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BS: Plastic Paddy slur

Related threads:
BS: Are You a Real Paddy or a Plastic Paddy? (43) (closed)
Lyr/Tune Req: Plastic Paddy (Eric Bogle) (1)


mg 19 Jun 09 - 01:35 AM
Peace 19 Jun 09 - 01:45 AM
mg 19 Jun 09 - 01:52 AM
Ernest 19 Jun 09 - 02:10 AM
mg 19 Jun 09 - 02:15 AM
Diva 19 Jun 09 - 02:20 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 02:41 AM
VirginiaTam 19 Jun 09 - 02:42 AM
Diva 19 Jun 09 - 02:56 AM
Sandra in Sydney 19 Jun 09 - 04:10 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 04:26 AM
Darowyn 19 Jun 09 - 05:08 AM
Lox 19 Jun 09 - 05:25 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 05:52 AM
Little Hawk 19 Jun 09 - 07:48 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Jun 09 - 07:52 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Jun 09 - 07:53 AM
Lox 19 Jun 09 - 07:58 AM
Little Hawk 19 Jun 09 - 08:02 AM
Lox 19 Jun 09 - 08:17 AM
theleveller 19 Jun 09 - 08:19 AM
SINSULL 19 Jun 09 - 08:30 AM
theleveller 19 Jun 09 - 08:38 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 09:18 AM
Jeri 19 Jun 09 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,color blind Bob 19 Jun 09 - 09:30 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Jun 09 - 09:57 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Jun 09 - 10:00 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Daz 19 Jun 09 - 10:18 AM
Jess A 19 Jun 09 - 10:22 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 10:37 AM
Tug the Cox 19 Jun 09 - 10:38 AM
SINSULL 19 Jun 09 - 11:21 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 19 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM
GUEST 19 Jun 09 - 12:05 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM
Will Fly 19 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 19 Jun 09 - 12:20 PM
PaulF 19 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM
Teribus 19 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 01:24 PM
Diva 19 Jun 09 - 01:34 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM
meself 19 Jun 09 - 01:53 PM
Diva 19 Jun 09 - 01:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jun 09 - 02:06 PM
Leadfingers 19 Jun 09 - 02:10 PM
PoppaGator 19 Jun 09 - 02:33 PM

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Subject: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:35 AM

This is on another thread but I will just start a new one and then do more important things. Anyway, I think that it is definitely a nasty mean thing to say, the song Eric Bogle wrote is nasty and mean and a person could probably not use the term in a respectful, nondemeaning manner. I don't care if it is about the pubs rather than the people who frequent them, or sing in them or run them.   I don't care if it is about sports teams. It is a term that is meant to offend and it does, and not just us, who might enjoy singing the Black Velvet Band now and then, but to our ancestors, who lost a lot of their Irish heritage when they emigrated, but a little bit remained. I have only in the last two years found out the names of my Irish great grandparents..I knew only the last names of two..knew nothing of where they were from, how they got here etc. So when you insult me, and I probably would qualify for the term, you insult my unknown, unnamed ancestors as well and I would not do that to anyone else..Plastic Peruvians? How does that sound?

Anyway, what is going on in the world now is so important, that I shall have to come back to this later. But if any Plastic Paddies could join me in rousing renditions of wearing of the green, get green ring tones on your phone, wear green, especially on Sat. 4 p.m. Iranian time whenever that is...set facebook background to green, vote in the Google request.. I know there are people here in Ireland, Australia...all over the world who could each make a tiny difference..mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Peace
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:45 AM

Plastic Paddy
A Plastic Paddy is, in most cases, a descendant from Irish emigrants. Sometimes however this pet name is also used for folks pretending to be Irish. Both categories are often Irish in a way the Irish were in the nineteenth century.

The first category, the Irish descendants, are often genuine surprised when they find out that Dublin is a real metropolis, including broadband internet access. We have once witnessed the impact of this reality check when an Irish-American joined a couple of musicians. Notwithstanding the fact that he was an excellent violist, he was literally just out of tune in the ensemble. He realised that his way of experiencing and performing Irish music had not been evolved since his ancestors has left Ireland. It would be an overstatement to say that he experienced a nervous breakdown, but disappointment was written all over his face.

The would-be Irish on the other hand are in general just off target. A notice with the text In God we trust, others pay cash, for example, fits somehow perfectly well in a pub in Ireland, but in an Irish pub in the Netherlands it just don't make sense.


Plastic Paddy
Title:
Plastic Paddy
Lyrics by:
Eric Bogle
No recordings known
Category:
Humour and Sarcasm
All song rights and copyrights belong to the respective authors and/or composers and this material might be copyrighted. Inform us if your rights are violated

He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
There's plastic shamrocks on the walls, there's Guinness and green beer
And a sign in Gaelic above the bar which says "God Bless All Here!"

His guitar sounds like a wardrobe, and it's out of tune at that
His singing voice it ranges from F-sharp to F-flat
He's just desecrated "The Holy Ground", ripped apart "Black Velvet Band"
Sang, "Seven Nights Drunk" and now he's sunk "The Irish Rover" with all hands
He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
The publican's a Proddy Scot by the name of McIntyre
Who does not allow collections for "The Men Behind The Wire"

He's done awful things to "Molly Malone" and the fair "Rose Of Tralee"
He's murdered "Carrickfergus" and poor old "Mother McCree"
He's thrashed his way through "Galway Bay" and "The Wild Irish Rose"
And if he starts singing "Danny Boy" I'm gonna punch him in the nose
He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
There's Aer Lingus poster everywhere showing pretty Irish scenes
All peaceful and idyllic, and very bloody green

"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and "The Mountains of Mourne"
In his search for Celtic cliché your has left no stone unturned
Till he embarks upon "The Harp Once Through Tara's Halls"
Accompanying himself of the bodhran which takes a lot of balls
He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
He's just sung in his mother tongue, the ancient Irish Erse
And cleared the pub completely by the forty-second verse

Yes he's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
He's started singing "Danny Boy" so it's time that I was gone
And just one thought comes to my mind as I stagger out the door
Where are you when we need your Christy Moore
Where are you when we need your Christy Moore



So folks know what the shootin's about. I found it on the www. Don't know anything about it other than that. If lyris are wrong or any of the info--my apologies.

Hope this doesn't start the 'troubles' all over again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:52 AM

You know what, if I want to sing Dutch songs I expect to be able to without being ridiculed. If the Dutch or Estonians or Bolivians or Americans want to sing Irish songs, more power to them. And shame on people who get their jollies from putting other people down who engage in harmless entertainment, in what could be otherwise very dreary or difficult lives. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ernest
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:10 AM

Generally you are not ridiculed by the Irish if you sing irish songs.

People who are pretending to be Irish by presenting all the cliches are making a fool out of themselves.That`s what the song is about. And of course faux Irish Pubs that are sold all over the world - often to people who have no connection whatsoeverto Ireland (and especially no knowledge about it).

Best wishes
Ernest


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:15 AM

So what. Water will seek its own level. They aren't hurting anybody. Some people like to disco dance. Some people like kareoke. Who does it hurt? If you have higher standards, don't frequent the places you don't like. And sometimes there are cliches for good reason..some people really are like the cliches. And regardless if people are making fools of themselves or not, it is still a demeaning, classist, derogatory ethnic term, whether it refers to Irish-Americans, or Irish-Australians or Japanese who happen to like Irish music, or whatever. Live and let live. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:20 AM

Eric Bogle is one of the nicest blokes going. It is a very clever and well crafted song and could also be seen as a statement about how the tradtions and culture of the emigrant become magnified and somewhat different to what is actually going on in real life in the "ould country"

it is not meant as an insult...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:41 AM

The reason that Irish people loathe the cheap and tacky appropriation of their traditional culture, is because it's a great culture.

It is of course perfectly possible to be an Eireann-ophile (?), loving the songs and history and so-on, without degrading and demeaning traditional Irish culture with inflatable leprechauns and green hair dye.

As an Anglo-Irish person myself - who sings the odd traditional Irish song, loves the beauty in the mythology and literature and has dear memories of beloved Irish family, I know I sure as hell that I wouldn't claim 'Plastic Paddy' as in any way describing me or my relationship to my Irish heritage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:42 AM

Having been directed to the term in the other thread, I read it as a critique on Irish theme pubs, some of which do no favors to the concept of Irish including Irish descendants.

Brilliant music can be terribly corrupted in these Disneyueque affairs and if they promote only a caricature of Irish people and music, then they should be criticised.

I was not aware of the Eric Bogle song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:56 AM

and it is something that is all too apparent in Scottish culture as well. I have both studied this and seen it happen in real life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 04:10 AM

Eric Bogle lyrics typed by his own stubby little fingers

Wikipedia article on Plastic Paddy

Wikipedia article on Eric Bogle

Eric is a very caring man who is also a satirist & humourist - he stopped singing one of his songs "I hate Wogs" because there were too many people who didn't see the irony and either attacked it as racist or, worse, supported the protagonist in his racist views.
I've heard a story about a Neo-Nazi group which took this song seriously & (almost) worshipped it!

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 04:26 AM

"But if any Plastic Paddies could join me in rousing renditions of wearing of the green, get green ring tones on your phone, wear green, especially on Sat. 4 p.m. Iranian time whenever that is...set facebook background to green,"

Eeek! That's just horrid frankly. I'd suggest, if you 'want to make a difference' then avoid all the above, and instead go to see a Samuel Beckett play, read some Seaumus Heaney, listen to some Sean Nos, or check out the vast array of ancient Irish megaliths that this small island is home to. So very much you can do to discover and celebrate your Irish heritage which isn't trivialising to it or its people. And no shamrocks in my stout either ta... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Darowyn
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:08 AM

Last month I spent a lot of time judging "Celtic" (sic) albums for an internet competition.
There was a very sizeable minority of the albums by bands entirely made up of Americans bearing the full, delightfully cosmopolitan range of Nordic, Latinate and Asian surnames that one finds in the USA, all thrashing away at the playlist so clearly pointed out in Eric Bogle's song. Sometimes there was a claim of Irish connections in earlier generations.
They were interchangeably bland, and the adjective "plastic" would be generous.
Irish artists, from the British Isles, had a far more eclectic approach- as I would expect from the excellent Irish musicians that I have met.
I don't remember anyone called Paddy though!
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:25 AM

I am normally a bogle fan.

I looked for some kind of deeper Irony in these lyrics but it isn't there.

This is a song about a stereotype and it seems to be indulging that stereotype without questioning its accuracy.

I don't think we would make such allowances for other stereotypes.

I wouldn't.


But something else bugs me about this song ...

... its writer is australian.

Is he trying to identify with the Irish and claim that he represents the Irish viewpoint' better than plastic paddies do?

This isn't his song to sing.

Which leads very smoothly onto my next point.

The only time I have ever heard anyone talk about 'plastic paddy's' has been when I was outside Ireland.

I am Irish through and through. I was born in the Combe in Dublin, I am close to my cousins and aunts and uncles and i love the songs, the football team, the rugby team, Grafton street at christmas etc etc etc

I have the same accent as that other great Irishman Oscar Wilde.

When I lived in Ireland, no one questioned my identity. i never hard the ohrase 'plastic addy' used and when arguments got hairy no one asked me to mind my own business as there was no doubt in anyones mind about my authenticity.

In England however, I have encountered such attitudes, from both Irish expats and from right on English folk.

When I hear it it upsets me.

When I was at school in Hong Kong, I was the only Irish guy in my class, and i was reminded of it daily.

My class mates defined me as 'Irish' in a way that suggested that to be Irish was something to be ashamed of.

As I got older I learned it was in fact something to be proud of, but iin the process I earned my 'Irish' credentials through and through.

Isn't that absurd?

the idea that I should have to earn my own identity?

What a load of rubbish!

There is noone on this planet who has the right to question who I am and if they do they can expect a bloody nose for their troubles.

I had a conversation a couple of years back with someone who suggested that its about where you live not where you come from.

He assumed rightly from my accent that I hadn't grown up in Ireland.

But he assumed wrongly that I had grown up in England.

I asked him "If I'm not Irish what am I?" and he responded "you're English". I asked him why and he said "because you're from england"

I informed him that I had in fact grown up in Hong Kong and didn't come to England till I was 18.

I then asked him "So am I chinese?"


So you see folks, nothing is as simple as we would like it to be.

I'm not Chinese - and I'm definitely not English.

I am Irish.


The term "plastic paddy", used commonly outside Ireland, by Englishmen and Australians with no authority to comment, is responsible for the fact that I have felt I had to write this post.



The fact that I have had to write this is evidence of the fact that the term 'plastic paddy' is indeed offensive.

Why the fuck should I have to justify myself to every stranger with a shallow opinion about my nationality and Identity?

Bollocks to that.

And I've never sung Danny boy before, but I might start now.

It would go down great with all the aunties and their friends from Dublin down to tralee who LOVE it and have always asked me to sing it whenever a guitar has come out.

Are they plastic paddies too?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:52 AM

Interesting comments Lox. I've found quite a genuinely 'clannish' embracing nature in both my Irish family and other Irish people myself.

Strangers will always ask where your family are from, what town were you were born and suchlike. Surprised that you've experienced rejection from ex-Pats, never had anything like it myself - but then again I am English with Irish parentage, so I guess it's a different matter for me - and of course I don't contend your experiences!

Though with reference to what initiated the debate, I still dislike the kind of thing Mg above is advocating however, for there is indeed much more of interest and value to Irish culture than 'punched out of the mold' theme-pubs and err 'green'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:48 AM

Well, I understand both sides in this one. And sympathize to some extent with both....but...

I've seen Eric Bogle do the song live and it was absolutely hilarious. You HAVE to see him do it live to get the humour. Just reading the lyrics on a page simply won't do it. He's satirizing a kind of cliched (and not very good) performance that we've all seen from time to time which basically amounts to people pretending to be something that they are not, doing it in a clumsy way, and turning themselves into a raucous and BLOODY LOUD stereotype while so doing.

But do those people have some honestly good fun while they're doing that? Sure! ;-) And does it harm anyone? No! And does Bogle have a right to make fun of them? Well, yeah...why not? I mean, hell, they could make fun of him right back, couldn't they? And you could have a laugh both ways around.

When I saw Bogle do the live show it was in a small place. He did "Plastic Paddy" and a couple of other very funny songs (such as "He's Nobody's Moggie Now")....and he did a lot of very serious songs.

It was a small intimate setting and I was kibbitzing back and forth with Bogle and the band, and at one point I got a joke back on him by quoting a variation on a phrase he'd used in one of the funny songs (one about guns, gun control, and people who love guns) and directint it at him. Anyway, I timed it just right and the band burst out laughing...Bogle looked momentarily astounded to have his own joke turned back on him...and then he burst out laughing too. The lead guitarist (who was a simply astoundingly good acoustic guitar player) grinned and said, "I like this bloke!" It was a moment we all enjoyed thoroughly, although the joke had been at Bogle's expense.

That's how you should take this stuff, I think...with a grain of salt. Look, a person who can't laugh at himself now and then is missing out on having a much better time in life. This goes for a nation too...for any group of people.

Trust me on this: I'm Canadian. No one in the world is better at laughing at themselves and their own culture than Canadians are. We do it all the time, eh? ;-D It helps keep us relaxed and it gets us through the damn winters!

And, yes, Eric Bogle is a very nice guy. He's also quite a satirist. Some people don't get it. Some people didn't get it when Randy Newman sang "Short People" either. They got offended. (sigh)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:52 AM

"But something else bugs me about this song ...

... its writer is australian."

Wrong, Lox. He's a Scotsman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:53 AM

Oops! Forgot the smiley!   :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:58 AM

I stand corrected on the matter of Bogles origins.

And LH, if I saw him Live I probably would laugh.

But the essence of my point still stands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:02 AM

No problem. Like I said, Lox, I do understand and can empathize with the views on both sides of this argument.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:17 AM

Ever watched a football match between Ireland and anyone else?

Ever looked at the crowd?

You will notice many leprechaun hats, false beards, guinness artefacts etc and the people sportng them won't be particularly bothered about whether you think they are plastic or not ... even the ones who live outside Ireland.

It's a bit galling that the Guinness logo, formerly representing a British company and now a subsidiary of Diageo (a bigger British company) has somehow become an alternative to the Irish flag (I prefer Beamish myself) but still, if you go into any pub in Ireland you will see the pints lined up, half full, ready to be topped up for the waiting throng and it is the preferred tipple and embraced as a cultural Icon.

Who are the caricaturists? The plastic Paddies or those who sit in judgement of them?

I don't think the answer is straightforward, but then that's kind of my point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:19 AM

I'd always assumed that a plastic paddy pub was a pub created with plastic, imitation Irish decor, usually called Paddy Something-or-other's. Similarly, plastic olde worlde Englishe pubs (I was going to put an 'e' on that but thought better of it!). In my experience, they even serve plastic beer.

Now The Toucan in Soho - that's a completely different matter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:30 AM

The only time I heard the expression "Plastic Paddy" used, it was in the context of an Irish native objecting to an Irish-American's opinions on the "troubles". I remember hearing "You sing Kevin Barry and Croppy Boy like they are pop tunes. We live it."

It had nothing to do with actually singing the songs. It was the inplication that the American singer was trivializing the situation in Ireland by pretending to be a militant supporter of all things Irish.

I have to admit. I agreed with the objection. Misty eyed singing of the Patriot Game by a bunch of drunks in a New York pub who have no idea of the history on both sides of the Irish troubles trivializes a complicated tragedy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:38 AM

Now I come to think of it, it was in connection with The Toucan in Soho that I first heard the phrase, when an Irish acquaintance insisted on taking me there for superb Galway oysters and a pint of Guinness and assured me that "this is no plastic Paddy pub".


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:18 AM

Lox: "Ever watched a football match between Ireland and anyone else?
Ever looked at the crowd?
You will notice many leprechaun hats, false beards, guinness artefacts etc and the people sportng them won't be particularly bothered about whether you think they are plastic or not ."

No I don't think so, I'm not that into football. I'm sure it happens though. Because I do recognise the kind of standard and universal *football culture* you refer to, which I feel is *perhaps* something of a red herring. It's not high brow, it is lampooning itself, and the English and other footballing nations do similar things.

Yet I'd suggest it belongs within the sphere of football, and if native cultures are inclined to do such things themselves, then I guess that's their perogative.

Yet, I would not take that style of 'football culture' either outside of football or the indigenous culture which expresses itself in such a fashion. Or consider that because they might do that when they're at a football match, that *therefore* we can all take our lead from that circus atmosphere, and imitate the same degree of characturisation of anothers race or culture, that a football crowd might indulge in.

I do not feel that necessarily rightly justifies members of other cultures, doing the same, and especially in broader contexts.

I do agree though, I think it's a complicated matter. And not one easily pinned down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:24 AM

I must confess I've done the 'plastic paddy' thing myself just because it can be good fun... I'm sorry--is this color making your eyes bleed? Will switch to...

I can find loads of things that are worth the aggravation of getting insulted by. This is not one. It's just, appropriately, about those who are Irish only when it suits them. It's just like people who get all churchy and halleluliafied on holidays but don't give religion or their church another thought the rest of the year. I play some Irish music, but I've been known to wear a leprechaun hat and go silly with green at times BECAUSE IT'S FUN. I can 'pass' for Irish, but I don't actually call myself Irish. I don't call myself English either, though that's where about 80-90% of my ancestors came from. Folks in the UK might call it 'race', but for me, it's culture.

The term can be used to dismiss people who are hyphenated Irish, but is usually done because the person using the term has no clue about the target's background. You can view this sort of usage as an insult (it's meant as one) but ultimately it's a big old 'Hi. I'm an idiot and don't have an argument so I'm trying to belittle the other person. Now that you know I'm a complete f***wit, KICK ME!' sign.

So yeah, it can be an insult, but it says more about the person saying it than the person so labeled. To know whether a person is adopting a persona to associate temporarily with some group temporarily or IS that person, you have to know him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,color blind Bob
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:30 AM

That green print is almost impossible to read;
spare a thought for practicality please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:57 AM

Knowing Eric, his great sense of morality, and his wicked sense of humour, I'm absolutely convinced that 'Plastic Paddy' is not, in any conceivable way, intended to be an insult to the Irish - precisely the opposite, in fact.

It's a song in defence of all that is good and great in the real people and culture of Ireland, and an attack on those who leap on to what they perceive to be that culture in an effort to line their pockets and who, in so doing, themselves degrade the Irish.

A racist is one thing Eric is NOT.

IMHO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:00 AM

But he is a master of the use of I-R-O-N-Y.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:11 AM

Well if it's in fun...
Maybe I'll black me face up and stick on a big affro wig and wear a Bob Marley tee shirt for next Notting Hill carnival...!



On second thoughts maybe I won't... ;-)
Really would love to get to Notting Hill carnival this year though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Daz
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:18 AM

I met a guy at a conference some years back called Patrick Plas. I think he was from South Africa. I thought this was a thread about him.
He may look at it as identity theft !


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Jess A
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:22 AM

I am another who can see both sides of the argument here.

I'm english and love to play traditional english music. It distresses me that a vast proportion of the general population in this country and elsewhere have no concept that there is any traditional english music, and assume that if I'm playing something folky on a fiddle then it must be irish (that happens a lot). It distresses me when some of my peers (by which I mean players of traditional music in England) have so embraced irish music that they are downright rude about anything that isn't irish (an particularly so about anything that is english) - that happens more often than I'd like it to, as well. It amuses me more than distresses me when people who have no more irish blood than I do (or less, in fact - I have an irish great grandmother, fwiw) are so enamoured of 'irishness' that they embrace all the cliches in Eric's song. And because of these things, I've been known to use the term plastic paddy myself, in a fairly derogatory way.

BUT - I love traditional irish music myself, play a fair bit of it, know and respect a lot of irish people (including a vast proportion of my in-laws) and have NO TIME AT ALL for being racist to or about actual irish people, or culture.

I don't see a contradiction between my above two paragraphs, and I wonder whether those who are offended by Eric's song just haven't experienced the same kind of irritatingly sycophantic 'everything irish is wonderful, everything wonderful is irish' rosy-tinted-spectacled view (or in this case either green or guinness tinted... or both) of all things irish that he is describing... ???


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:37 AM

It's a bit of a thread drift I'm afraid, but I'm curious to know what others think.

Many of my family are N.I. Catholics who had to emigrate to England because of the troubles (others remained at home and live there still). As a child I recall tearful evenings amongst London Irish family of Irish rebel songs, sung by old uncles who had to uproot and leave home.

I feel I'd never be able to sing these songs myself, for I know nothing but second-hand stories about the shootings, the Falls road (where my grandmother was nearly killed), the political struggles and so-on. And while I might have some romantic sentiment and there is ancestral appeal from both my memories and close atatchments to people (and indeed my family has had its share of troubled inheritance from those times), I feel these songs simply are not *my* story. Yet in many ways I would like to remember my experiences of those for whom it was, and identify with those with whom I loved.

How do others of Irish descent, feel about singing such songs?? And is there anything of the so-called 'plastic Paddy' implied for someone like me (Anglo-English), who were to do so? For comments further uplist, suggest that there might be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:38 AM

As I sid on the other thread, some people refer to themselves as plastic paddies. They are earning money filling a commercial niche, maybe they do oompah bier cellar acts another day of the week, and the odd greek wedding. No one really takes it seriously, Bogle's song is a pretty accurate snapshot of a plastic irish pub.
They opened one of these theme pubs in Exeter. The barmaids all had dyed black hair, and they had al been trained in stock ohrases 'top o the morning' etc.
   I asked if they had Music, the young barmaid replied..yes, most nights. I asked...Is it acoustic'. She replied in all seriousness and a mock irish accent...'What part of ireland is that in'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 11:21 AM

Kind of like the Australian Assault at Outback. Crikie!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM

Some people simply want to be offended, in my opinion, and they'll go to any lengths to find 'proof'.

Fake Irish (and fake English, I might add) pubs abound worldwide, and yes, they're extremely annoying and patronising places, stay away from them if they offend you.You wouldn't catch me, dead, inside one of thos places.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:05 PM

The falseness or faking of culture for commercial purposes is not just confined to Irish matters. I was feeling like a coffee the other morning in town and thought I'd go into Café Rouge - I'd never been in one before.

So sat down, ordered a coffee and a croissant, listened to the accordion music playing under the red, white and blue bunting and waited. Along came the waitress with the food and drink and, as she put it down, she smiled and said "Bon appetit". Without thinking, I replied with some pleasantry in French - thinking she was French. She looked embarrassed and said, "Oh, I can't speak French - we're just told to say 'Bon Appetit'".

So what's with the French schtick? Or the Oirish schtick? Or Ye Olde English schtick, for that matter. Just serve up good coffee and croissants, or good Irish stout, or good roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and be yourself.

It' not just plastic Paddy - it's plastic René - or plastic anything that sits falsely and tries to pretend it's something it's not. Surely that's the point of EB's song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM

The body of Irish music contains a wealth of songs with universal themes that are valid when sung by anyone of any nationality. But there's also a large number of Irish songs with overtly Irish, not universal, themes. Those songs should be sung by the Irish, and nobody else. Anyone who sings a song like "Roddy McCorley" without having roots in the culture from which the song grew is a wanker.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM

Sorry - last post was me - had to reset my cookie.

Or should that have been my croissant...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:20 PM

"Or should that have been my croissant...? "*LOL" Well done Will. I agree with you, it's plastic anything that makes a mockery of a given culture.
However Bee-dubya-ell,s remark " Those songs should be sung by the Irish, and nobody else. Anyone who sings a song like "Roddy McCorley" without having roots in the culture from which the song grew is a wanker." is just plain blinkered. I wonder how Bee-dubya-ell feels about a part North American Aboriginal part white person (me) singing a Scots song (Eppie Moray). On the Fotheringay recording of said song (very powerful, by the way), the two singers, Trevor Lucas and Sandy Denny, are Australian and English..

Get real Bee-dubya-ell !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: PaulF
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM

Gosh, there's more than a hint of paranoia in some of the posts in this thread.
Anybody with any sense of irony, will see Eric Bogle's song is totally tongue in cheek.
They do say that irony doesn't travel well in certain parts of the world.
Surely we all know what is meant by a Plastic Paddy?
It's someone who drinks green beer, and enjoys all the other weird things that happen in the US on St Patrick's day, and DON'T happen in Ireland, where these poor benighted people seem to think it does go on.
I'm sure that Irish born persons living in the USA, must be totally embarrassed by the coat of verdigris adopted by those who call themselves Irish, even though their claims are tenuous to say the least.
Enjoy it by all means, but don't confuse it with reality.
Paul


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM

Wasn't this written by Eric Bogle about an actual Irish bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans??


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM

Rifleman, I think it's fine that you or anyone else should sing "Eppie Moray". It doesn't speak to a uniquely Scottish experience, but to one about which any number of songs have been written in many cultures. There's not much difference between it and similar Appalachian ballads sung by any number of US bluegrass bands. There's a handful of Scots words, but that's just window dressing.

My beef is with people at sessions in US bars singing overtly political Irish songs. Irish politics is not part of the experience of anyone outside Ireland and I don't feel I or any other American has any business singing about it. We can sing about lost love, no matter whether the song comes from Ireland or Mississippi, but we should leave the immortalization of Irish heroes to the Irish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:24 PM

I think one of the things Irish culture has experienced in recent years is a 'boom' in interest. Yet, I recall my Mum talking about the Irish being the 'White N*ggers' back in the fifties - not so long ago really. They were no better than dogs - same as he Black immigrants in England and America.

So it's not always been a charming 'fun' appropriated Oirish stereotype. This I feel, is where the dangers of cliche and charicatures lie: They undermine the reality and generate a false superficial image of the truth, which while sometimes 'fun' can equally be demeaning.

As a culture which has been misrepresented and very badly so in the past up until very recently, 'fun' contemporary stereotypes, IMO merely continue the same vein of misrepresentation, that the Irish have ever suffered from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:34 PM

Lox...Eric Bogle is a Borderer frae Peebles


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM

"My beef is with people at sessions in US bars singing overtly political Irish songs. Irish politics is not part of the experience of anyone outside Ireland and I don't feel I or any other American has any business singing about it. We can sing about lost love, no matter whether the song comes from Ireland or Mississippi, but we should leave the immortalization of Irish heroes to the Irish."

I think it is a fair point Bee-dubya, but my experience was of hearing these songs as a child amongst Irish family. Admittedly I'm older now and I am English-born myself - though with Irish parentage. Do you feel that it would be inappropriate for me to sing those same songs I heard as a child amongst Irish family - in memory of them and their experiences? There were those amongst them, those whom I loved and recall with great feeling.

For I'm not quite sure where I stand on this. Apart from feeling that I cannot because of my English birth. Yet, now that I have begun singing for myself, I am asking myself whether those Irish rebel songs, might not be sung in memory of those who I once heard sing them, and to whom they meant a great deal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:53 PM

A number of posters have suggested that this song is "ironic", and that anybody who doesn't find it amusing has no "sense of irony". But while the song clearly points out ironies, to say that the song itself is "ironic" is to suggest that it is actually approving of "plastic Paddies" rather than mocking them - and that it is mocking Christy Moore rather approving of him. Anyone who thinks that is what the song is doing has no sense, period.

There is nothing nonsensical about someone who is fond of "plastic Paddy" pubs, entertainers, songs, etc., being offended by this song - by implication, it is mocking them as well as the pubs, entertainers, songs. Just because we all love Eric Bogle, and he's funny, and he's sensitive, it doesn't mean that everything he has written is above criticism.

(Disclaimer: the band I put together for this past St. Patrick's Day, I called The Plastic Paddies).


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:55 PM

My grandmothers family were from the Falls Rd in Belfast "refugees" from the Troubles, combination of mixed marriage (my great grandma) and the loss of family monies by marrying the wrong bloke! and of one of her brothers having the audacity of going for a job at harland and Woolfe and been found dead in rather suspicious circumstances after.

They were in Glasgow in the early twenties when there was a lot of anti Irish Catholic feeling. This was NEVER mentioned at home, I came accross it while studying history at Uni and was stunned.

They went to Canada and thrived by sheer dint of hard work, which is the story of many emigrant families over the years. They retained a fondness for their culture but were not maudlin about it.

If we are only singing songs of our own cultures then I have hit the jackpot for I can claim Irish, Scots, English and French Canadian and a wee smattering of Native North American

But in our family songs are songs and stories are stories doesn't really matter where they come from so long as they are good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:06 PM

There's a song that goes well with this, and helps explain what it's about, and it's by another emigrant to Australia, this time from Ireland, the songwriter Enda Kenny (not to be confused with an Irish politician of the same name that no one would want to be confused with).

Don't Ask Me To Sing The Wild Rover
I don't have to try to be green
I'd rather you drove me right over the edge
Of the high rocky cliffs of Doneen
I've left all that behind me now
I'm not homesick any more
And I don't need you to remind me
Of Paddy's green shamrocks shore.

Do you ever stop to ask yourself
Just why it is you left home
What have you seen of the places you've been to
Since you started out for to roam
Is it Mass every Sunday
The pub every night
And five different bands
That all play the same shite
Like Donegal Danny and Dirty Old Town
And a "fine girl you are" in the old Holy Ground.

How many friends have you made over here
Whose accents are not like your own
How is it every time I get to hear you
You're talkin' of going back home
Well I won't be found
Where your sorrows are drowned
With plastic shamrocks and beer
Cause I've chosen to live in Australia
Not in "Ireland Over Here".


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:10 PM

'Gaelic Hat' is an 'Irish' band Usually Vocal/Guitar/Accordian , Vocal/Mandolin/Whistle . and a Fiddler . We are all English , though I am a quarter Irish , and we are SERIOUS about Entertainment . I am not sure if we qualify as Plastic Paddies any more than 'Crossbones'
are Plastic Pirates , or 'Naval Packet' are Plastic Victorian Seamen


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:33 PM

"Wasn't this written by Eric Bogle about an actual Irish bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans??"

I rather doubt it. I don't recall any Irish bar having existed on Bourbon Street at any time that I've lived here, which is since 1969.

There have been a couple of notable Irish pubs over the years in the French Quarter (but not on the Bourbon St, "main drag"), none of which would seem to likely candidiates for "Plastic Paddy-dom."

One, Danny O'Flaherty's on Toulouse Street, was a thriving business until Katrina. Danny was and is native Irish, a notable performer as well as landlord/entrepreneur, and in fact a native speaker of Irish from the Galway Gaeltacht. The main music room was an excellent venue, with good acoustics and a well-enforced be-quiet-and-listen policy. Danny had a relatively strict traditional-music-only policy, employed a small group of local musicians who fit the bill, and also provided a venue for many touring Irish/Celtic acts (icluding a few Mudcatters). While some of the clientele might plausibly have been accused of being "Plastic Paddies," I don't think the establishment could be tarred with the same brush.

After O'Flaherty's had gone out of business, a new establishment opened just off Bourbon St., "Sean Kelley's." At first, this new pub began employing many of the same singers and musicians who had been regulars at O'F's; more recently, there has been some controversy over how management had been treating the performers, many of whom refuse to appear there any more. The place is very bright and shiny (haveing been so recently renovated) and might very well be considered a "plastic," pseudo-Irish theme pub, but I think it is too new to have served as Bogle's inspiration.

The other notable French Quarter Irish-pub-with-live-music would be the Kerry on Decatur Street. This place is even less obviously and self-consciously "Oirish" ~ the music is NOT always Irish; it is normally more-or-less acoustic (folk/blues/country, almost always without drums and often featuring multiple harmonising vocalists). It's "Irish" inasmuch as they stock every available brand of Irish whiskey, and they know how to pour a decent pint of stout; also, the staff usually includes a few recent immigrants from Ireland (as did O'FLaherty's). The clientele almost always includes a number of tourists, but is predominantly made up of neighborhood regulars ~ and keep in mind, the French Quarter of New Orleans is not your run-of-the-mill neighborhood. The atmosphere is very relaxed and unpretentious, with no corporate imperative to playact at Irishness. (No one has to say "Top o' the mornin"" or any such crap.)


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