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When your group disagrees wth you...

cait 26 Mar 01 - 01:10 PM
Eric the Viking 26 Mar 01 - 01:33 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 01:33 PM
Eric the Viking 26 Mar 01 - 01:35 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 01:37 PM
Sorcha 26 Mar 01 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Midchuck upstairs 26 Mar 01 - 01:38 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Roll&Go-C 26 Mar 01 - 01:40 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 02:22 PM
Mrrzy 26 Mar 01 - 02:23 PM
MMario 26 Mar 01 - 02:33 PM
JeZeBeL 26 Mar 01 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 26 Mar 01 - 03:23 PM
Uncle_DaveO 26 Mar 01 - 03:28 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 03:35 PM
jeffp 26 Mar 01 - 03:40 PM
Pseudolus 26 Mar 01 - 03:45 PM
Pseudolus 26 Mar 01 - 03:45 PM
Pseudolus 26 Mar 01 - 03:47 PM
Bristol Ted 26 Mar 01 - 03:48 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 04:01 PM
jeffp 26 Mar 01 - 04:18 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 04:30 PM
Sorcha 26 Mar 01 - 04:33 PM
TonyK 26 Mar 01 - 04:38 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 04:56 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 05:00 PM
TonyK 26 Mar 01 - 05:05 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 05:10 PM
Amos 26 Mar 01 - 05:10 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 05:23 PM
Hawker 26 Mar 01 - 05:36 PM
ollaimh 26 Mar 01 - 05:46 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 05:46 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 05:54 PM
mousethief 26 Mar 01 - 06:07 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 26 Mar 01 - 06:28 PM
cait 26 Mar 01 - 07:33 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 01 - 10:02 PM
Matt_R 26 Mar 01 - 10:12 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Mar 01 - 11:58 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 01 - 03:26 AM
Don Firth 27 Mar 01 - 05:22 PM
Amergin 27 Mar 01 - 05:30 PM
mousethief 27 Mar 01 - 05:34 PM
Don Firth 27 Mar 01 - 07:06 PM
mousethief 27 Mar 01 - 07:13 PM
mousethief 27 Mar 01 - 07:17 PM
Don Firth 27 Mar 01 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,californiaminstrels@hotmail.com 27 Mar 01 - 09:03 PM
cait 28 Mar 01 - 10:59 AM
Alice 28 Mar 01 - 09:23 PM
ollaimh 19 Apr 01 - 09:17 PM
Mudlark 19 Apr 01 - 10:13 PM
Gary T 19 Apr 01 - 10:34 PM
ollaimh 21 Apr 01 - 04:42 PM
RichM 21 Apr 01 - 05:54 PM
toadfrog 22 Apr 01 - 04:21 PM
Grab 23 Apr 01 - 03:57 PM
Bert 23 Apr 01 - 04:30 PM
cait 25 Apr 01 - 04:47 PM
Hillheader 25 Apr 01 - 05:27 PM
cait 27 Apr 01 - 09:16 PM
Hillheader 28 Apr 01 - 06:24 AM
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Subject: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:10 PM

i'm not sure of the spelling, but is anyone familiar with the 'Weela Wallia' song?

i attempted to perform this song (a clancy brothers favorite) at an after hours jam (public had gone home to beds) and was censored by a gently soul there.

to tell you the truth, i felt as though my rights had been violated. i shut up and was unable to contribute any more that night. censorship is very ugly.

songs are written from pain as often as not, and the way the irish deal (in song) with pain is legitimate in any form it needs to take.

try to understand that the way some people act may be EVEN MORE appropriate for them than the way you feel you should act or react out of your doctrines.

can i have your thoughts on this subject?

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:33 PM

I love to sing it to my kids in class-they think it's great! But then they are a mixture of muggers, buggers and thieves.

Eric


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:33 PM

Caiti, what exactly do you mean when you say you were "censored"? Someone told you to shut up? Or said they were offended by the song and asked you to stop?

What's the song about? Can you give us the lyrics?

curious and willing to discuss it once he knows more,
Alex


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:35 PM

It's about an old woman who lives in the wood, she has a baby 3 months old, she has a penknife long and sharp, she sticks the knife in the baby's head etc etc. (Not nice, but I believe true!)


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:37 PM

Ah, sort of an old-timey murder ballad type thing?


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:37 PM

It's a variant of Child's Cruel Mother, lyrics are in this thread.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: GUEST,Midchuck upstairs
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:38 PM

Can't someone in authority revise this thing so it doesn't go ahead and post the message with no message if you forget and hit "enter" instead of "tab" after typing in the From line....

Anyway. There is only one good answer to people like that. And if you use it, they have a good answer back. Their answer is, "I can't! When it reaches, it won't bend, and when it bends, it won't reach!"

One time at a Farmers' market gig, Kris did the Berrymans' "A Chat With Your Mother," usually called "The F-word Song." A lady came up after and complained about singing such a thing where there were little children present. Kris says, "But, the whole point of the song is that there are no bad words used at all!" The lady says, "Yes, but what if my little boy asks what "the F-word" is, what will I tell him."

My wife is a better person than I am, praise be; and she's a public school teacher. She asked how old the kid was. The lady said he was in Kindergarten. Kris said "He knows. Take my word for it. He knows."

Peter.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:39 PM

Okay that answers my 2nd question. I can certainly understand that somebody might not want to hear that song. So I need to hear from Caiti what exactly happened before passing judgment on the "censorship."


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:40 PM

What verses did you sing? I'm frankly puzzled what some gentle soul could find to object to in this song as I know it. I know the title as "Waillie, Waillie" and Gene Bonyun used to sing these verses:

When cockle shells turn silver bells,
Then will my love return to me.

Chorus:
Oh, waillie, waillie,
Oh, love is bonnie,
A little while when first it's new.

When roses grow 'neath winter snow,
Then will my love return to me. (CHO)

For when love grows old, it waxes cold,
And fades away like morning dew. (CHO)

Maybe you need to find a more mature group to sing with...Good luck and keep singing these songs.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:22 PM

to answer the question about what form the censorship took, the gentle soul assumed a worsening expression of horror until i stopped. i thought she was going to be ill. she then said to me that she thought there could be no reason to ever sing a song about the murder of a child.

i tried to explain that it's more about the consequences, to no avail, the head kept shaking. i felt as though i was being called an advocate to child killing.

it does meet an uproarious response in the audience, they love it when the woman gets hung at the end.

and no, i'm no advocate for the death penalty either. i'm a singer of the stories set to tunes...songs.

she censored me...for the evening. there's no recovery from that sort of accusation.

i suggest the proper response may be sadness, not repression, sadness for the ugliness in this world. sometimes we humans are compelled to write songs out of pain, often as otherwise, at least as often.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:23 PM

I"m sure it was the babykilling song that got nixed, nothing so sweet as (what I have as) Waily Waily. I sing that song to kids allatime. Great song. But does it ever upset the parents! Who need a good dose of reality, or something, I think! (But I'm also with mousethief that more info would be helpful about this incident.)


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: MMario
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 02:33 PM

Are we all suppossed to pretend that the murder of children never happens?

Or that singing a song about it advocates it?

The woman who censored you needs to wake up to reality!


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:04 PM

I don't think there's anything wrong with singing a song like that. I used to sing a long to it all the time when I was about 3 years old and my parents were listening to the dubliners....that's what put me off folk music for 16 years by the way!!


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:23 PM

You can't please everybody. Because you sing a song about infanticide, doesn't mean you endorse it. The old ballads deal with a lot of uncomfortable subjects. I think a lot of our current problems stem from us sweeping these issues under the rug. I recall an article about Martin Carthy a few years ago in Folk Roots where he was discussing "Prince Heathen" and mentioned that it was not his job to do the audience's thinking for it. Also his liner notes on the same ballad recently said that he defied anyone to listen to the song and think that that was an OK way to behave. You should be able to sing what you want, if you want to preface the song with an introduction warning sensitive people, they can have the option of stepping out for a bathroom break.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:28 PM

The word is "censured", not "censored", unless the gentle sould made you stop singing.

DAve Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:35 PM

thanks for the lesson in semantics. you're right, of course. any other thoughts?


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: jeffp
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:40 PM

What I find more worrisome is that nobody appears to have stood up for you. I am assuming that there were more people in the room than you and this "gentle soul." Does this person command so much respect that no one could stand up to her?

jeffp


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Pseudolus
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:45 PM

There's two sets of rights at work here, the rights of the singer to sing songs he/she chooses (the side I relate to, frankly) and the rights of the listener who felt offended. I think we all have a responsibility to try to hit a middle ground in situations like these but it seems that the listener simply made the decision not just for herself, but for you AND the group that the song was not appropriate. I don't mind when someone doesn't like what I've done, I don't even mind when they TELL me that they think I shouldn't do a certain song. It's when they force their opinions on what THEY think is appropriate that I get really irate. I haven't heard the song in question but if it offended me, I would have excused myself quietly and left the area for the duration of the song. If questioned, I would even express my opinion but I would never infringe on the right of someone to sing the song. Very much like my remedy for "offensive" threads, if I don't like 'em, I stay away. It's simple....or amybe I'm simple.....haven't quite figured that one out yet!

Frank


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Pseudolus
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:45 PM

There's two sets of rights at work here, the rights of the singer to sing songs he/she chooses (the side I relate to, frankly) and the rights of the listener who felt offended. I think we all have a responsibility to try to hit a middle ground in situations like these but it seems that the listener simply made the decision not just for herself, but for you AND the group that the song was not appropriate. I don't mind when someone doesn't like what I've done, I don't even mind when they TELL me that they think I shouldn't do a certain song. It's when they force their opinions on what THEY think is appropriate that I get really irate. I haven't heard the song in question but if it offended me, I would have excused myself quietly and left the area for the duration of the song. If questioned, I would even express my opinion but I would never infringe on the right of someone to sing the song. Very much like my remedy for "offensive" threads, if I don't like 'em, I stay away. It's simple....or amybe I'm simple.....haven't quite figured that one out yet!

Frank


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Pseudolus
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:47 PM

Argh@#$!@#@ the dreaded double post!!! I will never ever ask my computer, "Why did they post that twice!!!!"

Humbled, Frank


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Bristol Ted
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 03:48 PM

How lovely to hear this song mentioned again. I used to sing it some 25 years ago and if I remember rightly it ends with the moral tone "Don't stick knives in babby's heads". So what's the problem??

Please keep this one going, it's part of the real tradition.

Ted


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:01 PM

to jeffp: no one else said a word, i'm the only one who sings irish songs there. as i said, it was an after hours jam. yes, she does command respect. come to think on it, she also objected to my '4 wet pigs' rendition, because she's vegan. she made only a mild interjection at that one though. i'd hate to see what she'd make of the 'chop that possum' number!

yes, i find it to be a moral song, at the end the murderer gets her comeuppance (i didn't make it through that far). i did explain that it was coming, but the gentle head kept shaking at me.

i think she did it in that setting because she could, at a live performance her reactions would have gone unnoticed. i actually like and respect her a lot, seems the respecting goes one way?

dunno. it's put me off singing that song though. i don't want to upset folks.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: jeffp
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:18 PM

I think that woman was totally out of line to suppress your singing. If I had been there, I would have supported you, whether I liked the song or not. (By the way, I've never heard it, but the lyrics are hilarious.)

jeffp


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:30 PM

jeffp: i appreciate your retroactive support! *g*

i guess i was trying to make a point with this thread...sometimes, we are so caught up with being 'gentle' that we make judgement on others.

the ol' 'gentler than thou' schtick.

the behavior of others may be entirely appropriate to their perspectives and experience and context. maybe moreso than our reactions to it.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:33 PM

cait, I might just go collecting songs she might find "offensive", such as Chop the Possum, and do at least one on purpose every night, just to get to her. She needs de-sensitizing!


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: TonyK
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:38 PM

I've been in situations where I have felt part of the group and on equal footing with everyone there and I've been where I felt like an outsider. In either case I am learning to take care of myself.

There are lots of different types of people: martyrs, manipulators, controlers, histrionics, prima donnas, etc. I have to decide if the effort to push my issue through is worth it. "Pick your battles" I've been told.

One way to maintain my dignity and hold onto any power in the group is to tell the person "I see you have a problem with the song. I respect for you and the others in this group and I'll sing it some time when you're not here." I have to be careful notr to slip some fighting words in there which I sometimes try to do surrepticiously (sp) and then blame the resulting sparks on her.

I am vulnerable to shaming. I become a little boy if someone hits me with shame the right way, especially if it reminds me of a parent or other person who may have shamed me as a boy. If I maintain my composure and don't let my power slip away I'll be alright.

Hope that's a help.
TonyK


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 04:56 PM

Hmmm.

A very complex interaction as you paint it, Caiti. Does this woman shake her head in this way at songs that other people sing, or just you? I suppose she has a "right" to disapprove of this or that song, but does her right to disapproval extend to actually dominating what songs are sung? I suppose if it's her club, or she's the "old woman of the club" or some such thing, then maybe it does perforce; I can't make that call.

I empathize with you on this one, though. If we were to entirely suppress all songs with uncomfortable content, then we might as well all sing nothing but "It's a Small World After All" and other such syrupy dreck. Life has wrinkles, and singing about the ugly bits can be cathartic, and a way for a community to come to consensus on which behaviors are acceptable and which aren't.

Alex


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:00 PM

sorcha: funny! but i really do like her. i would become relegated to the world she shuns if i did as you (teasingly) suggest.

tonyk: you make some fine points. it's so true that if something happens to us to recall earlier episodes of distress, it can put us right back there where we were then.

sometimes, all we can do is to tell others what happened to us. there's healing in the telling.

which brings us right back to the reason these songs were written and sung! how'd i manage that?

i like your suggestion as to what i might say. i had thought of giving her a sad look and saying 'ah, you don't understand'...but that implies that my understanding is more perfect than hers (superiority) which is what stung me in her admonition. yup. hafta watch that stuff.

hm.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: TonyK
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:05 PM

Principles before personalities


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:10 PM

alex: i can't say i've seen her do it to others; privately, she might express what she thinks of another's playing ability (that sort of thing) but; publicly, she will be quite supportive of their right to perform to the best of their abilities (be they as they may). i think of this as tact, not hypocrisy. she's a lovely person, though she did hurt me poor li'l feelings. *g*

perhaps she was providing guidance where she thought i needed it.

we've since separated somewhat, because she has become very busy in wider circles. she's very talented.

i must say, i've heard 'the scotsman' performed in front of a crowd of 20,000, and everyone loved it, but when i sang it for a college group i traveled with as an older student, the choir director coughed himself purple.

hm.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Amos
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:10 PM

You said, virtuously, that you don't want to upset people, and thus stopped singing.

I submit you made a miscalculation. One anti-social opinionated bag who really doesn't understand or care to understand the tradition of folk music is not "people". and if there were six people left in your jam session, five of them would have been more upset if you had asked them if you should withdraw and stop singing. Furthermore, her transposing her disapproval from her opinions of life to you for sinigng a song from a different time period about different people is just ridiculous.

Letting her dampen your love of your own art is ill-advised. If you really need someone to suppress you, I am sure you can find someone who would be willing to do so more artistically than using old-fashioned looks of horror and such primitive authoritarian devices! About 10% of any crowd will pitch in with this kind of knee-jerk, irrational stopping of creative impulses in others. But only a few % can do it really well. If she doesn't like songs about eating food she doesn't approve of, or songs about othe rpractices she considers revolting, why perhaps she should just go find the nearest elevator and listen to the Muzak. I am sure it would be much nicer for her than that awful low-life pub, anyway! Chin up -- getting horrified reactions from that kind of person is a sure sign you're doing something right!!

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:23 PM

A:

it's not as bad as all that! i'm sure i've stepped on someone's toes, but would hate to be thought a 'bag'. *g*

i haven't stopped singing, but i have stopped singing that song. there are a million others...

it's been good to hear that others think the way i do about the censure i received there. i suppose many songs might offend any number of people. there's a woman who sings a song about abortion that is a bit similar to the 'weela wallia' except for the slant...which i find to be terribly offensive, for personal reasons.

would i censure her? nope. do i go to the restroom as she sings it? you bet.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Hawker
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:36 PM

Cait,
Having sung traditional songs for a large part of my 40 years on this earth, it has occurred to me that most songs are of an emotive nature, some of murder, some of disaster, some of abuse, some of rumpy pumpy, illicit or oherwise, some praising the merits of drinking, of whores and of broken hearts, of whaling......... need I go on?
point being that if you allow yourself to be swayed by the desire to please all the people all the time you may end up singing la la la la la la la la la la la (and Po, Tinky winky and Dipsy may even then feel a little left out!!!!)
Sing the songs, be they beautiful or ugly, if they are thought provoking, then all the better, it is up to the listener to judge what is right or wrong in the SONG not in the SINGER!
I'm not offended by songs though some renditions may be described as offensive to the ear!!!!!!
Anybody for a chorus of maids when you're young never wed an old man? (OOOOHHHhh ageist and sexist in one chorus!)
Lucy


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: ollaimh
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:46 PM

well here's a topic not at all dear to my heart.

as a well travelled and non-anglo, non-middle class north american i've seen a lot of folk groups that censure or censor and i have a few things to say about it.

it's been my experience that it's almost always middle class anglo's doing this--there that ought to get me in trouble.they have enough money to stay in one place for years and become the local folk big wigs, and often have , in my opinion rechanelled their previous generaltions biases against various groups into political correctness.

i've had people call the backsmith, bogie's bonny belle, and even fhir a bhata (the boat man) rape songs. and i've heard some similar reactions to lily of the west.i'm not exagerating here.

the worst goups was out west in canada. they would routinely drive out people who all accidently happened to be non middle class and usually non anglo, while one of their accepted members was a former ss offocer, but he could do "nice middle class manners".

i could get into most of the local folk festivals, as a performer but couldn't get the time of day from the local wannabe's. now if i sound bitter --i guess i am, but i do think there's a lecon here. most north americans are from the great middle calss and are assimilated to aglo beliefs or are anglos themselves. they come to folk music for very different reason's than people from a traditional music background. they do folk because they lack a personalized culture, whilst the traditional people do it because they have a culture. now the traditional people are almost always in a minority in north america so their values tend to rule.

so if you notice that the local celts or french--common sub groups where i live, don't ever come back to your group there is usually a reason. they have felt slighted and as minorities they do not feel free to fight back as they know they will lose and there will just be a lot of trouble. so look around you. if you see ethnics showing up once or twice only there may be a reason.

me i usually only play for money now as the freebee scene has so may wannabe's(who mostly couldn't get a gig, and particularly couldn't make a living at it) and they are often jealous of traditional muscians.

i have found it much better in parts of the united states where there are a lot of people who recognize traditional music and value it. only in america have i been picked up off the street while busking to play a folk festival that evening. nonthe less look aroud your group may be missing out on some real talent.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:46 PM

lucy:

true, true. hm.

how would alla y'all suggest i preface this song for an audience?


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 05:54 PM

ollaimh: wow! thanks for your perspective, which makes her behavior seem even more curious, as she is of some native american extraction, i do believe. i've never asked which tribe (i think the anglo asking 'what are you' is a not so funny joke), and i think she'll tell me if she wants me to know.

of course, america is so big and so mixed, it has its joys and outrages, all.

who said it's impossible to travel and remain narrowminded and bigoted? samuel clemens, i think.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:07 PM

ollaimh, I think your belief that it's mostly middle-class anglos that exert control on the beliefs and actions of their fellows is a little shortsighted. I heard on the radio recently that one of the hardest things about getting the AIDS-prevention message out to black homosexuals in the USA is that it's not cool to be homosexual in the black subculture, which places a great deal of importance on machismo (or osmething very similar to that concept) for its men. So far more black gay men are "closeted," proportionally speaking, than white gay men.

It seems this sort of "expectation" must come from within the black community, which seems to be exactly the sort of pressure we are talking about here.

JMHO.

Alex


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:24 PM

i was about to make a 'thread creep' remark...then i got to thinking that might be a form of censure. oi!

i was going to say that this thread was about when it's inappropriate to sing certain songs...or to censure them, because i can see where this thread is teetering on the brink of becoming about homosexuality, ethnicity, etc.

oh well.

i think ollaimh's point of view was valid for him.

i think the objection by my friend to the song i sang came from her hippie background, not her ethnicity. i was probably more into the hippie dudes than the cause, myself. *g*

but then, i never have bought into any of the 'cults' (for want of a better word), more of an observer, myself.

hm again and again.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:28 PM

Could it be the woman in the session was "humor impaired?" My significant other once took to brining a dictionary to performances and reading the definition of Satire before doing some songs. My singing partner Margaret and I make a point of doing at least one ballad per set. We once got a call from someone who was thinking of coming to a library show we were doing and asking if we were going to sing anything like "lady diamond" (his wife had heard it on one of our recordings and was quite upset). Margaret was about to say that of course we wouldn't if it would upset them. Then she stopped mid-thought and figured: This is what we do (performance wise). Rather than go into why we think singing these songs are important she said we probably would sing a ballad,but wouldn't be put off if they chose that moment to visit the bathroom. I don't think they came to the show. Why we thought this would compromise what we're doing performing these songs would be a whole other thread. Cait, you should feel free to sing what moves you.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 07:33 PM

phil:

nope, i think she is quite humorous, usually.

all right then.

thank you, one and all.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 10:02 PM

Taken from Bill of No Rights.

ARTICLE II:
You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone - not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the World is full of idiots, and probably always will be.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Matt_R
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 10:12 PM

As Noel Gallagher says "F*** 'em all and do as you like".


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 11:58 PM

Hi Cait. Sorry I didn't get to this til tonight. I've been singing for a lotta years, and you simply were the victim of rudeness, that's all. It would be nice to think that being part of the folk music "group" means you don't have to deal with it...but sadly, it's everywhere. You seem to think highly of this person who treated you so shabbily, and I'm not certain why. She obviously carries a lot of "clout" in her circle, but "clout" does not equal "class". If she was SO offended, she could have told you AFTERWARD...but she decided to excercise her power where it would hurt the most...in front of others. That is simply inexcusable.

I assure you, the others may not have spoken up, but they noticed, and she did herself no favours. Despite what I've related in my "When you disagree with your "group" (the quotes are important) thread, I would have made it a point to seek her out (not publicly, but in private) and believe me, her "clout" within that group would not have saved her from the same hurt she so easily and deliberately caused you.

Keep singing the song if it means something to you.

Rick


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 03:26 AM

I agree with Noel G as quoted earlier F"£$ 'em all and do as you like! I think Rick Nelson put it far more eloquently in Garden Party though - You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself.

I am sure I will sometimes sing songs considered offensive by someone. Tough! Provided I do not go out of my way to be offensive or sing inappropriate material for the situation what does it matter? I don't get paid. I don't make a living out of it. I do it for my enjoyment. If someone else enjoys it at the same time it is a bonus. If they don't it doesn't detract from the main objective.

Sorry if this seems selfish but life is too short and too full of my own worries to get involved with other peoples prejudices! I am sure if it was my 'bread and butter' I would have a different view - but it aint!

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 05:22 PM

First, I would say to Cait, if you like the song, go ahead and sing it. If you self-censor because you're afraid someone might be offended by something you sing, you won't have much of a repertoire available to you. No whaling songs, no lumberjack songs, no murder ballads, and on and on. No lullabies, either. Rockabye Baby obviously advocates child abuse. Hanging a cradle with a baby in it up in the top branches of a tree?? My God! Call the SPCC!

Second, pardon the thread creep, but if I don't say something about this, my keyboard is going to explode!

Some of what olliamh said, I agree with. But this --

Most North Americans are from the great middle class and are assimilated to Anglo beliefs or are Anglos themselves. They come to folk music for very different reason's than people from a traditional music background. They do folk because they lack a personalized culture, whilst the traditional people do it because they have a culture.

Whoa up, there, ollaimh!

I've heard statements like this before, usually from a member of a readily identifiable ethnic background, such as Native-American, African, African-American, Middle-Eastern, Asian, Irish (yes, Irish!), and numerous others that "Anglos don't have any culture." That is totally bogus!

I get the impression that it springs from a kind of snobbishness that says "I belong to a more close-knit group than you do, so I'm more ethnic than you are. As a result, I have a number of traditions (rituals, songs, stories, etc.) that are strongly identified with my group, and that is why I have a culture and you don't." That's wrong on several counts:

First, it's a put-down. Second, it's lumping all "Anglos" into a single group and regarding them as all the same, and that's what's generally called "racism." Third, it's simply not true.

What are "Anglo beliefs?" I fall into the category of "Anglo" myself, and I am not aware that there is one specific collection of "Anglo beliefs." Is my education lacking?

By "Anglo," I presume you are, at least roughly, using the dictionary definition, which says, "An English speaking person, especially a white North American who is not of Hispanic or French descent." Okay! Reality check: scratch a white North American and what are you going to find? Quite a number of very different national and ethnic groups with readily identifiable traditions and cultures. My father's grandfather came to the United States from the Orkney Islands. My mother's parents came from Dalarna, Sweden. There are some pretty well-defined cultures there, "Anglo" though they may be. My wife is a mix of English, Scots-Irish, Swedish, and Czechoslovakian. She pretty much has her pick of cultural backgrounds. Both my wife's and my forebears brought sizable chucks of their "old country" traditions with them (I never did develop a taste for lutefisk, but I love pickled herring!). With the exception of Native Americans, (and if you go back far enough, they, too!) all North Americans are immigrants, and most of them brought at least some of their traditions with them. I could give a long list of examples, both real and hypothetical, but I think I've made my point.

In fact, an "Anglo" of no particular ethnic origins (and you will never find one because they don't exist) has such a rich selection of available cultural backgrounds to chose from, the problem is not the lack of culture, but the size of the smorgasbord (there's a good, ethnic word) to choose from.

My father was not a singer, but he sang to my sisters and me when we were little,. They were songs he had learned from his grandfather and from people he knew as he grew up on San Juan Island. He didn't call them "folk songs." They were just songs. When I grew older, I heard records of Burl Ives singing some of the same songs. So I learned them, and others, and sang them too. I don't claim that I grew up in the oral tradition, but at least I was familiar with it as a youngster. I think most Anglos don't "do folk because we lack a personalized culture," but because we hear the songs and something very powerful resonates within us. We like them -- indeed, we come to love them -- to the point where we feel impelled to learn them and sing them too. Not because we lack a culture.

Sorry. Had to get that off my chest.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Amergin
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 05:30 PM

So I take it that this same person would object to something like this being sung: The Game


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 05:34 PM

Don, thanks first off for all you say about olliamh's racist comments about Anglos. I zeroed in (above) on one outrageous statement; you have covered far more territory. Well said. As someone whose heritage includes Irish, French, and English ancestors, I hate getting lumped into, and stereotyped as, "Anglo."

Finally, a question: the San Juan Island in Washington State?

Alex


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 07:06 PM

Alex, the very same!

I posted a whole batch of stuff on the John Dwyer - Songs&Stories thread back in the first part of January. The one I posted on 06-Jan-01 - 04:38 PM tells a little bit about how my great-grandfather wound up on San Juan Island.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 07:13 PM

Cool! The American end or the British end? My folks live on Lopez Island, right next door.

Alex


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 07:17 PM

YOu can just about see American Camp from their property (you have to hike a little toward the point to actually see the camp).

Alex


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 08:03 PM

Alex, I think the Belle-Vue ranch was on the south end of the island, where American Camp is, which seems a little odd, considering the original reason he was there, but I still have to check that out. I found out recently that the Hudson's Bay Company has a service where, if you had an ancestor who worked for them, you can send them all the information you have and they'll send you all the information they have. I'm checking with my sister (the genealogy buff in the family) and when we have it all together, I'll send it to HBC. When I find out, I'll let you know.

Boy, did we creep this thread! Sorry, folks.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: GUEST,californiaminstrels@hotmail.com
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 09:03 PM

Cait--

If I may, I think what's going on here is maybe generational. There's a sign someone else put up in my office to the effect that you should never be angry, because whomever you are angry with controls you. Me, I plan to die with one fist clenched (just one) because bad people do bad things and if the world forgets that, the bad will recur. (It probably will even if we remember, but hopefully less often.) Folk music is real, working class stuff, I think, not just hormones--"She was just 17, and you know what I mean." I keep trying to get into a folk festival in a nearby city and if I ever do, I already know that Guthrie's "1913 Massacre" will be on the program, "And the children who died there were seventy-three," which about says it all. If Ms. Polyanna doesn't like your reality, SHE can withdraw her aura; she has no right to cloud up and rain on you.

Chicken Charlie


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: cait
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 10:59 AM

thanks again, one and all, for you input.

i'll be gone for a couple of weeks, feel free to post to this thread, i've got it traced and will check.

this had helped me to understand that i was NOT in the wrong and that my friend is not as cool as i thought. but i forgive her and i love her.

au revoir! *caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Alice
Date: 28 Mar 01 - 09:23 PM

I learned Weela Wallia from a Clancy Brothers record when I was about, hmmmm... I guess 10, 11, 12, somewhere in there. I was a kid, anyway, and my parents didn't think they had to censor the record. Some people just over react.

Alice


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: ollaimh
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:17 PM

in english speaking north america when ever a minority defends thenselves fronm discrinination they are assuced of racism--this is as transparent as your lack ethics.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Mudlark
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:13 PM

Dear Don...

Sorry for going even further off-base re the subject of this thread but I was struck by your info re Hudson Bay. My husband's grandfather ran a Hudson's bay post on the west side of Vancouver Island, at Kyuquot, back in the early 1900's...I would love to get some info on him if you wouldn't mind passing on the address to send such a request to....

Thanks very much...

nancy


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Gary T
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:34 PM

cait--I can understand that some folks would find the song's lyrics unsettling or even upsetting. In my opinion, they would be taking it a bit too seriously, overlooking the context and failing to maintain reasonable perspective, but that's just my opinion. If they choose to find the song horribly disgusting, that's their business.

I agree with Rick that you were treated rudely. There are any number of better ways for one to communicate displeasure with your song choice that don't involve public humiliation.

What I feel less understanding about is the inability to suppress the "Vegan Crusader" instinct. Someone too stupid or self-absorbed to let a song pass without getting in that two cents worth doesn't rate any respect from me.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: ollaimh
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 04:42 PM

shortsighted?

a couple of my friends --all irish--were kicked out of two folk singing groups out west a few years ago, and i was told not to come around--i wasn't officially expelled.

it was all irish or other gaels being excluded, and 90 per cent of the attakers were english. it all came from songs.

the group in question actually banned the singing of irish revolutionary songs --but i would sing them anyway. i wouldn't usually sing them , i do mostly nova scotia stuff, but when some one bans me well that's a red flag.

i've never been excluded from a group by a black person, a latino , a native american, nor have any other ethnic minority taken away my job or kicked me out of a universtity course. all those thing have happened to mt and the perpertrators were english, either recent immigrants or canadians of wasp background. after a few decades of this you kinda get the message.

i do not make my remarks as some theoritical "we" are more tight knit and a superior exclusive group--that's for the well healed rich intellectuals. i'm taliking about literal discrimination--and it extends into folk. folk is a very artificial thing anyway. read douglass harkness's book fakesong if the topic intrests anyone.

and i'd have gladely traded my "traditional music " background for a decent job any day. but that's live. i'm an iterinant worked and the improvements of the last few decades are probably too late for me--i'm almost fifty now.

my point id if you are imposing any decision of what you will not hear you ought to think about it. all the people i've seen discriminating were real nice people--they just never thought about such issues. their attitude seemed to be we talk funny so we must be ignorant and stupid--and a few have said the same to my face--including the university professor who wouldn't let me take his course.

if you are imposing some restrictions they are likely a bias--i'm bias againsyt nazi's and fascists, but i know why. if you impose a bias against a minority you may not be aware why you are doing it , for a lack of thought.

now i'm the first to conceed that gaels in north america are far from the worst off. natives are murdered in western canada aand parts of the states with impunity, and balcks have obviously had the worst of treatment. i'm just pissed off at the folk discrimination i've experienced and sadly there's nothing you can do about it.

when i was at university i knew several south african white students who all told me the anc was racist. nazi's thought that jews were racist. and on another thread the mississippi confederate battle flag supporters think the naacp are racist. well that's the un thinking right .

delusional thinking is integral to fascist philosopy.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: RichM
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 05:54 PM

I believe I'll have to step in ollaimh's side on this.
His experience has taught him that Anglo 'culture' is different, has different values. How do I know? I am that rare breed: a Quebec Anglo/Francophone. When I left Quebec, and met anglos from other parts of Canada, and Americans, I knew from my own experience that their culture was different. Does that make me a racist? Or Ollaimh? No, I don't think so.

When I play gigs in Francophone retirement homes, its easy to see the differences from Anglo retirement homes, only a few miles away. Different. Very different.

My thoughts, anyway.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: toadfrog
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:21 PM

cait:

You said you wanted responses, and here is mine:

1. Of course it is painful and unpleasant to be confronted when one is singing a song. And of course, you had a right to go on singing. I am not sure that some principle required you to go on singing.

2. From what you say, it sounds like the woman was genuinely upset by what you sang. It does not sound like she was in the business of censoring people. If someone is genuinely upset, no principle requires you to go on upsetting her. So maybe you did the right thing by stopping.

3. I used to sing "Cruel Mother." That is a powerful balad and sometimes upsets people. In particular, it upsets women who have had abortions. By the same token my sister, who was a midwife-nurse practitioner in a poor rural community, got upset when I sang "The Month of January" to her. It seems to me that these are deep personal (not political) feelings I choose not to offend, so I am very careful about where I sing those songs. So if the person really looked horrified, you might consider whether her horror came from something more than squeamishness.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Grab
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 03:57 PM

Ollaimh, your point is well made - by accusing a group of something, you validate using that same approach against them. But racism can be on both sides too. Irish songs glorifying the bombing campaign in London, for instance, are just as racist as attacks on any other ethnic group and invoke exactly the same self-justifying circular argument (not that you'd be singing anything as downright nasty as those, I hope, but just as an example).

Graham.


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Bert
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 04:30 PM

I'm afraid that I'm with Sorcha on this one. I don't think that I could resist deliberately finding 'suitable' songs every time she was in the audience.

As Rick says her behaviour was inexcusable.

Bert.


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Subject: i thought this thread was dead...
From: cait
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 04:47 PM

i must say that i was humiliated at the first and then angry with her in the 2nd place.

i did feel she was wrong, and not only because the song's been performed for mixed audiences for a long time and been found to be acceptable. it was the same as telling me that my sense of what's appropriate was lacking. once that's said, how can one go on?

i've never had the chance to express my feelings to her, as i said, she's gone her own way, saving whales, preserving wolf sanctuaries, wearing no leather, hugging trees and eating nothing of animals. That's just great, but, as the blues woman sang, 'don't put that thing on me'.

what have i learned? hm...'peoples be's funny'...and that includes me.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Hillheader
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 05:27 PM

Caiti

If this woman want's to be PC what the hell is she doing at a session where people are singing folk songs.

So me a politically correct folk song and I show you one that does not work.

That said, I know where you are coming from. I get the problem when singing "Green Fields of France" and people assume it is Irish and thus should not be sung in West Central Scotland!! I've even sung "Carrickfergus" and heard people say "It's Irish but I don't know what side (of the sectarian divide!!!) sings it" Ignore them all. Sing for your pleasure and it the audience as a whole don't like it they will not be long in telling you. Do not pander to one or two individuals.

Incidently, I like to song too. She killed the kid - and was killed for it. Was your critic against child murder or the subsequent death penalty? I think we should be told..

Regards

Davebhoy


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Subject: well, dave...
From: cait
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 09:16 PM

it's funny, i like the song because, like the blues, it makes me happy. it just does. i'm against child killing, capital punishment and any kind of killing of humans. i hate the idea that we kill animals, but i eat meat.

it also happens that people who don't understand what blues music is all about tell me that they don't care for it because it's slow and boring. first of all, with all the different styles of blues there are, most of it is not slow and (to me) none is boring (some is excruciating, like the raw style of some early blues women who had little sense of tone or time).

And that irish song, 'weela wallia' is raucous, incorrect, born of sadness and funny as hell. when it's sung, people laugh and sing along. i don't think anyone worries about its true derivation, not really, just as they don't worry about 'wild rover' being about yet another drunk.

when we think about music and songs, we 'get' that stuff, but i've never seen anyone walk out on 'weela wallia'. i was surprised, even a little shocked, but it wasn't my territory, i was new, and she had brought me.

believe me, she's not the only woman who may have lost a child in one way or another, if that's the core of it. songs like this are one way to address that suffering. maybe someday she'll hear it in a setting where she can't censure...and will understand it better.

oh well.

thanks,

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: When your group disagrees wth you...
From: Hillheader
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 06:24 AM

Cait

I think you've hit the nail on the head. It is about understanding but before then there has to be a willingness to understand. If she has closed her mind and will only listen to what is acceptable to her, she will never challenge her perceptions and never change her mind about anything.

It's all to easy for her to go through life like that and try and surround herself with likeminded people (or even introduce new people and try to make them become likeminded)- but that is how prejudice is perpetuated.

Keeping singing your songs


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