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SWING LOW
Posted by: Sorry Sarrie (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2020 18:45

Watch this - it surprised me. I still think Twickenham needs a better songbook than Swing Low and GSTQ!
[url=http://[www.youtube.com]]Ban Swing Low??[/url]

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Innings (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2020 19:37

For heaven's sake! This song has been in the rugby repertoire for at least fifty years. As now sung it has nothing to do with slavery . It's to do with being an easy tune and a sequence of hand gestures that accompany the words.

Presumably, Radio 3 is now to ban Dvorak's 5th / 9th Symphony on the grounds that the same tune is an integral component of the last movement.

Obviously it's also offensive to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, drink Southern Comfort, buy clothes or house wares made with American cotton, appreciate Cary Grant's record in the cinema, enjoy the jazz culture in New Orleans.

Air-brushing history achieves nothing except to facilitate the repetition of history's excesses.



Innings

Points win matches: tries win hearts and minds.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: myleftboot (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2020 21:52

It's a very strange world, I get that statues of awful @#$%& like Colston need to come down, but it seems an awful stretch to banning Swing Low. Especially with its connection to Martin Offiah in the modern lexicon.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: maynas (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2020 23:24

Its wokeness gone mad I guess. Today's youth just wants stuff to be all simple, clean and nice, and all past things that dont fit in their small world or even have anything a tiny bit off banned. Sad world. First step to totalitarianism too, out of the Stalin playbook.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Barty II (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 09:03

Quote:
maynas
Its wokeness gone mad I guess. Today's youth just wants stuff to be all simple, clean and nice, and all past things that dont fit in their small world or even have anything a tiny bit off banned. Sad world. First step to totalitarianism too, out of the Stalin playbook.

Bit much. Particularly when I could counter by pointing out all the ham-faced fat blokes who go round calling everyone who finds something a bit offensive "lefty snowflakes" and have simultaneously cancelled their Sky subscription and refused to watch the football anymore because the players dared to agree that racism is bad.

For what it's worth I don't agree that swing low should be binned but see nothing wrong with, in the current climate, doing a bit of research on its image with those that really matter. The likes of Maro Itoje spring to mind....

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Sully08 (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 10:38

I do understand the point that what has been seen as normal does evolve over time. And it feels, like with the Fawlty Towers don't mention the war episode, that we are testing the boundaries of what is acceptable today.
In related news it has been confirmed that Sweet Caroline will be allowed to be sung once social distancing has been relaxed - reaching out, touching me, touching you.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Jim 55 (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 15:03

For what it's worth I don't agree that swing low should be binned but see nothing wrong with, in the current climate, doing a bit of research on its image with those that really matter. The likes of Maro Itoje spring to mind....

And therein lies something of a problem, to me at any rate, you see I truly believe we all really matter.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: myleftboot (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 17:32

Yes, we do. But when a disproportionate number of us with more melanin in their skin seem to suffer, die and be discriminated against seemingly as a result of this melanin, should we not be reminded of the fact they should be equals?

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: AP (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 21:38

On "seem to suffer, die and be discriminated against", the evidence points much more to social deprivation rather than race.

But indirectly, more of certain ethnic groups are socially deprived.

One reason that the UK has a high death rate from Covid-19 may prove to be that the UK doesn't have a particularly healthy population in the first place. Plus it has concentrated centres of population. Plus it has international travel hubs.

Looking back in 12 months time will be interesting.



Successful hills are here to stay
Everything must be this way
Gentle streets where people play
Welcome to the Soft Parade

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: myleftboot (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 23:03

And why do a high proportion of those that are more socially deprived seem to have more melanin, AP?!! Why do so many 'accidents' in custody also happen to those with more melanin? Blaming an unhealthy population for a high death rate? The mediterrean diet in Italy... Getting rather close to politics here!

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Innings (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 23:37

Our Maggie hit the nail on the head. She sang it for years, stopped singing it the minute someone told her of its origin and meaning, and has never sung it since, She says it's wrong to ban it , but hopes that as more and more people find it uncomfortable to sing it it will drop out of rugby support by itself.

Isn't that exactly the right approach: explain and let people decide on their own actions? Some minority will want to go on singing it, but eventually even they will feel alone and stop. Without bans, with maintained freedom of speech, the power of education will have delivered the desired result.



Innings

Points win matches: tries win hearts and minds.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: myleftboot (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2020 23:53

Yep, raised fist for you, master innings!

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: AP (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2020 08:14

Quote:
myleftboot
And why do a high proportion of those that are more socially deprived seem to have more melanin, AP?!! Why do so many 'accidents' in custody also happen to those with more melanin? Blaming an unhealthy population for a high death rate? The mediterrean diet in Italy... Getting rather close to politics here!

Why are you so angry in so many of your posts?

I'm just pointing out that it's more complicated than you are saying it is. I'm not blaming anyone.



Successful hills are here to stay
Everything must be this way
Gentle streets where people play
Welcome to the Soft Parade

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Duncan96 (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2020 09:21

Quote:
Innings
Our Maggie hit the nail on the head. She sang it for years, stopped singing it the minute someone told her of its origin and meaning, and has never sung it since, She says it's wrong to ban it , but hopes that as more and more people find it uncomfortable to sing it it will drop out of rugby support by itself.

That is interesting. My initial reaction was , now that England fans know that it was a song written by a slave yearning for freedom, wouldn't it be an emblem of solidarity for those fans to sing it, in the knowledge of what it is, in support of their team. I was keen to know what my black friends would think of that.

I didn't ask because it later occured to me that, imagine if there had been a song sung by Jews in concentration camps yearning for escape, or by one of the 800,000 Tutsis killed in Rwanda yearning for an end to the massacre. It would be completely inappropriate to sing such a song for something so trite as supporting a Rugby team. There were, unfortunately, many, many more slaves killed by the conditions they were forced to live under than died in concentration camps or in Rwanda. In Haiti for instance the average life expectancy was 2 years and that wasn't unusual. Pregnant slaves were often starved because it was cheaper to buy a new slave and work them to death for a couple of years than raise a child to the point where they could be worked to death -you could go on with the horror tales which, on reflection, I believe make the singing of the song inappropriate.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: AP (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2020 13:49

Does this mean that all "spiritual" hymns are out now?

And what about Amazing Grace:

"... while the song is a well-known anthem of the civil rights movement, its original text was written by a former slave trader. John Newton was an Anglican priest in England in 1773, when he debuted a hymn to his congregation called “Faith’s Review and Expectation.”

The hymn opened with a powerful line: “Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That sav’d a wretch like me!” And it drew on Newton’s own experience as a slave trader — specifically, from a near-death experience he’d had decades earlier, when the slave ship he was on encountered a violent storm, prompting him to convert to Christianity. (Newton didn’t speak out against slavery until 1788.)"

All very difficult.



Successful hills are here to stay
Everything must be this way
Gentle streets where people play
Welcome to the Soft Parade

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Duncan96 (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2020 14:39

Quote:
AP
Does this mean that all "spiritual" hymns are out now?
And what about Amazing Grace:

"... while the song is a well-known anthem of the civil rights movement, its original text was written by a former slave trader. John Newton was an Anglican priest in England in 1773, when he debuted a hymn to his congregation called “Faith’s Review and Expectation.”

The hymn opened with a powerful line: “Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That sav’d a wretch like me!” And it drew on Newton’s own experience as a slave trader — specifically, from a near-death experience he’d had decades earlier, when the slave ship he was on encountered a violent storm, prompting him to convert to Christianity. (Newton didn’t speak out against slavery until 1788.)"

All very difficult.

Of course it doesn’t. Singing Amazing Grace in Church or in a concert is as highly commendable as singing Swing Low in the same setting.

Singing either of them to support a Rugby Team? Mmmm. Different in my opinion.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: TAD1971 (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2020 20:06

The last person to try to ban the song was Hitler in 1939.

That’s as much part of the history of the song as everything that came before it and has come after it.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: GazzaFez (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2020 21:49

@#$%& all chance for 'Fields of Athenry' then. An overtly 'political' song about a bloke sentenced to deportation during the Irish famine whilst under British rule. A song which has nothing at all to do with rugby, it's just a bloody good song. Same for Swing Low. People are over analysing this; there is nothing at all negative about either song in the context of a rugby match.

The world has just gone mad.

Let me make a prediction - next time there is a match at Twickenham, Swing Low will be sung louder and by more people than has ever been heard before. Banning it will be just like showing a red rag to a bull. Completely and utterly counterproductive.

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: GerryK (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2020 08:00

[quote GazzaFez]@#$%& all chance for 'Fields of Athenry' then. An overtly 'political' song about a bloke sentenced to deportation during the Irish famine whilst under British rule. A song which has nothing at all to do with rugby, it's just a bloody good song. Same for Swing Low. People are over analysing this; there is nothing at all negative about either song in the context of a rugby match.

The world has just gone mad.

Let me make a prediction - next time there is a match at Twickenham, Swing Low will be sung louder and by more people than has ever been heard before. Banning it will be just like showing a red rag to a bull. Completely and utterly counterproductive.[/quote

Well said, my sentiments exactly]

Re: SWING LOW
Posted by: Innings (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2020 09:08

Quote:
Gazza Fez
People are over analysing this; there is nothing at all negative about either song in the context of a rugby match.

There are differing views of the same scene. What is not offensive to you as the singer is not necessarily inoffensive to the person hearing the song.

Whatever the appeal of the song, and I have always enjoyed hearing the ones discussed in this thread*, I am neither a black descendant of slaves nor an Irish descendant of a displaced underclass. If either song comes to offend so many others, then perhaps it becomes time to accept that times have changed. Just as Robertson's Jam golliwogs have become unacceptable, so can other icons become so. On that basis, I presume that Swing Low will disappear as a rugby song and Athenry will not.

*except Amazing Grace, which is a dreary dirge best played on bagpipes in northern Scotland while I'm in southern England,



Innings

Points win matches: tries win hearts and minds.

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