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Bad song choices at a gig

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Arnie Naiman 01 Aug 99 - 09:49 AM
BK 01 Aug 99 - 10:10 AM
Arnie Naiman 01 Aug 99 - 10:25 AM
Rick Fielding 01 Aug 99 - 11:53 AM
Chet W. 01 Aug 99 - 12:18 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Aug 99 - 12:26 PM
Margo 01 Aug 99 - 01:23 PM
CarlZen 01 Aug 99 - 01:41 PM
Barbara 01 Aug 99 - 02:13 PM
Mudjack 01 Aug 99 - 03:20 PM
Sourdough 01 Aug 99 - 03:32 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Aug 99 - 05:30 PM
Arnie Naiman 01 Aug 99 - 05:49 PM
Mudjack 01 Aug 99 - 05:59 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Aug 99 - 11:23 PM
DonMeixner 02 Aug 99 - 12:19 AM
Chet W. 02 Aug 99 - 12:32 AM
Lonesome EJ 02 Aug 99 - 12:36 AM
Margo 02 Aug 99 - 02:40 AM
mcmoo 02 Aug 99 - 04:21 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 02 Aug 99 - 04:41 AM
Neil Lowe 02 Aug 99 - 11:29 AM
Margo 02 Aug 99 - 11:44 AM
Mark Clark 02 Aug 99 - 01:08 PM
LEJ 02 Aug 99 - 02:03 PM
KnockinLostJohn 07 Dec 03 - 07:49 AM
Janice in NJ 07 Dec 03 - 10:00 AM
s&r 08 Dec 03 - 06:29 AM
s&r 01 Jan 04 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Big Ballad Singer 29 Jul 10 - 06:55 PM
olddude 29 Jul 10 - 07:33 PM
Mark Ross 29 Jul 10 - 09:38 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 30 Jul 10 - 02:10 AM
GUEST,Ray 30 Jul 10 - 07:21 AM
Ebbie 30 Jul 10 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,acegardener 30 Jul 10 - 01:09 PM
Don Firth 30 Jul 10 - 02:12 PM
olddude 30 Jul 10 - 05:03 PM
olddude 30 Jul 10 - 05:14 PM
frogprince 30 Jul 10 - 05:20 PM
LadyJean 31 Jul 10 - 01:04 AM
beeliner 31 Jul 10 - 05:50 AM
autoharpbob 31 Jul 10 - 06:16 AM
olddude 31 Jul 10 - 07:13 AM
My guru always said 31 Jul 10 - 09:45 AM
Bat Goddess 31 Jul 10 - 10:52 AM
Phil Cooper 28 Dec 11 - 04:14 PM
Acorn4 28 Dec 11 - 05:00 PM
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Subject: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 09:49 AM

The mismatched venue thread clicked in a few memories. I remember years ago at The Winnipeg folk Festival, Michael Cooney started off his set with a long winded, slow version of "Home on The Range" and totally misread the mood of his audience who tried endlessly to boo him offstage. Myself being a fan of Michael's repetoire- I was shocked as to the atmosphere that was building with every verse and chorus. He made it through the whole song barely alive, and soon redeemed and endeered himself with some better choices. I know that at some of my gigs - there have been a few times when I should have been bood offstage.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: BK
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 10:10 AM

I've endured some pretty awful stuff & can hardly ever remember a performer actually being "bood." Enough to curdle the blood of a phoakie! Was it THAT BAD?

I do remember a certain monthly jam at which some old-timers would boo or otherwise verbally assault (loudly!) a newcomer for a selection the old farts didn't like; but I always thought they were arrogant twits (or something that starts w/"a & ends w/"holes") still do.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 10:25 AM

Ya Michael was actually being bood by a charged up partying, evening audience that had just been exposed to (I think) some electric blues (rock) music.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 11:53 AM

Hi Arnie, welcome to Mudcat.
I've heard from some folks that Michael's done that sort of thing a number of times. I think he likes to go "Mano a Mano" with the audience at times.
Many years ago when I was still playing bars (greed and desperation) a guy kept asking me to sing some James Taylor. 'Tain't really my thing so I politely refused. He insisted again, so I did. The moment I started on "Sweet Baby James" (complete with proper chords and complex arrangement) he started yakking to his friends. When I finished, he turned to the stage and said "You're no James Taylor!"
That's when I started to believe in capital punishment!
Rick


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Chet W.
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 12:18 PM

Try this! Write your own versions of songs by people whose songs you might have requests for. I have written a Jimmy Buffett song (Coconuts for Brains) and a Kenny Rogers song about a loyal wife waiting for her man in their trailer every day (with Very sensitive chords). Nobody ever seems to notice the difference. I'm working on others.

Chet


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 12:26 PM

CHET!! I love you! I've done that! It works, and I'm so glad to find out I'm not the only sick puppy out here!
Bless you (in an agnostic sort of way)
Rick


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Margo
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 01:23 PM

I know this is far afield, but..............

I got a chuckle when I heard that Meridith Wilson's "Musicman" played in France, and got a cool reception because the French didn't understand the American idioms and stereotypes in the story.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: CarlZen
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 01:41 PM

Chet- That's a gem! Maybe we could get a new database of those kind of songs. Help us all out.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Barbara
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 02:13 PM

At Malvina Reynolds' memorial concert in the Berkeley Auditorium (1977), Steve Goodman (and a sax player whose name I forget) were booed off the stage when he tried to sing 'Old Fashioned Girl'. He tried explaining to the crowd that the song was a favorite of Mal's, but that didn't fly with the militant crowd.
The memorial concert was a whole series of disasters that included one person - a modern feminist performer - taking up most of the time including a half hour of set up while the crowd watched and the remaining folk getting squeezed into 15 minutes -- Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Faith Petric, Larry Hanks, and a couple more, Rosalie Sorrels, maybe?

It must have been incredibly hard for Malvina's daughter to set up and organize the concert, and I don't fault her for what happened.

It made me realize what a wide variety of people Malvina's songs appealed to, and how, without her in the center holding things together, the various factions couldn't work together.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Mudjack
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 03:20 PM

A local Folk Society had made arrangements to have volunteers go forward and earn money for the society buy playing in the local hospital. I had went through the halls doing my normal choices of songs and at one door there were at least seven folks standing outside this elderly man's room. A nice couple from the family stopped and asked if I would go into the room and do a song for their (elderly) father, said he'd worked for the railroad and used to sing songs. He had heard me down the hall and wanted a closer listen and I answered the call. Let's see, railroad song, Freight Train, freight train going so fast, freight traion freightr train going so fast ...etc. Well good folks, let me tell you, freight train is not the song to sing at one's dying bed. I did some quick cover up and softened the die theme to when I'm gone lord,I had got myself into a corner and wiggled out OK. It's the most uncomfy I've ever been at situation but survived. The man's family was very appreciative and said he really liked it. I learned a lesson in song selection and to be a little more sensitive to it's contents. I can't even tell you if these folks were aware of the lyrics. the patient did seem to enjoy it, but I felt like an insensitive jerk.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Sourdough
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 03:32 PM

Mudjack -

I know that feeling. You get into the song, realize where it's heading, and then start a frantic process of editing and rewriting in your head while trying to sing and play as though you had nothing else on your mind but telling the story.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 05:30 PM

Love this thread! Man have I had to change direction a few times. Singing songs (inadvertantly) about dying, while playing Old Folk's homes. Doing "Last Thing On My Mind" and having someone say with tears in their eyes that they'd just broken up with someone! Doing a silly introduction, eg. "Here's a song for anyone celebrating a divorce tonight", and having TWO people at opposite sides of the room start crying and head for the door! Oi Vay!
Rick


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 05:49 PM

One of the first public gigs I did was at The Canadian Institute For The Blind. I started into the old time tune Sugar Hill on the banjo - The first line is "Do you want to get your eyes knocked out" Well I turned a little red when I realised what I said - but of course they couldn't see that!


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Mudjack
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 05:59 PM

Whew... I thought I was alone, thanks, I feel a little better. The rest home gig is even worse. Those dear folks seem to love "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", "Amazing Grace" . Are we just too sensitive that we feel rotten, or sadenned to the condition these folks are enduring?
Thanks for the moral lesson.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 11:23 PM

It's us, not them Mudjack, but I still feel a bit embarrased.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: DonMeixner
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 12:19 AM

How about doing and outstanding, accapella rendition of Stan Roger's "House of Orange" at a Hibernians convention. Survival is still in question.

Don


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Chet W.
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 12:32 AM

Rick and all, It's late but I'll post "Coconuts for Brains" tomorrow.

Chet


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 12:36 AM

Many years ago I went to a show at a rowdy mountain bar that featured George Thorogood and the Destroyers. For some reason they picked Jimmy Ibbotson of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to open doing an acoustic set. Now at the time Thorogood was kind of an unknown except among a certain subculture of hard-rocking hard-drinking hard-core fanatics, and most of them were in the bar that night on their 10th beer by the time Ibbotson came on. He made the incredible choice of Ripplin' Waters a gentle acoustic hymn to the beauties of nature and the simple life as his opener.

I've got ripplin' waters to wake me
The mornin', my woman and love
Tall pine trees a-pointin' us easily to heaven above..

Most of the crowd of bikers, ex-cons and substance abusers stood slack-jawed at the first few lines of John Denveresque optimism before somebody shouted " You ain't Sweatin'!!" Jimmy persevered and somehow got through his set, but it was one of the worst artist mis-matches since Hendrix toured with the Monkees, and an awful song choice on top of that.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Margo
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 02:40 AM

What is this about Hendrix touring with the Monkees? Is that a joke?

Marg


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: mcmoo
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 04:21 AM

I rather liked a friend in England's story of getting in big trouble at a wedding when he played "All the good times are past and gone"!


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 04:41 AM

Not exactly got in trouble, but I (and some colleagues) have been Peered-At-Over-The-Top-Of-Half-Rimmed-Spectacles by a very worthy folk club crowd (In a town that starts with 'North' and ends with 'ampton') for (God forbid) doing a humorous version of Dido Bendigo. This is, after all, a serious and sensitive song that deserves reverent silence. Or something.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 11:29 AM

Margarita: nope...no joke. Early on in either Hendrix's or the Monkees' career. Maybe LEJ can supply some details...?

Regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Margo
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 11:44 AM

That's too much! Hey Hey we're the Monkees, and people say we monkey around, but that's only when we're taking purple haze! 'Scuze me while I kiss this guy......

Hahaha


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Mark Clark
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 01:08 PM

My grandmother used to tell about going to the funeral of a friend in the small town where they lived. The family of the deceased had suffered a number of recent loses. The pastor selected a hymn called "Going Down The Valley One By One."

One time at a benefit concert at the old Quiet Knight in Chicago---I can't remember whether it was for Sing Out! or for Eddie Belchowski---Bob Gibson was on stage and someone from the audience requested "Sam Stone." Bob graciously declined.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: LEJ
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 02:03 PM

Margarita- In 66 the Monkees went on a European Tour including London, where they saw the Jimi Hendrix Experience at a small club. They were knocked out by him, as well as other things, and invited him to open for them on their upcoming tour of the US. Apparently Hendrix lasted for only one show. When the Mothers of the 11 year old girls who were the Monkees' core constituency got a look and listen to what Jimi was offering they were, as they say, a bit agitated. The promoters demanded he be dropped.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: KnockinLostJohn
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 07:49 AM

Hi everybody, new here and I love this place.
Once a number of years ago I was playing with a blues band called the Wailin' Blue Devil's and we were doing a concert in a park in a small fishing community in Southern Ontario (very, very tight knit).
The opening act was a poor fellow who desparatley wanted to be a folk singer/ songwriter and was equally desparate to gain a following. Well his opening song was a very slow dirg that he'd written as a tribute to a number of local fishermen who had recently been lost in Lake Erie as a result of a late night collision with a Coast Guard Cutter. This tragic loss was a very touchy subject in the community due to the nature of the event and the song, while well intended, was very gory and poorly written. The fellow seemed oblivious to the audiences discomfort and carried on to the bitter end.
I think he was just very new and inexperienced but I've never in my 25 yrs as a performer witnessed an audience reaction like that....total silence combined with very frosty glares, I swear you could feel the temperature drop at leat 10 degrees.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 10:00 AM

Getting back to the first message, I have also heard Michael Cooney sing Home On the Range where the audience was less than fully attentive. He seems to enjoy that song immensely. However, I am disturbed to learn that the audience at Winnipeg Folk Festival actually booed him. It's a tribute to Michael's talent and skills that he was able to redeem himself.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: s&r
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 06:29 AM

We once sang "Weela Weela Wallia". We didn't know that in the audience was a family who had lost a child to a crazy doctor who stabbed a number of children in the paediatric ward at the local hospital.

We've never sung it since


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: s&r
Date: 01 Jan 04 - 05:42 PM

Playing for a church community at New Year. Games during interva: one was a pretend horse race - our sound man, using his initiative found a track on a cd called horse racing, and played it until we got to him and turned off http://www.phespirit.info/derekandclive/ad_nauseam_02.htm
We're still hoping no-one heard the words....We love the people, and would hate to upset them.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Big Ballad Singer
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 06:55 PM

In the middle of a big US football match between the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos...

Room FULL of drunk or drinking Jets fans... GREEN JERSEYS everywhere...

My duo partner and I start playing, and I start singing, John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High"... all about how wonderful it is in Colorado.

Denver. Is. In. Colorado.

Room full of Jets fans.

Finished the song, called a break and ran like hell. Hid out for 15 minutes until the grumbling and dirty looks blew over.

Phew.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: olddude
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 07:33 PM

I can only think that the Captain shouldn't have sung "I just don't look naked anymore" in that nudist camp ... How about it Cap


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Mark Ross
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 09:38 PM

Singin' Sam Agins, the cowboy singer(less than 5 foot tall, on crutches with a a bit of a hunchback)told me that he was once invited by phone to "come out and sing for the girls".
He showed up at the house only to find that it was a home for unwed mothers. Sam was nothing if not a trouper. He started on his 1st song, SHINE ON HARVEST MOON. When he got to the line "I ain't had no loving since, January, February, June, or July," he realized that he might have made a mistake. But when he sang those words, someone in the room chimed in with "nor August neither!"


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 02:10 AM

In my youth I sang "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" at a war veteran's facility. I can't remember the audience's response, but afterward I was warned by the head administrator that I risked getting hit in the face with a crutch.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 07:21 AM

A couple of years ago, I had a special request to sing "Plastic Jesus" - a favourite of the deceased - at a staunchly Catholic funeral wake. It went down OK but I'm not sure whether the Bishop (or whatever that branch of god has) was impressed.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 12:20 PM

"I just don't look naked anymore"- Missin' a little something, Dan?


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,acegardener
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 01:09 PM

Worse one I ever done was singing the Bonny Ship The Diamond. Half the pub got up and left. Didn't know at the time but the crew of the Rainbow Warrior were in port.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 02:12 PM

Dodged a bullet.

Janice, an old friend from college and a real folk music fan (although she didn't sing herself) asked me to sing at her wedding. One of the songs she wanted me to sing was "Greensleeves." I thought for a moment or two, then asked her, "Janice, have you ever actually listened to the lyrics of that song?"

"What do you mean?" she asked.

So, not singing, I simply recited the words to a few verses for her.

She turned pale, then said, "I see what you mean. Scratch 'Greensleeves!'"

But we worked out a deal. I'd fiddled out a classic guitar arrangement of the song, sort of "lute style" kind of thing, so I did that at her wedding, but didn't sing the song.

When Barbara and I got married, we were married in a church, but no organ or anything like that. The music was provided by a lutenist. Name of Jean Collins. She wore a Renaissance-style gown (fit in nicely with the church decor) and played a number of lute pieces that she thought were appropriate for a wedding. Very nice!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: olddude
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 05:03 PM

I did the song "Oh Happy Days" at a funeral ... the family requested it and asked me to sing it. This was when I was in high school ... Afterwords I took quite a lot of flack from people who didn't know that ... Yikes


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: olddude
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 05:14 PM

Thinking on this thread ... I have done so many bone headed things performing when I was younger that today I just shake my head.   One time someone asked me if it was the last song and I said "not till the fat lady sings"   immediately I noticed the lady in the first row was quite large and quite upset as people around her were most likely waiting for her to get up and sing... how do you recover from that one .. foot in mouth .. I could go on but best to let others talk. What an idiot thing to say huh .. youth and stupid usually go together. Hey lady whoever you are "I apologize forgive me please" there fixed.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: frogprince
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 05:20 PM

I would think that, generally, if the family, or the "guest of honor", at a funeral, requested a song or musical piece for the occasion, the rest of the audience could like it or lump it. I could imagine the possibility of the family having no taste or sense, and requesting something so imappropriate you wouldn't want to touch it. But if the "pre-deceased" reguested it, I would go with it unless I had really serious misgivings. A long-time friend says he would like Hendrix version of the Star Spangled Banner; if I have the opportunity, I'll at least see that it gets played over his grave.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: LadyJean
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 01:04 AM

A friend of mine took car of her grandmother when the old lady was dying, and afterwards, arranged her funeral. Rather than pay the church organist $50, she hired a friend of hers, a heavy metal musician, to play for the funeral.
The guy knew 3 hymns. He played all of them twice over, then "churched up" some of his favorites, including "Homage to the Devil".
Happily most of the bereaved didn't recognize the songs.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: beeliner
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 05:50 AM

Sing or play "Marching Through Georgia" ANYWHERE but in Georgia.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: autoharpbob
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 06:16 AM

Does "Dear Lord and Father of mankind forgive our foolish ways" count - at my wedding?


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: olddude
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 07:13 AM

autoharp .... LOL PRICELESS


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: My guru always said
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 09:45 AM

My Brother's funeral, at his request, finished with 'Always look on the Bright Side of Life'. We're that sort of family!


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 10:52 AM

Phil Ochs' song "The Thresher" is still avoided in Portsmouth, NH and the surrounding area. Too many widows, children, relatives and friends of the men lost still live in the area.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 04:14 PM

I sang Shine your Buttons with Brasso at a 4-H affair when I was in high school. A 4-H friend had requested it. I didn't take in to account that a lot of younger grade school kids were there. Also the woman who asked me to sing was not amused. Twas then I learned appropriateness of venue.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Acorn4
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 05:00 PM

We once did "Songbird" by Jesse Winchester at a singaround; it has the lines:-

"My songbird wants her freedom, now don't you think I know,
But I can't find it in myself to let my songbird go."

One of the regulars burst into tears for no apparent reason, and we thought perhaps it was Julia's emotional delivery of the song, until the real reason came to light - her budgie had escaped that day.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 05:26 PM

On the 11th of September 2001, BBC Radio 3 was scheduled to broadcast a concert from one of the big London orchestras. I think the conductor was a famous visiting American. (They advertised it in the programme listings magazine "Radio Times", which is where I saw it).

Last-minute change of their opening number. It was to have been John Adams's "Short Ride in a Fast Machine".


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 06:02 PM

I triple dog dare someone to do "Seasons in the Sun". Go ahead, I quadruple dare you.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 06:43 PM

I think we pay too much attention to our own anxieties about causing offence, and too little to the needs of our audiences.

I was booked about three years ago to do a ninety minute charity gig at a well known Hospice, to an audience of terminally ill patients.

I asked what the organiser thought might be appropriate in the circumstances.

She replied "Do what you do which persuaded me to invite you here. These people know they are dying, so what do you think they want from you?"

I went in and did the ninety minutes and they spent the whole time laughing, and the most popular two songs were Clive Lever's Country song "Hypochondria" and my version of the anonymous poem I found on a seaside postcard "I'm Awfully Well for the Shape That I'm In".

Not one person there complained, and I was asked back a year later to repeat the dose, for an entirely (for obvious reasons) different audience.

I learned a lot from those people about pitching a set to an audience.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 06:47 PM

Josepp, had "Seasons in the Sun" been part of my repertoire, I would have been happy to have sung it at that venue, because it would have resonated positively with that audience.

Horses for Courses.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 08:58 PM

Who wants to hear that depressing drivel? Follow it up with "Alone Again Naturally" and people will start asking, "Does this guy think he's funny?" I'd rather hear a humorous side like "We Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore."


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 09:51 PM

Actually, if you listen to the original French version (Jacques Brel) or the original Rod McKuen translation, you'll find that Seasons in the Sun is very "humorous"....although it may be black humour.   The song ends with the protagonist revealing how he knows about the affair his wife has been having with his friend.....and he tells her that after he dies "look for me cause I'll be there".

And those stars we could reach? they're "just starfish on the beach".

I suspect that it's a song that people in a hospice could appreciate.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,SirCoughsalot
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 10:51 PM

I personally think it's a mistake to ever open with a slow song.

On a more personal note and a bit more relevant to the thread, some of my friends once asked me to sing Digging My Potatoes to my teacher, because they loved it so much.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Josepp
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 10:58 PM

I don't know why people in a hospice would want to hear a song that their spouses cheated on them but I guess I'll take that over the Terry Jacks version which replaced the sarcastic verse with some horrible drivel about Michelle helping him find the sun--whatever that's supposed to mean (it's the big shiny thing up there).

On top of that, I hate the melody. It's one of those that lodges itself in your mind like a parasite and doesn't leave despite (or maybe because of) your absolutely not wanting it there. The only place it belongs is on one of those "Worst Songs of All Time" lists of which it has made plenty. But, of course, it sold millions of copies. Why does the public buy this crap only to hate it later on? How could people not have the sense to hate it the first time they heard it?

Btw, Brel's version as translated by McKuen:

Good-bye, my wife, I loved you well
Good-bye, my wife, I loved you well, you know,
But I'm taking the train for the Good Lord,
I'm taking the train before yours
But you take whatever train you can;

Goodbye, my wife, I'm going to die,
It's hard to die in springtime, you know,
But I'm leaving for the flowers with my eyes closed, my wife,
Because I closed them so often,
I know you will take care of my soul.

Adieu, Francoise, my trusted wife, without you I'd have had a lonely life.
You cheated lots of times but then, I forgave you in the end though your lover was my friend.
Adieu, Francoise, it's hard to die when all the birds are singing in the sky. Now that spring is in the air
With your lovers ev'rywhere; just be careful, I'll be there.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 11:03 PM

"I personally think it's a mistake to ever open with a slow song."

I disagree, SC. It can be a very good thing to do if you follow an act that received a standing ovation and brought down the house or an act that bombed and disgruntled the audience. A slow song can help refocus the audience and THEN you start your set. Been there and done that.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 04:47 AM

Both of these actually at singarounds as opposed to gigs.

I've written a song called "Jehovah's Windows" about a JW who doubles up as a double glazing salesman. When I did the song at a club, it seemed to go down OK, so I repeated it at the session a month later, whereupon the organiser politely requested that I did not repeat it again. It turned out that the organiser and his wife were JWs - the chances of that must surely have been greater than a faikrly large lottery win!

I've also done a song about people who have posh voices and go fox hunting which has the line:"I've got no chin, I've got no brain, but I'm a mighty, mighty mayern, with a four legg-ed friend and a double barrelled name." - it turned out the organiser had a double barrellled name and his dad was master of the local hunt!

I actually subsequently became good friends with all the above people.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: alex s
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 09:24 AM

British Grenadiers at an Irish club. Not a good choice.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: goatfell
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 09:33 AM

bloody rotten audiance


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 02:10 PM

Back in the days of The Garden Gnome Ceilidh Band (the 'big band' including Pete & Chris Coe with Rog Watson as caller) we did a gig in Kendal. Rog had made up a pseudo german dance which required hornpipes. All went well until we played the choral part from Beethoven's 9th - as a hornpipe (Johnny Adams,our bandleader,enjoyed a certain notoriety for his spontaneous tune ideas)....ca.33% disapproved of us misusing the German National Anthem, ca.33% disapproved of us misusing classical music and the rest......loved it.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Bainbo
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 02:39 PM

I wouldn't have any problem with Seasons In The Sun.

If it was this version.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 06:53 PM

Don: Served you right. It is, of course, a reel.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 07:05 PM

One time I was working to a script - an old peoples show, I was doing this version of Knees Up Mother Brown that goes 'If I catch you (something), I'll saw your legs right orf.....'

Noticed half the audience were leg amputees.

Another time I was in this country and western band - our opening number was Ruby Don't take Your Love to Town.

This old guy with 'legs all bent and paralysed' limped very noisily across the almost empty dance floor.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: foggers
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 06:26 PM

Hmmm, interesting topic. My dad was cremated, as per his request, to the tune "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". We did ensure that the minister conducting the ceremony told everyone it was a deliberate choice, and a fine tribute to his lifetime perverse sense of humour.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 31 Dec 11 - 07:00 AM

@ foggers: That's a bit like Peter Sellers who was cremated to the strains of "In the Mood".......


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: foggers
Date: 31 Dec 11 - 09:13 AM

@Don Wise- LOL!

My mum also told a great story from her time working as a hostel receptionist in Coventry during WW2. The organist at the crematorium was ill so my mum's friend who was the cinema organist was asked to step in and play at the funeral of an important local dignitary. He confessed afterwards to Mum that, knowing NO solemn classical or religious music at all, the grieving family and townsfolk had just unwittingly watched the coffin go through the curtains to the tune "Yes We Have No Bananas" played at a moderate pace in a minor key.

When you know how to improvise, you can get away with anything!


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 31 Dec 11 - 09:58 AM

A few years ago my singing partner Margaret and I were persuaded to do a gig for the Colchester Salvation Army Over-Sixties' Club (prestigious or what?). We carefully chose a lot of gospel material which was received politely but unenthusiastically. In a moment of desperation I decided to end the set with a song that's been mentioned in this thread, I Just Don't Look Good Naked Any More.
This totally inappropriate ditty went down a storm with the elderly audience but not with the organiser. She complained later that her club members had loved the song and talked of nothing else for weeks but she was sick of it. Audience happy and we didn't get invited back. Result!


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 Sep 12 - 11:31 AM

The bridal couple at a reception we played at years ago requested "Red, red wine" for their first dance. It was apparently their favorite. When we reviewed the words with them and how it is about a guy who gets drunk to forget the girl who left him, they spoke to each other briefly and decided to stay with the song anyway! Don't know how long they stayed together.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,PatrickH
Date: 19 Sep 12 - 11:54 AM

Speaking of 9/11
At the Concert for 9/11 James Taylor went and sang Fire and Rain, which I thought was an unfortunate choice ("Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground").
To cap it off, he sang "Up On the Roof."
What was he thinking?


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Sep 12 - 11:58 AM

Years back sang a comic song about a shipwreck - it went down like a lead balloon [the song, not the ship]

i was told later that organiser's son had recently drowned in a boating accident - arrrrrrrgh, mortified!


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Eddie1 (Still sans cookie)
Date: 19 Sep 12 - 12:55 PM

I notice a lot of contributors have had problems with the first song in the programme!
At no cost whatsoever, I'm prepared to give you the benefit of my some 6o years in music.
Never start with your first song - always begin with your second song!

Simple innit?

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: GUEST,Rob Currie
Date: 19 Sep 12 - 01:27 PM

Around Christmas, I always used to browbeat the band into letting me sing "Please Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas," because I thought it was such a wonderfully terrible song (God bless John Denver), and that people would join in with me on the joke, or irony, or whatever I was after.

Advice: do NOT play "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" in a bar around Christmas time. Turns out there are lots of sad people in bars at Christmas, who look back on holidays which are all too similar to that described in said song.


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Subject: RE: Bad song choices at a gig
From: Vic Smith
Date: 19 Sep 12 - 03:01 PM

Many years ago, one of the regulars at the folk club that I run rather surprisingly brought his landlady along from the house where he was lodging.
"She needs cheering up." He explained. "Her cat died yesterday and she is feeling very low. I brought her along to help her forget it."
It seemed to be working until the guest singer launched into the song that starts:-

Our old cat died last night
Me wife says to bury it out of sight
But we didn't have a garden;
We was livin' in a flat
So what was I to do with the body of a cat,
Then a big brown paper bag I spied
I put our old dead kittycat inside.
And now I'm off down the street with the body in the bag,
The body in the bag, ta ra ra.


Not his fault, I know, but for that night a Bad song choice at a gig.


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