Friday, April 25, 2008

Songs of the day

1. In Portugal, "Grândola Vila Morena"

Wikipedia says:

"Grândola Vila Morena" is a Portuguese song by Zeca Afonso, that tells of the fraternity among the people of Grândola, a town in the Alentejo. Salazar's Estado Novo regime considered the song to be associated with Communism, and as a result it was banned from being played or broadcast. On April 25, 1974, at 12:15AM the song was broadcast on Portuguese radio as a signal to start the revolution that overthrew the regime; it thus became commonly associated with the Carnation Revolution and the beginning of democratic rule in Portugal.

Here's a vid:

2. For ANZAC Day, "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

Here's wiki again:
In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, under a plan by Winston Churchill to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold strike to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stale-mate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers died. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.

The song was written by Eric Bogle in 1972 to remember the suffering of those involved, and to comment on the futility of war, "..we were led like lambs to the slaughter..". I believe my own great-grandfather was at Gallipoli, so it has a special resonance for me.


CalumCarr said...

"And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" is a very powerful and evocative song.

I mentioned this on Nourishing Obs but an Anonymous commenter took exception to this and to James' post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these songs - very moving. Yes, your great-grandfather fought at Gallipoli, and died there 50 years later when he went back for an old soldiers' reunion visit and suffered a heart attack. So he's buried there, but probably not in the military graveyard.