Saturday, May 23, 2009

Victory or Valhalla

( 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)

(that's a Nazi saying. Coming from them, my vote is for Valhalla)

Two more songs. Both songs are "Those Lyrics." They're both pretty good but I might only memorize the second one. The second is part of a new trend on this blog.

As I mentioned in the notes for the song "James Connolly," a friend of mine (Pat C., a member of Anti-Fascist Action) turned me on to the idea of the left re-claiming Valhalla, which is part of Norse mythology and is a place where warriors go after they die. It's basically been claimed by the far-right as their own. I'm probably going to do more songs that work at re-claiming Valhalla. (the way I see it, this is pretty flexible, don't take it too seriously, and one way to think about it is that if you believe in Heaven and would rather these people went there instead of Valhalla, maybe they can do both, spend some time in Valhalla and some time in Heaven; but my friend and I do like the idea of reclaiming it from the fash)

For the rest of the poems click on the "lyrics" label at the bottom (there are at least two pages worth of posts, so click on the "older posts" at the bottom of the first page).

Anyway, here are the songs.

"Easter Lillies" based on "Boots and Braces" by Skrewdriver original lyrics are here.

1. This is about republicans in 1981 in the Republic.
2. I've heard that in Dublin marches in support of the hunger-strikers had a chief stewrard who was an ex-POW and who was gay (actually he wasn't out at the time, I have just learned, but he has since become a leading figure in the Dublin LGBT community).
3.The Easter Lilly is a republican symbol, in commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising.
4. That's the British House of Lords.
5. James Connolly was the main leader of the 1916 Easter Rising (the Easter Lilly is a symbol of that rebellion).
6. There's been a LOT of hostility between republicans and the police in the Republic and often it has gotten physical, although probably not much as various events have passed (SF deciding, in 1986, to take their seats if elected to the Dail; the IRA going on cease-fire). Republicans weren't shy about fighting back (I wouldn't be surprised if SF members restrain themselves some in recent years as SF has become more and more mainstream). (UPDATE 2/3/11 What I'm talking about here is fighting WITHOUT firearms or similarly lethal weapons.
7. The Tri-Color is the Irish flag.
8. People with either republican paramilitaries or parties associated with republican paramilitaries were banned from the air-waves in the Republic starting in 1971 (strengthened in '77) and this was only ended in 1994.
9. The "Northern KKK" is the Orange Order.
10. The term "West Brit" has multiple meanings- indigenous/relatively indigenous Irish people sympathetic to the unionists/British in relation to Ireland, friendly to the British monarchy, hostile to Irish culture, friendly to British culture (that last one isn't neccessarily so bad, in this song it refers to the others, especially the support for unionism/the British in relation to Ireland).
11. Green Tories are basically centre-right nationalists, in the South that refers to a political instead of community identity.
**12. 66% of this song is me, 34% is the original.
13. I give this song/poem four stars out of five.
14. UPDATE 5/3/12 In the 2nd to last line of the entire poem, I took out the word Northern and replaced it with the word Orange. For more on that, see this. I had a rhyming problem and kind of tossed chronology out the window, since the reference is mostly inspired by the attempt at a "Love Ulster" parade through Dublin about 5 years ago, when the main parties felt that the parade should be seen as acceptable, despite the fact that it was offensive in multiple ways.

Trying to figure out how to end the Northern occupation
Wonder what the future holds for your nation
Being a republican is part of anti-imperialism today
marching on the streets, guided by an ex-POW who's gay,
with your...

(chorus)
Easter Lillies, anti-imperialist hoardes
Easter Lillies, fuck the House of Lords
Easter Lillies, 65 years since the republic was proclaimed
Easter Lillies, we'll keep alive the republican flame

We're determined to finish what Connolly begun
The cops should know that when they attack us we won't run
Berets, Tri-Colors, and just hear the republican roar - (Brits Out!)
No one stands against us, 'cause we've beat 'em all before

(chorus)

Try and get you banned from the air-waves
'Cos you wear the Easter Lilly and stand by those who are brave
They would rather see you smile at the Orange Ku Klux Klan
If you were a West Brit or Green Tory you won't face no ban

Chorus

****

"D-Day" based on "A New Day Arises" by Final War, original lyrics are here.

1. It's basically about D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944.
3. Initially I changed ridicuously little besides the name, but decided to go further, making changes that were not completely neccessary.
4. Valhalla is part of Norse mythology, it's a place where warriors go after they die, although there seems to be some debate about exactly who gets in- only people who die in combat? Anyway, the fascists love it and have sort of taken over the concept, but a friend told me that he likes the idea of the left claiming it and specifically said that if such a place exists, Che and others like him are probably there. (Do I believe in Valhalla? You could say I’m sort of an agnostic on that question and am sort of solidly a Christian. The way I see it, this is pretty flexible, don't take it too seriously, and one way to think about it is that if you believe in Heaven and would rather these people went there instead of Valhalla, maybe they can do both, spend some time in Valhalla and some time in Heaven; but my friend and I do like the idea of reclaiming it from the fash)
5. It's a serious departure from the approach to thinking about WWII that some would, with some reason, push. I remember Michael Parenti saying that the first part of "Saving Private Ryan" was great, and the rest should have been called "Saving Private Ridiculous." He was referring to how the first part showed how horrible war was. I sort of agree, but would have supported the Allies (I believe that even though it was still horrible as all wars are, it was overall more or less a good war (the allied effort was justified, helpful, an d neccessary, and they more or less (less) conducted themselves honorably)) (I'd be surprised if Parenti didn't agree). And as far as it giving a positive spin on war, the original is fash, so what do you expect?
6. I'm not certain the original lyrics I found are 100% accurate, which is not uncommon with these things, but they're close.
7. What's that? It's "wierd" that my pro-IRA blog contains songs in favor of the Allies when the IRA accepted aid from Nazi Germany? Read this.
8. I imagine that only something like 1/2 of the American and British forces were motivated by anti-fascism (probably some minority were totally non-political and probably someminority were so conservative and/or anti-semitic and/or racist that they were open-minded about the Nazis maybe being okay), but I like to talk about it that way.
9. Strand is a word common in Ireland and Britain for beach.
10. I felt weird referring to occupations, considering that this is meant to also refer to the British forces as well. Maybe sometime I'll do some songs about the occupation of N. Ireland (you could say something similar about America).
**11. 40% of this version is me, 60% is the original.
12. Back then, the moonlight was seen as very helpful for airborne operations. The airborne part of D-Day took place the night before (the word "moon" was already there).
13. I give this song/poem five stars out of five.
14. A: I just changed the 2nd line of the 2nd verse- instead of "occupation" it now says "fascist states."
B: I changed it because it wasn't enough to liberate those countries occupied by fascists- it was necessary to invade Italy and Germany.
C: I know that the Allies at various times didn't always do what should have been done to the fascist states (i.e. the US not entering the war earlier).
D: In this note I'm ignoring Spain as a fascist state.

As the sun sets down, on the occupied lands
When the time comes, we will hit the strand
Dreams of freedom live on in the night
Dreams of glorious victory in the anti-fascist fight

Chorus:
When a new day arises, another chance to live
Valhalla echoes, calling us to give
When a new day arises, a voyage - we set sail
Our victory awaits us, we can not fail

Beating the fash is our duty for these lands are yours
The fallen cities and fascist states we cannot ignore
The Airborne have gone in, helped by the moon
And as the new day arises, our victory will be soon

Chorus


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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