Songs of the British labour movement


This video from Britain says about itself:

1 September 2016

IN A RIGHT STATE! The legendary Banner Theatre perform their latest show, a no-holds-barred attack on neo-liberal austerity and a celebration of defiance. With the decimation of Britain’s NHS as the focus, Banner use their unique interweaving of song and story to bring us the perfect conference opener.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Songs of struggle

(Sunday 17 December 2006)

Singing the Changes – songs for Banner Theatre by Dave Rogers
(Bread Books, £13.95)

JOHN GREEN is delighted to see a song book with a difference in Dave Rogers’s illustrated anthology of labour movement songs.

Singing is the most human and straightforward form of musical expression. Everyone has a voice and can sing, it is free and it is easy.

Sadly, songs and singing are no longer central to our communities, schools and workplaces.

Unlike in other countries, Britain lost much of its rich song tradition largely as a result of the brutal industrialisation in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

It survived on a spider’s thread, kept tenuously alive in recent decades by such gigantic figures as Cecil Sharp, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger [see also here], Charles Parker, the Carthy and Waterson families, Dick Gaughan and several others.

This is a song book with a difference, illustrated with evocative black-and-white photos of the struggles and campaigns that the music celebrates or commemorates.

They are also annotated with short texts and interview excerpts with those involved, providing vital information for those unaware of the background events.

These songs were written between 1973 and 2002 by Dave Rogers, chief songwriter and artistic director of Banner Theatre.

They are accompanied here by full musical notation and guitar chords.

Banner Theatre, based in Birmingham, has an unbroken record of involvement in almost every major industrial dispute in Britain and with progressive campaigns and struggles.

Left history of Walsall town: here.

Toronto – August 27, 2013 – UFCW Canada, the leading voice for workers in Canada, has released 100 YEARS OF SOLIDARITY — a new CD compilation of labour songs written and performed by a new generation of Canadian artists and labour activists. UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union) is the country largest and most progressive private-sector union, with over 250,000 members working from coast to coast: here.

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