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Foul-mouthed Folkies

Shug Hanlan 27 May 20 - 04:42 AM
Steve Gardham 27 May 20 - 06:17 AM
Donuel 27 May 20 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,kenny 27 May 20 - 07:17 AM
Nick 27 May 20 - 07:23 AM
GUEST 27 May 20 - 07:24 AM
Gordon Jackson 27 May 20 - 07:28 AM
Pete Jennings 27 May 20 - 09:07 PM
Jack Campin 28 May 20 - 02:34 AM
Shug Hanlan 28 May 20 - 04:36 AM
Jim Carroll 28 May 20 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,kenny 28 May 20 - 08:08 AM
Gordon Jackson 28 May 20 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 28 May 20 - 11:45 AM
Jim Carroll 28 May 20 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,big al whittle 28 May 20 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,akenaton 28 May 20 - 02:20 PM
Jim Carroll 28 May 20 - 03:02 PM
Shug Hanlan 28 May 20 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,kenny 28 May 20 - 05:30 PM
Jack Campin 28 May 20 - 05:34 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 May 20 - 07:23 PM
Hagman 28 May 20 - 08:54 PM
The Sandman 29 May 20 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,akenaton 29 May 20 - 02:35 AM
Shug Hanlan 29 May 20 - 02:50 AM
Hagman 29 May 20 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 29 May 20 - 03:06 AM
Jim Carroll 29 May 20 - 03:20 AM
Gordon Jackson 29 May 20 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,RA 29 May 20 - 03:35 AM
The Sandman 29 May 20 - 03:47 AM
The Sandman 29 May 20 - 03:52 AM
Shug Hanlan 29 May 20 - 04:30 AM
Nick 29 May 20 - 05:10 AM
Nick 29 May 20 - 05:53 AM
Nick 29 May 20 - 06:19 AM
Steve Gardham 29 May 20 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,akenaton 29 May 20 - 07:42 AM
Shug Hanlan 29 May 20 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Ake 29 May 20 - 08:32 AM
Shug Hanlan 29 May 20 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,akenaton 29 May 20 - 12:06 PM
Mrrzy 29 May 20 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 29 May 20 - 02:59 PM
The Sandman 29 May 20 - 03:48 PM
The Sandman 29 May 20 - 03:55 PM
The Sandman 29 May 20 - 04:36 PM
Mrrzy 29 May 20 - 06:40 PM
Jeri 29 May 20 - 06:45 PM
Jeri 29 May 20 - 07:00 PM
Jim Carroll 29 May 20 - 07:34 PM
Jeri 29 May 20 - 08:50 PM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,akenaton 30 May 20 - 04:27 AM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 30 May 20 - 06:13 AM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 06:33 AM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 07:27 AM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 07:41 AM
Shug Hanlan 30 May 20 - 08:38 AM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 10:43 AM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 11:28 AM
Steve Gardham 30 May 20 - 12:48 PM
Jim Carroll 30 May 20 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,akenaton 30 May 20 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 30 May 20 - 05:07 PM
Jim Carroll 31 May 20 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,akenaton 31 May 20 - 03:31 AM
Jim Carroll 31 May 20 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 31 May 20 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,akenaton 31 May 20 - 04:47 AM
Gordon Jackson 31 May 20 - 05:08 AM
Jim Carroll 31 May 20 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Gaffer 31 May 20 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,akenaton 31 May 20 - 10:45 AM
Jim Carroll 31 May 20 - 10:56 AM
Tattie Bogle 31 May 20 - 11:10 AM
Gordon Jackson 31 May 20 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,akenaton 31 May 20 - 11:20 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Jun 20 - 03:31 AM
r.padgett 01 Jun 20 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 01 Jun 20 - 08:09 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Jun 20 - 08:17 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jun 20 - 08:53 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Jun 20 - 09:16 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jun 20 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,big al whittle 01 Jun 20 - 10:39 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Jun 20 - 10:48 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jun 20 - 01:42 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 20 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,akenaton 02 Jun 20 - 04:15 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 20 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 02 Jun 20 - 05:07 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 20 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,akenaton 02 Jun 20 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive) 02 Jun 20 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 02 Jun 20 - 10:16 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 20 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Starship 02 Jun 20 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,akenaton 02 Jun 20 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,akenaton 02 Jun 20 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 02 Jun 20 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive) 02 Jun 20 - 02:13 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Jun 20 - 04:05 PM
Paul Reade 02 Jun 20 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,Starship 02 Jun 20 - 05:34 PM
The Sandman 03 Jun 20 - 03:36 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jun 20 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,kenny 03 Jun 20 - 05:29 AM
The Sandman 03 Jun 20 - 06:25 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jun 20 - 08:30 AM
The Sandman 03 Jun 20 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 04 Jun 20 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,GuestTF 06 Jun 20 - 10:50 AM
Joe_F 07 Jun 20 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Jun 20 - 07:47 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Jun 20 - 08:09 AM
John MacKenzie 08 Jun 20 - 11:39 AM
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Subject: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 27 May 20 - 04:42 AM

Been reading an article on swearing & Scottish fiction (some sad individual counted 4,000 fucks in James Kelman's "How Late It Was, How Late") as research for my Billy Connolly book. I know Connolly very seldom swore when he played the folk clubs but if he did was there a policy on swearing onstage? Be interested to know if there were/are any folk acts who curse a lot or was/is that generally frowned on?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 May 20 - 06:17 AM

Derek Brimstone?

I have a humorous story about swearing in folk clubs, Shug. I don't want to repeat it here, but if you PM me I'll let you have it.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Donuel
Date: 27 May 20 - 07:11 AM

fucking brilliant


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 27 May 20 - 07:17 AM

Hi Shug - there's never been much on-stage swearing at all in the Scottish folk clubs I've been to since the 1970s. It would certainly have been frowned upon by organisers at that time.
John Watt's story about the night Frank Sinatra played the Kelty Miner's Social Club [ which was hilarious ] - was the only single example of the c*** word I ever heard in all that time. "Bugger", "bastard" would occasionally turn up in the odd song, very few "f***s", although Dougie MacLean let one slip out at a big concert in The Aberdeen Music Hall, in front of the Lord Provost and his wife.
Good luck with the book.
Kenny


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Nick
Date: 27 May 20 - 07:23 AM

When John Martyn was a guest at Leicester University folk club (I know he isn't folk folk but it was a folk club) many years ago I seem to remember that there was no censoring of his language going on. Probably the liberal use of stimulants might have been a contributory factor to the lack of inhibition.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 20 - 07:24 AM

Steve Earle is pretty foul mouthed.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 27 May 20 - 07:28 AM

I suppose this qualifies:

Swarbrick and Nicol.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 27 May 20 - 09:07 PM

I remember seeing Robin and Barry Dransfield at a late night Friday folk gig at the New B'ham Rep, which began at 11pm, well after the pubs had closed, although you could still buy beer in there. Must have been in the early 70's. There was a bloke in the audience talking throughout their first few songs and Robin looked up to where he was and said to Barry, "that guy's beginning to get right on my tits". Said audience member wisely shut up!


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 May 20 - 02:34 AM

That's what Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy acts are for, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 28 May 20 - 04:36 AM

Many thanks for comments. That alternative Fairport version of the Sailor's Alphabet is a hoot, but I suspect it might not go down too well with some of the Croppers crowd.

Working Men's & Social Clubs were another matter. Saw some of the most unfunny, racist, misogynist misfits at those places.

Here's Connolly talking recently about the C word, " It's not a word I usually use, especially in America, because it frightens the bejaysus out of them. Although they take "motherfucker" like nothing happened. But being Glaswegian I'm used to it. It doesn't really mean anything. You use it in all sorts of circumstances.
Like, when you're trying to remember a film star's name. People are giving you all kinds of suggestions and you say, "No, no, not him. Some other c**t." I actually heard somebody in Glasgow say,"Hey, who's that c**t with the Pope?"

Keep the cursing memories coming.

Shug


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 May 20 - 05:52 AM

"Bad" language is an opinion - no such thing reallyyThere is only language used badly
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 28 May 20 - 08:08 AM

Shug never mentioned "bad" language. He was specifically asking about swearing on stage in folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 28 May 20 - 10:16 AM

Sure, but then there's no real consensus on what constitutes swearing is there? As a Londoner, the word 'twat' is a very mild insult; in other areas it's considered quite an offensive term.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 28 May 20 - 11:45 AM

I must say that I do not remember any incidences of swearing/bad language in the folk clubs during the 60s and 70s. There were plenty of B words - bloody, bugger and bastard - but NEVER the f word and definitely not the c word. These were also verboten on the TV and radio until much later - probably into the 80s and 90s. And they caused very raised eyebrows when they first started appearing. I think the folk clubs reflected society as a whole when these words first started popping up in folk clubs. Even the folk comedians were very proper in this regard - it was the alternative comedians (the Ben Elton generation) that first made it more acceptable. Billy Connolly was one of the first to use this on TV, and it was the shock of his language that probably earned him the attention he got. Apart from the fact that he was also very funny. I certainly don't remember him using any foul language in the 60s and 70s when he was in the Humblebums.

I'm not sure there is actually that much bad language in the clubs these days. On the odd occasion when somebody has used the f word on a folk festival stage, there is a collective intake of breath in the audience. People are still not that comfortable with it. Maybe it's different in other genres.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 May 20 - 12:46 PM

Sorry Kenny - I thought swearing and 'bad language' were synonymous
I live in Ireland where, not long ago the word 'bloody" would appear in the press as b*****y not too long ago - now we get the lot - the times they are a-changing
I don;'t like gratuitous profanities - is shows a lack of imagination and a waste of useful words

My favourite story
A trainee priest climbing of a stile in the grounds of his seminary, slips and falls face down in the mud
"shit", he says and then;
"Fuck, I said shit",
and then:
"Shit, I said fuck",
and finally
"Ah bollocks, I didn't want to be a priest anyway"

Hope that doesn't give offence
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,big al whittle
Date: 28 May 20 - 01:29 PM

I remember Paul Downes discussing this subject with me a few years ago.
Paul iued to reckon that audiences found Derek Brimstones cockney 'facking hell!" rarher charming.


Whereas Paul thought you could feel the audience stiffen with disapproval when Tony Capstick used the same words. Something about his northern pronunciation seemed ro upset folkies.

I suppose its a class thing.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 28 May 20 - 02:20 PM

Well I don't like to hear cursing on stage, or even on these pages. I think it represents a lack of vocabulary or if it is used simply as a shock tactic.....pathetic.
Connolly was a brilliant observational comedian, he was certainly not a folkie in any sense of the word. When during his transformation into a celebrity he started using foul language regularly, he lost the spark which marked him out as something special. He reckoned that its use raised his profile with people who did not understand Glasgow humour or could not empathise with the characters which he observed so keenly.

He stumbled home from Clifton Fair,
with drunken song and cheeks aglow,
but there was something in his air
which spoke of kingship long ago.
I turned and inly wept with grief,
that one so high should fall so low.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 May 20 - 03:02 PM

"Well I don't like to hear cursing on stage, or even on these pages. "
Youve been kicked off, so it doesn't matter what you like - sorry
Censoring words ends up with lack of vocabulary
As long as their not racist or sexist, I see no harm in them
Maybe Mudcat can adopt a 'cuttie stool' (but that was just for women, which only goes to show how two-faced some moral stances are
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 28 May 20 - 04:29 PM

Some really interesting comments about Connolly's lack of cursing during his folk club days but surely we've got some favourite swearers. That article I've just read on Kelman's language claimed, " It's a question not just of frequency, or inclination, but of ability, range and intensity."

Richard Pryor would be fuckin'tops for me.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 28 May 20 - 05:30 PM

"I don;'t like gratuitous profanities - is shows a lack of imagination and a waste of useful words"
No disagreement with that, Jim.
Dave Allen used to tell your story, but he had a nun instead of a priest.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 May 20 - 05:34 PM

I've talked to Kelman about this and he said much the same as what Shug reported from Connolly - it's just the way working class Glaswegians speak, if you want to be realistic you have to put those words in. Calling it "swearing" misses the point.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 May 20 - 07:23 PM

Not sure why, but the Irish "fecking" somehow doesn't seem half as bad, and a lot funnier than "fucking"! Count the "feckings" in Fascinating Aida's song "Cheap Flights" about Ryanair. And the "feckity feckity fecks".
I'm not keen on the current vogue for using the F word quite so liberally, especially on photo-shopped images on social media: a strategically placed rare instance has far more impact than peppering it willy-nilly every second word in a sentence.
I remember once, during a care home gig, one of the singers thought it would be really good fun to sing "Bloody Well Boozing": eyebrows went up and lead balloons went down, as all the "bloodys" rang out - and as for all that boozing, well, I mean.....!


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Hagman
Date: 28 May 20 - 08:54 PM

It's actually 2114 "fuck"'s and variants in "How Late it Was, How Late," according to Mr Microsoft's Word-counter...


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 May 20 - 02:08 AM

the worst offence i witnessed was a lancashire folk comedian, Williamson. he persuaded a child to join him on stage[chippenham festival] then took the piss out of the boy,the audience turned against him and booed


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 29 May 20 - 02:35 AM

James Kelman was an author and used cursing in his novels and short stories to correctly represent a section of the community usually working class Glaswegians of a certain type. The usage was not done for effect, but to correctly capture the life and communication of his characters.
I met Mr Kelman one evening at Shawfield dog track many years ago before reading any of his books.....he was observing everyone, the language of the bookies, their sign language and relationship with the punters.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 29 May 20 - 02:50 AM

Love the idea of "fuck" variants. Must try them sometime.

The Pope/priest gag was repeated by Connolly in his "Tall Tales and wee stories" book.

Swearing on stage can easily go wrong and bullying children in front of an audience is surely stretching the term "comedy".

The initial point of this post was to find out if folk clubs allowed foul language on stage. Thanks to everyone who shared their opinions.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Hagman
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:02 AM

The Kelman "variants" include "fucking," "fucked" etc....

To address your original question, I don't know of any folk clubs or festivals that have any prescriptive rules re: strong language (I'm in Australia BTW). In my experience, it's not ever been overdone, with one exception - as noted above, Steve Earle. Started to watch his set at the Port Fairy Folk Festival a couple of years ago, and after five minutes of his stage patter sounding like every second word was "fuck," I gave up. His singing was equally as boring.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:06 AM

Was Brimstone a cockney?
I have never heard the word pronounced "Facking" and a cockney would never pronounce the 'g' at the end.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:20 AM

"Not sure why, but the Irish "fecking" somehow doesn't seem half as bad,"
Our late drinking bar was run by a humorous, very devout elderly lady, Mary Fahy, who let us in when the other bars closed, if we knew the right knock - (she died last year and we miss her terribly)   
Her only 'cuss-word' was "feck"
One night she reared up at the constant "fucking" that was commonlace - fairly harmlessly used
Someone said, "But you say "Feck" all the time Mary"
She looked puzzled - it meant something quite different to her "feckless"
Come back Mary - we miss you!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:30 AM

'Facking' does not rhyme with 'backing'.

It's more like 'faa kinell'.

I agree with Hagman that Steve Earle's patter leaves something to be desired, but I could (and often have) listen to his singing, and his songs, all day long.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:35 AM

I recall Hamish Imlach singing a parody of 'The Wild Rover':

'I'll go to a folk club
Take a shotgun along
And I'll shoot the first bastard
Who asks for that song' "


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:47 AM

Derek Brimstone was ORIGINALLY from Shoreditch i think
To be really specific, you must have been born within the sound of Bow bells. These are the bells of St Mary-le-Bow church in Cheapside.
The areas of the East End considered to be within bell-hearing range are Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Stepney, Hackney, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Bow, Mile End, Polar, Wapping, Limehouse and Millwall. Some authorities include the south London area of Bermondsey in this list
.So. yes he was


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:52 AM

fuckin is more the way cockneys said it when i was a child with a short u not a long u or an a


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 29 May 20 - 04:30 AM

Love the notion of bumping into Kelman at the dugs. "Greyhound for Breakfast" was one of his first books I read. I got to know him a wee bit when he was briefly teaching at Glasgow Uni.

The comments on Steve Earle are revealing. With a few obvious exceptions (Pryor, Hicks, anybody in a David Mamet play), I don't think Americans are any good at swearing. They even effect others. The first time I heard swearing on an LP was Lennon's Plastic Ono Band LP ("Working Class Hero", "I Found Out") and thought it was really powerfully done. A couple of years later he's over in New York, hanging around Greenwich Village with a gang of yippies and swearing lamely in "The Luck of The Irish."


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Nick
Date: 29 May 20 - 05:10 AM

Offence by dialect reminds me of a local Manchester radio news report many years ago commenting on a visit by Sir Vivian Fuchs and pronouncing it as 'fucks' because to pronounce it correctly would offend the local listeners as you can't say 'fooks' on radio.
And 'facking' is estuary English rather than cockney.

Here's Steve Earle not offending Americans in the intro to a song - quite a good line actually


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Nick
Date: 29 May 20 - 05:53 AM

Were folk clubs of the time not just generally reflecting the usage of swearing in society? So just a matter of art reflecting society?

It was only in 1965 that Ken Tynan uttered the first 'fuck' on TV and even by Sex Pistols time in 1976 swearing was an extreme thing to be done in public or a broadcast or public performance met with shock. Or the reaction of 'it's something common people do who can't express themselves properly' (as an aside it's always seemed the case that education or class or 'position in society' is not a predictor of swearing in conversation). It's weird to think that the first time I heard my dad use the word 'fucking' was in about 1971. He'd been through the war and life but just not something he routinely used though he obviously did know it. I had been aware of 'all the words' for quite some years before that.

Still something of a choice. I don't think we swear when we play live (apart from inwardly when I play bits wrong) whether it's pubs or cafes or wherever. But that's not due to the policies of places but rather something 'unwritten' perhaps?

Here's a joke I told my mother years ago having warned her about the language. Would I tell it in public? - perhaps. The figures need updating! The second is how an unexpected word can have a reaction (about 15 secs onwards). I could tell that in public but I'm not sure how it would have been received in the 60's.

"Two lip-reading deaf guys walk into a pub. One turns to the other and says "You go find a seat...I'll get the drinks in".
He walks up to the bar and says, "Bartender, could I please have two pints of lager?"
"Certainly," replies the barman, "That'll be £10."
"Ten pounds?" gasps the deaf guy, "That's a bit steep!"
"Oh, we've got some music on tonight," explains the barman, "That includes your entry fee."
The deaf guy starts doing the twist and asks, "Is it Boogie Woogie?"
"No."
The deaf guy does his best John Travolta impression and asks, "Is it Disco?"
"No."
The deaf guy shrugs his shoulders, "Well...what is it then?"
"Country and Western"
The deaf guy laughs, picks up his drinks and brings them over to his friend.
"How much were they?" asks his friend.
"Ten pounds."
"Ten pounds?" gasps the friend, "That's a bit steep!"
"Oh, they've got some music on tonight," explains the first deaf guy, "That includes our entry fee."
The second deaf guy starts doing the twist and asks, "Is it Boogie Woogie?"
"No."
The second deaf guy does his best John Travolta impression and asks, "Is it Disco?"
"No."
The second deaf guy shrugs his shoulders, "Well...what is it then?"
The first deaf guy laughs, "Some cunt from Preston."

But I guess it's not 'swearing as punctuation and emphasis' which is perhaps what changed with Billy Connolly and was more like the rhythms of how people spoke day to day or people spoke with friends/in pubs etc? That wasn't there at the time that Billy Connolly was playing in folk clubs in the 60's into early 70's

When you mentioned Swarbrick and Nicol I thought you meant this from Cropredy album


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Nick
Date: 29 May 20 - 06:19 AM

And I just had a listen to his Solo Concert from 1974 and it has less swearing in it (one 'arse' on first track) than I would have expected for a live album.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 May 20 - 06:38 AM

The F word has been used as a running joke on the f--k scene for many years. Punning with 'ferkin' in 'Bring us a Barrel'. The Kippers' 'Norfolk and Good', etc.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 29 May 20 - 07:42 AM

From memory, cursing was not totally banned, but it wasn't encouraged due to the make up of the audience which included quite a few children and older folk.
Had to laugh at Guest RA's reference to Hamish Imlach…..Hamish had quite a few parodies to the Black velvet Band, specially for Dunoon and the American base
"Her eyes they shone like diamonds,
Her neck it was just like a swan
And her "baubles" hung over her shoulders,
Held up by a big darkie's haun.

The arrangement of swan and the Glasgow "haun" was brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 29 May 20 - 08:14 AM

Not sure Hamish would have got away with that one in a Minneapolis folk club at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Ake
Date: 29 May 20 - 08:32 AM

Hi Shug "Greyhound for Breakfast" was also my first dip into the world of JK....he caught the atmosphere brilliantly.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 29 May 20 - 11:28 AM

I understand, and I'm interested in the notion of a class-based look at swearing. You Mudcatters probably know that Trotsky argued for fines on workers who swore in Soviet factories, seeing it as a product of oppression rather than a means of resistance. I only wish that when the Bolshevik high command was touring a foundry in Kiev, some wee Ukranian man shouted out his version of the Connolly/Allen gag,"Hey, who's that cunt with Stalin?"


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 29 May 20 - 12:06 PM

Well I've always despised people who use the word for a woman's vagina, the word which describes the act of having sex between a male and female, or the word which refers to someone born to unmarried parents, as in some way dirty or discriminatory. The word bastard is thrown about with regularity amongst the "liberal" brethren in this forum and most of them do not seem the mind the other two words being used as terms of abuse either?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 May 20 - 12:57 PM

Cunt is vulva, not vagina, if that is what you meant.

What about songs using now-banned vocabulary, like racial terms? Is that a different thread?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 May 20 - 02:59 PM

Dick Miles,

Where did you get that fanciful notion of the areas within hearing range of the bells of St. Mary le Bow?

Were they using a Marshall amp?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:48 PM

wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 May 20 - 03:55 PM

shoreditch to bow church is 2.8 miles, reasonableenough to call him a cockney whereas someone living in lewishan , definitely not


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 May 20 - 04:36 PM

and to the one you refer to at cheapside even less 1.3 miles


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 May 20 - 06:40 PM

I was thinking of terms that used to be normal ways of referring to groups to which you do not belong.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jeri
Date: 29 May 20 - 06:45 PM

Mrrzy, this one's about "blue" language. If you really want to talk about racist stuff, start another theread.

In the BS section.

Because we've nevr talked about that shit before.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jeri
Date: 29 May 20 - 07:00 PM

And my bad for the "BS section" part. We've had numerous threads about racist songs. Not so much about "folkies", though.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 May 20 - 07:34 PM

It seems to have become practice of deleting commenets about racist languge but leving the racist language in
I'll try to work that one out
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jeri
Date: 29 May 20 - 08:50 PM

Jim, attempt to locate a clue.
The thread title is "foul-mouthed FOLKIES

What people do you wish to discuss?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 04:01 AM

I regard racism as "foul mouthed" as do others whose posting you have deleted Jeri - can't really see your problem ("blue" is a reference to the pencil used to make deletions in my vocabulary)
You choose to delete the reaction to the term "Darkie" yet are happy to allow the word stand, in all its glory
Yeah - well !!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 30 May 20 - 04:27 AM

Grow up Jim, my anecdote concerned the words Hamish used and I suppose many here see them as foul.....but that was the language of the time. Hamish and indeed all the revival folk singers used phrases which would be deemed by some as "inappropriate", but F'ing and C'ing was rarely used, as most folk singers had more wit and vocabulary than to swear for audience affect.
Btw Hamish was one of the nicest and kindest people that I've met. and is widely regarded as such.
Take your obsession down amongst the "real" members.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 04:34 AM

I'm not debating the use of language that may have been acceptable at the time of the Notting Hill Riots or Enoch Powell Ake - it shouldn't be necessary as those events say enough - and were not allowed to anyway
Move on before you close the thread
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 30 May 20 - 06:13 AM

Sandman / Dick,

I know exactly where both churches are situated having entered this world about half a mile distant from one. I was querying the size of the area in which you seem to believe the bells could be heard.

Wikipaedia ? I Never use it.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 06:33 AM

"believe the bells could be heard."
The definition was set long before the roar of London traffic, when the sound of bells would easily carry those distances on a calm day - or night
When I was a child you could easily hear the sounds of ships horns from the Mersey at least across the those distance - one of the great features of New-Year's Eve
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 07:27 AM

Re - thread topic
It was said that a coule of the Clubs Robert Burs frequented, 'The Tarbloton Drinking Club' and 'The Fencibles', had the motto,
"Sing a song, tell a story or put your prick on the table"
This is not a new 'problem. by any means
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 07:41 AM

Just remembered - Crochallan Fencibles
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 30 May 20 - 08:38 AM

Thanks everone. Only on Mudcat could the topic go from folkies swearing, the pros & cons of F'ing & C'ing, Steve Earle, a joke about deaf guys, language last heard on repeats of "On The Buses", the acoustic properties of East London and Rabbie Burn's prick!

As a way of thanks send me a personal email, and, once I'm allowed to get to the Post Office, I'll send you one of my wee books. FUCKIN' FREE.

https://lizziemlove.wixsite.com/kerfufflepress


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 10:43 AM

Look forward to the world opening up again Shug
Might be able to reciprocate in kid
There's a lovely article here by the somewhat prim Edith Fowk on Bawdy Canadian Folk Songs
I haven't got round to digitising the Australian study of children's 'dirty' songs, 'Shocking, Shocking, Shocking'

Pehaps we should take note of the wrning given by Iona and Peter Opie in their book on Children's Folklore, 'The Lore and Langhiage of Schoolchildren:

"Genuinely erotic verse, however, is unusual. That there are villains among children, as among adults, the News of the World offers frequent testimony; and from somewhere the ogre child acquires his strange salacious prescriptions, taking criminal pleasure in pressing them on juniors, and inscribing them on the walls of the school lavatory.
But we are not here discussing delinquents. The usual group of youngsters whispering together, passing some verse to each other and giggling, though they refuse to tell what it is, are probably interested in nothing more sordid than the deeds of nature, an intimate garment, or a crude word."

Pp. 95-96, Chapter 6, ‘Parody and Impropriety,   Lore and Language of Schoolchildren.Oxford at Clarendon Press Publishers 1959

They knew a thing or one, those people :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 11:28 AM

One of my favourite Burns Songs - from @Merry Muses'
I wonder how it woul have fared at the nads of some of out folkie Mary Whitehouses :-)
Jim

4. WAD YE DO THAT? (Tune: John Anderson, My Jo)
M'Naught (MMC 'll) referred to this piece as "An old song before Burns's time," It is certainly the original of Burns' song "Lass, When Your Mither Is Frae Hame" (Aldine, II, p. 156), which Scott Douglas referred to as "a silly paraphrase" of the present song.
The tune, "John Anderson, My Jo," dates back at least to the middle of the 17th century. It was certainly a favorite with Burns, who also knew it as the tune to a bawdy song of that title (MMC '59, pp. 114-115) on which he based his own song of the same name (SMM, #260), as well as the tune of "Our Gudewife's Sae Modest", another piece of bawdry collected by Burns (see MMC '59, p. 135).
The present text was learned from MMC '59, p. 122, and the tune from MacColl's father.

1. Gudewife, when your gudeman's frae hame,
Might I but be sae bauld,
As come to your bed-chamber
When winter nichts are cauld;
As come to your bed-chamber
When nichts are cauld and wat,
And lie in your gudeman's stead:
Wad ye do that?

2. Young man, an ye should be so kind,
When oor gudeman's frae hame,
As come to my bed-chamber
Where I am laid my lane;
And lie in oor gudeman's stead,
I will tell you what,
He fucks me five times ilka nicht,
Wad ye do that?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 May 20 - 12:48 PM

I think the best word to describe that Scots piece, Jim, is explicit. It is a dialogue very much in the traditional style and there are many such pieces. Fairmtoon labourers of that period would not have found that bawdy foul language. It would have been seen as a true depiction of life.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 May 20 - 01:06 PM

"very much in the traditional style"
The description in the notes suggest it is probably traditional - explicit it certainly is
Fairmtoun Labourers, like navvies, were capably and willing to use language far in excess of that - not at the Kirk maybe
Unlike Wales, where the chapel succeeded in virtually killing off the tradition, the 'Presies' only succeeded in driving it underground, where it flourished
Ireland is only now discovering the all-but suppressed 'blue-vein in its tradition
The religious suppression of the real nature of the tradition merits a study in itself
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 30 May 20 - 01:13 PM

I don't think these verses were penned specifically for Fairmtoon labourers Steve...…..more to amuse his well heeled aristo supporters.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 30 May 20 - 05:07 PM

Jim,

Foghorns across water, Mersey in your case, Thames in mine bear no resemblance to church bells through a few miles of a built up city.

It is still my opinion that a cockney would pronounce the word FUCKIN' rather than FACKING


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 May 20 - 03:14 AM

The hard U is a Liverpool usage - the Irish favour 'fecking' (also used in Liverpool due to the high Irish influence
The toffs us 'fawking' because they think it makes them sound superior
I never heard 'Facking' - north of south of the Thames - a dyslexic form of mining, maybe?
They don't know what the word means in Wales - they don't go in for that sort of thing since The Chapel took over!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 31 May 20 - 03:31 AM

The changing of the vowels is simply a device to make cursing seem more acceptable.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 May 20 - 04:03 AM

Cursing is perfectly acceptable in most societies by us 'lower orders' - lie sex, those who don't understand or get enough of the basic needs of life (like sex) - show their resentment by outlawing them
Offending women say is offensive, no matter what language is used
C*** used offesively is not offensive in its meaning, comparing women to their sexual parts is
Words are just words - no-one should have the right to judge them
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 31 May 20 - 04:03 AM

I think that is Bow Locks which are well within the sound of one set of Bow Bells.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 31 May 20 - 04:47 AM

"C*** used offesively is not offensive in its meaning, comparing women to their sexual parts is
Words are just words - no-one should have the right to judge them
Jim "

That is nonsensical ...Jim   the words are used by intellectual inadequates as terms of abuse. Leaving aside the misogyny, bastard is used often in folk song, especially parody or contemporary folk, usually in reference to perceived political failings.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 31 May 20 - 05:08 AM

If I'm performing in a folk club and some calls out for Dirty Old Town, I will politely refuse, rather than shout back 'Fuck off, you cunt!

If the same person or another person stopped me in the street and demanded money, I may well say 'Fuck off, you cunt'.

Words are definitely not just words; they have multiple meanings, nuances and contexts.

On the other hand, I don't think saying 'Fuck off, you cunt' to an attacker betrays any intellectual inadequacy on my part.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 May 20 - 05:34 AM

"bastard" like "lunatic" "knacker" and even "n****r" were once just descriptive words - their replacement by better terms has made made of them unacceptable
C***, fuck, shit, bollocks etc are slang words - now to be found in the New Penguin Dictionary of Slang'
None of these words are offensive when used inoffensively - that is in the mind of the would-be censor - it is the intention behind them that makes them unacceptable
There was a time up to bery recently when contraceptives and women's sanitary protection could not be discussed publicly - specially here in 'Holy Ireland' - now they are commonplace, no matter what the Mrs Grundys of this world think
Gordon is spot on
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Gaffer
Date: 31 May 20 - 09:45 AM

When Conwy Folk Club started in the late nineties is was on a ship moored in the harbour, known as "The Frigate", prompting the question: "Whose idea was it to have a friggin' folk club in a folkin' frigate?"
Would that qualify?
Gaff


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 31 May 20 - 10:45 AM

I disagree Steve, what have a woman's vagina, a person born to unmarried parents, or the sex act, to do with responses to a robber a bully, or a conservative?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 May 20 - 10:56 AM

THis will continue to go in circles until someone explains why objecting to perfectly usable, centuries old slang and vernacular words is no more than a matte of personal prejudice
Burn all the slang dictionaries I say
In my experience, people who climb on high-horses such as this are the first to scream "personal infringement of free speech' if someone suggests they tone down their language on issues such as race or religion- we have been cloe to several in the last couple of days
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 31 May 20 - 11:10 AM

I just think it's very lazy speech, when there are so many good expressive alternative words about that are perhaps not classed as offensive or foul-mouthed. That's not so say that I never swear, or that the occasional use is never justified, but "bad language" has become over-used.
As for using it in folk clubs:no good reason for it: a witty put-down of an over-vociferous heckler is far more effective at silencing him/her (oh yes, there are "hers" too!) Long live the art of repartee!


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 31 May 20 - 11:11 AM

I don't think you are intellectually inadequate, Akenaton. Therefore I think you are being provocatively disingenuous. As I'm sure you're aware, words change their meanings over time. Calling someone a 'fucking cunt' is not (usually) a sexual reference, but simply an insult, devoid of semantic content. Calling someone a 'bastard' is not (usually) a reference to a person's immediate lineage, but is simply a word to stress that that person is not particularly nice. And to get back on topic, I wouldn't dream of using those words in a folk club, but have no problem using them in an ad hoc discussion on sociolinguistics. That being said, I'm rather bored with this now, so I'm out.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 31 May 20 - 11:20 AM

Sorry Gordon, getting my Steves and Gordons all mixed up...don't know if my arsehole's punched or bored now!    Nicely put Sir, and I didn't mean to imply that you were at all inadequate.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 03:31 AM

"I just think it's very lazy speech,"
On the contrary - it is extremely - sometimes too robust
The beauty of out languages is their richness and scope, ranging from strongly the 'in your face' unsubtlty of songs, from:

Th'owd chap came ower t' bank, bawling for his tea,
Saw a pair o' mucky clogs where his owd clogs should be,
Come here wife, come here wife, what's this here! see?
How come this mucky pair o' clogs where my owd clogs should be?
Y'owd bugger, ye daft bugger, can't you plainly see?
Them's just a couple of pickle-jars me owd mam sent to me,
I've been ower hills and dales, me lass,
And many a grassy moor,
But girt hob-nails on a pickle-jar I've never seen before

Th'owd chap came ower t' bank, bawling for his tea,
Saw a coat on back o' t' door, where his owd coat should be,
Come here wife, come here wife, what's this here I see?
How come this coat on t’ back o' tf door, where my owd coat should be?
Y'owd bugger, ye daft bugger, can't you plainly see?
That's just an owd dish-clout me old mam sent to me.
I've Been Ower Hills And Dales, Me Lass,
And Many A Grassy Moor,
But Buttons On A Dish-Clout I've Never Seen Before.

Th'owd chap came ower t' bank, bawling for his tea,
Saw a head on t' pillow where his owd head should be,
Come here wife, come here wife, what’s this here I see?
How come this head on t' pillow, where my owd head shoald be?
Y’owd bugger, ye daft bugger, can't you plainly see?
That's just a home-grown turnip me owd mam sent to me.
I've been ower hills and dales, me lass,
And many a grassy moor,
But girt big teeth in a turnip I've neves seen before.

Th'owd chap came ower t' bank, bawling for his tea,
Saw a pair of hairy cods where his own cods shoald be.
Come here wife, come here wife, what's this here I see?
How come this pair of hairy cods where my own cods shoald be ?
Y”owd bugger, ye daft bugger, can’t yoa plainly see?
That's just a couple of home-grown spuds me owd mam sent to me.
I've been ower hills and dales, me lass,
And many a grassy moor,
But home-grown spuds with hairs on
I've never seen before.

Th' owd chap came ower t' bank, bawling for his tea,
Saw a girt big standing prick where his owd prick should be,
Come here wife, come here wife, what’s this here I see?
How come this girt big standing prick where my owd prick should be?
Y'owd bugger, ye daft bugger, can't you plainly see?
That's just a home-grown carrot me owd mam sent to me.
I've been ower hills and dales, me lass,
And many a grassy moor,
But a carrot diggin' a great big hole I’ve never seen before.

....to Ophelia's "nothing" (between her legs)
Both are considered obscene to some - I think they have their own strengths and beauty, while at the same time being precise and very visual
Much of our folk vernacular is based on the ability to shock - particularly its narrative humour

Irish society was strictly controlled up to comparatively recently thanks to the influence of The Church (now very much weakened by the revelations of widespread child rape covered up, probably for well over a century, by the hierarchy)
It is refreshing to see changes we believed would never come about
Shortly after we moved here over 20 years ago we went to see a short film (now, in my opinion, regarded a classic)
It ran for about ten minutes and was totally silent, it depicted a schoolteacher entering a classroom to find someone had scrawled on the board; "MR CASEY IS A CNUT"
Furously he searches out the culprit and when he discovers the culprit, drags him to the front of the class and forces him to write the sentence over and over again in the hope the child gets the spelling right - he fails to
I despair, the teacher grabs the chalk, cleans off what the child has written and scrawls in high letters, "MR CASEY IS A CUNT" - just as the Mother Superior headmistress of the school walks though the door - the nun collapses in horror
That, for me, is bawdy humour at its very best
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: r.padgett
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 07:57 AM

Above seems to have a "7 Drunken nights" connection, no doubt!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 08:09 AM

Well,

that connection must have taken a lot of working out.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 08:17 AM

"Above seems to have a "7 Drunken nights" connection, no doubt!"
I's a Lancashire version from Beckett Whitehead, presumably sat on by the BBC
It came from a file in Ewan and Peggy's home that were remembered to have been collected by Ewan and Joan Littlewood in the 1940s for a programme entitled 'The Song Hunters' - I wouldn't think the BBC allowed it's use, there are no recordings of te Programme existing
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 08:53 AM

Well that song is indeed bawdy, but manages to make its point without any Fs or Cs, but plenty of innuendo.
I think Brian Peters also has a version which has only 6 nights in it (the 7th left to the imagination??)

I was going to mention "bugger" earlier on: I was told it was a swear word when I was a kid and not to use it, but then, that it was a term of endearment in Norfolk and other areas - as in "ee's a roight good ol' bugger". And then there's the other meaning...


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 09:16 AM

I assume you're a scot from your chosen identy Tattie (could be wrong - maybe you have trouble finding a good hairdresser (-: )
I I put Burns's ' 'Wad You do That' up earlier - do you find that offensive?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 10:02 AM

Scots by birth and country I've lived in for over 30 years, but spent the other half of my life in England, Jim.
I do need a haircut, but then so does most of the population since lockdown! (If they still have hair to cut!)

I'm a big fan of Burns' poetry and song, and have heard seen and heard at least some of the Merry Muses performed. No, I wouldn't find that poem offensive, nor the other alternative version of "John Anderson, My Jo" but they would be unlikely to be sung in the middle of an average folk club night: more likely reserved for the Burns season (which here goes on for about 6 weeks from soon after Hogmanay until near end of February!)
My husband belongs to a couple of all-male Burns clubs, where such songs maybe get more of a regular airing than they do in mixed company, although I have several female friends who sing that other John Anderson with great relish! Not one I do myself, but not for any prudish reasons - just that I know others do it better.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,big al whittle
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 10:39 AM

last week i had this idea about a George Formby that didn't bugger about with double entendres.


https://soundcloud.com/denise_whittle/sam-sam-the-lavatory-man


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 10:48 AM

"My Jo" but they would be unlikely to be sung in the middle of an average folk club night"
That may be true - I believe it to be a pity if it is
WE hared it regularly because Ewan sang it whenever he felt like it - I can never remember anybody protesting or walking out in disgust - but The Singers' was a serious folk club and recognised as such, which is why we ot loads of young students from he States I'm not suggesting for a minute that singers should nip down to their local Care Home to entertain the residents with these songs but I do belive we should ask ourselves is it us or them that have the problems
I'e told the story far too often, but I remember being told by Ewan how, when he first sang long ballads in public he worried about "putting the audience off"
He used to sing 'Gil Morris in two halved until an irate regular told him, "it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop"
It transpired he was far more worried about long ballads than they were
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 01:42 PM

No, I don't have a problem with people singing these songs per se, or per anything. That's as they were written.
But going back to the original remit of the thread, I see no place for liberally peppering on-stage "banter" with multiple Fs or Cs. That's what I meant by "lazy".


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 03:29 AM

I meant to reply to this last but retied from the garden one of the walking wounded
"banter"
To a degree, this has always been been a part of some performers performance - (others chose to chuck-up over the front row of the audience) - I never remember foul-mouthedness, but bawdy innuendo is part of out traditions
What did disturb me was when the clubs became refuges for fourth rate would-be comedians not good enough to make in on the Working-mans club scene - robust (I refuse to call dictionary-based words that have been part of our vocabulary, "foul") language became a part of this, but, after 'Lady Chatterly' that was general - the language was out in the open, whereas, previously society had driven it underground
You only need to look into what was happening in real life in stiff-necked Victorian Society where socail reformers were using the children they were 'saving' prostitutes and to condemn a child to the care of the church was to plunge him or hear into a woerld of institutionalised violence and debauchery - that continued until it was finally exposed in the latter half of the twentieth century and is not yet fully understood

I served the first five years of my working life on the Liverpool docks, where such language was almost obligatory if you ere to be fully accepted; I wouldn't use it at home because my parents had been conditioned by the church not to use it, but they were both aawre of it and both, in their different ways, even respected
My mother was a gentle, humourous and totally inoffensive woman who, when you asked what was for dinner, would reply when under pressure, "Cow's cock and hairy bacon"
When I took my first teetering steps as a singer she heard me practicing and said, "If you were singing for shit, you would't get the smell of it" (she lived long enough (just) to quite like it and come out to listen to me)
My dad adored and even studied the rich variation of our language (he was a navvy who spent his life where the air was permanently blue)
It was he who pointed out the meaning and significance of 'Ophelia's "nothing"'

This 'foul' language is a part of what we are and where we have been - I believe it only becomes 'bad' when it is used unnecessarily gratuitously, or when it is used to insult and demean - 'shocking' people is part of our culture, particularly through humour (It's well worth reading what Gershon Legman had to say about it - or working your way through he two Vance Randolph books)

That it is 'always with us' was driven home to me one night in our local pub in Kirkby (Liverpool) when I sat near to a middle-aged couple of regulars - usually quiet and reserved - and particularly 'well-spoken'
They were quietly having a blazind domestic row under their breaths, when suddenly she said audibly enough for everyone to hear, "All you ever think of is your belly and what hangs under it" - I don't think you can beat that as a put-down
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 04:15 AM

I think Tattie Bogle is quite correct. The words themselves are perfectly valid......the trouble arises when these words are used as terms of abuse or as Tattie pointed out as shock tactics by some on stage performers.   Jim speculates that these words are in every day usage among working class people, but thankfully that usage is diminishing, but in so called modern comedy the misuse of language is increasing alarmingly.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 04:29 AM

You have no idea whether or not it is diminishing Ake - there are no reports of this or maybe you can link us to some
Our personal experience of it is no guide - it's is now generally used on respectable and widely viewed programmes like Q.I. and 'Have I Got News For You - sometimes with a bleep, sometimes not, but like the 'Little People' in Ireland, "they're there just the same"
We are now experiencing a blast of fresh air running through everyday things that were once taboo - it becomes part of progress
A SONG FROM THE DARK DAYS when hypocrisy ruled OK
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 05:07 AM

No I am not looking for an argument but is this an example of singers singing songs from their own culture in their own language?

Bearing in mind Peggy's reaction to a Londoner's attempt to sing a song from the American South many years back I wonder how she could do this with a straight face.

Is that the hypocrisy that you refer to Jim?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 05:52 AM

"singing songs from their own culture in their own language?
Wrong again on all counts
Peggy reacted in exactly the same way to an East end lad trying to sound like black chain gang convict as Alan Lomax did when he turned up and heard Ewan and Bert trying to sound like Woodie and Big Bill - he demanded to know what they were doing about their own beautiful repertoire of native songs
Ewan and Bert took it seriously and the revival flourished as did our understanding and enjoyment of our native cultures despite the Joanie clones and Bobby bleaters
The policy was never an expectation for anybody other than Singers club members - it was formally accepted by the Audience Committee - thank Christ it was otherwise we'd be inundated by mid Atlantic accents
It was never a case of regional accents - I sing songs from Sunderland to East Sussex - even from Scotland and Ireland when I can Anglicise them,   as did Ewan, Carthy - and every revival singer I knew
Peggy sang in a 'neutral American' accent' - she still does with her traditional material

What on earth is hypocritical about that ?
This has no lace here and should stop now, but I hpe these ostings are left intact to save me the trouble of having to repeat them AGAIN
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 06:34 AM

I suspect that I am much closer to my working class roots than you are Jim, being still "on the tools" and mixing with large numbers of building trade operatives on a daily basis.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive)
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 10:05 AM

Ake
A succinct and balanced comment

The people who worked, and still do, in the shipyards and building trades in Scotland are certainly respected for "keepin a civil tongue in their heids" rather than the foul mouthed "would be" bully boys and barrack room lawyers. From personal experience it is the same in all parts of the British Isles and further abroad.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 10:16 AM

Jim,

I clicked on the link in your posting. Have to admit that I couldn't listen all the way through. I just found the singing laughable.

Different strokes for different folks.

Read your last line above. Does that statement make sense?

As for having to repeat things it might help if you didn't insist on always putting down observations made by people who were regularly in the presence of E & P in the late fifties early sixties before the existence of the Singers Club. AND before your involvement.

Wishing you a happy lock down.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 11:34 AM

"I just found the singing laughable."
I'm sure you did Hoot - I would have been disappointed if you liked it
Can't make out why it's still available 60 odd years after it was made and half that long since the death of the singer - nowt as queer as folk eh?
" "keepin a civil tongue in their heids"
Mustst be a different crowd than those I worked with on the Liverpool docks
I spent a great deal of drinking time with an Glaswegian ex-shipyard worker named Jimmy Reid at one time he was a bit of a 'barrack-room lawyer' who would't bare his bum for the bosses and he told a mean dirty joke   
Takes all sorts
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 11:40 AM

If people don't think words have specific meaning, or only meanings they alone understand, then good luck ordering from a takeaway.

' “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.” '


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 01:57 PM

Yes Starship, but most words have a specific meaning especially when applied to material things, or actions. There are a whole list of words which have had their meaning changed to serve a political purpose over the last twenty years. My point regarding music, poetry and the performing arts is that specific words describing femininity, the sexual act, and people who through no fault of their own find themselves fatherless, are being used by performers either to create a shock effect or as terms of vicious abuse. Using these words in such a manner is insulting in the extreme.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 02:02 PM

I suspect Burns in the Merry Muses was employing much the same tactics as the so called comedians and entertainers of the 21st century.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 02:02 PM

Never met Jimmy Reid, did he not become Labour party MP? but did know his wife and sister-in-law, used to give them bookings.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive)
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 02:13 PM

To add a source of humour for those who like that sort of thing

Im sorry I hav'nt a Clue BBC Radio Programme

Old words Redefined ….. worth waiting for


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 04:05 PM

It becomes pointless whan people decide to be judge, jury and executioner to a laughably developed to serve the funtion of ordinary people and refuse to justify why
Mary Whitehouse would have married you pair and had your babies without a second thought
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Paul Reade
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 05:25 PM

I think this is an age thing. The bus I used to get to work every morning was full of school children, probably 6th formers, and the language, from both boys and girls, was full of "f*****g", c**t etc.- just seemed part of their normal speech.

The thing that puzzled me was … what on earth do they say if they want to swear?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 05:34 PM

I think they resort to Latin et irrumabo eruit.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 03:36 AM

Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.

— Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, British philosopher
?
George Bernard Shaw        Vulgarity is a necessary part of a complete author's equipment; and the clown is sometimes the best part of the circus.

— George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Foul language is the prerogative of   a Bird Brain, Dick Miles 2020


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 04:16 AM

"Foul language is the prerogative of   a Bird Brain, Dick Miles 2020"
Wouldn't say you were a bird-brain Dick, but I don't agree with you
You do realise ou are saying the opposite of Shaw, don't you
Paul Reade hits te nail square on the head - gratuitous swearing is useful words being wasted by being used badly

Some vintage 'filth' from THE master of the art, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester - well worth digging out to see how 'bad language' can be used to cover every subject, including politics

From 'The Mock Song [1680]

Were all my body larded o'r
With das of love so thick,
That you might find in every pore
A well-stuck standing prick,
Whilst yet my eyes alone were free,
My heart would never doubt.
In amorous rage and ecstasy, *
To wish those eyes, to wish those eyes fucked out.”

On Cary Frazier" [?1677]
Cary Frazier, Maid of Honor to Queen Catherine and a celebrated beauty of the Court of Charles II, was the daughter of Sir Alexander Frazier, the King’s principal physician. Her mother was one of the Queen’s Dressers.

Her father gave her dildoes six
Her mother made ’em up a score
But she loves nought but living pricks,
And swears by God she’ll frig no more.

On 'Mrs. Willis (Sept 1680 [Uncertain]

Against the charms our ballocks have
How weak all human skill is,
Since they can make a man a slave
To such a bitch as Willis

Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 05:29 AM

"Starship" mentioned Latin, which I did for a year at secondary school. I got into trouble once when I was asked to translate into Latin "They lead" - ( "third-person plural present active indicative)*"
[ * - I had to look this up to check ]


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 06:25 AM

I just thought it was a god one liner


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 08:30 AM

"I just thought it was a go(o)d one liner"
It was Dick, Shaw was renowned for them, but it needs to be remembered he wasn't always serious
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 02:29 PM

What did Francis Drake drake say to the Doctor , I could do with a Daffy Duck.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 12:00 PM

I think twice before swearing in a sing around. On stage, it is a tool that when used appropriately and seldom, can be most effective.

At home I'm a foul mouthed fucker though....


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,GuestTF
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 10:50 AM

Akenaton, I worked with Hamish a lot. That parody of 'Black Velvet Band' finished with 'Held up by a big navvy's haun'. I never heard him say 'darkie's'.
As an aside I also did a couple of performances of 'The Merry Muses' with Fred freeman. Bit difficult to avoid swearies in that.


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Jun 20 - 05:45 PM

"Vulgarity is the garlic in the salad of taste."


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 07:47 AM

Well Guest TF, Hamish had a few versions of that parody, I definitely heard both mentioned, the former being in the days of the American occupation of Holy Loch an occupation which Hamish was very much against. Perhaps you did not know him back then, but "Darkie" was not considered abusive in these days, whereas the use of "black" to describe African American negros certainly was! I never saw anybody take offence at anything Hamish sang he was such a big hearted character.
Maybe present day navvies might object to being thought of as mindless oafs?


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 08:09 AM

" but "Darkie" was not considered abusive in these days, "
Not in certain quarters but generally it has always been regarded as abusive when applied to the colour of people's skin
It had a wider use, of course
Jim


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Subject: RE: Foul-mouthed Folkies
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 Jun 20 - 11:39 AM

In about 1960 I heard Peggy Seeger swearing in the Green Room at Hamilton Folk Club, in the days when Tommy Kearney used to run it. Now I was brought up around men who used swear words like punctuation, but women swearing was a different thing, it wasn't common, but the women who did it were considered to be so. It put me off Peggy, and to this day, I still hate to hear women curse and swear, just a bit old fashioned I suppose. Last time I worked in an office which was about 13 years ago, the girls in there were just as bad as the men for swearing, I hated it.


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