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SINGLE - Stop The Cavalry (COVER Jona Lewie) (2008)

by Marianne Dissard

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"Stop the Cavalry" is a song written and performed by the English musician Jona Lewie, released in 1980. It's a very popular Christmas song here in the UK, and beyond.

I recorded a version of it while still in Tucson, back in the simpler days of 2008. Originally included in the compilation CD 'Christmas In Tucson' produced by famed Swiss artist Olivier Mosset, the track was recorded with Matt Mitchell on guitars, Tommy Larkins (Jonathan Richman) on drums, Marco Rosano (Orkesta Mendoza) on melodica, clarinet, and bass sax, as well as Adrianne Mamet on backup vocals. Jim Waters engineered. I produced and had a blast singing it.

In an interview for Channel 4's 100 Greatest Christmas Moments, Lewie said that the song was never intended as a Christmas hit, and that it was a protest song. The line "Wish I was at home for Christmas", as well as the brass band arrangements made it an appropriately styled song to play around Christmas time. (I'm quoting Wikipedia here).

The lyrics of the song mention cavalry and Winston Churchill but it breaks with the First World War theme with references to nuclear fallout and the line "I have had to fight, almost every night, down throughout these centuries".

At the time of the song's release in 1980, there was an increase in tension between the Western Bloc and the Soviet Union, with American-controlled nuclear cruise missiles being stationed in the UK and a renewed fear of nuclear war, which was referenced in the lyrical mention of the fallout zone.

I changed just a few words of the lyrics: then-husband Naïm Amor is now 'waiting at home' instead of the original's 'Mary Bradley', and George W. Bush has replaced Winston Churchill.

According to a 2017 poll conducted by The Irish Times, "Stop the Cavalry" is the fourth most popular Christmas song in Ireland. It is certainly the Top Christmas Song in my home, this version at least.

I hope you like it! Let me know what you think. Happy holidays!
m

credits

released April 6, 2016
Written by Jona Lewie
Marianne Dissard - vocals
Matt Mitchell - guitars
Tommy Larkins - drums
Marco Rosano - melodica, clarinet, bass sax
Adrianne Mamet - backup vocals
Recorded by Jim Waters at Waterworks Studio, Tucson

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Marianne Dissard

French-born American desert noir chanteuse crafts baroque Sonoran art rock chanson from Tucson and beyond.

Street photographer, performer, brutally honest author.

Left her home in Tucson, Arizona for a dream boat in England.

“An eccentric character who releases very fine and wonderful records, in fact so eccentric she once toured the French Pyrénées on foot with a donkey” (Marc Riley, BBC6)
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