Union Songs, Of Course!
email from Ray Korona
After reading Sixty Years of Australian Union Songs and hearing the With These Arms CD a few times, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to write. The book and CD are fabulous and work together beautifully. They not only provide important documentation of the history and struggles of real people, but the stories, songs and poems offer tremendous encouragement and inspiration!
I was first struck by the colorful collection of historical books, magazines and recordings pictured at the beginning of the book—very cool. Numerous accounts in the text about the efforts of so many people over the years in what is basically a struggle for social justice drew me away from the graphics and I just kept turning the pages to learn more.
Some of the lines you quote are so powerful: Come down and see the slave man, the cave man, the brave man risk life to save his mate’s life beneath a falling roof. Then you go on to develop some serious analysis of how the cultural aspects fit in and become both empowering and effective. I especially enjoyed the description of all the working people writers and artists at page 16 and the quote about subversive music on page 72, followed by the related discussion on the next couple of pages.
Of course, for me, the music is the best of all and the CD never disappointed me. Great songs there, Mark!!! I have to say you did a fine job on your "Join the MUA" lyrics among them.
So thanks for doing this project and for moving forward with the web site. I hope the effects are felt far and wide.
In Musical Solidarity! Ray
Many thanks to Ray Korona for permission to publish this email on the Union Song web site.
Ray writes stirring songs about working, the environment, fighting the system and homelessness along with heartfelt songs of love, friendship and peace. A founding member of American Federation of Musicians Local 1000, Ray's songs vary from the satirical and topical to ballads, chorus and story songs.
Ray has contributed articles about music, song lyrics and has been interviewed in various periodicals. Among these are New York Magazine; Sing Out!; Broadside; Songs Celebrating Resistance; Sassafras; Pinewoods Newsletter; Z Magazine and others as well as many online e-zines and blogs.
Find Ray Korona songs in this collection
Visit Ray's website at http://raykorona.com/
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union songs..........a selection by mark gregory