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Source: (consider it) Thread: Swing low, sweet chariot - cultural appropriation?
mr cheesy
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These two facts do not seem in dispute.

First, the song Swing low, sweet chariot has an association with the English national Rugby Union team which - surprisingly - only goes back a few decades.

Second, it was written (and/or popularised) in the 1860s as a spiritual and is often associated with slavery and is possibly even alluding to the underground railroad.

So - should the song be dropped as a crowd soundtrack to Rugby Union games because of that association? Is it possible that there is ingrained racism in English Rugby Union in that something sacred has been turned into a drinking song?

I suspect, but can't prove, that the use of the song has more to do with Eric Clapton and UB40 than as a direct swipe as African Americans.

And perhaps a wider thought: how many songs are popular at British sports events which are likely unsuitable when the words are considered? If it is some kind of hooded racism, how do you stop a crowd singing it ironically (and possibly even unintentionally, only ever knowing it as a drinking song)?

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Marvin the Martian

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Some people have taken something they like from another culture and used it in their own way. Isn't that how multiculturalism is supposed to work?

I don't see why it's any more racist than me making my own curries.

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chris stiles
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I don't see why it would be racist, unless there was a denial that it was originally a spiritual.
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mr cheesy
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I dunno Martin, I think it is a bit like using a Wilfred Owen poem as ironic lyrics to a car advert.

If we imagine a culture that grows up using those lyrics ironically*, then it might be entirely understandable that those using them are entirely unaware of the origins.

But I still think we might find it hard to accept that a famous war poet is being used to sell cars. I think when one adds in the British role in transatlantic slavery, then the use of the song in rugby union contexts becomes - even unintentionally - racism.


*which might be tough to imagine, I was just trying to think of something quintessentially British which might turn the stomach if used in this way

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Boogie

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This is an innocent question from university days and memories of the drinking song and actions. I always hated the song because of the actions, they felt pretty degrading to me. Are the actions connected with wanking or was this just a typical penis obsessed college version?

[ 10. March 2017, 09:00: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
I don't see why it would be racist, unless there was a denial that it was originally a spiritual.

But surely on one level using something which was written and used in a very specific context as something completely different (and, let's be clear - it is basically a drinking song) is inherently racist. I'm not sure the participants ignorance of or denial of the truth really invalidates the idea that it is a racist use of someone else's heritage.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:


I suspect, but can't prove, that the use of the song has more to do with Eric Clapton and UB40 than as a direct swipe as African Americans.


It's certainly a drinking song this side of the pond - especially in rugby clubs. Regardless of the "approved" history that it was something to do with a school choir at Twickenham in the 1980s it does seem if you talk to enough ancient rugby players to have been part of the repertoire at least back to the 1950s (complete with obscene hand actions), if not earlier, along with John Peel and Dido Bendigo.

I tend to think the onus here is on live and let live. If they started singing it for the first time tomorrow it would be a bit weird, but it's just something England fans do. You *really* don't want them singing Dido Bendigo instead.

BTW I think Clapton (certainly UB40) got the inspiration from rugby rather than the other way around. Not so sure of Clapton but UB40 recorded it as the official England World Cup Song.

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mr cheesy
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Incidentally, I was just looking up in an old newspaper archive about the first mention of the song in Britain. It was from 1900 when a group of African Americans toured the country singing spirituals.

I'd would be fascinating to attempt to track the use and see if it retained some cultural memory from that event all the way through to the 1970s.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
But surely on one level using something which was written and used in a very specific context as something completely different is inherently racist.

Why?

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Barnabas62
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I suppose what distinguishes it from many bawdlerised versions of other hymns (e.g. the unsanitised words to When this lousy war is over) is the use of the original words for a bawdy purpose.

Crude, offensive to some maybe, but I don't feel it's that big a deal.

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Sioni Sais
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ISTR the earliest use of Swing low Sweet Chariot in the rugby context is indeed at Twickenham but at the end of season Middlesex seven-a-side tournament. That is a true rugger bugger event. The support for England's national rugby team is diverse by comparison, although the song has been adopted.

Then again the other home nations have songs about saucepans, murder and direst threats. All that makes the Haka look mature and civilised.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I dunno Martin, I think it is a bit like using a Wilfred Owen poem as ironic lyrics to a car advert.

For all I know, that could be happening right now somewhere in the world. The idea doesn't bother me.

quote:
which might be tough to imagine, I was just trying to think of something quintessentially British which might turn the stomach if used in this way
Perhaps a better hypothetical example might be, say, Iranian football fans adopting Land Of Hope And Glory as their anthem.

Or if you want a real-life alternative, how about someone taking the British national anthem and rewriting it as a hymn to America?

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
at the end of season Middlesex seven-a-side tournament. That is a true rugger bugger event.

certainly used to be (before my time really) - allegedly the move to Rosslyn Park is recapturing some of that.

Tales of people openly barbecuing *in* the old west stand are legion - basically (for the non-rugby following Shipmates), back in the days before 7s got all professional the Middlesex 7s was an end-of-season jolly for clubs from around England to travel up to HQ and have an all-day party while some rugby happened in the vicinity.*

*in much the same way as the annual Army-Navy match still is.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
For all I know, that could be happening right now somewhere in the world. The idea doesn't bother me.

That's as maybe. The question is whether anyone else is bothered and whether we, as England rugby supporters, might want to be thinking about that when choosing which drinking songs to sing. I can imagine someone using a war poem in a brutish manner might cause offense. If it doesn't offend you, well meh.

quote:
Perhaps a better hypothetical example might be, say, Iranian football fans adopting Land Of Hope And Glory as their anthem.

Or if you want a real-life alternative, how about someone taking the British national anthem and rewriting it as a hymn to America?

I don't think either of those really match up to the idea of using a slave spiritual as a rugby drinking song.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:

Then again the other home nations have songs about saucepans, murder and direst threats.

Crikey, is that what Land of my Fathers is really about?
[Big Grin]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

Tales of people openly barbecuing *in* the old west stand are legion - basically (for the non-rugby following Shipmates), back in the days before 7s got all professional the Middlesex 7s was an end-of-season jolly for clubs from around England to travel up to HQ and have an all-day party while some rugby happened in the vicinity.*

Bloody south-eastern rugger halfwits. If you could get into the shed at Gloucester you were doing well - the idea that you'd have space to bbq is nuts.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:

Then again the other home nations have songs about saucepans, murder and direst threats.

Crikey, is that what Land of my Fathers is really about?
[Big Grin]

No, the other home nations. Sioni Sais means English Johnny remember.

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Kitten
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:

Then again the other home nations have songs about saucepans, murder and direst threats.

Crikey, is that what Land of my Fathers is really about?
[Big Grin]

No, Sosban Fach is the saucepan song, its about a housewife having a really bad day

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
]That's as maybe. The question is whether anyone else is bothered and whether we, as England rugby supporters, might want to be thinking about that when choosing which drinking songs to sing.

I think that's *a* question - but not *the* question. Largely because you can't tell a crowd what to sing. There is nothing more embarrassing than those dark corners of the sporting internet where fans of a particular side meet to talk - inevitably one of the younger, keener people will suggest "why don't we try singing this" and it never works. There's an element of sponteneity to it.

England rugby union have got Swing Low
West Ham - I'm forever blowing bubbles
Stockport County - the scarf my father wore (and given where that one comes from I think there's more to worry about in sport than Swing Low)
Oxford Utd - Sweet Caroline
Everton have been running out onto the pitch to the theme tune from Z Cars since the dawn of time

the point is no one really knows where these songs came from (as in into the ground/club, not who wrote them), why fans took to them, and why they stuck for years. That's why I think it's difficult to impute racism, appropriation or anything else - because people don't think things through that much. Something catches their ears and, for whatever reason, it sticks. Some (other) people won't like that at times, but I do think it's wrong to go straight for base motives (not you, in general).


For entirely understandable reasons the closest Moseley have got to this is that they play Kenny Rogers' The Gambler a lot. It doesn't often seem to help...

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten:
No, Sosban Fach is the saucepan song, its about a housewife having a really bad day

Probably the result of her husband coming home blind drunk, singing spiritual songs with obscene actions.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Bloody south-eastern rugger halfwits. If you could get into the shed at Gloucester you were doing well - the idea that you'd have space to bbq is nuts.

Much as I like the Shed, Twickenham even in the 70s and 80s was just a wee bit bigger....

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Much as I like the Shed, Twickenham even in the 70s and 80s was just a wee bit bigger....

Bath, Gloucester and Leicester have rather stronger claims of being the home of English rugby, particularly given the idiotic things that happen at Twickenham.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:

Then again the other home nations have songs about saucepans, murder and direst threats.

Crikey, is that what Land of my Fathers is really about?
[Big Grin]

No, the other home nations. Sioni Sais means English Johnny remember.
Sure, but I still thought you'd be in a position to help me out!

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
I think that's *a* question - but not *the* question. Largely because you can't tell a crowd what to sing. There is nothing more embarrassing than those dark corners of the sporting internet where fans of a particular side meet to talk - inevitably one of the younger, keener people will suggest "why don't we try singing this" and it never works. There's an element of sponteneity to it.

Yes, and that is something to think about. But simply saying "oh, well I'm not offended" isn't really engaging with the discussion. It isn't about whether individually Marvin is offended but about a deeper understanding of the way we (as a crowd, as a community) are using other people's heritage.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Much as I like the Shed, Twickenham even in the 70s and 80s was just a wee bit bigger....

Bath, Gloucester and Leicester have rather stronger claims of being the home of English rugby, particularly given the idiotic things that happen at Twickenham.
You don't need to tell me any of that, I'm not from the south east. Anyway, my lot are up there too if you define it in terms of players sent to the England side and periods unbeaten. We've never been fashionable, but since 1873 we've had periods of being very good indeed. Incidentally, I think we were the first side to play Leicester at Leicester when they were new to the sport!

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rolyn
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We could ban the singing of Sweet Chariot from sporting venues, and whilst we are about it we could demolish all historical architecture in English towns and cities built off the profits from slavery.

Didn't racism from the football terraces in Britain traditionally take the form of throwing items on the pitch and making a certain ridiculous and offensive chant? Not something that has ever happened at a rugby game to my knowledge.
That isn't to say underlying institutional racism hasn't existed in clubs, it most probably did/does. Just as it used to exist in the Police Force until relatively recently.

There does seem to be a determined movement out there which seems to want to force Britain to face up to it's racist past.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It isn't about whether individually Marvin is offended but about a deeper understanding of the way we (as a crowd, as a community) are using other people's heritage.

Sure, but where do you draw the line? Should we be burning all rock and pop records on the basis that they'd be nothing if "we" hadn't pinched the Blues (memorably described by Eric Idle in the Rutles as black music sung by white people)?

Surely the whole point of art is that the artist has no control over it once it's out there in the world? The item becomes a living, breathing thing and the property of the world to do with as they wish. Now, there's a question within that as to taste and decency, but not a prohibition.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
We could ban the singing of Sweet Chariot from sporting venues, and whilst we are about it we could demolish all historical architecture in English towns and cities built off the profits from slavery.

Generally speaking, architecture is hard to do something about.

quote:
Didn't racism from the football terraces in Britain traditionally take the form of throwing items on the pitch and making a certain ridiculous and offensive chant? Not something that has ever happened at a rugby game to my knowledge.
I went to a lot of rugby when I was a teenager and I never saw any racist incidents like this, but then to be fair a game at Gloucester had a far smaller crowd than at even a medium sized football game. At Gloucester the shed has a soft spot for picking on refs rather than players.

Rugby union crowds generally seem fairly tame in England.


quote:
That isn't to say underlying institutional racism hasn't existed in clubs, it most probably did/does. Just as it used to exist in the Police Force until relatively recently.

There does seem to be a determined movement out there which seems to want to force Britain to face up to it's racist past.

I genuninely believe that if there was a rugby drinking song which turned out to be hidden references to white nationalism then crowds would stop singing them - because rugby is a family sport and supporters (particularly at international games) are fairly sensible.

The problem here is that the link seems tenuous and that there is some inbuilt inertia about it.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Sure, but where do you draw the line? Should we be burning all rock and pop records on the basis that they'd be nothing if "we" hadn't pinched the Blues (memorably described by Eric Idle in the Rutles as black music sung by white people)?

Hmm, I don't know. A whole style of music seems rather different to wholesale lifting of a song and using it for a different purpose to me.

quote:
Surely the whole point of art is that the artist has no control over it once it's out there in the world? The item becomes a living, breathing thing and the property of the world to do with as they wish. Now, there's a question within that as to taste and decency, but not a prohibition.
I'm not sure that's really true.

If someone makes a popular song then I don't know that they could really be offended if it is used in popular and even bawdy ways. If something is a protest song which developed as part of a movement and was written for a particular purpose, it might not be so hard to imagine people from that movement taking offense at it being used so loosely.

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Liopleurodon

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Cultural appropriation is a real issue, but it's an issue about hurting people. The key thing for me is "is this hurtful to the group this cultural artifact belongs to? Do they feel that something important is being stolen from them?" If people are hurt by it that's when you really need to tread more carefully. An example of this is the way that Native American cultural symbols have been used and abused as costumes by non-natives. Over and over the Natives have said "Please don't do this. These items are special to us and it's disrespectful." Another example might be the trend in the 1990s for young white people to take images related to Hinduism and stick them everywhere as decorations. If bindis are not part of YOUR religion, you shouldn't wear them. They're not just shiny things to put on your face.

Cultural appropriation is also something that a dominant culture does to a marginalised or minority culture. It's basically a form of "that thing that is important to you? Yeah, we'll have that as well. We can take whatever we want. Try and stop us!" I don't think the example of using a Wilfred Owen poem in a car advert would be cultural appropriation. Crass, perhaps.

As for SLSC: I think the question here is: to the modern descendants of slaves feel that it's inappropriate? Do they feel a particular connection with that song that they want it to remain a kind of historical artifact, or are they ok with it being used in this way? Bearing in mind that as individuals they may have a range of views on this. Because the main issue is whether or not this is hurting people.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I'm not sure that's really true.

If someone makes a popular song then I don't know that they could really be offended if it is used in popular and even bawdy ways. If something is a protest song which developed as part of a movement and was written for a particular purpose, it might not be so hard to imagine people from that movement taking offense at it being used so loosely.

Well if that's true then it's a good job Bellowhead have packed it in then - they've recorded more than a few 18th/19th century protest/anti-slavery songs rocked up and fit for dancing. Usually played (loud) to audiences wanting to have a party.

The point, (and this could be a whole other thread) is that protest music written to order is often dreadful. However much you might agree with the sentiments of a given movement, the music in support is mediocre "protest by numbers."

Sweet Chariot is *so* good that it has transcended it's own movement and broken out into the wider world - I'm pretty sure it's in our hymnbook at church. That creates a problem for the people who want to claim it as theirs (ie the successors to those oppressed on the underground railroad), but it has only gone viral, for want of a better term because it is that good a tune - regardless of what it's about.

Seems to me that that's part of where the problem is, the popularity has outstripped the message.

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mr cheesy
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Yeah, that's also true. I don't know how to get hands around this, then.

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Callan
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# 525

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Originally posted by Mr Cheesy:

quote:
Second, it was written (and/or popularised) in the 1860s as a spiritual and is often associated with slavery and is possibly even alluding to the underground railroad.

The fun things about a lot of spirituals is that they were written so that they could be sung without the slave owners being aware that they were signing about slavery. I remember singing 'Steal Away' in school assembly when I was a child and only, a couple of decades later, finding out that the stealing away was intended as much to be literal as metaphorical. I wonder how many of the people who sing it at Rugby matches are aware of its broader implications?

Let's hope the Cubans never decide to be mortally offended by the uses to which Guantanamera has been put by English football supporters over the years. Most notoriously the fans of Leeds United who chose to soundtrack their decline into mediocrity with the chorus: "One Yorkshire Ripper, there's only one Yorkshire Ripper".

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:


I suspect, but can't prove, that the use of the song has more to do with Eric Clapton and UB40 than as a direct swipe as African Americans.


It's certainly a drinking song this side of the pond - especially in rugby clubs. Regardless of the "approved" history that it was something to do with a school choir at Twickenham in the 1980s it does seem if you talk to enough ancient rugby players to have been part of the repertoire at least back to the 1950s (complete with obscene hand actions), if not earlier, along with John Peel and Dido Bendigo.
Speakng as one from the west side of the pond, it doesn't seem necessarily racist to me. (Then again, I'm not African American.)

But to many Americans familiar with the tradition, the idea of singing SLSC at a sporting event or as a drinking song, while not necessarily racist, defnitely seems bizarre.

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Moo

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# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Speakng as one from the west side of the pond, it doesn't seem necessarily racist to me. (Then again, I'm not African American.)

But to many Americans familiar with the tradition, the idea of singing SLSC at a sporting event or as a drinking song, while not necessarily racist, defnitely seems bizarre.

When I was in elementary school, we used to sing this along with other spirituals. I am somewhat offended by hearing it as a drinking song with obscene gestures--not because of cultural appropriation but because it is a religious song.

Moo

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Speakng as one from the west side of the pond, it doesn't seem necessarily racist to me. (Then again, I'm not African American.)

But to many Americans familiar with the tradition, the idea of singing SLSC at a sporting event or as a drinking song, while not necessarily racist, defnitely seems bizarre.

When I was in elementary school, we used to sing this along with other spirituals. I am somewhat offended by hearing it as a drinking song with obscene gestures--not because of cultural appropriation but because it is a religious song.

Moo

To be clear, the "obscene gestures"/drinking song stuff is very much rugby club behind closed doors - to the extent that it may possibly have long died out. I've not seen it for years anyway.

At Twickenham it's just sung because it's just sung. Usually when England have done something good, or need jollying along/encouragement.

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SusanDoris

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# 12618

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I have lived all my life without ever knowing of the rugby connection with the spiritual Swing Low Sweet Chariot'. My father used to do a lot of singing when he was young, and at home would sing some of the spirituals and tell us something about them. I do not know whether my life has been enhanced or not by now knowing the song's connotations, but if I hear the subject mentioned on BBC Radio Five Live, I'll pay attention in future.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Speakng as one from the west side of the pond, it doesn't seem necessarily racist to me. (Then again, I'm not African American.)

But to many Americans familiar with the tradition, the idea of singing SLSC at a sporting event or as a drinking song, while not necessarily racist, defnitely seems bizarre.

When I was in elementary school, we used to sing this along with other spirituals. I am somewhat offended by hearing it as a drinking song with obscene gestures--not because of cultural appropriation but because it is a religious song.

Moo

The Welsh rugby fans also belt out "Guide me o thou great Jehovah". I expect both the Welsh and English teams need all the divine help they need.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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# 15560

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Swing Long Sweet Chariot was sung at summer camp in my childhood, usually after the all the silly songs, and right before Kumba Yah, and Day Is Done. All of them annoying. Bizarre except if perhaps used to taunt the opposition.
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american piskie
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# 593

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
It's certainly a drinking song this side of the pond - especially in rugby clubs. Regardless of the "approved" history that it was something to do with a school choir at Twickenham in the 1980s it does seem if you talk to enough ancient rugby players to have been part of the repertoire at least back to the 1950s (complete with obscene hand actions), if not earlier, along with John Peel and Dido Bendigo.

It was a well-established rugby song in the 1950s, even in the small towns of Scotland.
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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I am somewhat offended by hearing it as a drinking song with obscene gestures--not because of cultural appropriation but because it is a religious song.


This is what I find the most problematic too. (I'm not African American, but do have African ancestry.)

But British (and perhaps other Anglophone) people live in a secularised culture that sees famous religious music in fairly secular terms. 'Jerusalem' is enjoyed by people who have no wish to see God's kingdom built in England; an anti-theist like Richard Dawkins will gladly sing about the Lordship of a baby in a crib; and Happy Day is a mindlessly cheerful tune so long as one glosses over the reference to Jesus washing away sins.

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
It's certainly a drinking song this side of the pond - especially in rugby clubs. Regardless of the "approved" history that it was something to do with a school choir at Twickenham in the 1980s it does seem if you talk to enough ancient rugby players to have been part of the repertoire at least back to the 1950s (complete with obscene hand actions), if not earlier, along with John Peel and Dido Bendigo.

It was a well-established rugby song in the 1950s, even in the small towns of Scotland.
You could have something there. Seven-a-side rugby originated in Melrose and it has a long history in the Border clubs. I'm not sure the gestures originated there though.

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
It's certainly a drinking song this side of the pond - especially in rugby clubs. Regardless of the "approved" history that it was something to do with a school choir at Twickenham in the 1980s it does seem if you talk to enough ancient rugby players to have been part of the repertoire at least back to the 1950s (complete with obscene hand actions), if not earlier, along with John Peel and Dido Bendigo.

It was a well-established rugby song in the 1950s, even in the small towns of Scotland.
You could have something there. Seven-a-side rugby originated in Melrose and it has a long history in the Border clubs. I'm not sure the gestures originated there though.
Having spent time in the clubhouses at Melrose, Hawick, Langholme, etc I really wouldn't bet against it...

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Al Eluia

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# 864

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I dunno Martin, I think it is a bit like using a Wilfred Owen poem as ironic lyrics to a car advert.

"Dulce et decorum est to drive the new 2017 Ford Explorer!"

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I dunno Martin, I think it is a bit like using a Wilfred Owen poem as ironic lyrics to a car advert.

Or alternatively doing something unseemly to a poppy.

[It's interesting to note that the parts of the press that will be more outraged over this particular story, will not be averse to a large amount of media driven pressure when it comes to - say - presenters on the BBC wearing the poppy at the appropriate time of year]

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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........errr, didn't the African-American slaves (mis?)appropriately appropriate the image from Hebrew culture?

Furthermore, is not the rugby genesis of the verse normally associated with an international try scored by Chris Oti, an England player of Nigerian extraction?

I think English Rugger Buggers, however unwitting, should be applauded for their enlightenment!

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:

Furthermore, is not the rugby genesis of the verse normally associated with an international try scored by Chris Oti, an England player of Nigerian extraction?


Well that's the official line but in a rugby context it long predates Chris Oti.

HST I agree with your point though - you'd be hard pressed to find a better behaved and more polite bunch than at an RU international; whether in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Dublin.

Billy Boston's treatment by Wales was shameful, but it was also a long time ago. Wouldn't happen now, and I'm sure the same happened in other sports and other countries (he's literally the only person I could think of off the top of my head who's talked about racism in rugby - in the British isles anyway. I'm sure there were - sadly- others).

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Stetson
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# 9597

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In fairness, certain religious tunes just irresistably lend themselves to appropriation...

quote:
Glory glory Hallelujah,
Teacher hit me with a ruler!
Met her at the door with a loaded .44
And she ain't teachin' no more!

I really can't blame anyone for parodying the Battle Hymn, since it is just so damned user-friendly.
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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
(he's literally the only person I could think of off the top of my head who's talked about racism in rugby - in the British isles anyway. I'm sure there were - sadly- others).

Can we just take it as read for the purposes of this thread that I'm fully aware of the Apartheid angle, but England fans are not 1960s/70s Afrikaners and we could have a multipage thread on that by itself. Minus the rebel tours most other nations behaved reasonably well post the 70s (although I think the Kiwis played a series against them as late as 81....).

It's just I read that comment back and thought, oh God what about South Africa....

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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An idiotic English prop called a welsh player a gypsy a little while back - and the book was thrown at him. So racism does happen, but I'm inclined to believe it is more likely to be from insults thrown around on the pitch than from the crowd.

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