Mudcat Café message #495930 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36064   Message #495930
Posted By: Abby Sale
01-Jul-01 - 02:10 PM
Thread Name: What makes a good bawdy lyric ?
Subject: RE: BS: What makes a good bawdy lyric ?
Others seem to define "bawdy" as contrasted to "dirty"--with the no-no words deleted. Of course the meaning is broad and has varried much (see Bawdy defts.) I have a feeling this results from the degeneration of the genre in Oscar Brand terming his material as "bawdy." Since many people have only this as a standard (without realizing how extensively Brand bowdlerized his songs) the definition moderated.

I'd tend to agree that the main purpose of the song would be sexual (or scatalogical - or some other "taboo" area) but add the Humerous proviso. Cray includes many mild and non-taboo, double-entendre songs in Muse so I don't think he's all that strict in his definition. Elsewhere he assumes (without specifically stating) that all bawdy songs are humorous. It is this, he says, that prevents them from being salacious - "you simply cannot be tittilated while laughing."

Here's another aspect: I've been accused of singing a few "very" bawdy songs - "too gross" as it were. But also been applauded for the same songs. I define all humerous sexy songs as "bawdy." They may be mildly so, partially so, subtlely so, but they can't be very so. Like a tire can be out of round or roundish but it can't be very round. It is or it ain't.

It also puzzles me that a song may be "suggestive - off color" and very sexy and certain people will enjoy it in a snickering fashion - pass it on as a (child's) dirty song, even. But toss a "fuck" or a "cunt" or two and the same people get insulted as if it were a cut to their essential sense of morality. Something wrong there, I think.