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Hello...and so much for lullabies

DigiTrad:
ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES
BABY-ROCKING MEDLEY (Rosalie Sorrels)
BRAHMS' LULLABY
ROCKABYE BABY
ROCKABYE BABY (3)
ROCKABYE BABY(2)
WHAT'LL WE DO WITH THE BABY-O?


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Eldorado Girl 28 Aug 02 - 05:33 AM
Bassic 28 Aug 02 - 06:11 AM
Mary in Kentucky 28 Aug 02 - 06:33 AM
Mary in Kentucky 28 Aug 02 - 06:35 AM
Hollowfox 28 Aug 02 - 10:25 AM
MMario 28 Aug 02 - 10:31 AM
katlaughing 28 Aug 02 - 10:44 AM
Uncle_DaveO 28 Aug 02 - 10:53 AM
Eldorado Girl 28 Aug 02 - 12:33 PM
Tinker 28 Aug 02 - 12:48 PM
Mudlark 28 Aug 02 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 28 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM
harpgirl 28 Aug 02 - 01:47 PM
GUEST 28 Aug 02 - 01:56 PM
Eldorado Girl 29 Aug 02 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 29 Aug 02 - 09:02 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 02 - 10:38 AM
alanabit 29 Aug 02 - 10:56 AM
Hecate 29 Aug 02 - 11:10 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 02 - 11:31 AM
alanabit 29 Aug 02 - 01:01 PM
weepiper 29 Aug 02 - 01:40 PM
alanabit 29 Aug 02 - 02:09 PM
Deda 29 Aug 02 - 03:08 PM
Amergin 29 Aug 02 - 03:37 PM
Tinker 29 Aug 02 - 04:12 PM
Eldorado Girl 30 Aug 02 - 04:25 AM
weepiper 30 Aug 02 - 08:50 AM
alanabit 31 Aug 02 - 06:03 AM
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Subject: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Eldorado Girl
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 05:33 AM

Hello all, and greetings. New member here in sunny Edinburgh (though born and bred in Boulder, CO).

I have a four month old son who loves me to sing to him. The problem is, his favorite song happens to be Wild Bill Jones... He doesn't care a jot for Twinkle Twinkle, but I sing about murder and that ol' long-necked bottle, and he giggles himself silly. Am I going to corrupt his little mind, or am I going to produce a first-rate bluegrass singer?

Just wondering...


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Bassic
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 06:11 AM

Hello `Girl! Welcome to Mudcat from one of the Hull crowd. I shouldnt worry. Most of the children of the fans of traditional music that I know have been attending festivals and listening to our kind of music since they were in the woumb and they seem to have turned out ok. I am sure that introducing him to a traditional song at the ripe old age of 4 months will do no harm. In fact he will probably become a more critical and choosey listener as he can indicate his musical likes and dislikes to you far more effectively than an embreyo could!


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 06:33 AM

Welcome "Girl"! You might be interested in what Jean Ritchie (our own Mudcat kytrad) had to say here. I never tire of the lullaby threads, and we've had some good ones.


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 06:35 AM

(click on the thread name to see the whole thread and watch for blue clickies (links) withing the thread.)


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Hollowfox
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 10:25 AM

Welcome to the party, EG! As a mother of three (now) teenagers, I discovered (mumble) years ago that lullabies are way too short to do the job. Ballads, drinking songs, and novelty songs, sung at a soft, slow, and stately pace last longer and keep the singer from being bored. Have fun, Mary


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: MMario
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 10:31 AM

*snicker,snicker, chortle*

HF - since you told us the kids are teenagers we got a minimum figure to put with that [ mumble ]


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 10:44 AM

Is that as in Eldorado Springs? Welcome, welcome, from the Western Slope of Colorado. I'd say your son has the makings of being a fine Mudcatter, along with his mum as long as she keeps singing him those old ballads.*bg* (My Gram came to Boulder in a covered wagon!)

All the best,

kat


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 10:53 AM

Adding the usual figure for beginning childbearing capacity to the first year of teens, the threshold figure for (mumble) is 26 years old. Sorry, your secret is out!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Eldorado Girl
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 12:33 PM

Yes, Kat, it is Eldorado Springs, or was. The cabin we lived in has been knocked down to make way for some enormous monstrosity. Not that I am so nostalgic for the good old days that I miss the way our neighbor's septic tank used to overflow into our yard...I was pleased to see on my last visit back, however, that the road is still in as bad a state as ever...

Apologies to those of you who do not have the pleasure of knowing Eldorado Springs, Colorado.

Anyway, back to the subject. When I was in the hospital after Jamie was born, the other members of my band came to visit and we all stood around him singing "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby" (from the Oh Brother soundtrack). We got some pretty funny looks from the other folks in the ward, but I'll have fun telling him that story when he's older. Yes, start them young-- I agree.

Cheers for now, EG


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Tinker
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 12:48 PM

Once my four could talk, they each requested their own lullabye. The boys in particular had very eclectic taste.Desert Silvery Blue is a great little boy lullabye that one of mine latched onto it's in the forum.

But my favorite story is my oldest son's all time favorite "Runboy". Even after writing modified verses ( couldn't sing night after night about parents abandoning children and we switched the crime from murder to bank robbery -- well with Daddy being a banker they all figured that was a horrendous crime).

Anyway, we spent a week camping with college friends who had moved to Paris and were raising their two children "PROPERLY". I took a deep breath and began lullabye time... Not much privacy in a trailer and AJ wanted "his" song. The good mom showed well bred concern that we were singing this song night after night.... but a year later it was her sons first request.... He had waited a year to hear the song again ! Just keep singing...

Tinker


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Mudlark
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 12:52 PM

Welcome, Eldorado Girl. My mother sang boozy renditions of every 30's-40's pop song in her vast repertoire but I grew up a folksinger anyway...Jamie is darn lucky to have a mom in a band!


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM

I see I'll likely be the only one to come forth and say this but...

I didn't sing songs with what I considered inappropriate subject matter to my babies (four of them). I did sing some non-violent, non-"boozy" (as Mudlark put it), dreamy and comforting sounding folk songs (there are plenty which do the job well), some popular songs, but the ones my kids preferred were Christmas carols (lots of baby sleeping songs there), "What Child is This/Greensleeves" tune for lots of made up lullabies with the child's name in it, and one our kids favorite, a contemporary lullaby called "Pirate Ships" by Wendy Waldman.

I really am opposed to singing violent songs of any ilk to children, just as I am opposed to singing them drinking songs, songs about sex, etc.


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: harpgirl
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 01:47 PM

...my, my...this should be an interesting argument!


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 01:56 PM

Hmmm, harpgirl appears to be looking for guest posts, and attempting to stir up a non-existent "guest troll" controversy where none exists. Why is that harpgirl? Is this member/anon guest grudge match your idea of what you are so fond of calling "prosocial" behavior?

The original poster said:

"I sing about murder and that ol' long-necked bottle, and he (her four month old infant) giggles himself silly. Am I going to corrupt his little mind, or am I going to produce a first-rate bluegrass singer?"

Is the prosocial harpgirl subtly and indirectly suggesting that murder ballads are a perfectly appropriate and prosocial choice for lullabies for infants?


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Eldorado Girl
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 03:21 AM

"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies, ashes ashes we all fall down"...

It's about the plague, but we never knew that as kids. Or I didn't, anyway. I see both sides of this argument, but thinking about it, there are an awful lot of things I wish I could shelter my son from but know that I can't at the end of the day. I guess I'd rather try to present it all to him in a way I approve of-- i.e, through songs which actually show what comes of it all (back to Wild Bill Jones: "Today was the last of that wild Bill Jones, tomorrow will be the last of me", so that he can make his own decisions when he needs to (which might seem far away when he's four months old, but isn't really).

My parents were staunch athiests (good commies on both sides of the family), and they disapproved of me learning religious songs. I love gospel songs now, and sing Wayfaring Stranger to Jamie all the time, but I certainly don't have any faith in a God of any kind. Funny, isn't it.

EG


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 09:02 AM

Earlier this summer I was at my usual Wednesday night session, which features a mix of mainly Irish tunes with a few songs, accompanied and unaccompanied, thrown in. A young boy of about four or five (at most!) was standing listening. He suddenly announced: "I know a funny song!". Encouraged to perform, he launched off into the first few verses of the ancient scatological/bawdy song "The Crabfish"! Apparently his father (who I think was demolishing dinner in the restaurant at the back of the pub, at the time) had taught it to him. Just the first few verses...

I was delighted to see the folk process continue - and not in the least worried about the child's future!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM

I understand that people feel that if they are "passing on tradition" they feel justified in both entertaining and teaching their children with folk songs considered by many to be age inappropriate. I also don't think anyone owes me, or anyone else, an explanation for their parenting decisions and choices, as it isn't any of my business.

That said though, I also believe that passing on "traditions" mindlessly, without giving it some serious thought. I'm really against people parenting on autopilot, not challenging anything, and just doing what feels good/right at the moment, and is easiest for them.

As parents, we should always be questioning and examining what we are passing on to our children (and through them our grandchildren and future generations). We should be advocates for our children, not apologists.

I believe as parents it is our duty to take the time to reflect upon and discuss the ways we intend to raise our kids, and not just do it on the default setting. We often need to challenge the authorities who claim to know what is best for everyone's children (especially the authority figures in our lives, like our own parents), and the status quo. We have to do advocate for our kids in their schools (I'm seasoned enough in the parenting role to know there is no such thing as "a good school"), at the doctor's office, with parents of their friends, with adult members of our own families, etc.

To expound a bit further on why I'm opposed to singing violent songs to babies and children--I feel the world is deeply rooted in violence, and that as an adult and a parent, I want to actively work to change that for as many people in my world as I can. So I made a choice early on as a parent to never allow any children in my home to play with toy weapons, under any circumstance. I don't think I made a more controversial parenting choice than that one, because initially it would always leave the boys totally bewildered, disoriented, and at a loss for how to play without them, and it really pissed off the other parents, especially the mothers. I stood my ground, even at Christmas and birthday times. It sure wasn't easy, but I did it.

Now, I could have gone along to get along with other parents, family members, and the boys. It would have made my life a whole lot easier when the kids were small, because once I said "no weapons play" I had to work to get the boys to play in more positive ways socially. Which sometimes meant having to direct the play until they "got it" rather than being able to tell them to "go play". Some boys never did get it though, and would go sit off by themselves and sulk, rather than engage with the other kids. But they were few and far between, and I always had kids underfoot, and wanting to play at our house.

I even had one mother suggest, in not very pleasant terms, that I was scarring her son for life because I wouldn't allow her son to play with a toy machine gun he had just gotten on the way over to our house to play.

Each to their own, as they say. Some parents' traditions are worth challenging, like weapons play for boys was for me. I wasn't trying to tell Eldorado Girl how to parent her child. I was just sharing how I parented my kids when it came to the singing of age appropriate songs as lullabies.

I know I don't feel calmed and soothed listening to murder ballads or drinking songs. So I didn't sing them to babies and children. I think the fact that Eldorado Girl wanted to ask for other people's opinions shows that at some level, she too is wondering just how appropriate her choices are. I wouldn't expect her to get much resistance if any to her choice in this forum. But I think it would she would get a very different response in a forum about parenting.


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 10:38 AM

Eldorado Girl, I just reread your last post, and I realize I wanted to comment on something you said:

"...there are an awful lot of things I wish I could shelter my son from but know that I can't at the end of the day. I guess I'd rather try to present it all to him in a way I approve of..."

My choice to not sing violent songs and songs about drugs, sex, and alcohol was not made to protect or shield or shelter my children from anything. My choice was made very consciously, to present to my children the things I was striving to give and provide for them in my life. That includes a life free of family violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, and social violence. There is no way to shelter a child from those things if they are a part of the parent's life. If they are not a part of the parent's life, then the parent has a choice on how to present information about those things to their child.

But let us get one thing straight here. It is a parent's duty to protect their children from violence, protect them from alcoholics, from drug addicts, from violent sociopaths, so it was never a problem for me to not let my child get in a car with an adult (especially my family members!) who were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. it was never a problem for me to ask the parents of my kids friends if they had guns in the house before I would decide whether my child would be allowed to play there or spend the night.

Was that me being an over-protective parent? Was I merely "sheltering" my kids? You will form your own opinion about that.


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: alanabit
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 10:56 AM

Sure I can take toy guns away from my three year old child - but then he picks up a coat hanger and goes "Bang Bang" with that. God forbid that I ever try to censor his play - which incidentally includes dressing and undressing dolls. How much influence is this likely to have on his future? I can only guess by by own experience. As a kid I loved playing shooting games with my best friend. We both later went to a school run by the Royal Navy, where we handled real guns and shot at least three times a year. I have not handled a gun since then - over thirty years ago - and neither has my friend. We do not wish to either. Most of us know the difference between pretended and real violence. My kids' favourite song is "Froggy Went A Courting". Why? I don't know. Maybe it's because it features an unnatural marriage, a revolting meal and a violent ending...


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Hecate
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 11:10 AM

Mine hasn't got any time for lullabies either - its Byker Hill for this one, or a nice raucus shanty. You aren't alone!


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 11:31 AM

I never stopped my, or anyone else's children from going "bang, bang" and using any and all sorts of substitutes for weapons. It would have been like herding cats. But that doesn't mean I never attempted to censor their play regarding weapons. I did all the time. I made damn sure they heard from me, over and over, what guns REALLY were, and what guns REALLY did to people when they were fired at them. Dolls and doll clothes don't kill people and animals, so the suggestion that are somehow equatable is absurd. So is the suggestion that children of all ages can tell the difference between "know the difference between pretended and real violence." Children of all ages CANNOT make those distinctions, yet they often have access to weapons in their homes. Even those who can tell the difference between pretend and real, may not have the impulse control not to shoot a weapon when they get their hands on them. Your arguments strike me as dangerously naive.

What I was able to accomplish by forbidding gun play in my home was a number of things. First, when the kids played "bang, bang you're dead" they weren't doing it with toys that look like the real thing. A stick cannot shoot bullets, and so there was a disconnect between reality and play when they had to "make believe". I was also able to communicate my personal values, while giving a gun safety lesson at the same time. That lesson about guns, which is rarely presented to children, is this:

Real guns are made for one reason only: to kill people and animals. When they are fired at people or animals, the person/animal being shot at will get hurt or die.

A small child in a friend's neighborhood was killed some years back with a BB gun shot point blank into her chest by another child, who had been given the gun as a gift by his parents. There were a gang of kids present who said the boy was mad at the girl, and that he shot her to scare her.

At the end of the last school year here where we live, a three year old cousin of a family was staying in their home, and accidentally killed a neighborhood child who had come into the house to wait for the older kids to walk to school with him (the child killed was a nine year old). The 3 year old had taken a revolver out of the jacket pocket of a teenage boy who lived in the house, who later said he was "only holding onto the gun for a friend".

That shit really does happen. If you haven't taught your kids that that specific shit really does happen, then you aren't doing your job as a parent. Rather, you are doing what is convenient for you, which is to pretend that there is no direct correlation between toy guns and real guns, that children can't always make the distinction between reality and play, and that even if they can, not all children will control the impulse to point a gun at someone and pull the trigger.

I would suggest parents are missing a big part of what it means to be a responsible parent in this day and age, considering how awash US society is with guns, and how many kids are killed by them every year. They are everywhere. Gun violence is the number one cause of death of black males between the ages of 15 and 24. Statistics vary widely, depending on who is citing them, but the CDC tells us that gun shots are the number four cause of accidental deaths in children ages 5-14. Approximately 15 youth die each day in this country from gunshots--either accidental, suicide, or homicide.

You are seriously deluding yourself if you don't think weapons violence is a reality for kids today, and if you don't realize how much more pervasive it is today than it was when we were kids.

Sure, you can


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: alanabit
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 01:01 PM

First of all I should make clear that my point about doll's clothes was that I am not really bothered about whether my lad plays with girl's or boy's toys as long as he enjoys himself. My son (like his elder sister at this age) knows very well what the difference is between real and pretended violence. I think it is dangerously naive to believe that simply the weapons themselves make people more inclined to be violent. There are very few kitchen implements which I could not use to kill a person with if I were so minded. What makes these things safe in my hand is the fact that I am not. The same is true of guns. Having said that, I sincerely hope that I never handle another gun. Most civilised countries in the world do not allow adults to keep weapons in their homes. I fortunately live in one of those. There is only a correalation between toy gun violence and real gun violence when children have access to the latter. I am frankly quite baffled that you are more concerned with the issue of violent fantasy among children than you appear to be with the access of children to guns. That would concern me. Violent fantasy -no matter how much it offends our personal beliefs - and I detest violence too - is a part of most children's development and I suspect many animals. I am sure you have watched puppies and kittens play. You are right to argue that fatalities are likely to occur through a mixture of availability of weapons and violent fantasy in children. We Europeans have chosen to isolate our children from the former. By comparing the European statistics of deaths by gunshot wounds to those in America, what conclusions do you come to regarding which strategy has achieved more success so far? I think that is enough thread drift for now in what was originally a lighthearted question. By all means please PM me if you wish to pursue the debate .


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: weepiper
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 01:40 PM

To get it back on topic:

Hello Eldorado Girl, from another Edinburgher!

Well, when I was little my favourite 'lullabies' were gory ballads. I have not to the best of my knowledge grown up an axe-murderer, sister-killer or evil stepmother. Sing your son what he likes, he's only four months. As he gets older he'll learn to distinguish right and wrong and suchlike, you seem pretty well-balanced so I'm sure he will be too.


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: alanabit
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 02:09 PM

Ah - you said it in so fewer words than me!


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Deda
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 03:08 PM

Welcome Eldorado Girl -- from one now living in Boulder, Co -- actually ever since 1987. I haven't gotten over to Eldorado springs in a few years, but last time I was there the roads were indeed lousy. And I didn't notice any newly-built monstrosity. I was in Edinburgh once or twice, around mumbledy-'leven years ago, before my kids were even imagined.

My kids (now 26 and 23) loved two songs as babies -- Ghost Riders in the Sky, and What Shall we do with a Drunken Sailor -- both sung over and over by their Pa. Neither of them ever conceived of those songs as dark or scary or about death, drunkenness or keelhauling or anything like that. Their Dad who adored them was singing to them in a calming and loving voice, that's all they knew, and they requested those two songs over and over and over. Neither of them has ever held a firearm, nor locked anybody in a cabin with a captain's daughter, either. OTOH, when I was very small I listened to a Burl Ives record which included "the wild rover", and I conceived an elaborate and very sad story in my little head, that the singer-rover would "go home to my parents" and find that they had moved away and left no forwarding address. This imagined tragic story actually brought me to tears -- but the song is quite cheerful, from a reasonable adult perspective, and is about the decision to REFORM, quit the fast life and be a better person. I would not try to second-guess what small children will learn, derive or deduce from song lyrics. Just sing to them, and let them sing, as much and as long and as early and as late as they like.


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Amergin
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 03:37 PM

my little goddaughter likes to hear me sing....songs like tom dooley....and east virginia....in the pines...just whatever...kids seem to like the loud and raucous as well as the soft songs...


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Tinker
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 04:12 PM

'Bout a year ago I was discussing( with the Exec Director of the YW) putting together a song/discussion session for girls called Oral Tradtition--Women's Wisdom in Song. The idea was to use traditional songs about violence, sex, drugs, & alcohol, and the consequences, using songs older than your parents.

Just perhaps, not reliving the past involves enough history to get a glimmer of the idea that you are not the first. They can be great discussion starters. Other things came up and I never got back to it... but it's still on the list,

My now 13 year old who grew up on violent songs said he thought they were reassuring as long as the bad guys paid a price/ got caught in the end. Sing what you enjoy and what they like...

Tinker


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: Eldorado Girl
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 04:25 AM

I live in a block of flats in the city, and I see all the kids outside playing. The big ones (ages 6-7-ish) beat the *&!~ out of the little ones constantly-- sometimes I can't believe how violent their play is. I don't see them playing wargames, though. They pretend to be football teams: Celtic and Rangers or Hibs and Hearts...One of the bigger boys, who wears a Rangers shirt constantly, goes around calling one of the littler ones a Fenian bastard (whether he knows what that means or just parrots his dad when a green shirt comes into view, I have no idea). Forget toy guns for the moment. I'm all for the banning of football colours...and on this, I am entirely serious (Not having been raised here, I'm aware that I am striking deep into the heart of the Scottish cultural psyche, if there is such a thing-- but hey--might as well stick my neck out). Or perhaps I am just disgruntled because where I live I only receive Radio Scotland on medium wave and get football matches in the place of Travelling Folk...

Back to the songs, though. Often the words of a song are secondary to the ways in which a song comes to be used. My husband (native Edinburgh boy, and the reason I am living here in the rain...) stopped singing much of his Irish repertoire after the Omagh bombing a few years back. They were all great songs, and none of them would have been particularly violent in themselves, but their associations certainly are. And although he would have reasons for singing them that were nothing to do with unthinking sectarianism, you can never know what motivates the people who listen to you.

EG


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: weepiper
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 08:50 AM

Well, I was born and raised here and I agree with you entirely on the subject of football breeding sectarianism. And I think people who indoctrinate seven year olds with that kind of casual hatred shouldn't be allowed to have kids. Please don't think that all Scots agree with these idiots :-(


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Subject: RE: Hello...and so much for lullabies
From: alanabit
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 06:03 AM

I am not sure that football necessarily breeds sectarianism. It is the sectarianism you object to rather than the football, isn't it? As for idiots who indoctrinate people with casual hatred - One can only agree with you Smallpiper. In my experience of Scots, setarianism has certainly been the exception rather than the rule. In the rest of the UK we have our own football bigots and morons to embarrass us. Why don't we just send your sectarian bigots and our racist bullies off to an island somewhere where they need never to embarrass either of us again? Then the rest of us could have more fun at football matches...


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