Mudcat Café message #51469 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8321   Message #51469
Posted By: Roger in Baltimore
30-Dec-98 - 07:43 PM
Thread Name: Self righteous prats
Subject: Lyr Add: DON'T CRY LADY^^
I think we all have the right to censor our singing however we wish. It is censoring others that is the problem.

Cursing is unusual in my vocabulary, but I recognize it as a part of the idiom. I recently sang at an open mike held in a church social hall. A large proportion of the audience was composed of members of that church. Well, I really wanted to sing Chuck Brodsky's ode to road rage, "Blow 'Em Away". Chuck elected to put "son of a bitch" in the song twice and noted that he gave one driver "the finger". I censored the song due to what I call "respect for the audience." The song offends others, because it describes the killing on several people and one dog, but that didn't bother me in this venue.

The response from the audience was very positive. Several people sought me out for more information about the song. Now, I would not sing this song at all at a "peace rally" (of course, I'm not likely to be invited, either). It would certainly offend most of that audience.

I think offending is the key. My life has gone much smoother since I gave up the notion of not offending anyone, it is a Sisyphian task. I think we can choose to some degree how many we are willing to offend in a particular audience.

Jerry Silverman published a collection of 62 songs called "The Panic is On". I like the book because it seems to contain enough irreverent songs that everyone would be offended by at least one of them. They are mostly humorous (to my mind), but clearly have the power to offend.

Here's one I never sang outside of my own house.

Don't cry, lady, I'll buy your Goddamn violets.
Don't cry, lady, your pencils, too.
Don't cry, lady, take off those colored glasses.
Hello, mother, I knew it was you.

Hooray, hooray, my father's gonna get shot,
Hooray, hooray, that dirty drunken sot.
For he was very mean to me when I was just a tot.
Hooray, they're gonna shoot my father.

Hooray, hooray, my uncle's gonna get hung.
Hooray, hooray, that dirty drunken bum.
For he was very mean to me when I was very young.
Hooray, they're gonna hang my uncle.

Hooray, hooray, my brother's gonna get hurt.
Hooray, hooray, that dirty sex pervert.
For he was very free with me when I was just a squirt,
Hooray, they're gonna hurt my brother.

Hooray, hooray, my cousin's gonna get destroyed.
Hooray, hooray, that no good anthropoid.
For he would always try on me the things he'd read in Freud.
Hooray, they're gonna wreck my cousin.

So, I think this has capability to offend. So much so, I've never sung it in public. When I feel very angry, I sometimes sing it for myself.

Roger in Baltimore ^^

Click for related thread