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Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???

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Rebel135 16 May 01 - 12:28 AM
SeanM 16 May 01 - 12:54 AM
Sorcha 16 May 01 - 12:55 AM
Chanteyranger 16 May 01 - 03:11 AM
Banjer 16 May 01 - 03:18 AM
Lyndi-loo 16 May 01 - 04:48 AM
English Jon 16 May 01 - 05:02 AM
paddymac 16 May 01 - 05:19 AM
sophocleese 16 May 01 - 07:57 AM
Charley Noble 16 May 01 - 09:05 AM
Murray MacLeod 16 May 01 - 09:19 AM
Whistle Stop 16 May 01 - 09:20 AM
KingBrilliant 16 May 01 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Midchuck upstairs 16 May 01 - 09:25 AM
Kim C 16 May 01 - 09:52 AM
Murray MacLeod 16 May 01 - 10:06 AM
BobP 16 May 01 - 10:11 AM
Lyndi-loo 16 May 01 - 10:32 AM
Uncle_DaveO 16 May 01 - 11:41 AM
Clinton Hammond 16 May 01 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 16 May 01 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Midchuck upstairs 16 May 01 - 12:48 PM
mousethief 16 May 01 - 01:02 PM
Kim C 16 May 01 - 01:04 PM
Jim Dixon 16 May 01 - 01:35 PM
Irish sergeant 16 May 01 - 09:36 PM
Bill D 16 May 01 - 10:50 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 16 May 01 - 10:57 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 16 May 01 - 11:05 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 May 01 - 11:20 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 16 May 01 - 11:22 PM
ddw 16 May 01 - 11:24 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 May 01 - 11:41 PM
MARINER 17 May 01 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 17 May 01 - 05:18 PM
Chicken Charlie 17 May 01 - 05:19 PM
Charley Noble 17 May 01 - 05:32 PM
DougR 17 May 01 - 05:33 PM
Chicken Charlie 17 May 01 - 06:06 PM
DougR 17 May 01 - 06:19 PM
Art Thieme 17 May 01 - 06:26 PM
DougR 17 May 01 - 06:44 PM
Art Thieme 17 May 01 - 07:16 PM
dick greenhaus 17 May 01 - 09:23 PM
SeanM 17 May 01 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,The Rebel135 18 May 01 - 02:07 AM
DougR 18 May 01 - 03:31 AM
Whistle Stop 18 May 01 - 08:25 AM
Midchuck 18 May 01 - 08:51 AM
Whistle Stop 18 May 01 - 03:13 PM
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Subject: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Rebel135
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:28 AM

Im a free think, remember George Washington was always considered the "The First Rebel" and I have pondered over this question.

Are some songs so politically incorrect that they should never be heard again??

In the sound track of the movie, Cabaret the Song Tomorrow Belongs To Me Stands Out.

It is a beautiful Song that is conected with a hideous evil. If you remember its sung on a Beautiful Day at a German Beergarten,when a single Singer Sings in a Clear Voice.

The Stag In the Forrest...

Consider. The most polular Song of the Spanish American War among American Troops in the Phillipines was a song sung to the tune of

Tramp Tramp The Boys Are Marching.

It Was Called Damm Damm The Filipinos

The song expressed the opinion of the rank and file American Solider who was sweating and dying in a jungle war to find and stamp out the Rebels and Insurgents who were fighting first against the Spanish and then the Americans.

There are many others.

My question is, are we intellectual mature enough to record and listen to songs that in their day reflected the moods and views that we find offensive.

And what about.... Springtime for Hitler?????????? When it First came out as a movie some people and critics were appalled. Now thirty years later its gone on to become a hit musical. But what about the music??

Grins Always....

Rebel


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: SeanM
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:54 AM

Yes. Preserve the music. The old saying "He who forgets history is doomed to repeat it" cuts in SO many ways.

If you remove the music that represents the period, you remove one of the major contexts that the 'abhorrent' behavior sprang from, and render it that much more abstract and eventually irrelevant to present day study.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:55 AM

Yes. "Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 16 May 01 - 03:11 AM

What's important is that songs articulated the feelings of people at particular times and in particular circumstances. They are windows into the past, as sordid as that past sometimes is, and it would be a crime to whitewash them out of history. I also second SeanM and Sorcha's motion.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Banjer
Date: 16 May 01 - 03:18 AM

As with anything historical, they should be preserved, if for no other reason than to serve as a bad example.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 16 May 01 - 04:48 AM

Totally agree with chanteyranger. O tempora o mores. To alter things because they do not agree with modern thinking would be to wipe out the truth and would present an extremely revisionist view of the past. Cf The Ministry of truth in Orwell's 1984


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: English Jon
Date: 16 May 01 - 05:02 AM

Springtime for hitler was a lampoon. In Mel Brooks film "The Producers", a tax inspector accidentaly discovers that you could actually make more out of a show failing, than being a sucess, so they hunt for the worst musical they can find. "Springtime for H" is put on, unfortunately, the production is so bad that everyone thinks it's splendid irony, and the show is a hit... etc


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: paddymac
Date: 16 May 01 - 05:19 AM

Preserved? Yes, of course. Flaunted, under the guise of preservation? I wouldn't think so, but then, I'm not "everybody". Most often, it's a particular set of lyrics that people object to, but sometimes the melody itself carries associations that some people find objectionable. Take "Garry Owen" as an example - a great tune before it was adopted as a regimental air by the 7th Cavalry, and still a great tune, but there are folks who object to it because of its association (in their minds, at least) with the undeniably racist attitudes of the US government as regarded the pre-Columbian settlers of the continent. It wasn't adopted by the regiment "because" it was racist, but because it was a popular tune that reflected the ethnic heritage of a large part of the men in the unit. End of oration. I'll put the soapbox back in the closet (until the next time, anyway).


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: sophocleese
Date: 16 May 01 - 07:57 AM

Certainly preserve songs. Tunes can be sung to different words. A fun example was when my husbands aunt was appalled, at a family gathering, when another uncle started playing Redwing. She only knew it as a song with very naughty words which she still hasn't shared with anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:05 AM

Well, I would still pick and choose my audience before singing one of these "endangered" songs, and I'd work on the introduction to try to set it in context. So, let's see, what kind of introduction do I need before singing "The Old She-Crab" next Sunday at the Portland Public Market Sea Food Festival...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:19 AM

Mmmm, I don't know. There are some blues songs that are so outrageously sexist that even I baulk at singing them. Blind Blake's "Early Morning Blues" comes to mind. It contains the memorable line "The day you leave me , Momma, that's the day you die".

Also, although I realise the chanty singers would disagree, I have never felt comfortable singing whaling songs.

And I am about as un-PC as you get.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:20 AM

Some sensitivity is certainly in order, but unfortunately a lot of the world's great music has been co-opted in support of pretty awful things. The Nazis provide one of the biggest examples of this -- their movement had a built-in soundtrack, everything from "Deutschland Uber Alles" (a profoundly beautiful tune by Haydn, I believe) to the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner. Of course, most of this doesn't contain objectionable lyrics, which can be hard to ignore sometimes. I'd say preserve it all (you preservationists out there), but consider your audience before you sing something too insulting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:24 AM

Where or if to draw a line, eh? I expect there could be songs that I would want to disappear - there must be songs so foul that I would want them to die. I suppose we all draw our own personal lines & there will be songs that I would rather preserve that someone else would feel too apalling to be kept & vice versa. So I guess my opinion is that one should help to preserve & pass on whatever one feels is worth preserving & that one shouldn't expect to be able to prevent anyone else doing the same.
I'd reserve the right to make my opinion known though.

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: GUEST,Midchuck upstairs
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:25 AM

Well, I think we should certainly stamp out anything in the past that doesn't conform to enlightened present thought.

Ernest Hemingway once said, I believe, that American literature really began with "Huckleberry Finn." But that novel uses the "N Word" throughout, so it should be outlawed.

In Victorian times, people didn't want Shakespeare published because it had sex and dirty words. Now that's fine, but Gawd forbid anyone should want to perform "The Merchant of Venice." Sheer anti-semitic propaganda!

And how about a public document that says: "He (the King of England) has...endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." Obviously, any writing containing such a slander of "...the pre-Columbian settlers of the Continent..") (gag me with a spoon!) should be stricken utterly from the archives.

Songs are only a small part of the problem! Any writing or speech that in any way suggests that any difference whatever exists between any people whatever, must be stamped out, so that we can become an utterly homogenous mass, like one big amoeba...

Bleaaahhhhh!

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Kim C
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:52 AM

Preserve, yes. Perform? Well, it depends on your audience. But I agree with all who have said that music reflects the attitudes of a particular time period, and if we do away with the songs, we're missing something. That doesn't mean you have to go around singing something that might make you, or a listener, uncomfortable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:06 AM

The thought has just occurred to me that if any enterprising singer ever got round to recording a CD comprised solely of the most politically incorrect songs of all time, ir would sell like hotcakes. I mean, can you imagine all the free publicity ? Hell, maybe I will do it myself, purely as an academic project, you understand.

But which songs to include? "Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Anymore", would have to be included. Anything by Stephen Foster which mentions "darkies" would be good, the aforementioned "Early Morning Blues", the whaling song "Ballena". Anything else spring to mind?

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: BobP
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:11 AM

Un-PC songs are being trashed even as we speak.

Steven Foster's stuff is loaded with offensive commentary; according to some standards.

Social sentiments expressed in Irish and Scottish ballads will come under increased scrutiny as li'l minds continue to take over (the meek shall . . . ?).

Doesn't "Star of the County Down " concern a plan to plant a bride (permanently, I expect) in front of a fireplace? How's that for a candidate for the heap? I could go on all day (all year perhaps).

Dangerous contraction of free expression didn't vanish with the fall of Germany's National Socialists; The Nazi spirit remains alive and well. There are folks who would gladly control what you eat, think, say, do and sing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:32 AM

Most of Robert Burns would have to go (especially the collection of the Merry Muses)


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:41 AM

Midchuck, while I could plainly see the lump of tongue in your cheek, your reference to Merchant of Venice prompts me to comment.

While the contemporary view of Jews as the background of Merchant of Venice is negative, it seems to me that the role of Shylock is best understood as positive. He's a rough, aggressive businessman, without question, but very human, clearly tortured by the hostile discrimination to which he's subject. Altogether one of the best, richest roles in Shakespeare, to my mind, and if acted right, very sympathetic.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:46 AM

*walks by singing*

"Sometimes I park in handicapped spaces
while handicapped people make handicapped faces
I'm an asshole a-yodie-o a-yodie-o a-yodie-o"

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:02 PM

Naturally we should preserve these songs... but perform and broadcast? It depends on the context. As a radio host, I try to be very careful and explain the original context. Stephen Foster's dialect songs for instance. However there is a fine line between preserving and exploiting.

I find it fascinating to go to a museum and examining medieval suits of armor and all the gruesome weapons. I certainly wouldn't want get one for my own and wear it the next time I walk into Stop & Shop to pick up a gallon of milk. Learn from the past, live in the present.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: GUEST,Midchuck upstairs
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:48 PM

While the contemporary view of Jews as the background of Merchant of Venice is negative, it seems to me that the role of Shylock is best understood as positive. He's a rough, aggressive businessman, without question, but very human, clearly tortured by the hostile discrimination to which he's subject. Altogether one of the best, richest roles in Shakespeare, to my mind, and if acted right, very sympathetic.

I agree completely. I've seen similiar analyses from others, some of whom were Jewish.

It just isn't very politically correct, is all.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: mousethief
Date: 16 May 01 - 01:02 PM

Yes, they should be preserved. Performed is another question.

I forget who said it,but I love it: History doesn't repeat itself. But it rhymes.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Kim C
Date: 16 May 01 - 01:04 PM

what about "Sioux City Sue" where it says something about roping and branding the gal? Abuse!

Interesting commentary on Shylock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 May 01 - 01:35 PM

I have some opinions about this question, but I don't like to repeat myself.

We've covered some of this same ground in the threads called Help: 'Coon Songs' Your Thoughts About Them, For Timehiker's Class 'Coon Songs' Two, and Help: Advice Please?. You can find my contributions here and here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 16 May 01 - 09:36 PM

Definately preserve. Perform if by doing so you can shed historical knowledge. Explain why you're performing the song. I find this quest for "Political Correctness' a guise with which to stifle the intellectual freedom of the people. Yes it is wrong to use the "N word" (Or any other such ethnically derogitory term) this comes under the heading of manners. If you're ignorant enough to use such, then you're not going to care about "PC" anyway. If you're not why should you not be able to check "Huckleberry Finn" or Tom Sawyer" from the library? I balk at the attempted censorship implied by the political correctness movement. Bigotry will only die by a free and open exchange of ideas not by enforced ettiquette lessons. Long live the freedom to speak your mind! Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Bill D
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:50 PM

Bok, Trickett and Muir once introduced a song ("The Middle Class Life is the Best of All") by saying...."you don't have to believe everything you sing"

it allows me to sing gospel, and "Charlotte, the Harlot" and sea chanties...
almost every 'good' song can be sung somewhere if you know your audience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:57 PM

To the "Mexican Hat Dance " Melody", being that this is a scholarly endeavor,(sure it is)

I DIDN'T WRITE THIS, AND I DON'T PERFORM IT IN PUBLIC.

Shut up! Shut up ! Shut up!, Shut up and get on the bus.
Shut up!, Shut up! Shut up ! Shut up and get on the bus.

(Refrain) Illegal Mexican Alien, shut up and get on the bus!. Illegal Mexican Alien, Shut up and get on the bus.

Illegal Limey Alien, shut up and get on the plane, Illegal Limey Alien, shut up and get on the plane. (modify 1st verse to say, (Shut up and get on the plane)

Illegal Canadian Alien, shut up and get back in your car.

Illegal Cuban Alien, shut up and get on the boat.

Illegalk German (or Japanese) Alien, shut up and get on the Concorde. etc. etc.

Well, you asked!!

Here're a couple of very very good melodies for instrumental, but the words are , In my opinion, very insulting You can change, "Darktown" to Uptown", I guess" and work your way around the "Coon" and opther ethnic slurrs in The Georgia camp meeting. Darktown Strutter Ball is in the digitrad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:05 PM

Ola, Mexicanos, amigo. Hagame usted al favor de "Don't bust my chops. "La verdad es, eso es un chiste. Hablo espanol con accento Italiano. OK?

A sus servidad

El "cranky Gringo"

Pepe Gibson


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:20 PM

Cranky Yankee, what drugs are they doing a discount on these days in New England ?

Murray


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Subject: Lyr Add: A GEORGIA CAMP MEETING^^
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:22 PM

A Georgia Camp Meeting. (Great Instrumental) My dad used to sing this and I KNOW he was not a bigot. Maybe condescending, but not a bigor.

A meeting took place by the Colored Race
Way down in Georgia.
There were Coons large and small, lanky, lean, fat and tall.
At that old coon camp meeting.
When Church was out, how the Brothers did shout,
They were so happy

But they quit all their cryin, weepin' and a-sighin' and hired a big brass band.

And when that band of darkies began to play, pretty music so gay
Hats were thrown away
How they danced and strutted the night away,
And Then they quit all their talkin, and went a-walking

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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: ddw
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:24 PM

I guess I'm squarely in the preservationist camp on this one, but I agree on picking your audience and explaining the context of the song/play/poem.

On the way to work today I was listening to a Sonny Boy Williamson II song that contained a verse:

Whup her when she need it, the judge will not let you explain
Whup her when she need, the judge will not let you explain
Because he believe in justice
And a woman is the glory of a man.

It's a great tune, partly because it shows the rough-and-tumble lifestyle that spawned a lot of the blues. I'm not sure when it was recorded — I made a mental not to look that up when I get home; I suspect pre-1950 — but with a proper introduction it could be a fine example of exactly why the anti-abuse laws of today were necessary.

It also makes a platform for commenting on both the "progressive" attitude of the judge and the fact that SBW could expect harsh treatment for something the same judge would turn a blind eye to if he weren't black.

Losing the likes of that song as a demonstration of the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't kind of things African-Amercians faced for decades would be a real loss — probably worse than the loss of more open protests like Big Bill Broonzy's

If you're white, you're all right
If y ou're brown, stick around
But if you're black, oh buddy
Get back, get back, get back.

One last observation and then I'll get off the box — I wonder if the proponants of PC, who will tell you very quickly what they find offensive, ever twig on the fact that some people find their revisionist attitudes equally offensive?

Keep it all, I say — just make sure you and anyone you show it to understand exactly what it is....

cheers

david


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:41 PM

What we are talking about here is performance of songs, right? Otherwise the discussion has no meaning.

Performance requires an audience. Audiences do not want to feel uneasy, therefore there is no need to perform songs which cause embarrassment. (Some performers are of course unable to detect embarrassment).

So we reserve the racist, sexist and anti-environmentalist songs for when we are doing a gig playing for the "Society of Historians Who Want to Hear Songs Which Wouldn't Normally Be Acceptable, But Which We Want to Hear Anyway"

There are thousands of great songs which are NOT offensive. Why agonize over the few which are ? Folksingers are entertainers, not friggin' missionaries.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Preserve 'Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: MARINER
Date: 17 May 01 - 01:39 PM

I'm glad the concensus seems to be to preserve Politically Incorrect songs. With that in mind, could someone please post the words of Maclean and Maclean's "Dolly Partons Tits"?


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 01 - 05:18 PM

Sophocleese: These are the "alternate" words to Red Wing. What amazes me is that your aunt didn't know that the song was a very popular love song in the 20's & 30's... part of what makes the parody so stinging !

There once was an Indian maid
A shy little prairie maid
Who lay on her back in a little tin shack
And let the cowboys tickle her crack
So she wasn't at all surprised
When her belly began to rise
And out of her cunt came a bowlegged runt
With his ass between his eyes !


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 17 May 01 - 05:19 PM

You mean this whole thing was just a carefully planned cover to get some T&A?? Well, that saves me from repeating a three page treatise on how, if we allow accordion players to perform, we certainly shouldn't balk at PI songs.

Seriously, preserve of course. That's our right. Then be careful how you use that right. Did this gig once where my group SANG "Little Log Cabin" instead of just playing it. I did this wonderfully sensitive intro all about the language, and what was going on in the song, and all that right-now stuff, and then we started. Long about the second chorus, a Black man who had not gotten the benefit of our wonderful enlightenment walked in on

"Used to hear them Darkies singin' round the ol' banjo...."

and walked right back out again. When Murphy meets sensitivity, anything that CAN go wrong with consciousness-raising WILL.

Weird echo thing here: I just had this very same discussion at an archivists' meeting yesterday. Somebody wanted to edit all the racist slurs out of a memoir and was advised that that should not be done, although a disclaimer should be added explaining that the memoir reflected opinions not endorsed by the holding agency, etc., etc.

CC


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 May 01 - 05:32 PM

Always admired Utah Phillip's, along with Fred Small and Charlie King, ability to confront an audience with all kinds of uncomfortable and controversal topics; he generally used humor but somewhere there was also that sharp edge of seriousness. I'm still mulling over Murray's unwillingness to make an audience "uncomfortable."


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: DougR
Date: 17 May 01 - 05:33 PM

Many of those songs were popular songs of the day. They should be preserved. I doubt the majority of them would be popular were they performed today or played on the radio. "Old Black Joe." I don't think so. Even the non-controversial songs of byegone days would likely find a difficult time making the charts these days. "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles." Nah, I don't think so.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 17 May 01 - 06:06 PM

Doug--I started to say that's an entirely different matter (i.e., charts) but it isn't. Here's the deal, though. One of the momentary pundits of our time--I think Alvin Toffler, but don't hold me to that--noted the idea of "time jump," by which he meant that Confucius and Sokrates were unknown to each other but both are known to us, and we are thereby enriched. If I recorded all the stuff Doris Day used to sing, sure, probably two CD's would sell. BUT--musically, there is something in "I'm Forever," etc. that is worth stirring into the mix of whatever we're in the process of inventing. I don't believe in radical departures; I think progress is really always incremental, halting, and much less revolutionary than we like to imagine. Therefore, the more spare parts we keep lying around the workshop, the better. I wouldn't bring back the pterodactyl, but feathers? Hmmm. Wonder what else we can do with feathers. But absolutely none of this is about the proverbial "charts."

CC


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: DougR
Date: 17 May 01 - 06:19 PM

To place a different spin on the question, who would ban the preservation of such songs anyway? What regulatory body? Sorry if I'm introducing thread creep, but I don't see any point in beginning a new thread, and I would be interested to know what folks think. I think they could answer both questions in this one thread.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 May 01 - 06:26 PM

I was asked to do a one-man workshop at a festival and it was up to me what the topic would be. I chose Politically Incorrect Songs as the name of the presentation. My idea was to take songs from my repertoire that, because of the passing of time and changing values, had become politically incorrect to at least some people---offended some other people---maybe polarized an audience as well.
All of the songs were, I thought) too good not to sing. They just had to be introduced in the right way---like Abe Lincoln did when he'd tell a story to set up a serious point he wanted to make with a lighter way of approaching the serious topic.

Here's the list I picked from just my personal song list back around 1996:

The Ballad Of Sherman Wu(from Pete Seeger)
Blow Boys Blow (whaling song)
Greenland Whalers (as above)
The Diamond (as above)
Cock Fighting Song (animal rights)
Buffalo Skinners
The Union Maid
East Of West Berlin
Tramp On The Street
East Texas Red
Blackjack County Chain (murder-revenge-violence)
The Killer (or Dobe Bill)(as above)
Louis Collins (violence)
Electric Chair Blues (from Bessie Smith)Oh The Wind And Rain (violence toward women and dismemberment--offensive to fiddle makers)
The South Coast (winning your wife in a card game)
The Ladies Auxilliary (from Woody--before women were in unions)
Old Lady That Swallowed A Fly (cruelty to animals)
The Bitter Withy (spanking children)
The Cherry Tree Carol (cruelty to trees and deceiving husbands about paternity)
Zack The Mormon Engineer (wife in every town)
Pie In The Sky When You Die (blasphemy)
Sioux Indians (self-explamatory)
We've Got Franklin D. Roosevelt Back Again (as above)
God Don't Like Ugly - Baby Your Home Is In Hell (ugly people get upset whenever I'd sing this one)

I never quit singing these. It's just how you set 'em up. And we had a fine time at the workshop extending this list.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: DougR
Date: 17 May 01 - 06:44 PM

That's great, Art. I would have liked to have attended that workshop. What was the reaction of the workshop attendees?

DougR


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 May 01 - 07:16 PM

They were all old friends who knew my work and sang along enthusiastically. We had a ball. It was an excuse to revisit the songs again. The folks came up with songs I'd forgotten I had done 30 years earlier. And it was a chance to poke fun at ourselves for being maybe off the mark a few degrees back then. Still, good song is a good song is a... I always felt a song showing that people hunted whales was a way to show we had almost caused their demise and it was good, maybe, that we'd changed. As Lenny Bruce said about Sex Education classes in the schools, "Some are against these classes, but I've always felt that a knowledge of syphillis is not a prescription for one to go out and contract it."

Art


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 May 01 - 09:23 PM

if anyone wishes only for music that reflects current sensitivities, might I suggest that folk music might be the wrong place to look?


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: SeanM
Date: 17 May 01 - 10:22 PM

I do have a question that I've seen a few times hinted at above -

How did whaling songs by their very nature become 'politically incorrect'?

I understand modern whaling being considered incorrect, but how can an industry that was absolutely vital to the Industrial Revolution be considered 'evil'?

Now... I don't defend the over-whaling that wiped out species. I also don't defend every aspect of the IR that came down the pike (Child Labor, anyone? Oh, that'll be two then, Mrs. Gifford?). But, if one is to consider anything to do with whaling as "non-pc", then I'd say anything to do with sea shanties or sailing would have to go to (they propagated the slave trade, treated sailors abysmally, engaged in child labor - and that's just the nicer sides). There goes the lumbering shanties (deforestation and habitat destruction), the miner's tales and Twain's ENTIRE writing collection (strip mining, rapine behaviours towards the earth, non-pc bigots portrayed)... The list goes on. And on. And on.

I can see where you wouldn't want to sing certain songs for certain crowds... I can't see "Greenland Fisheries" going over well at a GreenPeace rally, and some songs can be just plain offensive (see the common sense advice of 'know your audience' above). But outside those boundaries, I just can't condemn whaling songs. To me, that way lies the Luddite hordes who feel we made the first mistake by evolving out of the trees and need to return there post haste...

M


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: GUEST,The Rebel135
Date: 18 May 01 - 02:07 AM

Fred asked what regualatory body would prohibit songs.

Well in Germany its the state. Some of the songs in the Internet Data base Im sure are prohibited in Germany

The Storm Trooper Songs The Horst Wesel Leid.

Recently Yahoo bent down to International pressure and took all the sale of Nazi merchandise off its sites. I just read that in the newspaper.

France was upset tht Internet users were ablel to buy banned items on the Internet.

Dont you beleive it cant be done. Censurship is all over, some churches in my area of Washington State hold book burning parties.

Wes Prichard.... Always A Rebel


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: DougR
Date: 18 May 01 - 03:31 AM

Jeeze, Wes, that's scary. I was the one that posed the question, by the way. DougR


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:25 AM

Given Germany's history, I would find it more scary if they did NOT ban some of this stuff (the Horst Wessel Lied, swastika flags, etc.). When the fundamental message being conveyed by a song (either explicitly or implicitly) is "let's go kill the Jews and other racial inferiors," it may well be "art," but it's also a deliberate attempt to promote interracial violence. I can live with a little censorship.


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Midchuck
Date: 18 May 01 - 08:51 AM

I can live with a little censorship.

No, you can't. Because "a little censorship" is a temporary condition. Like "a little government." Or maybe "a little cancer." Once you have any, it grows.

Freedom of expression means just that. It either is or it isn't. "Freedom of expression, provided you don't say anything nasty" is an oxymoron.

But now that both the right and the left agree that there should be censorship, and disagree only on what should be censored, and only the Radical Middle is left to protect freedom of speech, it's probably doomed.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Preserve Politically Incorrect Songs???
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 18 May 01 - 03:13 PM

Well, I have certainly heard that argument before, Peter, but I respectfully disagree. Here in the US, it has long been recognized that there ARE limits to free speech, such as the oft-cited example of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. I recognize that many people feel that any attempt to limit expression is just the first step on the road to totalitarianism, but I do not share that view. There are practical constraints that societies can and do impose, so that one person's freedom does not end up restricting another's. It will always be difficult to decide where to draw that line. But to assume that, because it is difficult, it should not be done, is -- in my most humble opinion -- a cop-out.


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