Category Archives: Music

Youtube picks

Soldier Set for Miss England

New target system for Apache

Cold War – the Berlin Wall

Biffy Clyro – The Captain

And for more historical videos and music, check out the Daly History Youtube Channel

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Filed under Afghanistan, Army, cold war, maritime history, Music, On TV, videos

Mark Knopfler – Brothers in Arms

I’ve found this video on youtube. Its of Mark Knoplfer, who recorded a special Falklands Anniversary edition on the classic Dire Straits song Brothers in Arms.

Its a very fitting video, featuring original footage from 1982, and showing veterans returng to the Islands 25 years later. Knoplfers lyrics, vocals and guitar playing fits perfectly. Its a very nice tribute.

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Filed under Falklands War, Music, Remembrance, videos

An English National Anthem?

Next time England play, watch them singing the national anthem before the game. Inspiring, it isnt. Why? Firstly, because its not the English national anthem. And secondly, because its a crap song in every way.

God Save the Queen is the British National Anthem. But unfortunately, its about one person, not a country of 60 odd million people. It says nothing about Britain. The music is slow, mournful and plodding. No wonder the players dont like singing it. Compare it to the Marsellaise, or the Star Spangled Banner. Compared to those stirring tunes, God Save the Queen just doesnt cut it. An anthem should make you feel 10 feet tall in a heartbeat.

The problem is, when you talk about Britishness, or Englishness, you’re instantly thought of as a jingoistic far right activist. But whats so wrong with being proud of who we are? England is a green and pleasant land. Why shouldnt we be proud of it? If being scottish and welsh is so in-vogue at the moment, the scots can have Scotland the Brave, and the welsh can have whatever it is that they sing, why is being English such a bad thing?

There are plenty of traditional English songs that would be very fitting as an English National Anthem. Jersualem has rapidly come to be an unofficial cricketing anthem… listen to the words and it makes you think of a little village cricket match in the summer. Rugby has given us Swing low sweet chariot and I vow to thee my country. And of course, Land of Hope and Glory is a great tune too.

There are plenty of other songs that probably wouldnt be appropriate, like Hearts of Oak, Abide with me, the white cliffs of dover, the great escape…

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Filed under Music, politics, Remembrance

History… Heavy Metal style!

Iron Maiden - biggest selling Historians?

Iron Maiden - biggest selling Historians?

I was listening to some CD’s earlier, and it occured to me that actually, quite a lot of heavy metal bands take a lot of influence from History. Some take it a lot further. When you take a look at Iron Maiden’s tracklisting, most of the songs are about some historical figure or event!

Just take a look at a few…

…Aces High, Alexander the Great, Flight of Icarus, Fortunes of War, Genghis Khan, Mother Russia, Montesgur, Paschendaele, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Run to the Hills, Tailgunner, Longest Day, The Trooper, Where Eagles Dare, These colours dont run…

…what a panteon of history that tracklisting is!

Aces High and Tailgunner are clearly about the Battle of Britain and WW2 Bomber crews, The Longest Day is taken from Cornelius Ryan’s Book about D-Day and the subsequent film, Alexander the Great is about the ancient Greek Emperor, Flight of Icarus is about the tale of Icarus and Daedelus, Paschendaele is a very fitting tribute to the WW1 battle on the Ypres Salient, Run to the Hills is about the plight of the American Native Indians in the 19th Century, The Trooper is the charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, and Where Eagles Dare is based on the classic WW2 novel.

The most impressive one for me, however, has to be Montsegur. Its a very little known siege during the 14th Century, when Christian Forces attempted to put down a Protestant rebellion in the French town of Montesgur. The lyrics are really focussed, Bruce Dickinson had obviously done some serious reading on the subject.

Nor is History the confines of Iron Maiden. Saxon have Lionheart, about Richard the Lionheart, and even Metallica wrote Creeping Death about plague in Ancient Egypt. And who can forget Motorhead’s Lancaster Bomber? I think its quite possible that a lot of people out there have learnt more about History from listening to music than they ever will in a History lesson. And good for them, whatever works, is good. Its just a different medium for expressing yourself and informing people. Its got to be better than people listening to Slipknot, thats for sure… and when you factor in how many millions of albums they’ve all sold, its a hell of a lot more than any popular Historian!

So in essence, if you dont like reading books and want to find out about History, listen to those well known Historians, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Nicko McBrain, Jannick Gers, Dave Murray, and Adrian Smith!

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Filed under Ancient History, Medieval history, Music, Royal Air Force, World War One, World War Two