The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161057   Message #3825159
Posted By: Dan Schatz
08-Dec-16 - 12:29 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Paddy Welcome Back (Utah Phillips)
Subject: RE: req/ADD: Paddy Welcome Back (Utah Phillips)
Oh, jeez, I'd totally forgotten the "Chinaman" line. (Clearly I didn't read through the thread carefully.)

I was involved in the decision to change it. Brendan called me to talk about it, and figure out what to do about the use of racist language in that line. We knew that Utah was just telling a story, but it didn't necessarily come out clearly to someone who didn't already know and trust him, and could have adversely affected the track and the whole project. So we agreed it would be best to change the line, and Brendan came up with "Send in the Chinaman," which still included one racist term, but didn't compound it with the "ching chong" language.

Mark, you can blame me.

But I still think it was the right call. Brendan's edit rescued that song from never ever getting sung again.

The expanded songbook was Utah's other son Duncan's project, put together completely after Utah died as I recall, and the lyrics are the same as in the original.