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 Learning history - the music video method

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Learning history - the music video method   Thu 31 Jan 2013, 22:28

Not as weird a concept as one might initially think.

While cruising down the super information highway the other day it suddenly struck me how many people must now receive their first introduction to certain historical themes from just such a source. And in pursuing the idea I even found a few gems straight off the bat. From Iron Maiden's poor imitation of Spinal Tap but with actually some rather historically correct information embedded in their lyrical paean to a certain Macedonian wunderkind, to Brian and Michael's biographical sketch of a certain Salford artist, and even The Clash getting in on the act and introducing the punk generation to a certain Civil War, the digital tube lines are filled with pop culture's seemingly not so infrequent forays into history for inspiration.



These are songs that don't just happen to throw in a reference to something or someone past for no good reason - they actually attempt to expand on their subject. Any others?





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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Thu 31 Jan 2013, 22:40

What about this one?

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 08:54

And from the same group;

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 10:43

And this one maybe.



Just for a bit of fun.

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:15

I had thought of Ten Pole Tudor yesterday but then thought - nah - it's more to do with wenches and barrels than with the immediate aftermath of the Treaty of Troyes 1420. A bit like trying to use Abba's Waterloo as a launch pad into the Napoleonic era.


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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:16

Patti Smith recently had a stab at enlightening her audience regarding the mental processes of Amerigo Vespucci. I quite like it, actually.

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:33

I nearly forgot about this one.


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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:42

Try as I might, I can't forget this one.

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:47

And the only song to mention George Washington's apocryphal wooden teeth:

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:54

While wandering about on this topic, I found this site where history teachers have adapted pop songs to historical events.

http://www.youtube.com/user/historyteachers

Here's a sample

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 12:59

Siouxsie mobilised her Banshees to give us a flavour of Pompeii in 79CE, almost exactly 1900 years after the event too.



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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 13:08

Frank Turner, who hails from down normanhurst's way (though not on Norman Hurst Road, I don't think) has been enjoying a lot of success lately both in Ireland and on the English folk scene. His "English Curse" recounts the myth that William Rufus was felled not by a wayward arrow but by a blacksmith's curse on behalf of the ordinaryJoes who were turfed off their land so his dad could carve out a priivate hunting ground.



Not exactly a "video" either, but I like it.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 13:20

Last one today - I promise!

Randy Newman's "Great Nations of Europe (in the 16th Century)" is only brilliant.

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 14:01

The Band from 1969 and their song about the ACW;



and the story behind the song;

http://theband.hiof.no/articles/dixie_viney.html
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 14:03

@ferval wrote:
.... I found this site where history teachers have adapted pop songs to historical events...

Well I have to say ferval, that the lyrics to that: "Abba/Henry VIII and his 6 wives" scan considerably better than that dire, diatribe from Randy Newman! And I had thought he was supposed to be a singer-songwriter ... obviously neither. Only in the Abba number, why did Starwars' R2D2 and CP3O suddenly wander across the screen behind Anna van Cleve? Or have I missed some subtle cult, pop allusion?

Seriously though, it's a nice idea, setting history to catchy pop songs ... but franky I've always found the old ryhme: "divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded survived" to be nicely succinct and always sufficient to sort 'em all out. And if you really need entertainment ... well come on! frankly Henry's life and marriages should surely be as entertaining as any Soap Opera! (The Tudors anyone?). But if the little darlings really need to be spoon-fed little bite-size nuggets of history-made-pallatible mush ... (simple history for the simple minded?) ... there's not really that much wrong with the "Horrible Histories" approach. At least they're funny and are generally "true/accurate".


Ok veering tangentially off thread. Sorry.


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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 14:07

Back on thread so ...

A Durham lad sings about an event close to his heart. Alan was born only six years after the march and attended Jarrow Grammar School.

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 14:14

My previous post lead me onto this one;

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 14:22

Paul Revere and the Raiders from 1971;

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 14:30

The group Europe have in the past thrown their considerable mullets into educating the world about the Cherokees' plight too. The lads back in the reservation must have been eternally grateful ...

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 14:39

Sorry Nordmann, when I try and play it this appears "The uploader has not made this video available in your country"

Could not forget this one;

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 16:28

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 06 Feb 2013, 10:22

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 06 Feb 2013, 11:56

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 06 Feb 2013, 13:49

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 06 Feb 2013, 14:34

You're on a roll there Trike!

Here's an in-depth analysis of that Boleyn girl again ... (you can see where Philippa got the last chapter from)

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 06 Feb 2013, 19:37

And B.A. Robertson's account of Chuck Taylor's rather unfortunate experience when he flew by dead reckoning while leading four other fighters in formation and proved just why it is so called ...

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Thu 07 Feb 2013, 09:04

Don Mclean's song about Vincent Van Gogh;

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Thu 23 May 2013, 14:00

Georgie Fame's Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, released to coincide with the Faye Dunaway/Warren Beatty film;

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Sat 22 Jun 2013, 09:54



An intensive 1964 examination of Victorian London crime from Screamin' Lord Sutch
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Sat 22 Jun 2013, 23:41

@nordmann wrote:
I had thought of Ten Pole Tudor yesterday but then thought - nah - it's more to do with wenches and barrels than with the immediate aftermath of the Treaty of Troyes 1420. A bit like trying to use Abba's Waterloo as a launch pad into the Napoleonic era.
It used to be suggested at the time when Swords of a Thousand Men was in the charts that Ed Tudor Pole was also some sort of claimant to the throne of England. The de la Pole family, for example, were the last serious Yorkist heirs to threaten to Henry Tudor. It was probably just clever marketing by Stiff Records though.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Sun 23 Jun 2013, 04:33

Here is a video which is historic in itself, about Enery again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkbE4URVcKY
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 11:57

Just found this one:

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 12:36

Excellent!

Have we had this one yet?
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 16:26

I immediately thought of "With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm" but Nordmann had pre-empted me. I can remember Ry Cooder singing "The True Song of Billy the Kid".  I sometimes go to folk-clubs where I can hear "Glad I'm a Gladiator" [music-hall song] - extract "I'm glad, glad, very very glad, glad, Glad I'm a gladiator, Ancient Rome that's my home, I b*gg*r off to the Hippodrome. I'm glad, glad, very very glad from me 'elmet to me toes, 'Cause my old Dad were a Roman lad and he left me a Roman nose"
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 18:41

I drove past this earlier

 

and now I can't get this out of my head.

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 21:56

Ferval and other readers,

I say it beforehand. When I start this "lament" about this, I agree, rather innocent and yes beautiful melody...

I studied in the last years, first for the BBC history messageboard and then for two French language messageboards the history of the interwar Fascist movements and their communist opponents. In connection with that I did research for fascist and socialist songs from between the two wars (recently some beautiful Romanian Right Wing Archangel Michael song provided by a Romanian neofascist on the American forum Historum) as my father could sing them still in our childhood as he had lived through that period in Belgium (even with the clashes between right and left in that period. Of course not that bad as in the Spanish civil war...

What I learned from all this...that a lot of songs, while they are "beautiful" tunes, are used as propaganda by the different sides for their sake and to move the audience in their direction...
I think that nothing is so dangerous as a combination of religion (and I reckon also the left and right wing ideologies under that denominator), nationalism and language...and in that sequence...
I studied for the BBC forum the Yugoslavian civil war and the rise of Croatia...it is many times difficult to see what is really going on...what is propaganda or reality of one side or the other...
And for instance Syria now...we have some moslim youngsters here in Belgium now who go fight in Syria for the so-called Sunnite side...it is not easy to see what really happens...and one time the media ask to take "that" side and the following day all is quiet and they don't talk anymore about sides...not that easy to follow and even less to understand what really happens...

Perhaps I, as from the continent of Europe and who has lived by the narration of my parents through all the turmoil of the in between the wars period, am a bit "distantly" to all that "emotional" stuff, where you never know what they use as entertainment and as propaganda for their cause.
Perhaps is Nordmann, who lived trough the Irish turmoil, perhaps including his family, is the other one on this messageboard, who understand what I mean with this "lament".

Thinking of Nordmann and his Ireland, I read today in the paper and saw it this evening on TV. A former very strong Roman Catholic Belgian king, Baudouin, let tap all telephones from the royal family to see if for instance his sister in law Paola and his brother Albert behaved as it had to be for a Roman Catholic family. The wife of Baudouin, the strong Roman Catholic Spanish Fabiola is still queen pro forma after her grandson Philip is now king with as queen Mathilde...OOPs and I forgot it was nearly sure Baudouin, who gave green light to murder Lumumba by a right wing mercenary band in the former Belgian Congo...right wing contra communists, but in reality for the cupper of Kantanga...and in that time (the Sixties) it was coinciding with the American Cold War anti-communist agitations...pharizeans...white chalked graves...

Lament over...

Kind regards and with esteem, from your friend,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 22:35

Addendum to the previous message.

To make my lament a bit softer, Ferval...Wink 

And although there is still a lot of history to it...that I didn't know in the time that I put that beautiful song on one of my first film records of a visit together with my father to the US...it has to have been end of the Seventies...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeMLaQTwIgU

and for the history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Land_Is_Your_Land

Kind regards and with esteem,

paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Tue 08 Oct 2013, 00:26

This one is (reasonably) accurate as far as the history is concerned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u3joYR-1uI
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Tue 08 Oct 2013, 08:27



Not a shanty, Gil, but one you may like all the same. First time I heard this back in the day I just naturally assumed it was an old folk song commemorating an even older event. Lightfoot did a great job writing a song that fits right into the tradition of 'Lord Franklin' et al.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Tue 08 Oct 2013, 09:25

The Ballad of Mary Hamilton is not historically accurate: she was never one of Mary Stuart's "Four Maries", but it is a haunting song, especially this version by Joan Baez:




http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/primary/genericcontent_tcm4555596.asp
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Tue 08 Oct 2013, 16:19

This isn't wholly accurate either (nor is it as good as the Nic Jones version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh9REOyyyu0
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 09 Oct 2013, 13:30

Jimmy Dean from 1962, singing about the Narrows Bridge disaster of June 1958;



and about PT-109;

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 09 Oct 2013, 16:01

A McColl / Seeger song, but well sung here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wQYdmqK6Tk

And here, from Tinariwen, is the story of the first Touareg rebellion of 1963 - a precursor of more recent events in Northern Mali, perhaps?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjR6ikB30-k
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 09 Oct 2013, 20:30

I know, I know, only some days ago I said in this thread to Ferval:
"a bit "distantly" to all that "emotional" stuff, where you never know what they use as entertainment and as propaganda for their cause"Embarassed 

And now I too...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peat_Bog_Soldiers
And the song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH9I2Lyf6dY

I heard the song I guess for the first time in a black and white film in the Sixties, which seems to be the following film and I see now that it was a DDR (GDR) film.
http://www.umass.edu/defa/filmtour/sjwolves.shtml

I am nearly sure that it was in this film, while no other film that I have seen gives this context. And I still remember that the song was sung by the Jewish prisoners, while one of them was caught in the barbed wire fencing. If one has seen the film, please confirm...

And I have also another trump card.Wink  The originator of the song, Wolfgang Langhoff, was first asked to direct that film... 

From the Defa file that I provided:
"Following the success of the novel and a subsequent television production, DEFA bought the rights to Naked Among Wolves and quickly enlisted Wolfgang Langhoff, director of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, to bring the story to the silver screen. Langhoff himself had been imprisoned by the Nazis and had published an account of his ordeal, entitled Die Moorsoldaten (Soldiers of the Moor, 1935). Yet Langhoff’s schedule proved too busy to accommodate the production, and Frank Beyer was assigned in his place (Beyer, 2001: 108). Frank Beyer, the film’s director, initially resisted the offer to undertake production of a film version out of concern that his career had largely focused too often on the issue of antifascism (see Fünf Patronenhülsen and Königskinder) (Beyer 2001, 108). Yet in reading Apitz’s book for the first time, Beyer became fascinated by the story, especially the conflict that arose among the prisoners between keeping the boy safe and carrying out their plans to mount an armed resistance against their SS guards. These men were forced to decide between two probabilities: that the child and his guardian might not survive the rigors of transport to another camp and subsequent internment, or that the pair and their fellow prisoners might be shot by Buchenwald guards before the American forces liberate the camp. As the movie progresses, the fate of the child is further bound to the fate of the camp (Beyer 2001, 113)."

Don't know if this is "historical" research from me, or just trying in any  case to prove what I had originally in thought...Wink 

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Wed 09 Oct 2013, 22:07

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
A McColl / Seeger song, but well sung here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wQYdmqK6Tk

And here, from Tinariwen, is the story of the first Touareg rebellion of 1963 - a precursor of more recent events in Northern Mali, perhaps?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjR6ikB30-k
Gil,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wQYdmqK6Tk

thank you for this melody and song. It reminds me about the ballads that my father could still sing in my childhood and which were still sung in the Thirties when my father was young, on market places and café's. I was so lucky this evening to find a site with adepts of these street songs. A whole site with a survey of the most popular ones (more than hundred) with all the details.

One example of the many, which happens to be an Australian song from 1888: "The cottage by the sea" Ballad by G.R. Thomas.
http://www.wreed-en-plezant.be/wrdprs/2005/06/het-hutje-bij-de-zee/
When you tap on: "78 Toeren Hutje bij de zee"    you can hear the music.
And yes a Dutch translation from:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/18989067?q&versionId=22290112

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Thu 31 Oct 2013, 12:46

There is a song about the sinking of USS Reuben James.

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Nov 2013, 14:18

The US Navy in 1914 invading Veracruz, Mexico ...



And Warren Zevon's song about it from his album "Excitable Boy"

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Fri 01 Nov 2013, 14:42

And this (actually interesting) look at the mindset behind the Christian (sic) marauders embarking on the Crusades, written back when Christy Burke (as the old sod is known back in the old sod) was more intent on writing a good lyric than stuffing his nanny while his wife recuperated from a broken neck in hospital ...

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 09:02

A peculiarly Irish (and peculiarly shameful) piece of history ...

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PostSubject: Re: Learning history - the music video method   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 13:33

I tried to post before - no luck.  Basically I said that I'm surprised Mary Coughlan is not a household name, though she DOES fill theatres.  I also said I had seen a while back the film "Magdalen Sisters" with a splendidly eerie Geraldine McEwan.  Ann-Marie Duff was in it too though I can't remember the actresses who played the other two (main) internees ["What's Google for?" do I hear you say?].  I also read an article in the 1990s that the last internees who were released (being somewhat advanced in years by then) from such institutions had difficulty adjusting in the outside world sometimes as they had become "institutionalised".
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