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Songs that take obesity seriously

Jack Campin 27 Mar 10 - 09:00 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Mar 10 - 09:11 PM
Dave MacKenzie 28 Mar 10 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,CS 28 Mar 10 - 10:25 AM
Anne Lister 28 Mar 10 - 01:11 PM
Acorn4 28 Mar 10 - 02:41 PM
melodeonboy 28 Mar 10 - 04:47 PM
CET 28 Mar 10 - 06:03 PM
Joe_F 28 Mar 10 - 06:15 PM
Gervase 28 Mar 10 - 06:20 PM
Jack Campin 28 Mar 10 - 06:31 PM
katlaughing 28 Mar 10 - 09:00 PM
Gibb Sahib 28 Mar 10 - 09:10 PM
Valmai Goodyear 29 Mar 10 - 07:20 AM
Amergin 29 Mar 10 - 07:31 AM
Acorn4 29 Mar 10 - 08:17 AM
Morris-ey 29 Mar 10 - 08:44 AM
melodeonboy 29 Mar 10 - 09:56 AM
Jack the Sailor 29 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM
Jack the Sailor 29 Mar 10 - 12:24 PM
Anne Lister 29 Mar 10 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,erbert 29 Mar 10 - 12:42 PM
Jack Campin 29 Mar 10 - 12:53 PM
Stu 29 Mar 10 - 01:24 PM
Jack Campin 29 Mar 10 - 02:12 PM
Jack the Sailor 29 Mar 10 - 03:19 PM
PoppaGator 29 Mar 10 - 03:19 PM
Mavis Enderby 29 Mar 10 - 03:49 PM
Stu 30 Mar 10 - 04:39 AM
Bloke from Poole 30 Mar 10 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Gail 30 Mar 10 - 07:41 AM
Acorn4 30 Mar 10 - 09:11 AM
melodeonboy 30 Mar 10 - 10:01 AM
Bobert 30 Mar 10 - 10:09 AM
Bill D 30 Mar 10 - 11:09 AM
oldhippie 30 Mar 10 - 01:00 PM
Bill D 31 Mar 10 - 05:52 PM
Gurney 01 Apr 10 - 12:01 AM
Bert 01 Apr 10 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Apr 10 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,lynnt 01 Apr 10 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,.elygrog 01 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Crowsister 01 Apr 10 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Apr 10 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,MG 01 Apr 10 - 11:48 PM
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Subject: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 09:00 PM

I live in Midlothian (just south of Edinburgh), a region which has seen a horrifying obesity epidemic in the last decade or so. It's now comparable with the worst-affected areas of the US. Just about every bus trip I see somebody (usually a working class woman around 30) who can't get anywhere close to fitting in one seat, looks desperately miserable about it and is often taking it out on her children (who are usually heading the same way).

The causes are stark staring obvious - see books like "Fat Land" for the details. It's nothing to do with genetics (genetically we're matchstick-thin coalminers who've worked in two-foot seams for centuries). There are businesses making billions out of reducing people to that subhuman condition, and dragging the media and institutions of the state along with them to create a world where nobody can see an alternative to bloating themselves into a lifetime of misery and an early death and where for many people there simply *isn't* an alternative any more.

Somebody *must* have politicized this in a song by now, surely?


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 09:11 PM

Well, there's the Too-Fat Polka, for one
And the prison song Heavy-Hipted Woman
and Leadbelly sang of "a big fat woman with the meat shakin' on her bones"


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 09:12 AM

Back in the 60's, Edinburgh University Folk Song Society used to be treated on a regular basis to "I won't miss you, babe, I couldn't, you're too fat".


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 10:25 AM

Yeah, since we imported US media bred ideals of artificially thin bodies being the universal 'norm', alongside the increase of fast food and people forgetting how to peel & boil spuds, there has been an extreme splitting in our collective perceptions, expectations and behaviours around food and the (mainly female) body. I haven't read the books, but I've seen enough (or rather little enough) front page pictures of 'posh spice' (so-called) & co' to see there is some relentless hard-core brainwashing going on. And altho' I never read such rags, I wouldn't be surprised to see adverts for the latest brilliant new diet therein.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 01:11 PM

I'm not sure there have been songs that take anorexia seriously either - or starvation, or beer bellies. I'm not sure I would want to write one, myself.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Acorn4
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 02:41 PM

There used to be a singer called Tessie O Shea who did a song "Nobody Loves a Fat Girl, but Oh how a Fat Girl Can Love!"


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: melodeonboy
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 04:47 PM

"You're Much Too Fat And That's That" (Louis Jordan)

"Big Fats" (Canned Heat)

(Although I'm not sure either of them are taking the subject seriously!) :)


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: CET
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 06:03 PM

So the answer, so far, seems to be "No, there are no songs that take obesity seriously." Pity, because it's a deadly serious problem, as Jack rightly points out.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 06:15 PM

Too Fat Polka

Or, on the other side, "Fat Girls" (in the DigiTrad).


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Gervase
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 06:20 PM

I'd guess that obesity probably wasn't much of a problem for the average working person in earlier generations, hence the lack of songs taking it seriously. And modern snigger snogwriters would probably fight shy of a hard-hitting song on the subject for fear of alienating half their audience.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 06:31 PM

You can't expect to find a very old song about it, because the present-day epidemic is a modern phenomenon with modern causes.

US Center for Disease Control animation

Enable Javascript and click "play" on the map.

It's the sort of issue Alistair Hulett might have taken on.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 09:00 PM

..US media bred ideals of artificially thin bodies...

Oh? Twiggy was imported to the UK from the US?!?. News to me.

I suspect Gervase has it right...plus obese people are one of the last segments of society about which it is still acceptable to make fun.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 09:10 PM

You might find something in the Punk/Hardcore genre.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 07:20 AM

Mick Ryan has written an excellent song, The Land of Cockayne, about being surrounded by more food than we can eat; he contrasts our ancestors' dream that it would be heaven with the reality of today. He doesn't mention obesity but he does mention the horrors of excessive choice. The song is on his CD with Paul Downes 'Grand Conversation'.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Amergin
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 07:31 AM

John Prine's song Donald and Lydia....


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Acorn4
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 08:17 AM

It's a difficult one. It depends on whether obese people are seen as victims or whether they are seen as responsible for their own weight gain. A combination of both perhaps? For this reason it's a tricky one when it comes to songwriting.

To a certain extent, though not in all cases, it seems to be a social class issue.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Morris-ey
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 08:44 AM

"The causes are stark staring obvious..." yes some people eat too much and don't exercise. Nobody force feeds anybody. Perhaps if your fat "working class woman around 30" walked rather than squeeze on a bus she would not be so fat? I wonder if she sees it as a problem? Perhaps she is happy and would resent your condescending attitude?


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: melodeonboy
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 09:56 AM

"Skin and bone" by the Kinks is about dieting to lose weight; but there again, I don't think it was done with particularly serious intent!


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM

I don't think its an appropriate subject for a song.
Protest songs are usually railing "against the man" or at least against society's attitudes. Motivating an individual is a much more difficult task.

As an obese person who has often been preached to, I don't see the purpose of putting such usually self serving, smug sentiments in a song.

What are you going to say to the person?

Fatty's song

I saw you on the bus the other day,
About 30, shoulder length brown hair
You might have been attractive if you hadn't been so fat.
I just can't tolerate that

And what a foul mood you were in,
taking out your misery on your children
No doubt headed the same way
Seeing you on that bus inspired me,
to look for a song to save you.
Now, for your enlightenment,
Here is what I have to say.

(chorus)
Shame on you, you lard bucket
Put down that fried chicken
Shame on you you fat slob
Shame on you for hating your children
Don't put cream and sugar in your tea
Show some willpower
Show some selfrespect
and you can be like me.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 12:24 PM

this show is taking the problem seriously.

But I don't see how it can be condensed to a song.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Anne Lister
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 12:27 PM

My problem with this whole subject is that we don't tend to write songs about people's size and shape normally, so why would we write about obesity? Nor do people tend to write songs about other medical conditions. Yes, we write about drinking and smoking too much, I suppose, and use of drugs, but not food.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 12:42 PM

on a similar vein..

does anyone want to stand forward
and write a protest song about social discrimination
against men with tiny todgers ?

anyone..????


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 12:53 PM

That's why I mentioned Alistair Hulett - "He Fades Away" is the sort of thing I had in mind (a man dying from asbestos-induced cancer). For most working-class people, an obesity-inducing lifestyle is no more a matter of free choice than taking a hazardous job is when you live in a company town.

It's about fighting back against a collusion of authorities, from food biz managers to media executives to the planners of urban transport systems, who want to kill you for money, while telling you your physical shape is your own free choice so they can shrug off responsibility.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Stu
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 01:24 PM

"reducing people to that subhuman condition"

Subhuman? Untermensch?

Bloody hell - now you're subhuman if you're a tubby. What next? Ginger people? People with blue eyes? People with big noses? People who dress differently to you?

Fat people are not subhuman, but it's all to easy to give your own prejudices away with a careless remark like that. None of us are perfect - not even you skinny 'humans'.

SFJ the lardy.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 02:12 PM

I take you'd regard it as offensive to slaves to describe their condition as 'subhuman" too?

It is.

Anybody can be reduced to a subhuman condition by an oppressor, and the first step to doing something about it is to recognize what's been done to you. Like, when did you vote for a society where all you can afford to eat is lethal greasy filth?

I can just see some of the people who try to depoliticize this issue as advocating "slave acceptance" 150 years ago.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 03:19 PM

Jack,

You are getting om my nerves a little. There is no oppressor. No one is standing over people with a whip making them eat.

It is not anything at all like slavery.

It is just as cheap to eat 2,000 calories a day of good food as to eat enough junk food to maintain morbid obesity.

If you ban all processed junk foods in the world. It won't solve the problem people still can still deep fry chips and dough at home.

Are you going to sing your protest songs to cows and pigs for making cream and lard?

The problem is very complex. I don't think it can be distilled into a song.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 03:19 PM

The sedentary lifestyle is hard to avoid ~ part of "taking any job you can get" nowadays usually includes (1) finding work well beyond walking distance of your abode, thereby necessitating the use of vehicular transportation, either personal or public, and (2) sitting still all or most of the workday, whether in front of a computer monitor, customer-service counter, microassembly workstation, etc.

Then there's the fast-food factor. Corporations invest in extensive research to identify the sweet-and-salty flavors that humans find hardest to resist, and then package those flavors in products laden with "empty calories" and unhealthy fats, products that are so cheap to produce that they can be sold to us at low prices.

Therefore, it takes a conscious effort to schedule aftificial exercise periods as part of our days, where in the past our forwbearers got all the exercise they needed in their daily work routines ~ and then ANOTHER conscious effort to investigate the properties of the foodstuffs we buy, often having to invest extra time and/or money to eat healthy and avoid a obesity-inducing diet.

It's amazing that I'm not fatter than I am...


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 03:49 PM

Supersize Me - Toothpick

It's an issue that was certainly taken seriously in the film...


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Stu
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 04:39 AM

"I can just see some of the people who try to depoliticize this issue as advocating "slave acceptance" 150 years ago."

What sort of insult is that? Are you seriously saying by disagreeing with your somewhat demeaning and condescending attitude towards overweight people that makes me an advocate for slavery.

Heck Jack, it might be an idea to get some perspective on this - Jack the Sailor and PoppaGator have it right.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 07:29 AM

Nobody chooses to be a fat b*stard or a lardarse.

But not everybody wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing "healthy" food, especially after a day's work.

I had a job with two hours drive each way, sat down all day, too tired to cook when I got back, too tired to do much except veg out in front of the box at night. I ballooned.

But the mortgage still had to be paid.

As people have said, it's complex and I don't see how you'd put it in a song - or interest people in the song if you did.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 07:41 AM

OK, one of folk music's claims to fame is that it champions causes, but that doesn't normally include being mean-spirited.

Any time you sing a song that's anti-something, there's likely to be someone listening who feels angry or embarrassed, but at least their personal discomfort's private. The point is, we can't usually identify a person's 'sins' by looking at them, we just hope the song is making someone think again.

But someone's appearance is there for all to see. Singing about it is bullying and I wouldn't want to be part of an audience that's asked to applaud it.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 09:11 AM

I don't entirely agree that people have no choice about putting on weight - are we therefore saying that half the population are victims? Having said that, modern lifestyles, as quoted in previous posts, do make it hard. The propaganda of having stick insect models dosn't seem to be working.

Until I was fifty, I could eat and drink as much as I liked and not put on an ounce, but all that changed over the next decade, and I've found it very hard to adjust from being able to eat and drink at will, and now carry a bit of the obligatory "folk singer's belly".

A colleague of mine that I invigilate exams with is an undertaker, and has had two dislocated shoulders in the past year.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: melodeonboy
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 10:01 AM

"But not everybody wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing "healthy" food, especially after a day's work."

Does it have to take hours to prepare something that's reasonably healthy? I don't think so! I work full time during the day and quite often have a gig in the evening, and even when I've got very little time I still manage to prepare good stuff.

(Now if I could only stop drinking beer, I might be a bit less overweight! :))


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 10:09 AM

"Fat bottom girls, you make the world go 'round" (Queen)

Now being a bluesman, I cann appreciate that...

B;~)


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 11:09 AM

From the Digital Tradition....

Lard

(We DO know that overeating and the wrong kinds of foods are indeed a serious problem for many....and we also know that there are folks for whom NO diet seems to help. I do not presume to be able to tell exactly what combination of factors is involved in any particular individual. I have known a couple of people who did NOT overeat and were still VERY large.....but, alas, I have known a few who were just in a state of denial about their eating habits. All *I* can do is hope those who 'can' control excess weight will find the strength to do so.)


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: oldhippie
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 01:00 PM

Harry Chapin's "A Better Place To Be" handles this (and other subjects) seriously. And I agree that "Donald & Lydia" is a good choice.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 05:52 PM

Perhaps some songs need additional verses after this revelation

"Scientists have finally confirmed what the rest of us have suspected for years: Bacon, cheesecake, and other delicious yet fattening foods may be addictive."


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Gurney
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 12:01 AM

Chas and Dave's song 'Beer Belly' doesn't take the subject too lightly.
Seamus Kennedy does one called 'The Diet song' by Shel Silverstein.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: Bert
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 02:24 PM

GUEST,erbert

try this


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 04:37 PM

MY GIRL'S A CORKER.

She's got a pair of legs, just like two whiskey kegs
And when they knock together, oh what a sound
She's got a pair of hips, just like two battle ships
She's worth her weight in gold, my coal black baby
Hey boys, that's where my money goes.

SOURCE:
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4116

COLONEL SANDERS THIGHS

by Rotunda
(Parody of "Bette Davis Eyes" by Donna Weiss and Jackie De Shannon)

Her eyes are Big Mac brown
Her hair's like golden fries
She's blown up like the clown
She's got Colonel Sanders thighs
She'll turn her Twinkies on you
You won't want to look twice
Her buns are Mrs. Beard's
She's got Colonel Sanders thighs

She likes Fritos, and burritos
And nachos on Doritos
She'll out-eat ya'
And she knows just what it takes to make a pizza
She's got super-sized
She's got Colonel Sanders thighs

She'll let you take her out
To where the deep fat fries
And all the waiters shout
"She's got Colonel Sanders thighs!"
She'll let you buy her ice cream
Sno Cones and Moon Pies
She's called the Dairy Queen
She's got Colonel Sanders thighs

She likes tacos, and tostados
And guacamole made from avocados
She'll out-eat ya'
And she knows just what it takes to make a pizza
All her dates go in disguise
She's got Colonel Sanders thighs

She likes Fritos, and burritos
And nachos on Doritos
She'll out-eat ya'
And she knows just what it takes to make a pizza
All her dates, they go in disguise
She's got Colonel Sanders thighs

___________________________

Featured on the Dr. Demento Radio Show, ca. 1981

SOURCE:
http://www.dimensionsmagazine.com/dimtext/kjn/lyrics/colonel.htm

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

You are darn tootin' we can still make fun of their hog-trough rootin'


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,lynnt
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 04:46 PM

What about Grit Laskin's song about dieting "let my stomach be Soft & Round" -- I think Hot Soup recorded it.

Let my stomach be soft & round
Round, round, soft & round
It seems so phony
To work at being bony
And hard as the cold, cold ground.

Lynn


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM

Momma Welfare Roll

By: Maya Angelou

Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy hands bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback
And lima beans.
Her jowls shiver in accusation
Of crimes clichéd by
Repetition. Her children, strangers
To childhood's toys, play
Best the games of darkened doorways,
Rooftop tag, and know the slick feel of
Other people's property.

Too fat to whore,
Too mad to work,
Searches her dreams for the
Lucky sign and walks bare-handed
Into a den of bereaucrats for
Her portion.
'They don't give me welfare.
I take it.'

SOURCE:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/momma-welfare-roll

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Now no-body in the UK go taken offence. This brown sister is one of the all-time icons of American poetry and life for her ain't been no crystal stair.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,.elygrog
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM

Now KatLaf has a real point - so here is all time classic in praise of the plus-size person..
(Notice how Jack always gets off - posting BS above the line - and trying to make out to be musical?) Big Fat Woman

By Jim Croce

You big fat woman get your fat leg off of me
You big fat woman get your fat leg off of me
You feel so good
Scare the hell out of me
You got a great big leg
Got a whoppin' thigh
Great big leg
Got a whoppin' thigh
Now oooh
You got a great big leg
Got a whoppin' thigh
And every time you move make my temperature rise
That fine lookin' woman got a great big leg
Fine lookin' woman got a great big leg, Yeah
Big fat woman with a great big leg
Big fat woman got a great big leg
And every time she moves
Moves like a soft boiled egg

So big fat woman get your fat leg off of me
Now you obese woman get your fat leg off of me
You feel so good
Scare the hell out of me

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Now KatLaf has a real point - so here is all time classic in praise of the plus-size.
Ya want me to blow the candle out Randolph?


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,Crowsister
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 08:05 PM

"Notice how Jack always gets off - posting BS above the line"

And notice how Gargoyle is an inveterate jerk-off.
Well at least it makes life nice and simple simple, hey?


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 10:49 PM

Well golly Miss Molly .... it is nice of you to notice one of my finest attributes.

It ain't taken ya long to notice....my better qualities....such as they be.

But welcome to the Mudcat Corral little filly

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Ah bet you ....can fill the the rest ...silly.


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Subject: RE: Songs that take obesity seriously
From: GUEST,MG
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 11:48 PM

How about I'm the man the very fat man that waters the workers' beer.


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