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Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???

DigiTrad:
DIRTY OLD TOWN


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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Dirty Old Town


Big Al Whittle 01 Sep 06 - 06:39 AM
Paco Rabanne 01 Sep 06 - 06:43 AM
Betsy 01 Sep 06 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,number 6 01 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,KT 01 Sep 06 - 09:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Sep 06 - 11:21 AM
Brakn 01 Sep 06 - 02:45 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Ed 01 Sep 06 - 04:45 PM
andymac 02 Sep 06 - 03:26 AM
Dave Hanson 02 Sep 06 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Steve - Detmold, Germany 12 Jan 07 - 03:09 AM
Scrump 12 Jan 07 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Jan 07 - 04:49 AM
RobbieWilson 12 Jan 07 - 04:51 AM
Scrump 12 Jan 07 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,Grimmy 12 Jan 07 - 07:20 AM
IanC 12 Jan 07 - 07:24 AM
Paul Burke 12 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Grimmy 12 Jan 07 - 07:40 AM
GUEST 12 Jan 07 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,guest squeezeboxhp at work 12 Jan 07 - 08:13 AM
folk1e 13 Jan 07 - 09:53 PM
Jim Lad 14 Jan 07 - 01:50 AM
GUEST 14 Jan 07 - 04:35 AM
Gazza2 14 Jan 07 - 11:48 AM
Charley Noble 14 Jan 07 - 12:03 PM
Tootler 14 Jan 07 - 12:26 PM
Charley Noble 14 Jan 07 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,the twangman 14 Jan 07 - 06:27 PM
Tootler 15 Jan 07 - 11:55 AM
Scrump 15 Jan 07 - 12:04 PM
Jim Lad 15 Jan 07 - 12:08 PM
billbunter 15 Jan 07 - 01:54 PM
JeremyC 15 Jan 07 - 04:35 PM
IanC 15 Jan 07 - 04:38 PM
Big Phil 15 Jan 07 - 04:44 PM
Tootler 15 Jan 07 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM
Jim Lad 15 Jan 07 - 06:07 PM
Les in Chorlton 16 Jan 07 - 11:44 AM
Scrump 16 Jan 07 - 01:57 PM
danensis 16 Jan 07 - 04:16 PM
IanC 17 Jan 07 - 03:53 AM
JeremyC 17 Jan 07 - 08:29 AM
Scrump 17 Jan 07 - 09:08 AM
JeremyC 17 Jan 07 - 10:36 AM
Scrump 17 Jan 07 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 17 Jan 07 - 05:16 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 07 - 08:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 06:39 AM

Well no - obviously it does no harm to know what a gas works croft is.

However all these posts ....without anybody talking about the central theme.

And really you could live surrounded by haystacks and pagodas, and never see or experience salford - and yet still identify with the narrator of this song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 06:43 AM

I live in a haystack and I understood it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Betsy
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 07:57 AM

Wee Little drummer says " Ewan wouldn't have given a tinkers todger if you thought it was about Blackpool or Bangkok - and that's why people all over the world respond to it." and I suppose you're dead right. Trouble is - Salford and sulphured can be very close in pronounciation if said quickly especially in various accents.
What causes a little confusion for me reading this thread ,is , I learned the song in the early 60's , from where I can't remember, and I always sang sulphured wind. It made sense after the steam train going past, though, I always appreciated that the song was about Salford. It further begs the question, why did so many people used to discuss which town the song was written about, if, it already contained the name Salford.,Curious. I don't think it did but I'm willing to recieve informed advice. No matter, On the subject of croft - it has a proper meaning in Scotland, but in the N.East where I live , we would use the word " common". A piece of inner-city scrub, waste or derelict land, on occasions used by Gypsies , Fairground shows, bonfires etc. and all the other dumping described by others earlier in this thread.
I suppose McColl was painting a picture of the grim reality of growing up in a dirty Northern town, much as L.S.Lowry did with a paint brush. We must remember that most Northern and many Midland towns and cities were /are heavy industrial towns especially up to the 1970's, and to varying degrees, were filthy places to live because of the use of coal, to power the vast industries. I was born in the late 40's, in a steel town and it was certainly a dirty old town.
A good comparison perhaps of the American and the British way of looking at this type of song - give Billy Joels " Allenstown " a listen. Yeh I know thsi is a Folk site, but .....

Cheers
Betsy


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 08:31 AM

Live in Saint John New Brunswick (Canada) for a while and you will understand.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 09:52 AM

I suppose the thing with Dirty O T is that the words conjure up such a vivid picture of a town in the era of steam and old industry, and although it's quite correct to say that this is peripheral to the core meaning of the song and could be applied to any industrial town, knowing that it's inspiration was somewhere real you can relate to even if you're miles away and can only see it on a map, somehow seems to matter. End of long sentence.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 11:21 AM

Seeing as you are on the edge of Salford, KT, do we know you at Swinton Folk Club? If not come along one Monday - The White Lion on the A6 near where Swinton Market used to be. Make yourself known and I might even buy you a pint:-)

Not that I would blatantly plug our club on someone elses thread...

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Brakn
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 02:45 PM

Hummmphhhh

You've never bought me a pint. :-(


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM

You never asked, B! Next time - remind me:-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 04:45 PM

I too had forgotten this thread. I remember Dave (the Gnome) pointing out where the Gas Works were. Next to Reg Vardy's if I remember (though that's obviously changed now).

Going back to the original post, I can only say (in my best Lancastrian):

Clinton is a wanker, tra la la la
Clinton is a wanker, tra la la la

Thank you, I feel better now.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: andymac
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 03:26 AM

I used to live in the east end of Glasgow and often walked a couple of miles to school each morning past a gasworks (still there).
I used to sing this song even then, without knowing who's song it was or even where I'd picked up the fragment from.
The song always seemed highly relevant then and still does now. As many others have said already it informs/reminds us of finding love, beauty, happiness even amongst slums and smoke and steam.

I am only talking of going to school in the mid-70s and it wasn't till much later that I realised it was a
McColl song and in turn has led me to others of his, including the Radio Ballad series.
The meaning of the songto me and it seems to others here, is universal. If you don't get it or don't appreciate it? Don't sing it.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 10:10 AM

In the excellent film by Tim May, The Ballad Of Ewan MacColl, talking about his childhood in Salford Ewan mentions " a cinder croft or recreation ground, like the one in ' Dirty Old Town ' "

eric


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,Steve - Detmold, Germany
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 03:09 AM

Born in Liverpool in the mid fifties I like many others in the north have no dificulty in relating to the lyrics and sentiments of this great song. I can remember my recently passed on farther talking of the heart and soul of a city being ripped out by well meanibng soviet style city planners who, in colusion with Poulson (remember the scandal) concreted anything and everything over.

The reference to choping down like an old oak tree could be the tall chimmneys (Smoke stacks for our cousins across the pond) that where left from the days of steam. Or his dismay at the loss of such fond memouries being eroded by the onslought of new concreat high rise thanks to the eformentioned council planners and of course poulson.
Yes, my bet is tall chimneys or Concrete high rise.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Scrump
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 04:43 AM

Just read this thread for the first time.

I find it incredible that someone would complain about the song not making sense to the audience - if it doesn't go down well, then don't sing it there again. If it doesn't make sense to you, don't sing it (McGrath's principle above). Sing something else that you understand, and they like.

The Pogues cannot be blamed for the song being thought of as an Irish or Dublin song, as a couple of people above seem to believe. Many well known Irish versions had been done long before theirs, by artists including the Dubliners and Dominic Behan (back in the 1960s when the Pogues were pretty young I would guess). I think a lot of people probably first heard the song from these artists and just wrongly assumed it was an Irish song.

I don't see the problem with saying "I met my love by the gasworks wall, Dreamed a dream by the old canal, I kissed my girl by the factory wall". We can infer that he met his girl in one place and moved to another before kissing her. Does a songwriter always have to spell everything out? Maybe MacColl should have written:

"I met my love by the gasworks wall,
Dreamed a dream by the old canal, which we walked along to the factory, and then
I kissed my girl by the factory wall"

Well, it might be clearer but doesn't scan so well :-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 04:49 AM

"The reference to choping down like an old oak tree could be the tall chimmneys ..."

In the 'Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook', Oak, 2001, p.364 the words to this particulr verse are as follows:

"I'm going to make a good sharp axe,
Shining steel tempered in the fire,
We'll chop you down, like an old dead tree."

No mention of oak trees (those wankers 'The Pogues' probably added one of them).
As I understand it, the "good sharp axe" is socialism, which will be used to chop down the "dead tree" of capitalism and, by extension, one of the products of capitalism, the slums of Salford.

As for Poulson type property developers, I can report that they're still very much active in Salford, and other parts of the North West, and local authorities are now, more than ever, nothing more than their 'hand maidens' and 'rubber stampers'.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 04:51 AM

The fact that so many people recognize and identify with the images painted in this song is why it is so good. People making it their own by changing the odd word ( Dublin, Ardoyne) is fine by me. I think, though, that " Salford" probably came in instead of "smoky" by Smartarses showing off their superior knowledge and putting down people who thought the song was written about somewhere else.

If you don't appreciate the song, leave it alone. Many people really love this song, in different modes and over several generations so perhaps it has got something going for it which some people don't recognize.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Scrump
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 06:33 AM

Yes, I think MacColl probably realised the song could apply to almost any industrial town, not just specifically Salford, so he didn't write anything too specific about locations, etc.

I would prefer to sing "smoky" than "Salford", "Dublin", or any other specific town name. "Sulphured" does sound like a mondegreen to me, invented by someone mishearing "Salford" (possibly someone who didn't know of its existence).


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,Grimmy
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:20 AM

As an aside:

The word Croft (Saxon) denotes a parcel of land adjoining a homestead or Toft (Norse) - hence Ashcroft, Lowestoft etc

It occurs in many medieval charters but its continued use, meaning 'spare ground', seems to be confined mainly to the northern counties of England.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: IanC
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:24 AM

Its meaning as spare space within a building, however, continues throughout England ... see Undercroft.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Paul Burke
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM

There was that hymn parody:

On the croft, on the croft,
Where we played pitch-and-toss,
And a copper come and chased us away,
So I 'it 'im on the yed
With a bloody big lump of lead
And the slimy little bugger run away.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,Grimmy
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:40 AM

Undercroft, though, has a different origin:

ETYMOLOGY: 14c: from Dutch crofte a vault, cavern, etc, from Latin crypta crypt. (Chambers Dictionary)


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:52 AM

"There was that hymn parody"

I've heard that somewhere - wasn't it on 'Deep Lancashire'?


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,guest squeezeboxhp at work
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 08:13 AM

in yorkshire just over the hill from Salford CROFT as in tentercroft was the field where the woven cloth was streched on the tenter frames after fulling and stone posts with square holes in can still be seen in fields around huddersfield so croft must mean field adjacent to a working area


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: folk1e
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:53 PM

I was under the impresion that the line "saw a train set the night on fire" was the chemical spillage (sulphur?) on to the tracks being ignighted by the following train's wheels! The fire brigade at eccles were well known for having to "clean it up".
Regardless of the validity of the lines...... it is a cracking song!


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Jim Lad
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 01:50 AM

It's a very clear picture of the town that I and many others like me, was born in. Nothing more, nothing less. Just a perfect image in time.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 04:35 AM

People seem to be complicating what, for me, is a very stark, simple picture of any industrial town, in this case in the first half of the twentieth century. As with Jim Lad it is very much like the city (Liverpool) I grew up in. Whatever the origins of the word, the gasworks croft was simply a piece of waste ground where courting couples used to go for privacy in a busy urban environment. I remember what we called 'the rec', which I think was short for 'recreation ground', a few hudred yards away from Liverpool Football Ground, which was a favourite meeting place for couples when I was growing up.
The train 'setting the night on fire' was a steam train; it was possible to see into the driver's open cab where he and his mate would open the door of the firebox and shovel coal in, lighting the night up. Anybody who has seen the documentary film 'Night Mail' will know exactly what I mean   
I can still remember Salford the way MacColl described it before they knocked down the old terraced houses and smoke blackened factories and put up the soulless high-rise flats.
MacColl's attitude to his childhood and youth in Salford was very much love-hate, as was made clear in Tim May's film, and this comes over perfectly in the song, which is why it is such a good one.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Gazza2
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 11:48 AM

And did they really have to put detergent in the Irwell when filming Hobson's Choice to make it seem dirtier??


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:03 PM

Not a bad thread about the origins of this fine song. It would use some editing...but what the heck!

Thanks, Clinton, for provoking this response.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:26 PM

Gazza2 wrote
"And did they really have to put detergent in the Irwell when filming Hobson's Choice to make it seem dirtier??"

No! It was already there.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 04:31 PM

As Bob Bolton posted above, this song had its origin as a cover for a scene change in a radical theatrical production:

Works such as Landscape With Chimneys and Johnny Noble became staple fare at the Theatre Workshop, and it was for the former that the song "Dirty Old Town" was written to cover a rather inexpert scene change [Denselow 1989].

THE BRITISH FOLK REVIVAL: 1944-2002 by Mike Brocken provides a detailed analysis of this early period of the folk song revival and its association with the Workers' Music Association. One may quarrel with some of his conclusions but the details are fascinating.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,the twangman
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 06:27 PM

the dubliners popularised "dirty old town" in ireland, and as a youngster listening to the dubliners recording of dirty old town, i did not know what a "croft" was. even though there was nothing wrong with luke's diction on the recording, i could not hear "croft" in the first line, i didn't know that was what he was saying. but on the dubliners original recording of the song (now that i know what the lyrics are) luke clearly says "gasworks croft", but when repeating the first verse at the end of the song, he fumbled and said "factory wall" by mistake. so my theory is, because people (in ireland) understood "wall", they thought "croft" in the first line was a slurring of "wall" and that's why "gasworks wall" is widely sung nowadays (although i always make a point of singing "croft" myself").


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:55 AM

I was at Salford University in the mid 60's which is where I first heard the song (sung by the Spinners, I think) and the words fitted the city as I knew it in those days. But as Jim Carrol rightly said, the words would fit any industrial town in those days.

To expand on my response to Gazza2, there was a weir on the river Irwell close to one of the buildings where I used to have a fair number of my lectures and the churning of the water over the weir created a raft of dense yellow-brown foam of considerable thickness on the surface. This was a result of discharges from a dye works further up river and it stopped when the dye works closed.

I never really gave a thought to the "train set the night on fire" line as it so perfectly described a steam train working hard. A hard working steam loco would chuck out sparks from its chimney which could be seen at night. In addition if the train was a passenger train you would also have the effect of the lights from the carriages.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Scrump
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:04 PM

And with a steam train, if the fireman was stoking the fire, the light from that would light up the footplate with an orange/red glow, with sparks from the coal dust flying up into the air. This is the picture I have in my mind when I hear the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:08 PM

And stopping to lean against The Gas Works Wall with your girl, on the way home from the dancing. It's all there.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: billbunter
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:54 PM

An old colleague from Salford who met Mcall and watched hin sing it in Salford told me he wrote it in three minutes in the back of the van before the theatre play. (my mate lived in the street next to Mcall's father and he first heard his Scots father using the expression 'croft' as a wee laddie. It was often used on the streets there.

It was also originally done in the play as a 'swing' number and I think - but can't be certain it had a saxophone on it in the original.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: JeremyC
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 04:35 PM

I think it's a good song and makes a reasonable amount of sense, but I have to say that the Pogues did it better. Then again, I have yet to hear a recording of Ewan MacColl that I can stand to listen to. It seems like the stuff of his that I've heard is either horrendously americanized or sung in this ridiculous patois that's about as effective and listenable as a blackface minstrel performance. If he's recorded anything--even one song--that doesn't fit into those two categories, I'd like to hear it, but for the time being I'll listen to other people performing his songs.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: IanC
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 04:38 PM

Have you ever listened to The Radio Ballads?


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Big Phil
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 04:44 PM

Tootler
The old steam trains also had the habit of setting fire to the undergrowth at the side of the tracks when it was dry, due to the sparks. It would be banned these days, health and safety and the like.
Oh for the auld days............


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 05:25 PM

Big Phil, I remember. You would often see the undergrowth smoldering as the train went past, especially in cuttings. It was an effective way of keeping the undergrowth in check <g>

Of course these days you are not allowed to do anything that might pose a risk - a bit like PC really, but that's a topic for another thread.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM

"Then again, I have yet to hear a recording of Ewan MacColl that I can stand to listen to."

Funny that, 'JeremyC', I have yet to hear a recording of The Pogues that I can stand to listen to. I should be magnanimous and say that 'it's all a question of taste' - or some other such weak-kneed piffle. But I won't - The Pogues were a noisy and profoundly unmusical pop group (whose reputation is already on the wane). Whereas MacColl was a genius in both the world of the theatre and of folk song - his reputation is assured and continues to grow - in spite of a persistent and malignant whispering campaign promoted by those pygmies of the folk world who were jealous of his talent and his integrity. All I can say, 'Jeremy' is that if you insist on parroting this small-minded, petty prejudice, it's your loss!


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 06:07 PM

Yeah! I caught myself cringe a little when he mentioned the Pogues.
Was confused a bit by the "Black Faced Minstrels" thing but then; isn't that why they make chocolate and vanilla?


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:44 AM

But Fairy Tale of New York is a bit good.

Please lets not get Ewan McColl's trousers out again.

What you enjoy is what you enjoy. What McColl achieved is another discussion entirely!


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 01:57 PM

Well I like both Ewan MacColl and The Pogues, so there!

As for the sparks from steam trains burning the undergrowth, round our way the railway company completely denuded (ooerr missus!) the railway embankments by chopping down all the trees and plants that used to hide the ugly overhead power gantries and cables from view. It looks bloody 'orrible now.

This is their way of solving the problem of leaves on the line - instead of sweeping them up, chop down all the trees so there aren't any leaves that can get on the line. What's the point of Tony Blair planting a forest in the garden of Number 10 when Network Rail chops down all its trees?!


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: danensis
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:16 PM

Going back to the train s"etting the night on fire", I always used to think of this line when I went past the steelworks at Rotherham and saw the trains of tipper trucks depositing slag onto the side of the track. That really did set the night on fire.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: IanC
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 03:53 AM

Steam trains often literally set the night on fire.

I used to stay with some in-laws outside Paignton who had a railway cutting literally at the bottom of the garden. The trains were steam, run by local enthusiasts, and in the dry of summer they'd regularly set the grass in the cutting on fire. Quite impressive.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: JeremyC
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 08:29 AM

I enjoy the Pogues because I have fairly broad taste. I also enjoy Iron Maiden (a fun band), 80s Megadeth (for their sheer anger and aggression), and Marilyn Manson, who's probably a better songwriter than many people think. On the other hand, I'm a huge fan of Phil Ochs, Martin Carthy and his daughter, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Anne Briggs, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and numerous others.

But I still have yet to hear a Ewan MacColl performance that didn't absolutely suck. And no, I haven't heard "Radio Ballads," though I intend to check it out. I would be happy to modify my opinion--I like OTHER PEOPLE's versions of his songs, like Martin Carthy's "Springhill Mine Disaster"...and The Pogues' "Dirty Old Town." But I've heard his performance of both and it was absolute balls. Maybe it is a matter of taste, since unlike one of the posters above, I'm not an artistic fascist who believes that people aren't allowed to appreciate something I'm unable to appreciate equally.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Scrump
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 09:08 AM

I wouldn't put it anywhere near as strongly as JeremyC, but I take the point that some of MacColl's songs have been sung better by other people. But the same applies to other writers - Dylan springs to mind.

And MacColl's voice probably isn't to everyone's taste. I think perhaps his recordings were sometimes not as good as he was live (yes, I did see him perform live on several occasions). This is fairly common in the folk world - I would go as far as to say that most folk artists sound better live, IMO, than on record. Maybe I just think that because I like live music, though.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: JeremyC
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 10:36 AM

Oh, I agree with you there, Scrump. Most folksingers that I've seen or heard live have been far better that way than on a studio album. But I think that's only natural.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Scrump
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 11:55 AM

According to one online dictionary it means:

soiled with dirt; foul; unclean, far advanced in the years of its life, thickly populated area, usually smaller than a city and larger than a village, having fixed boundaries and certain local powers of government.

But there are other meanings.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 05:16 PM

Dear 'JeremyC',

"I'm not an artistic fascist who believes that people aren't allowed to appreciate something I'm unable to appreciate equally."

Now, Jeremy, I've read that several times and I'm still not sure what it means! Too much "80s Megadeath" (whatever that may be?!!) attacking the parts of the brain responsible for grammar, perhaps?

I think that you're accusing me of being an 'artistic fascist' and that I am telling you what you should or should not listen to ... possibly (?)
Far from it! Imbibe as much poison as you like - I couldn't give a toss! It seems to be a common characteristic of you anti-MacCollites to level such accusations when anyone disagrees with your tawdry little opinions. Actually, what really pisses me off is this constant, mindless chipping away at the reputation of a great man. But if you are unable to appreciate his genius - it's your loss!


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Subject: RE: Help: Dirty Old Town? Meaning???
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 08:22 AM

what the f--k's an artistic fascist anyway? Summons up the image of a guy in a smaock with a pallette of paints and brushes, goose stepping into the studio.

For you Tommy......zee theatre workshop ist over!


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