musicology #232

communication #10

(The Classics – Civilisation)

New day dawning? maybe. Let’s hope so.

First I would just like to congratulate the new American president on his victorious campaign to be elected. No doubt that it has significence. What that significence is though is not so easy to articulate. I don’t know a single policy of his but his acceptance speech was on in my house this morning, my 10 year old son has been made aware of Obama, (political ideology at work), at school. People were on the streets of London last night talking about it being a historical day…Why? because we are deep into globalisation and it is being enforced by the media as well as the politrickians.

Don’t get me wrong I am more than up for change but change of what exactly? I hear the word often. It has been Obama’s key word in the same way that I hear education over emphasised by the ‘Labour’ government here in England but, I don’t see it happening. We all know that words, (especially English ones), have many meanings, (perfect for politrickians), but without action signify nothing.

With that in mind today’s cut of the communication pie is a plea from themusicologist to those who run things. Quality Lee Perry production, attributed to The Classics, (Denzil Dennis and Milton Hamilton), recorded sometime in the late 60’s/early 70’s.

Finally I would just like to add a non globalised mention for English cultural icon Guy Fawkes whose day it is today. Unfortunately this tradition has, (over recent years), been supplanted by the American tradition of Halloween which for themusicologist has absolutely no cultural significence whatsoever.

Penny for the Guy anyone?


7 thoughts on “musicology #232

  1. Too bad we don’t vote based on life story – McCain would have won in a landslide. Remember what happened the last time people decided they wanted “change” – change you could never seem to be able to get anyone to articulate coherently. Two years later people were begging for Republicans from dog catcher on up to save them from the change they thought they wanted 730 days earlier. I’m not waiting – I want change in 2010!


  2. Barack Obama. “It’s been a long time coming….. but change has come”.

    The man can certainly talk the talk (I thought that was a nice play on Sam Cooke’s words in his speech). Now comes the hard part!!


  3. didn’t hear the Sam Cooke reference, (or any of his speech to be honest), heres hoping for ‘change’

    change of what?

    the system and it’s control over society.


  4. “heres hoping for ‘change’.”…… I’ll drink to that!!

    But frustratingly, even though the system will change (this one is now well past its ‘sell-by’ date), society won’t…. the *controllers will see to that!!!

    *anyone fancy a “haircut” compliments of The Bilderberg Group?

    O.K. You’ll probably think here comes another conspiracy theorist. You could be right. But there again………


  5. “penny for the guy”…. now there’s a perfect example of how convoluted and confused language – as information carrier – has traveled these last few decades.

    Think about it…. penny? guy?

    Anyway, that’s enough on the information/communication/knowledge debate for one day.

    Interesting point you raise there about “cultural icons”. It wasn’t until digging deeper on the Guy Fawkes story and celebrations (for a couple of real surprises see the wikipedia version) that I realized how culturally significant it was to the British ‘ruling’ class, and how, once it had served it’s purpose, it was dropped like a hot potato!!

    apropos ‘hot potato’…. Where I lived in south London, we working-class folk celebrated Guy Fawkes night with a bonfire (fireworks generally being too expensive). Each block of flats on the estate and every road on the manor had a bonfire (imagine a birds-eye view of that). It was a tribal thing which everybody was expected to celebrate and all had defined rolls to play. Actually, I now think it probably was THE neighbourhood i.e. community party of the calender year.
    The adults provided that difficult to explain “grown-up edge” and the victuals, and the kids brought the necessary material; the wood to the bonfire party.
    By fair and often foul means the gangs of neighbourhood kids would spend the best part of the Autumn foraging, storing, and guarding the precious wood and, believe me, I’m not exaggerating when I say that once those bonfires were roaring they were more “bonfernos” than bonfires….. the London fire brigade and ambulance service certainly earned their crust that night!

    Anyway, late in the night as the bonfires were burning out, potato’s would be baked in the ashes and then eaten (washed down with ale or stout for the adults)…… I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted, enjoyed, or experienced a better “hot potato” in my life…… hahahahaha

    Now I’m really warming to the theme….

    The cry “penny for the guy” was a sort-of generally acceptable form of begging. It was part of a ritual whereby a stuffed effigy of the original “Guy” would be lugged around by the kids supposedly collecting for the bonfire night party (fat chance of any sense of financial obligation where I came from).
    The cry was a line from a song/chant which had been passed down since the Guy Fawkes Conspiracy of 5th. November 1605. I can’t remember it all, but the London version went something like this…..
    “if you haven’t got a penny,
    a *halfpenny will do,
    (*halfpenny pronounced hap’ney : hap, as in ape, and ney as in knee)
    if you haven’t got a halfpenny,
    God bless you.”

    Picture it…. runny-nosed, working-class urchins pushing broken-down prams holding a scarecrow like effigy of “The Catholic Devil’s Henchman”, singing a traditional begging song on the streets of London for a “Very British” cause.
    Now doesn’t that bring a tear to the eye? But (and hear comes the boomerang, the hammer, or more to the point, the “sting”) those same little waifs would sing you a blessing for not donating….. I mean, how can you refuse?

    It worked every time…. until we got toooo greedy!!!!


  6. Umm, I didn’t just warm to the theme there, I think I overheated because on re-reading that last bit it doesn’t seem at all clear what the “sting” actually was.

    (by the way, if “going off on tangents” is a dismissable offence on here then please be so kind as to ignore etc.)

    The “sting in the tale/tail” is this… the honest burghers of London being confronted with a dilemma. And that being… how do they refuse the “penny for the guy” outstretched hand of the begging kids knowing that their refusal will bring the dreaded sing-song response of….
    “if ya ‘ave’nt got a penny,
    a halfpenny will do,
    if you haven’t a halfpenny,
    (then) God bless you”

    As I said… it worked a treat (most times?)


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