The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #140761   Message #3236166
Posted By: saulgoldie
09-Oct-11 - 08:57 AM
Thread Name: Are racist, but traditional, songs OK?
Subject: RE: Are racist, but traditional, songs OK?
Great question! I don't know that I can give a straight up answer. Some songs are profoundly offensive. However, many songs have some sort of historical value that we cannot forget.

There are songs that are still widely sung that express views of women that I wince when I hear. And plenty of overtly racist or anti-Semitic songs. And I don't know how many people know that those formerly known as "Gypsies" feel that that term is offensive, and they prefer to be called "Roma." Yet, the term "Gypsy" is still used even in recent songs (at least in the "country" music genre). "Gypsy Davy" anyone? Still, some of these songs do have historical value in that they reflect the views of people of the eras in which they were written.

This harkens back to the recent discussion about "sanitizing" Mark Twain's work. And a fair amount of movies and radio shows from the earlier (and more recent) 1900s. In all honesty, I cannot give my own "one size fits all" answer. Great question!