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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Roger the skiffler BS: What I've learned from the Mudcat (17) What I've learned from the Mudcat 12 Nov 01

(OK I'm just emptying the old jokes bin)

When I first started lurking around the Mudcat Café I was a long time jazz and blues and skiffle fan who knew very little about folk music apart from (or because of) attending Spinners and Corries concerts in the 1970s.

Since then, of course I've picked up quite a lot from the experts here. However, as a musical klutz, I may not have quite grasped it all correctly.
For the benefit of other folk neophytes (not you, Banjo Bonnie, sit down, you're an expert now!) here is what I think I've learnt:

Folk: people (NOT horses, whatever Louis or Big Bill said or didn't say).
Axe: what pop performers call their guitars
Banjax: what Irish folk performers call their tenor banjos
Thong: What thome people thing (Thee altho thpudth)
Craic: Where the thong ends up
Martin: a popular brand of guitar, responsible for the death of Ella Speed (on many occasions)
Washboard: A primitive rhythm instrument, mainly extinct, now only used by living fossils (see also teachest bass, washtub bass and kazoo)
Whirlpool high spin automatic front loader: An electric version of the washboard favoured by more modern performers.
Old country: where most Americans came from
New Country: Out of town shopping malls
Chord: What people hang themselves with when I sing
Key: What people use to lock me up ditto (in the blues, does not always fit in the right keyhole)
Note: What people press on me to stop me singing
Shanty: a hut, outside of which people often sing the blues
Sea Shanty: one of the above that has been swept away by a hurricane
Luthier: Superman's enemy, also the topic of many songs: The Man from Larrivee; North to Grit Laskin The Great deFender,
Seagulls: One in the eye for luthiers if they look up
Catspaw: A foul mouth hiding a (largely recycled) heart of gold
Skiffler: An awful warning to those who never listened in Music 101 and never practised.
Roger (verb) : To assault a person in the most horrible way, to do the same to a song. (see also to render, or tear apart)
Fender: Something to put in front of the fire and rest your legs on.
Ovation: to throw eggs at (see also Skiffler).OR something to throw on the fire
Sheila: Australian for any woman, Berkshire for that long-suffering wife of the noisy, out of tune, old git.
Brummie: A person with an unintelligible accent, a shamrock in his turban, an undeserved pride in his heritage, frequently exiled to other parts of the country or world.
Blues: Poor folks' music played by supporters of Birmingham City
Claret and Blue: rich folks' music played by supporters of Aston Villa
Sky Blues: music for high fliers who support Coventry City.
West Bromwich Albion Supporters: My dad (last of the breed)
Kazoo, a cigar shaped instrument which is placed between the lips and hummed through by those who can't play a musical instrument (DO NOT see Lewinski, Monica)
Harmonica: a mouth organ (same warning applies)
Harp: Either an instrument with strings, sometimes in an erotic frame, OR metal object which is placed in the mouth an blown through (I won't tell you again!) OR a lap top instrument that takes six months to learn and three years to tune.
Mandolin: an instrument for slicing vegetables and encouraging Greek tourism (for an instrument for discouraging Greek tourism see Skiffler)
Bouzouki: A mandolin with ideas above its station
Bodrhan: a popular resort in Turkey favoured by people driven out of Greece by itinerant skifflers.
Cecil Sharp: the key I whistle in
Child Ballad: A lullaby that goes on all night
Sympathetic strings: Yorgos Glinatsis, the only guitarist who can accompany my singing
Rick (verb): to strain a muscle trying to do complicated chord changes
Otway: annual awards presented by the American Guild of Self-Advertising Practitioners.
Ella Speed: the correct tempo to sing "A tisket a tasket (OR an amphetamine popular with late night musicians)
Tempo : An Irish Secretary who can't hold down a regular job
Rhythm: something attributed to African Americans, keenly espoused by Catholics with less success and totally lacking in WASPS.
Wasps: A well known Lancashire rugby league side
Ukelele: a guitar that's shrunk in the Pacific climate
Banjolele: a device for telling the weather's turned out nice again
Late night sing-around: A device for telling the time (stop that noise, don't you know it's four in the morning?).
Ascot: A small village, near a racecourse. Once the epitome of class and privilege, recently invaded by riff raff, even exiles from Birmingham
Birmingham Sunday: Two way Family Favourites, Billy Cotton Band Show and Sing Something Simple
Ascot Festival: Celebrations that take place twice a year, funnily enough always while I'm in Greece
Pianola: A device for exercising both thigh muscles and voice.
Piano roll: a snack to be eaten while pedalling the pianola, consumption prevents singing, often supplied free by neighbours.
Greek Diaspora: whole communities in Greece have been seen running to the harbour and getting on board ships to avoid the singing of some tourists.
Argonauts: Ancient Greek sailors who put wax in their ears to avoid terrible noises, a custom recently revived.
Capricorn: jokes so bad, even the goats won't listen
Capripox: A disease of goats, sheep and Vikings
Condom: A very safe rhythm guitarist
Frankie and Johnny: A successful jockey, whose seven winners at Ascot were a record (and were backed by Herself - a whole pound on a placepot) and the man with the monocle behind an old tv cook.
Crossroads: where Robert Johnson learned to play the blues until the other guests complained they could hear him through the cardboard walls. He also composed the immortal "May Amy Turtle be unbroken" there
Big Bill: What you get from your ISP if you use the Mudcat too much
Max: short for maximum, the ultimate
Yamaha: a motorcycle mass produced in plywood
Morris dancing: a pastime of workers at Cowley, Oxford
Washtub bass: someone with a deep voice who sings in the shower
Tenessee Ernie Ford: also known as the Model T, an early US car
Dulcimer: an erotic film starring Carol White and John Mills
Jug band: a strip of duct tape around the head to protect the ears of rugby front row forwards
Ramblin': All the above, sorry!

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