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Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?

katlaughing 04 Jun 99 - 12:19 PM
Roger in Baltimore 04 Jun 99 - 12:47 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 01:08 PM
Matthew B. 04 Jun 99 - 01:13 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 01:14 PM
Jeri 04 Jun 99 - 01:37 PM
Barbara 04 Jun 99 - 01:48 PM
annamill 04 Jun 99 - 01:57 PM
Frank of Toledo 04 Jun 99 - 03:23 PM
annamill 04 Jun 99 - 03:29 PM
Llanfair 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM
katlaughing 04 Jun 99 - 04:28 PM
Barbara 04 Jun 99 - 05:14 PM
Charlie Baum 04 Jun 99 - 05:16 PM
Barbara 04 Jun 99 - 05:21 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 99 - 06:30 PM
katlaughing 04 Jun 99 - 06:34 PM
John Hindsill 04 Jun 99 - 07:00 PM
emily rain 04 Jun 99 - 08:14 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Jun 99 - 09:35 PM
DonMeixner 04 Jun 99 - 11:15 PM
gargoyle 04 Jun 99 - 11:53 PM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM
Helen 05 Jun 99 - 12:04 AM
DonMeixner 05 Jun 99 - 12:25 AM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Jun 99 - 12:55 AM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 01:06 AM
DonMeixner 05 Jun 99 - 01:09 AM
The Resonator 05 Jun 99 - 02:01 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Jun 99 - 03:57 AM
Susan of DT 05 Jun 99 - 09:14 AM
LEJ 05 Jun 99 - 06:17 PM
Liam's Brother 05 Jun 99 - 06:44 PM
Folksie Lady 05 Jun 99 - 07:59 PM
katlaughing 05 Jun 99 - 08:45 PM
Folksie Lady 05 Jun 99 - 11:50 PM
Night Owl 06 Jun 99 - 12:32 AM
katlaughing 06 Jun 99 - 12:51 AM
Night Owl 06 Jun 99 - 01:39 AM
Rosebrook 06 Jun 99 - 12:23 PM
katlaughing 06 Jun 99 - 12:54 PM
The Shambles 06 Jun 99 - 02:50 PM
The Shambles 06 Jun 99 - 02:55 PM
emily rain 06 Jun 99 - 03:50 PM
Rosebrook 06 Jun 99 - 04:32 PM
katlaughing 06 Jun 99 - 04:41 PM
The Shambles 06 Jun 99 - 04:57 PM
katlaughing 06 Jun 99 - 05:17 PM
katlaughing 06 Jun 99 - 05:34 PM
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Subject: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 12:19 PM

I know of several recent folksongs written from a gay/lesbian/bisexual standpoint. I am wondering if there are many "old" songs of that nature, besides the two which are referenced in the DT, when one types in "homosexual". I got nothing when i typed in lesbian or bisexual.

I would be interested in any old and/or modern songs that any of you may know of or perform. Thanks,

Katey, who thought kd lang had stolen her nickname "kt", when she first heard of her:-)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 12:47 PM

I learned "Gotta Find a Woman With a Chainsaw (to spend the winter with me)" from the singing of a lesbian trio whose name escapes me after these dozen or so years. It's not really a lesbian song as I believe the writer was a male. But I didn't know that at the time. I didn't have to change the gender of the song, but I did eliminate the reference to Mendocino Thunder F*** (potent marijuana). It is extremely popular with audiences in the fall of the year here in Maryland.

With some hesitancy I should note an old favorite by Charlie King entitled "Thank you, Anita" (a reference to Anita Bryant, the orange juice queen who slurred homosexuals). It is with hesitancy because I casually mentioned this song a year ago and someone asked for the lyrics. Maybe if I change that burned out light bulb in the cellar I can find that LP. After three moves, they are no longer in alphabetical order and there must be hundreds of them (folk and 60's and 70' R&R).

Maybe I'll go look.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:08 PM

Interesting thread Kat. I believe it would have been in the early sixties when I first heard any sexually-alternative songs. Names that come to mind would be Chris Williamson, and Alix Dobkin. Of course Bessie Smith (who from all accounts, loved a good time,) probably put disguised references into her blues songs.
As far as Gay songs by guys, my guess is they would have been totally underground til at least the seventies. Fred Small was quite open and probably paved the way for others, but wasn't his debut in the mid-seventies at the earliest?
One of my favourite songwriters Paul Seibel ("Louise") didn't come out publicly til long after his great album "Woodsmoke and Oranges".
If I had to take a guess, I'd say that there were probably a number of small private (for safety sake) record labels that did exclusively Gay material from a way back. There is a long history of "in house" recordings. The Communist Party had it's own labels from the thirties. I've got an old "Charter" 78rpm from the forties with the as-yet un-named "Weavers" singing "Wasn't That a Time". I'm told that it was sponsored by the CP. Also I believe the KKK had their own label that recorded groups like the "Reinhart Bros". Of course there have always been small labels doing "comedy" records,(and I ain't talkin' Bob Newhart, folks). In the twenties (and probably before) there were very "Blue" recordings, that folks brought out at cocktail parties. My friend's parents kept a trove of these and he and I as 10 year olds used to find and play them. People like B.S. Pully, and even Sophie Tucker. We didn't understand them of course, but we "knew they were wicked"!
So my guess is that were probably gay records and artists from the early days, but you had to be "in the know" to find them.
Correct me if I'm wrong someone, but weren't Peter Pears and Benjamin Britton (sp) openly gay a long time ago?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:13 PM

Well, there is a long and proud history of songs that celebrate cross-dressing, usually in one of two categories:

1. Intentional, such as the all-too-common songs about lasses who had to dress up as lads to do some heroic deed or other (examples: Famous Flower of Serving Men, Handsome Cabin Boy, etc.)

2. Unintentional, such as all those songs where some poor sailor is lured into a woman's room, is drugged, and awakens nude in an alley the next morning, having to grab whatever he can find (usually a dress or apron or other woman's garment) and sneak back on board ship.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:14 PM

Just thought of something. A pioneer in the country/bluegras field is of course Cathy Fink. Wow, she must have the guts of a burglar!
In the 60s and 70s I used to get a haircut before I crossed the border into the states - and my only "alternative lifestyle" was that I sang a lot of Phil Ochs songs!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:37 PM

I've always wondered about "Dame Durden"

`Twas Moll and Bet, and Doll and Kit,
And Dolly to drag her tail;
It was Tom and Dick, and Joe and Jack,
And Humphrey with his flail.
And Joe kissed Dolly, and Jack kissed Kitty,
And Humphrey with his flail;

And Kitty she was the charming girl
To carry her milking pail.

Many really good love songs can be sung by anyone for anyone.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:48 PM

In the 60's I worked on an underground newspaper (remember those?) and a bunch of the guys were gay. They said that Donovan was gay, and that his song "Try and Catch the Wind" was about gay relationship.
Geoff Morgan has songs about male relationship and a really eerie one about AIDS that doesn't mention that word.(1980 ish, I think).
Fred Small wrote Everything Possible, one of my all time favorite lullabyes, for lesbian Janet Peterson of Motherlode.
Was it Steve Goodman who wrote the song with the chorus
"There are men who love women who love men
There are women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because they can't pretend
To be men who love women who love men."
And for totally off the wall funny raunchy rock and roll lesbian music, let me reccommend my old church camp buddy Kay Turner, lead singer for the Austin TX band, Girls In The Nose. I like the first album best. Caveat: you have to be able to like catspaw type humor to enjoy this stuff. Talk about bad taste awards (NPI), one of the songs is "Come and Die", and another is called "Bite Me"
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: annamill
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:57 PM

Oh Oh! Wait til catspaw sees this one... I don't think you have bad taste, Catspaw ;-)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:23 PM

I have a Folkways album WALLS TO ROSES..Songs of Changing Men; 1979 Album No. FTS 37587. It is explained as the conception of a seventeen-member collective of men. I quote "We came together from across the nation, combining our energies with those of six New England area women for the sppecific purpose of creating a record which supports the struggle against sexism in its broadest sense and strives for a more positive vision of masculinity. Iif anyone is interested, call me at e-mail flnjjones@harborside.com I have the usual great Folkways booklet of twelve great pages of notes and lyrics. A real insight into a way of life and extremely well done...........


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: annamill
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:29 PM

Barbara,

I hope I didn't insult you. I hope you know I was only teasing. Sometimes NJ people forget that the rest of the world doesn't understand our teasing sense of humor. If I did, I didn't mean to.

annap


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Llanfair
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM

My favourite is Noel Coward'S "Mad about the Boy" Everyone knew about his lifestyle, and this song was so thinly veiled, that it was accepted, in an era when "that sort of thing" was not talked about openly. He was very much in love at the time, and the song expresses it in his usual understated way. Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:28 PM

Wow! gREAT! Yes, Rick, B. Britton was gay; the Queen even sent condolences when he or his partner passed on (can't remember which and don't want to call my brother to ask.)

I have a great book, "Homosexuals in History", which gives a short bio of many.

Does anyone recall the name of a comedy/singing duo, both gay, started out in the 80's? I think one of them was named Phillips? We saw them at UMASS-Amherst and they were fantastic. I never got their tape and would love to find them again.

Not sure about Donovan, his latest cd, "Sutras" is "dedicated to she" according to the liner notes and has a b&w photo, closeup of him ad a woman embraced.

How about recent, besides Holly, Ferron and k.d.? Anybody perform for gay/lesbian/bisexual/trangender audiences specifically?

Thanks, kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:14 PM

N.O.T. (No Offense Taken) annap. Besides I don't really know if catspaw tastes bad. (But you'd think anyone who spends that much time in the litter box would have a uh, bouquet of ammonia about him, wouldn't you?)

Geoff Morgan isn't gay, KatL, but he does often play to gay men's gatherings.
One of my favorite men's songs (not necessarily gay) is Tom Hunter's "Tonight I Want you to Rock Me to Sleep".


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:16 PM

I've sung:

"Frankie and Johnny were lovers...He was his man, but he done him wrong." Changing one pronoun puts a whole new spin on it.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Barbara
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:21 PM

Oh, and "I just want a woman with a chainsaw" is a Peter Krug song. He lives in the Russian River area of California, and has written a number of neat songs. His "Working Hands" has been recorded by Faith Petric, as well as "Gonna be a Geritol Gypsy (drive an RV 10 yards long)".
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 06:30 PM

Kat, the duo with "Phillips" in it sure wouldn't have been John Phillips (from the Mamas and Papas). His autobiography would curl your hair! Most of the time they were all so stoned they could have been in bed with a grizzley bear and wouldn't have known the difference.
I co-wrote and toured with Arlene Mantle off and on for about 5 years and always played with her at Gay Pride Day in Toronto. She would introduce me as her "token straight guy"! Sometimes I'd hire a few others to be her "big band" and she gave us the name "The Heterosexually Impaired". Arlene had a wonderful sense of humour. Sadly there were some in her audiences that were "thick as a brick", and felt that Arlene betrayed the cause by even hanging around with men, let alone hiring them to work with her. Humourless people of any stripe bore me stiff.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 06:34 PM

Me, too, Rick. No, it wasn't that Phillips. Arlene sounds like my kinda woman. Charlie, I love the change of pronoun!

I will go do a forum search for some of these. If they aren't there, I may have to ask some of you to post some!

Thanks! kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: John Hindsill
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 07:00 PM

How about Roger's and Hammerstein's, "I Enjoy Being a Girl" as interpreted by Phrank? Me, I'd take Pat Suzuki any day!!!--John


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: emily rain
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 08:14 PM

i like to think that "she mov'd through the faire" is about furtive lesbian love... all the luscious secrecy, and far more women than men sing that song.

also, is anyone familiar with "when i was a fair maid", as sung by sally rogers? the heroine dresses up as a boy to join the queen's navy, and does very well there. then comes the verse:

"but a lady fell in love with me
i told her i was a maid
she went unto the captain
and my secret she betrayed"

i've always wondered why the lady would do such a thing, until one day this embellishment came to me in a flash:

"but a lady fell in love with me
i told her i was a maid...

(she said "i know")
(i said "umm... and i'm straight")
(she said "no you're not")
(i said "actually i am")
(and she said "look, if you're not interested you can just tell me")
(and i said "but really...!")
(and she screamed "I'VE NEVER BEEN WRONG ABOUT THIS SORT OF THING YOU LYING BITCH I MEAN LOOK AT YOU WHY DON'T YOU JUST TELL ME YOU THINK I'M A FAT UGLY SCAG??!?")

she went unto the captain
and my secret she betrayed!"

heh! the perils of faulty gaydar... when you learn to see folk music through queer-colored glasses, it's possible to find _tons_ of songs about homosexuality. :)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 09:35 PM

If you want to go back a ways (it says historical, there isn't a hell of a lot. Bessie Ball and Mary Gray (Child 201) were suspected; Willie of Winsbury was unusually attractive to the King; The Handsome Cabin Boy was apparently bisexual, while the heroine in Short Jacket and White Trousers referred to the crew's possible reaction to a (supposed) homosexual affair. The only other reasonably old (prior to 1960 or so) ones are Navy songs like "Backside Rules the Navy".

I suspect that homosexuality disturbed our forebears more than things like rape, murder and incest did.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:15 PM

I think I react to the notion of a diferention of specifically Gay and Lesbian songs in the same way I react the personals adds in the news papers that list "Men" "Women" "Guys" and "Gals". In an effort to show acceptance and tolerance we create divisions that are even more defined. I am a person who through the course of my day will meet and work with other people. Some will be straight and some will be gay but in the the cosmic scheme it won't matter to me who is and who ain't. What will matter is that we met and parted, fairly served by each other, and neither was diminished by the experience.

I understand the need for some kind of validation that shows we are not alone and there is a group that accepts us for what we are. But when we reach the point where we have to divide music in to such specific categories I fear we are driving wedges and the same time we are cementing solidarity.

Don


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: gargoyle
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:53 PM

Katspaw!!!! I am truly SHOCKED!!!!

From previous previous "conversations" and "matramonial/seeking threads" I TRULY believed to you have a child. (Not "The Child's")(p)

WHY?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM

Oh, Don, I never meant it to be that way. We do identify some folk songs as Irish, Polish, from Tuva, etc. As relative novice at the really old folksong tradition, I am interested in knowing about these songs.

I understand your point of view, but it sounds a lot like the people who say "why do they have to have gay pride marches and flaunt it". Why? Because without those marches and the civil rights they sometimes helped to bring about, most everyone would still be in the closet and persecuted etc. As it is anyone homosexual in most states can lose their job, their housing, their kids, etc. just because of their sexual choice, somethng that should be nobody else's business. A lot of people are not as open and understanding as most Mudcatters seem to be.

I don't see my request as any different than one requesting an old Irish tune, or any other of several kinds, except that it involves sexual preference, another category. Sorry, if that offends anyone.

BTW, the gay group I was trying to think of was Romanofsky and someone I can't remember.

Bi, for now and always,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Helen
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:04 AM

Hi all,

I've been trying to find the thread where gay & lesbian folk songs were discussed and I finally found it. It was one of those funny threads which start out completely differently. It seemed to be started by a non-Mudcatter but we don't really know if it was a serious request for making social contact. You'll have to scoot past the BS if you're only interested in the music discussion which started after my posting about half way down.

Don't be put off by the thread name, either.


sexyone

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.CFM?threadID=3346

We couldn't find many gay/lesbian traditional songs

Helen


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:25 AM

Kat,

I think that its a fascinating notion for a thread. And i am in no way suggesting that we hide or deny songs like these. I just hope that in our concerted efforts to be inclusive we don't inadvertantly become exclusive.

The truth beknown, I am confused by sexual preference anyway. Does the fact that I prefere to experience sexual relations exclusively with women make me a lesbian? My wife says "no" but she prefere to have sex with me and she's so cheerful all the time she must be gay.

What a world.

Don


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:50 AM

Oh, Don, I am glad to read your words, but cha' know....love women or not, yer just not equipped to be a lesbian!*BG*

Helen, I am glad you put that link in and that you warned about the BS. Had I read that thread, at the top, when I first came on the Mudcat, I would have been very offended at everyone's flippant and rude remarks and may not have come back. I can empathise with whoever posted the thread. I doubt if she was looking for a sexual conversation as much as hoping there might be a like-minded person among us. And, being bold enough to post, I am sorry the intial response was so, well....catty! *grin*

Okay, okay, I know we ALL love folkmusic, but by our very responses such as the thread mentioned, might we be being a little exclusive, just as Don fears? And, Don, I don't think our being inclusive is suddenly going to turn this into a gay only music site .**BG** How about we settle for gay/lesbian/bisexual/whatever friendly?

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 12:55 AM

As long as you all learn your proper "F" chords.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 01:06 AM

I found them! Thanks Helen for reminding me of Ladyslipper Records, in the other thread. The gay couple I was trying to remember is Romanovsky and Phillips. They are funny, irreverent, and really good, with several cd's out at Ladyslipper

Oh, Rick, is that Fchords, sounds like fjords? NOI!

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 01:09 AM

Rats!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Resonator
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 02:01 AM

For what it's worth, there was a long-standing tradition in the old black blues circles of gay/lesbian songs. Of course, the blues was full of double-entendres anyway. I don't know if Stash records has released its catalogue on CD, but they had a 1977 LP called "AC/DC Blues." It has cuts such as Kokomo Arnold's version of "Sissyman Blues," and Bessie Jackson doing "B.D. Woman's Blues." One cut, "It's tight like that," features Thomas A. Dorsey, who later became the father of modern gospel music! The songs were recorded between 1927 and 1936. Peace.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 03:57 AM

Glad to see the blues reference. I think there were others from the 20s etc and I will be surprised if the era of decadence in Germany didn't produce candidates. I think I remember vaguely a UK radio prog a couple of years ago dealing with lesbian songs of the 20s.30s etc. I don't think it was Charlie Gillett or Paul Gambaccini but they would probably remember. I'm almost sure it was on one of the London local FM stations. This ought to be dug into more deeply because it is a socially important thread.

BTW why has no-one mentioned Donovan's "The Gipsy Boy and I"?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 09:14 AM

a search for @transvestite yields 50 hits


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: LEJ
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 06:17 PM

Kat...no offense by any means, but I bet Catspaw is just itching to post some Historical Gay Songs out of his own colorful imagination...I have to admit I thought of a couple.

I think that homosexuality was a taboo topic until 30 years or so ago, taboo both among song-writers and among the musicians and folks who would have passed down the tradition. But, hey, maybe Sappho was a folk lyricist and we've just lost track of the tunes?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 06:44 PM

I can't think of any references to homosexuality in British and Irish traditional song.

Willie O' Winesberrie says "If I were a woman as I am a man, my bedfellow he would have been." This is a rare example of one man (indeed a father) acknowledging the good looks of another but there is no hint of homosexulaity or bisexuality in the statement.

The transvestite highwayman and sailor songs of the last couple of centuries usually centered around a woman following her man. Sylvie, I Am A Maid That Sleeps In Love and Jackie Munro are all good examples. In the Handsome Cabin Boy "It was the Captain found out the secret of the handsome cabin boy."

Then, of course, there was Hannah Snell who was said to have been a Royal Marine for 15 years and to have been punished by bareback lashing - yes, bareback lashing. I would doubt that Ms. Snell was much interested in menfolk... but no traditional song survives about her and I doubt there ever was one.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Folksie Lady
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 07:59 PM

Great thread! Coincidentally, I've been researching like subjects for my own knowledge, but am including the whole spectrum of women's lives. From a woman-positive, even feminist viewpoint... am including songs about singleness, bisexuality, family life, friendships, struggles in the workplace, girlhood and awareness of impending womanhood, how men view women, how both genders change and grow as they mature. Whew! (smile) Katlaughing, if you have any input it would be very welcome. Others too, certainly.

There really are no historical songs about the thread topic coming to mind. Besides Ladyslipper I'd also recommend Harmony Ridge for women's albums.

Folksie


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 08:45 PM

Oh, wow, Folksie, are we gonna hafta talk! All subjects dear to my heart and my writings! Gotta go right now, but I will get ahold of you later. Thanks to you and everyone for their interest and support on this. It means a lot to me.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Folksie Lady
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 11:50 PM

'Twould be delightful, katlaughing! Please feel free to do so. Meanwhile, I'm gonna make some semblance of a list or such in order to have the research as coherent as possible.

One serendipitous discovery has been Dory Previn. She is a talented singer and dead-on in her wryly humorous lyrics. More later...back to the turntable for me! (smile)


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:32 AM

kat...wondering if you're familiar with Theresa Trull's music...she used to tour with Holly Near in the seventies......hopefully, that's not considered "old" music!!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:51 AM

No, Night Owl, I'm not. I didn't find out about Holly until about 1984 when we moved to Northampton, Massachusetts. Went to the local fem/les bookstore and fell in love!

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Night Owl
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 01:39 AM

I misspelled her name....its Teresa Trull (no "h"). I only have one of her albums called "The Ways A Woman Can Be" produced in 1977 by Olivia Records, Los Angeles California. I think you'd enjoy her music, especially if you can locate recordings done with Holly Near...they made musical magic together!! I don't know if Olivia Records still exists, but they were a good source for women's music....waaay back then.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:23 PM

Kat,

I'd encourage you to pick up some music by Alix Dobkin (a personal favorite of mine). She was an out lesbian singer/songwriter in the 70's and is still working. Some of her landmark contributions are:

Amazon ABC, Lesbian Code, View From Gay Head.

Her ballad 'Over the Banks' is a beautiful love song, it certainly thrills my heart.

In reading one of your posts in another thread, I saw that you have an affinity with Native American people. You are probably familiar with the traditional Lakota chant 'Ancient Mother', but I would heartily recommend picking up Justina And Joyce's CD 'So Strong'. They do an awesome cover it. It sounds like up to 6-part harmonies to me, and their harmonies are tight and rich. Justina and Joyce are another favorite lesbian folksinger/songwriter duet. (The first song on this CD is a cover of the Scottish folksong 'Dark-Eyed Molly'. It's soooo gorgeous. Justina's voice is hearty and rich and full. It's a great CD.)

Also, check out Cris Williamson, Lucie Blue Trembley, Meg Christian, and Susan Herrick (I really like her song 'Never Have I' (among may others!). She's wonderful. Her song 'Heart of a Child' is a powerful testimonial as a former victim of sexual violence.)

This has been an interesting thread. I don't think that by recognizing various genres, we are marginalizing people. Just the opposite.

Rose


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:54 PM

Rose, Thanks for your posting, both here and on the enthnically diverse one. Glad to see somebody else "come out" *smile*; really glad to see you join us with some postings.

I am a little familiar with Alix. Also, the Lakota song, from Libana's first tape/cd, "A Circle Is Cast". I will definitely check out "So Strong", it sounds great!

Have to go plant some flowers I bought yesterday. I promise to answer with more, later. Thanks, again.

Bi,Kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 02:50 PM

How about Ray Davies's, Lola?

I think I share some of Don's concerns. Given my opinions on the nationality of music and my belief and hope for music as the universal language, this may not be such a surprise.

I agree with you Kat, when you say that without the demonstrations and sacrifices that were made, then some people would still be living in fear, but is it not time now to move on? Those first battles have been fought and won and society's attitude's have changed. To continue to behave as if the world is now, as it was 30 years ago, is counter-productive. Is it not time to concentrate on making society in general more accepting of our diversity, rather than creating 'ghettos'?

As I speak there is a trailer running on BBC TV, for a programme called Gaytime TV.

I have no problem with gay people, but I do have a problem with a so-called 'gay community'. The idea that I can form a community with people with whom the only thing I have in common is my sexual preference, is difficult for me to accept. If I went to a club composed only of such people, would I not be missing out on the opportunity of sharing all my other interests.

Is that not the danger and weakness of 'alternative' cultures?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 02:55 PM

I have a dread of reading the next thread entitled 'How many Mudcatter's are gay?'.


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: emily rain
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 03:50 PM

shambles, i think i disagree with you that society's attitudes have changed. while homosexuality is definitely becoming more acceptable, there's still a society-wide feeling of extreme discomfort and revulsion. when working with my clients' teenage kids, the most common insult i hear is "he's such a queer," which is especially forcefully directed at boys who know how to be caring and sensitive with their friends. gay-bashing is a tradition that's still alive and well (and not just of concern to gay folks; the majority of adolescents who are picked on/ostracized/beaten up/raped for being gay are _not_actually_gay_). and while we have gay characters on tv and in movies and whole storylines about what it's like to be gay, you'll notice that the female characters are rarely sympathetic unless they're bi and cute, and the male characters are mostly clowns.

i'm fully in agreement that separatism is not and never could be the answer. however, if we are to be accepting of our diversity, the first thing we have to do is acknowledge it. when kat started this thread, i think we all understood that she wasn't trying to drum up interest for a whole new exclusive queer-only digitrad with queer-only songs and a dating service on the side. she was just suggesting we talk about something we haven't really talked about before.

and isn't that what diversity is all about?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 04:32 PM

Shambles,

I think you are absolutely right when you describe some of the gay community in terms of missing out on the the "whole" person - all of the interests, skills, personality traits, emotions, etc. that form a person *in addition* to her/his sexual orientation. In talking with some other gay people, I often see that missing. However, in talking with some straight men, I wonder what interests they have other than "chasing skirts". Only having such a narrow focus can be a weakness in any culture or person. People are people and there are some people who recognize and are interested in other people for the "whole" person, gay, straight or bi.

Regarding it being time to move on, well, tell that to the parents of Matthew Shephard. Or to the family of the lesbian couple who were kidnapped and murdered in Oregon a couple of years back. There are many, many familiar cases of hate crimes. There are many, many more less familiar incidents. You say, "Those first battles have been fought and won and society's attitude's have changed." When I don't have to fear loosing my job or apartment because of whom I love, we'll be a little closer to that time. When the lesbian mother doesn't loose custody of her child to her ex-husband who is a convicted murderer, (actual case in Florida) we'll be closer to that time. With the high rate of suicide among gay youth, it's hardly time to move on.

Emily, I think you are right - the most common insult you will hear in an elementary school playground is one child accusing another of being gay. "What are you, gay?" or "He's such a queer" are typical, daily negative reminders that there is something wrong with being gay. Elementary school is where the taunts start. It gets worse in the upper grades.

As this was a thread asking for information about lesbigay music, I made my musical contribution above and didn't expect to offer anything else.

Rose


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 04:41 PM

Thanks, Emily. Shambs, I am reminded, on an almost daily basis, of how far we still have to go for total aceptance to live our lives without being harassed for our choices, whatever they may be. Just last year, my gay brother came out of his apt. to find someone had drawn a chalk outline of a body ala homicide investigations, right in front of his door. There is a bar in Wyoming which has a noose hanging on the wall with a sign that says basically, if you're gay we'll use this on you. Two lesbians were brutally murdered in Oregon and left in their pickup truck a year or two ago; Pat Robertson and his ilk would like to put all "queers" in jail and his real extremists would like to kill us all. Robertson was a major speaker at the Republican (USA) national convention a few years back

Your intentions are good, but unfortunately there still are not enough of you out there. When we gather as a gay/lesbian/bi community is it because we feel safer there; we don't run as much of a risk of being beaten up, raped, spread-eagled and murdered, lose our jobs, our homes, our kids, if we are only "out" mostly within our own "gay community". We also don't gather and define our community solely on the basis of sexual preference. Often we also share similar views on politics, civil rights, the environment, education and a myriad of other things. While you might not think you are in a community defined by being hetero; it is so much the "norm" of society, you can't help but be. That standpoint inundates us all, all of the time, through the media, government, etc.

Some of the gay community still has a hard time accepting bi's. When I first came out to some lesbian friends they thought I was a fence sitter, safe behind my hetero marriage. Through my actions, words, and over time, most of them have grown to be more accepting and supportive. Most of the hetero community does not see me as a threat, so I am a lot safer than gays and lesbians; but I still empathise with them and still consider myself a part of their community and proud of it.

Of course I want us to embrace diversity; that's what I've spent a good share of my life working to promote. You are right, the first battles have been fought, but it is far from over, for all minorities. It won't be over until it is safe for any gay, lesbian, bisexual, person of colour, etc. etc. to walk the streets alone, and get and keep a job/apt/have a child without fear of loss because of their minority status.

I am sorry Shambs, but your point about being in a one only society and losing out by not being with others doesn't wash. Your society, hetero, is so out there one can be exposed and partake of all it has to offer everywhere, anytime. Many of the queer community do just that; they can't help it. They were probably raised in it; went to school in it; and work in it.

I am NOT trying to polarise any of us. I simply wanted to know more about the songs which define some of us. And, while I don't think it would be safe to start a thread about which M'catters are gay, I would welcome email or private messages from any who are.

katlaughing, rabble-rousing with heart!


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 04:57 PM

I hear what you say. I just think that part of the problem is that having demonstrated that diversity, to keep attracting young people to that idea of a separate 'gay community', stops them from being part of a larger community, that is generally ready to accept them.

Does not the concept of dressing and behaving in a way that openly makes the statement of your sexual preference, make it easy for those that would not accept you to identify and harm you?

Is not the idea of the 'gay community' NOW becoming THE barrier to larger acceptance?


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 05:17 PM

Shambs: I am sorry, but what planet are you living on??? Young gay people are NOT generally accepted, NOR are they comfortable in coming out. It is a time of great changes for any young person, when none of them want to feel different than their peers. As Emily said, many teens still use the terms "queer, faggot, lesbo, etc. as the most deragatory terms they can call one another.

And, by saying that someone dresses a certain way in order to identify that they are gay, be careful about making such assumptions. The media have fed stereotypes to society ad nasueum. You should come out here sometime to the gay rodeo or even the regular rodeo and meet some of my gay cowboy friends, (although it'd have to be away form the rodeo, as I don't go to them anymore); or the power exec lesbian I know. Of course, just like any subculture there are choices one can make if they want to *flame* or be subtle. The use of subtle choices is no different than what any other repressed and oppressed segment of society has used for i.d. of friends in the past, including early Christians. And, so what if someone wants to be flamboyant about it, ala Liberace. Isn't that their right, too? Should they "deserve" to be beaten or murdered because they flaunted it; just like a street woman deserves to be beaten and raped?

Sorry, the real world is not generally accepting and is not safe, not yet, anyway. We're working on it, though.

kat


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Subject: RE: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 05:34 PM

Sorry, one more point. You said: "Does not the concept of dressing and behaving in a way that openly makes the statement of your sexual preference, make it easy for those that would not accept you to identify and harm you?"

If this were the case, would hetero men who whistle at women, leer at women, make suggestive remarks or gestures at women, be "openly making a statement about their sexual preference"? And, would that mean it should be open season on them by anyone who did not want to accept their sexual preference? There are examples of this all over the media and in life, all of the time.

I don't think that it's so much the gay community wanting to be exclusive, as safe. Also, the gay community, in general, willingly works within the general community, when accepted, esp. for a common cause. In our organisation here, the Wyoming Grassroots Project, an org. for human rights, we have made sure all minority communities feel welcome, heard, and included: gay, African American, Hispanic, hetero, etc.

kat


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