Post by fatfingerjohn on Sept 20, 2019 12:15:34 GMT
Here's probably a new one for you to ponder. I have a suggestion from one of my guitar group that we should perform 'The Banana Boat Song'. (OK, I know .... but). However, I am concerned about the political correctness of this, particularly in the light of the headlines this week .....
'Justin Trudeau pictured in another brownface photo singing Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) in Afro wig after brownface row'.
Clearly we wouldn't be wearing black make-up etc but the song probably only works if sung with a carribbean lilt/accent and it so happens we are a predominantly white group (I must stress by coincidence and not rule or design). To remind you here are a couple of lines from the song ....
'Six han' seven han' eight han' bunch, Daylight come an' I wanna go home'.
I know the world has gone totally mad on political correctness and I wouldn't want this thread to be an excuse for people to either express their support generally for such correctness or vent their frustration about it.
My instinct is to avoid this sort of song, but what about other similar songs, either work songs or spirituals; is it OK for predominantly white people to be singing these with probable accentual overtones?
I know this is a bit deep for a Friday morning........
The old blues guys I had the privilege to learn from (Louisiana Red, John Cephas, Jerry Ricks) had/have no problem with us white blokes playing "their" music. In fact they were only too pleased that someone somewhere wanted to keep it alive. In their communities (so they say) it's seen as grandpa's music and, with a few notable exceptions, no-one's interested in learning and playing it.
If you do it with respect, and not as a joke, I think it's fine. I do, however, draw the line at doing "Good Morning Little School Girl."......
I may be a lone voice here...but I’d be uncomfortable singing it. To the extent that I wouldn’t. Which, considering what I *would* sing probably marks me out as a hypocritical lefty liberal snowflake. But there ya go.
The (potential) offence lies in the perception of the listener. As I don’t have any control over that, I wouldn’t risk it.
I am aware that a number of my songs could be considered/are offensive to certain audiences.
It’s why I don’t sing them in church
But where is the scope for perceived offence Leo? Is it racially offensive to "impersonate" a race through a character or even a caricature?
If I were to dress in North African / Saharan costume and sing Desert Rose, or dress as a "mandarin chinaman" and sing the Ying Tong song, or dress in lederhosen....etc ...etc....where lies the offence, however much it is an effect of the perceptive lens?
This is important because is not the entire convoluted history of musical theatre one of masquerade to project a story? Obviously if that masquerade is insulting, derogatory, inflammatory, then that is unacceptable - but we risk consigning large swathes of art to the censor's dustbin if we have no margin of tolerance, interpretation, and common sense.
I do understand that we must, almost more than ever, be alert and sensitive to offence, but I worry about the consequences for music and art generally if we build moral and legislative walls in places they do not belong.
I acknowledge much of what you say, bleatoid but I’m talking about my view and, in my view, I’d be concerned about singing that particular song (and, yes, some others like it that speak to a cultural experience I haven’t had in which there is an element of, in this instance, colonialism)
But if others don’t feel that way, well that’s fine! I’m only speaking for myself.
Post by dreadnought28 on Sept 20, 2019 22:32:37 GMT
Many British singers mimic American accents including those of black singers. As long as a song is sung a certain way out of respect and enjoyment of the sound and style it seems ok to me. If it’s mocking then it’s a different story.
Things have changed a lot since I was growing up in Scarborough and the most regular summer season show was The Black and White Minstrels. Makes me cringe thinking about it!
36 guitars Bown 8 Kinscherff 4 Wingert 2 Sobell 2 Wren 2 Froggy Bottom 2 C F Martin 5 (Antiques) Olson 2 Ryan 1 Fay 1 Baranik 1 Fine Resophonics (Mike Lewis) 1 Collings 3 Northworthy 1 PRS 1 (Electric) Hofner Violin Bass (1963)
Yep - there's whole swathes of 70's Tv that would be deeply offensive today (though the B&W minstrels is more in the realms of bizarre, I think) - and yep - we all have our own comfort zones. Quite right. I'm not trying to suggest where anyone else's opinion should lie, I'm just baffled.
Turning things around, why might I, as a caucasian geordie born and raised in the Byker slum, take offence at, say, a dark skinned chap from Asia dressing (with white make-up) as a nineteenth century North east labourer or miner standing by his pigeon cree, stotty cake in hand and singing Bladon Races in the best "gan canny bonnie lad" accent he could muster?
ocarolan: I've never seen tartan skipping either...
Sept 22, 2019 13:19:07 GMT
martinrowe: Need some new glasses?
Sept 22, 2019 15:12:58 GMT
Akquarius: what's a skip?
Sept 22, 2019 19:33:03 GMT
Wild Violet: A skip is another word for a dumpster - a very large metal bin that are often behind businesses and can be raided for food or to find things to sell. Or so I hear...
Sept 23, 2019 7:36:20 GMT
walkingdecay: Good thinking about the two for one, Martin. I'd have the second one made up into a suit. I'd look slightly less awful than usual in a tartan suit, I reckon.
Sept 23, 2019 11:11:07 GMT
ocarolan: ...and, you would be hard to spot when standing by piles of shortbread tins, Pete.
Sept 23, 2019 11:18:18 GMT
martinrowe: Skips are hard to get rid of though - if you ever think of de-cluttering
Sept 23, 2019 13:01:12 GMT
walkingdecay: Have a great meet-up folks.
Sept 24, 2019 16:12:20 GMT
Akquarius: thanks Pete :-) too bad you can't be there!
Sept 24, 2019 18:51:16 GMT
Onechordtrick: All quiet from Halifax. Should somebody check that they’re OK?
Sept 29, 2019 8:59:59 GMT
ocarolan: Most folk left now - just stragglers remain. Forum should get more news, pics, vids over the next few days/weeks. Was fab w/e, of course with friends old and new, lots of music, laughter, booze etc. A worthy 10th.
Sept 29, 2019 12:30:08 GMT
stevie2sticks: Congratulations. My youngest, 2 and a bit has just done "twinkle twinkle little star" on his Kazoo working on "a train" on harmonica, I've ear marked him a guitar. I started training him Klingon but grandma intervened.
Sept 29, 2019 16:49:24 GMT
Akquarius: To all of you who did not attend Halifax this year. You definitely missed a big thing!
Oct 1, 2019 19:15:18 GMT
martinrowe: Perfect Pitch: Lobbing a banjo into a skip and completely covering the accordion.
Oct 12, 2019 7:58:34 GMT
ocarolan: Q: If you drop simultaneously a banjo and an accordion from an aeroplane, which instrument will hit the ground first? A: Who cares?!
Oct 14, 2019 17:44:48 GMT