Courtesy of eBay - and of the eagle-eyed Alan Dein, historian and broadcaster, who spotted it there - here's a wonderful 1954 book of what Ewan MacColl termed industrial folk ballads. It has a catching cover design (the artist simply signed as 'Brooke'), and was published by the Workers' Music Association - an organisation founded in 1936, when the CP was in its "popular front" stage, and which is still going.
'Few of these songs have ever appeared in print before', says Ewan MacColl in the preface, 'for they were not made with an eye to quick sales - or to catch the song-plugger's ear but to relieve the intolerable daily grind.'
The songs inlcude 'The Colliers' Rant' and three others from A.L. Lloyd's Come all ye bold miners, one song gathered by the legendary Alan Lomax, and several gleaned from weavers, miners and rail workers.
'There are no nightingales in these songs, no flowers - and the sun is rarely mentioned; their themes are work, poverty, hunger and exploitation.'
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