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Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'

DigiTrad:
HELP ME MAKE IT THRU THE NIGHT
JAN, CAROL AND WARREN
ME AND BOBBY MCGEE


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GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 26 Sep 17 - 08:46 PM
GUEST,Guest 24 Sep 17 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Guest 24 Sep 17 - 03:59 AM
GUEST 20 Sep 17 - 07:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Sep 17 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Grishka 20 Sep 17 - 07:09 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Sep 17 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 20 Sep 17 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,Desi C 20 Sep 17 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 19 Sep 17 - 10:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Sep 17 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Desi C 19 Sep 17 - 05:29 AM
Mr Red 19 Sep 17 - 03:58 AM
GUEST 18 Sep 17 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,henryp 18 Sep 17 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 18 Sep 17 - 04:00 AM
Don Firth 24 Oct 13 - 03:51 PM
PHJim 24 Oct 13 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Mike B. in Oshawa 24 Oct 13 - 12:57 PM
Amos 15 Sep 13 - 11:28 AM
meself 15 Sep 13 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Mike 15 Sep 13 - 07:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Sep 13 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Dave 14 Sep 13 - 03:20 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 13 - 12:46 AM
Ron Davies 24 Jul 13 - 12:29 AM
Little Hawk 23 Jul 13 - 11:03 PM
Ron Davies 23 Jul 13 - 10:02 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jul 13 - 06:47 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jul 13 - 06:46 PM
Ron Davies 22 Jul 13 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Jul 13 - 01:24 PM
GUEST 22 Jul 13 - 01:23 PM
Little Hawk 22 Jul 13 - 09:55 AM
Ron Davies 22 Jul 13 - 09:22 AM
Little Hawk 21 Jul 13 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Jul 13 - 11:43 AM
Ron Davies 21 Jul 13 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Jul 13 - 06:35 AM
Joybell 20 Jul 13 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Grishka 20 Jul 13 - 06:03 PM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 05:20 PM
Ron Davies 20 Jul 13 - 01:52 PM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 01:02 PM
Ron Davies 20 Jul 13 - 11:48 AM
Ron Davies 20 Jul 13 - 11:43 AM
Little Hawk 20 Jul 13 - 11:29 AM
Ron Davies 20 Jul 13 - 10:45 AM
Ron Davies 20 Jul 13 - 10:42 AM
dick greenhaus 20 Jul 13 - 09:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 26 Sep 17 - 08:46 PM

All this fuss about a gob-iron!


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 07:08 AM

Penultimate line, typo, should read "stash", not stack.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 Sep 17 - 03:59 AM

I've heard this parody credited to a number of different sources, but I got it from some guys in a Sydney band I was filling in with back in the 1980s. A trifle dated and in dubious taste, but make of it what you will. Should the authors wish to acknowledge their sin, or be offended by its publication here, please let admin know. I shall not name them.

The story they told me was that it was written after a gig where an audience member got stuck up them about the "harpoon" thing. After smacking him around a bit, they decided that, in retrospect, he had a point, so after scraping him up off the floor, bought him a beer and some sticking plasters, and agreed to change the offending word to "didgeridoo" for future gigs. While they were at it, they thought that they might Australianise the entire song too.

Enjoy, ignore or report/delete. Your call....


ME AND CHERYL McGRAW

Busted flat in Wollongong, waiting for the bus
Feeling crap, and vomit on my jeans
Cheryl flagged a Holden down, riddled full of rust
Took us all the way to Narrabeen
I pulled my didgeridoo out of my Eastern Suburbs t-shirt
Was blowing hard while Cheryl combed her hair
With the windscreen wipers slapping time, I got hung up on the thirteenth line
Of the seventeenth verse of Advance Ausrtralia Fair

Freedom's just another word for being unemployed
The dole it ain't worth nothing, but it's free
Feeling good was easy, Lord, with a stubby in my paw
Feeling good was good enough for sure
As long as I was feeling Cheryl McGraw

From the coal mines of Mt Kembla, to the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Cheryl shared my chicko roll and prawns
Standing right beside me, Lord, sometimes on my foot
Playing Holy Jesus with my corns
But somewhere down near Blues Point Road I let her slip away
With a long haired yuppee poofter from Balmain
And I'd swap my stack of roaches and my Kylie autograph
For another night with Cheryl's sister Jane


(There you go. Not a harpoon (or whale) in sight....)


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 07:21 PM

"Thar she's blowing!" ????

Is it "Talk Like a Whaler" day?


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 01:32 PM

i think that much is pretty clear.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 07:09 AM

@Desi: According to the ever authoritative Big Whal Ittle,
  1. the narrator was a former whaler
  2. who kept a little harpoon in his "bandana" – presumably a small red suitcase meant for band-aids and other medical stuff.
  3. Being on drugs, he spied a whale on the Mississippi and uncased his harpoon, shouting "Thar she's blowing!" – sad!
  4. while Bobby, realizing that her friend was hopelessly hallucinating, sang the blues and eventually slipped away.
Easy, innit?


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 04:53 AM

well there were a lot of drugs around in those days....


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 03:28 AM

Desi: You'd think it would hard to miss an Al named "Big"...


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 03:20 AM

From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
WHALE!? Where does a whale come into it! Am totally missing something?


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 10:24 AM

Desi: No, it's not a Harmonica, it is in fact A 'Jew's harp' or a very similar instrument played in the mouth

Depends on the singer, JJ (best known) or KK (original) -

JJ: "I was playin' soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah."

Jew's harp might fit the lyric, the blues... not so much. imo JJ is more honkytonk than country blues. Great band though.

KK: "Was blowin' sad while Bobby sang the blues."

Blowing sad blues on a Jew's harp? How to? Blues need limber reeds that one does not have to chuff 200kPa to bend a note. That's a Hohner Marine or Blues band for country folk on a budget.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 06:29 AM

you are obviously all missing the third verse where Bobby spots the whale she has been endlessly searching the byways of America for.

There is a life changing struggle somewhere near Salinas. Bobby is lost overboard - slips away despite Kris's brave efforts. However the whale is mortally wounded. They have proved each others nemesis.

I always had the feeling Kristoferson stole the plot from somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 05:29 AM

No, it's not a Harmonica, it is in fact A 'Jew's harp' or a very similar instrument played in the mouth


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 03:58 AM

more minor pedantry:

Larry Adler played harmonica,

I think he always insisted he played a mouth organ - certainly in a BBC radio documentary of him he was recorded saying it. He made a distinction.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 17 - 10:11 AM

Just a minor point of order, Mr Chairman, but it wasn't Bobbie McGee's "harpoon" as stated in the misleading thread title. The instrument in question, whatever it was, clearly belonged to the narrator and not to Ms McGee.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 18 Sep 17 - 07:01 AM

Harpoon Man by Charlie McCoy and the Escorts; Monument 1965

Harpoon Man


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 18 Sep 17 - 04:00 AM

Boy you guys sure covered some ground on this one didn't you?

I'd be interested in any pre-1960s harmonica-harpoon references. Ever Hohner doesn't know where it came from. Most everybody I know thinks it was coined by KK's Monument (ie: Foster's) labelmate Charlie McCoy a few years before Bobbie McGee was written.

And it's not just any harmonica. It's a Hohner Marine Band.

Thought Gibb would have chimed in on "bandanna" by now. It's a Luso-Indian word for a head dress brought to the West by the Portuguese. A "kerchief" is the same deal, on a different ocean (see also Portuguese East India Company and 4:5 Tommy Chong pictures.)

If you tie it to a stick or use it to wipe your nose it becomes a handkerchief.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 03:51 PM

I heard harmonicas or "mouth harps" sometimes referred to as "harpoons" long before I heard the song.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: PHJim
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 03:46 PM

I enjoy listening to Janis's interpretation of the song, but I don't think she added anything new to the meaning of the song. I've enjoyed many singers' renditions of Kris's song and I certainly don't consider Janis's version to be the definitive one, just one of many great interpretations.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Mike B. in Oshawa
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 12:57 PM

"Harpoon" most definitely refers to a harmonica,however in order to make sense of this, the original intent was probably " I took a harp-tune out of my dirty red bandana". This is an awkward lyric to sing so it gets slurred for artistic simplicity. Sort of like pulling a tune out from under your hat. Love it.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 13 - 11:28 AM

The ad hominem post, like the ad hominem argument, is of very little value and less merit, depriving the forum of oxygen and adding unnecessary heat without adding light.

A


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: meself
Date: 15 Sep 13 - 10:22 AM

Not much of a story, is it? (Until Janis Joplin enters - and departs).


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 15 Sep 13 - 07:02 AM

Back to Me and Bobby McGee, the story behind the song (or the title, at least) for anyone who hasn't heard it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_wtuCO82vA


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Sep 13 - 09:22 PM

Well, that's the meaning of the old logan "Workers of the world, unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains."

But in fact the truth seems a bit different when it comes to actual revolutions. They seem to kick off not when people are totally destutute, but rather when things have been fetting better in some ways, and the possibility opens up that they actually could change more. Especially when at that point there is a threat they will get worse, to set things off.

As for the song, I don't think it's about making choices or freedom as such. It's more about the way things happen in our lives, and how you can wish they might have worked out differently.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 14 Sep 13 - 03:20 PM

My College history professor in the late 70s used to frequently quote "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." His point was that most revolutions in world history have been initiated by folks who are so poor, with such poor prospects for improvement of their own life or their children's that they feel they have nothing left to lose, and thus, are truly free. They can do anything without worry of the worst consequence (generally the loss of their own life). Put a well maintained army against a population who is not afraid to die, and I'll bet on the population most of the time.
Now, of course, reading an interview with KK:
Interview
I see he meant something almost completely different.


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Subject:
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 13 - 12:46 AM


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Jul 13 - 12:29 AM

My understanding was that he actually wasn't that bad of a banjo player--he used to play "Dueling Banjos"-- but since there was only one of him, he used to "na-na-na" the other part.

That was a mistake.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 11:03 PM

Well, I should certainly hope they did! And what about banjos? My bet is that Paul played the banjo...but poorly.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 10:02 PM

But Corinth and Ephesus were known in St. Paul's time for having very high musical standards.   I think they banned synthesizers too. I'm sure I read that on the Net.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 06:47 PM

correction: out of


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jul 13 - 06:46 PM

I think there were probably far more substantial reasons found for chasing Paul of out places like Ephesus and Corinth. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 10:05 PM

I was enjoying the picture of St. Paul being chased out of Corinth or Ephesus because when singing a song he tended to lapse into "na-na-na", and the listeners got really tired of it.

It seems to me that anybody who objects to this must be a fundamentalist of the most humorless ilk.

And it really doesn't concern me how theologically accurate this picture is.    Somehow I suspect it is indeed not very.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 01:24 PM

(You know who that was.)


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 01:23 PM

Ron, if you think your statement of 18 Jul 13 - 06:26 PM was marked by a sophisticated sense of humor, that is indeed a matter of taste and not the subject of any of my comments. What I wanted to hint to you is the fact that you failed to convey the impression to have understood what I was talking about. If you do not deem it worthwhile to find out what a poster really means, best do not comment at all. And if you absolutely insist on taunting a post, make sure your readers get the point exactly, if you value your own reputation.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 09:55 AM

Maybe we just don't feel like arguing about it? ;-)

The most absurd thing I ever saw was one of my Grandmother's hats! She was a very over-dramatic woman who never did things by halves.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 09:22 AM

It is beyond absurd, indeed it is surrealistic, to be arguing about senses of humor.

It is baffling that you cannot see this.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 05:06 PM

Your comments about how JJ enlarged the meaning of the song are really interesting, Grishka. I'd never thought of it that way, so you've given me a whole new angle from which to consider her rendition. I always thought her version was too over-the-top, but looking at it from your perspective, I get what you're talking about.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 11:43 AM

Ron, you wrote about "absurd notions" (20 Jul 13 - 01:10 AM), presumably meaning mine. You claimed to have understood what I wrote, but failed to convince us even of that, let alone about the absurdity of my remarks. Thus you may have made a fool of yourself, as the saying goes. I never call anybody a fool.

Íf you write something like "Grishka, if I understand your comparison correctly to mean ..., it is absurd, because ..." - we may have a good discussion (though only marginally on topic).


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 09:38 AM

LH and Grishka:

One more observation re: "feud-addicted":


You may just possibly have noticed that in this case I attacked neither of you but rather the use of "na-na-na" and similar filler in two big hits. Unless you by some chance have aspirations to form a pro "na-na-na" lobby, you need not have responded at all.

But for some reason you felt the need. So to find the origin of any feuding in this case, you may want to look in your respective mirrors.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 06:35 AM

Indeed, the lyrics are no great philosophy. The catch lines of the chorus sound like deep wisdom but are not properly worked out. The song was intended as country staple food, almost improvised on the spot. "Hey Kris, we need a song about hitchhikers and sex!" - "OK, let's call it Me and ..., uh ..." - "Why not Babby McKee, that's my secretary." - "I'll be back in an hour."

Songs can strike a chord unintentionally, or perhaps subconsciously, transcending their shallow lyrics. As I wrote before, JJ unleashed this one, so that now it is a plaintive anthem of freedom and love, not freedom vs. love. Simple "na-na"s can do the trick, when sung in a certain manner to a susceptible audience at a particular time. The era was over when in the 1980s different notions of freedom dominated the public consciousness. From time to time, and perhaps increasingly so right now, we must remind ourselves that neither the old nor the newer problems of freedom have been solved to the extent that can realistically be hoped for. (I do not think overthrowing "capitalism" is a realistic concept, but short of that, there is a lot we can and must do.) Janis Joplin has not lost her power, even if her "Mercedes Benz" is now used to advertise those cars!


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 10:14 PM

"Deep down he's shallow" is a line True-love has been using for decades. He came up with it in the 60s. I guess it's to be expected. A good line.
Joy


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 06:03 PM

Ron, I did not write that you're a perfect fool, I just don't challenge your right to appear like one if you so choose. May each reader judge privately.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 05:20 PM

The way I heal myself is by coming here and getting some good laughs...and generally getting along with other people while doing so....then playing some music and reading a good book. Suggest you do the same.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 01:52 PM

"feud-addicted".


Physician, heal thyself.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 01:02 PM

"Is there anything that folkies don't like to debate?"

Hmm. Good question! I'm really hard put to come up with anything...

Yup, that's a tough one. It's a poser. A conundrum. Sheesh...

Well...how about tiddlywinks? Anyone want to debate the relative merits of "the Grand Game"?


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:48 AM

Excellent, Dick.

I was just recently talking to a former member of the National Symphony (DC) who told me of a former conductor:   "Deep down, he's shallow."


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:43 AM

It is totally absurd that we should be arguing about senses of humor-- of all things. Mine is just as valid as the next person's.    And so, of course, is yours.    So we should be able to live and let live on this one.   After all, neither the definition of folk music nor atheism is involved here.

Is there anything that folkies don't like to debate?


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:29 AM

Oh, Ron...Ron...you poor, feud-addicted old crab.

I have never said that "all political parties are the same". You just like to think I have, because that satisfies your need for stereotying. I have said that they are all under the influence of people with a great deal of money...and that they therefore cannot be trusted by the general public. That is not to say they all are the same. I think the Republicans are somewhat worse and somewhat loonier than the Democrats, and I think the same about the Conservative Party of Canada vis-a-vis the Liberal Party of Canada and the NDP, etc. That's why I will never vote for the Conservative Party of Canada.

All the same? Hardly! All corrupted to a great extent by the political-financial process? Definitely.

I also don't think capitalism is responsible for ALL the world's problems. Just a great many of them.

Your problem is that your need to carry on pointless, acrimonious feuds with people is immune to any perception of nuance in anything they say. It would not suit your argument.

BillD, on the other hand, is a man with a keen sense of nuance, a man who respects the people he debates with, and is totally worth talking to at all times, because he respects the people he debates with and rises above petty feuds and personal dislikes.

You don't respect the people you debate with, that is patently obvious, and it makes it a waste of time for people to talk with you about anything. You're like the nasty, paranoid little dog that rushes out of its den to snarl and yap: annoying, useless, full of illwill and intent to destroy, impotent to do so, but definitely amusing to the onlooker.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 10:45 AM

"Perhaps you're..."


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 10:42 AM

"perfect fool"

So sorry you don't like to be ridiculed yourself.   Parhaps you're still bitter about our last encounter. Not surprising.

You were telling us how a Mexican-American singing the national anthem was an indication of a conspiracy by TV networks.    And several people pointed out your addiction to conspiracy theories. You took objection to this. Wonder why.

And LH's agreement with you on this one will get you a $2 cup of coffee (for $3).

He doesn't like the fact that I have ridiculed his convictions that all the world's problems are due to capitalism and that all political parties are the same.

Thank goodness there are sensible folkies like Bill D and Don Firth.   There are enough who don't qualify.


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Subject: RE: Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 09:40 AM

Why am I reminded of the line about an audience that went to see "Smoky and the Bandit" and then broke up into discussion groups?
Bobbie McGee is a fine song, but it's depth is really on the surface.


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