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Ewan MacColl's trousers

29 Sep 06 - 01:41 PM (#1846137)
Subject: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Although from his life's that MacColl saw himself as a man of the left with total commitment to the working class, his trousers had a dubious middle class look about them.

How come so many people did not recognise them as the clue to his class treachery? Can we really hear those Radio Ballads again knowing he was in those trousers when he putting together those great tales of working class struggle, not from a working position, from the comfort of those trousers?


29 Sep 06 - 01:44 PM (#1846141)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Jon

I was more concerned about his underwear...


29 Sep 06 - 01:49 PM (#1846145)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Bill D

There is a rumor that he put them on by jumping up and putting BOTH legs in simultaneously, rather than one leg at a time like 'regular' folk!


29 Sep 06 - 01:54 PM (#1846150)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Emma B

Wot! - he didnae wear a kilt?


29 Sep 06 - 01:55 PM (#1846153)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Scrump

I've gone right off 'im now you've told me that ;-)


29 Sep 06 - 01:56 PM (#1846154)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Look this is serious - I was hopping for a bit of inspired Marxist analysis, not just a poke about in his underwear or should that be underware?


29 Sep 06 - 01:58 PM (#1846158)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

and when they were up they were up

and when they were down they were down

and when they were only half way up he sang:-

"little what ye wha's comin'" and was arrested.

Scandalous I say -

Anyway - moving on (song)


29 Sep 06 - 02:04 PM (#1846168)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Scoville

My dad has lots of suspiciously middle-class clothing, nearly all of which he inherited from the dead husbands of my mother's friends, which would make a good enough story for any folksinger.


29 Sep 06 - 02:10 PM (#1846177)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Scoville, your story has the smell of LeCarre, but I want Ewan nailed for his henious trouser class treachory, even though I cannot spell most of those words!

sel ni notlrohc


29 Sep 06 - 02:17 PM (#1846186)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Shimrod

I may have seen him wearing a tie once (or was that Bert Lloyd?). Oh yes, and he had a beard - don't forget that!


29 Sep 06 - 02:19 PM (#1846191)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

I remember him in a flowered tie, St George's Hall Liverpool, around 1968. Was that class treachory or his hippy phase?


29 Sep 06 - 04:42 PM (#1846307)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

do you mean that you remember him
when you wear a flowered tie?
or that you wear a flowered tie
to remember him by?


29 Sep 06 - 04:53 PM (#1846316)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les from Hull

It's a good job he didn't always keep 'em on. The best thing he ever did in his (much-discussed!) life, IMO, was to help produce Kirsty!


29 Sep 06 - 05:09 PM (#1846328)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

I thought Steve Lillywhite produced Kirsty MacColl

I hope he kept his trousers on


29 Sep 06 - 05:10 PM (#1846329)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les from Hull

Any road up, how come they aren't 'troosers'.

I'll get me coat...


29 Sep 06 - 05:15 PM (#1846331)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

No No - it's a fair point.

I think we deserve an answer


29 Sep 06 - 05:45 PM (#1846359)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

Didn't Ewan MacColl play Wallace in the Wallace and Gromit Animation

Oh no ... hold on ... the wrong trousers ...

... carry on ...


29 Sep 06 - 05:50 PM (#1846365)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Charley Noble

Wide cord as I recall and rather dark in color/colour.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


30 Sep 06 - 03:24 AM (#1846614)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Typical of this website. I ask a perfectly serious question about the relationship between the Artist, his music and his relationship to societal change and you all go on about fashion!


30 Sep 06 - 03:39 AM (#1846622)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Liz the Squeak

That question then opens up a whole new raft of questions of the 'should you sing the Padstow Mayday song at any other time of the year or in any other town?' variety.

Should you only be allowed to sing songs from your background/tradition/area whilst wearing the appropriate clothing?

Personal opinion is that if someone insists you can only sing songs from your own personal background, but then sings a song about a job they never had, under a name they weren't born with, in a town they don't come from, in clothes they never worked in.... well, hypocrite isn't a strong enough word.

If clothing were part of the 'deal', then many people would have to sing naked and that is surely going to affect audience figures.....

LTS


30 Sep 06 - 04:10 AM (#1846644)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Go on Liz, you have opened up an interesting idea with the cloths thing


30 Sep 06 - 08:38 AM (#1846767)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

Ordinary man by frank waterson is a great song as it describes the troubles of a particular era. It is written from the perspective of a factory worker who loses his job along side all his workmates when the factory they work in closes down. It expresses the frustration of the working class very coherently and with feeling.

Christy Moores version is the only one I've ever heard, apart from my own and my brothers.

None of us has ever experienced the fate of the CHARACTER in the STORY that the song tells.

And that's the point. It's a story told in the first person. So what!

Does that mean I'm not allowed to tell it?

It is a good story, well set to music and inspires thought and feeling in it's audience.

To call me or anyone else who learns and sings the song a hypocrite for performing it is insane rubbish.

If it wasn't for us, a good song would go unheard, a good point would go unmade and a good story would go untold.

There is a load of nonsense being talked these days on the subject of "keeping it real", with the result that noone seems to have anything interesting to say anymore.

If we as mudcatters were that "real" in our everyday dealings we would be required to write every song about the tap tap tapping of the bloody keys and the great wisdom to be found in cyber world - that and the shops and our job.

The monotony is driving me insane already.

Great artists: writers, painters, performers etc have "imagination" and credit their audience with having it too.

Come on - drop the fashionable attitude and engage yourself honestly - that's what I call "real".


30 Sep 06 - 08:40 AM (#1846770)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

My personal background by the way is Irish, so though I have never been driven west by cromwell myself, I am grown from that stuff.


30 Sep 06 - 08:51 AM (#1846774)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

I'm with you lox, the argument has never been better stated around here.


30 Sep 06 - 09:29 AM (#1846791)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,musicman

I thought he wore a kilt!


30 Sep 06 - 09:49 AM (#1846801)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Liz the Squeak

Lox - read again... I didn't say that anyone who sings a song not from their background or experience was a hypocrite.

I said that in my personal opinion "if someone insists you can only sing songs from your own personal background, but then sings a song about a job they never had, under a name they weren't born with, in a town they don't come from"... THEY would be the hypocrite.    I have never been so arrogant as to demand that only people who come from Nottingham are allowed to dance the Nottingham Swing, neither do I insist that Linden Lea is only ever sung in Dorset (or strictly speaking, NOT in Dorset as it's a song about homesickness for a particular place), in dialect and wearing a frock coat, parson's gaiters and a wide brimmed curate's hat.

Although to be honest... that would improve some performances a lot.. not everyone can wear gaiters!

LTS


30 Sep 06 - 12:09 PM (#1846910)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

not everyone can wear gaiters!

What king of descrimination is this Liz. But still I am glad you are bringing us back from the wayward drift of this thread.


30 Sep 06 - 04:14 PM (#1847071)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

Sorry liz,

I did actually notice that point as I read your post and mine back - it's a fair cop.

I will however be a bit naughty, not just for arguments sake but out of further curiosity to explore the issue open the can of worms that is ... (dare I say it) ...

What does he mean by personal background?

Personal experience? ... or could it mean ones own cultural background - in which case someone with a muddled personal cultural history, i.e. with multiple roots in various different backgrounds (like Scotland, salford, a good school and "proper" education etc) might end up performing a hotch potch of styles, maybe even in a hotch potch of accents (see "Ewan MacColl's Accent" in music threads)

My life was enriched when my brother bought me a Ewan MacColl cassette for Christmas, and I have yet to be affected in a detrimental way by any of his recordings.

I am disappointed though to hear that he wore wide cord trousers though. I've never liked them and I had hoped that he owned a large wardrobe of khaki bush shorts. Now I must sadly accept that even if he did he probably only wore them in private or on holiday.


30 Sep 06 - 06:08 PM (#1847157)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Little Hawk

I've been upset about Ewan MacColl's trousers for as long as I can remember. I'm glad someone saw fit to post about it at last. ;-)


30 Sep 06 - 07:08 PM (#1847178)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Bert

Wot no knee irons?


30 Sep 06 - 07:23 PM (#1847185)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: gnu

Slacker!


30 Sep 06 - 07:41 PM (#1847200)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Liz the Squeak

Takes a good set of calves to wear proper gaiters... any old leg can have an orange bailer twine tied at the knee, but clerical gaiters are an art form (think puttees).

LTS


30 Sep 06 - 10:08 PM (#1847277)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Colonel Bloodknock

You sad wankers, are your lives so shallow that you talk about someone else's trousers.

For fucks sake get a life.


30 Sep 06 - 10:26 PM (#1847298)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Charley Noble

Colonel-

Well, if you take the trouble to read the entire thread rather than just the thread title, you just might learn something. But then maybe you did and you didn't learn a thing.

Now Jon Campbell composed an entire song about underwater, underwire, underwear. That's really one amazing song.

With regard to the culture I was raised in, it's pretty much a muddle. Mother's father was from Lithiuania, her mother was from California. Father's father was from Romania and his mother was from Hungary. And I was raised in Maine. Whatever! I do the best I can.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


30 Sep 06 - 11:50 PM (#1847322)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Little Hawk

Yes, Colonel Bloodlock, you humorless old bastard, our lives ARE that shallow. We have lives so shallow, in fact, that a gnat wouldn't get his knees wet wading through them. And we're proud of it, and not about to change to please you, so just sod off now like a good chap, will you?


01 Oct 06 - 03:04 AM (#1847357)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Col. Bloodnocks

Don't talk to me until you can spell or at least copy my name correctly little horse.


01 Oct 06 - 03:05 AM (#1847358)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Bloodknock - how could that ever be funny?


01 Oct 06 - 03:16 AM (#1847365)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Dave Hanson

For fecks sake Dennis calm down, it's what we here call FUN.

eric


01 Oct 06 - 07:53 AM (#1847478)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Les from Hull

I don't think it's Dennis, Eric. He only reached the rank of Major and spelt his name differently to the two different spellings that the Colonel uses. Besides, Dennis was always frightfully interested in trousers.


01 Oct 06 - 01:23 PM (#1847613)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Liz the Squeak

Ah, but it was a female gorilla, there's nothing funny about the Major!

LTS


01 Oct 06 - 02:09 PM (#1847640)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: Little Hawk

I have to tell you, Colonel Bloodwurst, that your choleric character is the least valuable of your negligible assets. Furthermore, your side whiskers are extremely unattractive. I suggest getting a clean shave at the earliest opportunity.


01 Oct 06 - 02:24 PM (#1847660)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,lox

He's only jealous because noones interested in his trousers - least of all what's in them.

You know who wears the trousers in his life ... hmmm ...

... any speculation? a new thread perhaps -

"colonel bloodclots trousers"

(apologies to any easily offended jamaicans in the house)

Perhaps if he washed the blood out he might have more luck ...

Probably a bladder infection


01 Oct 06 - 10:25 PM (#1847952)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Art Thieme

A Blood Clot is a fine drink! Vodka, tomato juice and Jello...

Art


02 Oct 06 - 01:19 AM (#1847996)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Bruce Baillie

... Yes Ewan McColl did wear a kilt, probably a middle class kilt, it's a little known fact that one of the earliest songs he wrote was the famous 'Donald where's yer Troosers?'
Printed below is the verse that Andy Stewart never sang on the White Heather Club...

'On a walking holiday in Wales,
the lassies all gave shouts and wails,
when I walk through the heather well I leave three trails
when I havenae on ma troosers!'

Let the wind blow high etc...


02 Oct 06 - 04:25 AM (#1848058)
Subject: RE: Ewan McColl's trousers
From: ossonflags

Surely it should be "Breeks" Les? as in "long may your breeks reek"


09 Jan 12 - 03:47 PM (#3287689)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: The Sandman

at least he spared us the kilt


10 Jan 12 - 06:22 AM (#3287963)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Geordie

Johnny Handle used to wear a pit helmet when singing in the Troubadour.


10 Jan 12 - 06:39 AM (#3287972)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Shimrod

" ... if someone insists you can only sing songs from your own personal background, ..."

Here we go again! He didn't insist on any such thing! The Singers' Club (of which EM was a founder member), in London, at a particular time, had a POLICY which encouraged participating singers to sing songs from their own backgrounds. This was because, at the time, many British singers were singing mainly American songs and EM and the club wished to encourage singers to re-discover their own folk musical heritages. Seems to be perfectly reasonable to me. But if it doesn't seem reasonable to you it was years ago and applied to one club only - for God's sake, get over it!!!


10 Jan 12 - 07:00 AM (#3287978)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: treewind

"Johnny Handle used to wear a pit helmet when singing in the Troubadour"

I thought Troubadour audiences were better behaved than that.


10 Jan 12 - 07:14 AM (#3287982)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

We heard on the recent radio programme that Ewan MacColl told the members of the Critics Group one week to go away and write a song about Vietnam "by next week". What the programme did not add was that in order for the delivery of the song to be considered authentic they would have to wear the proper Viet Cong black pyjama trousers and that Ewan was prepared to supply these at a reasonable rate.
The programme also does not mention that Tom Paxton was a member of the Critics group at the time and he was one person who took up Ewan's suggestion. He even remembered MacColl's reference to the appropriate trousers for in one verse, he wrote:-

Every night the local gentry
Slip out past the sleeping sentry
They go to join the old V C
In their nightly little dramas
They put on their black pajamas
And come lobbing mortar shells at me.


Tom Paxton was living in Penge at the time, though funnily enough, he never joined The Rolling Stones.

I can vouch that every word in this posting is 100% true because I read all the facts on Mudcat.

As a bit of reflected glory, I can state honestly that for over 20 years I have been playing the same band as a bassist who once gained 3rd place on the Worst Trousers section of the Folk Roots Readers' Poll


10 Jan 12 - 07:54 AM (#3288000)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: The Sandman

I apologise Vic you do have a sense of humour, that is very funny.


10 Jan 12 - 11:21 AM (#3288125)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Xlnt Vic, much enjoyed

L in C#
One suit, 2 leather jackets, 2 Gortex jackets one with matching over trousers - complete sell out
Wednesday down The Beech


10 Jan 12 - 12:06 PM (#3288148)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Pete Jennings

Don't you need some swimming trunks?


10 Jan 12 - 12:11 PM (#3288153)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: TheSnail

At least he wasn't wearing panchromatic trousers.


10 Jan 12 - 01:33 PM (#3288214)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Gurney

While we are on the subject of clothing, how about Les Barker's cardy!

Him an ex-accountant, too.


10 Jan 12 - 02:27 PM (#3288240)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Where (wear?) do yoy think a Marxist analysis of Les Barker's cardy mate lead?

L i n C#


10 Jan 12 - 02:53 PM (#3288260)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

We can see that the subject of this thread was never far from his mind when he was writing his songs. For instance, Schooldays End starts with the words:-

Schooldays over, come on then John,
Time you were getting your pitboots on
On with your sark and moleskin trousers
Time you were on your way
Time you were learning the pitman's job
And earning a pitman's pay

Then there's the 1962 album by Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd - A Sailor's Garland - Prestige INT 13043 On the album Bert Lloyd sings Short Jacket and White Trousers but the important question, surely, is 'Did Bert chose that song himself or did he only sing it at Ewan's instigation!'
This is a question that all the MacColl apologists have never answered - and we need to be told!


10 Jan 12 - 02:56 PM (#3288262)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

You see Vic, anybody can wear Cord trou now, but back in 68 they were a bit posh! Need I say more

L in C#


10 Jan 12 - 03:27 PM (#3288273)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Spleen Cringe

Snail! Did I hear you say panchromatic trousers?


10 Jan 12 - 04:42 PM (#3288299)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST

Vic wrote:
As a bit of reflected glory, I can state honestly that for over 20 years I have been playing the same band as a bassist who once gained 3rd place on the Worst Trousers section of the Folk Roots Readers' Poll

yes, but who were the judges? Were they qualified, were there any tailors in the list? If I had known who they were, I would have sent them sample trousers to bribe them. Was a list of potential worst trousers circulated in advance to the judges, and why didn't it include my worst trousers?

:-)
derek


10 Jan 12 - 04:43 PM (#3288300)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

sorry, "Guest" was me. Not trying to be anonymous - honestly!
derek


10 Jan 12 - 05:30 PM (#3288327)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Derek Schofield wrote:-
"why didn't it include my worst trousers? "


Well, Derek, you do have my sympathy if you feel that your ill-fitting and worn leg apparel were worthy of an award and this was not forthcoming. However, you must realise that the Worst Trouser section was always one of most hotly contested of all the Folk Roots Readers' Poll Awards.
You can't expect to just turn up at the award ceremony, shin up a drainpipe to gain entry, and have the judges in stitches or otherwise creased up at your appearance whilst you loon around with the great and good of the nether garmetted folk scene. If you don't win at first, don't despair; in fact you must combat such feelings. If Jean Orchard can win it one year, then why not you? If you don't win by fair means, then you must do it by foul. Have you thought of lining the judges's pockets with an handful of notes? Or how about a gift for the chief of the judging panel? A crystal decanter plus four glasses would surely go down well.
Remember, that if you don't win at first, you must think of another way to press your claim. Good luck with your endeavours.


10 Jan 12 - 06:03 PM (#3288346)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

well, actually, to be honest I don't believe there should be an award for trousers. these are folk trousers, and such competitive awards are totally out of place within the traditional trousers that we all wear and love. In fact, several admirers of my trousers wanted to nominate them, and I said NO ... if I was nominated I would refuse to accept the trousers award....
Derek, who is now going to take off his trousers and go to bed....


10 Jan 12 - 06:41 PM (#3288366)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: The Sandman

Derek, who is now going to take off his trousers and go to bed...."
   Thank goodness for that, I would hate to think that the editor of the EFDSS magazine, went to bed in his trousers, that is the sort of behaviour one expects from characters like Tommy Badger in The Tale Of Mr Tod.


11 Jan 12 - 04:41 AM (#3288517)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Derek wrote:-
"well, actually, to be honest I don't believe there should be an award for trousers. these are folk trousers, and such competitive awards are totally out of place within the traditional trousers that we all wear and love. In fact, several admirers of my trousers wanted to nominate them, and I said NO ... if I was nominated I would refuse to accept the trousers award....
Derek, who is now going to take off his trousers and go to bed.... "


Very good. I had a hearty chuckle at this. Now, tell me Derek, was this a tilt at anyone in particular?


11 Jan 12 - 05:18 AM (#3288529)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Vic - if the cap fits ...... or should I say, if the trousers fit ....
Derek


11 Jan 12 - 05:33 AM (#3288537)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Folknob

His trousers - probably full of shit like the rest of the obnoxious self righteous excuse for a human


11 Jan 12 - 05:43 AM (#3288545)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT EWAN MacCOLL - A Series - No. 358

Bertie Mee (25 December 1918 – 22 October 2001) was the manager of Arsenal F.C. from 1966 - 1976, so his tenure of that great football club co-incided with the years when MacColl was at the height of his fame. Now, though Bertie's attention was totally on that demanding post, he was something of a closet folkie. In particular, he admired MacColl's dialectic approach to learning and performing ballads; so much so that he called his son:-

Ewan Mee


11 Jan 12 - 06:42 AM (#3288586)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

GUEST,Folknob:

"His trousers - probably full of shit like the rest of the obnoxious self righteous excuse for a human "

So utterley original and ..................... It leaves me speechless. Did it take a long time to create Mr/Ms Folknob?

Best wishes

L in C#


11 Jan 12 - 06:44 AM (#3288587)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: TheSnail

Thank you Vic. Over on one of the other threads (I forget which) I have made an appeal for an objective look at the facts rather than the constant division into pro- and anti- camps. It's good, solid information like this that we need.


11 Jan 12 - 01:02 PM (#3288794)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Further evidence of MacColl's trouser obsession comes in the album, Songs of Two Rebellions: The Jacobite Wars of 1715 and 1745 in Scotland by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger - Folkways FW08756 (1960).
On this album, Ewan sings The Wee, Wee German Lairdie.

It starts:-
Wha the deil hae we gotten for a king
But a wee, wee German lairdie
And when we gaed to bring him hame
He was delving in his yairdie
Sheughing kail & laying leeks
But the hose & but the breeks
And up his begger duds he cleeks
This wee, wee German lairdie


Now, I know that the Scots accent and dialect as spoken in the remote highlands of Salford is particularly difficult to understand - so I better explain that the line But the hose & but the breeks refers to the fact that our new king was wearing neither stockings, nor (I'm afraid to say) trousers.


11 Jan 12 - 08:01 PM (#3289027)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Joe_F

I should hope that the Arsenal, at least, had proper trousers on it.


12 Jan 12 - 09:02 AM (#3289259)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT EWAN MacCOLL - A Series - No. 612

There was some discussion on this board some while ago about a public debate on folk song matters that took place around the year 1966 and that two of the panellists, Bob Davenport and Ewan MacColl became very heated with one another. This much is not disputed; opinions then divulge as to whether the incident ended in blows or not.
I am here to assert that violence did take place but before the fisticuffs there was - as often happens in these cases - a trading of insults. When Mr. MacColl became heated, he reverted to a provocative Caledonian form of expression, saying, "Ye bluddy wee Geordie toerag! Ah'll knock yer bluddy lights oot." To which Mr. Davenport retorted:-

Yea? Ewan whose army?


12 Jan 12 - 01:01 PM (#3289379)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Jim Carroll

I have a recording of the altercation Vic.
MacColl was chairman and was summing up what had been said when Davenport began talking loudly over him (he had done the same over a number of speakers from the floor - seems common practice with him, He did similar to an Irish language singer at the Musical Traditions club because she had the temerity to explain (briefly) her songs - "I came here to listen to singing not ******* talk; thought we'd got rid of this **** back in the sixties".
The explosion at the John Snow took place when one of the audience said he thought Jeannie Robertson was a wonderful singer - Bob described her as "terrible".
Can't say for certain that there was violence - sounds as if the protagonists were restrained by onlookers.
Jim Carroll


12 Jan 12 - 03:06 PM (#3289484)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Jim McLean

Alex Campbell said you can always tell what key Bob sang in by the colour of his neck.


12 Jan 12 - 03:19 PM (#3289495)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Xlnt

L


12 Jan 12 - 03:29 PM (#3289507)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: The Sandman

alex campbell was witty.


13 Jan 12 - 05:06 AM (#3289789)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Alex Campbell said you can always tell what key Bob sang in by the colour of his neck.

Then the colour of his neck must have changed fairly often whilst he was singing a song - for it certain that the key changed frequently.


13 Jan 12 - 05:29 AM (#3289798)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,folknob

"alex campbell was witty."
Plastic scotch's trousers were shitty


13 Jan 12 - 07:02 AM (#3289861)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

folknob's posts on MacColl threads are clearly aimed to elicit outraged reactions. Let's not give him that satisfaction.


13 Jan 12 - 12:26 PM (#3290052)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Acorn4

What would he have made of the modern "crotch around the knees" jeans sported nowadays by "yoof", one wonders?


13 Jan 12 - 01:08 PM (#3290071)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

What would he have made of the modern "crotch around the knees" jeans sported nowadays by "yoof", one wonders?

An interesting question. What would Ewan have had to say on the subject of very loose trousers? Well, we know that there were situations where he favoured trousers that could be easily removed, because on the album Songs from Robert Burns' Merry Muses of Caledonia he sings the song, Had I The Wyte She Bade Me which includes the lines:-

She straik't my head, and clapt my cheeks
And lous'd my breeks and bad me.
Could I for shame, could I for shame,
Could I for shame deny her


Now, it is not entirely clear what is going on, but it seems that Ewan is in a situation where he requires a young female to assist him in the removal of his trousers - though exactly why he needs them removed remains something of a mystery. Ever a generous, giving character, Ewan is thankful for this help and tries to find a way of rewarding her for her help for as he goes on to sing:-

She bad me lye beside her:
I pat six inches in her wame,
A quarter wadna fly'd her;
For ay the mair I ca'd it hame,
Her ports they grew the wider.


I hope that you find this answer helpful to your enquiry.


13 Jan 12 - 01:48 PM (#3290097)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Acorn4

Mmmmm, yes, as everything goes round in cycles fashion wise, I reckon next year wide cords will become the thing to wear for the discerning fashion icon - Gok Wan will be recommending them - along with those shoes looking like cornish pasties that we used to wear in the 70s. The baseball caps at 45 degrees will probably stay though.


13 Jan 12 - 08:34 PM (#3290322)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: TheSnail

Givem MacColl's preference for sitting backwards in his chair, choice of trousers might be critical. Here's amember of the Critics using an alternative solution.


14 Jan 12 - 07:59 AM (#3290497)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Well, the photo that Bryan's link uncovers (in more senses than one) opens up a whole branch of this investigation. With what Bryan's photo reveals (in more senses than one) we are given clues that can lead to the formation of a perfectly believeable hypothesis. The first three come from Bryan, the remainder from my own researches and I will give them sequentially:-

Fact 1 - Christine Keeler is photographed sitting back-to-front in the approved Critics Group manner.
Fact 2 - She appears to be wearing no clothes in the photograph. A careful study of the photo will show that this includes a complete lack of trousers.
Fact 3 - In the second of Lewis Morley's photographs on Bryan's link, Ms. Keller is off the chair and is clothed. However, even when she considers herself fully dressed, she totally eschews the wearing of trousers.
Fact 4 - Previous investigation on my part posted on this thread (13 Jan 12 - 01:08 PM) confirms that Ewan MacColl himself was very keen to get his trousers off.
Fact 5 - Like Ms. Keeler MacColl favoured not just a lack of trousers, but total nudity. The most telling evidence for this comes on MacColl's singing of Tam Lin where at one point he is shape -changed into "a mither-naked man.
Fact 5 - For those who consider that the previous five facts may just be coincidence, here is the most telling fact of all. Amongst the many fine songs recorded by the American singer, Phil Ochs were his own composition, "Christine Keeler" and MacColl's "Ballad of a Carpenter" those proving a close link between the two people under investigation.

I think that the evidence given above is enough to prove Bryan's theory that -
* Christine Keeler was a member of The Critics Group.
but I think we have also proved my suggestion that -
* Not every member of the Critics Group wore trousers to all their meetings.

I believe that before this investigation is concluded, we will be able also to prove MacColl's link to Stephen Ward, John Profumo, Mandy-Rice Davies, Lord Astor, Rachman and the whole of the Cliveden set.

Perhaps one of MacColl's supporters will pop up here to deny all of this - to which I will be able to answer, ""Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?"


14 Jan 12 - 10:54 AM (#3290550)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Baz Bowdidge

He sang in middle class trousers
He could sing with merit
'There's no lilt in me working class kilt
Nor place to hide me ferret'

'McColl is the name
I'm known in many a home
I've got middle class trousers
And a ferret with right to roam'


14 Jan 12 - 11:11 AM (#3290559)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Owen Woodson

Vic, you've forgotten Fact 6, namely MacColl's predisposition towards singing The Maid of Australia. "....Well she took off her clothes and before me she stood. Just as naked as Venus who rose from the flood."

There's a bit more about "Sir you will see how I float on my back", which I wouldn't normally mention on a family message board such as this. However, I understand that some of the Critics Group sessions involved practical exercises.......


14 Jan 12 - 12:28 PM (#3290591)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

A very important find indeed, Owen, and indeed I can add to it.

In her autobiography Mandy (London, Michael Joseph, 1980.), Mandy Rice-Davies mentions that after her notoriety broke, she toured Spain, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore but was banned from entering New Zealand as a result of a complaint from the Girl Guides.

So it doesn't take a massive leap of imagination to realise that Mandy Rice-Davies and The Maid of Australia are in fact one and the same person. Q.E.D.

All the evidence now points in the same direction, especially - as Owen emphasises - that the Antipodean Maiden was distinctly trouserless.


14 Jan 12 - 12:33 PM (#3290595)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Owen Woodson

It gets better than that. There is a distinct hint of sado-masochism coming out of this. Remember that song Terry Yarnell used to sing about Andrew Rose?

"Up aloft the mate did send him,
Naked in the broiling sun."

So that's what the whips and manacles and thumbscrews were for. They weren't Ewan's ideas of teaching aids after all.


14 Jan 12 - 12:41 PM (#3290600)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Oh dear, I was rather hoping that we might be able to avoid all the sordid details, but in the interests of getting all the facts set straight, I feel compelled to mention that on the album called The Wanton Muse Ewan MacColl does sing a song called......

"The Coachman and His Whip".


14 Jan 12 - 01:24 PM (#3290611)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

.... then there are the lyrics of "The Coachman and His Whip" which, I believe go something like:-

There once was a handsome young coachman
Who traveled from London to France
For womankind he had a present
He carried around in his pants
He offered this gift to a lady
Who was willing – but a wee bit afraid
She played with his whip's little cracker
But could not get her hand 'round the braid


and, as we can see, this brings us full circle round to the subject of trousers again.


14 Jan 12 - 01:49 PM (#3290625)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken

Re the Christine Keeler revelation, it's worth pointing out that Sandra Kerr made an appearance in the altogether in the 1971 Festival Of Fools — at Ewan's instigation, of course.

And as I recall there was a North Eastern band active at the time called The Keelers. Were they known for their sans-culottes approach to stagecraft, one wonders?


14 Jan 12 - 03:17 PM (#3290659)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Grampus

Mageean, Fitzy, George & Pete naked ?

NOOOooooo

Keelers (clothed)

G


15 Jan 12 - 01:09 PM (#3290963)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: TheSnail

I'm not so sure, Grampus. We can see that Jim is fully trousered but the others could easily be stark, bollock naked below the waist.

Were they members of the Critics Group?


15 Jan 12 - 03:26 PM (#3291037)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT EWAN MacCOLL - A Series - No. 734
The Ballydehob-Beckenham Connection proved at last!
When he was married to Joan Littlewood and before his all-absorbing involvement with folk song, Ewan MacColl was involved in the highly successful Theatre Workshop, a collective that in its early days toured shows aimed at working-class audiences in the North of England. As well as acting with this company, MacColl did a good deal of their writing. One of most successful of all Theatre Workshop's productions was MacColl's adaptation for the stage of Hasek's novel entitled......The Good Soldier Schweik!

******************************

Now, apart from the obvious link to the nom de plume of an important contributor to this thread, this particular fact would not be of particular relevance to this thread until one considers a significant and highly relevant passage from Jaroslav Hasek's great work which reads (in translation to English):-
Schweik sensed the gravity of the situation.
He jumped up just as he was, with his trousers down and belt around his neck, and having used the scrap of paper in the very last moment he roared out: 'Halt! Up! Attention! Eyes right!' and saluted. Two sections with their trousers down and their belts around their necks rose over the latrines.
The major-general smiled affably and said: 'At ease. Carry on!'

Haf you viped your arsch?' the major general asked Schweik.
'Humbly report sir, everything's in order.'
'Von't you sheet no more?'
'Humbly report sir, I've finished.'
'Vell now pull your hoses op and shtand at attention again…'


Well, I feel that the signifance of this passage needs no further explanation or amplification from any of us.


15 Jan 12 - 04:46 PM (#3291084)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

On a parallel thread, Jim Carroll writes:-
"I wouldn't wish to interrupt the high-level discussion about Ewan's trousers – would be out of my depth among such scintillating intellect "


Well, it may be that we can take his comment at face value. However, I am reminded of something that Mike Yates wrote concerning Jim:-
In 1999, Topic Records asked me to write the notes to their forthcoming Walter Pardon CD - A World Without Horses (TSCD514). I had not been involved in the production of the album, nor had I chosen the songs that were to be included. The original producers, Jim Carroll and Pat MacKenzie, had originally hoped that Topic would issue a double CD using many of their recordings of Walter.   It seems that Topic felt that these later recordings failed to show Walter at his best and so Jim and Pat withdrew from the project, leaving Topic with a single CD that was without notes or documentation.

.... and being reminded of Jim Carroll's significant contribution to recording one of England's premier traditional singers allows me to mention a couple of Walter's songs:-

In Wake Up Johnny Walter sings :-
Wake up Johnny, wake up John
Wake up Johnny, put your trousers on
The clock strikes six, the morning is fine
This week we want to have a bit of overtime.

whilst in another song from his repertoire, Here's to the Grog, we get:-
I've got some good old trousers, boys, trousers boys, you see
Trousers you wear in cold weather
With the flies all out and the buttons flying about
It is done through the cold frosty weather.

So, although it could be that Jim lacks the intellectual capacity to follow "the high-level discussion" of this thread, I feel at liberty to suggest that the evidence in this post could suggest that he is trying a create a smoke screen around his deep involvement in this matter.


15 Jan 12 - 04:50 PM (#3291086)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: TheSnail

Vic, may I suggest you go for a lie down in a dark room?


15 Jan 12 - 05:05 PM (#3291093)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Sorry, Bryan, it's just that my brain has been enormously stimulated today. It must be the aftermath of the effect of the superb performance by Bob Lewis that I listened to last night at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club.
I thought that the compere did a pretty good job too....


15 Jan 12 - 05:52 PM (#3291115)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim and Pat withdrew from the project, leaving Topic with a single CD that was without notes or documentation."
For clarity - we presented a double album of Walter singing and talking - Topic felt that it was not what they wanted, and reduced it to a single album of songs only.
We have never issued an album of traditional singers without the singers talking, as we feel they are more than just their songs.
At no time did Topic mention to us the quality of the material we proposed - they may have done to Mike, but not to us.
We still have their letter on file.
It seems you favour the technique ofpoint-scoring as does your fellow townsman.
Jim Carroll


15 Jan 12 - 06:20 PM (#3291127)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: TheSnail

Great evening, wasn't it Vic? Bob was on excellent form and the quality of floor singers that turned out to see him was superb. One of those evenings that make you realise why you put in the effort.

The compere did slip a bit with time control just because there were so many good people to put on.

(and everybody kept their trousers on, at least, if they were wearing them in the first place.)


15 Jan 12 - 06:22 PM (#3291129)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: TheSnail

BŁ"@#$%r! Got 100 and missed it.


15 Jan 12 - 06:34 PM (#3291138)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Vic Smith

Jim, It may escape your notice but the whole intention of this entire thread is to have a bit of fun. No-one is trying to score points or offend. I joined this thread when it became obvious that the whole point of it was to parody the deadly serious, repetitive arguments from entrenched positions that dominate MacColl threads on Mudcat. Further up this thread, Derek Schofield takes the piss out of one of my sincere beliefs. What do I do? I laugh heartily and join in the joke.

Look at the opening post on the thread that I started called M. Carthy on The Critics Group - Radio 4 . With the link to the programme, I wrote Vic Smith posts this then hurries to his bomb shelter before another battle in the Mudcat MacColl Wars breaks out. Shall I tell you why I posted those words? It was in the hope that some sensible discussion would take place without tired, turgid re-enactments of previous discussions. Follow the thread through and you will see how quickly my hopes were dashed and you, Jim, are as guilty as any of negative comments as part of your arguments.

Now, kindly leave this particular discussion to those who wish to be silly before my research uncovers any more Carroll-trouser related evidence.


16 Jan 12 - 03:27 AM (#3291265)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim, It may escape your notice but the whole intention of this entire thread is to have a bit of fun."
It was a rather feeble joke that went on too long IMO to the extent of becoming what television companies call 'a spoiler' a diversion from the original programme - in this case, the thread you started.
I was grateful for the chance to put my views and experiences of the The Critics Group that your thread provided and I was disappointed that you felt it necessary to drag in an incident into this one that had nothing whatever to do with the subject, in retaliation for my having said as much - could have provided several other such incidents that would have served equally as well.
I'll leave you to your 'fun'
Jim Carroll


16 Jan 12 - 11:38 AM (#3291428)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Valmai Goodyear

I've enjoyed this thread a lot and was looking for an opportunity to drag in the fact that Bob Copper used to practise concertina inside his trousers to reduce the volume*. He wasn't wearing the trousers at the time as far as I know.

Valmai (Lewes)

*of sound.


16 Jan 12 - 11:44 AM (#3291430)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Little Hawk

It's easier than practicing the bagpipes inside your trousers.


16 Jan 12 - 11:54 AM (#3291441)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Valmai Goodyear

Yes, you'd need the trousers of an octopus.

Valmai


16 Jul 16 - 03:00 PM (#3800553)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: GUEST,Justin

This just proves how fickle and ostentatious the folk scene it. Someone can't wear clothes they like because they don't want to be seen as higher class?

Reminds me of Dylan's use of an electric guitar.


16 Jul 16 - 03:31 PM (#3800559)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: The Sandman

The problem with Dylan was not that he wanted to use an electric guitar.
His problem is that he cannot play one anymore.


17 Jul 16 - 07:17 AM (#3800685)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Nice to see this spring to life again. Passing from McColl to Dylan - I suspect Dylan of crimes against trousers but have no evidence to hand - perhaps somebody could find some?


17 Jul 16 - 07:20 AM (#3800686)
Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl's trousers
From: Les in Chorlton

Surely I am not alone in finding this collection of photos of his Bobness extremely suspicious - hardly a trouser in sight!

Bob's Trousers