Sax and violins was offensive Lyrics

Scott Perry sp@MAIL.AWOD.COM
Tue Jun 30 13:12:35 EDT 1998


Ed wrote:

> In a message dated 98-06-30 11:07:00 EDT, sp@mail.awod.com writes:
>
> <<  don't believe singing a song means you endorse it or the behavior
>  it contains, sometimes quite the opposite is true. >>>
>
> I said you endorse the meaning of the song...not the behavior it contains!
> And that is the truth

Maybe Leonard's got it right, all that's being "endorsed" when we
sing a song is the "feeling."  When I sing "32-20" I don't think I'm
endorsing or advocating violence against woman -- and I don't think
RJ is either.  To me what RJ is expressing is a desire (ie.
"feeling"), to retaliate against a woman who "did him wrong."  This
is something many folks can relate to, it doesn't mean we'd do it or
that we condone it -- it just means we are "honest"/human enough to
admit that we can feel that way.

> <<<, Rev. Gary Davis'  "Cocaine Blues" can be read as a stark/grim portrayal
> of the evils of  the drug as much or more as it can be read as an endorsement
> of drug
>  abuse.  It depends on the mindset of the listener and their ability  to deal
> with layers of meaning/multiple meanings. >>>
>
> I really think that there is only one effective meaning for the song and it
> "doesn't"
> endorse drug use.  It paints a picture of the angst and torment of drug use...
> It is a great song.

I agree, Ed, it's a great song and I never said there was "only one
effective meaning for the song," but I think you're wrong if you
think someone couldn't see this song as an "endorsement of drug use"
-- I know many who have.

> <<<,To make a perhaps simplistic comparison, is every picture of a naked
>  human body pornography?  I don't think so.  Is every song about drugs
>  or violence an endorsement of either, IMHO, no.>>>.
>
> Don't be rediculous Scott.... if the song reenforces a negative behavior and
> you sing it
> you are endorsing it.... pure and simple, but some songs mention those
> behaviors
> but don't endorse them.

No Ed, it's you who are being ridiculous.   I can sing a song like
"32-20" and not be endorsing or reinforcing the behavior or act, I'm
simply empathizing with "feeling"  like I want to hurt
somebody.  Haven't you ever felt like hurting somebody Ed?  I get the
impression that you've wanted to throttle me on more than one
occasion!

>  <<< it's less offensive than
committing the act) -- >>.
>
> You infer then that it is offensive...  I wouldn't use those words and don't
> expect you
> to have the same set of criteria as I or any artist.... but you are in denial
> (or the Congo) when you say that by doing a song .... you don't endorse it
> ...thus reflecting the songs message back on you, and who you are.  That is
> just poppycock!

Boy, Ed you really seem to be taking this a little personally, why
the personal attack.  Of course the idea of hurting or killing
someone, even some no good cheating lover, is offensive to most
folks.  I never stated otherwise.   But again, we can still "feel"
that way, and I don't think it hurts anyone to admit that we feel
that way.

>  <<< Ed's approach of refusing to "endorse"/sing such songs sounds like
> repression to  me -->>>
>
> It is a choice I made a few years back...when I heard a TV commercial that
> said
> "one out of seven young women entering college will be raped before they
> graduate"
> and another that said "by the time this commercial ends ...three women will
> have been beaten  or abused in this country alone"  commercials like these
> made me decide to "not" do songs that reenforce that atrocious behavior....
> hey I don't say you have to... do your thing, but i say there are plenty of
> great songs that don't need to
> "come up the side of her head"
>
> Most of those songs were relating to a time when it was more acceptable to go
> home and beat the wife.(which is shameful itself)... hell it was even OK to
> toss bottles by the side of the road....

Ed, I respect your right to not sing such songs -- in fact I've said
this  a few times already.  Your reasons for not doing so are
admirable.  But again, your assertion that a song like "32-20"
reinforces "atrocious behavior" is, IMHO, narrow minded and wrong.
If a song opens a dialogue on an issue that's a good thing.  If it
purges someone of a "feeling" they may otherwise have acted out, I
maintain that's still a good thing.  If most listeners understand
that a song like this reveals that we are capable of unhealthy urges
that we would never act upon, still a good thing.

I don't know if wife beating was any more "acceptable" then than it
is now, I tend to doubt it.  I further doubt it was any more
prevalent an activity.  What I do know is that woman still cheat on
men and men still cheat on woman and songs are still written about
them.

> <<<< with this approach the impulses are still there, they're just  not
> readily apparent, but may surface later on.....>>>
>
> Is that why you are credited with co-writing the song on your CD whose
> repetitive lyric mantra is.."you didn't slip....you didn't fall!  I pushed
> your cheatin ass out in the hall!"  To me that song has  ZERO redeeming
> quality and you co-wrote it... you ENDORSE  it.  You don't seem to be a
> beater, but if all i had to go on was that lyric
> ...well it smells like horse-pucky!

Jeesh, Ed.  I'll try to be a little less "knee jerk" when I comment
on your CD to the list.  Yes I co-wrote a song called "You Didn't
Slip" the  refrain of which is "You didn't slip, babe, honey you
didn't fall.  It was me, babe, pushed your cheatin' ass out in the
hall."  Thank you Ed, for your assessment of the "value" of the song,
as I say, I'll try to be a little more balanced in my appraisal
of your CD.  I encourage the list to listen to the entire song
themselves before they join Ed's witch-hunt or buy into his
appraisal of the song.   Just about everyone  else who's listened to
the CD does not shares Ed's feeling.  That song has received more
airplay than any other on the CD and is requested more thas any other
at live performances.  NOONE has ever walked out while we played it,
to my knowledge no listener has picketed a station that played it,
and there has been no rise in spousal abuse because of this song that
I'm aware of.  I endorse the song because it's well written, well
performed, clever and funny (if you've got a sense of humor, are not
prone to overly react to a song about dealing with a cheating
lover, and don't have a personal agenda against one of the authors).
As I said before, I don't endorse violence against woman (or men for
that matter), what I do endorse is being able to communicate an
"honest" human emotion.  Ed, replay the song in your mind with a
female singer -- does it work better for yo that way?  You betcha it
does.  IMHO, it would work better, but neither Juke or I have the
pipes to sing in a female voice (although I tried on "Wine Drinkin'
Woman").  I encourage anyone with my CD (I know there are a few of
you out there!), to comment on this song in the context of this
discussion.

> So the lesson here is... what you sing...what you perform, what you write
> reflects back on you...and there is not enough time to go around explaining,
> it is not worth it and many folks just don't care or get it.

No, the lesson here, Ed, is that there's more than one (your) way to
sing or interpret a song.

> Archie Shepp told me once..."I don' co-sign anything that I can't back all the
> way!"

Who the hell is Archie Shepp what authority does he have on this
matter?

> <<,,It would seem that Ed would like to demonize me for singing such songs
>  as they are.  Hopefully, I've demonstrated that at least the intent
>  of my approach is not to endorse negative behavior -- and I will
>  continue to argue that it is not the result of my approach either.>>>.
>
>  Scott, if I thought you were a lost cause, I wouldn't waste the time... I am
> simply
> trying to show you, that, as an artist, you have a responsibility to society,
> and that as a public person, what you say or do has impact that reflects  on
> you as a person.

Responsibility to society?  Who the hell am I, Bono?  I sing and play
blues music.  What I say and do reflects nothing other than the
fact that I am human.  As such, I am as capable of a wide variety of
emotions and actions, not all of them pretty or admirable but human
nonetheless.  I'm not perfect and would never pretend to be.  I live
my life and sing my blues with as much honesty, dignity and respect
for others as I am capable.  Do I try to be a better person every
day? Sure I do.  Do I sometimes "slip?"  You betcha.  Right now all
the "responsibility" I can handle is for myself and my family.
"Society" will have to be responsible for itself until I'm as perfect
and righteous as Ed.

Scott "Hey Shannon, Whatcha Doin' With that Hose?"
Perry



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