Mudcat Café message #1094659 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66084   Message #1094659
Posted By: Bill D
16-Jan-04 - 11:42 PM
Thread Name: Is this song appropriate?: Slap Her Down Again Paw
Subject: RE: Is this tune appropriate?: Slap Her Down Again Paw
Joybelle..I need to ask -- what you WOULD do with songs like "The Wee Cooper O Fife"? Would you eradicate them? Would you leave them in old books, but only allow certain people to see them? Would you just leave the room when someone else sings them? Do you sing only sweet, happy songs?

Your statement "In fact I'll avoid songs, comic and otherwise, that CONDONE cruel behaviour.", made me think hard about the issue, and the conclusion I come to is, the song does not condone anything...one of the characters in the song condones a certain type of behavior. The song merely paints a picture of this behavior, and no one should ever assume that a singer approves of the attitude expressed in a song.
   A huge number of the folk songs I know in English contain some 'bad'(and often cruel) behavior, and I think it is important that these songs are heard and remembered as a mirror of the strange species of animal to which we belong. Yes, at one time it was widely considered 'ok' for men to beat wives that did not please them.....now it is a whole lot LESS condoned--perhaps due to the implied ridicule of the practice in some songs. (I know, I know...it is not 'explicitly' condemned...but then the song would not be 'fun' while it exposes. It is much harder to write a 'good' song which includes a moral lesson. It is much easier to describe the situation and let folks decide for themselves.

I am not suggesting that you, or anyone, go learn a bunch of songs which are not what they like to sing, just because Bill D stated that it's good for them..*smile*, I just want to lay out one viewpoint about how we can approach all these musical records of our own history.