Industrial (revolution) songs

Automation, IT…

Including various songs from the Spanish Industrial Revolution. There are more songs about mechanical music here.

Nota bene:

  • All these street organ arrangements are home-made. Contact me if you want a custom arrangement for your own street organ, musical box, barrel piano, or whatever.
  • The MP3s below use Virtual Studio Technology: this is NOT the real sound (my organ also has percussion, and sounds more natural), and someone needs to sing!
  • Lyrics or translations can be displayed live on a screen, karaoke-style.
TitleArtistLaYearCommentsLinks
Villancico linuxeroPánico en el núcleo (Panic in the kernel)es2011Linux carol disparages Windows and Mac, makes Spanish nerds laugh: Que le den al Guindos, que le den al Mac, / que yo uso Linux y me va genial.
Lady JavaOracle / Lady Gagaen2010
Copla del viudo del submarinoJuan Antonio Cantaes1996From the last Andalusian avant-gardist: En el fondo del mar tengo yo / Una novia en silencio / Un poquito de pescaito frito / Me trae su recuerdo
Appellation contrôléeFay Lovskyen1992Chanson pseudo-française: nostalgia for bad French wine.
Song for the British Working ClassCornelius Cardewen1979Albanian scansion for one of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist)'s more curious attempts to connect with normal people: Persisting in the face of every difficulty / In 1979 was formed our new party, a glorious victory. / Rallying to this flag is the only way, workers / To usher in, a bright new day of / Socialism in Britain.
Inland WaterwayJohn Betjeman / Ben Sawyeren1974On the opening of the Upper Avon Navigation by the Queen Mum in 1974, part of the irresistible rise of the Inland Waterways Association: The lock you have reopened will set free / The heart of England to the open sea.
King of RomeDave Sudbury / June Tabor / The Unthanksen1970s?A pigeon race from Rome to England in 1913: On the day o' the big race a storm blew in / A thousand birds were swept away and never seen again.
Het dorp / La montagneWim Sonneveld / Jean Ferratnl fr1970Another Dutch plundering of French repertoire: nostalgia available in both languages.
The slow trainFlanders & Swannen1964A nostalgic look at the Beeching cuts.
Ballad of Sigmund FreudChad Mitchell Trioen1960Well, Doctor Freud, oh Doctor Freud / How we wish you had been differently employed / But the set of circumstances / Still enhances the finances / of the followers of Doctor Sigmund Freud
Santa Bárbara Benditaes1950Emblematic mining accident at the Pozo María Luisa, Asturias in 1949.
Karussell (Wir reiten auf hölzernen Pferden) / Carousel (We ride on wooden horses)Leo Straus / Martin Romande en1944Translation of a song from the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. When you get off, will you be able to stand up? Quotes the Wiener Praterleben waltz by fellow-inmate of Death's waiting-room, Siegfried Translateur.
Complainte pour l'orgue de la nouvelle barbarieLouis Aragonfr1940Wartime poem from after his conversion to Marxism: Ceux qu'arrêtèrent les barrages. / Sont revenus en plein midi. / Morts de fatigue et fous de rage.
The Workman's FriendFlann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan) / The Singing Organ-Grinderen1939Porter meets the Plain People, from At Swim-Two-Birds
When I'm cleaning windowsGeorge Formbyen1936From the film, Keep Your Seats, Please
To The Tabulating Machine Division (IBM Songbook)IBM employeesen1935Punch a card for every sale that's made. / There's a record which will never fade. / Sort them out by man and state - / Speedily we tabulate. Etc. etc.
ZuiderzeeLouis Davidsnl1932The consequences of the construction of the Afsluitdijk dam, which turned the Zuyder Zee from a North Sea inlet into a fresh-water lake.
My brother makes the noises for the talkiesAlbert Whelan / Jack Payne / Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Banden1931
Mackie Messer / Mack the KnifeBertolt Brecht / Kurt Weillde en1928Originally intended for performance with barrel organ.
Berlin im LichtKurt Weillde1928Foxtrot written for a festival of light staged by the Berliner Stadtwerke power company for the 1928 Berlin Festival. A companion piece to the Dutch electricity workers' union song, Op naar het licht.
El menúZöllner / Arregui Trecetes1927La versión conocida es la de Los Xey (1953), pero canto la que se hizo para la Coral del Ensanche de Bilbao.
Panpipe call used by an itinerant French pot-mender and pig-gelder in GaliciaTrad.es fr1920With humorous quotes from Spanish Golden Age theatre (inc Quevedo and Calderón), sketching the accent, appearance and behaviour of French castrators and pot menders in the 16th/17th centuries. (Ambulant moped-chain-powered knife-grinders in Barcelona and other Mediterranean cities still use panpipes as advertising medium, but with less sophistication.)
El nuevo FordCubanoes1920
El dilluns jo no treballoValencianoca1920Song in Valencian lists the days of the week on which I don't work. Their number is lucky.
My old man said follow the vanMarie Lloyd / Lily Morrisen1919For Josep Viladot, great Londoner, exiled in Gracia, Barcelona.
Had je me maarLouis Davidsnl1916Song that provided the nickname for the Dutch anarchist politician, Cornelis de Gelder.
Toccata No. 2George Antheil1916
Second Sonata, The Airplane, fragmentoGeorge Antheil1916Everything's back to front: The Singing Organ-Grinder is the plane.
Crits del carrerJoan Amades Cançoner / English C17th canonca1910Audience participation required in this canon consisting of the cries (in Catalan) of the vendors of potatoes, hats and chocolate. As good in its way as Clément Janequin, Voulez ouyr les cris de Paris
ValenciaJosé Padillaes1900Based on a piano roll scan. It's as if the arranger located Valencia on the east coast of Asia instead of that of Spain. / Basado en un escaneo de rollo de pianola. Parece que el arreglista ubicó Valencia en la costa levantina de Asia en vez de España.
La maquinista: polka corejadaJosep Anselm Clavéca1900Clavé trolls the anarchists: Dali sens descans, / es lo pa de la familia, / la suor de nostre afany.
El chincatapunchincógrafo, etcéteraAntonio Rodríguez Martínez / Coro “Los Abanicos”es1897Song about the marvels of electricity: En la época presente / no hay nada tan floreciente / como la electricidad... Hasta yo creo que un aparato de inventará / para fabricar chiquillos / por medio de la electricidad.
Paternal. Tornant del Liceu en la nit del 7 de novembre de 1893Joan Maragall / The Singing Organ-Grinderca en1893I've done this a few times in Catalan and English but don't really know where to take it next.
Ya hemos visitado el AstilleroLos Moros Babucheroses1891Working conditions in the factory at San Severiano, Cádiz could certainly be improved
Mamma mia, dammi 100 lire che in America voglio andar (Mum, give me 100 lire cos I want to go to America)Anonit1890ish?About the great Italian emigration (late C19th - 1930s). Often used with children. Should 'America' now be replaced by 'London'? Cento lire io te le do, ma in America no no no! 100 lire I'll give you, but America, no no no!
Trenta giorni di nave a vapore (Thirty days in a steamship)Anonit1890?About the great Italian emigration to the Americas beginning in the late C19th.
Epitaph for James Bosworth, who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade and died, aged 70, a stationmaster at Northam, SouthamptonBen Trovatoen1882His name was actually John Hacker/Hucker Bosworth and his service overseas in the 1850s doesn't seem to include Balaclava, but still a splendid thing: Though shot and shell flew around fast, / On Balaclava’s plain, / Unscathed he passed, to fall at last, / Run over by a train.
Th' owd knocker-iupHenry Yates ('Tansy Tuft')en1880s?Lancashire dialect song by a cotton worker and amateur poet from Blackburn
The knocker-upAnon1880How did factory workers get out of bed before alarm clocks?
Manantiales de nitroglicerina (Nitroglycerin springs)Anónes1873Anarchist song: Nivelacion social!... Rota la valla / No más habrá, no más ladrones; / Partirémos sus bienes, sus millones / Cuando llegue su hora á la canalla.
El amor bajo la luz eléctricaAnones1865Don't rely on electric light if you're looking for cloth or a woman: No elijas mujer ni tela / Á la luz artificial, / Porque la una y la otra / Grandes chascos suelen dar.
Cantata nacionalJosep Anselm Clavées1864In his collection, Flores de Estío, the Catalan master utters Hispanophile sentiments which many prefer to forget: ¡Gloria á ESPAÑA! dó en paz hoy florecen / Con las ciencias, la industria y las artes; / Dó el progreso derrumba baluartes / Que en talleres se ven transformar.
Anem al treballP.F.ca1863Selection from a very long ode to work, from just before the First (Spanish) Republic: The world will always be / the same as it has been, / the poor will be with us always, / and the rich and artisans; / when God disposes, / you know what will happen: / as we find it / we will have to leave it, / let's not trust in fancies, / let's go to work.
A orillas del Llobregat (Flores de Estío)Josep Anselm Clavées1852Praise of the (industrialised) river south of Barcelona: A dar solaz al alma / Venid, niñas!... llegad! / Que aquí los céfiros / Agitan suaves / Las ramas fértiles / Donde las aves / Entonan cánticos, / Que alegran plácidos / Las ricas márgenes / Del LLOBREGAT!
When Birmingham is a seaport townAndy Casserley / Trad.en1851?Set to a lively tune.
Trobo divertit sens pecar de la merda y del cagarAnon (Lérida / Lleida, C19th, printed by Coromines) / The Singing Organ-Grinderca1850An utterly filthy song in happily impenetrable Catalan: Lo vostre cul cuan cagueu, sembla unas castañolas / Your arse when it shits, sounds like castanets.
Coplas novas y divertidas las cuals esplican los mals ratos que solen donar las pusas los polls y las chinchas com nu veurà lo que no sirà siegoRamon Barrull (Lérida / Lleida, C19th, printed by Coromines) / The Singing Organ-Grinderca1850Broadside ballad about vermin: Las chinchas es cosa bruta, / Conforme hos he dit; / Perque se solen posar, / A los pots y banchs dels llits.
ChirivíAnónca1843Cannibal song from Barcelona's Jamancia revolt: á Cristina y Narvaez / y á tots los moderats / dintre de una paella / los freixirém plegats.
Per fi ya enarbolat / veyem lo san pendó, / quens diu Societat, / Fraternitat y Unió.Societat de Teixidós de Barcelonaca1840Himno del primer sindicato en España, la (barcelonesa) Sociedad de Tejedores / Anthem of the first trade union in Spain, the (Barcelona) Society of Weavers
¡Año fatal! ¡Año atroz! – (Pre)juicio del año 1833Anones1832Premonitions of the First Carlist War from an almanac: ¿Oís zumbar el cañon? / ¿Oís como cruje el parche? / ¡Quede estragos! ¡Qué de horrores! / Temblad míseros mortales.
El cura enfermoAnones1800Priestly love, Cadiz style: Estando un curita malito en la cama, / a la media noche llamó a la criada. / -¿Qué tiene el curita, tan deprisa llama? / -Quiero chocolate, lo quiero en la cama.
Los ayres fijos: poema didáctico en seis cantosJosé Viera y Clavijoes1784Ode to a hot-air balloon: Moradores de Nesle ¿Que es aquello / Que veis venir rasgando el Horizonte? / No es la ascencion de Ganimedes bello, / Ni el precipicio del audaz Faetonte, / Del Iris matizado no es destello, / Ni el Pegaso que dexa el doble monte; / Es la Nave Aërostática velera / De Argonautas que surcan la atmosféra.
Die Gedachte sind frei / De gedachten zijn vrijde nl1780sFreiheitslied from SW Germany (?)
La locura más discreta que se dice executó la villa de Níjar del obispado de Almería, el día trece de septiembre de este presente año de 1759Diego Ventura Rejón y Lucases1759Vía Ortega y Gasset, a tale of popular madness: Con aquestos desbaratos / toda casa esta assolada, / no dejando tales tratos, / cazos, sillas, platos, nada, / ni aun la nada entre dos platos.
Cuando salí de la HabanaValencianoesDe nadie me despedí, / Solo de un perrito chino que venía tras de mí/When I left Havana I said farewell to no one - except a little Chinese dog which came after me
Micalet GarciaValencianoesHe's corrupt
Ford V8Enrique Jardiel Poncela / The Singing Organ-GrinderesCuban song in praise of Henry Ford's motors: ¿Y no callé siempre y siempre me callo / los contados días que tienes un fallo?

Update: 2018/07/28