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Drunken Sailor song protested

DigiTrad:
DRUNKEN SAILOR


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor (44)
In bed with the captain's daughter (50)
Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses (39)
What can you do with a drunken sailor- verse ideas (63)
A Horrible example of 'Drunken Sailor' (45)
Help: meaning of 'in bed w/ captain's daughter (70)
Lyr Add: What Shall We Do with the Grumpy Pirate? (18)
P.C. version Drunken Sailor (47)
Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho (17)
Folklore: What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor (4)
Lyr Add: Ebrio quid faciamus nauta (13)
Chord Req: Banjo tuning for 'Drunken Sailor' in Em (9)
BS: What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor (15)
Origins: Drunken Sailor (21)
Same Tune? Drunken Sailor/Oro se do (16)
Lyr Add: Drunken Sailor parody (anti-war) (2)
Drunken Sailor...that not so old thread? (12)


Peg 24 May 00 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 00 - 04:21 PM
Peg 24 May 00 - 04:27 PM
Peter T. 24 May 00 - 04:27 PM
joeler 24 May 00 - 04:27 PM
MMario 24 May 00 - 04:28 PM
SINSULL 24 May 00 - 04:31 PM
SINSULL 24 May 00 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,John Bohannon 24 May 00 - 04:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 00 - 04:42 PM
wysiwyg 24 May 00 - 04:47 PM
Rick Fielding 24 May 00 - 04:51 PM
MMario 24 May 00 - 04:53 PM
Allan C. 24 May 00 - 04:54 PM
catspaw49 24 May 00 - 04:59 PM
MMario 24 May 00 - 05:03 PM
wysiwyg 24 May 00 - 05:03 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 24 May 00 - 05:05 PM
SeanM 24 May 00 - 05:06 PM
MMario 24 May 00 - 05:06 PM
MMario 24 May 00 - 05:10 PM
catspaw49 24 May 00 - 05:11 PM
SeanM 24 May 00 - 05:16 PM
wysiwyg 24 May 00 - 05:16 PM
Mbo 24 May 00 - 05:28 PM
Hollowfox 24 May 00 - 05:39 PM
Amergin 24 May 00 - 05:40 PM
Amos 24 May 00 - 05:54 PM
katlaughing 24 May 00 - 06:13 PM
paddymac 24 May 00 - 06:16 PM
Gary T 24 May 00 - 06:42 PM
catspaw49 24 May 00 - 06:55 PM
wysiwyg 24 May 00 - 07:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 00 - 07:29 PM
fulurum 24 May 00 - 09:43 PM
Gary T 24 May 00 - 11:27 PM
Mbo 24 May 00 - 11:30 PM
DougR 24 May 00 - 11:35 PM
Amergin 24 May 00 - 11:42 PM
Gypsy 25 May 00 - 01:16 AM
Bugsy 25 May 00 - 01:23 AM
Chanteyranger 25 May 00 - 05:07 AM
Sailor Dan 25 May 00 - 07:14 AM
Hollowfox 25 May 00 - 09:17 AM
SDShad 25 May 00 - 09:42 AM
Peg 25 May 00 - 10:00 AM
Greg F. 25 May 00 - 10:27 AM
Mark Clark 25 May 00 - 10:52 AM
Amos 25 May 00 - 11:00 AM
Wesley S 25 May 00 - 11:32 AM
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Subject: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Peg
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:09 PM

I think my choir did this song in high school, too...times are changin'...

From today's Boston Globe:

Song about drunken sailor upsets parents By Associated Press, 5/24/2000 08:53 WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) After learning that a high school choir planned to sing ''What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?,'' some parents are reaching for the anchor.

As word spread that one of Conard High School's choirs would perform the offbeat song in tonight's spring choral concert, it prompted a quick and mixed reaction.

At least two parents contacted the school recently, saying they were concerned about whether the tune -- often a drinking ditty -- is appropriate for a high-school choir to sing.

''The concern was that singing a song which uses the phrase `drunken sailor' may be offensive to someone who's been dealing with alcoholism,'' said Alphonse ''Chuck'' Landroche, the school's principal.

Landroche said school officials discussed the issue and agreed that although the choir could sing the song tonight, it would be preceded by a disclaimer to emphasize that it is not intended to glorify drinking or mock alcoholism.

Some choir members believe political correctness is being taken too far and say they are pondering whether to conduct a silent protest by turning away while the disclaimer is read.

''We interpret it completely different, that the sailor partied too much last night and his buddies are trying to sober him up,'' said Christopher Fitzpatrick, an 18-year-old member of the choir.

The song is known as a ''shanty,'' or ''chantey,'' tunes that sailors sang while performing their various seafaring duties.

The song is often in the repertoires of Ivy League institutions.

The Conard choir's version includes only a few of the song's many verses. Some of the racier verses are not being sung, such as: ''shave his belly with a rusty razor'' and ''put him in bed with the captain's daughter.''

''We're not doing a really wild version,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''The version we're doing is pretty tame


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:21 PM

I reckon they make this stuff up on a dull news day, and then persuade some jokers to put their names to the quotes...

All right, we won't sing that one. Now all together lads "WHIP JAMBOREE"


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Peg
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:27 PM

No, McGrath, sadly it is quite true...New Englanders these days are getting mighty uptight about such things; several months ago in Amherst, Mass, the community wanted to ban a high school production of "West Side Story" for its supposedly-racist depictions of Hispanics...


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:27 PM

This is the sort of thing that drives people to drink or to sea. Entering the era of Eisenhower II.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: joeler
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:27 PM

I was in the Navy for four years and I hardly remember a thing. The true should be known. Sing the damn songs kids, sing it out!


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:28 PM

I thought the verses they were cutting were some of the TAMER verses....they can get pretty downright crude...face it, it was probably "ballocks" long before it was "belly" - and even that it tame compared to "twist his pizzle into a bowline" or


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:31 PM

A school in Buffalo recently banned the annual reading of "The Giving Tree" because the tree is female and presented in a subservient role. I guess if she had fallen down and killed the guy who picked her apples it would have been OK.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:31 PM

Then again, we wouldn't want to introduce the theme of suicide.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: GUEST,John Bohannon
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:33 PM

Weve always sung "throw him in bed with Margaret Thatcher." I never knew the real line "...the captain's daughter." Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:42 PM

I'd find the term "Hispanic" offensive if I came from Puerto Rico - like being called "Caucasian" when you come from Tipperary.

So West Side Story wasn't seen as racist about the Italians?

I have to admit, when I saw it I wasn't at all clear which was which.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:47 PM

Oops, needs new updated verses! Here's a few!

Send him off to school to learn how to be PC...

Censor his logbook and change the history...

Plan an intervention and sober his ass up...

Ask the crew if they would like to form an Alanon...

Blame his drinking on his dysfunctional family...

Pour all his rum right overboard smartly...


Sur-lie in the morning!


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:51 PM

"Put 'em in charge of the Exxon Valdiz".......

Rick


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:53 PM

y'pour me rum overboard and yer dang tootin' I'm goin' be surly! 'sides the fakt thas jes' plain ol' alcohol abuse, do y'ken how much that bottle cost me?


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Allan C.
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:54 PM

I recently heard a version which featured such verses as:

"Get him to admit that he has a problem."

"Soon he'll understand that he is co-dependent."


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:59 PM

Christ almighty....I can't take it!!! Lemmee guess....If you sing this and play musical chairs too, your ass is going straight to hell. We ought to start taxing stupidity; it seems to be in good supply and indeed, running rampant. We could completely do away with sales tax.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:03 PM

No matter that the tune is
as old as the blue hills
that the song's been sung forever
across the seven seas
They have banned it now in Boston
And they'd burn it if they could
And many of those who haven't
say "we should!"

No matter that it's upbeat
with tempo smart and quick
and the words have all been censored
'til they're saccharine and sick
They have banned it now in Boston
And they'd burn it if they could
And many of those who haven't
say "we should!"


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:03 PM

Tie him in a chair then pull it out from under him...

Say it's a disease then thrown him overboard anyway...

Gee, maybe it isn't so much fun to be a drunken sailor, at least in these times!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:05 PM

McGrath, yes, West Side Story is specifically about the Hispanics and inter-relating with the more established ethnicities which were prevalent in New York. I think the Jets were your North American mix of races, and the others were the immigrant Puerto Ricans.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: SeanM
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:06 PM

I love this!

So let's see... a song that lists off all the punishment the poor "drunken sailor" is getting inflicted on him is glorifying alcoholism, and "put 'im to bed with the captain's daughter" (as I remember, basically saying "beat him unconscious with the bloody great stick or whip the captain uses to administer discipline") is lascivious... Gee, glad they didn't get ahold of "make him kiss the gunner's daughter" (oft interpreted as pressing the gent's face to the barrel of the cannon as it is fired). We'd probably have a case for pedophilia on our hands.

Keeeee-rist.

M


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:06 PM

gee- and here I thought it was romeo and juliet updated to a modern setting....


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:10 PM

Sean - most people don't KNOW the correct interpretations of the phrases, and only see the double entendre, taking it at face value. I'd been singing "Drunken Sailor" for thirty years before I had an inkling that there WERE alternate meanings to the various phrases, and then it was only because I read the same phrases in a novel.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:11 PM

Has this school got an e-mail? Or is there a local addy of some sort? Anybody know? Something for this group that's "concerned?" Anybody know???

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: SeanM
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:16 PM

Yeah! I'm with 'spaw on this one!

Perhaps a letter stating the real meanings of what they're singing could do some good... Gods know it'd be better than some pusilanimous "we're sorry we're singing, we just don't know any better" apology before the song.

Maybe something along the lines of "Back in the days of sail, there was little worse on board a ship than a man who was drunk on watch. The sailors despised such a man to a point as to create a shanty specifically laying out the punishments due to such an offender."

Couldn't hurt.

M


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:16 PM

LOL! We could make them a tape, each one add a verse and send the tape on to the next!

What do you do when the schools have gone stupid...

Get an education that is based on Pablum...

Choke the living sh*t out of every cultural expression...

~S~


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Mbo
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:28 PM

Good gravy what are these people thinking? I learned this song when I was 5 years old, in Catholic School Kindergarten music time. So it can't be that bad can it?!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Hollowfox
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:39 PM

Back in 1998, the O'Fallon (Missouri) high school marching band was going to use the Jefferson Airplane song White Rabbit in a performance. Someone protested, the band was ordered not to play it, a lawsuit came about, and tons of high school students who only knew it as an instrumental number looked up the lyrics on the Internet, thus introducing them to the dopelore that the complainer was trying to prevent them from exploring. (People Magazine gave it a small article in the November 16, 1998 issue)


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Amergin
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:40 PM

Next thing we know On Top of Spaghetti will be promoting eating disorders.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Amos
Date: 24 May 00 - 05:54 PM

This is a mild but insidious form of mass insanity. Anyone who is that terrified of ideas will never be able to think, which is sort of a circular argument. We ought to bombard the PTA e-mail with MP3s of the bawdier verses of the Good Ship Venus, or hire a bunch of gentle jolly walkers to attend their next meeting and argue on behalf of genuine passion. How do these lamebrains think they got here? Half of them were only spawned because some sailor got drunk!!


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 00 - 06:13 PM

Unfuckingbelievable!! I knew Amherst was PC, but not THAT PC when I lived across the river in Noho. Do these people feel so out of control of their own kids and their minds that they will ban everything??? Of course, a lot of that loss of control probably came about while they were trying to raise them by the PC-code (which used to mean something more balanced).

I agree with Spaw, we need to start an email campaign. If nothing else, we can all send letters to the Boston Globe by clicking here.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: paddymac
Date: 24 May 00 - 06:16 PM

The version in the DT has 12 verses (or six couplets, whichever you prefer), all "nautical". There's probably a thousand more out there that have no relation to things nautical beyond being stuck into this particular song. The song is amazingly adaptable to whatever happens to be in today's news - which is probably the reason it's so well liked by folkies and pub singers (and listeners). For example,:
"Put him in a chorus in West Hartford" or
"Send him back to school at Conard High",
coupled (sorry gang, no hidden meaning intended) with "I wouldn't do that with a drunken sailor". The phrase "banned in Boston" has been a great advertizing gimmick for decades, or more. Maybe this little episode could be used in pubs for a lyric contest - might even spawn a "rebirth" of the song. Too bad there's no "Hit Parade" anymore.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Gary T
Date: 24 May 00 - 06:42 PM

I understood the Jets in West Side Story to be from a Polish neighborhood. At one point Bernardo calls Tony a "Pollock".


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 May 00 - 06:55 PM

He called him a fish?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 May 00 - 07:12 PM

He was an Alaskan Polack?


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 00 - 07:29 PM

I'm reminded of the story about the bunch of street kids planning the night's action.

"Yeah, well Tony's a Wop, and Spikes a Nigger, and I'm a Mick and Al's a Yid, and Jose is a Spic - but we're all Americans..." Cries of doubtful approval.

"So we've got to stick together when we go down to the parking lot and stomp those Arabs..."

You could change the names and the labels and the locality round if you like. But we were talking about West Side Story.

And I alsways thought the Jets were Italian. If I say all these New Yorkers tend to look and sound pretty well the same to me would that be racist? I think it's more of a compliment.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: fulurum
Date: 24 May 00 - 09:43 PM

attention students. you may bring your weapons of choice into the school. but please check your offensive songs and literature at the door.thank you.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Gary T
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:27 PM

Well, I would have spelled it right but I'm sure Bernardo spent more time being tough than studying spelling, and he probably would have spelled it wrong, and since he's the one who said it...this excuse doesn't sound fishy, does it?


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Mbo
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:30 PM

The fish comment is OBVIOUSLY a reference to the line in Romeo and Juliet "O flesh, o flesh, how art thou fishified!" **BG**

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: DougR
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:35 PM

Peter T: Don't follow your reference to Eisenhower. Would you amplify a bit? Just curious.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Amergin
Date: 24 May 00 - 11:42 PM

If I can't bring my thoughts into the school, at least I can still bring my gun...


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Gypsy
Date: 25 May 00 - 01:16 AM

"Put him in charge of an Exxon Tanker
put him in charge of an Exxon Tanker
Put him in charge of and Exxon Tanker,
Then we'll start the cleanup!


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Bugsy
Date: 25 May 00 - 01:23 AM

Some people are SO narrow minded.

IT's PATHETIC!

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 25 May 00 - 05:07 AM

Sean M's idea of an explanation of the meaning of the song would have been much better than some disclaimer, Sean's being just an honest presentation of what the song is about. This whole controversy is an embarrasment. I hate to think what would happen if this highly constricting level of PC became majority opinion. This is sheer puritanism. Reminds me of the time someone complained that "John Cherokee" was insulting to Native American Indians! This person was totally misinformed of the meaning of the song and of the ethnicity of John Cherokee (West Indies). Same thing happening in MA: PC based on misinformation. On top of all this, kids LOVE to sing this chantey. It's rousing, easy, and very fun. They are not concerned with whether it promotes alcholism. Only adults think that's what children are thinking.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Sailor Dan
Date: 25 May 00 - 07:14 AM

First of all, you people here on the mudcat must have compassion, Please.

Those parents who went to the school to complain suffer from a very serious disease. The all suffer from whatis know as "Rectalcranialinversion." Please feel compassion. I mean after all how would you like it if you had your head stuck up your ass and all you could see was brown. It might just give you a shitty outlook on life.

Coming from the Big CIty of NY. West Side story is about the Puerto Rican Influence vs the Irish/Italian etc faction on the upper West Side of Manhattan in the areas of West 80's to West 110th area. In the 1950 & 1960 era the situation as depicted wasn't far off the actual truth.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Hollowfox
Date: 25 May 00 - 09:17 AM

Thanks, Sailor Dan. Now I know the formal medical term fro cerebral hemorrhoids.


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: SDShad
Date: 25 May 00 - 09:42 AM

I can't imagine cutting "shave his belly with a rusty razor"! I sing that one with a kind of gravely voice to indicate how rough the shave might be--and every kid in the audience is usually giggling before I finish the first line!

That's too risque? Yeesh!

Praise, I'm gonna have to add "Plan an intervention and sober his ass up" to my version. To by followed by "get him to admit that he has a problem," of course. And Rick and Gypsy--I added the Exxon verse years ago. Always a crowd-pleaser. Another one we added years ago was:

I don't know what to do with a drunken sailor
I don't know what to do with a drunken sailor
I don't know what to do with a drunken sailor
Earl-eye in the mornin'

Must be half-spoken-half-sung in a rambling, rushing, drunken slur, so as to be barely intelligible and to fit into the line since it doesn't scan quite right....

Shad


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Peg
Date: 25 May 00 - 10:00 AM

I am reminded of when I was working at an art cinema theatre in Northampton, MA a few years ago...yes, the Happy Valley, as they call it, is a bastion of kneejerk liberalism (which I don't mind so much) but even more so a bastion of kneejerk political correctness (which really got on my nerves sometimes)...and even the local movie house felt the ripples of it...at the theatre we were playing a French film called "How to Make Love to a Negro without Getting Tired" and the title referred to the book written by a black man (Isaak de Bankole, of Chocolat and Night on Earth) about his own exploits. It is a controversial title but the film itslelf since the main character understands the irony and stereotyping in his use of these words, is actually rather sweet and inoffensive, execpt that this guy does have a tendency to use women sexually but they all love him and it is a silly romantic comedy so everyone is happy...

But we got calls at the theatre and people threatening to boycott us and everything else you could imagine. One woman who called was all righteous and indignant. She said "I can't believe you're playing this film at your theatre." And I asked "Why?" and she said, blustering, "It is racist, and sexist." I asked, "Ma'am, have you seen this film?" and she said "No." And I asked "Then how do you know it's racist and sexist?" "Well I can tell by the title." I said "So it's the title you object to, not the film." She hung uop eventually, rather upset that I did not want to listen to her rant and rave about how racist and sexist the management of my workplace was...

I submit that many of the parents protesting this wonderful old song have not even bothered to look at the lyrics. I also submit that nary a one of them understands that it is very educational and enriching for school children to sing songs which have historical and cultural relevance...when I was in school our choir director loved that genre of songs known as "Negro Spirituals." We sang them often. These days, I wonder how many music teachers who love this music think twice about having their kids perform them simply because the historically-customary name of this song category is offensive to people...

In the meantime, letters to the Globe might do something...it was an AP story, I believe, and letters to the school would probably be even more effective...there were lots of letters about the "West Side Story" debacle in Amherst...

That's Conard High Scool in West Hartford, CT. The phone number is 860-521-3610.
Their mailing address is:
Conard High School
110 Berkshire Road
West Hartford, CT 06107

Tell 'em Peg sent ya. ;)


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 May 00 - 10:27 AM

A quote I've seen attributed to Frank Zappa might be appropriate here; hope I have it correctly:

"Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute this. I say there is much more stupidity than hydrogen, and THAT is the basic building block of the universe."

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 May 00 - 10:52 AM

Well at last we have the explanation for the widely publicized shortage of corn cobs! We now know where each of them has gone. It's offensive to have this sort unmitigated prudishness given a label that includes the word correct.

"Drunken Sailor" has always been one of my favioite songs. My children and grandchildren learned that one at an early age. I wonder how these folks would like another favorite of mine, "Sam Hall"?

I read in the paper yesterday that some group in Boston has determined that all the G-rated films are actually too violent for children. I suppose we can forget about singing "Pretty Polly," "Ommie Wise" and "Little Joe The Wrangler" any more.

Looks as though the US needs another Free Speech Movement, what's going on at Berkley these days?

Grumble, grumble, gripe,

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Amos
Date: 25 May 00 - 11:00 AM

Peg, your approach is certainly more rationale and more economical. And might be more effective. But I like the idea of swamping them with jolly walkers. It'd be a helluva lot more fun! We could deck 'em up in sailor suits, like, and have them do a chorus line singing naughty sea-songs...

A


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Subject: RE: Drunken Sailor song protested
From: Wesley S
Date: 25 May 00 - 11:32 AM

Trust me there arn't going to be any alcoholics in the audience to offend if there are any bars open at the time. So it really doesn't matter.

Also on the PC front - a local theater group put on a stage adaption of the "Maltese Falcon" a few years ago and cast a black man as Sam Spade. You can imagine the phone calls they got on that one.


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Mudcat time: 27 June 11:29 AM EDT

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