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Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?

DigiTrad:
BAWBEE ALLAN
COLONEL NIGHN
IF I LOSE, LET ME LOSE
MY SWEETHEART WENT DOWN WITH THE MAINE
NINETEEN TWENTY EIGHT
THAT CRAZY WAR


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Battleship of Maine (12)
Lyr/Chords Req: Remember the Maine? (7)


Bee-dubya-ell 22 Jul 02 - 10:00 PM
Dicho 22 Jul 02 - 10:47 PM
Dicho 22 Jul 02 - 10:56 PM
masato sakurai 22 Jul 02 - 11:29 PM
masato sakurai 22 Jul 02 - 11:47 PM
12-stringer 23 Jul 02 - 03:33 AM
masato sakurai 23 Jul 02 - 08:17 AM
masato sakurai 23 Jul 02 - 10:59 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Jul 02 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,jack 24 Feb 12 - 06:47 AM
kendall 24 Feb 12 - 08:21 AM
Charley Noble 24 Feb 12 - 08:56 AM
Little Hawk 24 Feb 12 - 10:37 AM
catspaw49 24 Feb 12 - 10:42 AM
Little Hawk 24 Feb 12 - 10:48 AM
dick greenhaus 24 Feb 12 - 11:05 AM
Lighter 24 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM
kendall 24 Feb 12 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Feb 12 - 03:32 PM
Lighter 24 Feb 12 - 04:31 PM
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Subject: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 10:00 PM

I've always interpreted the song "Battleship of Maine" as an antiwar song. The lyrics as posted in the digitrad CLICK HERE , seem anti-war. The singer is a young man who has apparently been duped into joining the army only to find that self-preservation is more important than "God and country". This is the same version as sung by The New Lost City Ramblers during the Vietnam War as a protest song.

Well, I found the following partial lyrics to another version of the same song. These were used on a PBS documentary about the Spanish-American War:

McKinley called for volunteers, then I got my gun,
For (first?) Spaniard I saw coming, I shot him on the run,
It was all about that battleship of Maine.

At war with that great nation, Spain.
When I get through with Spain, I will have honored my name.
It was all about that battleship of Maine.


Nothing anti-war about that version, is there? Does anyone know anything about the history of the two versions of this song? Did they co-exist? Is the anti-war version a parody of the pro-war original?

I have already Googled my ass off looking for learned analysis on the Web, but there doesn't seem to be any. Anyone have any ideas?

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Dicho
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 10:47 PM

"Cuba and the Maine,"
"The Heroes Who Sank With the Maine"
"Bring Our Heroes Home"

Three songs in the Levy Collection about the Battleship Maine, all patriotic, all written just after the event. I am sure that there were others, perhaps (hopefully) lost.

Maine


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Dicho
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 10:56 PM

Also:
"The Sinking of the Maine"
Words by G. R. Craven and music by W. J. Barr, 1898
First line: "Let ev'ry true American in these United States who loves his home and freedom and who oppression hates,"
Chorus, 1st line: We'll protect our nation's honor the stars and stripes maintain,"
I think that sounds just the least bit pro-war.

The one in the DT is a recent composition (possibly a parody).


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 11:29 PM

BATTLESHIP OF MAINE in the DT is the version by the New Lost City Ramblers, which in turn is from Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers (Vi 20936). Lyrics & music are transcribed in The New Lost City Ramblers Song Book, p. 116, with this note: "There were several songs on this subject, all using the same title ["Battleship of Maine"]. Most were dead serious, patriotic, and indignant. However, this version takes the position of a country boy caught up in a situation for which he has little sympathy."

There're four versions recorded in The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, Vol. Two (Duke UP, 1952, pp. 550-553) under the heading of "That Bloody War," with this note: "'That Bloody War' burlesques the heroics of the Spanish-American and the First World wars, with variant details characgteristic of folk song. It probably has a sheet-music or broadside origin, and possibly a history of vaudeville or minstrel singing, but printed record of it has not been found."

(A) "That Bloody War" (1922)
McKinley called for volunteers; I shouldered up my gun.
The first fat Spaniard that I saw, I dropped it down and run.
That bloody war! That bloody war!

(B) "Battle Ship of Maine"
McKinley called for volunteers
And I grabbed my gun;
The Spaniards are sure coming,
I dropped my gun and run.
I was fighting about that bettleship of Maine.

(C) "It's Bloody War" (c.1923)
The President called for volunteers;
I shouldered my big gun.
The first old German that I saw,
I dropped my gun and run.

Chorus:
It's bloody war,
It's bloody war.

(D) "Bloody Wars" (1923) The President called for volunteers;
I shouldered my big gun.
The first old German that I saw,
I dropped my gun, and shouted--

'Bloody wars,
Bloody wars!'

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 11:47 PM

"The Battleship Of Maine" by Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers (Victor 20936; Date Issued: October 1927) can be heard at Old Time Music from 78s at honkingduck.com.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: 12-stringer
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 03:33 AM

Not to forget the one that the late David "Stringbean" Akeman used to do occasionally on the Grand Ole Opry in the late 60s.

"Now over there in Vietnam they've got another war But oh I wonder if they know just what they're fighting for In that war, that crazy Vietnam war.

When I first landed in Vietnam I looked around with glee But rain and mud and Vietcong was all that I could see ..." and so on

Most of the lyrics were just a turn on the old song, but it was a hoot hearing that coming out of Nashville in 1969. "Okie from Muskogee" was a little more common, of course. Was it an anti-war number? Well, it sure wasn't "Okie" or Ernest Tubb's "It's America -- Love It Or Leave It." Would String have considered it an anti-war number? I suspect not, given the time and the place. Perhaps to him it was just another comic song like "Mountain Dew" or "Hot Corn Cold Corn," only with updated words. (I don't know that he was a Republican then but I bet he'd be one now.) I loved it, and so did my hippie peacenik friends. A couple of what passed in the late 60s for right-wing wackos thought it was in bad taste. Well, okay!

I played that one for so long I've forgotten which verses are his and which are mine, but nearly all of them are stolen from the original anyway. I'm working on the Baghdad remake.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 08:17 AM

THAT CRAZY WAR is in the DT. "This song is related by tune and sentiment to the 'Battleship of Maine'." Around 1930 Jimmy Yates' Boll Weevils recorded a slow, droll version of the text with a different tune and accompanied by Hawaiian and Spanish guitars." (The New Lost City Ramblers Song Book, p. 118)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 10:59 AM

23 Maine songs in the Levy Collection (results by using "the maine" as search words). All are patriotic.

1. "Wreck of the Maine." Words and Music by Reginald M. Tewksbury (Toledo, Ohio: The Melodia Company, 1898). Dedicatee: "In Memory of the Victims of the Maine horror, who perished in Havana Harbor, Feb'y 15, 1898."

2. "Remember the Maine. Song and Chorus." Words and Music by A.W. Finnell (Sedalia, MO: A.W. Perry & Son, 306-308 Broadway, n.d.).

3. "The Sinking of the Maine." Words by Geo. R. Craven. Music by W.J. Barr (Alliance, Ohio: Craven & Barr, 1898).

4. "Our Gallant Warship Maine. Beautiful Discriptive [sic] Song & Refrain." Words by Chas. H. McIntosh. Music by The Gallery God (Philadelphia: The Brown McIntosh Pub., N.E. Cor. 9th & Arch Sts., 1898).

5. "My Son Went Down With the Maine (The Boston Post's Song)." Words by Daniel W. Gallagher. Music by Frederick T. Strachan (Boston: The Nemo Publishing Co., n.d.).

6. "My Sweetheart Went Down With the Maine." [back cover contains poem "Cuba Land," to tune of "Maryland, My Maryland"] Words and Music by Bert Morgan (Macomb, Illinois: The Morgan Music Company, 1898). Dedicatee: "Respectfully Dedicated to Miss Frances N____, [whose fiance went down with the Maine]"

7. "My Father was a Sailor on the Maine." [also includes text for "Remember the Maine," to be sung to the air of "Columbia Gem of the Ocean"]. Words and Music by Hattie Nevada (Kansas City, MO: Kansas City Talking Machine Co., 1898).

8. "Battle Hymn of the Republic." By Julia Ward Howe (Supplement to the Sunday Examiner, May 1, 1898). [With the slogan "Remember the Maine" on the cover]

9. "We are Marching on to Glory for the Flag!" Words by W.M. Browne. Music by J.W. Wheeler ( Boston: G.W. Setchell, 1898). [contains the words: "We don't forget the Maine. The Maine and all her martyrs call us out."]

10. "Uncle Sam, Tell Us Why Are You Waiting. Patriotic Song & Chorus." By Monroe H. Rosenfeld (New York: Jos. W. Stern & Co., 45 East 20th St., 1898). [with a photo of "U.S. Maine" on the cover; contains the words "let's avenge our gallant Maine"]

11. "The Pride of Our Nation." Words by Wm. H. Long. Music by Chas. F. Arnd (Pittsburg, PA: Arnd & Long, 421 Thirty Third St, 1898). Dedicatee: "Dedicated to the Crew of The Maine."

12. "The Song They Sang at Santiago. Patriotic Song & Chorus." By Theo. A. Metz (New York: Metz Music Co., 1147 Broadway, 1898). First Line: "Way down in far off Cuba our gallant boys so true"

13. "The Song of Our Nation, or, Fight for the Right and Free Cuba. A Song for Patriotic Americans." Words and Music by Harry Holliday (New York: Feist and Frankenthaler, 1227 Broadway, 42 W. 30th St., 1898). [contains the words "Remember the Maine"]

14. "Say Goodbye to Mother, or, I'll Remember the Maine and Brother Jack. A Thrilling Ballad of the War." Words by Jere O'Halloran. Music by M.B. Lawry (Boston: The Vivian Music Pub. Co., 1898).

15. "Say Goodbye to Mother, or, I'll Remember the Maine and Brother Jack. A Thrilling Ballad of the War." Words by Jere O'Halloran. Music by M.B. Lawry (Boston: The Vivian Music Pub. Co., 1898). [same as (14), but with a photo of another singer Miss Julia Mackey]

16. "Old Glory. A Patriotic War Song and Chorus." Words and Music Composed by W.B. Hale (Fort Worth, Texas: Fort Worth Music Co., 1898). [contains the words "With their treacherous devices they blew up the Maine"]

17. "On the Shores of Havana, Far Away. (A Paraphrase)." (To the Melody of the Famous Song "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away.") Composed by Paul Dresser. Words by Andrew B. Sterling (New York: Howley, Haviland & Co., 1260-1266 Broadway, 1898). First Line of Chorus: "Oh, the moon shines down tonight upon the waters, where the heroes of the Maine in silence lay"

18. "The Heroes Who Sank With the Maine." Words by Jas. O'Dea. Music by Paul Cohn (Chicago: Sol Bloom, 241 Wabash Ave., Suite 11, Rooms A,B,C,D, and E, 1898).

19. "Marching Through Cuba! Patriotic Song and Chorus. (The Boston Sunday Post's War Song". By Wm. B. Fairchild (Chelsea, Mass.: Fairchild Music Co. Publishers, 1898). [contains the words: "The Maine has been remembered in a most emphatic way"]

20. "Cuba and the Maine." (The Latest Sung by all the Most popular Singers). Words and Music by W.L. Nunn. (Providence: The J.A. Bartlett Music Co., n.d.). [with a photo of The Battleship Maine on front cover]

21. "Bring Our Heroes Home." Words by Max & Ben Human. Music by Rudolph Knauer (Indianapolis, Indiana: Popular Music Publishing Co., 1898). First line: "Shall they who perished on the Maine by treacherous device"

22. "Boys, 'Remember the Maine.'" Words and Music by E.A. Warren (Chicago: S. Brainard's Sons Co., 1898).

23. "The Battle of Santiago." Written by Chas. F. Alsop (Philadelphia: Chas. F. Alsop, 1315 Somerset St., 1898). First Line of Chorus: "Let's stand by our guns! Remember the Maine!"

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for the input folks. Another mystery salved by the Mudcat.

The song does make much more sense when viewed as a parody. In particular, the line "When I get to Spain I'm gonna honor my name" makes no sense when viewed in isolation. But when seen as a parody of "When I get through with Spain, I will have honored my name" it makes perfect sense.

Thanks again.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: GUEST,jack
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 06:47 AM

There has always been a mystery about who was responsible for sinking the Maine, which was of course the excuse for the US to invade Cuba, The Phillipines and other Spanish possessions. Cubans today compare the 1898 event with the 1962 US plot, Operation Northwoods, whcih included blowing up an American ship in Guantanamo Bay, as a pretext for invading Cuba once again. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662&page=1.
Echoes of the Gulf of Tonkin incident which provided the excuse for the full scale, tragic invation of Vietnam.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: kendall
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 08:21 AM

We needed a war and we created one.Thanks to Wm. Randolph Hurst.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 08:56 AM

The "mystery" of what sank the Battleship Maine in Havana Harbor should have been settled years ago, when there was a new scientific analysis of all the evidence that concluded that the blast was from the inside, not the outside of the hull, most probably related to spontaneous combustion of coal dust in her bunkers. Of course we never apologized to Spain.

Well, I remembered Admiral Hyman G. Rickover's conclusions but was unaware of a subsequent investigation by the National Geographic:

1974 Rickover investigation

Admiral Hyman G. Rickover became intrigued with the disaster and began a private investigation in 1974. Using information from the two official inquiries, newspapers, personal papers and information on the construction and ammunition of Maine it was concluded that the explosion was not caused by a mine. Instead spontaneous combustion of coal in the bunker next to magazine was speculated to be the most likely cause. The Admiral published a book about this investigation, How the Battleship Maine Was Destroyed, in 1976.

1998 National Geographic investigation

In 1998, National Geographic Magazine commissioned an analysis by Advanced Marine Enterprises. This investigation, done to commemorate the centennial of the sinking of Maine, was based on computer modeling, a technique unavailable for previous investigations. The conclusions reached were "while a spontaneous combustion in a coal bunker can create ignition-level temperatures in adjacent magazines, this is not likely to have occurred on the Maine, because the bottom plating identified as Section 1 would have blown outward, not inward," and "The sum of these findings is not definitive in proving that a mine was the cause of sinking of the Maine, but it does strengthen the case in favor of a mine as the cause." Some experts, including Admiral Rickover's team and several analysts at AME, do not agree with the conclusion.

Take your pick!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 10:37 AM

Well, it was incredibly convenient from the point of view of America's political and strategic desires at the time, wasn't it? For the Spanish, who couldn't possibly win a war with the USA, it was an utter disaster. And for the Cuban rebels, it was a very helpful incident, as it would bring in the USA and get the Spanish kicked out of Cuba.

The one thing the Cuban rebels could not have foreseen, however, was this: Having the Americans in Cuba would end up being just as big a problem for Cubans as having the Spanish in Cuba...

The Phillipine rebels discovered the same thing when the occupying American forces committed incredible atrocities there to prevent Filipinos from becoming the masters of their own destiny.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 10:42 AM

I'll take door number three.............

After all the phoney baloney wars of THIS century, it is obvious we are still all too willing to believe totally UNbelievable bullshit as an excellent reason to go kill somebody.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 10:48 AM

Yup. And it's a game that many other governments have played too. Like the Japanese in '37 in China. Or the Germans in '39 when they attacked Poland. They both claimed it was self-defense...ha ha.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 11:05 AM

War songs tend to fall into three basic categories. a) Popular songs aimed at the general (non-fighting) population; b)Soliers' songs in praise of the soldier's own outfit (like college fight songs) and 3)Songs of general bitching about the war and the army/navy or whatever.
Battleship of Maine (and "Crazy War" and all it's descendents are clearly in the third, nd IMO the most interesting) category.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM

Not so much bitching in this case as making fun of particular targets, including the singer himself.

It's hard to say whether the bit about the Rough Riders' shoes is saracasm or envy. Or both.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: kendall
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 02:05 PM

The army developed a new hand gun, the .45 cal. auto Colt because the standard issue .38 could not stop determined Huks from attacking.
If the Spanish were so awful, why did the Filipinos make war on the USA?


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 03:32 PM

Kendal -Huks have NOTHING to do with the development of the 45 service pistol.

Lets get some facts stright:
Spanish-American War - was April 25, 1898 to December 10, 1898
The Philippine–American War - was 1899–1902
The Moro warriors (Moors aka Muslims)would get so drugged up they felt no pain. Problems with the "stopping power" of the 38 led to the use of a single action Colt 45 by the Army in 1902 in the jungles.

Your "Huks" are the Hukbalahap (Filipino: Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon, "People's Army Against the Japanese"). The are Communist guerilla bands formed in 1942 to fight the Japanese occupation during World War II. They also terrorized the countryside (and still do) when democracy was being instituted from 1946-1954.

(As a side note your "Huks" continue to be terrorized by the Ilongot headhunters - Rosaldo, R., Stanford Press 1980).

Sincerely,
Gargoyle Not unusaul for an elephant mouth to overload a hummingbird rear.


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Subject: RE: Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War?
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 04:31 PM

>If the Spanish were so awful, why did the Filipinos make war on the USA?

Spanish rule was pretty awful. In Cuba they invented the modern concentration camp for people suspected of supporting Cuban independence.

In the P.I., an anti-Spanish nationalist rebellion began before the Americans arrived and became anti-American only after the U.S. imposed its own colonial rule.


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