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Völker Hört Die Signale - The Internationale Unites The Human Race:
DEGEYTER L'Internationale’ (Marc Ogeret)
MADSEN ‘Nar jeg ser et roedt flag smaelde’ (Peter Abrahamson)
RENARD ‘Les temps de cerises (Marc Ogeret)
TRADITIONAL ‘En el pozo Maria Luisa’ (Nuestro Pequefio Mundo)
KLEIN ‘Komrode loost mer sangen’ (Venant Arend)
DE NOBEL ‘Morgenrood’ (De Stem des Volks)
HUGHES ‘The watchword of Labour’ (Irish Transport and General Workers' Union Band with the Guinness Brewery Choir)
GEBIRTIG ‘Arbeflose-Marsch’ (Zupfgeigenhansl)
THEODORAKIS ‘Embros voithate na Sikosoume’ (Maria Farantouri)
STERNEFELD ‘ABVV-mars’ (Brecht-Eister-Koor)
FUGAIN ‘Le Chiffon rouge’ (Les amies avec Michel Fugain)
AFONSO ‘Grandola villa morena’ (Jose Afonso)
TRADITIONAL ‘Brüder zur Sonnee zur Freheit’ (Hein und Oss Kröher)
TRADITIONAL ‘The red flag’ (Labour Chorus)
TRADITIONAL ‘Bella ciao’ (Coro A.Toscanini di Turino)
T. PYOÖRE ‘Käy eespäin’ väki voimakas’ (Helsingin Työväenyhdistyksen Soittokunta joht. Olavi Kosketa)
BRÜGEL ‘Wir sind das Bauvolk’ (Konzertorchester Chorvereinigung des Österreichischen Gewerkschaftsbundes)
Nils Peter MOLLER ‘Arbetets söner’ (Chor des 26. Kongresses der Sozialdemokratischen Arbeiterpartei 1975)
DEGEYTER ‘Die Internationalle’ (Bundschuhchor Oldenburg)
Released by the faction of SPD party Members of the European Parliament. First released on vinyl in 1984, expanded new release 2004. No recording dates or venues given
THOROFON CTH 2208 [59.17]

 

I write these words in 2004 as elections to the European Parliament are taking place across the Community. The first edition of this collection was issued in 1984 on LP in the dying days of vinyl. It is dedicated to Pierre Chrétien Degeyter (1848-1932) composer of ‘The Internationale’. It comprises songs associated with the ‘workers’ movements in the various countries that constitute the European Union. Since the original 1984 issue the contents have been further augmented (in 2004) although these latter items are not clearly denoted. The Socialist Democratic Party members of the EU Parliament have taken the songs of the workers to their collective hearts and issued this disc, warts and all. There are plenty of warts in terms of both performance and recording. However, I guess a critical analysis of the individual contributions is not wholly appropriate. What can be said is that the individual contributions are all made with brio and vigorous sincerity. Considering the fraught historical background to the fight for workers rights, the majority of the items abound with melody of a very jolly and outgoing type. Much of the solo singing is by untrained voices whilst choir contributions have, with a couple of exceptions including the Toscanini Choir (tr. 15), more sincerity than sharp articulation. However, whilst avoiding political rhetoric I must note that Marx and Engels would have us believe that brotherly sincerity was the gold on which the working class would flourish.

This disc is recommended to all Socialist group members of the European Parliament who should have a bag of discs readily available for distribution to the party faithful. It could also have further use for serious study by students of sociology or politics. The 48 page booklet has words of each song with English translation although these are not always adjacent.

Robert J Farr



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