Mudcat Café message #2479150 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66084   Message #2479150
Posted By: Roger in Baltimore
29-Oct-08 - 01:50 PM
Thread Name: Is this song appropriate?: Slap Her Down Again Paw
Subject: RE: Is this tune appropriate?: Slap Her Down Again Paw
As I read this thread, it reinforces a belief that gets stronger with time: songs can change what a person thinks and believes! I find that scary since one of my joys is to present music to others.

It also reminds me that not everyone "hears" songs the same. My wife listens to songs as a whole without focusing on the lyrics. She is often surprised when I tell her what a song is "about".   Ronald Reagen's staff used Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" at rallies, probably because they only heard the title words and not the rest of the song.

So Shoo. You have to decide this question for yourself. Clearly, the reaction to the song will vary from person to person and therefore from audience to audience. As Clairebear explains, individual reaction may come from individual experience. The result is this. If you don't want to offend people with your songs, don't sing. You may never know who you have offended.

If you like a song that YOU have questions about, explore those questions yourself and come to some decision. I sing "Gotta Find a Woman with a Chainsaw" which includes a line about "Mendocino Thunder-Fuck". I don't like the line and I won't sing it. I wrote a substitute. The song was too good to waste. Yes, the song might still offend some people.

Dave Ray did a blues song "Killing Me by Degrees". One verse is "I feel like snapping a pistol, baby, in your face. You know that graveyard will be your resting place. This woman is killing me, baby, killing me by degrees". I probably would never aing it to a large group, but I might to song circle or group of friends. It reflects a feeling that resonates with me, not one that I would ever act upon but which I have felt in the past.

Finally, you need to consider just how many people you dare to offend. Your version of "This Land is Your Land" might very well offend someone with different beliefs.

What you sing is a reflection of you. So what ever you wish to sing is appropriate for you. Let me stand down from the soap box.

Roger in Baltimore