The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24468   Message #281135
Posted By: Branwen23
20-Aug-00 - 10:08 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
The story you told is awful, that kind of thing should never happen, I agree. But there is no similar language as "dirty gypsy" or any mention of anything like kidnapping children in thi song.

As I recall, there are no derogatory(sp?) adjectives at ALL in this song used to describe the characters in the story, and in response to IvanB's earlier question, yes, I think that you could take any mention of ethnicity out of the song and it would be entertaining.
Like I said previously, I can easily see how one could see the song as less than complimentary, if one is looking for it, but there is a big difference between open racism, hateful, and intended to hurt, and the kind of thing we're seeing with this song. I really believe that the tune doesn't send a message of racism or intolerance. There are irresponsible people of every ethnicity and culture, and I think that this song is about a few of them, and is certainly not representative of the entire culture.

Again, I'm really sorry, but I just don't agree with the statement that this song is racist. Maybe you've heard it performed by someone who is doing it with that feeling intentionally, and if that's so, I'm sorry, that should also never happen. We are all here together, and we should never hurt each other over something as personal as culture. But the way that I've heard this song performed was by a band I know, who are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and play the song with no malicious intent at all. Most of the fun that they put into the tune has nothing to do with the song, but with their stage bits and antics that they do between verses and things that are really unrelated to the story of the song.
I can completely understand your position, I hope you can see mine. The last thing I would ever want to do is to alienate anyone here. But to say that a song carries a racist message, that also says something about anyone who performs it, and that just doesn't fit with these guys. They are my friends, and I will back them up because of that, and because they are good people, and I won't have people thinking that they're racist or intolerant of other cultures.