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Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)

02 Feb 04 - 10:46 AM (#1107304)
Subject: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: Wolfgang

History lesson, it's time to remember...

I'm looking for the lyrics to this Leon Rosselson song.

Wolfgang


02 Feb 04 - 11:11 AM (#1107331)
Subject: Lyr Add: HISTORY LESSON (L. Rosselson)
From: The Borchester Echo

HISTORY LESSON
As recorded by Leon Rosselson on "A Laugh a Song and a Hand-Grenade" (1968)

History lesson, it's time to remember
Time to remember the deeds of the great
Please pay attention, don't let your minds wander
Daydreams and playtime can wait.
Black the minnows that swarm in the water
White the butterfly flits in the sun
Red the blossom and pink the magnolia
History lesson's begun.

Joan of Arc ended up as a cinder
Henry the Eighth did for two of his wives
Wish I could dive in the pond where the ducks are
Having the time of their lives.
Red the blood on the axe of their headsman
Black the stake and the bodies that burn
White the face of the priest and the hangman
These are the facts you must learn

Pitt paid a packet to patch out an empire
Drake bowled the Spaniards out the first ball
Just want to lie in the sun by the water
Down where the rushes grow tall.
Red the lines of Wellington's army
White the ensign where Nelson held sway
Crimson the cavalry Marlborough commanded
History's heroes are they.

Which scrap of paper began the big bundle?
Which umbrella brought peace in our time?
Questions and answers dissolve in the sunshine
Wait for the school bell to chime.
Green the gas as it gutters the trenches
Black the smell of the smoke from a gun
White the pain of a bombshell exploding
History lesson's begun.

History lesson, please try to remember
Try to remember the deeds of the great
Theirs was the power, the glory, the honour
They were the chosen of fate.
Black the minnows that swarm in the water
White the butterfly flits in the sun
Red the blossom and pink the magnolia
History lesson is done.


02 Feb 04 - 11:29 AM (#1107344)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: Wolfgang

My God, that was quick. Thanks a lot, Countess Richard.

I grin when I recollect my own failed attempt to transcribe:

Joan of Arc ended up as a sinner...

Wolfgang


02 Feb 04 - 11:45 AM (#1107357)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: The Borchester Echo

It's one of the first songs I ever learned (1965) but it wasn't, unfortunately, in my lyrics database as I haven't done it for ages. So I had to type it out :- ( but remembered it almost entirely. I checked them with "Look Here" (Harmony Music 1968), sadly out of print.


02 Feb 04 - 12:14 PM (#1107378)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: Dave Bryant

I've got it on the "Three City Four" LP - which besides Leon has Martin Carthy, Ralph Trainer, Marian McKenzie (now married to Pete Shutler of "The Yetties").


02 Feb 04 - 02:58 PM (#1107497)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: Folkiedave

His book "Look Here" First published 1968, revised edition 1977. Although out of print is available at a very reasonable 8.50 from me (+postage).

Regards,

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


02 Feb 04 - 03:16 PM (#1107511)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: GUEST

It's also on page 252 of his songbook "Bringing the News from Nowhere" - 125 songs by Leon Rosselson published 1992.


02 Feb 04 - 08:16 PM (#1107751)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: harpmaker

Iam sorry to say this, but I have to get it of my chest. I once played with L.R, lots of years ago in a supporting act, & I thought he was an arrigant twat


02 Feb 04 - 08:31 PM (#1107760)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: The Borchester Echo

And I'm sure he thinks just as highly of you, harpmaker.

I saw Leon last week and found his wit and compassion as incisive and informed as it was 40 years ago when I first saw him. Not a trace of 'arrigance' nor even arrogance. But still able to put the boot into the pompous and self-important. Right where it hurts.


03 Feb 04 - 05:37 PM (#1108552)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: Liz the Squeak

I still think Roy Bailey's recording of this is one of the best.... it's on his 'Writing on the Wall' tour with Tony Benn.

LTS


03 Feb 04 - 09:51 PM (#1108730)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History lesson (L. Rosselson)
From: harpmaker

Yeh- but HE was still an arrogant--


07 Mar 11 - 03:25 PM (#3109113)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST

but what about the chords - there is an a7 run in there but can anybody help. Found the song on the excellent "all new electric muse" CD set. Also came across Martin Carthy's original "Scarborough Fair" - how could Paul Simon be such a twat - but as they say every fortune is based on a small theft at the start - or something like that anyway


20 Mar 14 - 09:45 AM (#3611141)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST

Anyone worked out the chords yet? In E please.


20 Mar 14 - 10:10 AM (#3611144)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: Brian Peters

I always played:

[E] History lesson, it's time to re-[B]-member
[E] Time to remember the deeds of the [B] great
[A] Please pay attention, don't let you mind [E] wander
[E] Daydreams and playtime can wait
[E / E7] Black the minnows that [B] swarm in the [E] water
[E] White, the [B] butterfly [E] flits in the [B] sun
[E / E7] Red, the blossom, and [B] pink the mag-[E]-nolia
[E] History Lesson's be-[B]-gun...

A very basic arrangement - there may well be alternative chords.


31 Jul 14 - 02:54 PM (#3647090)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,Dayvaitch

It's years since I sang this but i think the chords I used were:

[C] History lesson, it's time to re-[G7]-member
[C] Time to remember the deeds of the [G7] great
[F] Please pay attention, don't let you mind [C] wander
[C] Daydreams and playtime can [G7] wait
[Bb] Black the [C] minnows that [G7] swarm in the [C] water
[C] White, the butterfly flits in the [G7] sun
[Bb] Red, the [C] blossom, and [G7] pink the mag-[C]-nolia
[C] History Lesson's be-[G7]-gun...

E is a bit high for me though many might prefer to transpose into D which is just as good. I think Rosselson's genius is to use the modulation to grab your attention when the "colour" section starts.


31 Jul 14 - 07:31 PM (#3647161)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST

Brilliant song, a fine antidote to the flood of brainless triumphalist/ simplistic history ("remembrance not celebration") that's flooding the UK for the WW1 centenary.


01 Aug 14 - 04:39 AM (#3647251)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: Sir Roger de Beverley

This is from his songbook "Bringing the News From Nowhere":

(D)History (D add 4)Lesson it's time to (A)remember, time to (D add 4)remember the deeds of the (A)great. (G) Please pay (C) attention(G), don't (C) let(G) your minds(D) wander, daydreams and (D add 4)playtime can(A) wait.

(D7) Black the minnows that (A7) swarm in the (D) water, white the (A7) butterfly (D) flits in the (A7)sun, (D7) red the blossom and (A7) pink the (D) magnolia, (D) history (D add 4) lesson's (A7) begun.


R


01 Aug 14 - 10:54 AM (#3647338)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,B.B. Cone

(D) History (A)lesson it's (D) time to (A) remember
(D) time to ((G) remember the (D)deeds of the (A) great
(D) Please pay (A)attention don't (D)let your mind (A) wander
(D) Daydreams and (G) playtime can (A) wait

(F) Black the (C) minnows that (G) swarm in the (D) water
(G) White the (D) butterfly (G) flits in the (A)sun
(F) Red the (C) blossom and (G)pink the (D) magnolia
(G) History (D) lesson's be-(A)-gun

Works for me!


02 Aug 14 - 03:12 AM (#3647565)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,B.B. Cone

I lied....

In the second part should be: C-G-A-D, not F-C-G-D. I woke up during the night thinking that there was something wrong with the chords I'd posted. Should have used a real guitar instead of an air one when originally I worked it out!


02 Aug 14 - 07:34 PM (#3647792)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: dick greenhaus

wha's the tune? (you can sing it to most single jigs)


07 Aug 14 - 05:18 AM (#3649017)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: FreddyHeadey

The tune...
Try here > Roy Bailey @ 2:50 www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHaDK8NGQg4


07 Aug 14 - 05:23 AM (#3649019)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: FreddyHeadey

try again
Roy Bailey
History Lesson > 2:50


21 Mar 15 - 05:31 AM (#3695682)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: FreddyHeadey

Or, even,
tune here
Roy Bailey at 2 50

Third time lucky?


21 Mar 15 - 06:22 AM (#3695698)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,Joe Moran

A previous poster mentioned Leon's arrogance.
I remember talking to a folk club organiser and he was telling me that he booked Leon but on the night of the gig Leon made a big fuss about the poor audience turnout and blamed the organiser for not promoting the booking properly.

Leon never got another booking at that club!

And, it wouldn't surprise me if that scenario wasn't repeated country-wide,


21 Mar 15 - 09:12 PM (#3695832)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,Gerry

What does "the big bundle" in the first line of the 4th stanza refer to?


22 Mar 15 - 04:30 AM (#3695861)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,DaveRo

What does "the big bundle" in the first line of the 4th stanza refer to?
I assume it means the first world war - 'bundle' meaning brawl, ruck, melee.


22 Mar 15 - 08:43 AM (#3695903)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,B.B. Cone

Surely it's the Second World War, because of the 'umbrella' line and a 'piece of paper' bringing 'peace in our time' which I assume to be references to Neville Chamberlain.


22 Mar 15 - 08:57 AM (#3695906)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,DaveRo

Surely it's the Second World War..
Of course it's the second the Chamberlain thought he'd prevented. Stupid me!


22 Mar 15 - 11:47 AM (#3695942)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade

Leon arrogant ?
I booked Leon for the Isles of Scilly folk club back in the 60s and, although a little difficult to engage in conversation, was very pleasant company and gave a set to mainly non folky holiday makers that was funny,warm and entertaining.
Not every guest cold do that.
Andhe writes some great songs.


22 Mar 15 - 03:14 PM (#3695989)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST

I suspect Rosselson originally sang "scrap of paper", referring to the international treaty guaranteeing Belgium's neutrality prior to World War 1.

The Scrap of Paper

So DaveRo was possibly right.

And although the song is beautiful, it impends of the "two part" songs that plagued the later part of his career.


22 Mar 15 - 04:30 PM (#3696007)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: breezy

I too booked him for the Windward club in St Albans.

One of the many 'names' of the scene

Very straight pro performance


22 Mar 15 - 09:26 PM (#3696040)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST,Gerry

Many thanks to all for filling me in on "the big bundle"!


07 Jan 17 - 11:22 AM (#3830924)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: FreddyHeadey

Neville Chamberlain's Umbrella http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07mxt94


18 Nov 17 - 08:36 AM (#3889109)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: FreddyHeadey

GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 15
linked to an article on the 'scrap of paper' phrase.

It was also used on a WW one recruitment poster.
A photo is on the Wikipedia link below & a bit more info.
It was a phrase used by German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg refering to
"The Treaty of London of 1839, also called the First Treaty of London, the Convention of 1839, the Treaty of Separation, the Quintuple Treaty of 1839, or the Treaty of the XXIV articles, was a treatysigned on 19 April 1839 between the Concert of Europe, the United Kingdom of the Netherlandsand the Kingdom of Belgium.
Under the treaty, the European powers recognized and guaranteed the independence and neutrality of Belgium and established the full independence of the German-speaking part of Luxembourg. Article VII required Belgium to remain perpetually neutral, and by implication committed the signatory powers to guard that neutrality in the event of invasion. "


"The "Scrap of Paper"

... On 31 July 1914 the mobilisation of the Belgian Army was ordered, and the Belgian King at the same time publicly called Europe's attention to the fact that Germany, Great Britain and France were solemnly bound to respect and to defend the neutrality of his country.

When the German Empire invaded Belgium in August 1914 in violation of the treaty, the British declared war on 4 August.

Informed by the British ambassador that Britain would go to war with Germany over the latter's violation of Belgian neutrality, German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg exclaimed that he could not believe that Britain and Germany would be going to war over a mere 'scrap of paper'...."

more : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_London_(1839)#The_.22Scrap_of_Paper.22

~~~~~~


02 Aug 18 - 05:48 AM (#3941015)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: GUEST

Leon Rosselson, YouTube

https://youtu.be/W6-AjA7SbJI


04 Aug 18 - 11:13 AM (#3941533)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: History Lesson (Leon Rosselson)
From: Brian Peters

Coincidentally or not, my 1992 BBC recording of this turned up a couple of days ago on another Mudcat thread ('Folk on 2 Artists'). So I thought I'd share it. I remember an occasion when I went onstage at a festival immediately before Roy Bailey, and sang this song having no idea it was on his set list. Oops!

Brian Peters: History Lesson (Rosselson)