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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:06 pm 
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Thank you all for the sharing of the history on this tune. The Chicago Feis story and the cartoon really bring it home. My dislike for the tune comes from years of hearing it butchered by elementary school bands. Here in the US in the 60s when I was a kid it was one of the tunes our Junior high band played and every generation between then and now seems to play it. I know my junior high schoolers were playing it in Orchestra in 2009. Nothing like hearing a tune played raggedly by generations of sightly out of tune 13 year olds to sear it into your brain as officially awful.

I am sure a gifted Irish Trad musician could make it sound great, but they'd be swimming upstream.


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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:12 pm 
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Brus wrote:
Sigh. I've never understood the appeal of André Rieu ...

He's an entertainer. People love that because it's shiny, and variety-driven shows fit modern attention spans. It's a lot more accessible to your average person than the prospect of sitting through an evening of Scriabin, yet you can still feel good about yourself, because it's culture. In chestnuts, yes, but people want chestnuts. You could say Rieu took over where Lawrence Welk left off - only posher.

I don't have the patience for Rieu myself, but I admit I used to watch Welk even in my hippie days, because at that time of social upheaval his show stubbornly kept to type, which to a lot of us seemed a curiously outdated and bizarre thing to do - and sometimes bizarre is just the ticket. Ruffles, white picket fences, and let's not forget the Champagne Lady. Lots of hairspray. It was hallucinatory without the contraband.

♫♪ Diddly-Dit dee-Dah dee-Dah... ♫♪

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:19 pm 
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The ill-fated Callaghan's Irish-American Quarterly Review used to give out a 'Green Sambo' award for outstanding Paddywhackery. Perhaps the award could be brought back, if not the magazine?

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:28 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:
The ill-fated Callaghan's Irish-American Quarterly Review used to give out a 'Green Sambo' award for outstanding Paddywhackery. Perhaps the award could be brought back, if not the magazine?

Bob

C&F couldn't officially endorse it, of course, but "Green Sambo" ... that's wicked. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:07 am 
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Here in Ireland, 'Sambo' means sandwich.


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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:39 am 
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seanpmoran wrote:
Here in Ireland, 'Sambo' means sandwich.


Use that word in public here in the USA and you would get stares, or worse. It's one of those words too racist to utter.

We had a restaurant chain Sambos which got shut down decades ago.

BTW cartoon stereotypes of Irish people (invariably showing the same facial proportions of that cartoon above, a short nose and correspondingly long upper lip) appear in many animated American cartoons from the 1930s and later. They're shown as police, construction workers, and the like.

I myself have those very facial proportions- my Glancy side is to blame, probably.

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About Irish women being replaced by immigrants of other races here for menial jobs, one place I've not seen that is my native West Virginia, where these jobs are done, as they always have been, by white people. (Though in West Virginia they're much more likely to be of British ancestry.)

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:09 am 
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Hi pancelticpiper

I can understand that it would be considered racist, as it has a precise definition from the slavery times. It means that the person being referred to is one quarter white.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:44 pm 
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BigDavy wrote:
I can understand that it would be considered racist, as it has a precise definition from the slavery times. It means that the person being referred to is one quarter white.

The epithet has a more circuitous trajectory to the modern day than I thought. I didn't know of the bloodline aspect until just now; rather in my experience the primary origin was from a once-popular children's book, The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman, a Scottish author, and it was actually about a boy in south India outwitting hungry tigers. It was first published in 1899 and a product of its times, but it remained very popular children's reading until, I would say, the 1970s when people started questioning its place in a changing, and one would hope more enlightened, society. But it's the "black" part that stuck in the common Yank imagination, and the step to becoming a racial slur for another ethnicity was a short one. The name's forever tainted, never to be used without censure. It also strongly suggests racial caricature, so the scathing "Green Sambo" clearly suggests paddywhackery to me, coming as I do from an American context. But even thus repurposed, it's still too freighted and inflammatory - there's too much bad history behind it in the States - so if anyone thinks to use it around here, I would beg that we reconsider. "Paddywhack" is fine enough already.

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:01 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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"Two young Irishmen, dressed In knee breeches, green stockings, ragged swallow tail coats and wearing dilapidated hats and green neckerchiefs—they were stage Irishmen-walked up the stairs to the platform where Irish dances were being danced in Gaelic park yesterday. [...]"


Sounds like two cast members of a Comhaltas Tour group that got lost :lol:


They're just missing their carefully-shepherded "child prodigy of the month."


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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:25 pm 
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In Ghandi's autobiography he recounts being slammed as a 'Sambo' and a 'Sammie' as a young, immigrant lawyer in South Africa, so the term has a history of use as a racial slur there as well.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:58 pm 
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BigDavy wrote:
Hi pancelticpiper

I can understand that it would be considered racist, as it has a precise definition from the slavery times. It means that the person being referred to is one quarter white.

David



The term was used in American slavery--if you search google books for the period from 1800 to 1865 you'll find it again and again. It's in Uncle Tom's Cabin, for example, where Sambo is an African American overseer--Stowe says "Sambo was full black, of great size, very lively, voluble, and full of trick and grimace." I've never seen it used to denote someone of mixed race.

Back to stage Irishmen--In 1903, 18 Philadelphia men were arrested for rioting at a performance of a play, "McNally's Row of Flats," because they felt it including offensive stage Irishman stereotypes.They threw eggs and bricks at the performers and punches were thrown.

In 1910 the Irish Literary Society announced a boycott:

The Irish Literary Society has made out a list of the names and addresses of the stores in Chicago that refused to discontinue the sale, after due notice, of vulgar caricatures of the Irish race and their religion in the shape of hideous post cards, pigs, pipes, paddies, whisky bottles, hods and other green goods for their green customers too indecent to mention. Two hundred thousand copies of this list were printed and carefully distributed among the Irish race and their friends in Chicago. The society considers this the most effective and peaceful means of stopping the nuisance.
Rev. J. K. Fielding, President.

March 17, 1910.


Last edited by PB+J on Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:50 pm 
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BigDavy wrote:
Hi pancelticpiper

I can understand that it would be considered racist, as it has a precise definition from the slavery times. It means that the person being referred to is one quarter white.

David


There was also a very popular children's book in the US, titled Little Black Sambo, originally written by a Scottish woman in 1899, that was widely read until the it was decried as racist in the 80s or so.

When I was little I didn't really focus on the race part, but I remember it scaring me to death as a tiny tot with the theme of being chased by tigers and surrendering your clothes to survive.

But come to think of it quite a number of children's stories and fairy tales were actually quite frightening.


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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:02 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
with the theme of being chased by tigers and surrendering your clothes to survive.



This has become a frighteningly common situation in my area; of course, being the Northwest, they're called 'cougers.'


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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:56 am 
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I've just come back from The Joe Mooney Summer School week in Drumshanbo. I should think The Irish Washerwoman was played in sessions attended by me at least half a dozen times during the week, so the likelihood is that it was played many more times than that during the week overall. (I didn't start it on any of those occasions.)

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 Post subject: Re: Washed Up!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:50 am 
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A bit of the old serendipity: I came across this version, in D just now while browsing the Padraig O'Keeffe MSS (I know, it's a very rainy Saturday late afternoon)

Going by the rest of the MSS, written for the one row accordion/melodeon in D


Another version in G from the Padraig O'Keeffe fiddle MSS. The washerwoman apparently (and unashamedly) alive and well in Sliabh Luachra at the time.

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