In an occasional series entitled 'The Ballad of Bedfordshire' Jon Bickley tells the story of the Luton Peace Day riots in words and music.
This is a re-recorded and expanded version of a radio show first broadcast in July 2019 with additional material to paint the wider picture. Around the original core songs are others recalling the patriotic fervour to enlist in 1914 and the sense of real worth and status it gave the Tommies. The harsh realities that hit home on arrival at the front soon put paid to that.
At the end of the war the promise to build a land fit for heroes failed to materialise. Luton ex-servicemen unhappy with unemployment and other grievances, particularly the high handed attitude of Mayor Henry Impey, took matters into their own hands and burned down the Town Hall.
To mark the centenary Jon performs his own original songs about the events that occurred in Luton town centre between 19th - 21st July 1919. The narrative is finally brought up to date with a reflection on the aftermath of any conflict, be it a declared war between nations or the ongoing 'war on terror.'
All songs written and performed by Jon Bickley & friends except **
MARCH TO WAR
1 - John McCormack - Keep the Home Fires Burning **
2 - We're the Tommies You've Heard About
3 - To Kill the Devil (Neil Stanton - violin)
4 - We're All Going Home in the Morning
5 - Keep Your Heads Down (Bob Templeman - guitar, Annette Burrows - vocal)
6 - Shiny Buttons and Badges (Neil Stanton - violin)
7 - Treat Him Like a Dog (Neil Stanton - violin)
8 - We Will March (Mandy & Lizzy Hardingham - backing vocals, John Maw - mandola)
9 - Mayor Henry Impey
10 - Luton Town (Neil Stanton - violin)
11 - If Justice Had Wings (Mandy & Lizzy Hardingham - backing vocals)
12 - Choose Peace (Mandy & Lizzy Hardingham - backing vocals)
13 - Poppies for Sale
'Keep the Home-Fires Burning' written by Ivor Novello, performed by John McCormack