Friday, December 15, 2006

War Poets and Heavy Metal lyrics (and masked men)

(but not in that order)

a) A correspondent of mine, who is also helping with the war-graves project, has been telling me that he grew up in the 'sixties, so Heavy Metal (HM from now on) is "after my time" and that his anti-war anthem was "Universal Soldier" by Donovan.

Myself, I reckon that despite Donovan, Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger and so many, many others (don't forget Edwin Starr, redone by FGTH), only something as brutally uncompromising as HM and especially NWBHM can convey the message.

Take a look at the lyrics to "1916" by Lemmy of Motörhead, to "Passchendaele" or "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden (by the way, reading Iron Maiden lyrics is worth a doctorate in History), or any of a slough of HM classics going back as far as "War Pigs" by the Sabs, and tell me that they don't get the message across even more than Country Joe telling us to give him an "F"!!!

c) Then again, I still reckon that pro-wrestling is superior to ballet. They both feature men in outlandish costumes, are both highly choreographed, and both tell a story, but I know which one hits you harder, all apologies to Billy Elliot. By the way I don't count CZW.

Think of the guy that everyone loved to hate (except me and several other thousands of Keepers of the Salt), who became the wrestler of the millennium, I mean of course Kendo Nagasaki. Back in the '60's and '70's we were treated to a glimpse of the future.

b) The same correspondent who I started with also mentioned Isaac Rosenberg, who has been "enjoying" a revival almost 90 years after his death.
Go visit for example
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/kylet1/ros1.htm
or especially
http://www.familyrecords.gov.uk/focuson/rosenberg/

there has also been an historical novel "Beating for Light" published this year, being "the Story of Isaac Rosenberg"

The CWGC has a pamphlet about the poets of the Great War, which is pretty basic (and of course only covers those who never made it out, like Sassoon) but is still worth a read. One point that immediately springs out about Isaac Rosenberg is that he's different from all the rest. He was not educated at university, he had the rank of Private, and, Oh Yes, he was Jewish

May his soul be bound in the bond of the living

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