Don Pedelty, veteran Syndicalist Workers’ Federation (SWF) activist of the 1950s and ’60s, author of THE GREAT DECEPTION How Parliamentary Democracy Duped the Workers and THE WRITER AND THE REALITY. Jane Austen and Her World and close friend and comrade of cabaret- and graphic artist John Olday (the Scots-German anarchist involved with Hilda Monte – his wife – and Georg Elser in the unsuccessful 1939 Munich Löwenbräu Bierkellar plot to kill Hitler) has just sent me copies of the six records (78s) John made, privately, at the HMV studios in 1954, shortly before sailing to Australia (11 March 1954). Sadly, the tapes Don made of John’s memorable Anarchist Black Cross cabaret evening at the Centro Iberico in the early 1970s, shortly after John’s return from Australia were lost when his tape recorder was stolen during a break-in. However, hearing John’s hauntingly melodious voice again today — which reminds me of that of Tino Rossi! — has brought back lots of cheery memories… 1. ‘Rose rot, Rose weiß (a lyric poem written by Hermann Löns, a popular early 20th century author, written in hochdeutsch, high or standard German, and set to music by Haydn. 2: ‘Dat du min leevsten büst’, ein plattdeutsches Volkslied (a low German folksong), a night-visiting song in which the girl tells the boy how to find her without waking her parents. 3: ‘Unsere liebe Frauen vom kalten Bronnen’, a song of the Landsknecht, the mercenary soldiers who fought in the armies of the Holy Roman Emperor in Flanders. 4. ‘Dar weer een mal ‘ne luttge Buurdeern ’, also in North German dialect, tells of how a young country maiden (Buurdeern) courted by two young men (twee Jungs), one of whom is just a labourer (Schipper = digger), then other the son of a man with a position, perhaps a bailiff (Amtmann) asks her mother (Moder) which of them she should marry. Take the Amtmann’s son she tells her, and the Devil (Düwel) can take the Schipper. The Devil comes in and flies around and out of the chimney, presumably taking the Schipper with him.
Rose Rot, Rose weiß ; Dat du min leevsten büst ; Unsere liebe Frauen vom kalten Bronnen ; Dar weer een mal ‘ne luttge Buurdeern ; Once I was single … ; Molly Malone ; The Cuckoo ; Dance, dance… ; The Nightingale… ; The Cherry Tree ; When all is dark and quiet ; Forget-me-not and as a special treat German Folk Songs 1: Martha Schlamme and Pete Seeger ; German Folk Songs 2: Martha Schlamme and Pete Seeger
Illustrations (John Olday)