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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jim Carroll Are racist, but traditional, songs OK? (319* d) RE: Are racist, but traditional, songs OK? 03 Jun 20


"But it never happened. Nor did any incident remotely like it."
Moot point

I've just come across a bit of racism which I find quite interesting
It's from the magnificent 'Poetry and Song series done by Argo for teachers teaching pre-teenagers so the albums, while readily avaliable, wouldn't have been aimed at the general public
Bert Lloyd , at his best, sings ' Travelling Down to Castlereigh' which has the two verses:

I asked a feller for shearin' once along the Marthaguy.
“We shear non-union here,” says he. “I call it scab,” says I.
I took a look along the board before I turned to go:
There was twenty flamin' china-men shearin'in a row.

So shift, boys, shift, for there ain't the slightest doubt:
It's time to make a move with the leprosy about.
So I'll saddle up my pack-horse and I whistle to me dog;
I left his scabby station at the old jig-jog.

The 'leprosy' term is racially abusive to the Chinese who, out of poverty, were forced to take shearing jobs at lower wages, which helped the landowners drive the wages of the indigeanous shearers down - causing racial friction
The same happened in Wales aand Nothern England with Irish labour at the time of the famine
While it's not a song I'd sing, I find it a fascinating history lesson
Would welcome comments
Jim


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