The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90399   Message #1948508
Posted By: Scrump
26-Jan-07 - 07:24 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Pick a Bale of Cotton
Subject: RE: Origins: Pick a Bale of Cotton
I was surprised to find the 'n-word' in the DT version of this song, having never heard any version of it with this word in (not that I've heard all that many versions of it), and I assumed Azizi's objection to it was based on that. I only looked at it to remind myself of the lyrics, and had always assumed it was a fairly innocuous song based on what I'd heard (Lonnie Donegan, etc.)

However it Azizi's objection runs somewhat deeper than just the presence or absence of the 'n-word'.

I take the point that Azizi himself/herself won't sing the song because of perceived connotations of slavery, but I'm now worried in case Azizi's perception is widespread, and I may risk offending people if I sing it. I've sung it many times in the past and never heard anyone object, but then the lyrics I use are the 'innocuous' ones.

My views and experience regarding this song are almost exactly those of GUEST,Black Hawk above. Of course I wouldn't dream of singing the DT version, but I still can't see that the 'Lonnie Donegan' version (for want of a more convenient term) should cause offence. It could be regarded as a different song to the same tune. There's nothing wrong with picking cotton per se, after all.