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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
skw@worldmusic.de Songs about women coping (61* d) RE: Animaterra: Songs about women coping? 08 Feb 99


What happened to this thread?
Eric Bogle has written a far bleaker Scottish equivalent to the 'Liverpool Lullaby', called the 'Glasgow Mother's Lullaby'. I was almost moved to tears when I found a book ('Finding Peggy') by a journalist, Meg Henderson, about her youth in a Glasgow slum, who used almost the same words as Eric in talking about her parents' relationship.

Harry Chapin's 'Why Did Little Girls Grow Crooked' is not so much about coping, but it does ask some basic questions, and as it must be twenty years old it really is a remarkable song.
Traditional ones:
John Anderson My Jo (the pre-Burns version!)
John Grumlie
Lovely Joan
Bonnie Laddie Ye Gang By Me
The Sands on the Shore
the Jute Mill Song (sorry, not trad, but seems like it)
and the most gruesome of all coping songs, Prince Heathen (Child #104).

I'm surprised Judy Small's songs haven't been mentioned in this thread. She has a higher percentage of songs about women coping in whatever way, in whatever situation, than most singers, and she has an unashamedly old-fashioned style that makes her a pleasure to listen to - for me, at any rate. Try:
Mothers Daughters Wives
Bridget Evans
Alice Martin
The Family Maiden Aunt
From the Lambing to the Wool
The I.P.D.
Mary Parker's Lament
Montreal December '89 (although it's not so much about coping either, more about male violence)
Much Too Much Trouble
No Tears For the Widow
Song For Jacqueline (not about coping either, perhaps, but very touching)
The White Bay Paper Seller
Women of Our Time
- you will notice I'm really struck! Unfortunately, I've 'lost' her website, but she has several CDs out which should be available in the States, as well as a compilation available from Greentrax in Edinburgh:

http://webzone1.co.uk/www/scotsweb/greentrax.htm

Judy Small gave the loveliest little example of coping as a female singer when one night at the Tonder Festival in Denmark she and Danish singer Bente Kure went on after about fifteen male colleagues and belted out this gem:

We're gonna get you folks to take a good look at this stage
There's people of all sizes here and folks of different age
But there's something quite unbalanced, and I wonder if you see
The thing that is unbalanced - you guessed it, it's we

'Cause we're the token sheilas on this here stage tonight
It seems to take just two of us to counter all that might
Yes, the world's full of testosterone but now it's quite all right
'Cause we're the token sheilas on this here stage tonight
Yes, we're the token sheilas on this here stage tonight

Sorry, going on for too long again! But it's such a great thread, and I missed out because my PC crashed in January and I had to wait for the new one. Got close to Mudcat cold turkey! - Susanne


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