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GUEST,erictheorange Ewan MacColl's accent (182* d) RE: Ewan MacColl's accent 12 Oct 06

>>Back to "Ewan MacColl's accent." What I understand from the
>>Scots on this thread is that Scottish opinion is divided
>>about whether it sounded essentially believable or obviously fake.
>>I suppose that makes any opinion thoroughly subjective.
>>But be it noted that to non-Scots he sounded like the real thing.

Personally I wouldn't dream of singing in a Scots accent even though my mother was born there and her father was a Scot born and bred. I don't feel Scots. Then again I have a friend who was born in England of English parents and English grandparents who is most definitely Welsh because he spent from 6 months old until age 22 in Wales.

If Ewan MacColl thought of himself as a Scot then he was - and even if when he sang in a "Scots" accent it came out sounding Irish, Mancunian, Russian or Outer Mongolian I don't think it really matters.
I think that it is reasonable however to ask why a Salford lad would sing in such an accent and change his name to a "more Scottish" one (a question suitably answered).

FWIW I think his accent sounds "faux Scots" but then at that time there were quite a few born & bred Scots who modified their accents, mainly to sound more like an English or American view of what a Scots accent is.

>>Nationality affects you. Of course it does. You look to
>>your parents for how to think about life, and if they
>>come from somewhere different from where you live - they
>>will look at it differently from the indigent population.
>>And even to the third generation.
>>I sometimes find myself asking why my parents and
>>grandparents acted and said the things they did - how
>>they arrived at certain attitudes.

This is a bit of an over-simplification. Is your parents National identity the same as yours? Certainly your parents & grandparents have an influence on your cultural identity, but then so do your peers, your language, your economic situation, your religion, your politics, your education, the culture you grow up in, etc.

>>Someone once said to me, two Irish grandparents .... of
>>course you're bloody Irish, you're just in denial.....

Of course, if you've got two Irish grandparents and two Japanese ones, but you grow up in Spain as a Spanish citizen, speaking Spanish with Spanish friends and a Spanish education, you're not necessarily going to act, think & feel very Irish at all - nor are you probably going to sound very Irish when you sing their songs. If you then changed your name from Akira Kurosawa to Cahir O'Doherty and started singing Irish folk songs in a Spanish/Japanese/Irish accent it's not really surprising if some might be a bit surprised ;-)

>>Being Scottish was not something Ewan MacColl could avoid.
>>whatever his place of birth and where he grew up.

I thought the Scots are notorious for "going native", unlike say the Irish? Certainly I've several cousins whose parents or grandparents were Scots but none of them have any noticeable Scots identity - even the two of them that lived near Falkirk for 4 years during the war.

On the issue of singing songs from other areas in assumed accents I think it depends on how you identify yourself as a performer. If you are "putting on a production" presenting songs from regions in a performance, then as with acting it's surely obviously appropriate to assume an accent. You are creating an illusion for the audience.

If however, you identify yourself as a singer of songs from your heritage/tradition learning them, prserving them & passing them on, then the situation becomes less clear & you run the risk of being accused of being a fraud. It's less a case of what you do, but rather how you present it.

In MacColl's case I think the accent/name things come up because perhaps some think that he was presenting himself as something other than what he actually was, and hence trying to deceive.


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