Songs of Freedom, The James Connolly Songbook, edited by Mat Callahan
Book published by PM Press in 2013, 86 pages. Paperback (N5799)
Brand New Book
From the rear side cover: Songs of Freedom is a celebration of the life and work of] ames Connolly, the Irish revolutionary socialist martyred by the British government for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916. It is at once a collection of stirring revolutionary songs and a vital historical document. For the first time in a hundred years, readers will find the original Songs of Freedom, edited by James Connolly and published in New York in 1907, as well as the 1919 Connolly Souvenir program published in Dublin for a concert commemorating Connolly's birth. Both are reproduced exactly as they originally appeared, providing a fascinating glimpse of the workers' struggle at the beginning of the last century. To complete the picture is included the James Connolly Songbook of 1972, which contains not only the most complete selection of Connolly's lyrics but historical background essential to understanding the context in which the songs were written and performed.
The original Songs of Freedom contains eighteen songs, nine of which are by Connolly, while the James Connolly Songbook contains twenty-three songs and poems, nineteen of which are by Connolly. Furthermore, the introduction to the latter book gives an excellent account of the heroic battle surrounding the Dublin concert in 1919 and important insights into Connolly's purpose and methods in composing his lyrics. This new version of Songs of Freedom should prove invaluable to all those interested in Irish, labor, and revolutionary history....