The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23696 Message #3599409
Posted By: GUEST,Eliza
08-Feb-14 - 05:50 AM
Thread Name: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
I remember as a small girl listening to this song on the radio, and really loving it. Just after the war, where I lived in Middlesex (west of London) a huge procession of pony-drawn traditional 'gypsy' caravans arrived every Spring and drew up on our central green. These folk were always called The Gypsies, and the general feeling was pleasure that they'd come again, just like the swallows. They were a part of our seasonal life. The women would come round selling pegs and bunches of heather etc, and were received with courtesy and kindness on the whole. My mother (being Irish) was always glad to see them and have a natter. Gypsies were seen as romantic and their life as very attractive and carefree (it was probably hard in reality though!). This song could be summed up in that one word - Romantic. A Gypsy man would be regarded as exotic, handsome (because they were quite dark-skinned and had a healthy look from outdoor living) and yes, sexy. There was no intention or undertone of prejudice, racism, despising or any other nasty attitude. It is just an expression of a young woman's feeling of freedom and earthiness at being with a man like that. People are far too over-sensitive and find offence where there never was any, not in those halcyon days anyway.