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Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More

MythHunter 17 Aug 00 - 11:38 AM
Jed at Work 17 Aug 00 - 12:13 PM
MAG (inactive) 17 Aug 00 - 01:21 PM
InOBU 17 Aug 00 - 06:04 PM
InOBU 17 Aug 00 - 06:09 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 00 - 06:11 PM
Branwen23 17 Aug 00 - 07:00 PM
Barbara 17 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM
MAG (inactive) 17 Aug 00 - 07:45 PM
InOBU 17 Aug 00 - 10:47 PM
MythHunter 18 Aug 00 - 02:12 AM
Joe Offer 18 Aug 00 - 03:20 AM
InOBU 18 Aug 00 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 18 Aug 00 - 08:27 AM
Wolfgang 18 Aug 00 - 09:12 AM
MythHunter 18 Aug 00 - 09:37 AM
InOBU 18 Aug 00 - 10:03 AM
death by whisky 18 Aug 00 - 10:17 AM
Áine 18 Aug 00 - 10:28 AM
Wolfgang 18 Aug 00 - 10:29 AM
death by whisky 18 Aug 00 - 10:56 AM
InOBU 18 Aug 00 - 12:47 PM
Brendy 18 Aug 00 - 09:57 PM
Joe Offer 19 Aug 00 - 03:38 AM
Branwen23 19 Aug 00 - 03:10 PM
Brendy 19 Aug 00 - 04:33 PM
Snuffy 19 Aug 00 - 05:05 PM
Brendy 19 Aug 00 - 05:07 PM
Branwen23 19 Aug 00 - 05:35 PM
Áine 19 Aug 00 - 06:20 PM
InOBU 19 Aug 00 - 06:24 PM
IvanB 19 Aug 00 - 08:23 PM
Branwen23 19 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM
Brendy 19 Aug 00 - 11:22 PM
InOBU 20 Aug 00 - 12:05 AM
Branwen23 20 Aug 00 - 10:08 AM
ol'troll 20 Aug 00 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,branwen23 20 Aug 00 - 03:12 PM
Brendy 20 Aug 00 - 03:26 PM
Áine 20 Aug 00 - 03:32 PM
JedMarum 20 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM
JedMarum 20 Aug 00 - 09:54 PM
Brendy 20 Aug 00 - 09:58 PM
JedMarum 20 Aug 00 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,branwen23 20 Aug 00 - 10:56 PM
Brendy 20 Aug 00 - 11:11 PM
InOBU 21 Aug 00 - 07:45 AM
Áine 21 Aug 00 - 08:33 AM
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JedMarum 21 Aug 00 - 08:55 AM
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Subject: dosen't rent to gypsys
From: MythHunter
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:38 AM

Mrs. Stein(? I think) doesn't rent to gypsys anymore because they trashed her house and I think even carried it off in pieces.

It has been at least six years since I heard this song at a convention by an artist I had never heard of before or since. The song keeps coming back to haunt me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 12:13 PM

MythHunter -

The Blarney Brothers do a great job with this song, and I'm sure you'd get a response from the email addr they post at their website. I've have the good fortune of sharing the bill with these guys from time-to-time and they are real crowd pleasers! You might consider stopping by their site and dropping them an Email.

As far as lyrics, I don't know 'em, so I can't help you ... but it is a great song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 01:21 PM

Alan Dameron used to do this, if you can find his recordings.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:04 PM

Dear fellow mudcatters:
What next, the Horst Wessel song? How about - don't rent to Blacks - Puerto Ricans - Jews... is there a point at which your sence of right and wrong kicks in? After ten centuries of forced migration, have we not had enough prejudice for one people? Let's cut the anti Roma crap.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:09 PM

PS
If you want a good song about "Gypsies" How about Ewan MacColl's song - I think it is called the Moving On Song, and if anyone has the lyrics, I would appreciate them posting them below. It is the one with the courus move along get along SHIFT!
Nyes Tuka
Larry


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Subject: Mrs. Stein Doesn't Rent to Gypsies
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 06:11 PM

I haven't heard the song, Larry, but I'm wondering if it might be a humorous attack against prejudice, and not an attack against gypsies at all.
Click here for MacColl's powerful "Moving On Song." If you search the database for @gypsy (or click here), you'll find others.
But heck, let's not judge the Mrs. Stein song until we've seen the lyrics. I e-mailed the Blarney Brothers and maybe they'll respond.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:00 PM

The Blarney Brothers are at Milwaukee ren faire this week, so they probably aren't answering their email... But I'm sure I can get the lyrics for you when they return.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM

Joe, I've heard the song -- Peter Krug sings it -- and perhaps it's a song about prejudice, but to me it always seemed more of a song about a culture clash.
I gotta say, I like it.
Part of the humor of it, is that it has a very lively gypsy melody. Each verse ends with a line about the hardwood floor, like:
"And they're throwing on the bonfires...are those slabs of hardwood floor?
Mrs. Stein don't rent to gypsies anymore, hey!"

The plot of it is nominally that Mrs. Stein goes off on a six month cruise after hiring a couple of gypsy brothers to caretake her mansion while she's away.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 07:45 PM

I would second the culture clash theory. Satire on prejudice, I'm afraid it's not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 10:47 PM

Would it be a culture class to decide not to rent to any other ethnic group? I for one would not even judge a gloc by that standard, and they have chased my mother's folks around for a thousand years!
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MythHunter
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 02:12 AM

Thanks to those who gave useful information. I am sorry to have offend you InOBU. Are you having a bad day?

Once I get the lyrics I shall write a version just for you; _Ms.Roma doesn't rent to white folk anymore_.

I am not trying to be more insulting or insenseative to anyones race I just think that taking offence to a simple lyric request is a over reaction. I might have been loking for the lyrics to do a paper on how the Roma are discriminated against in song for all you know.

Shall we take the songs that offend others out of here as well? _Pretty Polly_, maybe? I mean - domestic violence should not be sung about- someone might get the wrong idea about men.

Or any of the black jack/gypsy davy songs full of stereo types obviously not ligit folk music at all....

Or _Senor Don Gato_ full of stereo types about cats and the accent that most singers put on it is degrading to anyone whose first language was Spanish.

a very tired myth hunter


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Subject: Mrs. Stein Doesn't Rent to Gypsies
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 03:20 AM

Larry, have you seen the lyrics?
If not, shut up until you have.
You are trying to argue from a point of ignorance, and ignorance begets prejudice. Most of us here would prefer to do away with prejudice by use of understanding, kindness, tolerance, and perhaps a light touch of humor - especially the ability to laugh at ourselves.
Besides, you're embarrassing your mother. Stop to think and listen for a moment, and make her proud of you.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 07:56 AM

Dear Joe:
My mother's grandfather was born into slavery. His wife and he were bought and sold for the crime of their skintone. He sent both his sons to College when he came to America (though Mom remembers him as a blind and nasty cuss). My mother, the grandaughter of slaves became an executive and though she keeps vestigages of her traditions in the form of household coustoms she hid her ethnicity for fear of the sentiment in such songs like - don't rent to Gypsies. I stood up the New York City Council and addressed the issue of three hundred years of discrimination in the United States and almost a thousand years of discrimination in 41 nations. Joe, you and I have generally agreed on how disscussions take place, but please don't presume to tell me how to make my mother proud. The embarassment of the world's Roma is usualy expressed by silence. When you say shut up till you hear the words, when I hear that the song is about not renting to Gypsies because some Gypsies trashed her house, that says it all to me.
I was not served at John B. Keane's pub in Listowl - he took me for a Pavee because I spent most of my time in Listowl with Travellers. Because of my mixed heritage, I look like my cousins, Ireland's Pavees. I thanked him because I was unaware at the time that he was famous for his prejudice against Roma. I didn't want to suport an buisiness which discriminates.
Anti-Gypsy prejudice is the last socially acceptable prejudice. Did I have a bad day? How many days are there in one thousand years. In Scotland our men were hanged and our women and children drowned. In Auswtitz-Bergan Belsen our families were gassed and burned, At Lette in the Czech Republic, we were shot. Today scores of us are murdered in the Czech Republic and the average sentince, when there is a trial is four to six months for disorderly conduct while the power companies turn off the electricity to throw the homes of Roma into blackness before the skin head Czech mobs come to kill and burn us out. In eastern Europe a Roma girl, thriteen years old is stabbed seventeen times by her classmates while they chant dirty Gypsy. 200,000 Roma are targeted by Albainians and Serbs in Kosovo, while being denied aid by the UN, and denied asylum in the camps in Hungery, in Italy in every nation but Macidonia where some are let into the camps and they are set apon by Albanian mobs, who attempt to tear a 12 year old child limb from limb. In Rumanina, a short time after the counter revolution, the Catholic church in one town, held a mass to bless thouse where were going out to burn down the Gypsy quarter. In this land of freedom, the United States, only 15 years ago, in South Carolina, Bates and Leesville counties pass and still enforce a statute which reads in clear and unambiguos language - Gypsies are not allowed in the county. No dear friends, it has not been a good day, and Mythmaker, my friend, when you say it is a good song, I strongly doubt you are writing a paper about the discrimination and genocide which has colored every day of our peoples forced migration. Don't rent to Gypsies - Gypsies are not permitted in the County - Murder of Rom is Disorderly Conduct - No dogs or Gypos allowed in the pub, Get along, move along, SHIFT.
Amay ROMA, ROMA OPRE, and pround
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 08:27 AM

I don't know this song, but if it has merit apart from the racial stereotyping it might work by substituting "Mrs Stein doesn't rent to students".
Perhaps I've spent too long working in academe!
Judging by recent tv series "interior designers" do as much damage but that wouldn't scan.
Just trying to help
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 09:12 AM

InOBU,
just a minor detail, you write:
"Mythmaker, my friend, when you say it is a good song, I strongly doubt you are writing a paper about the discrimination and genocide".
MythHunter, as the correct name is, hasn't said that, Jed has.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: MythHunter
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 09:37 AM

Acctally I never said it was a good song I said it has been coming back to haunt me. I have only heard it the one time and if it is that memorable a song I want to hear it again or at least read the lyrics regaurdless of its meaning.

If the song was that powerful for me to remeber it and it does turn out to have that horrible a bias then perhaps a rewrite with less offensive lyrics/names is in order. Maybe even turn the song around and have Gypsys not rent to Germans anymore. I do like the idea of doesn't rent to students.

All I know for sure was that it was a funny funny song and *I* personally took no idea that actual people of an nationality/race would act like the characters away from my one hearing.

Myth HUNTER


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:03 AM

Wolfgang and MythHUNTER - Thanks for the correction. No offence meant, a word shifted in the scrolling up and down the page. Funny songs and satire is often the most damaging weapon of prejudice. When one laughs at the "Gypsy" hijinks one can ignore that in the United States, where there is potentialy a population of one million uncounted Roma, estimates are that 90% are functionaly illiterate. While we laugh, the only governmental program is racial profiling by the police, carried out openly from the local sherrif to FBI, and the rest is silence and apathy. The New York Times pole on the subject found Roma (Gypsies) to be the most discriminated against population in the United States by all indicators of social deprivation.
Born in the middle of the afternoon
In a horse drawn waggon on the old A5
The big twelve wheelers shook my bed,
You can't stay here the policeman said
You better get born somepalce else... Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: death by whisky
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:17 AM

I don't find anything funny about the lyrics in this song.It offends by stereotyping a minority,and can only serve to reinforce the divisions between the traveller and settled communities.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOVING ON SONG (Ewan MacColl,Peggy Seeger
From: Áine
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:28 AM

Dear MythHunter and my fellow Mudcatters,

First, I want to thank MythHunter for requesting the lyrics to this song. This request (and the subsequent discussion) has provided the impetus for me to do something that I never thought I would do. That is, to finally admit something about my family that has been denied and hidden my entire life. I am descended from Irish travellers, or the Pavees, through my father. Although his grandfather had 'settled', and no longer travelled, he still felt the pain of discrimination. This resulted in a division of the family which still exists today.

Ignorance and prejudice against the travelling people has also affected me personally. For a time when I was very young, my mother separated from my father and, along with my half-sister and myself, went to live with her parents in Louisiana. I can still hear the whispered remarks from my grandmother and aunts about 'the gypsy's child' and the cruel things said about my father's family.

After a few weeks, a group of local men, with a penchant for wearing white sheets and burning things, 'suggested' to my mother that I shouldn't be living in town with 'decent' people. That night, I was taken to live on a relative's farm, where I would not see my mother or sister for a year. When my mother finally came to fetch me, I ran away from her because I didn't know who she was anymore.

I have heard this song, performed by the Blarney Brothers, in a bar in Dallas. My husband and I had gone to see them perform because we had been told that they were a good band. And they are talented musicians, and they sing many good songs. However, this song is a different matter. I remember vividly the feeling of being slapped in the face as I listened to it, and the pain in my heart as the band played it with gusto and the audience roared with its laughter.

I don't believe that the Blarney Brothers, or the folks on this forum who think this is just a harmless, funny song are bad people. I believe that it is only ignorance and denial of the Roma and/or Pavees that keep these types of songs, and the stereotypes they portray, alive. That is why I've stepped forward to join my brother, InOBU, to decry these songs and the attitudes and prejudices behind them. I have let him speak alone too long, and now, with his help and support, I have the confidence to join him. Go raibh céad míle maith agat, mo dheartháir.

Music and song are the most basic of human communications. A song can be funny without being slanderous or full of bigotry. Let us not use our songs to denigrate other humans, but to lift each other up. Below are the words to the song that InOBU mentioned in a post above. Please, listen and learn:

MOVING ON SONG
(Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger)

Born in the middle of an afternoon
In a horse-drawn wagon on the old A5
The big twelve wheeler shook my bed
You can't stop here the policeman said
You better get born someplace else

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Born in the tatie lifting time
In an old bow tent in a tatie field
The farmer said, The work's all done
It's time that you were moving on

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Born in a wagon on a building site
Where the ground was rutted by the trailer's wheels
The local people said to me,
You'll lower the price of property

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Born at the back of a blackthorn hedge
When the white hoarfrost lay all around
No wise men came bearing gifts
Instead the order came to shift

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

The winter sky was hung with stars
And one shone brighter than the rest
The wise men came so stern and strict
And brought the order to evict

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift

Wagon, tent, or trailer born
Last week, last year, or in far off days
Born here or a thousand miles away
There's always men nearby who'll say

So move along, get along, move along, get along,
Go, move, shift


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:29 AM

I must say when I saw the thread title my first gut thought before opening the thread was in my slightly more moderate way similar to Larry's. But when I saw the wording of the request and Jed's first response I lost any prejudices and I'm now just very curious to read the lyrics and hope someone finds them.

However, Larry's contribution reminds me that even a well meaning song (e.g., making fun of a prejudice by overstating it) can be misused. Think of Eric Bogle's
I hate wogs
they live like dogs,
some eat bananas
and some eat frogs...
The best intent he had in writing this song and later (I heard that and would like to know if that's right) he stopped singing it for right wing groups were singing this song without any tongue in cheek. Songs can be misused (the Nazis did sing some good workers songs with very slightly changed lyrics) and misunderstood and perhaps the requested song falls in that category, but perhaps not. But these are actually thoughts for another thread which I might start (or not).

As for now, let's stop further judgement as Joe has written in his first post until we have the lyrics to this song.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: death by whisky
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:56 AM

The first line was enough for me,from Aines post it sounds like its not going to get any better.

The words could be posted to MythHunters personal.

"slapped in the face"..."pain in my heart".Lets not repeat that here.Please.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 12:47 PM

Áine: A dear friend of mine, a marine carpenter and blacksmith from western England once told me a story. He remembers when the roads of England where lined seasonaly with horse drawn Wardos (or Voodrons), and then, when he was a teenager, those long lines of Kompania declined. He had gotten his first motorcycle and was terring across the country side when he came to a dirt road rutted with cart wheals. "Larry... I knew just what I would find at the end of that lane, and sure enough, I followed it down and found a ring a wagons, with Gypsies sitting around a fire cooking their meal. I waved and turned and left them to their meal. It was their time, not mine."
Áine, their company is yours in a way that Country People, Gadjeh, or Golcs can never understand. You and I breath the air because of the crime of survival our ansestors committed in the face of laws which outlawed our blood in every land into which we were driven. "There is a bilaw to say we mun be on our way, and another to say we can't wander..." Ours is a brotherhood and sistership of the victory of survival. Our pride is pride in the face of hatred and insult - and there is little more valuable than that. When they look down their nose at us, remember, Paddy Kennan, Finbar and Eddie Furry, Johnny McDonnagh, and so many others the Country Folks toady up to after concerts, well, only you and I can call em shem.
My dee kos amay, Sister
Your Prala and Shem,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 09:57 PM

Maith a bhean, a hÁine. Bhí sin go h-an dheacair, tá fhoís agam. Comhgairdeas leat, agus go raibh míle maith agat fréisin.

And I also think Joe should hear the lyrics before he tells anybody else to reserve judgement.

Sorry MythHunter, you wont get the lyrics from me, I'm afraid. I know the song of which you speak, and it comes from the same pigsty that so elequently advertised on their sitting room windows - 'No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs'.

I was fortunate to be sitting in a pub not far from the one Larry was talking about with the 'King' of the Kerry Travellers, one night, when one of the local 'musicians' appeared to do his turn.
On his arrival at the bar, where we were sitting - talking about Elizabeth Cronin, I do believe, he shouted across to the barman:
"I see I'm playing to a crowd of northern bastards and tinkers tonight."

I was livid, considering that he knew nothing whatsoever about this man; who he was, what he had seen, his depth of knowledge and understanding.
I was also moved by the noble way he handled it; he was used to such insults.

As for the song - culture clash?
As in 'a slightly different way of looking at things'?

Yeah, right.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But as death by whisky pointed out, this book you can tell by it's cover.

I'm sure our resident 'collector of all treasures' would only jump at the opportunity to assist you on this one, MythHunter, being, as he is, most helpful in situations like this.

The two of you could then go off mythhunting together.
But watch out for Wolfgang, who will be there to check your spelling and syntax at every turn.

Unless, of course, he happens to sympathise with you.
In which case, he wont.

As he didn't.

B.


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Subject: Lyr Req: doesn't rent to gypsies
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 03:38 AM

Still, I'd like to see the lyrics. I sympathize with Larry's goals completely, but his attacking the song without having heard it is very troublesome to me. I abhor prejudice - but I also abhor the idea of fighting prejudice with prejudice.
Áine's response was rational and convincing, I'll grant that. Still, the thought of a song about one minority (a Jewish woman) clashing with another minority is intriguing, and makes me want to hear it for myself and make my own judgment. I can imagine an Irish pub band might give a different interpretation from what was originally intended by the song, and might make an attempt at a humorous social commentary into a statement of prejudice.
It really does bother me to see good people rise up passionately to fight against an enemy they don't even know. Several years ago, I saw dozens of well-meaning Christian people picketing a theater that was showing The Last Temptation of Christ - none of them had seen the movie, and neither had their leaders, so nobody really knew what they were protesting against. I'm a Christian, and I saw the movie, and my only complaint is that I thought it was a bit too pious. I see good people who seem to be terrified of homosexuals, and I see other good people label all sorts of tolerant people "homophobic." I see good people fighting all the time - and most of the time, they don't even know or understand what they're fighting against.
There's too damn much name-calling and irrationality in this world. We need to stop, all of us, for a moment and realize that every one of us is a human being, not a demon. Then we need to listen to those we oppose, and try to understand what makes them so.
Once we understand what we're fighting against, then we can do something about it. Otherwise, we're doomed to lose.
I appreciate Larry's passion, and he expresses his position very well. However, his condemnation of a song he hadn't heard is irrational, and makes his entire position look irrational. This thread is a perfect opportunity for us all to learn about the cause of the Roma. Let's keep some logic and some mutual tolerance in our discussion.
I, for one, would like to see the lyrics of this song. I'll make up my mind what I think of it after I've seen it, not before. And yes, Brendy, I still think I'm right in asking others to reserve judgment until they have seen the lyrics. What's the value in arguing from ignorance? If we are to overcome prejudice, we must do it with understanding and with respect for all people, even those we oppose.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 03:10 PM

hear, hear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 04:33 PM

Well, I know this song (would NEVER sing it), and I did not denounce the song before hearing it. But I certainly would not give it blind acceptance without hearing it either.

But a song, for example, called "XXX doesn't rent to Jews", does not need a brain surgeon to figure out it's derogatory message - 'poking fun' or not.

Remember that one man's fun can be another man's insult.

Having the words may be fine, but in this instance, as many others, the words are not necessary. Áine's testimony is enough for me. The words are available out there, and I'm sure The Blarney Brothers (what a name!!) will only be too happy to oblige..

But it is crap, and I wouldn't grace these pages with the lyrics.

B.


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THIS TOWN IS NOT YOUR OWN (Healy)^^
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 05:05 PM

Larry

I hope this one says it better. I couldn't find it in DT or Forum, but it IMHO ought to be there.

THIS TOWN IS NOT YOUR OWN
(Shay Healey Healy)

In a cloud of dust they roam,
Covered wagons down a country road,
Happy people laugh and sing
Or hear the bell of freedom rings awhile
And the countryside is their own.

Now the town it's drawing near
Parent's eyes begin to shift with fear
While their children still play on
Not knowing they can never settle down
And make the town their own.

Round the camp the fires are hot
Hungry children gather round the pot
But some will go to bed tonight
Without a bite of food or heat or light
'Cos the town is not their own.

And at the dawning of the day
People come and tell us "Go away
We don't want you likes here
You bring dirt, disease and to our children fear
Come on, get out, this town's not your own."

So once more we're on the run
Out to face the cruel winter sun
O land of saints and scholars, we
Have lost our precious gift of charity
And don't recognise our own.

Sung by Finbar and Eddie Furey.
The tune is very close to Ian Campbell's "The Sun is Burning In the Sky", but which came first?

MIDI file: TOWNNOT.MID

Timebase: 480

Tempo: 160 (375000 microsec/crotchet)
Key: F
TimeSig: 4/4 48 8
Name: This Town is Not Your Own
Text: C:Shay Healey
Start
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This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:This Town is Not Your Own
M:4/4
L:1/4
Q:90
C:Shay Healey
S:Finbar & Eddie Furey
K:F
CD|
F3A|G3A|G4-|G2Ac|
f>gfe|c3B|c4-|c2de|
f>gfe|c3B|A>BcA|BAGF|G4-|G2FG|
A3A|(GF2)F|(F4-|{GFG}F2)||


Wassail! V
^^
Note from Joe Offer (27 May 2013): I have received an e-mail from Shay Healy, confirming that he wrote this song. The true name of the song is "THE TOWN IS NOT THEIR OWN," and it was recorded by Finbar & Eddie Furey, Jim McCann, and The Wolfe Tones. The song was written entirely by Shay Healy, Contact information: Shay Healy, Oisin/ Bardis Music
9 Prince of Wales Terrace,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin 4


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 05:07 PM

Nice one, Snuffy.
But Ian Campbells tune would be the original, I would think.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 05:35 PM

the song is not about a person who doesn't rent to gypsies on the basis that they are gypsies. It's about a person who rents her house to a group of "gypsies" who then proceed to throw parties, trash her house, and use her hardwood flooring as fuel for a bonfire. The fun of the song is the silliness of the situation, it's not about prejudice or ethnic slurs.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Áine
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 06:20 PM

Dear Branwen,

I can only pray that your appraisal of this song arises out of ignorance of the way things are out in the real world. Below is an excerpt of an article from CSERVNews and Views, Copyright © 1996, that I found on the Patrin Web Journal, a website dedicated to Romani (Gypsy) culture and history and to extending awareness of the continuous Roma struggle to achieve and maintain dignity and freedom. Please read it, and then, read your last post again. Perhaps then you'll be able to understand why this song is indeed full of ethnic prejudice and racial slurs.

-- Áine

10 February 1997
The news media and law enforcement agencies have caused untold hurt, frustration, and fear among many law abiding Travellers and Gypsies throughout the United States. In a Dateline [NBC television news] program, a child about nine years of age was shown in her white confirmation dress in church. The narrator described her incorrectly as a child bride. A report from Kansas City tells how police entered a Traveller-owned trailer park and threatened the occupant of one trailer with the Rico Act in what appeared to be for no other reason than to intimidate.

In South Carolina law abiding Travellers had their names and driver's license numbers placed on a list of potential criminals, and it was distributed to various law enforcement agencies. In that same state, a town ordinance declares: "Gypsies: Prohibited in County" (License Ordinance 1994 Town of Batesburg Leesville, S.C., p. 18). In Missouri and elsewhere Travellers have reported being off the road and into ditches by police and warned to get out of the area.

While there are Travellers and Gypsies who do commit illegal acts, it is a gross over generalization to include all members of these groups, including the law abiding, as criminal. In their book, License to Steal: Traveling Con Artist: Their Games, Their Rules -- Your Money, Dennis Marlock and John Dowling readily admit that

"Most Gypsies ... have indeed assimilated but without giving up their ethnic identity, their language, or their heritage. They have joined the labor force, own homes, send their sons and daughters to college, vote, pay taxes, and serve in the armed forces."

The authors then proceed to complete their book about Gypsy crimes. The fact is that every ethnic group has its shady personalities, but that does not result in the listing of any and all members of a group as having criminal intent. A Major Rowland who is cited as an "expert" on Traveller criminal activity estimated that less than 10% of the Travellers in his area are engaged in criminal activity.

The lumping of all Travellers and Gypsies into the category of those having criminal intent is understandably a concern for the majority of Travellers and Gypsies throughout the United States. The N.A.A.C.P. would be outraged if all African Americans in a community were classified and listed as potential criminals. The A.D.L. would be screaming our ears off if a local community or state were to warn its citizenry and law enforcement officers to be on the look out for criminal Jews. La Raza would be appalled if a crime alert to citizens stated "Alert: Mexican Thieves on the Prowl." But when it comes to Travellers and Gypsies, even the A.C.L.U. seems to look the other way.

It is obvious that if you are a Traveller or "Gypsy," the media and some law enforcement agencies are doing whatever is necessary to scuttle the American dream for select groups on the flimsy and bigoted notion that all members of the group represent a criminal element in society.

Some law enforcement officials may argue that the term Gypsy refers to a wanderer and does not indicate any particular ethnic group. However, Gypsy does indeed denote an ethnic group in common parlance. Yet another definition of Gypsy as used by some is that of dishonest Romani. Here there is admission that the term relates to an ethnic group, but it is argued that Gypsy only defines those individual members who are engaged in criminal activity. According to Marlock and Dowling Gypsy refers to criminal Romani as Mafia refers to criminal Sicilians. However, the application of this comparison does not hold since Mafia has never been a synonym for Sicilian.

In a police flyer issued in Winter Park, Florida, citizens were warned "CRIME ALERT, GYPSIES HAVE RETURNED." It could just as easily have stated: "CRIME ALERT, SCAM ARTISTS AND THIEVES REPORTED IN AREA." Still another option might be to merely state: "CRIME ALERT" and then explain that there have been incidents that should serve as a warning about whatever illegal activities seem to be on the increase. There would be no need for the use of such terms as Travellers or "Gypsies." Not only would this remove that stigma that all Travellers and Gypsies are criminally intent, it would be generic enough to include people who carry out such activities but who are not associated with or members of any particular ethnic group.

There are a number of people engage in scams, thefts, and burglaries often described as "Gypsy crimes," yet these people are in no way associated with these groups. For example, not all palmists, astrologers, or fortune tellers are "Gypsies." In fact, most are not "Gypsies."

Other scams attributed to Gypsies include insurance fraud, credit card fraud, and illegal exploitation of the welfare system. By any measure, these are committed more often by non-"Gypsies." Nor are most people who use aliases to thwart the law fall into this ethnic group.

Once a mind set is developed that all members of a particular group are prone toward being criminals, all sorts of misunderstandings can result. For example, it has also been suggested that Gypsies and Travellers have the same name so as to confuse law enforcement and other social service agencies. In many ethnic groups, it is not uncommon to name a child after a parent, grandparent or some other distinguished person. To suggest that a particular group gives the same name to a number of children in order to deceive is a bit much.

The time is long overdue for setting for eliminating overgeneralizations, and for the cessation of needless harassment. There is simply no need for stigmatizing an entire group because some of its members are crooks. It is time for the media to act responsibly. It is time for law enforcement to remove law abiding people from their list of potential criminals. It is time for state and local governments to clean up their act by eliminating bigoted laws and ordinances.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 06:24 PM

Snuffy, Your a pal,
I am going to add that to my repitory for my next gig. Nyees tuka, hai das Baxtalo. Branwen... and Little Black Sambo is about tigers and pancakes.
All the best to all,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: IvanB
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 08:23 PM

Branwen, so the song is 'fun' because of the situation and not because of the ethnic slur, eh? This, then, should mean that we could take all mention of ANY ethnicity out of the song and it would all still be great fun? I think not. I'm afraid the laughter heard when songs of this ilk are sung is not the laughter of fun, but that of derision. I could go on and on, but Larry's remark about Little Black Sambo probably says it best.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM

Sorry, not familiar with the song to which you refer. It seems that nowadays any comment, book, song, movie, etc. can be interpreted in a way that offends someone. While I can see how something that specifically mentions a certain culture or ethnic group is more easily interpreted in that way, the fact that it mentions people from said culture in some way that is not exactly complimentary, it's not necessarily racist, either.
I can certainly see how one can become very sensitive to negative publicity regarding an ethnic group. With the great diversity of cultures with which we all come into contact, there's certainly some degree of clash, and there have been racist people forever. It seems that every culture is hated and ridiculed by someone. So it's very easy for us to become sensitized to racism.
But I honestly don't think that this particular song carries a racist message, and I'm truly sorry if that offends anyone. I would be the last person to ever intentionally convey a racist attitude against any culture.
Again, I sincerely apologize if I've offended anyone, but I'm very familiar with this song and with the reception it recieves with audiences, and I don't feel that any racist intentions or feelings are felt either by the Blarney Brothers when they perform the tune, or by the audiences that hear it.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 19 Aug 00 - 11:22 PM

"...and there have been racist people forever. It seems that every culture is hated and ridiculed by someone."
Exactly, Branwen. And songs like this just perpetuate the problem.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 12:05 AM

Dear Branwen:
There are levels of ignorence and racism, there is the unconcious ignorence of unconcious racism and then there is the choice to be ignorant and racist the Klan exhibits. Both are harmful though the first kind is forgiveable when the ignorant become aware.
Gypsy children can cry just like your kids. My friend Wuso's kid came home from school and cried because he was made to read Madline and the Gypsies. He was too proud to cry in school and too afraid that other kids whould know he was a "durty Gypsy who kidnapped kids" like the Roma in the book. My friend Audrey, at nine came home, because work we were doing on Roma nationalism gave her the courage to amit she was a Gypsy when their was a class on ethnicity and each kid in the class told where their families came from. The teacher asked if she was a good witch or a bad whitch. That was ignorant, but it was as hurtful as if it was done with malace.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 10:08 AM

The story you told is awful, that kind of thing should never happen, I agree. But there is no similar language as "dirty gypsy" or any mention of anything like kidnapping children in thi song.

As I recall, there are no derogatory(sp?) adjectives at ALL in this song used to describe the characters in the story, and in response to IvanB's earlier question, yes, I think that you could take any mention of ethnicity out of the song and it would be entertaining.
Like I said previously, I can easily see how one could see the song as less than complimentary, if one is looking for it, but there is a big difference between open racism, hateful, and intended to hurt, and the kind of thing we're seeing with this song. I really believe that the tune doesn't send a message of racism or intolerance. There are irresponsible people of every ethnicity and culture, and I think that this song is about a few of them, and is certainly not representative of the entire culture.

Again, I'm really sorry, but I just don't agree with the statement that this song is racist. Maybe you've heard it performed by someone who is doing it with that feeling intentionally, and if that's so, I'm sorry, that should also never happen. We are all here together, and we should never hurt each other over something as personal as culture. But the way that I've heard this song performed was by a band I know, who are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and play the song with no malicious intent at all. Most of the fun that they put into the tune has nothing to do with the song, but with their stage bits and antics that they do between verses and things that are really unrelated to the story of the song.
I can completely understand your position, I hope you can see mine. The last thing I would ever want to do is to alienate anyone here. But to say that a song carries a racist message, that also says something about anyone who performs it, and that just doesn't fit with these guys. They are my friends, and I will back them up because of that, and because they are good people, and I won't have people thinking that they're racist or intolerant of other cultures.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: ol'troll
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 11:40 AM

Branwen. Just because you don't see the song as racist and just because your friends are beautiful, sensitive people, doesn't mean that it isn't hurtful to some people.

The Irish song "Moses Ri Tooral I Ay " is howlingly funny to a lot of people. But not to my wife who is Jewish. She feels that the Jewish merchant is being used as a foil to poke fun at the English policeman and hence is also a figure of ridicule.

I don't care for songs which stereotype mountain folk as shiftless,lazy and ignorant. I recall what my kin did during the depression to insure that their kids got a good education. "Hillbilly" songs set my teeth on edge and I really don't care how pure of soul the singer is.

The people of Appalacia may not have been as discriminated against as the Roma and the Jews for as many years but there are still memories in some families of how our forefathers were driven from their homes to made room for sheep and how we were treated when we came to work in the mills in the 20's. And some of us were called "Okies" and "Peckerwoods" and I could go on but I think you get the idea.

Why not re-name the song "Doesn't rent to Frat-boys". They would probably get a kick out of it.

Or have I stepped on someones toes?

troll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,branwen23
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 03:12 PM

I can certainly see your point. It's sometimes not apparent to someone taht a person could take offense to something we're singing, saying, or doing... I think everyone's been in a situation where maybe someone said something that they meant in jest or felt was a harmless statement to make, and it hurt nevertheless.

I think that it is impossible to never say, do, or sing anything that offends... inevitably, someone will always hear what you say and ttake it in a different context, or perhaps infer an intent that wasn't there. We can only do our best to try to be mindful of what we say and do.

Aine, I meant to say this before. I feel awful that you experinced hurt because of this song and because of my friends' performing it. Please know that they would never have intentionally done a tune that would be offensive. I know that my apology doesn't make up for anything, nor can i say that they will not play the tune anymore. It is a very popular one with audiences, and taken in the intended context, is not offensive to most people. But i am sorry that you had a bad experience at the show you attended.

-Branwen-

p.s. I'll try and get an mp3 of this tune posted at download.com sometime this week if anyone is interested in actually hearing it who hasn't already.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 03:26 PM

If it was written about Welsh people, Branwen (I'm only going by your handle, here), would you find it offensive, I wonder?

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Áine
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 03:32 PM

Dear Branwen,

Thank you for your kind words. As I said above, I don't believe that the Blarney Brothers are bad people. The song is the problem, and the attitudes and prejudices that it perpetuates. Perhaps if the lads knew how the travelling people view this kind of song, they'd be willing to find another 'crowd pleaser' kind of song that would be just as popular with their audiences. It would be worth a try, wouldn't it? As I also said above, they have a lot of talent in the band, and I'm sure they could find a song that would do the job.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 09:49 PM

wow - I go out of town for a few days and tempest blows up in this tea cup!

Song that poke fun at ourselves, and the stereotypes people apply to us, actually help break down those prejudicial barriers. I have laughed my ass off at Irish jokes, Catholic jokes, and American jokes ... when they are offered in that 'poke fun at the stereotypes' manner. There are personal scars among the world population that will strike, as branwen points out, sensitivity among all of us on one given subject or other.

The song in question was never meant to insult, and will not be seen as offensive by most listeners. Kids watching cartoons know that when the coyote gets run over by a truck while chasing the roadrunner that it is funny because it is not for real. People hearing this song are quite capable of making that distinction for themselves, as well.

By the way, you could change the songs protagonists to students, or frat houses, or some other demographic group, and it would be very funny.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 09:54 PM

... oh, I forgot to say that I am an Irish Catholic American ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 09:58 PM

"The song in question was never meant to insult, and will not be seen as offensive by most listeners."

Two unbelievably unsupportable statements.

What about a song called "Pete Seeger doesn't play his banjo any more"?

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 10:20 PM

Never heard it. How's it go?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,branwen23
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 10:56 PM

No, Brendy, I don't think I would find it offensive if it were written about Welsh people, or Irish people (my name is actually Irish, the welsh version is Bronwen, which means something different). I think that Jed Marum made my point very well, and said things better than I've apparently been able to.

-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 20 Aug 00 - 11:11 PM

Yeah right!!. It's interesting to see, though, that your (plural) claim to Irish heritage stretches only as far.....as your (pl) claim to Irish heritage.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 07:45 AM

Jed:
Let me tell you why it is not funny. Unlike the Cyote and the Roadrunner, Roma are not carttoons. We are real life people who live in real fear. I worked in the New York State Division for Human Rights while in law school. Working against discrimination leveled at Roma, in the US and internationally I heard story after story of Roma turned out of their homes, not seated in restauraunts, run out of towns by sherriffs, photographed by FBI survalience at weddings and wakes though they had no criminal record, families put en mass out of their hotel rooms at resorts when their ethnicity was found out, and again and again I found that Roma were afraid to complain for fear that things would get worce for them, becasue they all have family memories of things that did get worse from jailing for no cause to genocide. So I had some old pals at the NYSDHR do a search. THere has never been a single complaint about housing discrimination by a Rom in New York State. The reason is not that the discrimination does not exist. The reason is that popular culture and coustom has reinforced their own belief that justice is not extended to their people. It just aint funny.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Áine
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:33 AM

A Bhrendy, a stór,

Ná bí ag troid lena daoine seo. Chuir siad a gcosa san chré agus ní fhéadfaidh tú a mbogadh. Ní lig do fhocail sa dul amú. Ní fhéadann muid gach cath a bhain agus beidh tú ag greadadh do cheann in éadan balla. Duine gan anam, duine gan cheol, 'dtuigeann tú?

Le meas, Áine


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Brendy
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:42 AM

Ceart go leor, a h Áine. Tigim, go cinnte.
Gabh mo leithsceal.

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 08:55 AM

I haven't experienced the prejudice and hatred that OBU and Aine have described, but I don't doubt it exists. I am sorry that hatred and bigotry exist, in this world - but I cannot change the world; I can only change myself.

I am also sorry that some find the song offensive. I do not, but I respect the opinions of others who do.


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