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Self righteous prats

AndreasW 30 Dec 98 - 09:01 AM
Bert 30 Dec 98 - 08:47 AM
Animaterra 30 Dec 98 - 06:02 AM
Joe Offer 30 Dec 98 - 05:26 AM
Don Meixner 30 Dec 98 - 12:11 AM
Duane D. 29 Dec 98 - 11:22 PM
schmuze 29 Dec 98 - 10:19 PM
Mick Lowe 29 Dec 98 - 09:15 PM
Mary Ann 29 Dec 98 - 09:04 PM
Ian Kirk 29 Dec 98 - 03:40 PM
catspaw49 29 Dec 98 - 03:23 PM
dulcimer 29 Dec 98 - 02:58 PM
Barbara Shaw 29 Dec 98 - 12:54 PM
Benson 29 Dec 98 - 12:08 PM
catspaw49 29 Dec 98 - 11:48 AM
Benson 29 Dec 98 - 11:43 AM
catspaw49 29 Dec 98 - 11:42 AM
SteveF 29 Dec 98 - 11:37 AM
Benson 29 Dec 98 - 11:26 AM
Bill@Aussie 29 Dec 98 - 11:23 AM
Bill@ Australia 29 Dec 98 - 11:18 AM
Dr John 29 Dec 98 - 11:12 AM
Benson 29 Dec 98 - 10:52 AM
Liam's Brother 29 Dec 98 - 10:51 AM
catspaw49 29 Dec 98 - 10:25 AM
Benson 29 Dec 98 - 10:13 AM
Steve Latimer 29 Dec 98 - 09:49 AM
Ralph Butts 29 Dec 98 - 09:42 AM
Bill@Australia 29 Dec 98 - 09:15 AM
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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: AndreasW
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 09:01 AM

I think it does not matter whether you sing of hunting or fishing for whales.
Both is wrong!!!
You should sing about protecting whales!!!
;-) ;-)

Apart from that, a language is a thing that changes over time and distance, so what seems incorrect here and now was or is perhaps correct somewhere else at another time.
Andreas


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Bert
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 08:47 AM

I agree with you Joe. I leave out verses or entire songs that could be racially offensive.

It's a fine line sometimes though. I find it OK to sing Congo River with it's line 'Black Sheep breaking the embargo'.

I refuse to sing any of the songs on 'The Exit Visa' (which is a collection of songs that are a British view of Saudi Arabia), funny though they are. I find them offensive.

I change songs according to the audience, I don't feel comfortable singing a 'real' version of Liverpool Judies to some audiences, but it's a good rollicking song so it gets a 'rascal' instead of a 'bastard' here and there.

I just love bawdy songs though and enjoy a get together with a mature group of singers.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Animaterra
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 06:02 AM

Joe, I couldn't resist this story, even if it commits the sin of digression: my autistic son, having read Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs, found the Neil Diamond site, and created a sound file to shut down the computer from the first strains of "I Am I Said" followed by a big explosion!! There goes Neil!! BOOM!


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 05:26 AM

I think that if you're putting on a performance for people, it doesn't work very well to take a hard line on anything. A little gentle editing of a traditional song can bring the song back to life. Otherwise, it's likely to become a museum piece.
Sometimes, it doesn't harm a song to clean up parts that have become offensive. Somebody was talking about Darkies' Sunday School in another thread. the song had been changed to "Baptist Sunday School," or just "Sunday School." You can sing it as "Darkies" if you want to perform it for its historical interest. If, however, you want it to be a living song, I think you have to do away with racist or sexist or other bigoted terms in the song, or at least tone them down. You certainly can't get away with teaching a classroom of kids a song about "darkies" and expect to be favorably received nowadays. I can't stand people who take political correctness to ridiculous extremes, but I don't think it's wise for performers to believe they have "poetic license" to offend or defame other people.
As for grammar and archaic language in songs, I see no problem in cleaning it up a bit, if it makes the song more understandable to the audience - I think that sort of editing has to be done very judiciously, though.
As far as I can see, there aren't any grammatical mistakes that bother me in "Bonnie Ship the Diamond." Now, if we're talking about the songs of Neil Diamond (click if you dare), now that's another story.
Song you sang to me - Songs you brang to me
Words that rang in me - Rhymes that sprang from me
Aaaaaarrrrrgh!!!!!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Don Meixner
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 12:11 AM

Protect me from well meaning ninnies who feel that it is necessary to update a traditional tune and indulge in some self important nitpickery over the particular version of a song being sung. To rewrite a tune that may have the odd "offensive" line in it is to deny it's history. I'm sure (sarcasm implied) Percy French meant to be insulting when he wrote:

"I've loved the young women in every land, Its always been easy for me, Just barring the belles of the Eskimo land s and chocolate shapes of Fiji."

The Victorian Age was enlightened in as many ways as it was endarkened. I'm sure in the near future we will be considered a chauvinistic and bigoted age and our current songs will condemn us by their lyrics. Then as now F%$K EM if the can't take a joke.

(I will admit that the coward in me has me singing ".. The island shapes of Fiji..." when ever we do BallyJames Duff but that's only to save my skin and or the potential embarrassment of one or two people in the crowd. Not for reasons of political correctness. I still enjoy greatly singing "The Natural Girl For Me" and "Rhue".)

Regards

Don


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Duane D.
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:22 PM

If all our songs were politically correct AND written in the Queen's English would they still be folk songs (by definition)???


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: schmuze
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 10:19 PM

Hi there Mudcatters Yep I agree, there's always some prat who comes up to you at a gig/singer's nite to give you their considered opinion on what the lyric should have been, mind you, they're always the ones who stay cemented to their seats and haven't the b-----ks to get up and sing themselves, they just have to make our lives a misery as well!! I have no objections to being corrected lyrically by another singer/artist who I am sure may know better or have heard a more accurate version, but these people who come up and patronise you with "That was quite a nice version, BUT......" and my heart goes boot-wise,,,anyone else suffered similarly??


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 09:15 PM

All I can say folks is BOLLOCKS.. sorry but music is there to be played/sung and enjoyed.. If it offends anyone in the process then tough shit. So a piece was written a hundred years or so ago and now doesn't fit into our "political" way of thinking.. so what.. It had meaning when it was written and it should have meaning to us now, no matter how trivial/urbane the sentiments may seem to us. Folk songs are as mush a part of history as digging up old bones. They are a part of what we are today.
Being English and to answer Ian Kirk (yes indeed a pomm i.e. not descended from an old convict), I have a devoted love of Irish music. I play/sing all the songs that purport (and some indeed do) describe how my country has kept the Irish under the thumb. I might be tempted to "alter/abridge/political correct" some of the lyrics but I don't.. it wouldn't be right. I am voicing the sentiments of the person who wrote the song and that is what is important, not what I feel, not what the audience may feel.. especially any prats who may be sitting amongst them..
Keep folk music alive.. it's what made us what we are today... God forgive it..
Mick


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Mary Ann
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 09:04 PM

Thnere useta be a buncha what you're talking about at the U. of Chicago Folk Fest workshops -- folks who'd chew you out for whispering like it was church or something.

(OK, well, sometimes it was, but only the liberal kind ...)

And there were folk clubs like that in Chi-town, which, much as I miss them, you couldn't talk in.

I now live where it's beautiful and drive 60 miles to song circles, and debate with myself all the time whether the package is worth it.


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Ian Kirk
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 03:40 PM

Ok I'm up for this.

1) Bill I hope those folk prats were not pomms. If they were send em back to where they came from. We'll tell them where to put their sanctimonious claptrap. Though I thought Aussies were good enough at that - where's the fight in ya.

2) Folk Prat Type 2. Usually bearded blokes who run folk clubs that are soooo traditional that unless your floor spot is a turgid ballad with 93 verses sung ala Ewan MacColl with your eyes shut and your finger in your ear you get frowned at and ignored for the rest of the evening and not asked to sing again. Transport them I say.

3) Part Type 4 Again blokes, usually young, who complain that the folk club audience only like old stuff and he only does his own stuff and he doesn't do covers.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 03:23 PM

hey dulcimer, this same thing was coming up on the RUS thread and as you probably know, the great tradition of dulcimer building {either Hmd. or Mtn.} says to be non-traditional is the tradition. If folk songs tell a history, then that history needs to be accurate in the context of the time period. PC shouldn't enter into it...and yet it does. This has become a real problem in school courses. Trying to be PC and whatever centered in history courses dilutes history and the many worthwhile, enlightening people who lived in THEIR times...NOT OURS! The pendulum has swung too far and our efforts to be PC have changed the history to be less offensive and give self-esteem to others. I suppose that's to be expected as all history is philosophy and told from a subjective point of view. Maybe Ambrose Bierce was right and History is "an account, mostly false; of events, mostly unimportant; brought about by Rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools. catspaw49


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: dulcimer
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 02:58 PM

It might be kind of interesting to see how many of our best folk songs would be made politically correct by prats. I have a feeling prats miss and may ruin the important part of the experience of hearing folk music. I don't enjoy songs which by design are to offend or cause harm, but doing a folk song in pretty much it's traditional form with original words gives me a lot of insight into the lives and events of others. I don't have like or agree with the perspectives, but I can appreciate the perspectives. So using the definition of 'prat' as found in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, we might well know where to effectively deal with such a person.


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 12:54 PM

At the risk of sounding prattish, I have to join in the fray. I call your example an example of the "Nerd Factor" in folk music. It doesn't put me off, though. Been guilty once or twice myself, cool as I am . . .


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Benson
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 12:08 PM

Where to go with this...???? Hmmmmm Ok.......If you will notice the songs under "Erie canal"....the mention in many songs of the mules...... The mules were used to pull the barges....barges were generally "poled" down the rivers....or pulled by mule ....as they had little or no power of their own.

The singer...In "OLD MAN RIVER"...was (I believe) a dock worker....."available" to do the job at hand....be it loading bales of cotton.....or whatever...The song is a form of lamentation.......backbreaking drudgery......but as long as the river is there...he will be also.....

When the barges needed to be pulled into the dock....guess who got the job??????...wasn't me.....


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:48 AM

Benson, you're a stronger man than I. My barges{or tows}as they're called, have to be free. You tote the barge and I'll have a frito. catspaw49


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Benson
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:43 AM

Actually it is "tote that barge"....lift that bale...........

"tote"...as in to pull.......

And I once heard a version of "Elderly man River"...but somthing was lacking.......


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:42 AM

So how do you "tote" a barge. Art may have an answer to this based on his "pundits" experience on the Mississippi River. catspaw49


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: SteveF
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:37 AM

Well... sometimes these prats are not self-righteous, merely right. A singer may occasionally invert lyrics, as in, "Lift that barge, tote that bale..." Have you ever tried to lift a barge?
Oops! I shouldn't have used that example. From now on there will be an entire generation of Mudcatters who will be unable to do "Ol' Man River" without glancing at the notes pinned to their sleeves!

-- SteveF


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Benson
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:26 AM

Dr John, Now that WAS funny!!!!!! And quite appropriate......however, could it be that you were, in fact, just "fishing for compliments"...????


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Bill@Aussie
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:23 AM

Isn't it funny how PRATS almost always start their sentences with.......My dictionary...........

Now I really must go to bed.


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Bill@ Australia
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:18 AM

Got to hit the sack folks. It's midnight here in the wild west of Aussie. Anyway!!! What fun is there when folks agree. Come on Teachaaaassss... Where's Ya fightin' spirit.

G'night World.

Love ya really.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Dr John
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 11:12 AM

My dictionary defines "to fish" as to "search for something in a body of water": so you can fish for cod, whales, crabs, three old rubber boots a Ford radiator and a Chevrolet coup if you want to. All aspects of life seem to attract pendants who are only too happy to share their ignorance with you.


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Benson
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 10:52 AM

I guess we need to change the words to some of our songs.......for the sake of literal "correctness"

Let's see...."It ain't Necessarily so..."......hmmmmmm that could be changed to .."It isn't necessarily Historically Factual"......

"Old Jonah he lived in the whale...."......Hmmmmm..well, actually he lived in a fish.....so we could use those words and make up some others to go with it....But who's gonna buy either version......????

Then it says..".He made his home in that "fishes'" abdomen".........Is that a contradiction or what?????.....

Anyways.....a whale sorta looks like a fish......


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 10:51 AM

You just have to laugh at people like that, Bill. That's what the hands on the "Diamond" would have done.

Folk music is the history of Man as written by Man (with all the the warts and frailties), not Superman.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 10:25 AM

Alright Benson, was the Diamond canary powered? Sorry. Bill...yep, been there, done that. Ought to be an entertaining thread. If not,Benson and I will deal with the story of the Great Clinch River Whale. catspaw49


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Benson
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 10:13 AM

Dear Bill,

Aye...matey..!!!!.It were indeed the hearty lads of the "Bonnie Ship the Diamond"....who went a-"fishin' for the whale".

And sad as it were....that fitting masters of of book larnin' were few on board the whalers decks.

And when they heard that Jonah....."was swallowed by a great fish"....I am tempted to think those poor ignorant souls envisioned a whale.......


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 09:49 AM

Folk music and music in general has to have poetic license. A good rhyming lyric is more important than being absolutely correct. This is art, not science, let's remember that. By the way, was the song Willie Nelson's "Denver" ?


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Subject: RE: Self righteous prats
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 09:42 AM

Keel-haul the lot of 'em......Tiger


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Subject: Self righteous prats
From: Bill@Australia
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 09:15 AM

Hi.

How many of you have been put off folk music by the 'absolute prats' that it seems to attract. (Sorry but they're often school teachers) A few years ago I visited a folk club and sang a song I liked. In one line of the song it said something about "Fishing for the Whale". When I'd finished my little rendition I was told that the song was nonsense because the whale is a Mammal and not a fish. They said it should say Hunting for the.... BLAH...BLAH...BLAH.. BLAH... Several of the small gathering agreed. I wished I'd stayed at home... and did in future. Well, from that little gathering anyway.

Happy New Year to you all.

Bill

PS Thought I'd start the New Year with, hopefully, a healthy argument.


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