The brass on this song gives it a North of England brass band type feel, which is hardly surprising because it was inspired by the Jarrow Crusade. This was a march by two hundred men from the town of Jarrow to lobby Parliament in Westminster, a distance of some two hundred and eighty miles, which they covered in 22 stages. The marchers left Jarrow October 5, 1936 and arrived at the Palace of Westminster on October 31. Its purpose was to highlight the collapse of industry on Tyneside at the height of the Great Depression. In addition to the valiant efforts of the marchers, some ninety thousand people signed a petition, but although it generated enormous public support, the Jarrow Crusade had little effect on government policy. It was not until the Second World War that the slump in employment prospects ended in the shipbuilding industry, which at the time was the mainstay of the region.
This ballad was obviously written from the heart because Alan Price was born less than six years after the Jarrow Crusade, in County Durham about ten miles from Jarrow, and attended Jarrow Grammar School, although in retrospect perhaps he should have written a song which explained how the governments of Britain and the rest of the world could find the money for a world war of six years duration which they had been unable to find for peace time prosperity.
"Jarrow Song" was released on the Burbank/Warner Bros label backed by "Look At My Face"; the sheet music retailed for 30p.
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3