Stephen Smith – Part 4 – The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – 2015 to 2017

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Contents

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Bob Tressell’s pen

Red Flag

Our Own Worst Enemy (Bob Tressell was right)

Bob Tressell Festival Volume 1

Licences/References/Links

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Bob Tressell poster image

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3 songs that are associated to the Costal Productions performances of “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” and the annual Bob Tressell Festival.
“Bob Tressell’s pen” was written by Kevin Jones. “Red Flag” was written by Jim Connell. These both feature in the play. “Our Own Worst Enemy (Bob Tressell was right)” was a song I wrote for the Bob Tressell Festival compilation CD.

Bob Tressell’s pen

Written by my mate Kevin Jones from the Association of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. The play “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists”, was performed at St Helens Central Library on the 6 & 7th November 2015.

Red Flag

Written by Jim Connell. Connell was inspired to write a socialist anthem after attending a lecture at a meeting of the SDF during the London Dock Strike of 1889. He set down the words while on a train journey from Charing Cross railway station to his home in Honor Oak, south London. It is generally accepted that he gained inspiration as he watched the train guard raise and lower the red signal flag on the platform. It is normally sung to the tune of “Lauriger Horatius” (better known as the German-language carol “O Tannenbaum”, also used for the state song of Maryland) though Connell had wanted it sung to “The White Cockade”, an old Scottish Jacobite song.
This is my version of the song. I’ve recorded it to help promote an adaptation of the ‘Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’, in which I shall be appearing and performing the song!

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Our Own Worst Enemy (Bob Tressell was right)

Written for the upcoming compilation album being released to celebrate the life of Robert Tressell, author of “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists”.
The song looks through the eyes of Frank Owen, a character from the book who questions why he and his fellow workmates should bow and scrape to their masters, whilst their only reward is a life of continued poverty.

I look about this town
And the way things work here really get me down.
I see the rich and greedy Grinding the working class down.

We work our fingers to the bone,
Whilst they sit on their big fat arse’s all day long,
Why should they get to reap all we have sown?
And the more I look, it seems to me,
We’ve come to be our own worst enemy.

I hear it every day,
There’s grown men moaning and wishing their lives away.
Can’t wait for the week to end to do it all again.
And still they do nothing,
To better themselves ain’t for the likes of them.
There are more of us; this class war’s ours to win.

And the more I look it’s plain to see
We’ve come to be our own worst enemy.
I look about this place
And it seems to me not too much has changed.
They still make laws to keep us in our place.

People living on streets, people living in palaces,
And we tell ourselves that’s just the way it is.
We are ‘The ragged trousered philanthropists’.

Bob Tressell was right you see,
We’ve come to be our own worst enemy.
In unity there’s nothing we can’t achieve,
Come stand-up now there’s strength in unity.
The time has come, the truth is clear; we can’t afford to be our own worst enemy.

The full Tracklist for Bob Tressell Festival Volume 1 is as follows:

1.Bob Tressell’s pen – Stephen Smith
2.Letter to Kathleen – Alun Parry
3.I want Rosa to stay – Our Morals
4.Tolpuddle Man – Roy Bailey
5.Fat Black Heart – Pele (Ian Prowse)
6.Rambling through old England – Pete Morton
7.Poverty Knocks – Lizzie Nunnery and The Liverpool Socialist Singers
8.The world turned upside down – Leon Rosselson
9. Nana was a Suffragette – Our Morals
10.The Ship Song – Alun Parry
11.More than a paycheck – Sisters Unlimited
12.Our own worst enemy – Stephen Smith
13.Tom Paine’s Bones – The Shee
14.The crooked man – Merry Hell
15.Welcome to Mugsborough – Robb Johnson
16.We were there – Sisters Unlimited
17.Bringing the news from nowhere – Leon Rosselson
18. Red Flag – Stephen Smith

#BobTressFest For further details of the celebration taking place in Liverpool on 28th April 2017 follow @BobTressFest
or like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/BobTressellFestival

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Licenses:

Standard YouTube Licence
SoundCloud Terms of Use

Original recordings, videos, artworks etc. are copyright of their respective songwriters/performers/publishers/artists or whatever is applicable to that particular work with All rights reserved.

References/Links
All links accessed and working on 23 October 2017.

Stephen Smith Official website
iTunes
ReverbNation
YouTube
SoundCloud
Stephen Smith Facebook page
Bob Tressell Festival

Related: Laura James and the Kadavors

This article was created, compiled and produced by Barry Grady with major contributions by Stephen Smith.

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