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Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'

Jack Campin 22 Feb 15 - 06:22 PM
GUEST 22 Feb 15 - 06:34 PM
Noreen 22 Feb 15 - 09:36 PM
Noreen 22 Feb 15 - 09:56 PM
GUEST 23 Feb 15 - 05:11 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 15 - 05:54 AM
Vic Smith 23 Feb 15 - 06:25 AM
Vic Smith 23 Feb 15 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Feb 15 - 07:18 AM
Willa 23 Feb 15 - 08:14 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 15 - 09:11 AM
Vic Smith 23 Feb 15 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Guest 23 Feb 15 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 23 Feb 15 - 10:16 AM
BobKnight 23 Feb 15 - 05:40 PM
Jack Campin 23 Feb 15 - 05:53 PM
BobKnight 23 Feb 15 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Noreen 23 Feb 15 - 11:25 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 24 Feb 15 - 03:21 PM
BobKnight 24 Feb 15 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 24 Feb 15 - 07:05 PM
BobKnight 24 Feb 15 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 25 Feb 15 - 06:34 AM
BobKnight 25 Feb 15 - 07:16 AM
BobKnight 25 Feb 15 - 07:26 AM
FreddyHeadey 25 Feb 15 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 25 Feb 15 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 25 Feb 15 - 05:33 PM
Manitas_at_home 26 Feb 15 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Feb 15 - 02:37 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 15 - 04:42 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 15 - 04:44 AM
GUEST 27 Feb 15 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 27 Feb 15 - 05:40 PM
Noreen 27 Feb 15 - 05:47 PM
Noreen 27 Feb 15 - 06:03 PM
Noreen 27 Feb 15 - 07:00 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Feb 15 - 03:04 AM
GUEST,Dave the Gnome 28 Feb 15 - 03:14 AM
GUEST 28 Feb 15 - 03:57 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Feb 15 - 04:19 AM
Thompson 28 Feb 15 - 09:24 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Feb 15 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Richard Banks 28 Jun 15 - 06:23 PM
Noreen 29 Jun 15 - 06:50 AM
ChanteyLass 29 Jun 15 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,matt milton 30 Jun 15 - 07:07 AM
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Subject: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 06:22 PM

My wife follows the BBC series "Call the Midwife" and was watching series 4 episode 6 on Listen Again today. There is a scene of a Gypsy caravan being burned in funeral rite, with a lament sung in a very ornamental sean-nos style. She thought the singer might have been Thomas McCarthy, but he wasn't credited. Was it?


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 06:34 PM

Yes, it was Thomas McCarthy.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Noreen
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 09:36 PM

Most definitely Thomas McCarthy, I recognised his voice immediately and then he was shown very clearly, singing at the traveller funeral.

I thought this was very well done, someone on the production team obviously cared enough to get it right.

Shame there was no credit given.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Noreen
Date: 22 Feb 15 - 09:56 PM

Heidi Thomas McGann, the writer and creator of "Call the Midwife", tweeted earlier:


Tonight's #callthemidwife featured Thomas McCarthy, whose haunting voice helps keep Irish Traveller culture alive: http://www.thomasmccarthyfolk.com/

and:

Love and thanks to to the wonderful Irish Traveller community for their music, support, and involvement in tonights #callthemidwife.

Nice acknowledgement.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:11 AM

Aye: Note to TV producers, Irish Travellers, or Scottish, and English, are NOT gypsies. There IS a difference.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:54 AM

"There IS a difference."
Not nowadays there isn't.
Intermarriage, changes in styles of living, forced abandonment of the old ways of life, has made the distinction virtually meaningless, though it is often used (shamefully - sometimes by some English Travellers) for scapegoating the so called 'non-gypsies'
An example of this happened years ago in London when a group of Irish, Scots and Welsh Travellers campaigned for new sites in East London.
They eventually won, but the local authorities refused to give it to the 'unrecognised' campaigners and instead put the allocation of the sites into the hands of the Gypsy Council, who handed them out to English Travellers who didn't really want them as they were still Travellers travelling in the surrounding rural areas   
After a "respectable" wait, the "Gypsies" sold them to the people who had campaigned for them in the first place.
There are no more "real Gypsies" than there are "real English" - it is a racist myth that needs to be knocked on the head.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:25 AM

There are no more "real Gypsies" than there are "real English"
I think what Jim says is basically correct but I would like to add this:-
In my decades of working in special education, I worked with very many kids from traveller families. In the early days, the '60s and '70s, all those families would demand that they were 'travellers' and that they were fed up with all the 'gypo' and 'pikey' racist jibes that they had to live with. I almost knew that they were traveller families from their addresses before I met them as the East Sussex County Council, in their wisdom, housed them in a few streets in run-down estates.
Things changed in the 1990s; gradually I started to hear the next generation of the same families proudly saying, "We're Romany Gypsies - nothing to to do with all that weird New-Age lot!"
Another element is the incredible work done in our area by the Romany & Traveller History Society to raise awareness and pride of those with a traveller background. Their vice-president was a regular at our folk club for many years and she sometimes brought sceptical travellers along to the club knowing that anyone who turned up with Janet would always get a friendly welcome from the resident singers and organisers and that they would hear traveller gypsy singers praised as sources of songs and the important bearers of the tradition.
Janet would also invite some of us to come along to their meetings to play step dance tunes. They had no musicians in their community but quite a number who liked to step. They also have some fine singers, particularly the Penfold family.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:27 AM

..... and, of course. she organised quite a party on the occasions when we booked Thomas McCarthy.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 07:18 AM

I remember seeing a party of nomads travelling in their horse-drawn caravans in Normandy. I'd say they were true Romanies - though I couldn't tell what language they were speaking.

Every roadside lay-by in France used to have a notice saying No nomads. Whether this was aimed at Romanies, I don't know.

From Wikipedia; In 2009, the government sent more than 10,000 Romani back to Romania and Bulgaria.

In 2009, the European Committee of Social Rights found France had violated the European Social Charter (rights to housing, right to protection against poverty and social exclusion, right of the family to protection) in respect to its Romani population.

In 2010 and 2011, the French government organized repatriation flights to send Romani back to Romania.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Willa
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 08:14 AM

No mistaking that wonderful voice!

I too looked for an acknowledgement at the end.

Good to see Heidi's tweet.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 09:11 AM

There is, of course, nothing wrong with being proud of your origins, but when those origins are used to discriminate they can become a menace.
As far back as the radio ballad, the Travelling People, the "real Gypsy" claim was being highlighted as a common means of discrimination.
Thomas McCarthy, by the way, (a non-Gypsy, to those who care about that sort of thing) is someone who spends time advocating on behalf of Travellers - a nice and very knowledgeable man.
It was good, and at times, very moving, to see last night's programme using Travellers as human beings rather that the "Big-Fat-Gypsy" image that infests our screens.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 09:59 AM

Just caught the vardo-burning sequence on Watch Again with Thomas singing. I wonder how many singers they could have got to sing in an authentic manner for that scene - not many. For once, the TV programme makers have got it right.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 10:15 AM

Anyone know what the song at the end of the show was ? or the singer ? Cheers


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 10:16 AM

Just about everything was correct for the time. The Wagon was a Dunton copy but correctly not flashed up. That only really came in in the late 1960's when Gaskin and Berry {painters} had made their mark on the travelling world. The trailer was of it's time although a bit small. Lovely to see Thomas McCarthy and Maria Doyle { The Commitments and Black Velvet Band}The Wagon burning broke our hearts, too many memories.
Just one tiny carp, the young girls hair would never have been allowed to hang down in plaits, and would have been pinned up. Travelling women {in those days} only let their hair loose before giving birth. It was believed it gave more power to the body. The old Rani in the wagon could have been Mally's grandmother. No wonder she was a scholar and became a midwife.
Well done BBC AT LAST!!


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: BobKnight
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:40 PM

I was the "Guest"who said there was a difference between travellers and gypsies. Sorry about that, but I didn't realise I had been logged out.

There are very few gypsies in Scotland as far as I know. There has been some intermarriage over the years - that's only natural, with two peoples sharing a travelling tradition, but Thomas McCarthy would never call himself a gypsy, and I would never claim to be a gypsy either. Thomas and I have shared houses at Whitby over the last two years and have discussed this round the kitchen table on quite a few occasions.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 05:53 PM

There are certainly Roma in Scotland, mainly in the south. I don't think anybody can give an accurate number.

How precisely did they label the ethnicity of Thomas McCarthy's character in the show? I only saw the vardo-burning scene.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: BobKnight
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 06:06 PM

It's quite simple really if you speak Romany you're likely to be a gypsy, if you don't speak it, but speak traveller "cant" then you're probably a traveller. Over the centuries the settled people have labelled travellers "gypsies" due to ignorance, to the extent that some travellers now think they are gypsies. It's a huge can of worms which will not be helped by the European Parliament thinking they can call ALL travelling people "Roma."

My refusal to be labelled a Gypsy/Traveller has nothing to do with racism, or a superiority complex, but consider this, if you were English and the authorites labelled you as Spanish, or French, surely you would deny that label.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Noreen
Date: 23 Feb 15 - 11:25 PM

Jack, that scene was the only one where Thomas appeared. His character was not referred to elsewhere either.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 03:21 PM

Hi Bob,
I can speak a bit of Romany and there's more Gypsy blood in my guitar than me. Traveller 'cant' is too vague to be a term I understand. Do you mean Irish Shelta, or a mixture of English and Romany words?
My best friend is a Romany, and will not mix English with Romany ever.
He likes teasing me by speaking it so fast that I miss his meaning.
Please don't take offence Bob if I respectfully point out that the Late Charlie Smith of the Gypsy council,(of which my wife was the chairman for a year or so} was at pains to ask all concerned to spell Gypsy or Traveller with a capital letter as a mark of respect, in the same way as English or French as you rightly point out. This is in no way meant to be an overly critical or aggressive post to you or anybody else.
kind regards


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: BobKnight
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 06:20 PM

That's okay Nick, no offense taken as I didn't think any was intended. You're just stating your view.

Scottish Traveller cant is different from Irish. Thomas and I sat round the kitchen table, drinking prodigious amounts of tea, at our house in Whitby a couple of years ago and went through various words we used and they were not the same. scots Traveller cant is not a whole language, but different enough to make it unintelligible to those not in the know. Many of the words in Scots Traveller cant are borrowed from Scottish Gaelic, and I've even heard some of them used in Cockney slang, which probably came down from Romany in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 07:05 PM

The problem for anybody involved with any form of the Gypsy language is regional and national variations for example, Police officers are Muskras in the North of the UK, Gavvers in the South and Shades in Ireland. The 'Romano Lavo Lil' will give some original wording. i.e Musgros, however many Travellers shorten the words {to Mus.} and bring in slang words from a century ago, like Buer {or Bewer} for woman. To confuse matters even more they will use a descriptive word for something, as an action , so the Yog is the camp fire, but to Yog something is to burn it.
You are quite right about London slang, but also everyday words as well have their roots in Romany. Chav {Chavvie =Child} and surprisingly Lollipop {Lolli=Red Pobble=Apple} and of course Del Boys Cushti. So once again not a whole language, and if that's what you mean by Cant, we're in agreement.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: BobKnight
Date: 24 Feb 15 - 07:20 PM

Police in Scots Traveller cant are hornies, or feekies. There may be other words, but there goes the regional variations you mentioned. We use chavvy, but it just means man as does gadgie, which is almost the same as gaudjo. A child is a kinchin (Germanic?) To write is scrieve, which is the same as Swedish/Scandanavian, and also Scottish Gaelic. A woman is a manishay, or a mort, a younger woman or a girl is a dilly, sometimes pronounced dully.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 06:34 AM

That's really interesting. Do you use Pani for water. That's from the Sanscrit. I had a wonderful conversation with the Asian team at Radio Lancashire one evening, where we swapped words and traditions {Shoes off at the door-no animals inside- dirty bowl clean bowl etc} Makes all the racist crap look more than stupid I think you'll agree. We're brothers under the skin. Dilly is not one I know, but Rakli means the same in England. I bet we could go on forever with this and not get bored! Don't know about the rest of Mudcat though!


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: BobKnight
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 07:16 AM

Panny to us is someone stupid, or mental. Penneum is bread, from the French "pen," no doubt. We have the same with clean basin, dirty basin, dish towels never got washed, or hung up with other washing, but it's all changed over the last thirty/forty years as the young people mix more with settled people. I'm a settled traveller,born in a house, brought up in a house, we only travelled for short periods in the summer when I was a kid, I'm in my sixties now. But you don't forget where you come from, here's the lyrics for my song, The Travelling Kind. Not in cant, but Scots.


The Traivellin Kind
Copyright: R. Knight, July 2009.

There's nithin much left noo but stories,
O' the aul days and the wye that things were.
And the aul folk's memories are fadin sae fast,
Soon they'll be lost, jist a thing o' the past.
Chorus
It's nae traivellin that maks ye a traiveller,
It's jist something that's bred in yer bones.
And even in hooses, it's still in oor minds,
For we ken whit we are, we're the traivellin kind.

Twa wars put an end tae the rovin,
As the years merched on and life changed.
And little by little the femilies took root,
Settled in hooses, stopped traivellin aboot.
Chorus
Nae campfires tae sit roon wi aul friens,
Tae hear the aul stories and sangs.
And hae a wee dram and a bit spit and crack,
It's faded awa and it's nae coming back.
Chorus
The young folk hae a merriet scaldies,
And the cant scarcely touches their tongues.
And though some wid forget o' the place whaur they came,
Maist are still prood o' their folk and their name.
Chorus


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: BobKnight
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 07:26 AM

I'm away (on tour) until Monday, so I'll not be on here before that Nick. All the best - Bob


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 10:29 AM

Nick -I'm not bored yet.
Bob -bookmark this page for when you get back.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 04:06 PM

I'm away on and off throughout March, but I hope we catch up with each other


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Feb 15 - 05:33 PM

What a brilliant thread. Thanks all. Very informative and a pleasure to read. One thing I wanted to ask about said episode. When they set fire to the 'vardo' (Is that a caravan?) with the old ladies remains in, would that have actually been legal?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 26 Feb 15 - 03:37 AM

The fire or the cremation?

In the 1960's in nearby Bethnal Green we would have bonfires in the street on November 5th. The police would only stop them if they thought they were over large.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 02:37 AM

I was thinking more of the cremation.

D.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 04:42 AM

Caravan and property burning was not confined to English Travellers, it was also practiced by the Irish up to fairly recently.
We recorded a story of an old Irish Traveller who decreed that is shouldn't take place with his property as it was a "terrible waste" and the family couldn't afford to follow such wasteful traditions.
Despite this, the family insisted on following the tradition and went a head with burning the old man's belongings, including a small pick-up truck the old man had used for collecting scrap.
On being set alight, we were told the truck took off of its own accord and began to circle the field, until finally bursting into flames.   
It was the tradition of Travellers in the South West of Ireland to take the tools of a deceased Traveller and throw them from a designated bridge over the Blackwater River (probably in County Cork - plenty of rivers bearing that name)
Irish Travellers language, called variously Cant, Shelta and sometimes Gammon is still in use among them.
We were told by one Traveller friend that he thought it had died out with the younger generation and could only be heard from the older ones, until he heard two of his sons talking it animatedly among themselves - he hadn't realised they had picked it up.
A few studies have been made of the language, notably by Pádraig Mac Gréinne, who died a few years ago aged 106, after 40 years of working with Traveller children.
Despite claims to the contrary, the origins of Irish Travellers go back as far as those of other nomadic groups in Europe - this from a study which came to light in 2011.
"The first DNA analysis of the Travelling community has proven that it is a distinct ethnic minority who separated from the settled community between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago, experts have claimed."
Irish Examiner, May 31st 2011
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 04:44 AM

Should read - a deceased Traveller tinsmith
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 08:47 AM

Not everything was perfect with that Call the Midwife episode - for any Irish person, the distinctly middle-class accents of the 'travellers' were hilarious.
Travellers traditionally burned the home and belongings of someone who'd died - a sensible precaution against disease. Not the body, though; the body was buried with a funeral normally attended by hundreds of friends and family.
In Ireland, travelling people (who scarcely 'travel' at all nowadays) are descended from peripatetic workers such as whitesmiths, who travelled around mending tin goods, and horse-dealers, and people who sold goods door-to-door along the roads of Ireland before there were shops everywhere. It is believed that their numbers were swelled by people evicted during the famine of 1843-50, especially those from the village of Rathkeale, which is still a centre of traveller life.
There is great prejudice in Ireland against travellers, especially as there is a small, vicious criminal class among them, which (on the wealthy end) dominates the international trade in rhino horn and the antiques trade, and (on the poor end) breaks into isolated farms, beats old people and steals their savings, and also defrauds people in tarmac and roofing scams. The fact that the majority of travellers are the greatest victims of traveller crime is unknown to most settled people.
There's a push at the moment to declare travellers an ethnic minority, which may or may not be to the good of people who might do better when they join the society they live in, attain equal education and employment and prosperity.
It is thought that a group that intermarries to a point where DNA is dangerously concentrated, and that suffers terrible illnesses through poverty, would gain advantage from an ethnic label. Perhaps that will turn out to be right; certainly Pavee Point and the radicalisation of young travellers has been a good thing - the first travellers have graduated from university in the last few years, and education is just beginning to be the norm.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 05:40 PM

Very interesting, Jim, but doesn't answer the question. Does anyone know if it was, or maybe still is, legal?


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 05:47 PM

"for any Irish person, the distinctly middle-class accents of the 'travellers' were hilarious."

Agreed, but it is an unfortunately rare treat to actually have Irish actors playing Irish parts, rather than "someone who can do an Irish accent".


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 06:03 PM

Dave, from this site: Romany Traditions+Culture:

"They were deeply spirtual in their beliefs that from the earth *soil* we came so should we return, it was never entertained that the dead would be cremated, burial was always their way.
It was also important that things they would need in their next life should be placed within their coffin for use in their after life. this could be anything from tools, money,personal things."


and

"Traditionally, all the personal belongings of the dead person are burned including their living wagon and sometimes any animals (except horses) that they owned."

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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Feb 15 - 07:00 PM

The following from The good funeral guide may(or may not)answer your question as to legality in the UK, Dave.


Open-air cremation
The right to cremate a body was established in 1884 by the remarkable William Price.
When Price was brought to court on a charge of cremating his son in public, the judge ruled that burning a dead body is not a misdemeanour unless it constitutes a public nuisance....

...The verdict in the Price case paved the way for the Cremation Act 1902 which forbade anyone to "knowingly carry out or procure or take part in the burning of any human remains" anywhere but a crematorium, a crematorium being defined as "any building fitted with appliances for the purpose of burning human remains," including "everything incidental or ancillary thereto."

Nevertheless, when, in 2005, David Wrigglesworth cremated his mother in his back garden, Judge James Stewart QC said:
"By burning her body, you did not, the public may be surprised to hear, commit a criminal offence."
The grounds for this judgement were the same as in the Price case: no public nuisance was proved.

In 2010 Davinder Gai won the right to be burned by traditional fire on a pyre within a structure with sunlight shining directly on his body. As a result of the Gai case, the Ministry of Justice hastily directed that "the way is not now open automatically for funeral pyres to be held. Burning bodies anywhere other than in a crematorium notified to the Secretary of State for Justice remains a criminal offence."

This is disputed.

Legal authorities give the opinion that:
Cremation laws do not prevent one-off open air pyres
• No planning permission is required for a one-off pyre
• If there is uncertainty on the law, and the Crown Prosecution Service decides to take a case to court, the judgment would have to be in favour of the Defendant because any uncertainty about the actual wording of the law and its meaning must tip the balance in their favour.
• There is nothing in law about pyres having to be away from public view. John Bradfield, (who was involved in the Davinder Gai case), believes that it would be illegal to have a pyre in a place where a member of the public would suddenly and unexpectedly find they are very close to and can see a body burning on a fire, e.g., simply by walking along a public footpath.

If you want to run the risk of burning someone on an open-air pyre, be sure first to submit an application for cremation to a local crematorium. This will enable you to demonstrate that the person who died was not murdered and spare you prosecution on a serious charge.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 03:04 AM

"Does anyone know if it was, or maybe still is, legal?"
As far as cremation is concerned, legal or not, it was frowned on by the church and is still mistrusted by many traditional Catholics
As far as I know, it was never a practice carried out by Irish Travellers.
The ones we spoke to knew of it happening among other travelling nationalities but looked on it somewhat askance.
Can't speak for Britain, but here in rural Ireland, nowadays it's virtually impossible to burn anything in the open air without a letter from the Pope (so to speak), air pollution laws being what they have become.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 03:14 AM

Thanks Noreen and Jim.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 03:57 AM

Cremation is common in Dublin now; there are three crematoria, and there's one in Cork.
Burning caravans and possessions is almost certainly illegal; however, travellers live in a hinterland where some illegalities are ignored.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 04:19 AM

"Cremation is common in Dublin now; there are three crematoria, and there's one in Cork."
One of the first crematoriums mooted for Ireland was to be in the village of 'Ovens' in County Cork - you can't beat the Irish sense of humour!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 09:24 AM

Especially as the name Ovens is a soundalike Englishing of Na hUamhanna, or The Tombs.


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Feb 15 - 09:41 AM

"The Tombs."
Didn't know that - even better!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,Richard Banks
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 06:23 PM

I've only just come across this thread. And I've read it with great interest. I can confirm wholeheartedly that it was Thomas McCarthy. It was a great privilege to be standing next to him whilst he sang two songs whilst the vardo burned. It was an incredibly moving scene to do and there wasn't a dry eye amongst the cast as we stood there the only sound being his voice.
The Irish actors were all genuine Irish actors, and it was probably a bit middle class but then the show is broadcast in America too and they'd need subtitles anyway. The supporting cast of actors playing the travellers weren't Irish.

I do know that the CTM team do meticulous research.

I'm glad that people generally liked the episode


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: Noreen
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 06:50 AM

Thanks Richard :)


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 05:13 PM

When this thread began, that episode had not been shown in the US. It was shown several weeks ago, and because of this thread I paid close attention throughout. Thank you, all!


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Subject: RE: Gypsy singer on 'Call the Midwife'
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 07:07 AM

one of the most interesting threads I've had the pleasure to read on Mudcat. Contrary to what Nick suggested, I could happily have read Nick and Bob swapping and comparing words all day.

Oh and Bob, the line "the cant scarcely touches their tongue" is proper poetry. Great song.


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