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Celtic Radio Community > Polls > Should highlander radio pull civil war era songs?


Posted by: Macfive 23-Mar-2002, 09:31 AM
We received an interesting email from a listener about a certain group of songs that we play called "Songs of the Confederacy."

The writer states that these songs are being misrepresented on Highlander Radio because people of different ancestery may not know the full meaning behind the confederacy and are not aware of the ideals that these songs glorify. The writer states:

"While the music of the confederacy can be very colorful, it's playful melodies tend to mask the fact that it praises the fight to maintain the purchasing and ownership of human slaves in the southern states."

I have listened to every one of these songs personally and did not note anything offensive in the songs themselves. Our decision to include them in the broadcast was purely musically - they sound great and capture the spirit, from a historical persepective, of the Confederate states prior to the Civil war. They also have a purely Celtic quality to their melodies.

So with that said, I am putting this question to a poll to let the listeners decide. Would also appreciate any comments you might have about the request from this listener.

Posted by: maggiemahone1 23-Mar-2002, 10:35 AM
It's a matter of choice.  A person doesn't have to listen if he  or she finds something offensive.  They have the option to turn it off or leave it on.  If I don't like a song I don't listen.  The civil war is history and people are still crying about it.  I don't agree with slavery, but slavery is still known today in other countries.  I don't think these songs are glorifying slavery either.

maggiemahone1

Posted by: kylassie 23-Mar-2002, 11:17 AM
Well, I believe that the Civil War was fought over many more reasons than just the issue of slavery - but I prefer to keep that debate on a different message board than this one! Let's keep politics out of this one!  :D

As to issue of the music of that era - I like that type music. It has its roots in the Celtic Traditions. The mountain music and folk dancing of the Appalchians are directly related to Scottish and Irish people who settled those regions. It just so happened that those areas suceeded from the Union for 4 years or so, but that music and the dancing remained the same.

Our people were often forced into slavery, too, you know. Slavery was not and has never been an issue of race - just the dominance of one country's political policies over another's. Many Scots and Irish people were shipped to the American Colonies and served as slaves or "indentured servants" without any legal rights of their own during the period known as the "clearances." They suffered at the hands of their owners every sort of evil concievable - so we can trace that common thread of oppression and suffering back several centuries, just as African Americans can.

Posted by: scottish2 23-Mar-2002, 12:33 PM
Maybe a good idea is to try and post some info on this in case someone did have some questions or concerns.

Posted by: aklassie 23-Mar-2002, 12:35 PM
I agree with Ky.  The music from that era is so important.  It is the grass roots of most of America's music.  If people don't like it they can turn the station off.  Let's DO keep politics out of this forum.

Posted by: Cabbagehome 24-Mar-2002, 02:22 PM
:B oh my gosh, I just realized there ar 2 lassies  :B  
Ky is right all groups being treated badly by another at one time or another.  History is past and we learn form it, not use it to get some freebe.  
Why does music have to be politically correct. It is a form of history. School books are not the only form.  How many cultures had no writing, but still had a compleat knowlage of their history.

Posted by: Macfive 25-Mar-2002, 11:56 AM
Some great comments here!

Seems for the time being, the civil war era Celtic songs are going to stay.

Perhaps we should all take a que from President Abraham Lincoln when during the Victory celebration in Washington D.C. he insisted that they play Dixie. While alot of people disagreed with the fact they played that song then, symbolically lincoln knew that we needed to respect their heritage because we are one nation.

Its not to say that because I enjoy listening to a song from that time era that I am somehow supporting the values or cause that song represents.

Thanks again for your opinions and comments and know that you are shaping Highlander Radio! :)

Posted by: faceless 26-Mar-2002, 10:47 PM
I very much agree with Scottish2 on this. It is highly important that you post information on the background reasons for playing such music.

But just because something sounds Celtic it doesn't make it right. If you play these old tunes, it should be acceptable to play modern Irish rebel songs, for example.

Just give us good tunes.

Posted by: Mel 27-Mar-2002, 12:32 PM
Music is part of history and culture. By putitng away those songs you put away a part of the history. If someone doesn't like it, he just has to turn it off. Those songs helps us to remember the past and give us a chance  to stop history repeating itself about domination and slavery by reminding us how people have suffer and how humain being can be evil. :(

It's great that we keep them on.
Have a good day everyone :D

Posted by: scottish2 27-Mar-2002, 01:58 PM
I agree that's why I suggested maybe posting some info on this for those who might be worried about this issue they might be able to see why having them is just as important.  :)

Posted by: Aon_Daonna 07-Apr-2002, 06:09 AM
Maybe a bit late to post here, but what is so bad about playing songs from the civil war era?
I agree with maggiemohone1 that I don't need to listen when I don't want to hear a song.

Also I think (and agree with Mel in that) that these songs are part of hisotry that shouldn't be forgotten.
Someone who likes scottish music also hears the songs of the from the Jacobite's rising. And I heard that you played "Come out ye black and tans" which also has a highly political issue. Songs like these might have offended the ears of other people, too.
It helps us to remember those times even tho they weren't positive.

And those songs perhaps still carry a good melody. And I think that good music shouldn't be forgotten, even if it was misused. A good tune remains a good tune.

Perhaps I can give an example. Do you know Wagner? Perhaps some of you might like his music, but did you know that his music was highly influenced by social-darwinism (the strongest people will survive) and the theories of Chamberlain (a scientist in the 19th century) that said the the white (Aryan) races are the superior races. Today not many people think about that but still many of them listen to his music.

Music may carry the wrong issues but I think it is still a good piece of art.

Thank you for reading this.

Posted by: Macfive 08-Apr-2002, 01:10 PM
Aon_Daonna,

You make some very good points in your post! I enjoyed reading your comments.

For the time being, we are leaving the music on the broadcast. Thanks for providing your feelings on this matter. Our listeners have spoken and we hear you loud and clear!

Posted by: Falachaidh 11-Apr-2002, 11:23 PM
ruh-roh
i clicked the wrong button on the civil war songs poll!
please disregard a "yes".
ok, now i totally feel like half of the florida voters at the last presidential election. :B  :B

as far as an opinion, as late as it may be, I totally agree with what everyone has been posting. i have long been an advocate of keeping music in our schools which has evolved into educating people of the history of folk dancing.. such as square dancing's roots, etc.
if someone is offended by the playing of "dixie", then they can click mute on their volume control panel on their computer.
(h)  (btw I LOVE Elvis's version of Dixie) (h)

Just because you play it doesn't mean you agree with the ideals that the music's era was set in. For God's sake, we don't live and certainly don't act the way men and women acted when Mozart and Beethovan were alive, do we?
(We weren't even a country when they were alive)
Yet we applaud their works as masterpieces and are put on display for hundreds of dollars for a seat with a mink stole wrapped around our shoulder. They are considered the greats from which all modern music stemmed from. HAH! :zz

As far as "dixie", it is a part of American heritage whether we like it or not. Our (most of our) ancestors went through it and had to deal with it so we all can live as a unified country... in everything.  
My ex (the only good tihng I can say about him in honestly) husband loved teh Confederate flag. I saw it as a sign for the KKK, but he didn't. He saw it as his heritage as his family was from Arkansas. His greaat great grandfathers died in that great war-eventhough they owned no slaves. It was a reminder to him. I respected that.
(Did you know there is a Confederate tartan?)

http://www.house-of-tartan.scotland.net/

Posted by: Aon_Daonna 12-Apr-2002, 11:20 AM
There is a reason why Elvis is called "THE KING!!!" I really love his music (I just had to say that!  ;)   )

And thank God we're not living in the times of Mozart or Beethoven... at least I'm thankful that I am not a woman living in that age... :)

Posted by: ronw1 19-Jun-2004, 06:34 PM
Not on ones life should they be pulled. That would be like having the celtic nation just vanish off the face of the earth. The Scotts and the Irish were a big part of the stuggle
and im sure there are songs from our people. cool.gif

Posted by: Shadows 19-Jun-2004, 09:13 PM
If everything that was distastefull in history to someone were to be banished into oblivion then there would be no history to learn from and no music to hear. If it offends, don't listen! Listen, learn, and don't make the same mistakes.

Posted by: reddrake79 19-Jun-2004, 10:55 PM
here is a question?

If a person just listens to the song and didn't know what era it was from, would it still be offensive?

I listen to this station at work all day. I cant look at every cd cover that comes up. I heard a song once and really liked it so I checked to see what it was called. I was mildly suprised to see the cd cover and title information was for a song from the civil war era. I still enjoyed the song and thought it was great. But pulling a song because of what it could be associated with is not neccessary.

Keep playing them.

Posted by: Aaediwen 20-Jun-2004, 08:15 AM
You've heard my 2c on this, Paul smile.gif To pull them would be wrong and as soon as you do so, you'd have to pull half the playlist if you pulled them because of offensive material. Keep them there! now let me end this post before I fly off the handle again.

Posted by: Madadh 21-Jun-2004, 04:16 AM
Most of the confederate soldiers fought for the rights of the state to rule and against a federal government. It was only the north that pushed the civil war as a fight against slavery. The song should stay as they are a part of our history.

Posted by: Ceciliastar1 21-Jun-2004, 12:07 PM
I was disappointed to find that so many people don't want to hear music from the civil war. The music of that era is so good, no matter what side you were/are on. The music is all about unity, strength, love, and all of it is very patriotic. I am sad that many people diasgree. Oh well.

usaflag.gif

Posted by: Elspeth 21-Jun-2004, 07:39 PM
The songs I remember hearing were haunting laments, seemingly influenced by the transplanted Scots who sang them. I never noticed they were Confederacy songs. Are they? I only remember hearing songs that are part of our American heritage. North or South. Aren't many traditional Celtic songs about wars? Should we ban those as well? People write songs about what makes them feel.

I hope you leave the songs.

Posted by: Angel Whitefang (Rider) 23-Jun-2004, 02:05 PM
It is our history, it has helped make us who we are today, just because we don'tlike it does not mean that we can ignore what happened. I found these songs in no way offensive. Leave them on the rotation.

angel.gif

Posted by: erickbloodax 24-Jun-2004, 10:14 PM
What if we take off all the songs that could offend?

No more drinking songs, alcohol has ruined many lives.

No more songs of war.

No more songs that objectify or treat women in a less than respectful manner. (The Maid that sold her Barley)

No more songs that celebrate the exploitation of animals for sport. (Jackson and Jane, Paul Brady)

No more murder ballads.

Any song that mentions a deity is right out.

Posted by: Raven 28-Jun-2004, 01:00 PM
This is our heritage personally like it or not. Not playing the music will not change history and I find the conclusion that a Confederate song somehow glorifies slavery to be an ignorant understanding of the reasons that the War of Northern Agression was fought tongue.gif

Censorship of this sort would not be a good idea.

Yankee forever

Mikel

Posted by: TheCarolinaScotsman 28-Jun-2004, 03:52 PM
QUOTE (Macfive @ 23-Mar-2002, 11:31 AM)
"While the music of the confederacy can be very colorful, it's playful melodies tend to mask the fact that it praises the fight to maintain the purchasing and ownership of human slaves in the southern states."


Once again, someone who doesn't know what southern folks were fighting for tries to tell us what terrible people we are. I suggest the writer do some in depth study before making such statements.

Pulling certain songs because some folks are offended is the first step onto the steep slope of censorship. At the bottom, one finds a world of enforced correctness and NO freedom.

Apologize for the political statements. The suggestion hit a couple of my "hot buttons". Leave the songs. They are good music and part of our cultural heritage.

Posted by: Snoogans 19-Aug-2004, 04:28 AM
Grassroots nothing.
I think that all songs with mention to the IRA (namely let's all go and join them) I can't remember the band (Bogside Rogues?) but they get on my nerves something chronic.
Just my opinion mind you.
I would also pull the Braveheart album songs with dialogue from the movie but again that's just me.

Posted by: Avonlea22 19-Aug-2004, 09:58 AM
Well, in my humble opinion, I don't feel Civil War songs belong on a Celtic radio network. They are neither Scottish, Irish or Celtic. Yes, there are other songs that are played on here that don't fit those categories as well, so maybe they should be pulled too. It's a tough question. I do not listen to the Civil War music (at least not knowingly). I tune into something else when those songs are aired on Saturady morning.

Now, I will say that none of the songs on here offend me in the least, but it's just my opinion that a "Celtic" radio station stick with "Celtic" style music.

So, it really wouldn't matter to me if they were played or not, since I do not listen to them. Just stating the principle of the matter.

Posted by: coastman 19-Aug-2004, 02:30 PM
I cannot believe that "political correctness" has raised its ugly head on Celtic Radio. By nature we are rebels if Celtic blood runs in your blood. I am a True Son of the South. Many of you are misguided if you think slavery was the cause of the war. It was economics. The last tariff removed from southern commerce was in 1957. It was placed on southern commerce in 1865 reconstruction. My family have been fighting America's Wars since the French and Indian War. Although this was a British War. My family has not experienced a death in our family since Sharpsburg. Recently my nephew was killed in Air Force crash.

Posted by: Macfive 19-Aug-2004, 08:41 PM
It is always a touchy subject when you start examining the songs content and place in the great mix of things.

Each and every song is screened before insertation to the broadcast, not for lyrics, but for musical quality and relevance to our broadcast.

Playing such a wide range of Celtic music does not always work. Like trying to please different groups of people. There are old men complaining we are not playing the traditional stuff and the young man complain we are not playing enough Celtic Rock.

Then there are musicians that fuse together traditional songs in Gaelic with africian beats and synthizers. We even have songs written as pop-rock, soft-rock, that are played by Celtic musicians who then add their own 'Celtish' flair to the song.

Most of the Civil War songs have a Celtic background and I believe it captures the moment in history - just like the Scottish Song Glencoe or the Irish Song about the American Funeral. Capturing a moment on the battlefield, a happy exciting time at the dance, or singing about your love to be are all songs that you will hear on this broadcast. These are timeless songs and the lyrics are not meant to necessarily apply to todays world. Listening to them with your heart and not your mind.

There are so many more different types of Celtic music we don't play. Such as appalachian, galician (maybe a few), Brittany and Welsh to name a few. Hopefully in the coming years we can grow this broadcast to serve an even wider range of Celtic music that encompasses a rich and diverse Celtic background.

As far as the South is concerned, I have all the admiration and respect for Southern Families that have contributed to the success of these United States called America. We can not disgrace their families hertiage if they just so happened to fight on the confederate side. I don't think we do enough to memorialize the Confederates because of certain political issues. The cultural, family values, and hertiage of the south runs very deep. Many Many military families come from the South and they make our Military very strong. Presidents Johnson, Carter, Clinton and Bush all come from States of the former CSA.

The Civil War Broadcast we play on Sunday mornings is very new. We really need to obtain more music for it, so we will continue to work on it. Hopefully it will improve in the coming months!

Posted by: deckers 20-Aug-2004, 09:24 AM
QUOTE (Macfive @ 23-Mar-2002, 10:31 AM)
The writer states that these songs are being misrepresented on Highlander Radio because people of different ancestery may not know the full meaning behind the confederacy and are not aware of the ideals that these songs glorify. The writer states:

"While the music of the confederacy can be very colorful, it's playful melodies tend to mask the fact that it praises the fight to maintain the purchasing and ownership of human slaves in the southern states."

Then look at the songs as an examination of America's history. Assigning modern-day values to things in the past can be a slippery slope, and trodden with care. And personally, I think it's kind of silly, because the logic can be applied to anything.

- Songs about resistance and uprising should never be played because it condones killing. After all, killing is killing. So no Bob Marley, no Scottish or Irish independence songs, no African freedom fighter songs anywhere.

- Reruns of the TV show Hogan's Heroes should be taken off the air, because it does not treat the Holocaust with seriousness.

- We should strike the terms "Crusade" and "Crusader" from all usage, because of the English actions during the actual Crusades.

- Even politically correct computer users are getting into the act: no longer do they refer to "master" and "slave" computer components -- instead, it's "master" and "servant." What's next, "supervisor" and "subordinate-yet-well-paid-and-equally-valued employee?"

Historical events should not be interpreted through modern day values. Keep the music on Celtic Radio. I think we can all agree that the practice of slavery is a bad thing, and that no rational enlightened person still supports it. Enjoy the music for what it is -- music.


Erik Deckers

Posted by: celticwoodsman 13-Sep-2004, 02:58 PM
In my honest and small opinion I believe that a radio station listed as highlander radio should show the scope of all music that has been influenced by clan culture. If this is not true and I am wrong then all Afro-celtic, celtic world, and new age music should be removed as well. Keep playing it all highlander radio!

Posted by: wicwisworhun 29-Oct-2005, 06:12 AM
QUOTE (Mel @ 27-Mar-2002, 01:32 PM)
Music is part of history and culture. By putitng away those songs you put away a part of the history. If someone doesn't like it, he just has to turn it off. Those songs helps us to remember the past and give us a chance  to stop history repeating itself about domination and slavery by reminding us how people have suffer and how humain being can be evil. sad.gif

It's great that we keep them on.
Have a good day everyone biggrin.gif

yes i agree with that u takte the good old days with the bad old days

to all keep it tribal

Posted by: Patch 03-Dec-2005, 09:11 PM
My ancestors, both Scot and Irish fought on both sides of the Civil war. I consider it to be a part of my heritage. In fact the Scot side of my family split for many years because of it and went so far as to change the spelling of the family name to show the devide. Keep it up. I still prefer mostly Celtic music though.

Posted by: OBH 04-Dec-2005, 09:42 AM
This is probably the most familiar song of the Confederacy:

Dixie

O, I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgotten
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.

In Dixie Land where I was born in
Early on one frosty mornin'
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.

Chorus:
O, I wish I was in Dixie!
Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie
Away, away,
Away down south in Dixie!

Old Missus marry Will, the weaver,
William was a gay deceiver
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.

But when he put his arm around her
He smiled as fierce as a forty pounder
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.

Chorus:
O, I wish I was in Dixie!
Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie
Away, away,
Away down south in Dixie!

His face was sharp as a butcher's cleaver
But that did not seem to grieve her
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.
Old Missus acted the foolish part
And died for a man that broke her heart
Look away! Look away!
Look away! Dixie Land.

Chorus:
O, I wish I was in Dixie!
Hooray! Hooray!
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie
Away, away,
Away down south in Dixie!

I fail to see anything offensive in these lyrics. I don't see much difference between this and such traditional Irish songs as The Blacksmith or I'll Go No More a Rovin' .

Although there are several versions of the song, the above is the most familiar. The following is a version written by Confederate General Albert Pike:

Southrons, hear your country call you,
Up, lest worse than death befall you!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Lo! all the beacon-fires are lighted,--
Let all hearts be now united!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Advance the flag of Dixie! Hurrah! Hurrah!
In Dixie's land we take our stand, and live or die for Dixie!
To arms! To arms! And conquer peace for Dixie!
To arms! To arms! And conquer peace for Dixie

Hear the Northern thunders mutter!
Northern flags in South winds flutter!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Send them back your fierce defiance!
Stamp upon the cursed alliance!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Chorus:
Fear no danger! Shun no labor!
Lift up rifle, pike, and saber!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Shoulder pressing close to shoulder,
Let the odds make each heart bolder!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Chorus

How the South's great heart rejoices
At your cannon's ringing voices!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
For faith betrayed and pledges broken,
Wrongs inflicted, insults spoken,
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

Chorus

Strong as lions, swift as eagles,
Back to their kennels hunt these beagles!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Cut the unequal bonds asunder!
Let them hence each other plunder!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

There are more choruses but they are all in the same vein. This is certainly a call to arms but there is no glorification of slavery or even states rights. Political correctness has run amuck in this country to the point where people are offended for no reason. If it's not even acceptable to wish someone Merry Christmas, Dixie doesn't stand a chance.

Posted by: pflanary 01-Feb-2007, 01:37 PM
As a proud southerner (and historian's daughter), I say "PLAY ON." Despite popular misconception, the civil war had nothing to do with slavery until Lincoln introduced the topic in order to drum up support for the war.

Posted by: Donajhi 24-Aug-2007, 12:53 PM
My system has an off button, perhaps that should be used if the person
is offended by the music playing at the time. huh.gif

Posted by: parkers1 23-Sep-2007, 02:45 AM
Kinda playing catch up so this is a late post! Can't change it, yankee or rebel there was a civil war and music was part of that cicil war. I say why not? I most likely have relatives that fought on both sides and I for one moved from Minnesota to Texas so my heart goes out to both sides and think that such a great radio station that this is has to play both sides. England, Ireland, Scotland have all had sword banging and blodd flowed on all sides. The music captures the good and bad and if it is there we can opt to listen or not listen.....

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