Ballad Of Stalin

Album: Greatest Hits (1992)

Songfacts®:

  • According to The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook: Sixty Years Of Songmaking, MacColl wrote a number of songs like this in his early years, alongside more subtle texts. Subtle this one ain't: Joseph Stalin was a mass murderer even before he assumed power after the death of Lenin. In 1907, he organized the Tiflis post office robbery, an act of mass murder which involved the killing and maiming of literally scores of people when the Bolsheviks opened fire on a convoy with guns and bombs. Such acts were known as expropriations.

    His later exploits, including the murders of political opponents, are a matter of record. Stalin's saving grace was the heroic sacrifice of the Russian people during the Second World War; an estimated 20 million died.

    After he was denounced by Krushchev, MacColl stopped singing his praises or even referring to the song. A more realistic - and witty - appraisal of Uncle Joe was penned by Al Stewart. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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