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Froots Magazine uk

Fran 19 Jul 04 - 02:53 PM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 19 Jul 04 - 06:58 PM
The Borchester Echo 19 Jul 04 - 07:15 PM
Sooz 20 Jul 04 - 01:36 PM
Fran 20 Jul 04 - 02:53 PM
The Shambles 20 Jul 04 - 03:40 PM
alanabit 20 Jul 04 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Yes Sir, I Are A Fat Ham Ass 20 Jul 04 - 04:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jul 04 - 04:20 PM
The Borchester Echo 20 Jul 04 - 04:41 PM
Ed. 20 Jul 04 - 05:07 PM
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Subject: Froots Magazine uk
From: Fran
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 02:53 PM

Just listening to Folkwaves on the BBC radio and Lester Simpson played "The Two Brothers" and mentioned a letter in Froots mag about the song, is there anyone who has read it and is willing to tell me what it said?


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 06:58 PM

There has also been a bit of discussion about this song in "Living Tradition" magazine.

Not in front of me and my memory aint good enough to quote - but others might be able to do so.

Must say that I've felt very uncomfortable with the song ever since I first heard it at a song writing workshop Pete did at one of the Wombwell Festivals a while back.

All the best
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


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Subject: RE: fRoots Magazine uk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 07:15 PM

This would be the one in which Israel and Palestine are compared to two spoiled brats having a squabble: "I don't care who started it..."?   I love just about everything else Pete Morton does but this one makes me cringe.


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: Sooz
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 01:36 PM

The following letter from April Grant is in the current issue of Living Tradition. (I don't think its appeared on the net yet.)

I feel compelled to respond to the article on Pete Morton in issue 56. Although I've never heard Pete Morton, I'm sure he's a talented performer. However, I have to object to the praise of his piece "The Two Brothers". I've read the lyrics to that song, and I agree with all those who maintain that it is full of "patronizing condescension". It is a bad way to write about the Middle Eastern conflict. The people involved are not infants, they're adults dealing with adult-sized horrors, and the harm done between Israel and Palestine shouldn't be treated as some piddling cutesy disagreement.
The parenting techniques in the song leave a lot to be desired, if we put the allegory aside for a minute. The voice of a mother says, "I don't care who started it." So she doesn't care if one of her sons has been bullying the other? With children as with adults, someone always started it, and that person will start it again the minute they get a chance. You can't make kids change their ways by telling them to kiss and make up. That means nothing to a bully. It takes a lot of care and attention on the part of the parents to make a child stop wanting to hit his friends. And if we're going to use this as a metaphor for warring nations, well, it is easy to start a war and very hard to stop one. Ogden Nash once said, "It only takes one person to make a quarrel."
The "Mommy" character feels she doesn't need to listen to either side, that both "children" are equally at fault that neither has an excuse. For us mere mortals who are subject to our emotions, it's easy to take sides in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. I have no personal stake in it - I'm not Jewish, and none of my family lives in the Middle East - but my sympathies lie with Israel. However, even if I were "backing" Palestine (goodness knows this isn't a horse race, either!) I'd be offended by "The Two Brothers". It's got something in it to offend everyone.
The song pretends that it does not take sides. In fact, it takes the side of the smug people who aren't involved, and it sneers at both combatants. That's the way to write an acid satire, but I don't agree that it's produced an "eminently sensible" song in "The Two Brothers".
I would like to draw your attention to a comic song called "Abdul, the Bulbul Amir", written by Percy French. It describes how a fatheaded "Mameluke" and a conceited Russian meet and fight for slim reasons. The two buffoons shortly destroy each other. That song is an allegory of national conflicts older that Israel vs. Palestine. However, "Abdul" enjoyed great popularity for years, because it was funny. It made unabashed jokes about two stagey characters. It mocked them, but it was honest about its mockery. Mr Morton has written a song which won't admit that it mocks: an unfunny "Abdul".      
Suppose that Mr. Morton had written a song about mother with three whiny toddlers named Ulster, IRA and British Government. Would British audiences love that so wholeheartedly?


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: Fran
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 02:53 PM

Thanks for posting the letter, When Lester Simpson said it was in Froots I never thought to check The living Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 03:40 PM

The point is that it is a song.

If you do not like it - you can always write another. One in which you may like the sentiments better.

Writing a letter to any magazine to complain about a song being praised there, seems a little over the top. Is not all just a matter of personal taste?


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: alanabit
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 04:13 PM

I first heard this song in my front room when Pete visited us a couple of years back. You react to all songs subjectively at the end of the day. I found it heart rending. I liked the metaphor, although I personally would have shied away from directly calling the squabblers "Israel" and "Palestine", which was the only part of it which really made me feel uncomfortable.
What I really liked most about the song, was the assertion that the question of whoever was most guilty, was less important than the fact that the fighting had to stop. That is true in all conflicts. It was also the assertion near the end,that one day this would all be put in the past by future generations and would stop hurting.
Pete may well make the occasional artistic misjudgement. He has that limitation in common with all other artists. Somerset Maugham once commented,"Only a mediocre artist is always at his best." However, he has at least been to Palestine and had a look at it first hand. Lots of other people who write songs about the conflict have not.
He is a brave man with unchallenged integrity. I guess his metaphor will work for some people in this case and for some it won't. It moved me though and I am by no means uncritical of anyone's work.


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: GUEST,Yes Sir, I Are A Fat Ham Ass
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 04:17 PM

"However, he has at least been to Palestine and had
a look at it first hand. Lots of other people who write songs about the conflict have not."

Hoping I am   that you are not also taking shotspot at my friends CarolC and Jack the Sailor who write many wonderfull things about Palestinan people and against the zionistic aggressorss even though they never been there.


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 04:20 PM

Wouldn't it help if someone posted the words? (And isn't this a rather strange title for this thread?)


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 04:41 PM

Hehehe McGrath, I see someone in another thread thinks you live in Hounslow, now that's strange!

I know that the CD this song comes from, Swarthmoor, was reviewed a while back in fFroots. Perhaps that's what was meant.


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Subject: RE: Froots Magazine uk
From: Ed.
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 05:07 PM

Sorry that it's all in upper case, but I'm too tired to do more than to 'copy and paste' from here

THE TWO BROTHERS:

I DON'T CARE WHO STARTED IT, I JUST WANNA HEAR YOU PLAY,
I JUST WANNA SEE YOU SMILING IN THE GLORY OF THE DAY.
ISRAEL GIVE HIM HIS BALL BACK, STOP PULLING HIS HAIR,
PALESTINE, MY LOVE, I KNOW IT ISN'T FAIR.

BUT I DON'T CARE WHO STARTED IT, JUST STOP ALL THE NOISE,
I CAN SEE YOU'RE TWO VERY OVER TIRED LITTLE BOYS,
PALESTINE I SAW YOU KICK HIM, ISRAEL SIT STILL,
LET US GET SOME PEACE NOW, IF YOU WILL.

CAUSE I DON'T CARE WHO STARTED IT, MUST I ASK YOU AGAIN,
PUT ASIDE YOUR SORROW, YOUR ANGER AND YOUR PAIN,
THROW AWAY YOUR TROUBLES AND CLEAR THE MESS FROM THE FLOOR,
DON'T WANNA HEAR YOU SQUABBLING ANYMORE.

'CAUSE I DON'T CARE WHO STARTED IT, JUST TRY AND GET ALONG,
EVERYTIME I COME ROUND HERE THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING WRONG,
ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE THIS WON'T MEAN A THING,
ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE AS BROTHERS WHO'LL SING.

I DON'T CARE WHO STARTED IT, I JUST WANNA HEAR YOU PLAY,
I JUST WANNA SEE YOU SMILING IN THE GLORY OF THE DAY.


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