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Trad lyrics that are not PC

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GUEST,Julia 08 Mar 05 - 02:47 PM
Clinton Hammond 08 Mar 05 - 02:55 PM
Leadfingers 08 Mar 05 - 02:56 PM
wysiwyg 08 Mar 05 - 03:07 PM
wysiwyg 08 Mar 05 - 03:11 PM
Rapparee 08 Mar 05 - 03:28 PM
wysiwyg 08 Mar 05 - 05:45 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Mar 05 - 06:57 PM
Stewie 08 Mar 05 - 07:08 PM
Leadfingers 08 Mar 05 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Jim Hancock 08 Mar 05 - 10:09 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Mar 05 - 10:58 AM
Dave Wynn 09 Mar 05 - 12:15 PM
robomatic 09 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Julia 09 Mar 05 - 06:14 PM
wysiwyg 09 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM
DonMeixner 09 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM
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Subject: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 02:47 PM

What have folks been doing lately about the traditional songs in their repetoirs that contain derogatory (often racist) words? When I share songs with other students at my college they listen with new ears and respond to some things I don't notice or don't mind because I'm too used to them.

It's too easy for me to excuse myself by saying it's trad. I would like to acknowledge that the modern context I sing in influences how the content of the songs is understood. I don't like changing lyrics but I don't want to drop songs just for one incidental word.

Thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 02:55 PM

You can either go into lengthy explinations of why it was o.k. to be racist in the past... or you can easily change the lyrics and become part of the folk-tradition...

cause all traditions change... they evolve slowly over time... or they die...


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 02:56 PM

Traditional song lyrics bear no relation to what is politically correct in this modern age - If any one wants to take offence at what
was sung a hundred or two hundred years ago , that is THEIR problem , and not mine !!


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 03:07 PM

In the various discussions we've had here on this topic, there seems to be several approaches people tend to take:

1. Do it all as originally done, because it's history; explain as necessary so that the cultural context is taught as well.

2. Make minimal changes as you consider necessary, for the setting in which you will do them.

I think an additional consideration is this-- that in your setting, if you are teaching the songs to people who may or will learn them, don't pass on the offensive stuff and thereby perpetuate it in the culture. Teach them the history, yes-- sing it for them as originally done. But then teach them a better version for today, that they can pass along. Teach them to THINK about what they hear and sing, and make a way for them to wrestle with the question in a meaningful way.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 03:11 PM

PS, a better term than PC might be, "No longer considered socially acceptable." Let's not teach derision for sensitive thoughtfulness, by lumping that in with the way political correctness is imposed.

Cuz PC is not always politically correct. :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 03:28 PM

Thank you, WYSIWYG, for saying that! PC is not always either kind or sensitive; sometimes it takes away the humanity.


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 05:45 PM

It's been my experience that Political Correctness is what a system imposes on individuals who are not yet ready to think flexibly about the issues or background of something that an oppressed group has had ENOUGH of. PC rules tend to assume that all people are equally stuck on those issues, and unable to think. It's a group "solution" to a wide array of highly individual-specific "problems."

Real internal change occurs for individuals at different rates and with different catalysts.

Being told one is "wrong" and "hurtful" is more conducive to defensiveness that to real personal change. But-- I also think that just because the "oppressor group" doesn't "get it" doesn't mean a group that had been targeted has to allow the mistreatment to continue-- I do believe that it's an important part of the social change process to make room for "CUT IT OUT" thinking and activism. I've seen it in action when the JDL took quick and decisive action to stay on top of dangerous anti-Semitic platforms.

Unfortunately, groups and individuals don't tick the same way, nor run on the same timeline. So what an individual experiences as an inhibition on their free speech is actually a force acting on the GROUP (social system) as a needed correction to the swing of the pendulum.

Life between these two realities-- individual existence and being part of a community in change-- is really, really MESSY.

Human beans ain't figured it out yet, at all! :~)

Until it becomes non-PC, I express it this way myself-- "F&*#-ing Earth People!" (Self included of course.) Still, humans are pretty cool critters-- gotta love us!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 06:57 PM

There is an Aussie Comedian, Steady Eddie who does all the non-PC jokes about 'spastics', etc. He is of course afflicted himself, and says that if he can't laugh about it...

His work tends to be on an interesting level though - one of his clever stories is how as a child nice people had got a bus to pick up kids like him and take them on outings to make them feel no different to 'normal' kids - but the bus had down the sides in huge letters "SPASTIC CENTRE"....


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 07:08 PM

See also this thread - CLICK HERE - which has numerous related threads linked at the top.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 07:32 PM

The difference is TRAD lyrics - Contemporary lyrics which are Not PC MUST be of the highest quality of humour (and NOT offensive) to be at all acceptable !!
In my book PC and Offensive are often two totally different things !!


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: GUEST,Jim Hancock
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 10:09 PM

The world changes, people change and the songs change with them. I tend to change occasional words to suit the audience in front of me. with a very few songs I have permanently changed an odd word because I don't feel comfortable singing it. This natural evolution of songs is fine by me so long as the original is retained somewhere in some form. Traditional songs are after all not just entertainment they are documents of social history and we need to take care not to dilute the content to such an extent that it no longer reflects the society which produced it.


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 10:58 AM

I gave my opinion in this old thread and I see no need to modify what I said then.


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 12:15 PM

I can think of many examples of songs where women are given really bad press. Some of the night visiting songs. The Robin and Barry Dransfield song Just as the Tide was Flowing sings about a sailor using a woman sexually and being paid for doing it then disappearing with the money to drink it away with his mates.

I find this innocent historical fantasy but I bet some women find it disturbing.

Spot


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 12:53 PM

I am 'somewhat' PC. I think it is ridiculous to pretend that certain relationships and concepts never existed. It is somewhat ridiculous to think they are gone entirely. I personally like the appeal to people's better natures.

When it comes to the term 'Indian giver' however the irony overtakes me and I do not like to use the term whatsoever.

There's a song sung by Gordon Bok "Little River" about a body in the surf (BY the body in the surf in fact). It's a lovely solemn little tune of a poem and in it is the phrase "Indian Giver" which I would like to replace with something which means the same thing and scans the same and retains the word giver.

Little River


So I saw this thread title and thought I'd appeal to some experts for a replacement. I've actually found great comfort singing the song to myself when i'm on the trail by myself.


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for your comments, sorry to repeat something that has been brought up in other threads. Susan, I appreciate your response to the "PC". I used it because I was trying to be concise in naming the thread topic. Perhaps not the best reason.

j


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 06:36 PM

Well Julia-- no reason not to bring up a topic again-- some of us may have actually gotten smarter since the last go-around, or new folks may have arrived. Anyway the old threads have a lot of interesting soul-searching in them.

Tell us what you decide! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Trad lyrics that are not PC
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM

I sing Little River and have no trouble with it, lyrics intact.

I sing only one song with lyrics I have changed. Percy French's song Bally James Duff (The Garden of Eden). Instead of singing ...the chocolate shapes of Fiji... I sing ...the Island shapes of Fiji..... No because I think French was a racist but because I think it is demeaning in the present. And it is an inaccurate description and bad anthropology.

Political Correctness is a road I will not willingly travel. I find that good manners does as well and it is a practice we should all be using anyway.

Don


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