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Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More

Mo the caller 02 Dec 16 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 02 Dec 16 - 12:51 PM
Jack Campin 02 Dec 16 - 12:23 PM
GUEST 02 Dec 16 - 01:27 AM
Charley Noble 15 Apr 11 - 09:01 AM
Beezer725 14 Apr 11 - 08:41 PM
InOBU 22 Sep 00 - 06:14 AM
The Beanster 22 Sep 00 - 01:20 AM
Branwen23 21 Sep 00 - 06:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Sep 00 - 05:36 PM
Jeri 21 Sep 00 - 09:49 AM
CamiSu 21 Sep 00 - 09:01 AM
Barbara 21 Sep 00 - 01:24 AM
Terry K 21 Sep 00 - 01:21 AM
rabbitrunning 21 Sep 00 - 12:51 AM
The Beanster 20 Sep 00 - 10:06 PM
Jon Freeman 20 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM
Terry K 20 Sep 00 - 06:28 PM
Terry K 20 Sep 00 - 06:10 PM
DougR 20 Sep 00 - 06:05 PM
Art Thieme 20 Sep 00 - 05:26 PM
Matt Woodbury/Mimosa 20 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM
Jed at Work 20 Sep 00 - 04:54 PM
Branwen23 20 Sep 00 - 04:47 PM
Jed at Work 20 Sep 00 - 04:33 PM
Lonesome EJ 20 Sep 00 - 04:23 PM
Matt Woodbury/Mimosa 20 Sep 00 - 04:12 PM
Barbara 20 Sep 00 - 04:01 PM
Jed at Work 20 Sep 00 - 02:25 PM
JedMarum 20 Sep 00 - 09:39 AM
The Beanster 20 Sep 00 - 09:26 AM
rabbitrunning 20 Sep 00 - 09:12 AM
JedMarum 20 Sep 00 - 09:11 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Sep 00 - 09:09 AM
Jeri 20 Sep 00 - 08:50 AM
CamiSu 20 Sep 00 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Fedele 20 Sep 00 - 03:42 AM
Lepus Rex 20 Sep 00 - 01:28 AM
Lonesome EJ 20 Sep 00 - 01:01 AM
Terry K 20 Sep 00 - 12:55 AM
Lepus Rex 20 Sep 00 - 12:40 AM
Mbo 20 Sep 00 - 12:34 AM
Lepus Rex 20 Sep 00 - 12:28 AM
CamiSu 19 Sep 00 - 11:34 PM
Homeless 19 Sep 00 - 03:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Sep 00 - 02:36 PM
Barbara 19 Sep 00 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Brendy 19 Sep 00 - 07:48 AM
Terry K 19 Sep 00 - 02:59 AM
Jeri 18 Sep 00 - 10:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: Mo the caller
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 01:38 PM

"
Little Black Sambo is about tigers and pancakes.
The original Anglo-Indian book (with Bannerman's own illustrations) is in no way racist and that comment fits it literally."

Except that it is about 'funny people who aren't like us, and do odd things.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 12:51 PM

There is a short biography of Tim Henderson at the webpages for the Texas State Historical Association. It makes no mention of Mrs. Stein, nor of the people she won't rent to, although it goes down a list of other song titles written by Henderson.

The biography says that Henderson started out life in the Appalachians of West Virginia, before life took him to Austin, Texas.

Austin, Texas is also the location of the University of Texas -- Austin, where a Ph.D. professor named Ian Hancock (born in England) is a long-time, dedicated advocate for the Roma. You ought to hear HIM waxing wroth about this song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 12:23 PM

It appears that by "late great" you mean "disgusting pig-ignorant bigoted lump of shit". (From the CV in his obituary he appears to have been something small-time in the CIA).

BTW I don't know what this comment from InOBU meant:

Little Black Sambo is about tigers and pancakes.

The original Anglo-Indian book (with Bannerman's own illustrations) is in no way racist and that comment fits it literally. The American adaptation of it is white supremacist filth. There are TWO DIFFERENT BOOKS involved, and virtually nobody on either side of the Atlantic will ever have seen the version known on the other. (I've seen many copies of Bannerman's original but only know the American one via scans on the web).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 01:27 AM

Mrs stein don't rent to gypsies anymore is by the late great Austin tx songwriter Tim Henderson.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:01 AM

I've just reviewed this whole thread and certainly the discussion covered the whole range of what shouldn't or should be sung or even posted. But, finally, the lyrics to the song in question were actually posted.

This song definitely was composed as a "humorous song," to amuse some at the expense of others. But it's not what I would consider a humorous song for a general audience. It's also not what I consider "gallows humor" which is more like "Blood in the Saddle" or even "Wreck on the Highway" in the way my gang used to sing it as "immortals" at college as we cruised back from a late night concert or party.

A lot of the housing or tenant songs that I collect are also "gallows humor" in that the situations described by housing organizers are often desperate, and sometimes absurdly desperate. Usually the landlord is the villain rather than the tenant, which provides political focus to the songs, the "downtrodden" ridiculing their "oppressor." That doesn't necessarily make for a good song, nor even a fair song, but it is understandable in its context. Some of the old IWW songs fall into the same category such as the parody of the scab "Casey Jones."

Substituting other groups (such as students or yuppies) for "gypsies" in this song is an interesting exercise. However, I still find it mean-spirited. Substituting other ethnic groups for the homeowner "Mrs. Stein" is also an interesting exercise; she's most likely introduced as representing a particular stereotype as well and we're supposed to laugh at her plight. One could also argue that this is a historical ballad based on a newspaper story but no one has tracked down that story; it's true that news stories can be more bizarre than the most absurd composed song.

So I'm wondering what the original poster of this thread has done with this song now that he's finally harvested the lyrics. Does he sing it at concerts, and what is the reaction? Or is it filed away as another novelty song to present at an occasional song party or session?

Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THIS TOWN IS NOT THEIR OWN
From: Beezer725
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:41 PM

There are a lot of posts on the matter, needless to say, I didn't read all of them word for word. I was interested in knowing who all recorded "This Town is Not Their [or Your] Own?" I have one on cassett that has a different fourth verse from all the ones I've come across so far. Here is my version:

THIS TOWN IS NOT THEIR OWN

In a cloud of dust they rode,
Covered wagons down a lonely road.
Happy people laugh and sing
And hear the bell of freedom ring a while,
And the countryside's their own.

Now the town is drawing near;
Parents eyes begin to shift in fear.
While their children still play on
Not knowing they can never settle down
Because this town is not their own.

'Round the camp, the fires are hot;
Hungry children gather 'round the pot.
But some will go to bed tonight
Without a bite of food, or heat, or light
Because this town is not their own.

When they protest the fights begin.                        
"Do you think you are fit human beings?        
You don't pay a penny tax        
Yet you dare to come and ask can you come in,
Aye, and make this town your own."                                
                                                                
So once more they're on the run
Out to face the cruel wind and sun.
Land of saints and scholars, we
Have lost the precious gift of charity
And we don't recognise our own.


I do not know who's arrangment this is; I do not recognise the voice on the recording, although I know it is over 20 years old.

Also, if anyone is interested, regarding the "Moving On Song" - Dick Gaughan did a wonderful redition of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: InOBU
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 06:14 AM

Well, Well, Well,
A month in Wiltshire and this is still going strong! Joe Offer, my old friend, as you see, my request for good taste, rather than censorship, (taste is when no one posts - censorship is where you - the government here - removes the lyrics) set the really racist and bad taste lyrics in the context of a really good discussion which I belive got folks and folkies thinking about their steriotypes about my folks. I really appreciate even the remarks like, Gypsies make a mess so the song is right - to paraphrase a few comments, now late at night, and me trying to be brief. Happy to be back and see that we are still struggling to understand these songs we sing,
Back from the road
Lor (InOBU)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:20 AM

Thank you, Terry, for your response. You and I are on the same page. I was glad to hear (read) your explanation and I guess I did make the assumption that you objected to the defense of people who are outside the mainstream, in general. I think I felt your anger in the initial posts so much, that I didn't know if you were seeing the forest for the trees. But it seems that you do have perspective, despite your 30 years of bad experiences. Fair play to you. And I hope something can be done to improve what sounds like a tremendously difficult situation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 06:31 PM

Barbara-

Sorry, I don't know anything specific of Tim Henderson...

I do know that the guys credited him for the tune on the cd...
Maybe they know something about his whereabouts...

I'll see what I can find out, but I probably won't talk to them for at least a few days...


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:36 PM

Blood on the saddle - it's strange the way some songs that in themselves are not funny at all, and are about something real and tragic get turned into joke songs. The same with The Titanic. There are planty of genuinely funny songs to sing. I think we ought to try to sing songs like that with respect - but it's bloody hard, what with the way people tend to join in in a mechanical singalong way.

Lack of the ability to use imagination about other people's troubles isn't restricted to people responding to "tinkers" stopping in the wrong place.

But surely nobody could sing Wreck on the Highway in a jokey way? And done straight, it might well upset people, but it shouldn't offend them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 09:49 AM

I met someone from South Africa back in 1981 when aparthied was still going strong. She told me that black people she'd seen acted like bullies, and were rude, loudmouthed and coarse. She asked me if they acted that way in the US. I told her some did, most didn't, but if I were made to feel like mainstream society would be happier if I'd just disappear, I'd probably act that way too. I think there was and is a lot more going on than that, but I think it's true that if a society forces a group to remain apart, it's bound to turn into an "us vs. them" situation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 09:01 AM

Terry

This is so hard. You say there is a 30 year history with this particular group of people. Is it all skirmishes like this or has there been any negotiation? It seems you are in a vicious circle, they feel unwelcome and so trash the place and make no effort to engender your well wishes, so you dislike them and drive them away, so they dislike you and don't care about your property so... you get the idea. The trouble is someone has to break the cycle! And the only person you have control over is yourself. If we all wait for the other guy to make the first move we will remain in the same trouble.

Believe me I know how hard this is. I have a neighbor who has a light he put up on purpose to shine in our bedroom, after we'd solved the problem he had with our dog. He has not changed the light back, and I'm really shy about asking he do so, finding it easier to do nothing but resent him. And this is a really small issue compared to what you have...

Good luck!

CamiSu


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:24 AM

My friend's not on-line, rr, and I put too much time this morning looking, but I'm not sure if the setting is in Texas. (I have this recollection that when he introduced it before, 10 or so years ago, he said it happened in LA) I also spent a while trying to find Tim Henderson, who Peter thought had a web page. Someone else who's got more time or is a better searcher than I (not hard to be that) is welcome to give it a shot.
Branwen, or any of you other Texans, you know anything about Tim Henderson?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:21 AM

Beanster, I agree wholeheartedly.

I have explained earlier in the thread that my points are made regarding my personal experiences of the "travellers" who visit my local area. These people are not gypsies, but are what we would "categorise" (if I'm allowed to!!) as tinkers. And before some other touchy person jumps down my throat, no, I am not saying that "all tinkers are like that". But many are like that and I stand by my criticisms of those who are. And of course I am happy to support anybody who behaves acceptably, no matter who they are.

I would have thought it fairly obvious that one's comments are made from personal experience of particular situations. And I would have thought it equally obvious that in mentioning these experiences, of course I am not saying that anyone who lives in a caravan is by necessity a bad person.

It's just that with 30 years experience of the type of behaviour mentioned above, it rather pisses me off to hear the sweeping generalisations of support for people who behave that way expressed in this thread.

It seems that some people will support the so-called "oppressed" simply because they claim to be "oppressed", regardless of the issues. Prejudice in favour of something is still prejudice, particularly to those who are not in favour.

But it is useful to be able to air these thoughts, if only to try to remove some of the romantic notions of those who have not had similar experiences.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 12:51 AM

Barbara,

The possible tie to an actual event fascinates me. If your friend is willing to think a bit, could you narrow the possible dates a little? It can't be that hard (in this lovely internet age!) to find an archive that might have the Kerrville paper.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 10:06 PM

Terry K,

Now don't jump down my throat but look at this in another way. You're right that the travellers you encountered at the school had no right to trespass/camp on private property and leave a mess behind, including gouging out tire tracks in the grass. I don't think anyone would condone their actions and you have every right to feel outraged. But if you start letting yourself, because of your anger (justified, as it is), paint an entire group with the same brush, you run the risk of getting angrier and bitter and intolerant toward people who may not deserve your wrath.

Two years ago, I was robbed on the street in Brooklyn. I am white, he was black. Of course he was wrong in what he did and I don't care what excuses he may or may not have about his dysfunctional childhood, minority status or current financial situation. The guy was a scumball. But he was a scumball because he committed a crime and not because he's black. I know you get my point, so I won't beat you to death with it.

I'm just saying, the travellers you see (and I don't know if you mean Gypsies or not, but it doesn't even matter), the ones who disrupt communities, trash the land and misbehave are the ones at whom your anger should be directed. The ones you DON'T see are the ones who don't take part in antisocial behavior and these folks shouldn't be judged along with the bad apples.

Would love to hear your comments if you'd care to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM

Intersting questions LEJ. The song could even have been written to poke fun at Mrs Stein rather than to insult the Roma...

Jon

(pondering the implications)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:28 PM

and I hate to harp on about it, but I just discovered a quote in another thread which I think is totally appropriate to mention here

"...But the principle that all of us should be responsible for the cost of clearing up the mess we make -that seems pretty basic to me.".

Thank you so much for your support Kevin McGrath of Harlow - I knew I would get you to agree at last!!!

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:10 PM

GUEST Fedele - your emotive little hypothesis pre-supposes decent behaviour on the part of the narrator. If the narrator had behaved decently and been treated like that, he would have cause to complain. But that would not even be close to the reality we have experienced locally.

The sequel to the encampment of "travellers" on the school playing fields where my wife teaches was completed today. In England, it is illegal by a long-term Act for ANYONE (regardless of how oppressed they feel) to trespass on, or otherwise appropriate school premises. In the best interests of our children, I think this is absolutely good sense. The travellers were given a deadline of noon today and the police attended to ensure their peaceful departure.

They left various objects on site.

1) A car. It turned out to have been a stolen car. No, I don't think it was stolen by the headmaster or one of his staff. I could be wrong, but common sense prevents me from thinking so.

2) Empty gas bottles. The lord knows why, as I believe these things have a value.

3) Their debris. I hate to say it, but this is not unusual. Nor can the expectancy that this will happen in our locality in any way be considered a "prejudice" or a "sweeping generalisation".

4) Deep tyre-tracks over the sports field (we have had heavy rainfall) - a small point perhaps, but someone has to do the repair work so the school can get back to normal.

The environmental health department of the Local Authority were called in to clean up the site, particularly the area behind school buildings which had been used as an open air toilet.

So some of you people believe that our kids can learn from this particular group? If so, you are either not parents or are a very strange kind of parent.

So some of you people think that the decent and fairly silent majority who don't really condone this sort of behaviour are hateful bigots and oppressors?

All of the costs of coping with the above little episode come from taxes which are meant to be spent on health, education, our children and our old people. This event happened in what may be considered a fairly underpriveleged area. These particular travellers do not have fixed addresses, hence do not pay the Council Tax which provides these things. I am sure there are travellers who have jobs and/or businesses where all income is declared for tax purposes; I am equally sure there are those who do not.

They are taking the piss. And the sooner the woolly minded thinkers in our midst start to get real, the better.

Terry

(all of this is documented locally; if you want to know exactly where it was, PM me)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: DougR
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:05 PM

Oh, no, Mimosa! Don't stop singing "Blood on the Saddle!" That's an old cowboy classic.

I understand your reluctance to sing it knowing someone in the audience has had a son, daughter, husband or lover killed at a rodeo, but one must draw the line somewhere.

If one is going to be that sensitive, Roy Acuff's old, "Hillbilly" classic, "Wreck on the Highway," probably should never be performed to an audience.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 05:26 PM

At the old GATE OF HORN in Chicago, a folk nightclub, I heard Lenny Bruce say about the movement to keep sex education out of the schools in the USA:

"A knowledge of syphillis is NOT a direct order to go out and contract it !"

I might paraphrase Lenny by saying: Viewing the lyric of this song will never have any effect other than to reinforce my heartfelt belief that tolerance and inclusion is much more desirable than intolerance and exclusion. And I'd never sing it for my kids.

I'll probably never read it again. But it SHOULD BE SAVED AND ARCHIVED if only so point out how NOT look at things. That's why the low points of history should be remembered---and thought about often.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Matt Woodbury/Mimosa
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM

re "Blood on the Saddle", usually people chuckle when they hear it. I worked at a ranch the last couple of summers, and knew a woman there whose son was killed in a rodeo accident. I always thought it was dicey to sing a song people found funny about something so tragic when I thought someone I cared about might be hurt by it. I never asked her for her opinion, though.

I'll respond to the YOBB stuff on the other thread.

Mimosa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:54 PM

OK - Mimosa, I guess it's not possible to keep Branwen outta trouble!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Branwen23
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:47 PM

hey!

I resent that.

*grin*


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:33 PM

Mimosa - I liked your opening thoughts, and agree. When I poke fun at myself in a song, I let people know it's OK to laugh at those things.

I am not sure I understand your point about your sister and being singled out, and Blood on the Saddle is there more to that then meets the eye (I can be so thick sometimes)? I always thought that was simply relating a story about an accicdent. No? By the way; you did a great job with the song, and it's a surprise for your audience, because it's not the type of song they thought they'd hear from you!

{Thread creep here}I hope you'll make the YOBB jam tonight. Neither Guinneschik or I will be there, and Wesley's gunna miss too. We need someone to keep Branwen out of trouble!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:23 PM

Barbara's point is interesting...if this song is,in fact,a transposition of a factual story that the writer may have culled from a newspaper article,for example,does that change our reaction to it? If the lady in question was actually named Stein,does that counter the Antisemitic intent that some of us have ascribed to the author? If the facts of the gypsies' destruction of her property are true,is the writer wrong to use them? Or is it the treatment of the facts that we find objectionable?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Matt Woodbury/Mimosa
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:12 PM

I'm really glad this thread didn't go off into oblivion. I think it's one I needed to see.

First, about the song. I haven't heard it, but I suspect the music that goes with the words is fun. I also like the music for "Follow Me up to Carlow", but can't bring myself to sing it because I don't like glorifying war, battle, and beheadings.

I guess the offensive thing about these words has to do with the perspective. If I write a song that jokes about my own experience, laughing at myself, then my audience and I can laugh together, the subject of the joke has agreed to be the point of the humor, and I agree to the consequences of sharing my story. I might even find a way to laugh at my fear, or how I fit into stereotypes.

If I write a humorous song about how my sister is afraid to kiss me or let me play with her children, I might find a healthy way to deal with my circumstances. When someone else laughs about how they like to single me and my friends out to beat up, and the people around them laugh, I instinctively fear for my safety. It's even worse if I went there thinking I was among friends.

I can't expect that songs about violence or discrimination will be amusing to the subjects of the actions unless I'm the "victim" and can find a way to be amused.

I'm afraid that someday I'll be sorry for recording "Blood on the Saddle".


Mimosa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:01 PM

I spoke with my friend Peter Krug, who used to perform this song, and he said he doesn't do it since someone Roma asked him not to.
He said the song was written by Kerrville, Texas [country/cowboy?]songwriter Tim Henderson more than 20 years ago and that it was based on a news article. Peter said he believed the names were taken from the news story.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jed at Work
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 02:25 PM

I am not sure where to post this thought, so I'll hit both threads.

I think it is possible to have an air of hyper sensitivity to an issue. While Black racial humor, can actually be funny and appropriate and NOT hateful - there exists an air of hypersensitivity around black/white issues, and the subject of black ethnic humor is generally (and righfully) taboo. Similarly, in the mainstream Jewish ethnic humor is practiced with great care, by those who know their audiences well, for the same reason; an air of hypersensitvity exists. This same air is NOT generally there, in the part of the world where I come from, for many other ethnic groups, and responsible ethnic humor can be safely practiced among a general audience. It's OK to poke fun at stereotypes of Republicans, and Democrats, Dentists and Lawncare Specialists, Irish and Scots, teenagers and Frat Boys ... again, as long as the humor really IS meant without malice.

In the part of the world where I live, I have never had reason to suspect there existed an air of hypersensitivity around Gypsy ethnic humor. If in fact, this song is in bad taste, to my way of thinking, it is so because of that hypersensitivity. As one Mudcatter pointed out; if you want to judge the sensitivity of the song (or lack thereof) replace the word Gypsy with Black, and you will see. Agreed. But if you replace the word Gypsy with Paddy, or Frat Boys you will also see, the intent could be more silly then malicious.

We never know the secret scars our neighbors carry, from hurts and wrongs they suffered without our knowledge. It can be difficult to get through this world without inadvertently reinjuring those old hurts of our neighbor, and sometimes we never even know it. I suspect the author of this song has done such a thing - certainly when I chuckled at the song that was the case. But I don't see intentional malice in the song. It's style is much more Animal House then Horst Wessel.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:39 AM

I think the "Fat Americans" thread contains just exactly the kind of negative stereotyping and hate fodder that this song is alleged to portray.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: The Beanster
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:26 AM

Homeless--Although I do appreciate you using your real name to state your opinion (unlike the spineless, anonymous posters out there), I have to agree with Lepus Rex and EJ. I don't see what connection there is between your experiences with discrimination and our stating our views about it here. Those previous threads you directed us to really have nothing to do with the subject of this thread. The songs cited in those threads are harmless, humorous observations--made via generalizations, yes, but come on. There's no comparison between poking fun at country and blues music and the persecution of entire groups of people which involves violent acts of aggression toward them, including murder. It's an insult that you compare the two.

Your lifestyle and the way you look is your choice, as Lepus Rex pointed out. You have options, distasteful as they may be to you, but you could join the mainstream if you wished and the mistreatment you suffer would stop. It's a shame that you are discriminated against but life isn't fair, is it? If I chose to tattoo my entire body and dye my hair blue, I would have to expect to take some grief over it. Maybe that's unfortunate, but that's the reality.

And uh... obviously, you haven't stopped coming by the 'Cat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:12 AM

I know the thread has crept elsewhere, but I'd like to come back to whether or not we should post lyrics. As a librarian, I spend a lot of my day answering questions, and I go through a process called "the reference interview" a lot because the question that gets asked is frequently not the question that needs answering. If you go back through this thread, you'll see that Mythhunter said the song was "haunting" her. She/he wanted the lyrics as a kind of an exorcism, and in a later post she said that she didn't think the song was a good one, just that it was one that she needed to see the words to. If someone who knew the song had posted the lyrics right away, this thread might have died right then. A person who didn't want to post them publicly could have said so why here and let us know that they were sending the words to Mythhunter via PM and again, the thread could have gone peacefully to oblivion.

InOBU's first post was made on the basis of nothing more than the title of the song, and Joe, quite properly, said that the title was insufficient information to base a discussion on, and asked for the lyrics. (I'm not denigrating InOBU's reaction; we do hit back when we think we're about to be kicked.) Joe knows, though, through a broad level of experience, that titles are deceptive. It is not unusual for a song title to seem to send one message and the song itself to send another.

In any case, at that point, Mythhunter's question was still unanswered. We had found the names of two performers who did the song, but we didn't know the words.

Think how much different this thread would have gone if we had gotten the lyrics earlier. We would have been asking "Well, how old _is_ this bit of trash?" and helping InOBU document a solid example of anti-Roma bias to use when he was working on the issue. We could have been discussing what it is about the tune or the performance that makes the song "haunt" someone for six years. We might even have been talking about the stereotype "Mrs. Stein" represents and whether or not there are earlier versions of the song where it's "Mrs. McDonald" and she leaves by train. But the discussion would have been based on the song.

Once the discussion got heated and general, posting the lyrics became MORE important, not less so. The value of the forum for people who need song lyrics lies in the answers that they get, but once a discussion is going, newcomers need a quick way to look at what's being discussed.

And McGrath, if I were interested in the Horst Wessel song, I'd settle for a blicky or what you gave us -- which search engine to use. I'd probably be looking for it for a teenager who was doing a research paper on how Hate Groups twist things to serve their own ends, but that might not come through in the question.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:11 AM

Do you see any hateful stereotypes and damning generalizations in this thread thread?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:09 AM

Thanks Fidele for using your imagination, and trying to think what it might feel like for a traveller in that sort of situation, and why that kind of thing might happen.

Learning how to put yourself in the other person's shoes when a conflict arises is about the most important lesson a child can learn, and that's what I mean by saying "There are some things more important than games periods." And that goes for the children of travellers as well as the children of housedwellers. And if we didn't learn it as children, we need to learn it as adults.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 08:50 AM

Homeless, I honestly don't understand why you think those threads are offensive. I only read two of them, but sort of got the idea. "Long Haired Country Boy" was a song written by Charlie Daniels about himself, and other people identify with it. If this is prejudice, than so is every song every person ever wrote about their lifestyle. "How do I write love songs?" I REALLY don't understand that one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 08:30 AM

Gee Fedele, I'd say from the tone of this discussion, that most of the people here agree with you...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,Fedele
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 03:42 AM

Ok, at last, we had the song. Not ironic at all. Not funny at all. Really can't make me laugh nor smile nor move any muscle in my face. Just offensive and full of spite and hatred.
I hope we can get the credits for this "song" and so we can boycott the one who had the bad "idea" of writing it ("song" and "idea" are not the proper words in this case).
Well, just think about it. You move to a city you don't know, and probably you had to move because you were driven away from the city you were before. You don't even know the language very well many of the times. You go around and nobody speaks with you; when people see you, they put a hand on their pocket. Everybody avoids you. Someone even says very unpleasant things when they pass you by. You receive some "unwelcomed guests" at night. Maybe you got beaten more than once.
Now tell me. How can you have a good feeling and a good attitude towards city folks?
Yeah, both sides must start to change their mind. But tell me this again: which of the two sides is weaker?
What side are you on? You support the weaker only when you are watching a fucking wrestling match?
Hope my little bit of English is enough to speak my mid, and hope someone shares my views.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:28 AM

I've had had long hair for most of my life. No-one has beaten me up over it, but: I have been threatened; I've been descriminated against by police, employers, and many other 'authority figures'; I've been called names like 'faggot' and 'homo,' and had bottles thrown at me out of moving cars while people called me 'faggot'and 'homo;' and I've recieved countless snubs, dismissive snorts, and disapproving looks from complete strangers.

And?

My life is still a picnic compared to, say, a Hatian immigrant, sodomized by NYC police officers. Or a German Turk, getting his head stomped flat by neo-nazis. Or a Tibetan monk, being tortured to death in a Chinese prison. My life, in comparison, is pretty goddamned easy.

I have no problem with Homeless complaining about how unfair his life is. But to compare the problems he's had because of his lifestyle to descrimination, segregation, enslavement, and murder of the Roma is, like I said before, cheap.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:01 AM

Doesn't sound like the homeless I know..."bunch of fuckin hypocrites." It's a discussion,buddy! If you think somebody's full of crap,why not just say why without the name calling?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:55 AM

McGrath, with all due respect, that's the biggest load of crap you've ever come out with - I normally find your posts well thought through but you seem to have a real blind spot about what paasses for reasonable behaviour as far as travellers are concerned. Of course people are judging by past experience, if they didn't they'd just be like goldfish. I happen to know that if you swim among crocodiles you're likely to get eaten - even though I never did. You seem to consider it a cardinal sin to learn from past experience where what you deem to be "the oppressed" are concerned.

And society is certainly not perfect, but if I was beaten up for having long hair I might just think it through and react accordingly.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:40 AM

Mbo, I respectfully disagree. When he called pretty much everyone on this thread 'a bunch of fucking hypocrites,' I think he was pretty much asking for it, don't you? And *I* didn't swear;)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Mbo
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:34 AM

Yo Lepus, no need to insult Homeless.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:28 AM

Yeah, Homeless, but you can cut your hair short and drive a Buick. Comparing your white-boy inconveniences to the struggles of, say, the Roma, is just cheap. When was the last long-haired biker genocide? Oh, yeah, wasn't there a hippie death-camp near Dachau? Get a friggin' life, you whiney little puke. Your troubles are nothing.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: CamiSu
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:34 PM

Sorry Homeless,

I haven't been here so long as to see those threads I guess, but my next door neighbor (who is worth the whole price of admission in my book) has long hair and rides a Harley, one of my Sunday School kids (a boy) goes to Contra dances in a skirt (and I dance with him), my friends come in most flavors, and a few have spent some time in jail.

I, like most people DO have prejudices. I am real uneasy with people who look like skinheads, so this summer a guy came by my farmer's market booth with Mr Clean on his shirt, and he could have modeled for the picture! We began to chat. He is a former Marine, a warden in the Woodstock (VT) 'Correctional Facility', and was looking at sheepskins to make Teddy Bears out of! Boy did I feel silly!

I also have an Austrian boy living in my house right now...very shy, with some Neo Nazi sympathies. I think he just might be young enough to have those loved out of him.

We all have our blindnesses, but perhaps we can learn. Barbara's comment about stuff that hurts others that we're not aware of, was so good. Here's where we get that big OUCH! and hopefully become aware.

Jen, MoH didn't say that. It was the opposite, even if it seemed muddy toward the end.

Terry, would the traveller's children be accomodated in the school? Here the schools HAVE to take migrant kids (though it is sometimes hard for the kids to keep up when they change schools so often. My husband went to school in a town where there were a lot of migrants through, and he said the kids were easy and friendly, because they were so used to it. I know there are programs as well to help these kids with the continuity problems.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Homeless
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 03:28 PM

What a bunch of fucking hypocrites. So many people claim to be so offended by stereotypes. But these threads are OK
How to write a country song
how do I write love songs?
How To Sing the Blues
and even this is alright
Long-Haired Country Boy
but the song quoted above is unacceptable?

And don't try to explain prejudice to me - I've worn my hair long for too many years, and ridden Harleys too long, and lived in an (otherwise) all black neighborhood, and danced in skirts too many times, and spent too much time in jail, and had too many cops pull guns on me (for no reason other than I had long hair and was on a bike) for anyone to teach me anything new about prejudice.

'S why I quit coming by the 'Cat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 02:36 PM

You got to move fast to keep up with the times
For these days a man cannot dander
There's a bylaw to say you maun be on your way
And another to say ye can't wander

"Though I guess there will be those of you who can justify the action!!"

If I was on the road with my family I'd certainly want a place to stop, and a school playing-field might be less hostile than other places. At least school teachers don't normally have shotguns. Even so, I'd feel safer with a few other families along with me.

No, I don't feel it hard to see why you had your "invasion." There may be a few council provided sites around, but there are precious few pitches in Hertfordshire or in Essex for families who are still wanting to travel, or who haven't got where they want to get to, or who have reason to be in a particular place, such as a chance ot get some work, or a wedding or a funeral in the extended family.

And it's sad that a whole school community reacts as if it was an invasion, rather than as a chance to meet and learn from people with a different way of life, who might have something to teach. And I'm doubly sad for what all this must have taught the children. In both communities. There are some things moire important than games periods.

I can understand how this kind of thing happens. There's a vicious circle here - housedwellers feel threatened by travellers, so get hostile; travellers feel threatened, so move in larger groups; larger groups are felt as more threatening,and are more disruptive. And of course politics come into it. There are not many votes in being seen as "soft on travellers". And teachers don't make themselves popular either if that is how they are seen by parents, or by employers.

There are ways of turning this around, but it's much easier to see travellers as the problem, to be moved on, or preferably eliminated. In this country and this time that means pinning them down in one place and dispersing them and assimilating them. But in some places and times, that has meant by killing them. And that is still happening today.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Barbara
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 10:39 AM

I asked the question about the two songs because I didn't have a strong negative reaction the first time I heard Mrs. Stein -- I didn't hear it as applying to all Roma, more like one of those frat parties that end up destroying the frat house.
Then in hearing the pain it caused Roma folk, I got thinking about some other 'funny' and offensive songs I've listened to without a particularly critical ear.
The Night Pat Murphy Died is an American Music Hall song, composed by someone to poke fun at the Irish stereotype, tho the person may have been Irish himself, I couldn't find that out.
So I asked the question because I want to hear people's thoughts on it. Blessings, Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: GUEST,Brendy
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 07:48 AM

Last year an Englishman crashed into my car.

Aren't the English an awful bunch of bastards, though?

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Terry K
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 02:59 AM

Sometimes, though, folks are led into pre-judgement (as opposed to prejudice) by their experiences.

This is so topical because when my teacher wife returned from school yesterday she announced that "Travellers" (about 8 caravans together with their lorries and trucks) had arrived and were camped on the school playing fields.

Games periods had to be cancelled and various alternative arrangements had to be made to accommodate the children who should have been playing. Contingency arrangements have been worked out with the local police until things can be restored to "normal". The travellers apparently got NO sympathy from any of the staff - even though educators generally favour the liberal end of the spectrum. (Whoops, another generalisation!).

(Incidentally anybody who wants details please PM me and I'll let you know exactly where this is).

Whatever the wider issue, I would suggest that this particular group are not their own best advocates and their actions can lead people to write kneejerk crap like the subject "song".

Though I guess there will be those of you who can justify the action!!

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 10:04 PM

The difference between the two songs is the one about Gypsies is about "us vs them." (Beanster pointed that out quite well.) There's only one name of a Gypsy in the entire song, and most of it refers to just "the Gypsies." Mrs Stein doesn't rent to Gypsies. Not certain Gypsies, but ANY Gypsies. The song says, in effect, that they're all the same, and they're all bad. The one about Pat Murphy has a lot of names in it, and never once refers to an entire group of people. You could change the names to people you know, and it probably would work, although there is a bit stereotype implied, and all the names sound Irish. The Pat Murphy song at least sounds Irish, and there's a big difference between poking fun at your own and attacking people who are different.


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