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Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?

katlaughing 04 Jun 99 - 12:19 PM
Roger in Baltimore 04 Jun 99 - 12:47 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 01:08 PM
Matthew B. 04 Jun 99 - 01:13 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 01:14 PM
Jeri 04 Jun 99 - 01:37 PM
Barbara 04 Jun 99 - 01:48 PM
annamill 04 Jun 99 - 01:57 PM
Frank of Toledo 04 Jun 99 - 03:23 PM
annamill 04 Jun 99 - 03:29 PM
Llanfair 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM
katlaughing 04 Jun 99 - 04:28 PM
Barbara 04 Jun 99 - 05:14 PM
Charlie Baum 04 Jun 99 - 05:16 PM
Barbara 04 Jun 99 - 05:21 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 06:30 PM
katlaughing 04 Jun 99 - 06:34 PM
John Hindsill 04 Jun 99 - 07:00 PM
emily rain 04 Jun 99 - 08:14 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Jun 99 - 09:35 PM
DonMeixner 04 Jun 99 - 11:15 PM
gargoyle 04 Jun 99 - 11:53 PM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM
Helen 05 Jun 99 - 12:04 AM
DonMeixner 05 Jun 99 - 12:25 AM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Jun 99 - 12:55 AM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 01:06 AM
DonMeixner 05 Jun 99 - 01:09 AM
The Resonator 05 Jun 99 - 02:01 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Jun 99 - 03:57 AM
Susan of DT 05 Jun 99 - 09:14 AM
LEJ 05 Jun 99 - 06:17 PM
Liam's Brother 05 Jun 99 - 06:44 PM
Folksie Lady 05 Jun 99 - 07:59 PM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 08:45 PM
Folksie Lady 05 Jun 99 - 11:50 PM
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katlaughing 06 Jun 99 - 12:51 AM
Night Owl 06 Jun 99 - 01:39 AM
Rosebrook 06 Jun 99 - 12:23 PM
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emily rain 06 Jun 99 - 03:50 PM
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katlaughing 06 Jun 99 - 04:41 PM
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The Shambles 07 Jun 99 - 09:10 AM
katlaughing 07 Jun 99 - 09:28 AM
Rosebrook 07 Jun 99 - 10:33 AM
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Big Mick 07 Jun 99 - 01:29 PM
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Peter T. 07 Jun 99 - 04:16 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Jun 99 - 07:52 PM
Bulldog 07 Jun 99 - 08:18 PM
katlaughing 07 Jun 99 - 09:10 PM
DonMeixner 07 Jun 99 - 10:03 PM
Big Mick 07 Jun 99 - 10:44 PM
Rosebrook 07 Jun 99 - 11:26 PM
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The Shambles 08 Jun 99 - 09:07 AM
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KingBrilliant 08 Jun 99 - 10:26 AM
Peter T. 08 Jun 99 - 10:57 AM
katlaughing 08 Jun 99 - 12:29 PM
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tina 08 Jun 99 - 03:21 PM
Roger in Baltimore 08 Jun 99 - 03:26 PM
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emily rain 08 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM
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harpgirl 08 Jun 99 - 10:35 PM
harpgirl 08 Jun 99 - 10:55 PM
katlaughing 08 Jun 99 - 11:30 PM
Rosebrook 09 Jun 99 - 01:06 AM
Lonesome EJ 09 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM
The Shambles 09 Jun 99 - 02:29 AM
Peter T. 09 Jun 99 - 08:59 AM
Jeri 09 Jun 99 - 10:43 AM
katlaughing 09 Jun 99 - 11:39 AM
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Charlie Baum 09 Jun 99 - 03:33 PM
Susanne (skw) 09 Jun 99 - 07:06 PM
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Richard Bridge 09 Jun 99 - 09:00 PM
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Subject: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 12:19 PM

I know of several recent folksongs written from a gay/lesbian/bisexual standpoint. I am wondering if there are many "old" songs of that nature, besides the two which are referenced in the DT, when one types in "homosexual". I got nothing when i typed in lesbian or bisexual.

I would be interested in any old and/or modern songs that any of you may know of or perform. Thanks,

Katey, who thought kd lang had stolen her nickname "kt", when she first heard of her:-)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 12:47 PM

I learned "Gotta Find a Woman With a Chainsaw (to spend the winter with me)" from the singing of a lesbian trio whose name escapes me after these dozen or so years. It's not really a lesbian song as I believe the writer was a male. But I didn't know that at the time. I didn't have to change the gender of the song, but I did eliminate the reference to Mendocino Thunder F*** (potent marijuana). It is extremely popular with audiences in the fall of the year here in Maryland.

With some hesitancy I should note an old favorite by Charlie King entitled "Thank you, Anita" (a reference to Anita Bryant, the orange juice queen who slurred homosexuals). It is with hesitancy because I casually mentioned this song a year ago and someone asked for the lyrics. Maybe if I change that burned out light bulb in the cellar I can find that LP. After three moves, they are no longer in alphabetical order and there must be hundreds of them (folk and 60's and 70' R&R).

Maybe I'll go look.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:08 PM

Interesting thread Kat. I believe it would have been in the early sixties when I first heard any sexually-alternative songs. Names that come to mind would be Chris Williamson, and Alix Dobkin. Of course Bessie Smith (who from all accounts, loved a good time,) probably put disguised references into her blues songs.
As far as Gay songs by guys, my guess is they would have been totally underground til at least the seventies. Fred Small was quite open and probably paved the way for others, but wasn't his debut in the mid-seventies at the earliest?
One of my favourite songwriters Paul Seibel ("Louise") didn't come out publicly til long after his great album "Woodsmoke and Oranges".
If I had to take a guess, I'd say that there were probably a number of small private (for safety sake) record labels that did exclusively Gay material from a way back. There is a long history of "in house" recordings. The Communist Party had it's own labels from the thirties. I've got an old "Charter" 78rpm from the forties with the as-yet un-named "Weavers" singing "Wasn't That a Time". I'm told that it was sponsored by the CP. Also I believe the KKK had their own label that recorded groups like the "Reinhart Bros". Of course there have always been small labels doing "comedy" records,(and I ain't talkin' Bob Newhart, folks). In the twenties (and probably before) there were very "Blue" recordings, that folks brought out at cocktail parties. My friend's parents kept a trove of these and he and I as 10 year olds used to find and play them. People like B.S. Pully, and even Sophie Tucker. We didn't understand them of course, but we "knew they were wicked"!
So my guess is that were probably gay records and artists from the early days, but you had to be "in the know" to find them.
Correct me if I'm wrong someone, but weren't Peter Pears and Benjamin Britton (sp) openly gay a long time ago?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:13 PM

Well, there is a long and proud history of songs that celebrate cross-dressing, usually in one of two categories:

1. Intentional, such as the all-too-common songs about lasses who had to dress up as lads to do some heroic deed or other (examples: Famous Flower of Serving Men, Handsome Cabin Boy, etc.)

2. Unintentional, such as all those songs where some poor sailor is lured into a woman's room, is drugged, and awakens nude in an alley the next morning, having to grab whatever he can find (usually a dress or apron or other woman's garment) and sneak back on board ship.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:14 PM

Just thought of something. A pioneer in the country/bluegras field is of course Cathy Fink. Wow, she must have the guts of a burglar!
In the 60s and 70s I used to get a haircut before I crossed the border into the states - and my only "alternative lifestyle" was that I sang a lot of Phil Ochs songs!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:37 PM

I've always wondered about "Dame Durden"

`Twas Moll and Bet, and Doll and Kit,
And Dolly to drag her tail;
It was Tom and Dick, and Joe and Jack,
And Humphrey with his flail.
And Joe kissed Dolly, and Jack kissed Kitty,
And Humphrey with his flail;

And Kitty she was the charming girl
To carry her milking pail.

Many really good love songs can be sung by anyone for anyone.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:48 PM

In the 60's I worked on an underground newspaper (remember those?) and a bunch of the guys were gay. They said that Donovan was gay, and that his song "Try and Catch the Wind" was about gay relationship.
Geoff Morgan has songs about male relationship and a really eerie one about AIDS that doesn't mention that word.(1980 ish, I think).
Fred Small wrote Everything Possible, one of my all time favorite lullabyes, for lesbian Janet Peterson of Motherlode.
Was it Steve Goodman who wrote the song with the chorus
"There are men who love women who love men
There are women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because they can't pretend
To be men who love women who love men."
And for totally off the wall funny raunchy rock and roll lesbian music, let me reccommend my old church camp buddy Kay Turner, lead singer for the Austin TX band, Girls In The Nose. I like the first album best. Caveat: you have to be able to like catspaw type humor to enjoy this stuff. Talk about bad taste awards (NPI), one of the songs is "Come and Die", and another is called "Bite Me"
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: annamill
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:57 PM

Oh Oh! Wait til catspaw sees this one... I don't think you have bad taste, Catspaw ;-)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:23 PM

I have a Folkways album WALLS TO ROSES..Songs of Changing Men; 1979 Album No. FTS 37587. It is explained as the conception of a seventeen-member collective of men. I quote "We came together from across the nation, combining our energies with those of six New England area women for the sppecific purpose of creating a record which supports the struggle against sexism in its broadest sense and strives for a more positive vision of masculinity. Iif anyone is interested, call me at e-mail flnjjones@harborside.com I have the usual great Folkways booklet of twelve great pages of notes and lyrics. A real insight into a way of life and extremely well done...........


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: annamill
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:29 PM

Barbara,

I hope I didn't insult you. I hope you know I was only teasing. Sometimes NJ people forget that the rest of the world doesn't understand our teasing sense of humor. If I did, I didn't mean to.

annap


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Llanfair
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM

My favourite is Noel Coward'S "Mad about the Boy" Everyone knew about his lifestyle, and this song was so thinly veiled, that it was accepted, in an era when "that sort of thing" was not talked about openly. He was very much in love at the time, and the song expresses it in his usual understated way. Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:28 PM

Wow! gREAT! Yes, Rick, B. Britton was gay; the Queen even sent condolences when he or his partner passed on (can't remember which and don't want to call my brother to ask.)

I have a great book, "Homosexuals in History", which gives a short bio of many.

Does anyone recall the name of a comedy/singing duo, both gay, started out in the 80's? I think one of them was named Phillips? We saw them at UMASS-Amherst and they were fantastic. I never got their tape and would love to find them again.

Not sure about Donovan, his latest cd, "Sutras" is "dedicated to she" according to the liner notes and has a b&w photo, closeup of him ad a woman embraced.

How about recent, besides Holly, Ferron and k.d.? Anybody perform for gay/lesbian/bisexual/trangender audiences specifically?

Thanks, kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:14 PM

N.O.T. (No Offense Taken) annap. Besides I don't really know if catspaw tastes bad. (But you'd think anyone who spends that much time in the litter box would have a uh, bouquet of ammonia about him, wouldn't you?)

Geoff Morgan isn't gay, KatL, but he does often play to gay men's gatherings.
One of my favorite men's songs (not necessarily gay) is Tom Hunter's "Tonight I Want you to Rock Me to Sleep".


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:16 PM

I've sung:

"Frankie and Johnny were lovers...He was his man, but he done him wrong." Changing one pronoun puts a whole new spin on it.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:21 PM

Oh, and "I just want a woman with a chainsaw" is a Peter Krug song. He lives in the Russian River area of California, and has written a number of neat songs. His "Working Hands" has been recorded by Faith Petric, as well as "Gonna be a Geritol Gypsy (drive an RV 10 yards long)".
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 06:30 PM

Kat, the duo with "Phillips" in it sure wouldn't have been John Phillips (from the Mamas and Papas). His autobiography would curl your hair! Most of the time they were all so stoned they could have been in bed with a grizzley bear and wouldn't have known the difference.
I co-wrote and toured with Arlene Mantle off and on for about 5 years and always played with her at Gay Pride Day in Toronto. She would introduce me as her "token straight guy"! Sometimes I'd hire a few others to be her "big band" and she gave us the name "The Heterosexually Impaired". Arlene had a wonderful sense of humour. Sadly there were some in her audiences that were "thick as a brick", and felt that Arlene betrayed the cause by even hanging around with men, let alone hiring them to work with her. Humourless people of any stripe bore me stiff.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 06:34 PM

Me, too, Rick. No, it wasn't that Phillips. Arlene sounds like my kinda woman. Charlie, I love the change of pronoun!

I will go do a forum search for some of these. If they aren't there, I may have to ask some of you to post some!

Thanks! kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 07:00 PM

How about Roger's and Hammerstein's, "I Enjoy Being a Girl" as interpreted by Phrank? Me, I'd take Pat Suzuki any day!!!--John


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: emily rain
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 08:14 PM

i like to think that "she mov'd through the faire" is about furtive lesbian love... all the luscious secrecy, and far more women than men sing that song.

also, is anyone familiar with "when i was a fair maid", as sung by sally rogers? the heroine dresses up as a boy to join the queen's navy, and does very well there. then comes the verse:

"but a lady fell in love with me
i told her i was a maid
she went unto the captain
and my secret she betrayed"

i've always wondered why the lady would do such a thing, until one day this embellishment came to me in a flash:

"but a lady fell in love with me
i told her i was a maid...

(she said "i know")
(i said "umm... and i'm straight")
(she said "no you're not")
(i said "actually i am")
(and she said "look, if you're not interested you can just tell me")
(and i said "but really...!")
(and she screamed "I'VE NEVER BEEN WRONG ABOUT THIS SORT OF THING YOU LYING BITCH I MEAN LOOK AT YOU WHY DON'T YOU JUST TELL ME YOU THINK I'M A FAT UGLY SCAG??!?")

she went unto the captain
and my secret she betrayed!"

heh! the perils of faulty gaydar... when you learn to see folk music through queer-colored glasses, it's possible to find _tons_ of songs about homosexuality. :)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 09:35 PM

If you want to go back a ways (it says historical, there isn't a hell of a lot. Bessie Ball and Mary Gray (Child 201) were suspected; Willie of Winsbury was unusually attractive to the King; The Handsome Cabin Boy was apparently bisexual, while the heroine in Short Jacket and White Trousers referred to the crew's possible reaction to a (supposed) homosexual affair. The only other reasonably old (prior to 1960 or so) ones are Navy songs like "Backside Rules the Navy".

I suspect that homosexuality disturbed our forebears more than things like rape, murder and incest did.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:15 PM

I think I react to the notion of a diferention of specifically Gay and Lesbian songs in the same way I react the personals adds in the news papers that list "Men" "Women" "Guys" and "Gals". In an effort to show acceptance and tolerance we create divisions that are even more defined. I am a person who through the course of my day will meet and work with other people. Some will be straight and some will be gay but in the the cosmic scheme it won't matter to me who is and who ain't. What will matter is that we met and parted, fairly served by each other, and neither was diminished by the experience.

I understand the need for some kind of validation that shows we are not alone and there is a group that accepts us for what we are. But when we reach the point where we have to divide music in to such specific categories I fear we are driving wedges and the same time we are cementing solidarity.

Don


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: gargoyle
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:53 PM

Katspaw!!!! I am truly SHOCKED!!!!

From previous previous "conversations" and "matramonial/seeking threads" I TRULY believed to you have a child. (Not "The Child's")(p)

WHY?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM

Oh, Don, I never meant it to be that way. We do identify some folk songs as Irish, Polish, from Tuva, etc. As relative novice at the really old folksong tradition, I am interested in knowing about these songs.

I understand your point of view, but it sounds a lot like the people who say "why do they have to have gay pride marches and flaunt it". Why? Because without those marches and the civil rights they sometimes helped to bring about, most everyone would still be in the closet and persecuted etc. As it is anyone homosexual in most states can lose their job, their housing, their kids, etc. just because of their sexual choice, somethng that should be nobody else's business. A lot of people are not as open and understanding as most Mudcatters seem to be.

I don't see my request as any different than one requesting an old Irish tune, or any other of several kinds, except that it involves sexual preference, another category. Sorry, if that offends anyone.

BTW, the gay group I was trying to think of was Romanofsky and someone I can't remember.

Bi, for now and always,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Helen
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:04 AM

Hi all,

I've been trying to find the thread where gay & lesbian folk songs were discussed and I finally found it. It was one of those funny threads which start out completely differently. It seemed to be started by a non-Mudcatter but we don't really know if it was a serious request for making social contact. You'll have to scoot past the BS if you're only interested in the music discussion which started after my posting about half way down.

Don't be put off by the thread name, either.


sexyone

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.CFM?threadID=3346

We couldn't find many gay/lesbian traditional songs

Helen


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:25 AM

Kat,

I think that its a fascinating notion for a thread. And i am in no way suggesting that we hide or deny songs like these. I just hope that in our concerted efforts to be inclusive we don't inadvertantly become exclusive.

The truth beknown, I am confused by sexual preference anyway. Does the fact that I prefere to experience sexual relations exclusively with women make me a lesbian? My wife says "no" but she prefere to have sex with me and she's so cheerful all the time she must be gay.

What a world.

Don


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM

Oh, Don, I am glad to read your words, but cha' know....love women or not, yer just not equipped to be a lesbian!*BG*

Helen, I am glad you put that link in and that you warned about the BS. Had I read that thread, at the top, when I first came on the Mudcat, I would have been very offended at everyone's flippant and rude remarks and may not have come back. I can empathise with whoever posted the thread. I doubt if she was looking for a sexual conversation as much as hoping there might be a like-minded person among us. And, being bold enough to post, I am sorry the intial response was so, well....catty! *grin*

Okay, okay, I know we ALL love folkmusic, but by our very responses such as the thread mentioned, might we be being a little exclusive, just as Don fears? And, Don, I don't think our being inclusive is suddenly going to turn this into a gay only music site .**BG** How about we settle for gay/lesbian/bisexual/whatever friendly?

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:55 AM

As long as you all learn your proper "F" chords.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 01:06 AM

I found them! Thanks Helen for reminding me of Ladyslipper Records, in the other thread. The gay couple I was trying to remember is Romanovsky and Phillips. They are funny, irreverent, and really good, with several cd's out at Ladyslipper

Oh, Rick, is that Fchords, sounds like fjords? NOI!

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 01:09 AM

Rats!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Resonator
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 02:01 AM

For what it's worth, there was a long-standing tradition in the old black blues circles of gay/lesbian songs. Of course, the blues was full of double-entendres anyway. I don't know if Stash records has released its catalogue on CD, but they had a 1977 LP called "AC/DC Blues." It has cuts such as Kokomo Arnold's version of "Sissyman Blues," and Bessie Jackson doing "B.D. Woman's Blues." One cut, "It's tight like that," features Thomas A. Dorsey, who later became the father of modern gospel music! The songs were recorded between 1927 and 1936. Peace.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 03:57 AM

Glad to see the blues reference. I think there were others from the 20s etc and I will be surprised if the era of decadence in Germany didn't produce candidates. I think I remember vaguely a UK radio prog a couple of years ago dealing with lesbian songs of the 20s.30s etc. I don't think it was Charlie Gillett or Paul Gambaccini but they would probably remember. I'm almost sure it was on one of the London local FM stations. This ought to be dug into more deeply because it is a socially important thread.

BTW why has no-one mentioned Donovan's "The Gipsy Boy and I"?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 09:14 AM

a search for @transvestite yields 50 hits


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: LEJ
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 06:17 PM

Kat...no offense by any means, but I bet Catspaw is just itching to post some Historical Gay Songs out of his own colorful imagination...I have to admit I thought of a couple.

I think that homosexuality was a taboo topic until 30 years or so ago, taboo both among song-writers and among the musicians and folks who would have passed down the tradition. But, hey, maybe Sappho was a folk lyricist and we've just lost track of the tunes?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 06:44 PM

I can't think of any references to homosexuality in British and Irish traditional song.

Willie O' Winesberrie says "If I were a woman as I am a man, my bedfellow he would have been." This is a rare example of one man (indeed a father) acknowledging the good looks of another but there is no hint of homosexulaity or bisexuality in the statement.

The transvestite highwayman and sailor songs of the last couple of centuries usually centered around a woman following her man. Sylvie, I Am A Maid That Sleeps In Love and Jackie Munro are all good examples. In the Handsome Cabin Boy "It was the Captain found out the secret of the handsome cabin boy."

Then, of course, there was Hannah Snell who was said to have been a Royal Marine for 15 years and to have been punished by bareback lashing - yes, bareback lashing. I would doubt that Ms. Snell was much interested in menfolk... but no traditional song survives about her and I doubt there ever was one.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Folksie Lady
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 07:59 PM

Great thread! Coincidentally, I've been researching like subjects for my own knowledge, but am including the whole spectrum of women's lives. From a woman-positive, even feminist viewpoint... am including songs about singleness, bisexuality, family life, friendships, struggles in the workplace, girlhood and awareness of impending womanhood, how men view women, how both genders change and grow as they mature. Whew! (smile) Katlaughing, if you have any input it would be very welcome. Others too, certainly.

There really are no historical songs about the thread topic coming to mind. Besides Ladyslipper I'd also recommend Harmony Ridge for women's albums.

Folksie


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 08:45 PM

Oh, wow, Folksie, are we gonna hafta talk! All subjects dear to my heart and my writings! Gotta go right now, but I will get ahold of you later. Thanks to you and everyone for their interest and support on this. It means a lot to me.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Folksie Lady
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 11:50 PM

'Twould be delightful, katlaughing! Please feel free to do so. Meanwhile, I'm gonna make some semblance of a list or such in order to have the research as coherent as possible.

One serendipitous discovery has been Dory Previn. She is a talented singer and dead-on in her wryly humorous lyrics. More later...back to the turntable for me! (smile)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:32 AM

kat...wondering if you're familiar with Theresa Trull's music...she used to tour with Holly Near in the seventies......hopefully, that's not considered "old" music!!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:51 AM

No, Night Owl, I'm not. I didn't find out about Holly until about 1984 when we moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. Went to the local fem/les bookstore and fell in love!

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 01:39 AM

I misspelled her name....its Teresa Trull (no "h"). I only have one of her albums called "The Ways A Woman Can Be" produced in 1977 by Olivia Records, Los Angeles California. I think you'd enjoy her music, especially if you can locate recordings done with Holly Near...they made musical magic together!! I don't know if Olivia Records still exists, but they were a good source for women's music....waaay back then.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:23 PM

Kat,

I'd encourage you to pick up some music by Alix Dobkin (a personal favorite of mine). She was an out lesbian singer/songwriter in the 70's and is still working. Some of her landmark contributions are:

Amazon ABC, Lesbian Code, View From Gay Head.

Her ballad 'Over the Banks' is a beautiful love song, it certainly thrills my heart.

In reading one of your posts in another thread, I saw that you have an affinity with Native American people. You are probably familiar with the traditional Lakota chant 'Ancient Mother', but I would heartily recommend picking up Justina And Joyce's CD 'So Strong'. They do an awesome cover it. It sounds like up to 6-part harmonies to me, and their harmonies are tight and rich. Justina and Joyce are another favorite lesbian folksinger/songwriter duet. (The first song on this CD is a cover of the Scottish folksong 'Dark-Eyed Molly'. It's soooo gorgeous. Justina's voice is hearty and rich and full. It's a great CD.)

Also, check out Cris Williamson, Lucie Blue Trembley, Meg Christian, and Susan Herrick (I really like her song 'Never Have I' (among may others!). She's wonderful. Her song 'Heart of a Child' is a powerful testimonial as a former victim of sexual violence.)

This has been an interesting thread. I don't think that by recognizing various genres, we are marginalizing people. Just the opposite.

Rose


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:54 PM

Rose, Thanks for your posting, both here and on the enthnically diverse one. Glad to see somebody else "come out" *smile*; really glad to see you join us with some postings.

I am a little familiar with Alix. Also, the Lakota song, from Libana's first tape/cd, "A Circle Is Cast". I will definitely check out "So Strong", it sounds great!

Have to go plant some flowers I bought yesterday. I promise to answer with more, later. Thanks, again.

Bi,Kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 02:50 PM

How about Ray Davies's, Lola?

I think I share some of Don's concerns. Given my opinions on the nationality of music and my belief and hope for music as the universal language, this may not be such a surprise.

I agree with you Kat, when you say that without the demonstrations and sacrifices that were made, then some people would still be living in fear, but is it not time now to move on? Those first battles have been fought and won and society's attitude's have changed. To continue to behave as if the world is now, as it was 30 years ago, is counter-productive. Is it not time to concentrate on making society in general more accepting of our diversity, rather than creating 'ghettos'?

As I speak there is a trailer running on BBC TV, for a programme called Gaytime TV.

I have no problem with gay people, but I do have a problem with a so-called 'gay community'. The idea that I can form a community with people with whom the only thing I have in common is my sexual preference, is difficult for me to accept. If I went to a club composed only of such people, would I not be missing out on the opportunity of sharing all my other interests.

Is that not the danger and weakness of 'alternative' cultures?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 02:55 PM

I have a dread of reading the next thread entitled 'How many Mudcatter's are gay?'.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: emily rain
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 03:50 PM

shambles, i think i disagree with you that society's attitudes have changed. while homosexuality is definitely becoming more acceptable, there's still a society-wide feeling of extreme discomfort and revulsion. when working with my clients' teenage kids, the most common insult i hear is "he's such a queer," which is especially forcefully directed at boys who know how to be caring and sensitive with their friends. gay-bashing is a tradition that's still alive and well (and not just of concern to gay folks; the majority of adolescents who are picked on/ostracized/beaten up/raped for being gay are _not_actually_gay_). and while we have gay characters on tv and in movies and whole storylines about what it's like to be gay, you'll notice that the female characters are rarely sympathetic unless they're bi and cute, and the male characters are mostly clowns.

i'm fully in agreement that separatism is not and never could be the answer. however, if we are to be accepting of our diversity, the first thing we have to do is acknowledge it. when kat started this thread, i think we all understood that she wasn't trying to drum up interest for a whole new exclusive queer-only digitrad with queer-only songs and a dating service on the side. she was just suggesting we talk about something we haven't really talked about before.

and isn't that what diversity is all about?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 04:32 PM

Shambles,

I think you are absolutely right when you describe some of the gay community in terms of missing out on the the "whole" person - all of the interests, skills, personality traits, emotions, etc. that form a person *in addition* to her/his sexual orientation. In talking with some other gay people, I often see that missing. However, in talking with some straight men, I wonder what interests they have other than "chasing skirts". Only having such a narrow focus can be a weakness in any culture or person. People are people and there are some people who recognize and are interested in other people for the "whole" person, gay, straight or bi.

Regarding it being time to move on, well, tell that to the parents of Matthew Shephard. Or to the family of the lesbian couple who were kidnapped and murdered in Oregon a couple of years back. There are many, many familiar cases of hate crimes. There are many, many more less familiar incidents. You say, "Those first battles have been fought and won and society's attitude's have changed." When I don't have to fear loosing my job or apartment because of whom I love, we'll be a little closer to that time. When the lesbian mother doesn't loose custody of her child to her ex-husband who is a convicted murderer, (actual case in Florida) we'll be closer to that time. With the high rate of suicide among gay youth, it's hardly time to move on.

Emily, I think you are right - the most common insult you will hear in an elementary school playground is one child accusing another of being gay. "What are you, gay?" or "He's such a queer" are typical, daily negative reminders that there is something wrong with being gay. Elementary school is where the taunts start. It gets worse in the upper grades.

As this was a thread asking for information about lesbigay music, I made my musical contribution above and didn't expect to offer anything else.

Rose


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 04:41 PM

Thanks, Emily. Shambs, I am reminded, on an almost daily basis, of how far we still have to go for total aceptance to live our lives without being harassed for our choices, whatever they may be. Just last year, my gay brother came out of his apt. to find someone had drawn a chalk outline of a body ala homicide investigations, right in front of his door. There is a bar in Wyoming which has a noose hanging on the wall with a sign that says basically, if you're gay we'll use this on you. Two lesbians were brutally murdered in Oregon and left in their pickup truck a year or two ago; Pat Robertson and his ilk would like to put all "queers" in jail and his real extremists would like to kill us all. Robertson was a major speaker at the Republican (USA) national convention a few years back

Your intentions are good, but unfortunately there still are not enough of you out there. When we gather as a gay/lesbian/bi community is it because we feel safer there; we don't run as much of a risk of being beaten up, raped, spread-eagled and murdered, lose our jobs, our homes, our kids, if we are only "out" mostly within our own "gay community". We also don't gather and define our community solely on the basis of sexual preference. Often we also share similar views on politics, civil rights, the environment, education and a myriad of other things. While you might not think you are in a community defined by being hetero; it is so much the "norm" of society, you can't help but be. That standpoint inundates us all, all of the time, through the media, government, etc.

Some of the gay community still has a hard time accepting bi's. When I first came out to some lesbian friends they thought I was a fence sitter, safe behind my hetero marriage. Through my actions, words, and over time, most of them have grown to be more accepting and supportive. Most of the hetero community does not see me as a threat, so I am a lot safer than gays and lesbians; but I still empathise with them and still consider myself a part of their community and proud of it.

Of course I want us to embrace diversity; that's what I've spent a good share of my life working to promote. You are right, the first battles have been fought, but it is far from over, for all minorities. It won't be over until it is safe for any gay, lesbian, bisexual, person of colour, etc. etc. to walk the streets alone, and get and keep a job/apt/have a child without fear of loss because of their minority status.

I am sorry Shambs, but your point about being in a one only society and losing out by not being with others doesn't wash. Your society, hetero, is so out there one can be exposed and partake of all it has to offer everywhere, anytime. Many of the queer community do just that; they can't help it. They were probably raised in it; went to school in it; and work in it.

I am NOT trying to polarise any of us. I simply wanted to know more about the songs which define some of us. And, while I don't think it would be safe to start a thread about which M'catters are gay, I would welcome email or private messages from any who are.

katlaughing, rabble-rousing with heart!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 04:57 PM

I hear what you say. I just think that part of the problem is that having demonstrated that diversity, to keep attracting young people to that idea of a separate 'gay community', stops them from being part of a larger community, that is generally ready to accept them.

Does not the concept of dressing and behaving in a way that openly makes the statement of your sexual preference, make it easy for those that would not accept you to identify and harm you?

Is not the idea of the 'gay community' NOW becoming THE barrier to larger acceptance?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 05:17 PM

Shambs: I am sorry, but what planet are you living on??? Young gay people are NOT generally accepted, NOR are they comfortable in coming out. It is a time of great changes for any young person, when none of them want to feel different than their peers. As Emily said, many teens still use the terms "queer, faggot, lesbo, etc. as the most deragatory terms they can call one another.

And, by saying that someone dresses a certain way in order to identify that they are gay, be careful about making such assumptions. The media have fed stereotypes to society ad nasueum. You should come out here sometime to the gay rodeo or even the regular rodeo and meet some of my gay cowboy friends, (although it'd have to be away form the rodeo, as I don't go to them anymore); or the power exec lesbian I know. Of course, just like any subculture there are choices one can make if they want to *flame* or be subtle. The use of subtle choices is no different than what any other repressed and oppressed segment of society has used for i.d. of friends in the past, including early Christians. And, so what if someone wants to be flamboyant about it, ala Liberace. Isn't that their right, too? Should they "deserve" to be beaten or murdered because they flaunted it; just like a street woman deserves to be beaten and raped?

Sorry, the real world is not generally accepting and is not safe, not yet, anyway. We're working on it, though.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 05:34 PM

Sorry, one more point. You said: "Does not the concept of dressing and behaving in a way that openly makes the statement of your sexual preference, make it easy for those that would not accept you to identify and harm you?"

If this were the case, would hetero men who whistle at women, leer at women, make suggestive remarks or gestures at women, be "openly making a statement about their sexual preference"? And, would that mean it should be open season on them by anyone who did not want to accept their sexual preference? There are examples of this all over the media and in life, all of the time.

I don't think that it's so much the gay community wanting to be exclusive, as safe. Also, the gay community, in general, willingly works within the general community, when accepted, esp. for a common cause. In our organisation here, the Wyoming Grassroots Project, an org. for human rights, we have made sure all minority communities feel welcome, heard, and included: gay, African American, Hispanic, hetero, etc.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 06:19 PM

Sorry Kat. My last post was not a reply to yours, our post's must have crossed. They have crossed again, this a reply to your first one.

I don't understand how, if you feel so deeply that you have been and continue to be excluded from the larger society that you refer to as "your society" (meaning mine, nor yours), why you cannot see that creating your own (for the illusion of your own safety), which excludes everyone else, will only produce the same feeling of alienation in that larger community and can only increase the hostility that you complain of.

If you remove yourselves, your views and influence from larger society, how can you then condemn it for being 'hetro' biased?

My thinking re the proposed (by me)'gay' Mudcat thread, was not that it would not be safe, more that it would not be necessary. I for one do not care about anybody's sexual preferences. It is not necessary surely to know that information to enable us to be friends and share songs, jokes and views? I could tell you mine, but why should I think you or anyone would be interested?

If we can agree here, to disagree on other subjects, why should any difference in preferences, sexually or otherwise come between us?

But given the tone of one of your later replies I am beginning to regret that I have taken a large piece of shiny of bait. I live on the some planet as you, the difference between us seems to be that you do not want to share it.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 07:08 PM

Just because a person has a second, smaller group they belong to doesn't mean they reject the whole of society. I'm a member of the folk community where I live because the community in general doesn't understand folk music, and many don't like it. That's fine, but I want a place to go where I can be a folkie.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 07:11 PM

Tracy Chapman? Castleberry & Dupree? There is always Laura Nyro's "Emily." Margie Adam wrote some, I think. (hard G) Maggie Savage is gay, isn't she? openly? Great band in Seattle called Righteous Mothers. I have an old old LP by a women's band out of Boston with a great song called "Unfinished Business."

and Shambles, kids where I live now get thrown out of their homes for being effeminate.

MA -- heterosexual. I can't help it; just born that way. (sigh.)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 07:23 PM

Too bad you think I don't want to share, Shambs. Thats it for me.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 08:32 PM

Oy vey. I think I'll become gay just to piss off Pat Robertson. On second thought, I'll piss him off even more by being "straight" and yet totally accepting of my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters everywhere.

So, take that, Pat. Nyah nyah


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Allan S.
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 08:38 PM

In reference to "the handsome cabin boy" Somewherer I read that "The history of the English navy was THe lash, Rum and Sodomy" Isn't the song Jackaroe A reference to cross dressing.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 09:54 PM

I just love Mudcatters, be they gay, straight, lesbian, bi, Chinese, HIspanic, Blonde, hairy armpits, whatever. Who people choose to associate with (because they are comfortable, or feel safer, etc.)has no bearing on what is right or wrong in the world. The simple fact of the matter is that people who are what they are by the grace of God, are discriminated against for something (like sexual orientation)in which they by and large had no choice in the matter. In my mind that is inherently evil, which means that I must use my ability as a bard to sing out against it. Anytime a young man or woman must hide their essential nature because they are fearful of physical and mental harm, this is a sickness which must be rooted out and eradicated. I am not bothered by Shambles acceptance of person's sexual orientation, I accept him at his word that he does not make his decisions about people on that basis. What bothers me is the attitude that as long as one does not make judgements on that basis that they have done enough. To illustrate what I mean let me tell you about the time that I was lecturing a visiting group of Irish Business owners and trade unionists on US Labor Law as opposed to Irish/Northern Irish/British Labor law. I had been asked by the School of Industrial Relations at Michigan State University to do the lecture. At one point we talked about the US civil rights movements and labor's role in the struggle. This obviously led to a discussion of civil rights in the North. At the break a very nice gentleman of the Orange persuasion came up to me. He was very genuine in his expression of regret over the discrimination that the Irish Catholics in the North had suffered. And he said to me the very words that I had heard otherwise very nice white people say to me about black people. "I know it is wrong, but I didn't do it. Why should I have to suffer, or even make it right" I was knocked out. It brought home the universality of the struggle. It is not good enough to recognize evil, avoid it, and not practice it. You insure it's spread when you do. You must actively root it out, and do your best to eradicate it. And so it is with the gay/lesbian/bi community. One's sexual orientation is not on my checklist of reasons to have someone as a friend. Is their lifestyle mine? Nope. Do I think God will punish them for it? I'm not smart enough to figure that out, they, as we all, will have to deal with God on that one. But I do know some things that God has communicated in very clear terms. Love one another as I have loved you. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Will I sing the songs of their struggle? You bet your life I will. As I said in the beginning of this long diatribe. Any time one is discriminated against because of what they are born, I am there.

And I think this is a very important thread.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 11:04 PM

Oh, and Si Kahn wrote the one where the chorus goes:

"They say that in his younger days he loved another man And when the talkin'started, his friend died by his own hand; There were wispers from the women, and hard talk from the men But the curtains on Old Joe's house were never drawn again.

-- MA


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 11:08 PM

I have heard a Donovan song mention several times but with never the same title. Are we talking of several songs or one song. I suspect we are talking about "Try For The Sun" from the "Fairy Tale" album. I seem to recall that in an interview when asked about this song Donovan said it was not about Homosexuality. But then I'm recalling an interview that I read in highschool(1968?) and a recording I haven't played in thirty years.

We Stood in the windy city, The Gypsy Boy and I,.....

And who is going to be the one, to say it was no good

what we done,

I dare a man to say I'm too young, for I'm going to try

for the sun."

Kat, I am unsure how to proceed with my comment. I feel that these songs and statements made by their songwriters are important and should be made. I simply worry that by categorizing them so strictly you are pulling them away from the mainstream.(Maybe a bad choice of words here) I hate going to Border's and looking at the CDs and seeing Male Vocalists and Female Vocalists. Whats wrong with with Vocalists or Vocal Musicians? I don't want to see an article about Holly Near, feminist vocalst. I want to see just Holly Near, pretty good singer.

Don


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Night Owl
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 12:52 AM

Wondering if we can include Don Meixner's WISE words of June 4th in the Mudcat book..... ;o)

"I am a person who through the course of a day will meet and work with other people. Some will be straight and some will be gay but in the cosmic scheme it won't matter to me who is and who ain't. What will matter is that we parted, fairly served by each other, and neither was diminished by the experience."

Thanks Don....WELL SAID!!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 05:12 AM

Kat, it has taken some time and many prior replies to you to realize that you are (bravely) of a persuasion other than mine! (This is Lion BTW!) Not to sound trite, but lots of my friends are gay. Some I met through my eldest daughter (25) who made friends with many gay guys at high school. Some have experienced predjudice, and one in particular, from his own father who disowned him. I have always thought that people should not judge others by anything but the way we are treated by them. I have had gay friends who died from AIDS, and the loss of a friend is a tragedy regardless of who they might sleep with. Also, why at the mention of "gayness" do people immediately think of sex? Not all gay people are having sex, just like many heterosexuals who are not "getting lucky'?!* If you think about it, there's more to life!! Not much maybe, but there is !!!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 05:28 AM

I must stop double clicking!!! Kat, if you come back, I wanted to tell you that I have often been heard to say no, I'm not a Lesbian, but I wish I were. Probably doesn't help any, but I think women rule!!! So there! Lion


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Helen
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 06:20 AM

Big Mick,

You've said it so well. I see it from a number of perspectives, including the union background, and rather than trying to take a page or two to say what I think & feel, and what experiences I have lived through in my life, I'll just go with Mick's view. It's so close to my own view any way.

I've lived on the other side too, and theory versus reality don't match up yet, sad to say. I finally had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn't be brave enough to live that life, but I'm still getting repercussions from the past and that was 15-25 years ago.

Love to all in this thread, Helen


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 09:10 AM

I am pretty sure that there are people reading this thread who have views far more extreme than mine. Until they respond and I hope they don't, I seem to be cast, (somewhat surprisingly) as the resident homophobe. This without knowing any of my personal circumstances and as a result I have had to endure all of the well-rehearsed, conditioned responses.

To be put in that role for expressing the mild views that I have, confirms my worst fears. If you go back and read what I have actually said, in the context that I said them and not to assume that I have any hidden agenda, you will see that they were indeed mild views expressed for positive reasons.

All I am trying to say is that although there is still a long way to go, there has been a lot of progress. Not to recognise this is folly and to 'draw the wagons round' and continue to use the same 'shock' tactics that were once necessary, is now counter-productive. As is to make the assumption that anyone who is not with you, is against you. For as in any campaign for civil rights it is important to get the bulk of public opinion on your side.

I am honestly confused however as to what situation is preferable. (I have posed these questions in a social setting, but this is not to trivialise other areas)

1 Is one where Don, I and others would treat you as we find and where you could wine, dine and dance openly with the partner of your choice, and be accepted anywhere you choose to go?

2 Or is it one where you continue to be recognised as a special case, have Mick sing songs for you and wine, dine and dance surrounded only by other gay people?

In my opinion, and for what it is worth, the first is possible and certainly worth struggling for and the longer we continue with the second, the longer we will have to wait for the first.

It was said that the media creates stereotypes, but surely the 'gay community' also, is guilty of creating their own and ones which I am pretty sure a lot of gay people do not necessarily fit in to, or indeed want to. A choice between 'the devil and the deep blue sea'.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 09:28 AM

Nobody is casting you as anything but what your words tell us, Shambs. I do not think of you as a homophobe. I just wish you would get rid of those damn rose-coloured glasses and reread my posts and the others for what they really say.

You give two choices of worlds, the first of which is possible in a limited way only. Nothing is so black and white when it comes to such issues in the real world.

You just don't want to or aren't getting it. Give it a rest, as we will never see eye to eye and we'll probably both muddle along regardless.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 10:33 AM

Hi Shambles,

I'm really unclear about the points you are trying to make. If I understand you correctly, you are having trouble with the term or concept of a "gay community". You see this as inclusively separate entity from mainstream society, and you are concerned that by perpetuating this separatist community, the acceptance of gay people will be a longer time coming than had there not been a gay community at all. Is this an accurate summary of your view? Is this a fair re-statement of your feelings?

I guess I would want to hear what your understanding of the "gay community" is.

To me, when people with common interests meet and talk or have potlucks or parties it seems like a very natural thing. Historically, gay people have had to meet secretly. Now, gay folk are more "out of the closet". I get together with other gay moms and talk about struggles particular to us as lesbian mothers. I get a lot of support and validation. See, everywhere else in life I am told and shown that there is something wrong with me. Together, we can effect change. We *are* effecting change.

I am a part of the gay community. I am also a part of the local folk music community. Professionally, I am also a part of the educational community. And of the local Jewish community. I am also part of humankind! To see me as *only* gay is not to see me as a whole person. But I am part of the gay community, also. You are probably also a part of many groups, clubs, and organizations.

You made statements about it being time to move on. You stated that without earlier demonstrations people would still be living in fear. And you think it's time to move on. Several people then mentioned the fact that hate crimes abound, and there is still cause for gay people to live in fear. In response to this, you complained that you "have had to endure all of the well-rehearsed, conditioned responses". Do you think that hate crimes are a figment of our collective imaginations? Do you think that it is in some manual we get when we sign on that instructs us to respond this way? What are your feelings on hate crimes?

I think there's something about this issue that personally threatens you in someway. I'm not calling you the "resident homophobe". I'm reading your comments and I question why you are unsupportive of gay people gathering together. I don't understand why you are uncomfortable with gay people supporting each other.

You accuse a vague someone of "attracting young people to the gay community" when they would be perfectly welcome in a larger community. Are you saying that gay youth would be better supported in the world at large than within the gay community, or are you saying there is a recruitment program? Should I be trying to collect enough enrollees to get me a toaster oven? I question your use of the word "attract". Groups like PFLAG offer education and support. There are political groups trying to change legislation for equity. There are singers like Mick who are trying to raise consciousness. Do you frown on all of these activities? This is the work of the gay community.

To answer your question, I would much prefer to dance with and hold hands with my sweetheart anywhere I choose rather than only in our home. The truth of the matter is, we would risk bringing violent repercussion upon ourselves if we did. The reason for that is not because I participate in the gay community, but because there are scared and hateful people out there. The attitudes and actions of those people is the problem.

Rose


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 12:02 PM

Very well said, Rose! Thank you, thoughtful, concise, and how true!

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 01:29 PM

Shambles,

I have watched you do this so many times, that quite frankly I tire of it. I have re-written this a number of times, as I began to go after your attempts to belittle my work. I choose not to do that. But I would suggest one thing to you, Shamb. Try reading the posts from the standpoint of trying to understand the other point of view. Try to figure the meaning of the words to the person that wrote them. Try starting with this phrase from my post;

"Who people choose to associate with (because they are comfortable, or feel safer, etc.)has no bearing on what is right or wrong in the world. The simple fact of the matter is that people who are what they are by the grace of God, are discriminated against for something (like sexual orientation)in which they by and large had no choice in the matter. In my mind that is inherently evil, which means that I must use my ability as a bard to sing out against it."

If after you have done that, then you respond, no problem. Because any reasoned interpretation of that phrase would have come to the conclusion that I am striking out at the injustice, as opposed to taking a position on the issues of community. It is no more than you asked me to do in my response to Sapper.

And by the way, I have never performed at a hold hands and sing songs party. I have never been the guest of honor at a wine and cheese party in support of gay rights. I generally perform to the wider populace, as I don't care much for preaching to the choir. I would rather challenge those who, in my humble opinion, need their perceptions and logic challenged. But if asked, I would certainly be happy to contribute in any way I could in order to further the cause of basic human rights.

And I still feel this is a very important thread. I love the references to the double meanings in lyrics. And the philosophical differences help our community to grow. Katlaughing, quit moping around and get your arse back in the fray. This is a positive thread and all who read it are enriched by it. I have read the posts of Don M. and others and I have more respect now for the power of this place than I did before. The fact that we can have this conversation is testament to the open-minded attributes of our town.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 04:14 PM

Mick

Why do you insist on taking things personally when they are not intended that way?

Rose.

I do not see that you are having any trouble at all in understanding my views. The first para of your post is exactly what I am trying to say.

As to what my idea of the 'gay community' is, I suppose the 'gay scene' would be more the concept I have trouble with................Whatever you wish to call it, the main point is that it excludes participation from anyone who is not gay.

I understand the point made earlier, that from your point of view society does exclude you. I don't understand that given that you have felt that the effects of that exclusion, that you should feel that those same problems will not occur when it is you that is (consciously)doing the excluding. How can you think that anything positive be created from this position?

I don't see you as ONLY gay, like Don, I probably wouldn't see you as gay at all. Your sexual preferences are none of my business, no more than my sexual preferences are any of yours.

It is your preoccupation with this one issue that you have presented to me as a difference between us, when there will be many. As many differences as there would be in any collection of gay people.

I am not going to respond as to my views on 'hate crimes'. I have said nothing here for you to present that to me, as if I would support such things. If you do a forum search on my name you will hopefully see evidence for my views.

Rose said

"I think there's something about this issue that personally threatens you in some way. I'm not calling you the "resident homophobe". I'm reading your comments and I question why you are unsupportive of gay people gathering together. I don't understand why you are uncomfortable with gay people supporting each other."

Why must there be a hidden agenda if someone questions the wisdom of your direction? Is there only 'the party line'? I am not unsupportive of gay people supporting each other, but why cannot all of us support gay people? It is this issue of exclusion that you do not seem to see cuts both ways.

And also

"You accuse a vague someone of "attracting young people to the gay community" when they would be perfectly welcome in a larger community."

I have had personal experience of a young person struggling with their identity, being presented with and readily accepting a label and a life-style, that later in life she came to realise did not fit her at all. I came to wonder in this instance, who's needs were being satisfied by this offer? Yes, in this case it was a recruiting drive. This offer and subsequent rejections were made by this person to a number of 'lost souls' over a period of time.

As to the answer to my question, despite what you answered, it was to No 2 that the rest of your post was supporting. If you are serious about obtaining acceptance in the long term, maybe you have to be prepared to feel a littleless safe, in the short term?

You appear to want to be seen forever as a special case that needs supporting by the very people you continue to blame for all of your problems and want to exclude from your community. Yes there are people who would do you harm, but they are in an increasing minority. The majority of the people and (generally) the laws are on your side. I have just come to question if simple acceptance by society is actually what you want?

That is not the view through rose coloured spectacles, but the way it is. If you think my view is critical, then so be it, but believe it or not, it is meant to be helpful. I AM on your side, please reserve your sarcasm and scorn for those who clearly are not.

Please don't take issue with me just because I don't agree with everthing you hold dear. Let us try to look at where we do dissagree and learn from that. HELP


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 04:16 PM

Let us not forget the greatest songs in the language from the man himself, Shakespeare, who was obviously, screamingly bisexual, as was Byron ("So we'll go no more a roving", among the great songs in the language). Anyone who reads Shakespeare's sonnets and thinks that it is all about straight romance or some kind of convention is just dreaming.
Yours, Peter T. (Put that in your Francis Bacon and smoke it!)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 07:52 PM

I resent that Peter T!

E. DeVere, Earl of Oxford.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Bulldog
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 08:18 PM

I would like to see an end to the politics of sex. Personally I do not like giving "Special Rights" to Gays. In Canada we have new Hate Laws that discriminate in favour of Gays- Violence against anyone should carry the same penalty without exception; however, in Canada you will receive a harsher sentance if the object of your violence was Gay. Why? Spousal Rights? why not make "spouse" into Beneficiary Change one word and you eliminate all discrimination. Strange world we live in! KD Lang got Roy Orbison back into singing by doing a duet Crying. I like that. Her sexual orientation is of no interest to me. I have worked with all kinds of people. The best of them never made me uncomfortable with their preferences; many of them you just wouldnt know for sure. Back to the closet and live in peace say I.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 09:10 PM

Sorry, Bulldog, but THAT bloody-effing closet didn't hold any peace for the people who were in it!

I doubt this will change your mind about bias crimes, but others may find this interesting:

"When Hate Came to Wyoming"
by
Katey LaFrance

Published in the Liberal Opinion Week
October 26, 1998

He could have been my brother, who is gay. He was someone's son, brother, nephew, friend. Matthew Shepard is dead; beaten brutally because he was gay. Police in Laramie, Wyoming are claiming robbery as the primary motive, not prejudice. All of his friends and those of us who've been in the trenches, trying for years to get the Wyoming legislature to pass a bias crimes bill, have no doubt his murder was a result of hatred for a class of people whom a good share of our society holds in contempt.
With inflammatory rhetoric of some who call themselves Christians and others of the far right, homosexuals and lesbians have become the last society-sanctioned targets of hate. Because I support the idea that gays and lesbians have a right to live safely in America, just this morning, I received hate email which told me how happy the writer was that a "faggot" had been beaten to death; the writer hopes the rest of us will be, too.
In Billings, Montana, in 1993, anti-Semites came to town with violent acts towards a Jewish family. That community stood up and said "Not in Our Town". The local newspaper printed a full-page menorah and asked people to hang them in their windows which made it impossible for those hate-filled criminals to target just those of Jewish faith.
This was so successful, an award-winning documentary named after their slogan, "Not in Our Town", was made and shown on public television throughout the nation. It inspired so many other communities, a follow up video titled "Not in Our Town II" was produced which chronicles the same types of positive actions others have taken to confront intolerance.
This is what citizens of Wyoming are doing. Their signs are printed on bright yellow paper with the universal symbol for no, the word "hate" crossed out in the center. Above is the word "Wyoming" with "Equality State" below. People are hanging them in their windows to show the world that not all Wyomingites are filled with such prejudice and hate. They are also a warning to those who believe it is okay to harass and murder gay people; they are not welcome in Wyoming.
The response has been overwhelming positive. Newspapers are printing the symbol for readers to tear out, requests for signs have numbered in the thousands and come from as far away as Florida.
At the moment, those of us in the thick of it, feel a little battle worn. The personal assaults via email are frightening in their anonymity, sickening in their intent and meaning. A Reverend Phelps, from Kansas, claims he is coming to town for Matthew's funeral, with picketers carrying signs which say, "God hates fags" and "Matt fag in hell". A frat house had a float in the homecoming parade in Ft. Collins, Colorado, last weekend, where Matt lay dying surrounded by his family. On this float was a scarecrow, spread-eagled, as Matt was. On the front had been painted the message, "I'm gay", on the back, "up my ass".
The last time I spoke to a prominent state senator to urge him to pass a bias crimes bill for Wyoming, he told me if we would drop "sexual orientation" from the list of classifications, they would pass the bill immediately. In other words, they wanted the right to sanction singling out one class of people for no protection, while all others would be afforded the deterrent of stricter penalties for any hate crimes against themselves and others.
Other legislators claimed this kind of crime doesn't happen in Wyoming. I guess they don't know about the bar which has a noose hanging on the wall with a sign stating if you are a homosexual you can expect a necktie party; they've forgotten about the gay man who was mutilated in the early eighties and left for dead along the Interstate highway; they chose to ignore the incredibly brave young students who testified about the hate and harassment they had been subjected to, in the "Equality State", because they were perceived to be gay.
It seems it is a sin, in the eyes of some, to be different. What great fear they must have, of anything different and/or of the possibility they, themselves, might be different. This fear is what leads to the type of hate and violence which took Matt's life. Nobody deserves to die, be beaten, live in fear, or be harassed because it appears they might belong to a minority class.
While the men who murdered Matt may have planned on robbing him, it seems obvious they were motivated by hatred for gays. It also seems obvious they and their families and friends are now claiming, most ardently, that theirs was not a hate crime. It seems obvious they do fear enhanced retribution if convicted of a murder motivated by a prejudice of a certain class of people; otherwise, why would they be protesting so much?
It has been a long week of long hours for so many of us in Wyoming, Colorado and elsewhere. The one thing I've found out, again, is Wyomingites as a whole, though conservative in many ways, do not condone such heinous crimes as Matthew's murder. They are coming out in droves to show their support for him, his family and those of us who work on these issues daily.
At last Sunday's candlelight vigil, held in Casper, where Matthew's funeral will be, we sang a song which repeated these words over and over, "Listen, listen, listen to my heart song. I will never forget you, I will never forsake you." That day, I had called my brother in anger, telling him to never call me again. He came to the vigil that night where we both apologised.
Near the end of the ceremony, everyone started to sing that song, just after we'd been reminded, in a message from Matt's mom, to hug our loved ones and be thankful they were safe. I felt full of pain, anguish, gratitude and sorrow. My brother was beside me. I could touch him, hear him, see him. As the tears rolled down my face, I embraced him with a fierceness born of love and imbued with a desire to keep him safe forever. I will never forget him, nor forsake him; nor will any of us forget Matthew Shepard and the terrible tragedy that brought hate home to Wyoming. 10/13/98


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 10:03 PM

I believe that my posts must have been poorly written by me because I feel that they have been some what miss understood. I will try to be direct.

1. I am not a homophobe nor am I uncomfortable with homosexual people, bi sexual people, or heterosexual. I am quite comfortable with most people. Those that I have big issues with are bigots, intolerants, and people who won't listen.

2. I don't see people as gay or not gay. I see people as people as people. I realize that some of the people I see are likely too be gay just as some are likely to be Irish or Canadian.

3. I agree that this is an important thread. We can't ignore or secondrate an entire group of people.

4. My opinion is only an opinion. It is made of careful consideration and understanding of facts and situations as I know them to be. Other people can have the same facts and understandings before them and develop a diferent thought. That doesn't make them bad, just difering in opinion.

I hope that I have been clear.

Regards

Don.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 10:44 PM

Shambles (and all)

This will be my last post on the issue of how I take things, however I will remain a part of the discussion of this important subject and its musical statements. Shambles, you continue to put forth the same idea a lot of different ways, and when people don't agree with you exactly you try to dress it different. Now I will try a last time to point out where the rub comes. First off, I never accused you of being anything close to a homophobe. In fact, the following statement was one of the first things I made in my post:

I am not bothered by Shambles acceptance of person's sexual orientation, I accept him at his word that he does not make his decisions about people on that basis. If you find that to be an some sort of veiled denigration of you, then you have a conspiratorial bent that I canna do anything about.

As far as my "taking things personally" I would regard the following comment as condescending at the least, and at its worst an attempt to belittle my method of speaking out as lacking in depth, as if yours was the great truth and the rest of us "just don't get it" It is the same tactic I have seen used by those in power against those that struggle for positive change/intellectual growth for my whole career. Read your comment again, here it is:

Or is it one where you continue to be recognised as a special case, have Mick sing songs for you and wine, dine and dance surrounded only by other gay people?

You see Shambles, it is easy, and the tactic of the demagogue, to say we are all equal, because I don't "see people" in any way as other people. Say what you want,but it just ain't so. The cases of ongoing racism, sexism, and homophobia in the larger population prove this. And laws that prohibit discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation, don't give special status to gays. That is unless it is your intent to discriminate against these people. It simply holds the bigot legally liable for their actions.

Don M.I thought your comments were easily understood and right on the mark.

All the best,
Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 11:26 PM

This thread has been an unusual experience for me - first of all, that I contributed in the musical discussion! Although I have been a regular visitor here since 9/97, I don't have much expertise to add to a musical conversation. Secondly, that I contributed more than one time! But also that I felt comfortable and welcome to share personal information about myself. Historically, Mudcat has been that kind of place to me.

Bulldog, you said you are against "special rights" for gays and cited the penalties for hate crimes as exceeding those of other violent crimes. You also asked why this was the case.

I, too, am against special rights for any certain group of people. However, I don't see sentencing guidelines for hate crimes as a special right.

When a person commits a violent act against another person, it's a horrific offense against that individual. When a person commits a violent act against another individual based on her/his actual or perceived sexual orientation, it is more than a horrific act against that victimized individual. It is a message to *every* gay person that they could be the next target. It is a horrific act against a group of people, because the targeted person could be any person in that group! A hate crime is not only an individual criminal transgression, it is a crime with the purpose of instilling fear into many. What makes my partner and myself any different than the two women who were murdered less than 100 miles from my town? It could have been us. A crime against someone *because* of their race, orientation, nation of origin, etc. is a crime against every member of that nationality, or race, or orientation.

Regarding your recommendation to change the word spousal to beneficiary, I agree with the spirit of what you are saying.

Regarding your comment "The best of them never made me uncomfortable with their preferences; many of them you just wouldnt know for sure. Back to the closet and live in peace say I." This is a real "shut up" message and I take offense with this. As I stated earlier, the Mudcat is one community in which I have felt welcome to be myself. You may feel more comfortable with the silence of an entire group of people. For those people, closets are not comfortable places to be.

Rose


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 11:38 PM

Don, your words were quite clear and I do not consider you to be any type of homophobe etc. What made me a little sad is that several of the people on this thread don't seem to understand that having a "voice", i.e. female vocalist ala Holly Near, etc., is so important to any group which has been subjugated in society as a whole; any group that has felt silenced for so long.

Also, just as a simple matter of marketing, it is much easier to sell things when they are categorised. Imagine if one had to go to the store to buy a size ten dress and one had to dig through all of the dresses to find that size?

Bulldog has sent me a message in which he said things seemed to be a lot less violent when people kept their sexual preferences to themselves. I would like to answer him here in this thread. It may seem that there was less violence then, but I believe it is just because people were not comforatble enough or encouraged to report the violence...it was also in the closet. Women have always suffered from sexual violence and were either discouraged from reporting it or so humiliated by the process that they just didn't; now, after a lot of education, protests, demands, and enlightenment, society sees rape as a serious crime that no woman should have to suffer nor be condemned for. The same should hold true for crimes against gays/lesbians/bisexuals. Going back in the closet, NOT being out in the mainstream as themselves, will NOT decrease the violence towards lesbigay people; it would only put them back in the status of second class citizens unable to live their lives to the fullest as any other person should be able to do without harm to others.

I feel the only real way to combat any kind of violence is through education and discussion.

Lion: I am sorry I didn't answer your posting earlier. It made me smile and you're right...wimmin rule! I feel a little facetious in that for the past twenty years I have lived the life of a married bisexual with children. I have not suffered much at all from this status, either way. But, I have participated and rallied with and for my lesbian/gay sisters and brothers and experienced firsthand some of the violence and oppression they live with on a daily basis. Thank you for your kind words and yours, too MICK!

Don, I wasn't trying to permanently categorise any of the songs, just showing my ignorance and wanting to learn a little more. Calling something Irish or Gospel or Blues doesn't, in my mind, permanently banish any of those genres to some narrow island of pc musicland.:-)

Finally, it is typical of the patriarchal age, which began its exit when the Age of Aquarius came upon us in the sixties, to be upset and thrash about when the 2,000 yr old status quo is upset by rabblerousers. When I can rise above the sadness and anger, the judgementalness and obstinance, I remember that it is not comfortable for anyone to see things change so over the years, and I remember to try to empathise with those who may feel attacked or threatened by those who aren't going back into the closet, ever again. Humankind is supposed to be on a spiral of consciousness, growing upward into enlightenment of whatever belief system you adhere to or not. It is my belief that by challenging the "old ways", as women and others of a minority status have done, we are helping to open minds and hearts towards an all-inclusive society which truly is evolved.

Now, I am going to go find all of the songs you've all mentioned so that I know what you're all talking about!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Folksie Lady
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 03:55 AM

Ah, such an education this has been. Wonderful editorial, Kat!

Just a brief post here. Another singer who has written a profound song about "different" orientation is Catie Curtis. Her song, "Radical" could really be about any race/class distinctions, but it is about bringing home a lesbian lover to one's parents. It's on her album, "Truth from Lies."

Folksie


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 09:07 AM

I have and will reply to Mick personally, But I would like to apologise here for any impression of condescension I may have given to Mick's or to anyone's' views. The two questions I posed were not in hindsight the clearest way I could have asked them. Mick has taken it to mean that I was critical of him singing to the converted in cheese and wine parties and that was not the intention. Having read it again I can see how that impression can be arrived at. I did not respond to Mick's initial posting because they was nothing in it that I disagreed with or anything that I could add. I took no offence at anything that was said there and nothing I said subsequently was any attempt to belittle Mick's or anyone else's views.

I am not going to try to say it again, for clarification, for I will then be accused of dressing it up in order to get someone to agree.

It is not important to me that people agree with my views, it is just important that they are put in a way that those views can be understood. I will continue to come back and try to explain them better if I think they have not been understood (for I accept that the fault will mainly be mine), or if I am asked a question pertaining to those views. I apologise to those who find that tiresome.

Is there not a strange dynamic going on here though? For when Don does the same thing and for the same reasons, it would appear not to be considered tiresome? I do accept however, that his posts are more to the point and less long-winded. I will strive to improve.

My views are not 'set in stone' and will change the more I focus on the issue and in response to the other views posted here. Is not this exchange of views the very purpose of this place


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 09:17 AM

Shambles, You are a gentleman. I know how hard that is because I have had to do it myself since coming here. You and I express our opinions freely and from time to time it is misunderstood or we get out front to far. I too, have reread your threads, and while we have areas of disagreement, you have been honest in your views. The biggest problem in a forum is expressing and understanding the context in which we "say" things. Let's put this behind us and move on.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:26 AM

Referring back to Mick's comment "It is not good enough to recognize evil, avoid it, and not practice it. You insure it's spread when you do. " I think that there are people who are good at crusading, and are happy with that role, but there are those who are better at just quietly getting on with accepting people as they are at a personal level. I think both are important, and when we have enough of both types then we are getting there.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:57 AM

E. de Vere, you rotten swine! (removes false beard, revealing false chin)
Yours from his second best bed, Will "Bluebottle" Shakespeare
P.S. Kit Marlowe sends his love too. (eat your heart out, Gwyneth).


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 12:29 PM

And, frankly, Bacon fries them ALL!

On the serious side: I am contantly reminded of the Native American saying, and I paraphrase, "walk a mile in the shoes of those who oppose you or in the shoes of the oppressed".

I am not sure that most of the majority, i.e. straight, white males will ever fully understand what it is we are trying to say. I do not mean that as an offense, just an observation, just as I am sure the early white settlers of America had no idea of what it was like to be a Native and live off of the land without a mindset of ownership and invasion. Many make very valid and valiant attempts to understand and accept; others just don't get it.

There are exercises which we use in our human rights org. to illustrate what it is like to be part of a minority. These are done lightly, though, as people usually feel so much emotion when they go through such processes that they need a good solid "debriefing" and comfort afterwards.

As usual, I've come back to the conclusion that there are no black and white answers; lots, and lots of gray areas.

I do agree with KingB/Kris in that we need both the soapboxers and the ones who quietly go about accepting and getting along.

Thanks to everyone who has posted. As ever, in true Mudcat tradition, it's been lively, impassioned, and hopefully enlightening for us all.

Minds are like parachutes...they only function when open.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 02:15 PM

My experience with minority groups on a professional level has mainly been with people with disabilities. They do not want to be treated as a special case and live separately from everyone else. The best thing you can do for them is just to treat them exactly the same as you would anyone else.

There is hope though. It was not too long ago that this group were generally mocked, ridiculed and worse. Put on display at freak shows to be laughed at. There is still a long way to go for this group, but is it too unrealistic to think that, in time gay people could be generally accepted in this way?
Provided of course that IS what they really want? Given Kat's last sexist comments, at which I DO take offence, I am beginning to doubt if that IS what some gay people want. Then again I couldn't possibly ever fully understand, could I?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: tina
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 03:21 PM

Nope. It doesn't appear so.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 03:26 PM

Songs anyone?

After the Republican convention 8 years ago, I borrowed a quotation from a German theologian (Martin Neimoller I believe) and wrote this song.

They came for the witches and I was not one. I was not one. I was not one. They came for the witches and I was not one, And since I was not one, I said nothing.

They came for the Communists and I was not one. (etc.)

They came for the blacks and I was not one, (etc.)

They came for the gays and I was not one, (etc.)

(change of tune) And then they came for me, oh yes, they came for me. And when they came for me there was no one left to speak.

Also, Loudon Wainwright III has a song about falling in love with a lesbian.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 03:36 PM

Sexist? No. Merely an observation that because of physiological differences, certain others will never understand what it is like to be other than what they are...goes both ways. As a woman, I will never understand, fully, what it is like to be a white, male, hetero.

Has this become a mountain out of a molehill? Yes? All I wanted was information on some songs. Would have been just as specific if I'd been looking for any other kind and I'll bet it wouldn't have received the attention this one has.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 04:42 PM

Kat I give in, you make the rules and you change them as and when you will.

I do fear however that if I had suggested that you could not fully understand something due to your race and sex, you may have suggested that I was racist and sexist?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 04:47 PM

My favorite political song "Song of Choice" by Peggy Seeger. Lyrics Here
http://www.dickalba.demon.co.uk/songs/texts/songchoi.htm
It sounds as though it's based on the quote Roger made into a song.

No, I don't think everyone has to be a crusader for every worthy cause. Crusaders inspire change. The people who keep to themselves, yet quietly live their beliefs, make change possible.

Kat, I agree about the mountain/molehill thing.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: emily rain
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM

me too.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Bulldog
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 06:55 PM

Regrefully my message appears to be misinterpreted. What I said to Katlaughing was, That punishment should fit the crime, but the crime should not be special exceptions. The example I gave was not mentioned, but has happened. I do not intend to relegate people to second class status, merely that they are not deserving SPECIAL status. Since I am removed from the list of members for voicing contrary opinion I shall leave and not trouble you people again.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face in marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Teddy Roosevelt


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 09:27 PM

Bulldog, who removed you from the list? What list? The Mudcat is ABOUT contrary opinions! And, esp. if you are the Dave who wrote the wonderful story about Catspaw, stick aoround and share some more with us.

Shambles: I just said I could never fully understand what it is to be white, male and hetero because I am a woman. I do not consider that a racist or sexist remark...it is a physiological fact.

Roger, thanks for sharing your great song. Jeri thanks for the URL and thanks to you, too, emily.

How about we shake this mountain back down to size and get on with the music?

kat, assertive, opinionated, and vocal


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:21 PM

Bulldog,

If you have been removed from the list for voicing a contrary opinion, then I want to be removed from the same list. I just don't believe that is true. But I am serious, if anyone, gets removed for engaging in intellectual debate from our town, then I want to be on the wagon out of town with them. Even...........no, especially, if I disagree with them. You and I disagree on the premise of conferring special status. I believe that laws which simply guarantee that people won't be denied basic civil and human rights that the majority get by virtue of their majority are strengthening all of our rights, not weakening anyones. That is simply a disagreement.

Please do not leave us. We will all be diminished, and so will our community, if you do.

And I think that we all understand each others position on the issues. So I am making a personal request. Could we leave the rancor behind now. We have all made our points as well as they can be made. I am very interested in the various types of music with regard to the topic at hand.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:33 PM

Jesus Kat this thread is almost as much fun for me as The Corries thread I started a month ago. There are so many people in this group I'd like to meet and swap a tune with.

I am amazed at how many times I've been footnoted in the text of this thread. I think your's and Roses comments are the defining words for your thesis here. Well stated and defended.

Count me on yourside in the playground. I will paraphraze the great Si Kahn's words : "I'll never be out in front but I'll always be right behind".

Don


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:35 PM

...Sappho wrote many hymns, lyric (Sapphic meter) poetry, and marriage songs...in paris in the twenties on the rue jacob Natalie Clifford Barney held her salons and Renee Vivien's poetry was set to music and dance....women have always written lyrical love poetry and song to one another, I think Gertrude Stein's poem Sacred Emily was one of many to Gertrude which could be sung...of course she would never have done this!and then there is the compulsive confessionism of the twentieth century...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 10:55 PM

Oh I meant Alice Babette!Come to think of it, I believe there were many lyrics in Four Saints in Three Acts ( her libretto) which were lifted from Gertrude's poems to Alice and their sex life!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 11:30 PM

Thanks, Don, so much. You and I are going to have to talk jewelry design, one of these days; that is your other occupation, right? Me, too, only not in metalsmithing. I like your quote and appreciate your opinion.

Mick, you are right, of course, but this time, I just didn't feel like being a "good little woman" and shut up. (Not that I felt that onus from you!) When it comes to a subject, the civil rights of so many, I feel so strongly about, esp. when misunderstood, my claws come out!

Harpgirl, I did know a little about Gertrude and Alice B. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 01:06 AM

Getting back to the music...

I would recommend anything by Ferron.

Also check out a holiday CD put out a couple of years back by Venus Envy entitled, "I'll Be a Homo for Christmas". It's fairly hysterical.

I like Phranc. (But then again, I'm such a sucker for a lesbian version of "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter.") She's just a fantastic Jewish lesbian folksinger.

Speaking of Phranc's cover of the Herman's Hermit's hit, I have had a dream to form an all-dyke band and in performing, change the lyrics of popular oldies to our point of view. (For example, in the Mrs. Brown song the bridge would go, "Walking about, even in a crowd, well, you'd pick her out. Make a dyke feel, so proud." I would really want to do "Sweet Pea". (You know, "Oh Sweet Pea, won't you dance with me...")

I'm glad we're back on the music track.

Rose


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM

I'm still reeling over the description of William Shakespeare as a screaming bi-sexual. Now I know old Will wasn't exactly a lumberjack, and I can deal with him being a run-of-the-mill Elizabethan Lothario working both sides of the fence while cranking out the greatest writing of all time, but a Screaming bisexual? Say it ain't so!

Regarding hate crimes legislation, I think there is a reasonable middle ground. Assault, harassment, blackmail etc. would be reasonable areas where sexual-orientation should be considered in the trial and sentencing of a crime, but I believe that the ultimate crime of murder is the most heinous act that can be committed by an individual, and I don't think that calling it a "hate crime" makes it a more grievous act. The facts in each case should be considered just as they are now, where mitigating factors or exceptional viciousness are considered in the severity of sentencing.

A hypothetical scenario: A straight man and a gay man are involved in a barroom brawl, in which the gay man is struck with a beer bottle and dies of his injuries. In traditional law this would be a fairly obvious case of manslaughter- might there not exist the possibility that, with the emplacement of Hate Crimes Legislation, pressure might be exerted publicly and legally to try and convict for murder and civil rights abridgement?

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 02:29 AM

Kat

I have read Dons post and coments about your and Roses's thesis.

I have been trying in this thread to find out EXACTLY what that thesis is.

I think it would be better if you took the courage of your convictions and started a thread for that, rather than one where you could return to the cover of the pretence that this thread was ever entirely about songs, every time the subject matter theatens to slip from your control.

I do geniunely what to understand but here the songs are getting in the way.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 08:59 AM

LEJ,
well, maybe lyrically screaming. What interests me about Shakespeare's bisexuality was the way he latched on to the possibilities of the "boy actors playing girls" theme and does hundreds of variations on them. In Twelfth Night, for example, you have a boy actor playing a woman, disguised as a man, being chased by a boy actor playing a woman believing that the man she (he) is chasing is a woman, when he(she) is really a man (woman) (man)!!!
Keats referrred to Shakespeare's ability to empathise with different forms of life (and lifestyle) from his own as "negative capability". I suspect his bisexuality had a lot to do with it. Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 10:43 AM

Shambles, "pretence that this thread was ever entirely about songs!?"

I do believe when she asked about music, that's what she wanted to know. My perception is that the first person to mention "the gay community" and "alternative lifestyles" is the one who wanted to discuss them. It wasn't Kat - it was you. The evidence, yer honor

Her request might have looked like bait to you, but it looked like a request for songs to me. Your post, OTOH, was screaming "bite here." Perhaps you should have started/start the new thread.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 11:39 AM

Shambles: no pretence, no artifices; many people who know me will tell you, what you see, hear, read is what you get. I have no issues with control. (That's one thing I love about the Mudcat, it is so egalitarian.) If you choose to believe otherwise and read hidden agendas into everything I write that is your problem, not mine. Enough other people who've posted on here seem to have understood my genuine interest in the music.

When somebody brings up a subject that I feel strongly on, then I am bound to voice my opinion and/or experience. I am a person of strong convictions and have always been know to stand by them, no matter how painful or dangerous. For you to suggest otherwise is, I suspect, a bait you dangle, which I refuse to bite.

To bad you have apparently felt so uncomfortable about this discussion. It seems there are a lot of us who feel it is needed and has been intertesting.

You may want to understand, as you say, but to say the songs get in the way sounds facetious or sarcastic, esp. here on the Mudcat. We've recently had threads on how the BS got in the way of the songs. Now we have songs getting in the way of the BS???

Thanks, Jeri.

kat, flaming control freak!:-)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 03:07 PM

This B/S appears to matter a lot to me so I will say it, whether you read it or not is up to you.

It is possible for anyone with imagination to understand perfectly well how someone else might feel, even if they have no first hand knowledge of that situation. Throughout history, the artists in all of the art forms have demonstrated this. Some would argue that this is the sole purpose of art.

It is also possible for white, males to be also members of many minority groups and therefore to understand exactly what that means. There are many minority groups that are not based only on race, gender and sexual preference and are we not all in a minority group of one?

The minority group I referred to earlier, those with disabilities, have struggled to shake off scorn, rejection and prejudice and though there is still a long way to go have largely succeeded in being accepted as the same as everyone else, by society. Which is clearly what they want and they have made they perfectly clear to society.

However if and when they have finally done this, unfortunately the individuals will still have their disabilities.

I contrast this with 'the gay society, scene, community sub-culture', which I have a problem with, not gay people, which I do not..

This grouping only exists as a reaction to society's inability to accept and support gay people. So gay people group together and support each other. I don't have a problem with that either, if it is a temporary position on the way to full integration.

Gay people are not disabled, they are not cursed and they are not blessed either. The actual difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals (and all points in between) is a very small one indeed. It is something that I think can get overlooked by all. The longer this present situation continues however the bigger that difference appears to be, the gap widens and that is what concerns me.

I honestly believe that society is generally pretty much ready now to accept gay people and couples. I do not think that it quite so ready to accept 'gay society', but then why should it, for 'gay society' excludes them?

From my own personal experience 'the gay community' is a very attractive place to be, for those that have never felt there belonged anywhere, this is quite understandable. It is safe and it appears to provide most if not quite all of the answers...... It is not however a faith or a religion or an end in itself.If society were ever to fully accept gay people there would be no need for such a grouping. Which I can understand seems to be a pretty scary proposition for some?

It is very important to decide what it is you want and to ensure that society is clear what that is.

I feel we have come to a cross-roads. When we come to the point where we are, or are proposing more legislation especially for and of behalf of the 'gay community' and for all the right reasons.

The important thing to note however is when objections and reservations are coming from those who have been in support and where you would expect to be supported. We have seen a few of them here and they are not from 'the usual suspects' but from people who care. It would be wise to listen to their concerns and resist the temptation to railroad them.

For it is the support of all the people, that is needed. It would be folly to alienate them/us.

If I have polarised things here, I am sorry, for it is that polarisation on all issues, everywhere that I am most against................. I just try my best..........If you cannot understand what I am trying to say because of the way I have expressed it, give me the benefit of the doubt and ask, please don't assume the worst. Judge me by what I say and not by what you think I am saying or because you suspect some sinister hidden motive.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 03:33 PM

The gender confusion in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night alluded to by Peter T a couple of posts above might or might not be indicative of bisexuality--after all, boys playing women were a theatre convention of the time, and gender farces were another established tradition. BUT, in Twelfth Night, there is a relationship between Antonio and Seabstian that seems to me to be clearly a gay love (or at least lust on Antonio's part), and is rendered so poignantly and realistically that Shakespeare must have been, if not "screamingly" bisexual, at least able to understand and feel the [early 17th Century's equivalent of a] gay point of view. Of course, there's a sad ending to the affair, as Antonio is led away for piracy and Sebastian can't/won't come to his defense, but that's probably realistic given Elizabethan attitudes.

--Charlie Baum

(Returning you to folk music, after this brief lit-crit interrruption)


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Subject: Lyr Add: NO TEARS FOR THE WIDOW^^ ONE VOICE IN..^^
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 07:06 PM

I'm sorry I've come late to this thread, due to being away and reading long threads offline in order to keep my telephone bill down. I just didn't expect such a lively, frank and personal discussion under this heading. Everything I might have said has been said already, I think - mainly by katlaughing, Rose and Big Mick, and most recently by Jeri.

Just one thing: I can only speak from personal experience, of course, but I can't agree with the view that the 'gay community' is exclusive. Despite being heterosexual, I (and my mother, and others) have accompanied my gay friends to many places: gay bars, gay gatherings, gay porn cinemas and parks, because I wanted to learn about this part of their world, and they and their friends seemed to feel comfortable with me around. They, in turn, have gone to folk concerts with me. They've told me about their love affairs as I've told them about mine. (No longer, to be honest, but that's more a matter of not having l.a.s to talk about any more ...)

Great song, Roger! Yes, the words are familiar to me. Martin Niemöller wrote them as leader of the tiny part of the German Protestant church speaking out against the Nazis, calling themselves the Confessional Church.

I'm surprised, though, that Judy Small hasn't been mentioned in this thread. I first saw her at Tonder Festival in Denmark, where she told the audience as a matter of fact that she and her partner, Sue, had spent the past week travelling round Denmark and how much they'd loved it. She has written some wonderful songs about women, but only one I know is openly about lesbians, and to my mind it highlights a very pertinent problem.

NO TEARS FOR THE WIDOW

I never saw my mother cry until the night my father died
Married nearly thirty years and the dying had been hard
I remember how the family came to share the grief the tears the pain
And how her friends all gathered round and all the black-rimmed cards

The funeral was a large affair, the civic fathers all were there
And mother held up stoically, she never shed a tear
But everyone there understood that she had entered widow-hood
And life would never be the same, her status now was clear

And there were tears for the widow, tears for the widow
For the woman who had lost her love and must carry on alone
And mother now writes 'widow' in the space on all the forms
It's part of her identity, like her grey hair and her name

My friend Amelia lost her love to cancer's slow and painful glove
The dying was no easier than my father's was back then
No black-rimmed cards came to her door, her grief and anguish all ignored
Except of course for closest friends who tried to understand

Her lover was described by all as a single woman living well
A tragic loss for family, taken well before her time
When Amy left the funeral home she travelled to their house alone
And sat among familiar things and wept into the night

And there were no tears for the widow, no tears for the widow
For the woman who had lost her love and must carry on alone
And Amy still writes 'single' in the space on all the forms
But she rages at the lie it tells and the loss that it ignores

And who can tell how many women live their lives in shadows
Unrecognised, unsympathised, unseen and disallowed
Who've lost not only lovers, but often hearth and home
For 'marriage' is a special word and only meant for some

And there are no tears for the widows, no tears for the widows
For the women who've lost lovers and must carry on alone
And life goes on but for them there is no space on any form
Yes 'marriage' is a special word and only meant for some

And while I'm at it, this is a song relevant, I feel, to this thread:

ONE VOICE IN THE CROWD

I've lived a life of privilege, I've never known what hunger is

I've never laboured with my hands except to play guitar
Middle class my middle name, life's been more or less a game
But in the end it's all the same, the buck stops where you are

And we are foolish people who do nothing
Because we know how little one person can do
Yes we are foolish people who do nothing
Because we know how little one can do

It's not my issue, not my scene, I've got to get my own house clean
I keep it neat and tidy just in case the Queen should call
Come back to me another day and gladly I'll join in, we say
And I'm just one voice anyway, just one brick in the wall

One brick in the wall you may be, one voice in the crowd
But without you we are weaker and our song may not be heard
One drop in the ocean, but each drop will swell the tide
So be your one brick in the wall, be one voice in the crowd

And we are foolish people who do nothing
Because we know how little one person can do
Yes we are foolish people who do nothing
Because we know how little one can do


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Folksie Lady
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 08:32 PM

I heartily concur with you, Susanne, about Judy Small's songwriting and singing abilities. I hadn't known she was lesbian, but her songs cover the entire spectrum of women's lives and I really appreciate that.

Also would want to recommend Carol McCombs, now recording on Kalaidescope Records. She was part of the mid-60s duo Kathy & Carol but is now soloing or part of other endeavors.

Folksie


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 09:00 PM

I have asked at a couple of clubs where there were well informed people. No-one yet has been able to come up with a gay traditional song. Nor has anyone on this thread. It looks as if the oldest anyone can find dates from about the 20s. (1920s)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 09:26 PM

Don't know about old ones, but when we were in Massachusetts in the 1980's, "We Are Family" was very much THE song for the lesbigay community.

Hey, emily rain started a new thread, "Gay Community - 100% BS"

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 10:10 PM

Thanks, Charlie, I had forgotten about that amazing couple of scenes between Antonio and Sebastian, and how right you are. I guess my point was that Shakespeare pushes the well-known Italian convention to the breaking point and beyond. By the time you have worked out who is what, gender strictness loses its power over you somewhat, and is replaced by the mystery of attraction. There is also the barely suppressed love of the Duke for Viola as a boy/man, echoed by the Antonio/Sebastian relationship! What a play! (and now, back to the music).
yours, PeterT.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 02:52 AM

Thanks to Rick, the songs continue HERE


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 02:55 AM

Thanks to Emily, the B/S continues HERE


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,Paul Siebel
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 11:03 PM

This discussion group has just been brought to my attention. I don't know this Rick Fielding guy is and I have no idea where he gets his information about who is gay and who is not or why he could possibly get his jollies by spreading lies about me. Maybe he's gay.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 07:36 AM

Gee, Where was I when this thread came alone at first?
Richard Bridge - I am racking my brains, and at first try, I think you are right, I can't think of a traditional (and old) song about being gay, and to Jeri. - I don't think Dame Durdan is the one, as Humphry with his flail comes up as part of the list separate to the kissing verce. As to modern writiers in a traditional vien who write about Gay issues, a friend of mine from Belfast, Turloch, has written some extrodinaraly good songs, and I will try and get him to post a few. He sings one, your daughters and your sons, which he either wrote or reworked a bit, which is a very fine job.
Bulldog - if you are still there. I believe the reson for harsher sentencing is not to extend special rights, and anyone who thinks any minority other than the rich have special rights in Canada or the US or most other places, might want to have a cup of tea and a good think for awhile. The reason for harsher sentencing in hate crimes is to end the practice of jurys for giving token sentences for crimes against certain suspect classes for discrimination, such as is happening in the Chezh Repulic where the average sentence for killing Roma (Gypsies) is from about four to six months.
All the best all,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 09:35 PM

Hi Paul. My info came from an obituary of the late Jack McGann. Several folk-oriented performers were mentioned in it. Sorry if it was inaccurate. You're still one of my favourite writers though.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 09:46 PM

You are not one of his, I betcha.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Melani
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 03:44 AM

Re: Liam's Brother--Hannah Snell: A friend of mine has written a song about Mary Lacy, another woman who spent a number of years in the Royal Navy disguised as a man, in the late 1700's. In the autobiographical sketch she later wrote, she mentions being very popular with the ladies and having a number of girlfriends. It's obvious where her interests lay, but it's also hard to conceive that all those various lady friends had no idea she was a woman. With any luck, my friend will be recording it soon.

Anyone who's interested in that particular subject should check out a book called "Female Tars" by Suzanne Stark.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Claire M
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 12:59 PM

Hiya,

It's like me going to a group where we're all disabled. We might get on, we might be best mates, or we might hate each other. Same as if we met. The good thing is those sort of groups introduce you to people you'd never have got to know otherwise.

I always wondered why some singers don't change the pronouns. I love the 'Frankie & Johnny' reference – I mentioned a recent trip to Frankie & Benny's (love the shakes) & dad started singing "Frankie & Benny were sweethearts'

Here's one:

***********************************************************
I went to a gig with me true love one night
my friends they made some comments, what if they were right ??
& where I was going, I didn't know where
Looked forward to it, as I sat in my chair

My colour was red, my face like a rose
My love, bored s***less, sat picking his nose
I heard the song she was singing, I felt sae sair
that her song wasn't for me, to her I wasn't there

My friend said you look queer, would you rather go
& what I was thinking, they never shall know
Oh, my love he looked at her, it's loud he did sigh
& under me breath so also did I

When the concert it finished "what a shame" I did say
I had no idea things would turn out this way
Since that night my eyes sparkle, friends they do tease
"play her that song she likes, she's bound to be pleased"
I ain't told my love yet, thank God he's good & kind
& he's pretty laid-back so I'm sure he won't mind

*****************************************************************


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 02:16 PM

One I would like to know more about:

There's a boy across the river with a bottom like a peach
Alas, I cannot swim


which was apparently sung by British troops in Afghanistan in the 19th century, to the chorus of the tune known in pipe tune books as "The Pathan War March" aka "Zachmi Dil" ("The Wounded Heart"), and probably more familiar around here as "The Quartermaster's Store". It's quoted in Lewis Winstock's "Songs and Music of the Redcoats", and I've come across it elsewhere (maybe in a book by John Masters?). But I've never come across any other words, have no idea what the Pushtun text is, and know nothing further about its history.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 05:24 PM

Read every post and there was no mention of the groudbreaking LP entitled 'Gay And Straight Together'. It was a compilation vinyl 33rpm recording on Ginny Clemons' 'Open Door' records. Was subsequently purchased by Folkways Records and was selected by The Smithsonian Institute as a historically significant recording. It 's available on CD. There are about 12-14 cuts on it as I recall. Many of which were recorded at Marge Summitt's club 'His 'n Hers". The recording was done by Rich Warren of WFMT-Chicago. It's very much worth a listen. Some of the cuts are a bit rough, but the overall spirit of the project far outweighed any technical or performance lack.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 06:29 PM

I own a compilation LP called "Straight and Gay" put out by Stash Records in 1979. It contains the following:

Toothache Blues (1928)
Anybody Here Want to Try My Cabbage (1924)
Take Your Hand Off It (1937)
I'm Gonna Keep My Hair Parted (1938)
I'm a Mighty Tight Woman (1926)
Gas Man Blues (1929)
Black Snake Blues (1926)
I Got What It Takes (1931)

Somebody's Been Using That Thing (1930)
Shave Em Dry (1925)
Sissy Man (1935)
Sissy Blues (1926)
Two Old Maids in a Folding Bed (1936)
Rollin' Mama Blues (1932)
Windy City Blues (1941)
Stew Meat Blues (1935)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Claire M
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 04:40 PM

Hiya,

Apologies for daft song. It wasn't meant to be totally serious. Love the 'Sissy Man' one!

I think I might look at life from both sides -– a couple of years ago I was frequently mistaken for a man, (!) & my admiration for certain female musicians is well-known. I've "come over all unnecessary" hearing their voices.

I met a lookalike of one once. Despite knowing it wasn't the real thing, stupid me couldn't string a sentence together. She thought I was a bit weird, going red & stumbling over my words & melting away, but was unaware as to why.

I've crossed over too, & while I don't miss who it happened with because they were horrible, I do miss the experience itself – I'm glad it happened because I probably wouldn't get the opportunity now.   It was certainly physically easier than the other sort, although a bit embarrassing.

Maybe because I moved out late due to disability, feelings that I would've either come to terms with or boxed up & forgot about have come back again. So I may nearly be 30 but I still feel like a teen, although a lot of people say I seem older.
Ooh, me back!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 05:16 PM

Mention of "Frankie and Johnny" reminded me of Stripey and Blondie.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,mando-player-91
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:47 AM

Gus Cannon's Walk Right In had a Bi-sexual reference


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: bobad
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 08:45 AM

A little obscure maybe but Tim Buckley, on his 1973 album "Sefronia" did a version of "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" in which he changed the line: "Sally don't you go - don't you go downtown/ Because the saddest thing in the whole wide world is to see your baby with another girl," to: "Oh Sally don't you go down - Oh darlin' don't you go down/ Honey the saddest thing in the whole wide world/ Is to find your woman been with another girl"


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:09 PM

from a great musician...who is history

GfS


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 12:52 PM

Loads of cross-dressing songs in the tradition - don't know whether they are what you are looking for - never sure about 'My Husband's Got No Courage in Him.'.
Walter Pardon's Dandy Man might be of interest to you.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 01:49 PM

Some people have put forward the idea that Cockney Music Hall singer Harry Champion's song "Any Old Iron" was about Gays/Sads/Queers/Poofs or whatever word you use. "Iron" being rhyming slang for Poof (Iron Hoof).Apparently too green ties were at the time were a symbol of sexual orientation. I can't remember where I read the article but it seemd to be quite convincing.

Has anybody so far mentined the old song where it starts out "Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do" and finishes "But you'd look sweet upon the seat of a bisexual built for two"?

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Claire M
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 02:01 PM

Hiya,

Love that song. I was terrified of Dory Previn's songs as a kid & still am!
Frequently teased about luv for certain female musicians, photos put under the duvet etc. I think it started because I admired them already.   I don't keep in touch with said lookalike but that's a good thing I think.

The stories I write seem to mostly have whoever's in trouble – a disabled woman, as I am – rescued by a woman who is both a singer & a sorceress, a sort of older folkie hippy woman. They say if you write it should be about what you know.

& because I've got a daft sense of humour:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0DYjbn7r9I


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Subject: Lyr Add: B. D. WOMAN'S BLUES (Lucille Bogan)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 10:25 PM

"B. D." here stands for "bull dyke" or "bull dagger" which are both old African-American slang for lesbian, especially of the "butch" type.


B. D. WOMAN'S BLUES
As sung by Lucille Bogan, using the name Bessie Jackson, 1935.

Comin' a time, B. D. women they ain't going to need no men, (2x)
'Cause the way they treat us is a lowdown and dirty sin.

B. D. women, you sure can't understand. (2x)
They got a head like a sweet(?) angel and they walk just like a natural man.

B. D. women, they all done learnt their plan. (2x)
They can lay their jive just like a natural man.

B. D. women, B. D. women, you know they sure is rough. (2x)
They all drink up plenty whiskey and they sure will strut their stuff.

B. D. women, you know they work and make their dough, (2x)
And when they get ready to spend it, they know they have to go.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PROVE IT ON ME BLUES (Ma Rainey)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 10:40 PM

PROVE IT ON ME BLUES
As sung by Ma Rainey, 1928.

Went out last night, had a great big fight; everything seemed to go all wrong.
I looked up, to my surprise, the gal I was with was gone.
Where she went, I don't know; I mean to follow everywhere she goes.
Folks said I'm crooked; I didn't know where she took it; I want the whole world to know.

They say I do it; ain't nobody caught me; sure got to prove it on me.
Went out last night with a crowd of my friends.
They must have been women 'cause I don't like no mens.
It's true I wear a collar and a tie,
Make the wind blow all the while,
But they say I do it; ain't nobody caught me; they sure got to prove it on me.

They say I do it; ain't nobody caught me; sure got to prove it on me.
I went out last night with a crowd of my friends.
It must have been women 'cause I don't like no mens.
Wear my clothes just like a fan,
Talk to the gals just like any old man,
'Cause they say I do it; ain't nobody caught me; sure got to prove it on me.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOOLISH MAN BLUES
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 11:07 PM

FOOLISH MAN BLUES
As sung by Bessie Smith, 1927.

Men sure is deceitful; they getting worse every day. (2x)
Actin' like a bunch o' women, they just gabbin', gabbin', gabbin' away.

There's two things got me puzzled; there's two things I can't understand. (2x)
That's a mannish-actin' woman and a skippin' twistin' woman-actin' man.

Lord, I used to love that man; he always made my poor heart ache.
Yes, I love my man; he makes my poor heart ache.
He's crooked as a corkscrew and even as a copperheaded snake.

I knew a certain man who spent years runnin' a poor gal down.
I knew a certain man who spent a year runnin' a poor gal down.
And when she let him kiss her, the fool blabbed it all over town.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 01:38 PM

Ive always had me doubts about Dainty Davey. and just how wild was the Wild Rover?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 16 - 08:33 AM

From Walter Pardon
The The Dandy Man


When I was twenty years of age a-courting I did go,
All with a dandy barber's clerk, he filled my heart with woe,
I never ceased to rue the day when I became his wife,
He can't do right by day nor night, 'tis true upon my life.

Young women all, take my advice and mark what I do say,
If ever you wed with a dandy man you'll ever rue the day.

And when he goes to bed at night like an elephant he lays,
He never takes his britches off, he sleeps in women's stays,
His mouth is like a turnpike gate, his nose a yard and a half,
And if you saw his dandy legs I'm sure they'd make you laugh.

Young women all……………….            

It was upon last Christmas day, as true as I'm a sinner,
And as he stayed at home that day he swore he'd cook the dinner,
He took out all the plums and flour and mixed them in his hat,
And in the pot upon the lot, the rogue he boiled some fat.

Young women all………………..         

It was last Sunday morning, all by his own desire,
My leghorn bonnet and my cap he took to light the fire,
He took the tea things off the shelf to clean off all the dirt,
He washed them in the chamber pot and wiped them on his shirt.

Young women all…………………         

One day, when I was very ill he went to buy a fowl,
He bought a pair, I don't know where, a magpie and an owl,
He put them in the pot to boil tied in a dirty cloth,
He boiled the lot, all feathers and guts and called it famous broth.

Young women all………………………            

As we were walking up the street, 'twas arm in arm together,
It very first began to snow, he said, what rainy weather,
And if he saw a hackney coach he'd swear it was a gig,
He cannot tell, I do declare, a donkey from a pig.

Young women all……………………..

Now you may talk of dandy wives, but tell me if you can,
Where there's a dandy woman who can match a dandy man,
He's a dirty rogue and a lazy fool, and how I bless the day,
If they would send my dandy man straight off to Botany Bay.

Young women all take my advice and mark what I do say,
If ever you wed with a dandy man you'll ever rue the day.

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Sep 16 - 11:59 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFX77g-H-Uo


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Sep 16 - 08:43 PM

Look a bit beyond Anglo-American culture? "Femminielli" in southern Italy, a tradition going back to antiquity:

http://www.naplesldm.com/femm.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8EUlcSY_UM

Songs associated with them are variants of the "tammuriata".


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Sep 16 - 10:56 PM

I opened this thread and few others back when the Shrewsbury Folk Festival mess was getting traced back to the Yanks. Pffft! Lucy Long was a drag queen. American minstrels offended like M.C. Escher drew.

Not folk but still, kind of surprised no mention of Lou Reed in the thread.

Walk on the Wild Side

Holly came from Miami, F-L-A
Hitch-hiked her way across the U-S-A
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, "Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side"
She said, "Hey honey
Take a walk on the wild side"

Candy came from out on the Island
In the backroom she was everybody's darlin'
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She says, "Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side"
Said, "Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side"

And the colored girls go:
"Doo do doo do doo do do doo, ..."

Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City's the place where
They said, "Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side"
I said, "Hey Joe
Take a walk on the wild side"

Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin' for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should've seen 'em go, go, go
They said, "Hey sugar
Take a walk on the wild side"
I said, "Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side"

Jackie is just speeding away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would have helped that bash
She said, "Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side"
I said, "Hey honey
Take a walk on the wild side"

And the colored girls say:
"Doo do doo do doo do do doo, ..."


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Sep 16 - 11:06 PM

Lola and Wild Side both came within a few years of the American 'Stonewall' riots. They were kind of twin anthems for the next generation.

Lola
The Kinks

I met her in a club down in old Soho
Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Coca-Cola/cherry-cola
C O L A cola
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
L O L A Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Well I'm not the world's most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola
Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand
Why she walk like a woman but talk like a man
Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Well we drank champagne and danced all night
Under electric candlelight
She picked me up and sat me on her knee
And said little boy won't you come home with me
Well I'm not the world's most passionate guy
But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola
La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola
Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola
I pushed her away
I walked to the door
I fell to the floor
I got down on my knees
Then I looked at her and she at me

Well that's the way that I want it to stay
And I always want it to be that way for my Lola
La-la-la-la Lola
Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
La-la-la-la Lola

Well I left home just a week before
And I'd never ever kissed a woman before
But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
And said little boy I'm gonna make you a man

Well I'm not the world's most masculine man
But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man
And so is Lola
La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola
Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 16 - 01:47 PM

I just started reading this thread from the top and thought "WTF decade are these guys living in?" and then realised that somebody had reopened a 17 year old thread.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Mr Red
Date: 25 Sep 16 - 04:17 PM

Now where did I read that "Big Rock Candy Maintain" was a reference to the kid of guys that Woody Guthrie had to avoid while traveling on trains and sleeping on them?
Or was it a different song involving "Mounting"? (cue double entendre)

I am pretty sure it was "Woody Guthrie: a Life" by Joe Kline.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Sep 16 - 05:27 PM

there is aversion of our captain cried all hands that goes "girls love one another", does it qualify? or is the suggestion girls should love one another because they will lose men in war more likely


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Sep 16 - 06:56 PM

Mr Red: Not Woody Guthrie but Mac McClintock.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 26 Sep 16 - 01:19 AM

Given the drift at the top of this zombie I'll allow myself a pair of pop singers. Helen & Lucille Western were probably America's first child actors 'gone bad'.

Helen (1840-1868) was better known as her character Eva (Evangeline St. Clare) from Uncle Tom's Cabin much the same way today's generations grew up with Miley Cyrus as 'Hannah Montana'.

Both Western sisters starting butching it up on stage as soon as they got old enough to choose their own material. Helen went cavorting around town at all hours with the likes of John Wilkes Booth. Shocking! Parents were aghast but the soft porn cabinet cards just kept flying off the racks.

Of course the changes to cork-face after the 1863 New York draft riots prove American audiences have had a short attention span from the git-go. Neither sister died of old age.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Mr Red
Date: 26 Sep 16 - 02:59 AM

Joe_F. I didn't imply Woody wrote it, nor even if he sang it. Just that he was fully aware of the implications of the original lyrics.

FWIW Wiki On BRCM has it as most likely a Folk song (anon) claimed by Harry McKlintock.

I got the right song though:
    And I'll be damned if I hike any more
    To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains


I presume hike is a euphemism.
Burl Ives never sang those lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 26 Sep 16 - 04:36 AM

Is She Is Or Is She Ain't
The Charmer (Louis Walcott / Louis Farrakhan)

I am trying to find a solution
'bout a certain person.
Trying to find a solution
'bout a certain person
With this modern surgery,
They changed him from he to she;
But behind that lipstick, rouge and paint,
I got to know, is she is or is she ain't?

I wonder what gave him the idea and the spark
To leave the country bound for Denmark?
He tried to live the life of a man;
But that was not in accord with Nature's plan,
So he underwent this operation
And came back home to shock the nation;
But behind that lipstick, rouge and paint,
I got to know, is she is or is she ain't?

When he/she came back to this country,
They made her a popular celebrity;
Under public sentiment,
she got movie contract and plenty engagement.
People all came out of curiosity
To see this amazing freak of the century;
But behind that lipstick, rouge and paint,
I still wonder, is she is or is she ain't?

When that lady walk across the stage,
they call her the wonder of this modern age.
Now she making plenty money
Because of her moves and plastic surgery.
Drawing down twenty thousand a week,
and not one listening to this record could get a peek.

So behind that lipstick, rouge and paint,
What you think she is?
Boy, I know she ain't!

A 'modern' calypso about Christine Jorgensen (1926 – 1989) the first American trans woman of reknown.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Sep 16 - 09:57 AM

Imogene, won't you unlock your backdoor screen
And invite me in for some gin and lemonade
I'd really love to love you
My little half-tropical maid

something something about tangoing with Amanda and being two lovin' lesbian ladies, don't recall the rest, too lazy to look it up, also not sure it's old enough


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 16 - 10:09 AM

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/a/amazing+rhythm+aces/emma+jean_20654796.html
Emma Jean, not Imogene


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Sep 16 - 09:49 AM

Ha ha ha ha ha! Boy do I get a different visual on "Emma Jean" than on "Imogene" ha ha ha ha ha but anyway.

As a child I thought "two little boys" was about a couple. Seemed normal enough to me in my non-heteronormative upbringing...


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