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 Post subject: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 3:31 am 
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There have been a few incidents on plane flights to scare the whassname out of people.
Here's one from Ryanair, where a passenger is asked to prove he can play the instrument he's carrying, by playing something Irish.
http://boingboing.net/2017/05/08/watch-what-happens-when-man-br.html


So he plays "Dirty Old Town". By Ewan McColl. Who is English. And it's a song about Salford (across the river from Manchester).
But, what the hell, everybody sings along. It's Irish enough. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 4:46 am 
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That's certainly better than beating someone's teeth out, but I note that Dirty Old Town is an english tune about Salford (Manchester) written by Jimmy Miller (Ewan McColl), a phony Scot. Irish only because the Pogues (a London band) covered it.

edited: Oops, I missed your observations about DOT's English provenence. I concur.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:40 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
written by Jimmy Miller (Ewan McColl), a phony Scot.

Think that's a slightly harsh way of looking at MacColl when he had Scottish parents and a deep involvement with the tradition. Though I'm not always convinced by folk singers essaying multiple accents like actors, and can also struggle with Eric Bogle (another I greatly admire, but sometimes perhaps sounding 'phoney Australian'?) in that respect.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:57 am 
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I'd be happy enough to describe Ewan MacColl either as English (by birth) or Scots (by parentage). I didn't know him, so don't know how he would have felt. Great, great talent, though, however you describe him.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 9:11 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I'd be happy enough to describe Ewan MacColl either as English (by birth) or Scots (by parentage). I didn't know him, so don't know how he would have felt. Great, great talent, though, however you describe him.

No argument from me!

Well, I'm Irish by birth and Scottish by heritage and English by location. I'm not Welsh, though. You have to draw the line somewhere. If only I had the talent! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:57 am 
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Innocent Bystander wrote:
Here's one from Ryanair, where a passenger is asked to prove he can play the instrument he's carrying, by playing something Irish.

That happened to me going through airport security right after 9/11, on the very day flights had just resumed out of Houston. Of course I was most cooperative, but the agent triumphantly pounced on me as if he'd caught me red-handed at something. To read the following properly, bear in mind his overall tone was very unpleasant:

Him (most officiously, referring to the case): "What is that?"
Me: "My flute case."
Him: (Long pause)
Me: "Um...would you like me to open it?"
Him: "Yes, please."
Me: (I open the case)
Him: "And what is this?"
Me: "A flute, as I told you."
Him (dubiously): "Really?"
Me: "Yes, for Irish music. As you can see, it's different from the usual."
Him: "It doesn't look like a flute."
Me: "Well, it's been taken apart..."
Him: (Long pause)
Me: "Um...would you like me to put it together?"
Him: "Yes, please."
Me (after putting it together): "There you go."
Him: "Does it actually play?"
Me: "Why, yes, of course."
Him (sneering): "Can you play it?"
Me: "Why, yes, of course."
Him: (Long pause)
Me: "Um...would you like me to play it?"
Him: "Yes, please."

By then I'd had plenty enough of this dragged-out nonsense, so I was all too happy to launch into An Phis Fliuch. His assistants started dancing, and he was left fuming with egg on his face. A job well done.

That's the only time I was asked to play it, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 4:40 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Great, great talent, though, however you describe him.


I have immense respect for McColl's talents, but foremost among them was self-reinvention. There's a lot about him that isn't as he claimed. He's a bit like early Bob Dylan, only with much less rigorous fact checking.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 12:01 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
Great, great talent, though, however you describe him.


I have immense respect for McColl's talents, but foremost among them was self-reinvention. There's a lot about him that isn't as he claimed. He's a bit like early Bob Dylan, only with much less rigorous fact checking.

Ooh! That sounds interesting! What did Ewan MacColl invent about himself? It must be a massive amount if it was his foremost talent ...

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 4:06 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Ooh! That sounds interesting! What did Ewan MacColl invent about himself? It must be a massive amount if it was his foremost talent ...


Pretty much everything, starting with the way that Jimmy Miller, a London-resident actor from Salford became Ewan McColl, the scots-accented folk song expert. Just in time for the folk boom.

Also unexplained is how he managed to get away with deserting the army during ww2. He was a CP member, so he may have had a secret or two to trade off to avoid prosecution, but no one knows and he never spoke about it.

~~

I once read a comment from Mike Waterson, talking about just this aspect of McColl. "He was a genius, but not for the reason he thought he was a genius!" Meaning, McColl's great talent was acting, not any great connection to the living folk tradition. When he and Peggy Seeger were dominating their folk club in London, he had all sorts of silly rules about what kinds of music people were allowed to play and how they played it. All in the name of authenticity, but he was pretty much making it up as he went along. Concertinas and banjos were authentic, for instance, but guitars were not. And if you weren't American, you weren't allowed to sing "american" songs, and vice versa.

He was a pretty fair songwriter, however.

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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 Wed May 10, 2017 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Think that's a slightly harsh way of looking at MacColl when he had Scottish parents and a deep involvement with the tradition.


Not that deep. Sure, his parents likely knew a few scottish folk songs - I could say the same of my scottish grandparents - but McColl's roots were much shallower than he pretended. Think of his contemporaries: The Copper Family had been visited by folk song collectors back in the 19th century. Tommy Makem's mother was Sarah Makem, whose repertoire of a couple of hundred songs had also been 'collected' while he was a child. The Watersons were descended from a traveller/gypsy family, and would have been singing together like that even if the great folk scare had never happened. A.L. Lloyd had been out in Australia learning songs from stockmen and shearers in his youth. These are deep roots. McColl? Ewan McColl's youth was spent studying acting and politics, and then doing agit-prop theatre. I don't know of any song in his repertoire that he introduced with "Here's one I learned from my mother..."

His whole folk persona was pretty much self-invented.

~~

Mind you, I'm a fan, and the only reason I know so much is that I think he was an important figure. |But along the way, I learned some things that helped me to understand that he was as human as anyone. The image he presented was wonderful, but it wasn't true.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:38 pm 
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That all strikes me as being pretty much nudge-nudge wink-wink stuff, and from an unnecessarily harsh perspective. I still haven't heard what MacColl invented about himself. He made no bones about his politics, which seem to have been pretty much inherited from his parents. The usual, and, it seems to me, most likely, theory about his desertion is that, particularly given that MI5 had been keeping a close watch on him since he was a teenager, the powers that be simply didn't want him in the army and were quite happy to let him go. I very much doubt he would have had secrets to trade - I suspect that the reality was far more prosaic.

And I would say that he did have "deep roots" in the folk tradition. He was extremely actively involved in it himself, was a collector of traditional songs and a tireless worker and powerful advocate for the tradition.

As for where it came from, are the only people who are allowed to be "involved in the tradition" those who have families who have been involved for centuries? Plus, and I know this is only Wikipedia, but I'd like to see a refutation with references if this is not the case: "They lived amongst a group of Scots and Jimmy was brought up in an atmosphere of fierce political debate interspersed with the large repertoire of songs and stories his parents had brought from Scotland." If that is the case, no wonder he had a Scottish accent. I myself grew up in South Wales, but have very little Welsh accent because my parents were, respectively, from Buxton and Padstow. I think the "large repertoire of songs and stories [...] from Scotland" is significant, also.

Overall, I see nothing inauthentic or insincere about Ewan MacColl. Some have said he was arrogant - I wouldn't know, as I didn't know him, but I think from what I know about him that he seems genuine enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:19 am 
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To be clear, I said 'a deep involvement with', not 'deep roots in'. The former does not necessarily assume the latter. I meant what I said. And I spell MacColl the way he spelled it.

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 2:06 am 
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As for Ryanair - I've never wanted to fly Ryanair, and I certainly won't after looking at the video. That's not a way to talk to customers.

(I had to play an instrument once - but that was in customs, and the customs officer was a trainee, with three superiors standing behind her and checking that she did everything by the book, or better)


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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 4:39 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
To be clear, I said 'a deep involvement with', not 'deep roots in'. The former does not necessarily assume the latter. I meant what I said. And I spell MacColl the way he spelled it.

I'm guessing you - like me - are addressing comments made by s1m0n, right?

(PS Sorry about my typo - I'm fixing it now.)

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 Post subject: Re: Airline stuff.
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 6:30 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I'm guessing you - like me - are addressing comments made by s1m0n, right?

Yes.

Quote:
(PS Sorry about my typo - I'm fixing it now.)

I saw it, but wasn't commenting on it.

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