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Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics

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Dave Bryant 10 Oct 03 - 04:51 AM
GUEST 29 Jun 04 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Jun 04 - 04:49 AM
Leadfingers 29 Jun 04 - 07:22 AM
GUEST, Su Rynas 29 Jun 04 - 08:38 AM
Flash Company 29 Jun 04 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Paranoid Android 29 Jun 04 - 07:47 PM
Joe_F 29 Jun 04 - 07:49 PM
michaelr 29 Jun 04 - 08:28 PM
Little Hawk 29 Jun 04 - 08:30 PM
Bert 29 Jun 04 - 10:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jun 04 - 04:19 AM
Dave Bryant 30 Jun 04 - 10:41 AM
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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 04:51 AM

Many years ago, an old thameside pub at Wapping, "The Prospect of Whitby" used to be noted for the singing of rugby songs. They had a small instrumental group (I think they were Polynesian) who played electric Guitars, Mandolins etc. The band didn't actually sing, they just played tunes like "The Ash Grove", "Eton Boating Song", "My Bonny Lies over the Ocean" and many others which had "Rugby Song Lyrics". The Pub was always packed with people of both sexes singing the songs - various people would start a verse and the rest would join in.

On a Saturday night there were often many genuine rugby players whose clubs didn't have a bar coming along after a match. The atmosphere was fantastic - and the singing was great - I wish we could get many folk club audiences to join in choruses with the same enthusiasm. They were great nights. It was impossible to find a parking space anywhere near the pub, and local urchins would offer to "Keep an eye on your car for 'alf a crown, Mister".

Incidently, hanging over the corner where the band played, was a sign which read "The singing of songs with obscene words is expressly prohibited". Somehow I think it was meant to be a joke.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 04:36 AM

FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES - THESE ARE THE LYRICS FROM HER PREVIOUS THREAD



The Maiden's Prayer

A maiden young and fair was she
Who lived in high society
A soldier brave and bold was he
Who stole of her virginity

And when her apron strings hung low
He chased her through the ice and snow
And now her apron strings don't meet
He passes her by on the street

Her father returning late one night
He found her home without a light
He went straightway up to her room
And found her hanging in the gloom

(2 lines missing)
He took his knife and he cut her down
And on her breast these words he found:

Oh Father, Father dig my grave
Place me beside a garden wall (sic)
And on my grave place a turtle-dove
To show this world I died for love.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 04:49 AM

If you are singing this to Schubert's sacred Ave Maria which was originally not based on Latin but taken from Sir Walter Scott's "Hymn to the Virgin" in The Lady of the Lake....I can understand the snickers.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 07:22 AM

Just a passing comment - 'Alice' is a quite well crafted song that had a brief popularity a few years ago even getting into the top twenty . Then Roy Chubby Brown started doing it in his act with the
'Who the F**k is Alice' business . Some Disc Jockeys latched on to this and now the whole point of the song is to shout obscenities at the top of your voice . A great shame , but its the AUDIENCE that does it , not the singer/group .


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: GUEST, Su Rynas
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 08:38 AM

Len,
Self selection does work both ways.
You can go elsewhere if they demand you perform the unclever songs, or they can go elsewhere when they realize you won't. The first avoids a prudish reputation. (Although how much would that woman you mentioned really remember, eh?)
Another facet of this whole self-selection business is that if you only sing cleverly bawdy songs with lots of vague reference and double entendre, the crass class just won't get it. They'll see people of a different sort smiling and snickering softly, and realize they are simply in the wrong place. Well, at least that's what one hopes, anyhow.

As for spacing them out...
An interest group I was a member of once had a singing contest, and I had the great misfortune to sing a bawdy song. Clever, I had thought, but apparently not as clever as the guy who came before with a more well known bawdy song. Two in a row was in bad taste, and I came out looking like the one who had gone over the top.

I think the previous gentlemen's suggestion to use bawdy songs like bait on a hook is quite useful.

Good luck to you!

In harmony,
Su Rynas


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Flash Company
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 10:25 AM

Joybell's comments about The Virgins Prayer strike a chord. I remember back in the '60s being told that Whistle, Daughter Whistle was rude (I am weary and oh so tired of my virginity!)
Burl Ives was once thrown in jail for singing The Foggy Dew.
As to the now prevelant custom of audiences, both male and female, to communicate in obscenities, Flanders and Swann spotted the trend years ago, Mum's gone out, Lets say rude words; Pee Po Belly Bum Drawers!

FC


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: GUEST,Paranoid Android
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 07:47 PM

Back to the same old story - either you are a purist who will sing only politically/regiously correct songs or you are there for the "CRAIC". You can be full of your own ego and sing some 30 verse lament expecting the drinking public to shut up and appreciate the artistry of your performance or you can sing some low down shite ballad and have a laugh. I do the latter.
I have sessions with my friends who appreciate the former .


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 07:49 PM

I didn't think "The Fair Flower of Northumberland" was supposed to be funny.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 08:28 PM

Where did this idea originate that the audience can demand what the performer's repertoire is to be?

Guest P.A. -- I find your "either-or" dichotomy much too limited. I perform music for money (not much money, generally), and I do it for the craic, which is to say, because I enjoy it. I do not sing 30-verse laments for the benefit of my own ego, nor do I sing PC or RC material. Neither do I perform "low-down shite".

As I've said in another thread, just because they pay you doesn't mean you're a prostitute. My band plays material we deem to be of quality. Many folks like it, others don't care. We don't do requests unless it happens to be something that's in our repertoire.

Any performer who lets himself be intimidated by drunken boors should find another gig. To thine own self be true!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 08:30 PM

This is one of a number of reasons why I never wanted to play bars, and very seldom ever did.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Bert
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 10:03 PM

I sing lots of songs that are nowadays borderline for polite society. In the Fifties they would have been a no-no.

I consider none of them crude; suggestive, cheeky and bawdy, yes.

There's lots out there which your audience has never heard and will be greatly loved. Just say, I don't know that one but here's one that you will like. And then sing 'em Amos's song "When your pickle glows at night"

You'll be a hit and you'll never be able to sing there again without singing that song.

If you're iun a pub and things aren't going right and you're really desperate! just sing Danny Boy.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 04:19 AM

Robert Graves mentions Cosher Bailey being sung by his fellow troops in WW1 in his biog Goodbye to All That.

Guys who were going off to face death and were probably pretty frightened. And presumably we're talking about Welsh guys who were from the chapel infested valleys where enlightened sexual attitudes were something of the future.

The thing is we have so many tabus about sexuality- it's no wonder we get it wrong and sometimes we appear base and don't always behave and express ourselves as well as we might.

I think what I'm trying to say is that the urge to sing dirty songs is probably how some of us need to approach the dirty subject. It's the life force, that gets most of us born.....a bit of respect please.


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Subject: RE: Discussion: Playing Filthy Lyrics
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 10:41 AM

I noticed this thread has surfaced again.

I must admit that unlike many of the other singers who've posted, the number of times when I've actually had 'cold' requests (ie not "Can you sing that song which you did last time about . . . . . ") for bawdy songs in pubs is quite rare compared to those for "Wild Rover", "Fields of Athenry", "Streets of London" and a whole host of pop songs. As I said previously, bawdy songs are often a useful 'bridge' to a primarily non-folk audience. I'd hate to do a gig which had no humour in it at all, and it's a fact that people seem to find jokes of a sexual nature funnier than most others.


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