Re: Inappropriate songs? (Long)
CHUCK BRAMLET (chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU)
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 10:06:52 -0700
I promised this yesterday. As it's now completed, here is...
Carl Westfall writes...
>I checked out the following link for camp songs
>Although there are many good songs here, there are also very many
>that are inappropriate. I'm sure most of you would agree and
>recognize which ones
>I was informed that no song that satires a Military or Religious
>song is to be used. We have since made this not only our Pack
>policy but our District's as well.
IMHO, this goes a _bit_ too far. "Horse-pucky", if you will.
Do you realize that this rule eliminates the following favorite
"Be kind to you fine-feathered friends
For a duck may be somebody's mother.
Be kind to your friends in the swamp
Where the weather - is very, very cold and dawmp.
Now you may think that this is the end.
Well it is!"
The above being sung, of course, to the tune "Stars and Stripes Forever"
which is _both_ a military and patriotic song. This parody has been
around as long as I can remember. And I find _nothing_ offensive
about it. (What would they say about using the words of "The Marine's
Hymn" ("From the Halls of Montezuma") to the tune of "Gilligan's
Island? =:) )
** Vent mode on **
I'm sure that there are many others that use the tunes of "Military or
Religious" songs, and could be outlawed by this policy by a hard-nosed
interpretation from an uninformed leader, even though they might not
_really_ be parodies or satires.
Case in point is the song "A Home in the Meadow" (featured in the film
"How The West Was Won"). It uses the tune "Greensleaves". That tune
is also used by a Christmas Carol ("What Child is This?") and one other
religous song that I don't remember the title to. Now your hard nosed
interpretation _could_ ban that from your camp by taking the "satire"
element to an extreme, far from its intent, and banning what is a
beautiful song. (I know of 5 sets of words to that tune - the oldest
being a love-song. The tune is "religous" only because someone wrote
religous words to it - several hundred years ago.)
My father is a very religous man. He has been for many, many years.
His mother was an avowed athiest, and used to sing many satires of
religous songs. One that my father _still_ sings uses the following
"At the bar, at the bar,
Where I smoked my first cigar,
And my nickles and my dimes rolled away;
It was there by chance
That I ripped my Sunday Pants.
And now I have to wear them everyday."
BTW, my father is an ordained minister (and the above is posted for
example only, and not meant to offend).
In other words, _what_ is the _real_ harm of parodies like "God Bless
My Underwear!", or any other silly song that kids love, that _might_
be considered a satire on a "Military or Religious song"? Should we
not allow the kids to sing these, but still allow them to sing "Great
Green Gobs" or "Mama's soup Surprise"? What about the environmentalist
version of "America The Beautiful"? ("Oh beautiful, for smoggy skies,/
Insecticided grain./Thy Strip mined mountain majesties/ Above the
FWIW here, in going thru my Wood Badge Songbook last night, I found the
Mom, Wash My Underwear
(Tune: God Bless America)
"Mom, wash my underwear, my only pair.
We can find them, and move them,
>From the heap by the sude of the chair.
To the washer, to the clothesline,
To my backpack, to my rear.
Mom, wash my underwear, my only pair.
Mom, wash my underwear, my only pair."
If this is not a sanctioned song, what is it doing in my WBS?
I would be far more worried by the kids singing the satires of "Wierd
Al Yankovick": "Like a Surgeon", "Fat", "Eat It", or "Amish Paradise",
to name a few, as it's obvious where they came from, and the kids know
the original songs. ("Like a Virgin", "Bad", "Beat It", "Gansta's
Paradise".) I know these because my son is a dancer, and is exposed to
the originals of this music in his dance classes - not to mention what
the kids hear on the radio.
Again, IMHO, we are doing far _more_ damage to the kids with this new
"prudishness" than we are by letting them be kids, and enjoying some
of these silly songs where _they_ may not even see, or understand, the
connections. Many songs use similar tunes, or the same tune, as some
others. IMHO, it's a bit unfair to call one a satire just because it
uses the same tune.
Kids come to Scouting to have fun; they go to camp to have fun. We
hope that they are learning something in the process. If we keep up
with these _stupid_ rules, they will stop having fun - then stop
Scouting. When that happens, _WE_ will be out of jobs.
BTW, One of the dirtiest poems that I ever heard was told me in, of all
places, _Church_, by a friend who kept on after I asked him to stop.
_I_ got in trouble for punching him after my forth request to stop. He
only said it once, and I can still remember it word for word - a memory
that I would _love_ to delete.
** Vent mode off **
Chuck Bramlet, ASM Troop 323,
Firebird District, Grand Canyon Council, Phoenix, Az. Member DNRC
I "used to be" an Antelope! WEM-10-95 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
"With every deed, you are sowing a seed,
though the harvest you may not see" -- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City