Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Public Domain: The Conscripts Edition

Bruce Springsteen: Mrs McGrath


Boys signed up for war against their wills make the common link here. Ted McGrath probably wouldn't have gone to war if not for his mother and now he has returned with two stumps for legs to show for his troubles. The Wikipedia entry for this song says it can be traced back to the Napoleonic wars but became a popular anti-war song among the Irish in 1916. Bruce Springsteen makes one small change, replacing King of Spain with King of America, a pointed reference to Iraq.

Fairport Convention: The Deserter


Fairport Convention recorded the Deserter for Liege and Lief and though Matty Groves is the crowd pleaser listen to this track and you might agree it was the standout. A boy refuses to fight and deserts again and again. Prince Albert - presumably Queen Victoria's husband - recognizes that by his determination he has shown the very qualities the English army needs. Which begs the question; what happened next? He could well be Teddy McGrath, unknownst to his mother running off at every opportunity till rescued by the Prince himself and sent off to the front. The horror, the horror

Guest post by John

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