Live Recording: My Name Is Dessie Warren

Yesterday I attended the rally for Justice for the Shrewsbury 24, and then sung at the social that followed.

I played the full version of my song My Name Is Dessie Warren for the first time in public.

I feel deeply proud and privileged to have been there amongst so many supporters of justice, and particularly to sing my tribute to the courage and humanity of Des Warren in front of his two sisters.

I found myself getting pretty choked up while singing it. I couldn’t help myself. At it’s best our movement and the people in it represent the finest and most noblest aspirations that humankind can offer. Des Warren embodied all of that.

The live recording of the song is above. I think it still needs a very slight rewrite so the next time you hear it there is one line that will be different, but otherwise it is now complete.

Des Warren was sent to jail for no other crime than being a trade unionist, and spent more time locked up under a Labour government than he did under the Tories who sent him there.

I’m playing the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival later this month, a very important commemoration of those who fought for the right to organise.

But it’s even more important that we keep up the fight for justice for those who were attacked for their trade unionism much more recently.

I’ll post Ricky Tomlinson’s speech tomorrow from the rally itself.

I’d like other singers to add this song to your repertoire and spread the story of what happened to Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson and the Shrewsbury 24 – and spread the news that the fight for justice continues.

I’m thinking of recording this song properly (ie in a studio) and presenting it to the Shrewsbury Campaign to be used freely however they see fit. What do you think?

#alun parry#des warren#dessie warren#justice#my name is dessie warren#ricky tomlinson#shrewsbury


  1. Paul Filby - July 5, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    Hello Alun. Well done, ’bout time someone wrote songs about workers hero’s again. Its a gudn too. I’d be made up and honored if you sent me the song. One of my fellow building worker union activists was present and was moved to tears. His name is also Parry and bangs out a few socialist and workers songs on the guitar and I’m sure he’d like to play it too. The pair of us might even ‘have a go’ next year, as long as Billy does the singing.
    We ( Construction Safety Campaign)all met ‘Dessy’ a few years ago. It was tragic, the once strapping brickie now strapped into a wheelchair to keep him upright. Quite rightly you described the perpetrators as bastards.

  2. Paul Filby - July 5, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

    Hello Alun, great song. My mate Billy Parry, a fellow Ucatt union activist was moved to tears. He also plays a bit, better singer than me though; we may well ‘have a go’ next year. I’d be made up if you’d send me the lyrics and chords.

  3. Joel Lane - July 5, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    This is a powerful song, Alun. I heard you sing it yesterday in Shrewsbury, and hope a recorded version becomes available.

  4. alunparry - July 5, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

    Once I’ve done the final rewrite I’ll publish words and chords so people can play it.


  5. John Bohanna - July 5, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

    Two of my favourite words are comrade and troubadour. Trust in friendship, the same belief & commitment for a better world and the story telling of who what why where when peopled lived and are living for that better world are some of the principles in those words. You Alun more than deserve the titles of comrade and troubadour.

    First time heard and met in Shrewsbury Alun – memorable.

    In friendship John

  6. Tony Mulhearn - July 6, 2009 @ 7:49 am

    A great contribution Alan on a great day to remember working class heroes who were smashed by the state and betrayed by some TU leaders and so-called Labour ministers. The struggle goes on to clear their names.

    Keep singing.


  7. deleted">Kay - July 6, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    Thanks, sing out for those of us who can’t, and always for integrity. Superb. XX

  8.">Cheryl - July 6, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

    You were great on the day, the song was very moving.

    I think it is a great idea to record the song and present it to the Shrewsbury Campaign

  9. Jesse - July 8, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

    Your singing this was a great climax to a great day. It’s a powerful song and had us all focused on the real reason we were there in Shrewsbury. It’s a great tribute to a victim of state endorsed actions that valued profit ahead of justice.

  10. Jesse - July 8, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

    There were a good set of photos and videos taken of the march and there are some good historical pictures of the events of 1972/3. The song would make an excellent backing track to a montage of those pictures/videos. The sort of thing often seen on YouTube

  11. terry abbott - July 10, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

    Alan your song capped a great day ,and it will keep Dessies
    name at the forfront of workers strugles and part of our trade union history as a real working class hero.

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