Mudcat Café message #3187562 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3187562
Posted By: Phil Edwards
14-Jul-11 - 01:18 PM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
One other thing. I'm only dipping in and out of this thread - it's too long to catch up with properly - but I wanted to give a M3 T00 to Suibhne's comparison of POW with TBPWM. My first exposure to TBPWM was when I saw the lyrics written down; I was looking at it with my sister, and when she got to

"And as the ship drew into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be"

she read it out and we both burst out laughing. After that I heard it sung - poorly, well and by June Tabor - but I never lost that first reaction. Faced with songs like that, part of me is still the snotty kid at the back of the class thinking You're trying to impress me, and it's not working!.* (As opposed to my reaction to, say, June Tabor singing POW or Waly Waly, which is what the f___ was that and how the f___ did you do it?)

To this day there's a whole class of songs which I sit through with a frozen smile of polite appreciation for somebody taking the trouble to make a mildly pleasant noise - and then there are songs that stop me in my tracks even when they're done badly, and pin me to the wall when they're done well. What baffles me isn't so much that you can hear them both in one evening as that they're both called 'folk'. But there you go, it is what it is.

*This is what's wrong with the 'legs' line, IMO - it's not a million miles away from 'My Son John', but the understatement seems sleeve-tugging & sentimental where MSJ's is grimly comic.