Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun with Nazi lyrics

( I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

UPDATE 8/19/12 The intro for this post has just been re-done, primarily to shorten it.

(ignore the URL, explaining it is not worth the time it will take you to read about it)

I do a kind of poetry on this blog. I take the lyrics of songs I listen to and alter them in different ways. On average about 50% of the syllables in my version are mine, 50% are from the original. One of the two main ways I alter the lyrics is that I take lyrics about N. Ireland and make them about general liberal-left stuff, or vice versa. The other way is to take lyrics that are politically offensive to me and twist them into more or less the opposite of what they were originally (i.e. I took a song called “Oh no Here Comes a Commie and made it “Oh no, Here Comes a Fascist”) (those poems also often involve a change of subject, as well).

In the post "Holocaust Denial," I announced that I listen to a small amount of racist music, so if you're anywhere near reading the wrong thing into that, please read that post, not to mention the rest of this blog.

I can't remember exactly how it started, but I decided that I like taking the lyrics of racist songs and twisting them into more or less the opposite of what they're intended. I like the idea of taking their songs and throwing them back in their face, saying "look what I did, I took your lyrics and twisted them into the exact opposite of what you intended, you racist mother-fucker!” I have also frequently done poems based on lyrics I like. (I have often referred to the poems based on offensive stuff as “Those Lyrics”). Almost all the time when I'm twisting offensive lyrics, I more or less change only what has to be changed- if it's completely different from the original, that kind of defeats the idea, although it could still be a good poem. I have also started twisting loyalist lyrics like I twist the racist stuff.

I do these poems because writing them is a fun, creative process, I get to express myself and explains stuff, especially through the notes, and some are really good.

A lot of the poems about N. Ireland are based on lyrics by people who more or less support(ed) the British and/or unionist causes in N. Ireland. With the rest of the N. Ireland poems based on racist stuff from countries with a significant chunk of the Irish diaspora, I have included at least one bit of something hostile to white supremacists. Some of the former bands are Skrewdriver, No Remorse, and Brutal Attack. Some of the latter bands are Final War, Bound for Glory, and Bully Boys.

I have done my final, best and last calculation of how much of the lyrics are me and how much are the original. I counted all the sylables, and then the sylables of the words I put in the poem and came up with what % of the lyrics are me. ** marks this last, best, and final calculation.

The rest of the songs/poems can be found by clicking on the "lyrics" label (there are four pages worth of posts, so click on the "older posts" at the bottom of the first page).

That's about it. Here are the poems- with some notes, which are probably more or less necessary.

Costello's Song

Based on "White Power" by Skrewdriver, original lyrics are here.

1. Seamus Costello, see the post below this.
2. FF and FG are Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, the two largest parties in the Republic, more or less centrist/centre-right.
3. The divison of Ireland and the sectarianism that goes with it weaken various liberal, left, progressive, and working-class movements, and therefore are part of the socio-economic problem; also, the two main unionist parties are basically centre-right, and Blair's economic policies have not helped the North.
4. "just sit and scoff" I'm exaggerating how little was done to stop it, buit 90% of the time, unless I have a good reason, I don't like to alter the lyrics unless neccessary (i.e. Red instead of White). Same thing with the line about corruption. Also, on a related note, it now exaggerates how little was done to stop the growth of corporate power- it might also exaggerate how powerful corporations in Ireland have become.
5. Aside from a huge chunk the loyalist paramilitaries, there aren't many fascists in Ireland (although, and this is connected to Ireland, there's a fair number in Britain), and I don't advocate killing them, but I didn't have a good reason for changing that line any more than I did.
6. The line that ends with "begun," might not be the best english, but it rhymes.
7. The North is a lot less Orange today than it used to be, but aside from uniting Ireland, there's still room for improvement on that front.
8. Ian Paisley is a notorious anti-Catholic bigot.
9. In my songs, I use the word "fascist" to refer to more than just Nazis, but also as a statement against bigotry.
10. UPDATE Both Red Power and Costello's Song have a line about corporations taking over, and the second half of that line is different for each song. I'm switching them- the slam dance analogy makes more sense in the American context.
**11. 35% of this version is me, 65% is the original.
12. I give this song/poem four out of five stars.
13. Orange is the color of anti-Catholic bigotry in N. Ireland.

I stand and watch my country, going down the drain
The Brits and unionists, FF and FG, they are all to blame
The corporations have taken over, we just let them advance
But if we remember Seamus, we still have a chance

Red Power
For Ireland
Red Power
Today
Red Power
For the world
Before it gets too late

Well we've seen a lot of privitisation, we just sit and scoff
We've seen a lot of corruption, and the judges let 'em off

We've got to do something, to try and stop the rot
And the fascists that abuse us, they should all be shot

Are we going to finish what Seamus begun?
Have they got the Republican Left on the run?
Orange society is a mess
We ain't gonna take much more of this

What do we need?

Red Power
For Ireland
Red Power
Today
Red Power
For the world
Before it gets too late

Well, if we don't win our battle, and all does not go well
It's Apocalypse for Ireland and we'll see Ian Paisley in hell

********

Red Power

Based on "White Power" by Skrewdriver, original lyrics are here.

1. I exaggerate how little was done to stop the growth of corporate power and privitisation.
2. "fascists" I don't advocate killing them, but the vast majority of the time, unless I have a good reason, I don't like to alter the lyrics unless neccessary (i.e. Red instead of White).
3. I slightly exaggerate how bad things are for the poor and how judges treat corruption.
4. Obviously no one's being drafted, but it could happen, it's even slightly possible with Obama, and just recently it was very possible.
5. Obama, who is slightly to the left of the Clintonites, is probably going to disapoint, but A: he's probably still better than McCain (especially considering Palin), and B: overwhelmingly the current situation can be blamed on the two groups mentioned.
6. In my songs, I use the word "fascist" to refer to more than just Nazis, but also as a statement against bigotry.
7. UPDATE Both Red Power and Costello's Song have a line about corporations taking over, and the second half of that line is different for each song. I'm switching them- the slam dance analogy makes more sense in the American context.
8. "Slam dance." Probably something like 2/3 of concerts, slam dancing/moshing is the exact opposite of what I'm talking about. But "slam dance" rhymes and mostly makes sense. (of course it's been about 13 years now, but I doubt it's changed)
**9. 34% of this version is me, 66% is the original.
10. I give this song/poem four out of five stars.
11. Obviously corporations have been dominant in America for many decades, in the last 20 or so years it's gotten worse, i.e. privatization.

I stand and watch my country, going down the drain
The Republicans and Clintonites, they are all to blame
The corporations have taken over, it's a social slam dance
We used to have the New Deal, now the poor don't have a chance

Red Power
For America
Red Power
Today
Red Power
For the world
Before it gets too late

Well we've seen a lot of privitisation, we just sit and scoff
We've seen a lot of corruption, and the judges let 'em off

We've got to do something, to try and stop the rot
And the fascists that abuse us, they should all be shot

Are we going to sit while they draft our sons?
Have they got the unions on the run?
Capitalist society is a mess
We ain't gonna take much more of this

What do we need?

Red Power
For America
Red Power
Today
Red Power
For the world
Before it gets too late

Well, if we don't win our battle, and all does not go well
It's Apocalypse for the world and we'll see George Bush in hell

******

The Spirit of Che Guevara

Based on "Soldier of Freedom" by Skrewdriver, original lyrics are here.

1. I'll keep this brief, but I don't believe universally in seperatism. There has to be either serious oppression and/or something like 65% support for it among the relevant population, or some kind of combination (that applies to independence, I have slightly lower standards for autonomy) (besides what I mention below, I support the Basques, Turkey's kurds, iraq's kurds, possibly some others, and potentially many non-European-American nations inside the US (the main issue there is how much popular support there is for seperatism among that nation, also possibly other residents of the area that will become independent); I do not, at this point, support Scottish independence).
2. I don't know how sympathetic Cheney was to Apartheid, but I do know that he voted for a resolution labeling Nelson Mandela and/or the ANC as terrorists. (UPDATE 1/31/09: Although I wouldn't be surprised if he did exactly what I said he did, I have found two things which are basically the same in terms of Cheney voting on S. Africa, including one vote against sanctions on S. Africa)
3. Although I'm not sure that line is worded the right way, the World Bank and IMF frequently do stuff that makes poverty worse despite popular support for progressive economics in countries that get involved with the World Bank. In South Africa for example, one or both institutions thwarted the ANC government from advancing the economic policies they had campaigned on at the end of Apartheid (I'm not sure to what degree some of the people in the ANC had to be dragged into implementing WB's preferred policies, but the fact is that that kind of aid from international institutions shouldn't be used to discourage democratically elected governments from implementing the progressive economics they said they would when campaigning for office).
4. The last line is adopted from my favorite song, "Your Daughters and Your Sons." The lyrics are here.
5. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland.
6. Spain refers to the Spanish Civil War, which was won by the fascist side, which was followed by a fascist takeover of most of Europe.
7. S. Africa refers to the anti-Apartheid struggle.
8. The couplet that mentions Little Bighorn is referring to conflict between America settlers and the US Army on one hand, and Native Americans on the other. The tentacles part is about how after that battle, the westward expansion of the US continued.
9. The Warsaw Ghetto during World War II saw a rebellion by the Jewish occupants.
10. West Bank refers to the Palestinian struggle.
11. East Timor experienced a genocidal occupation by Indonesia until 1999.
**12. 48% of this version is me, 52% is the original, which doesn't count eliminating the 3-line chorus but does count adding two completely new lines at the very end.
13. I give this song/poem five out of five stars.
14. The reference to class pride is about WORKING-CLASS pride, and is not the best line I've done, (because most of the conflicts in this poem are more about national/religious/racial oppression than they are about class oppression) but it's okay.
15. UPDATE 7/9/12 This is not exclusively about armed struggle.

I don't fight for money, the whole world is my land
I'm fighting for freedom, I know where I stand
I fight for the nations, that haven't yet died
I fight to stop Imperialism, creating global class pride

I fought in Belfast, where the heroes bled
I fought in Spain, but the Brown disease, it spread
I fought in South Africa, against Dick Cheney's pets
Now I see democracy undermined by World Bank debt

I fought at Little Big Horn, but the tentacles spread
We are determined to win, we will plow on ahead
I fought in the Warsaw Ghetto and the West Bank
With our rifles and petrol bombs we took on their tanks

We won in East Timor, against mass slaughter
It'll happen again, because you sow the seed of freedom in your sons and your daughters

*****

This one is actually not based on a racist song, it's a N. Ireland version of my favorite anti-fascist song. Considering the source of the original (white British people) and the lyrics, it's mostly aimed at celebrating Protestants who are anti-sectarian, or even better, republican. The original is called "Fuck Fascism" by The Oppressed. I guess I call it "Fuck Orangeism," (Orange is the color of anti-Catholic bigotry in N. Ireland) although I don't change all the key lyrics since there are obviously racists and fascists there (and the vast majority of them are associated with the Unionist/Loyalist side).

**10% of this version is me, 90% is the original.

I give this song/poem four out of five stars.

The web-site of The Oppressed has shut down and I can't find the lyrics on-line except for a long discussion, so I'll just post them below the altered version.

"Fuck Orangeism"
You don't understand us, we're nobody's fool
We know there's no freedom, under Orange rule
You'll never oppress us, you'll never dictate
Don't you see, we don't need, your sectarian hate

FASCISM, FASCISM, FUCK YOU AND YOUR FASCISM
FASCISM, FASCISM, FUCK YOU AND YOUR FASCISM

We'll NEVER surrender, we'll NEVER give in
We will NEVER turn our backs or let the sectarians win
So, don't try and tell us, about your Orange state
Don't you see, we don't need, your racial hate


"Fuck Fascism"
You don't understand us, we're nobody's foll,
We know there's no freedom, under fascist rule,
You'll never oppress us, you'll never dictate
Don't you see, we don't need, your racial hate

CHORUS:FASCISM,FASCISM,FUCK YOU AND YOUR FASCISM

We'll never surrender, we'll never give in,
we will never turn our backs, or let the racists win,
So don't try and tell us about your fascist state,
Don't you see, we don't need, your racial hate


One last note: Even with the songs that are only about 10% me (and at the upper end, one is 75% me), I have a request, although I don't have strong feelings or expectations about this. First, I want credit for these songs. Second, I'd appreciate it if the notes follow the lyrics around the internet. If you modify the lyrics further, please either make some notes for the changes if you leave some of my changes, or just provide a link to this URL so people can see my version. Although I'm not sure how many people will like what I'm doing with the lyrics, to one degree or another (depending on how much I changed them) I'm proud of these songs- and at the risk of getting a little personal, if people like the songs, I could really use the extra boost of getting credit for them right now (or if you don't like them, they were all written by Sarah Palin- that fascist, what kind of sick person enjoys altering racist lyrics?).

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