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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:32 pm 
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david_h wrote:
I bought the collection CD with him singing 20 songs, almost all his own, because I liked most of them when other people sang them. Listened to it once and parked it on the shelf.


You know, that's a pretty good record. I'd urge you to play it a few more times and see if it grows on you. Shoals of Herring and The Joy of Living are particularly worth your time. Not many records have two songs that good.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 12:50 am 
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david_h wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
Are you sure it's not just cultural norms having changed in the intervening time between then and now?
I am not sure I follow your meaning. When do you mean by then?

If you take any time from the 1980s and before and compare it with today, it's like a different universe, culturally. Now, there is no room for drama. Every has to be so subtle - so vanilla, to borrow from elsewhere hereabouts - that there is hardly any meaning left. Nobody is really passionate these days about ... well, hardly anything. It would be seen as slightly embarrassing. But, back in the 1980s, it was perfectly OK for MacColl and Rosselson and co to be passionate nearly to the point of hysteria about various, generally highly political, matters. And it got people to listen. Now, people might just shuffle uncomfortably and switch off, or leave the theatre/pub quietly at the interval.

david_h wrote:
s1m0n wrote:
I think "Looking for a Job" is much more about his father's experience as a blacklisted foundryman in the 30s than the Thatcher 80s.
Drawing on that experience probably, but its copyright date is 1986 and " I don't need some ... .. to tell me to get on my bike" seems to be contemporary political allusion.

The song has several explicit references to the Thatcher government. And the use - the direct quote - of Norman Tebbit's phrase, "Get on Your Bike!," sets the song clearly in the context of the time. "Lady, gimme a job!" would have been seen as directly addressed to Thatcher. It also includes a direct reference to the repeated refrain of Yosser Hughes from "Boys From the Blackstuff". I suspect, though don't know, of course, that MacColl wrote it for use in his sometime role as activist for the Labour Party.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 1:41 am 
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I'm sure you're all quite correct about the 80s refs in Gimme a Job, but I'm also sure that the 30s was an equally strong influence. Indeed, some lines - "I'll shovel sh!t..." - make a lot more sense in the context of coach-houses and stables than they do later.

In fact, part of what made it feel so overacted in the 80s might be that he's channeling desperation out of the 30s.

The facts are that McColl's father did lose his job in 1932, and was effectively destroyed by it. According to EM, he never worked again. It's hard to see how that wouldn't have effected this song.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Last edited by s1m0n on Sat May 13, 2017 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 1:54 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
I'm sure you're all quite correct about the 80s refs in Gimme a Job, but I'm also sure that the 30s was an equally strong influence. Indeed, some lines - "I'll shovel sh!t..." - make a lot more sense in the context of coach-houses and stables than they do later.

I don't know about that - it's such a common phrase that I don't think you can read anything into it. Was rapper Rick Ross referring to the 1930s in his song Valley of Death, in which he uses the same phrase in the exact same context. It's always been used to indicate that one is prepared to do anything it takes.

s1m0n wrote:
Either way, it's an overwrought song.

You're not wrong there! On that, we are in complete agreement! :o

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 2:21 am 
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Hmm. In a 30s context, you can shovel literal sh!t. By the 80s, it's hypothetical sh!t. You decide which is the more desperate.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:31 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
If you take any time from the 1980s and before and compare it with today, it's like a different universe, culturally. Now, there is no room for drama.
So my briefly seen 'then' of the 'angry young men' question was along right lines?

Peggy Seeger's version of the 'rules' about who could sing what, and some of the other controversies regarding McColl's approach, is here: https://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/edtxt39.htm It seems a credible and coherent account to me. I guess she is more personable than he was


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