Dorothy Pax


Bread and Roses: Rosanna Brown Sings Songs For Troubled Times

  • Date: 2020-02-09
  • Time: 16:00
  • Location: The Dorothy Pax
  • Venue: Bread and Roses: Rosanna Brown Sings Songs For Troubled Times

Free Entry 4-6pm

After a stunning singer-songwriter/jazz set back in September, we’re very excited to welcome Rosie back to the Pax for a special set: Bread and Roses-Songs for Troubled Times.

 In 1911, James Oppenheim wrote the poem Bread and Roses to celebrate the movement for women’s rights. It became forever closely associated with the Lawrence textile mill strike of 1912. During the strike, the women mill workers carried signs that quoted the poem, reading “We want bread, and roses, too”. 

Rosie Brown, Peter Watt and Richard Keates bring songs from times when the value and the values of life needed to be defined, and when ‘definition’ is always a struggle against power concentrated in too few hands and justified as the natural order of things. 

“A brilliant mix of songs, each with a story behind them”
“A very special experience”

“intelligent and eloquent singer” Guardian Guide

Here is Rosanna performing a recent gig at Cafe #9, Sheffield.

Bread and Roses Set List:

1. Bread and Roses – Oppenheim’s poem was set to music by Mimi Farina (Joan Baez’s sister) and recorded by Nina Simone and Judy Collins. 

2. Hard Times – a Ray Charles song from his last album for Atlantic Records. 

3. Feeling Good – an odd one this, a ‘political’ drama by Anthony Newley and Lesley Bricusse, the best known version is by Nina Simone. 

4. Blackbird – a Liverpool group recorded this. 

5. Freight Elevator – a song which discusses a turning point in the life of Billie Holiday 

6. God Bless the Child – a song co-written by Billie Holliday, and perhaps her best known work. 

7. Gracias a la Vida – written by Violetta Parra and one of the key songs of the ‘New Song’ movement that developed in the Spanish and Portuguese worlds at a time of extremely repressive governments. 

8. Bella Ciao – a song that originated with back-breaking toil in Italian rice fields was taken up by partisans during the 2nd World War 

9. I Wish I Knew Now – is a song written by a leading figure in jazz, Billy Taylor, along with Dick Dallas. It became one of the main songs of the 1960s Civil Rights movement and is best known from Nina Simone’s singing. 

1. In the heat of the night – a song sung by Ray Charles and written by Quincy Jones and the Bergmans from the film of the same name. 

2. La Complainte du Partisan – jointly written by Anna Marly and Emmanuel Vigerie it is best known in the version by Leonard Cohen with an English lyric by Hy Zaret. A song of the French Resistance. 

3. Buddy Can You Spare a Dime – oddly enough, one of the most commercial songs of the American Depression of the 1930s. 

4. Las Simples Cosas – written by Armando Gomez and Cesar Isella and known in many versions, among them by Mercedes Sosa 

5. Way Down in the Hole – a Tom Waits song associated with the remarkable TV series, The Wire. 

6. Pirate Jenny – by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and from the Threepenny Opera. This was a political satire based on John Gay’s 1720 Beggar’s Opera. Gay’s work used ordinary folk ballads to tell a story of poor people displaced by the newly wealthy class born of the slave trade. Brecht adapted the work to comment on the polarisation of German society in the late-1920s that culminated with the rise of the far Right (sound familiar?). 

7. Je ne Veux pas Travailler – based on a poem by Apollinaire who doubted that we live to work. 

8. Trying Times – A Donny Hathaway song best known in a version by Roberta Flack 

9. Hit the Road Jack – Hit the road Boris and take Donald the Trumpeter with you. Another Ray Charles song, written by Percy Mayfield. 

Rosie Brown (Vocal)

Richard Keates (Bass)

Pete Watt (Piano)