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The Tenementals  Picture: The Tenementals
The TenementalsThe Tenementals

The Tenementals seek inspiration from the past

Protest song was written by political prisoners 90 years ago

A Glasgow band has chosen a protest song written 90 years ago for their first record.

The Tenementals are made up academics and musicians who came together to delve into the history of Glasgow through the power of music.

But their first EP will feature a stirring protest song that was penned by political prisoners held in a Nazi concentration camp.

Die Moorsoldaten (The Peat Bog Soldiers) is well-known inside Germany, but much less known outside despite it being covered by a range of artists including Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson. 


The song will be the first EP, in the original German and English by The Tenementals, and released on Strength in Numbers Records.

The Tenementals
The Tenementals

Professor David Archibald is Professor of Political Cinemas at the University of Glasgow’s School of Culture and Creative Studies and the founding member and frontman for the band.

He said: “We are keen to introduce our version of Die Moorsoldaten, in German and English. 

“Our song is a new translation which we hope will bring it to a wider audience and to present it in a new way. Somewhat less mach, and less militaristic than some previous versions. 

“Although we are interested in Glasgow’s history, we are not parochial, far from it. 


“We are alive to the international connections that the city and its inhabitants have made, be they slave traders or anti-fascist fighters in Spain. 

“Peat Bog Soldiers was a major song during the Spanish Civil war and no doubt many of the Glaswegians who fought in Spain would have been familiar with it. 

“We take a tiger’s leap into the past; but our aim is to blast the song into the future at a time when its spirit of resilience in the face of oppression has great resonance.”

Last year, the Tenementals secured the prestigious “Outstanding Event” award at the 2022 Glasgow Doors Open Day Festival.


They also performed at the Glasgow Hidden Lane Festival, had a memorable collaboration with National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ Secretary-General Mick Lynch at The Revelator Wall of Death in Scotstoun, and played at Queen's Park bandstand for May Day.

The band’s songs explore the radical side of Glasgow’s past, from militant Suffragettes of the early twentieth century to the Sighthill Martyrs of 1820.

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