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Playing with the enemy

McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 13 - 01:05 PM
DMcG 15 Aug 13 - 01:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 13 - 01:42 PM
Ron Davies 15 Aug 13 - 01:44 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 13 - 04:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 13 - 05:08 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Aug 13 - 05:14 PM
Dead Horse 15 Aug 13 - 08:21 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 13 - 08:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 13 - 08:38 PM
Jack Campin 16 Aug 13 - 06:42 AM
Pete Jennings 16 Aug 13 - 07:13 AM
Ron Davies 16 Aug 13 - 07:37 AM
Will Fly 16 Aug 13 - 07:45 AM
Ron Davies 16 Aug 13 - 07:46 AM
Ron Davies 16 Aug 13 - 07:55 AM
Old Grey Wolf 16 Aug 13 - 08:59 AM
wysiwyg 16 Aug 13 - 10:48 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Aug 13 - 11:45 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 13 - 11:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 13 - 11:53 AM
Joe Offer 16 Aug 13 - 02:41 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Aug 13 - 03:26 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Aug 13 - 04:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 13 - 07:17 PM
Ron Davies 17 Aug 13 - 11:30 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Aug 13 - 06:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 13 - 07:03 PM
Marje 18 Aug 13 - 10:11 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Aug 13 - 06:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Aug 13 - 07:52 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 13 - 03:17 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 19 Aug 13 - 05:02 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 13 - 05:22 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 13 - 05:24 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 13 - 05:47 AM
Van 19 Aug 13 - 05:51 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Aug 13 - 09:25 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 13 - 11:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 13 - 02:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 13 - 02:29 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Aug 13 - 02:52 PM
DebC 19 Aug 13 - 05:59 PM
mg 19 Aug 13 - 06:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 13 - 06:57 PM
Ron Davies 19 Aug 13 - 11:32 PM
Leadfingers 20 Aug 13 - 10:16 AM
dick greenhaus 20 Aug 13 - 10:39 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Aug 13 - 10:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 13 - 01:27 PM
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Subject: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 01:05 PM

A discussion down below the line was getting a bit heated, and it started me thinking about how we cope with those kind of disagreements when it comes to making music with people.

I mean, how do we deal with it when we know, or more especially, when we get to realise, that people we like playing with have drastically different views with us on things we care about.

I remember Shirley Collins talking about her field trip in the American South with Alan Lomax, and the time she realised that the people making wonderful music for them were extreme racists. Didn't stop the music being wonderful.

So how do we deal with it? Do we just avoid the subject and keep playing and enjoy it? Do we keep playing but lose the sense of enjoyment? Do we walk away? Do we make a point of avoiding the session? Do we turn it into an argument?


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 01:27 PM

I don't think there is a simple answer to that one - too many factors need to be taken into account for a sensible generalisation. But it is not about playing, or collecting: that's just a special case of what you do when a someone who is X which you disagree with provides Y which you do. There was an interesting argument about this a year or two back when an exhibition was made of art from prisoners under life sentences. For my part, the value of the art lies in the art, not the artist, so I was in favour, but there were huge numbers who thought it inherently wrong.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 01:42 PM

It is a special case of something more general, but it's a special case which Mudcatters are perhaps particularly liable to have run up against. And one difference between this, and say art exhibitions, is that making music with someone involves spending extended time with them, and interacting with them in ways that don't apply so much in other contexts.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Ron Davies
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 01:44 PM

You certainly don't want to argue with people you're making music with.    While you're actually doing the music, it should be no problem.   Problem comes afterwards when you're just talking.   All sorts of things can become minefields. Especially history.

Then of course once it's clear to you that you violently disagree on some issues--is it worth it to you to continue to see them on any basis?   It's certainly a question.

If they have a lot to offer musically, it may well be worthwhile.   You just have to steer clear of some topics.    If the musical satisfaction is not there, you may want to seek others.   Life is short.

I'll make music with anybody who wants to do so regardless of any political or religious views. But the music itself has to be satisfying.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 04:55 PM

I walk. In fact I run, and I may throw a hand grenade over my shoulder. It's one reason I don't do Irish music - if I went to an Irish session and sang a song glorifying the killing of Irish rebels, I would not get out alive. I'm not joking. I was once invited to a sort of concert and was told that I'd lose both my kneecaps if I did not stand for a song described as the IRA anthem.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 05:08 PM

Pubs sometimes try to dodge this kind of difficulty with notices saying thngs like "No politics, no religion".

However I suspect that this doesn't work too well always. And a lot of the things that divide us most are things people don't see as politics.

I would imagine that in America this could be a real potential problem. Two sets of people, Folk and Country, sharing the same music, and very little else, that's the impression I get.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 05:14 PM

Drifting a bit, does anyone know if Peter Kay's racist Lancashire folk group Half A Shilling ("Send the buggers back!") was based on anything in particular?


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Dead Horse
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 08:21 PM

Scum is scum, however well they play or sing.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 08:26 PM

Folk and country, the same music? Wash your mouth out with soap and water!


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 08:38 PM

There's a lot of crappy sstuff that's been piled on top of both genres, but dig through that and both have the same roots, and people still close to them.

I was watching Oh Brother Where Art Thou the other day...


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 06:42 AM

I have encountered a certain amount of prejuduiced unpleasantness at Irish tune sessions - enough that I don't bother any more - but nothing remotely like what Richard described. Where did that happen?


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 07:13 AM

Different sort of enemy: Owner of a well known rock'n'roll venue in Bedford decided to try some "laid back" nights and I played a set on the first night. Interesting audience to say the least. One of the rockers used to write (and publish online) gig reviews and he summed up my set thus:

"...nice background stuff, but not really my sort of music, and not really rockin' entertainment."

Mate of mine, even now, although whenever I see his rock band I tell him his top E's flat.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 07:37 AM

Folk and country in the US are not quite such separate countries as you may think.

Unless you want to exclude the Carter Family--including recent branches-- from folk.   I would for instance say that Johnny Cash should be included in folk.   And just try to take him out of country--that's a true casus belli.

Or want to exclude religious music--lots of Carter Family songs, for instance, have a strong religious streak, as you are no doubt aware. It's certainly in country.   And bluegrass, especially bluegrass gospel, may well be a link.   " Wayfaring Stranger", to my mind, for instance, is a perfect overlapping song. As is   "Down in the Valley To Pray" (original was not "River").

Country music is not just "Fighting Side of Me".

This is perhaps a problem with what to American minds is a far too narrow definition of "folk".    To us, 1954 is just 2 years into Ike's first term.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 07:45 AM

Over the years, I've played in some bands where one or two members had completely opposing political and social views - we just played music and avoided those topics, as it was the only way to make good music. I've witnessed the odd bust-up, but these mainly occurred when someone got a bit too much up their own arse... Happens in any group of people in any fairly close society...


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 07:46 AM

I'm glad you do recognize there is overlap in music between folk and country in the US.

But we also do share the same history--just hugely different perspectives on it.   And male-female relations is a concern for both adherents of folk and country, to say the least.

As is growing older.

Not just in songs.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 07:55 AM

More concerns common to both folk and country fans:   family problems, getting--and keeping--a job you like, having enough money to live on.    In general, getting as much satisfaction out of life as you can.

In fact, both groups do have a lot in common.

I suppose it's called "the human condition'.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Old Grey Wolf
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 08:59 AM

The people who sang "The Battle of New Orleans" were once the enemy; but its a bloody good song!


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 10:48 AM

Our band dealt with this as it regarded parenting values verging on abuse. We did not address the values directly and let the values of the setting and the music itself support tge change that evolved on its own. That was possible because core band members remained focused, over time, on 1-point program agreed by all members. And because none of us were mandated reporters but rather mandated healers. Love trumps all, when time permits.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 11:45 AM

When the Alabama's keel was laid, I believe she was on what most of us would now consider the wrong side. Damn good song, though.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 11:47 AM

Less of a problem if it's just tunes, because tunes dont divide, though sometimes their associations can.

Songs are more potentially problematic, as Richard Bridge reminded us. That recalled for me the time I was in a song session after the ennd of a Fleadh Ceoil, and the songs started drifting into divisive territory, because there's a range of opinions about stuff like that even when outsiders aren't present.

So the man in the chair neatly switched things by singing a song about a fallen hero, but a sporting one, and it moved into others about sport. (The song was Cuchulainn's Son.) the point is, there are songs that bring people together as well as songs that divide.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 11:53 AM

But you can sing Roll Alabama as celebrating her being sunk, and confusion to Jonathan Laird for building her. Which would veryy likely have been majority opinion in Lancashire at the time.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 02:41 PM

Well, folk and classic U.S. country music may have common roots, but you won't find many country radio stations playing the classic stuff. I really like classic country music, but I can't stand the insipid, modified rock 'n' roll stuff they play on country stations nowadays.

That being said, I think there's a need for us to make music with everyone. Music should be able to transcend ideological differences and allow us to relate on a different level. We really do need to reach out to all our fellow human beings, even though their thinking may not be "correct." Of course, if it's ideological music you're doing, that gets to be impossible.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 03:26 PM

Gillingham (Kent), it was.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 04:01 PM

I may mention that the avid republican (Irish, not American) husband of the featured songstress came to our table and addressed my hosts there: "I'm sorry but she was singing sharp there. I'll give her a good hiding when we get home and that will teach her not to do it again".   

I said, of course, nothing, since I had also been warned that even my accent would put me and my wife at risk.

Gospel truth.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 07:17 PM

I have a suspicion about that. Did you know the word gullible isn't in the Dictionary?

Accents don't mean too much, nor for that matter where you were born, James Connolly was born in Scotland, James Larkin in England and Devalera in New York.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 11:30 AM

But I understand it turned out very useful for DeValera himself to have been born in New York--when it came time for prosecutions.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 06:59 PM

McGrath, you weren't there. I was.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 07:03 PM

Of course you were.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Marje
Date: 18 Aug 13 - 10:11 AM

Accents can mean a great deal to some people, and it's little use protesting that you were actually born somewhere unrelated to the accent. An "English" accent of any description can arouse hostility in certain circles in Ireland, no matter what the actual background or political views of the speaker.

I think a recurrent issue in these posts is whether the socio-political content of the song is current or now regarded as largely historical. Where there are sensitive issues that are not yet resolved (land boundaries, sovereignty, religious freedom, equal rights for women or for minorities, animal rights, industrial relations, etc), most singers need to be able to either:
A) Accept the values stated or implied in the song, or
B) Distance themselves from the values on the grounds that the song belongs to another time when things were done differently.

Referring back to the original post, it may prove tricky if you're making music with others and you realise that they are opting for A) above, while you can only feel comfortable if B) applies. Or vice versa.

And Ireland is of course a special case because it takes some Irish an awfully long time to regard anything as being only of historic interest. Tread softly, because you tread on their dreams ....

Marje


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Aug 13 - 06:22 PM

Clearly our experience differs.
............
Sometimes in a situation where there is division a seemingly innocuous song can become explosive. Or a song that has passed the its-history-now test Marje proposed can be re-ignited by circumstances.

For example at the time of the Miners' Strike, Byker Hill.

An example of the first was a modern song written about the Boer War, General de la Rey. Not a word in it about modern South Africa, it was about fighting the British Empire, but that didn't stop it being used as a kind of anthem by revanchist Afrikaaners.
(Even though Koos De La Rey wasn't at all that kinf of Afrikaaner.)


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Aug 13 - 07:52 PM

General De La Rey


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 03:17 AM

Just looked into this thread and had a quick skim through - some of postings that caught my eye more or less convinced me that Lewis Carroll Carroll had returned among us and decided to make Alice in Wonderland into a trilogy
Richard B with his statements on Ireland is, as usual punching way below his weight -
"if I went to an Irish session and sang a song glorifying the killing of Irish rebels, I would not get out alive. I'm not joking. I was once invited to a sort of concert and was told that I'd lose both my kneecaps if I did not stand for a song described as the IRA anthem."
As much as I find most of what you have to say both agreeable and entertaining, when it comes to Ireland I would put them on par with Peter Kay, whoever he is.
Marj's them-and-us approach to Ireland seems to presume that there are no Irish members of this forum, therefore it is permissible to repeat centuries-old myths about the race.
Though my ancestors were Irish my background is third generation British.
My personal experience dates back half a century and my work and interest in the folk culture dates back nearly that long`.
We have now lived in the West of Ireland as a permanent resident for fifteen years.
We have travelled Ireland extensively and know it as well as we know anywhere.
We have never, during all that time, ever visited an area where
"our accents would put us at risk."
Nor have we ever been anywhere near a situation where
"An "English" accent of any description can arouse hostility in certain circles in Ireland, no matter what the actual background or political views of the speaker."
Ireland has undergone recent troubles, discussion on the blame for which have no place here.
I've made my views on who or what caused and continues to cause those troubles clear elsewhere, maybe badly - but I never thought I'd see such extremist views aired on a music thread in the way they have here.
I am prepared to be re-educated by actual examples of both cases, rather than in Bernard Manning-like Chinese whispers, but I don't hold a great deal of hope
Pat (an Anglo Scot with an English accent), and I, a Liverpudlian speaking in a mix of Scouse, Mancunian and sort of Londonese) visited Ireland throughout the troubles, as did many other Brits, Americans, French, German... people.
The only time we ever had qualms before we embarked on the journey was at the time the hunger strikers were dying - totally down to our imagination - we were greeted with the same warm welcome and hospitable friendliness that we have always received, before or since.
That has been the case wherever we went in Ireland, for music or anything else.
I was appalled at the suggestion that any fellow song/music enthusiast should ever be regarded as 'the enemy', but this takes it even beyond that.
A mutual interest in a type of music has always been, for us, the great unifier, for me, during the three great conflicts in my lifetime, the nuclear arms race, the Vietnam war and the more recent Irish troubles - threads like this appear to be the blip on my radar screen
Will now try to work my way though the rest of it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 05:02 AM

In all walks of life we have to get along with people who have different opinions, and music is no different. I find it is far more important that the people I play music with are friendly and good company. Just because someone holds different views from you doesn't automatically mean they are a bad person, or an unlikeable person, and certainly has no bearing on whether or not they are a good musician.

Of course, someone's views may have a bearing on whether you find them to be good company. However if you insist on socialising only with people who hold the same views as you, you are going to limit yourself. If you only surround yourself with like-minded people you won't find yourself in situations where your own opinions may be challenged, and it leads to lazy thinking. And it has very little to do with making music.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 05:22 AM

Well, sorry, Jim, but you were not there. I was. And it was my friends and friends of my wife who were concerned for my safety. And my accent is not Scottish nor Scouse. I was likely to be identified as "the enemy" in those circles.

Turning now to the UK - those who promulgate racist values, for example, or who denigrate socialism are indeed the enemy. The question is: -

A. To be supine
B. To be historical (I do that about some shanties, eg "Yellow Girls".
C. To challenge. Sometimes I do, but often not if the other guy is bigger than me although I have had some spiky discussions with ex-members of the armed forces who are now professional folk and folk-ish musicians
D. To walk away. Too often I choose this rather than C, but it's too late for me to become a skilled mixed martial artist.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 05:24 AM

PS. McGrath, I think you meant "Blackleg Miner" not "Byker Hill".


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 05:47 AM

"Well, sorry, Jim, but you were not there."
Where exactly Richard - you said you were "told" - did you actually witness or experience such hostility?
If I feel offended and not a little threatened by your statements on the Irish, here and elsewhere ("I don't like the Irish amd the Irish don't like me" leaps to mind", I can't can't begin to imagine how an Irish member of this forum feels.
If you or any other member had ever made such a comment about West Indians or Pakistanis, I would have hoped that they would have received and earned a red card.
I don't go in for national anthems of any shape or form but describe Ireland's as "The IRA anthem" is scraping the bottom of the sewer. Wonder if you'd like to compare it to the hymn to British Imperialism that will lift the roof of the Albert Hall and ring in the ears of many ex-colonial visitors later this week?
For someone I admire and would happily scramble to agree with on most other matters, you seem quite keen on displaying this particular Achilles heel for all to see.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Van
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 05:51 AM

It is odd that an Englishman in an English pub should feel at risk because of his accent. In most small towns people know the rough pubs and avoid them, or, in some instances seek them out. If you were from that area you should have known what to expect and declined the invitation. If you were not you could have left when you heard the bit about kneecapping.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 09:25 AM

Jim, I repeat it was in Gillingham in Kent. It was in an upstairs room at a club. It was long enough ago that I cannot remember the name. There was a fee to enter. It was an invitation event and friends of my now late wife and me had invited us. They thought we would enjoy the songstress performing. I do not judge that they had any malevolent intent. There was nothing to alert me (I don't think it was in the local Irish club, I sang and played there not all that long after at the wake of an Irish friend) to it being a dangerous locale.

The song in question was in Gaelic. I cannot therefore identify the words. I was told that it was "the IRA's national anthem". I did not say and did not imply that it was the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland. My hosts, friends of my wife and me warned me about the need to stand for it and of the consequences.

The husband of the songstress later came to our table. He was taking up a collection for the IRA. As soon as the tins came out we (my wife and I) were both warned that to put at least a fiver in the tin was "expected" and that it was wise to comply. I was then warned not to speak to the "gentleman" or to speak while he was at our table because my accent (a fairly typical public school accent)would endanger me. The exchange I cited above took place about her singing - which fortunately left me bereft of speech.

As an aside I know that there are quite a lot of pubs in North Kent where my accent causes potential friction. I mostly don't go to them unless a friend is playing there. And the Medway towns is not "a small town". And having been invited by friends, as I said, it would not have been practical to leave - and indeed as it was at the end of the evening after the main performance and the only plausible reason could have been that I opposed the IRA (which I did and do) it would have been pretty damned stupid to single myself out by doing that and going to get my car in private carpark behind the club, with no security cameras!   You overlook that just up the road in Gravesend the carpark behind a disco nightclub then called the Grove Club gangland beatings were frequently administered and at least one person was shot and killed. Off the mark, Van.

You'll never see me sing "Land of Hope and Glory", Jim. But not to stand for it creates no risk for anyone. And it isn't the dedicated song of a political/terrorist organisation.

I do agree with you on many things Jim, but not on Irish terrorism.

And the funny thing is that I would have reckoned that you would be one of the people who would walk out if right wing groups tried to sing the Horst Wessel song (not often heard) or "Die Lindenbaum" or "Tomorrow belongs to me" - all of which I have heard sung in folk gatherings. Once I would not have. But for the past ten years is has been clear to me that I should, if I hear them again.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 11:05 AM

Richard
I can only say that if the remark you describe was serious, in forty years of associating with Irish people and listening to Irish music, I have never ever come across anything resembling such an attitude
Your description of where the event was leaves no clue where such a venue might exist other than an activist Republican Club - in which case, blame the people the people who took you.
Again with your "North Kent Pubs" if you don't go there, how do you know your accent causes friction?
Are there really no-go area in your neck of the woods? You appear to be living in the middle of an M S Power novel.
Once again I find your remarks offensive by suggesting that I have anything but contempt for "Irish Terrorism" - almost as much as I have for those who will use it to describe Irish people as a whole.
I am not an Republican (note the capital R) - I do regard the monarchy as a quaint antiquated custom that is dragged out at Royal births, weddings and coronations - or when the economy is flagging, but that's about as far as it goes.
I welcome the fact that Ireland (almost) shook off British rule in the same way as India, Ceylon, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus... did, but that again is as far as it goes.
The Irish national anthem is no more than a celebration of the events in the same way as we "Sing of Bold Nelson's Praise" or The Charge of the Light Brigade.
To suggest that all Irish are "terrorists" or even potential ones is equivalent to "all black men have big willies and lust after white women".
There are nutters of all shapes and sizes all over the world and normal people are well advised to stay away from them.
I believe some of the Medway towns ate BNP hotbeds; wonder how you'd feel if I suggested that everybody else living their must be a suspect - let alone the whole of Britain
Quite honestly - I would feel as uncomfortable in the presence of somebody expressing your views as I would with any right-wing headbanger
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 02:29 PM

To be fair Richard didn't actually say that the incident he describes was typical or that he was generlising about "all Irish". And I doubt very much if that is what he believes.

But it sounds quite remarkably untypical. I've been in venues where there've been modern songs played which were decidedly Republican, and where there've been collections for the relaives of internees, and there'd be no question of any unpleasantness towards any English accents present.

And since the Irish National Anthem s normally sung in Iish (though it was written originally in English), and Like Jim I've neve heard f any song described as "the IRA national anthem" it seems most likely to me that it was the Irish National Anthem - and not to treat it with respect would be seen as very bad manners in any place it was played.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 02:29 PM

To be fair Richard didn't actually say that the incident he describes was typical or that he was generlising about "all Irish". And I doubt very much if that is what he believes.

But it sounds quite remarkably untypical. I've been in venues where there've been modern songs played which were decidedly Republican, and where there've been collections for the relaives of internees, and there'd be no question of any unpleasantness towards any English accents present.

And since the Irish National Anthem s normally sung in Iish (though it was written originally in English), and Like Jim I've neve heard f any song described as "the IRA national anthem" it seems most likely to me that it was the Irish National Anthem - and not to treat it with respect would be seen as very bad manners in any place it was played.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 02:52 PM

"typical or that he was generlising about "all Irish"
no he didn't - he went further than that.
"And it isn't the dedicated song of a political/terrorist organisation."
At one time, due to the fact that all the publicans in the area they were camped in, the Travellers we were recording ended up drinking in a pub called 'The Blade Bone' in North East London, which was the semi-official meeting place of The National Front.
We could hear snippets of the proceedings in the bar, which always concluded with the singing of the National Anthem.
Had I described it as the National Front Anthem I have little doubt that I would not have got out of the place with all my teeth and would be looking over my shoulder for a long time after.
I wonder how I would have fared if I had refused to sing it upstairs.
As I said - all shapes and sizes.
I take your 'bad manners' point - it is the position I have taken on every National Anthem I have ever sung, Greece, Italy, Russia, Tunisia.... te#he UK even,
It was the phrase I would have chosen had not Richard given us the Full Monty.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: DebC
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 05:59 PM

I have found myself amongst a group of folks from all over the USA and UK whose focus is the acoustic guitar. It was started in the late 1980s on Usenet by a guy who lives in London and there are gatherings of these acoustic guitar lovers all over the USA and one in the UK every March.

The American members of this group are quite a varied assortment of folks and there are many whose political and religious views are quite far to the right. On Usenet, things got pretty heated during the 2008 election and there are several folks who are no longer speaking to each other and some who have left the group altogether and will never come to another gathering. It's a shame because many of those folks contributed positively to the music.

I am still speaking to many of these folks and continue to call them friends. They are good, kind people who love music, love to sing and love their guitars. But if these relationships are to continue through music, we absolutely cannot talk about politics.

It's too bad that it has come to this in America.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: mg
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 06:09 PM

I think if someone in the group makes a statement just state your beliefs if you can simply and shortly and otherwise say I do not share their views on this and see me afterwards. There could be songs you might have to bow out of if you find them insulting to your family, peers, sensibilities etc. Just sit them out and say you don't share the sentiment..no need to preach on the spot.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 06:57 PM

Well I was thinking of Blackleg Miner, Richard - but I can remener during the strike it being sung with the chorus of Byker Hill.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Aug 13 - 11:32 PM

There are an amazing number of situations in which talk can raise friction among folks making music together.

I was in Brazil in 2005 with my choral group and at breakfast I criticized GWB--no gutter language of course, just a few pointed remarks. For this I was called a virtual traitor by one of our group, a fellow bass--for criticizing the president outside the country.    Seemed to be a variation on "politics stops at the water's edge"--which is a quaint notion I don't believe ever carried much weight.

But it certainly didn't stop either of us from singing the concerts to the best of our abilities. And that's what it's all about anyway.


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Aug 13 - 10:16 AM

I have met Irishmen who were dyed in the wool Orange , as well as dyed in the wool Green , but they are a minority   and most of the Irish I have met were fairly easy going about 'The Troubles' .
I CAN imagine that Richard's situation might not happen every week , but am not surprised that it happened . I was invited to play at a 'Folk Session' in a pub in High Wycombe some time back and realised VERY early
that the majority there were not of my Political ,persuasion , well before the collection for 'Our Boys Over The Water' , though it was The Soldiers Song that they all stood for at the end of the session .
Personally , I dont care wether a Competent singer or musician is Tory ,
or Socialist , Black , White , or Polka Dot as long as they dont force their views into the session


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Aug 13 - 10:39 AM

"The one on the right was on the left..."
(Johnny Cash lyrics)


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Aug 13 - 10:57 AM

" and most of the Irish I have met were fairly easy going about 'The Troubles' ."
Incredibly moving programme last night on TV3 (1st of two I think), entitled 'The Forgotten Irish' about emigration to Britain from the end of WW2.
Some amazing documentary footage on the effect of the 1970s pub bombings on the Irish communities, the universal horror expressed by all Irish people interviewed and the backlash, with mobs of demonstrators demanding all Irish be deported and the return of capital punishment.
In 1998 I sat with two Irish friends who wept as the news of the Omagh bombings came on TV
The Irish have never supported terrorism.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Playing with the enemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 13 - 01:27 PM

But did anyone object to English acccents, Leadfingers? Even in a setting like that it would be pretty unlikely to happen.


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