1993]
Album "Long Pig"
Scritta da Steve Skaith e Mike Jones

A look at the death of a protest singer of the 1960's and of that which died with him.

Phil Ochs was a talented singer-songwriter of the 1960s who addressed all manner of anti-war, civil rights, labour, and social justice issues in America. To Ochs, music was a means to carry a message and with unending optimism claimed young men and women could change the world for the better if only they were willing. By the late 60s, increasing weariness and disenchantment with idealism began to seep into both his compositions and his singing. Phil Ochs took his own life in 1976.
Here comes Phil Ochs shovel on his shoulder
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 10:31

King For A Day

[1993]
Album "Long Pig"
Scritta da Steve Skaith e Mike Jones

"The gulf war from the perspective of an ordinary soldier, who was first used and then discarded."
The cross of St. George
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 10:24
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A Slow Waltz For Chile

[1989]
Album "Swimming Against The Stream"
Scritta da Steve Skaith e Mike Jones
Last night I heard of the death of a stranger to me
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 10:10
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Swimming Against The Stream

[1989]
Album "Swimming Against The Stream"
Scritta da Steve Skaith e Mike Jones

The civil rights movement that started in the 1950's in the USA, fought for the economic and political equality of African Americans, especially in the Southern States. There the discrimination was legal and institutionalised. This changed in the 1960's. The Congress, the legislative body of the USA, passed legislation that outlawed formal discrimination. But in truth it still continued. The reforms that the civil rights movement had achieved were undermined in the 1970's and, especially under the presidency of Ronald Reagans, to a large extent clawed back. Today African Americans are economically and socially even more disadvantaged than they were 25 years ago. Before they harvested (in the Southern States) cotton, today they have to work to get their food stamps (a form of social welfare).

The high point... (continua)
They're growing pines now in cotton soil
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 09:32
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Burn Again

[1987]
Album "Mick and Caroline"
Scritta da Steve Skaith e Mike Jones

Anastasio Somoza reigned over Nicaragua as if it was a family possession. The National Guard might just as well have worn the family crest of the Somozas. The country was a family business, economically dependant on the West, but those who overthrew Somoza wanted to end the serfdom and share the land with everyone. We should be ashamed that the West wants to undermine the newly won freedom. Must Nicaragua burn again, because the USA has the need to be born again? The USA itself started in a war of independence, when the word 'freedom' was written large in the constitution. But now the torch (of freedom) casts a giant shadow - when the Congress sends the Contras out to hunt the Nicaraguans in the hospitals and classrooms, in order to make a free election impossible. The USA plays with Central America as if it was a fruit machine. She takes the coffee beans and pays the bill with bullets and marines.
When Anastasio fell he was by then the first Somoza
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 09:18
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Freight Elevator

[1987]
Album "Mick and Caroline"
Scritta da Steve Skaith e Mike Jones.

Up until after World War Two, black and white musicians in the USA could perform on stage together, but often weren't allowed to stay in the same hotel. This song tells a true story about the Jazz singer Billie Holiday, who appeared night after night in the Artie Shaw orchestra on 52nd Street, the centre of New York's nightlife. There she enchanted the public with her voice - like velvet stretched over barbed wire. The crowd is so big, that they've had to hire extra waiting staff. But Billie Holiday wasn't allowed to use the main elevator which the other guests and performers used. Instead the hotel management forced her to use the freight elevator at the back of the building - just because she was black! The freight elevator, crammed in between fresh sheets, a case of grapefruit juice in tins, and the shoes that a... (continua)
It's a mighty long day, in the freight elevator,
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 09:09
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Remember

[1987]
Album "Mick and Caroline"
Scritta da Steve Skaith

All shall come to the house of the Almighty, big and small, rich and poor - a memorial service for a soldier, who was killed far from home, maybe in the Falklands war. The priest says a sorrowful prayer and blesses the cause for which the soldier died. But would the veteran from the battle of Verdun (in World War One) speak of glory when he lays a wreath on Armistice Day? Would he offer himself up to defend the British Empire once again? And who thinks of the members of the International Brigade, who defended Madrid against the fascists during the Spanish civil war, while President Roosevelt preached about preserving the status quo and England stood idly by? Or of the Greek partisans, who held the Athens bridge, and who were betrayed by the English at the end of World War Two, who let the Monarchy back into power instead? Did Jesus... (continua)
In the house of the almighty lord
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 08:57
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America For Beginners

[1985]
Album "Modern Times"
Scritta da Steve Skaith e Mike Jones.

The election of Ronald Reagan to President of the USA and subsequent swing to the political right horrified many people. "Bed-Time for Bonzo": One of Reagan's last movies in which his co-star, a chimpanzee named Bonzo, was the better actor. Great Britain under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher became little more than just another State of America.

The paranoia of the McCarthy era surfaced again with the administration's determination to rid the world of the red menace aboard. The origins of crack cocaine in California was traced back to the Contras, a guerrilla force backed by the Reagan administration that attacked Nicaragua's Sandinista government during the 1980s. Payment were made to drug traffickers by the U.S. State Department from funds authorised by the Congress for "humanitarian assistance" to the Contras. In... (continua)
What's keeping the White House white
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 08:47
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Radio Africa

[1985]
Album "Modern Times"
Scritta da Steve Skaith, Mike Jones e Ron Keefe.

There's only bad news from Radio Africa. In 1985 South Africa was still governed by the monster apartheid. The West complains about the foreign aid, but in the trade with the industrial nations, it's the African countries who are at a disadvantage: They exchange cheap raw materials for expensive finished products. With the war in the Ogaden 1977/78 Moscow first supported the socialist government of Somalia, but then supplied weapons to the Ethiopian dictatorship. There is still hope for Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but for Tanzania progress has had to stop -- the oil imports devoured too much foreign exchange. " Exchange ", "Credit", " Interest ": technical terms that all add up to only one thing: Everything gets even harder. Independence is an expensive commodity when the finances lie in white hands.
I'm hearing only bad news from Radio Africa.
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 08:38
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No Rope As Long As Time

[1985]
Album "Modern Times"
Scritta da Steve Skaith

"An old Afrikaner, a descendant of the Dutchmen who colonialised the country, sits on his farm and swears that nothing will change. The compatriots of his black servant live in the Townships, ghettos of dense populations , such as Cape City or Johannesburg, or in the Homelands, pseudo-independent vassal states, which serve as reservoirs of cheap labour. In order to be able to live in the Townships, they need a residence permit, so say the "pass laws". In 1960 a peaceful protest against the pass laws in Sharpeville ended in a massacre, 67 black people were killed. Nelson Mandela, leader of the liberation movement ANC (African National Congress), sat in prison for over 20 years. When in 1976 Afrikaans was introduced as compulsory in the schools, the pupils of Soweto started an uprising, that turned into a mass strike. In 1983 the President,... (continua)
Old Afrikaner farmer on the terrace of his home
(continua)
inviata da Alessandro 3/2/2010 - 08:32




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