Discussion:
How times have changed
(too old to reply)
Tony Cooper
2019-01-16 16:26:39 UTC
Permalink
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That was
a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.

If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.

Incidentally, the original title was "Gypsies, Tramps, and White
Trash". The songwriter, Bob Stone, changed "White Trash" to
"Thieves".

I wonder if "White Trash" would been recognized in the UK. (The
single hit #4 in the UK charts)

Apologies to Laura if I have triggered STS.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
HVS
2019-01-16 17:12:04 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 16 Jan 2019 11:26:39 -0500, Tony Cooper
<***@invalid.com> wrote:

-snip-
Post by Tony Cooper
Incidentally, the original title was "Gypsies, Tramps, and White
Trash". The songwriter, Bob Stone, changed "White Trash" to
"Thieves".
He presumably had a slightly different tune, as fitting "white trash"
on the single note for "thieves" would be extremely clunky.
h***@gmail.com
2019-01-16 17:48:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That was
a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
Incidentally, the original title was "Gypsies, Tramps, and White
Trash". The songwriter, Bob Stone, changed "White Trash" to
"Thieves".
I wonder if "White Trash" would been recognized in the UK. (The
single hit #4 in the UK charts)
Apologies to Laura if I have triggered STS.
It will be interesting to know what Laura thinks. "Gypsy/Gipsy" is now
more normally "traveller", and they can cause enormous disruption in the
sorts of place people like Laura live (home of Morris dancing IIRC), so
they can be subject to a lot of knee-jerk prejudice.

In the UK, in the 1970s, some travellers were sub-divided into Irish-
Tinkers, Diddycoys, Pikeys; but those distinctions seem to have died off.

We live immediately next door to a Romany Gipsy site, and we don't get
much trouble. I know athel and the other Brits love quizzes so:

Which dialect of SE England do Romany Gipsies speak? The choice is:

1) Estuary.
2) Irish brogue.
3) "County" middle-class?
Peter T. Daniels
2019-01-16 19:19:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That was
a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
Incidentally, the original title was "Gypsies, Tramps, and White
Trash". The songwriter, Bob Stone, changed "White Trash" to
"Thieves".
I wonder if "White Trash" would been recognized in the UK. (The
single hit #4 in the UK charts)
Apologies to Laura if I have triggered STS.
It will be interesting to know what Laura thinks. "Gypsy/Gipsy" is now
more normally "traveller", and they can cause enormous disruption in the
sorts of place people like Laura live (home of Morris dancing IIRC), so
they can be subject to a lot of knee-jerk prejudice.
As anyone who's seen *A Chorus Line* knows, "gypsy" is what the peripatetic
members of a (Broadway) show's chorus of singers and dancers is called.

The show dates from the same era as Cher's song.

Let Tony discover how the song is done in *The Cher Show*, a new Broadway
musical celebrating her career.
Ross
2019-01-16 19:54:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That was
a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
Gypsies, tramps and thieves
We'd hear it from the people of the town
They'd call us, gypsies, tramps and thieves

The association is in the terms used by the "people of the town" against
the singer and her people of the "traveling show".
The song's never been out of the public ear, and I don't recall hearing
any protests about it.
Post by Tony Cooper
Incidentally, the original title was "Gypsies, Tramps, and White
Trash". The songwriter, Bob Stone, changed "White Trash" to
"Thieves".
I wonder if "White Trash" would been recognized in the UK. (The
single hit #4 in the UK charts)
Apologies to Laura if I have triggered STS.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter Moylan
2019-01-17 01:38:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
Post by Tony Cooper
Incidentally, the original title was "Gypsies, Tramps, and White
Trash". The songwriter, Bob Stone, changed "White Trash" to
"Thieves".
Presumably because he couldn't make it scan.
Post by Tony Cooper
I wonder if "White Trash" would been recognized in the UK. (The
single hit #4 in the UK charts)
I had to google that. I've never heard of any of the songs released by
the UK group White Trash.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Tony Cooper
2019-01-17 01:57:45 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:38:17 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.

It wasn't a protest of anything. She didn't seem apologetic or angry.

My original point was that people today react and protest about slurs
on minority groups. In 1971, gypsies wouldn't have been a minority
group that anyone would notice being slurred. Today, things like this
are picked up and become big deals.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Jerry Friedman
2019-01-17 04:09:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:38:17 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.
It wasn't a protest of anything. She didn't seem apologetic or angry.
I understand it the way Peter does. She seemed angry at her and her
family being called "tramps" and "thieves", and maybe "gypsies" too, and
at the hypocrisy of the men who insulted them but came around at night.
(And she seems conflicted about the young man who took advantage of her.)
Post by Tony Cooper
My original point was that people today react and protest about slurs
on minority groups. In 1971, gypsies wouldn't have been a minority
group that anyone would notice being slurred. Today, things like this
are picked up and become big deals.
What I heard, maybe a few years after that, was that Gypsies didn't care
what the /gadjo/ called them or whether the term was shortened to "gyp".
If that was true then, many of the Roma seem to have changed their view.
--
Jerry Friedman
Tak To
2019-01-21 00:30:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:38:17 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.
I think it is more metaphorically than literal. I don't think
Cher is old enough to have been born when there were still
traveling shows on *wagons*. In short, she was comparing her
own life experience to a "Gypsy" of a past (and perhaps
imaginary) era, in which the term had a racial element.

Cf her song /Half Breed/ two years later.
Post by Tony Cooper
It wasn't a protest of anything. She didn't seem apologetic or angry.
My original point was that people today react and protest about slurs
on minority groups. In 1971, gypsies wouldn't have been a minority
group that anyone would notice being slurred. Today, things like this
are picked up and become big deals.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Tony Cooper
2019-01-21 01:15:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tak To
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:38:17 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.
I think it is more metaphorically than literal.
Oh, please. The singer is usually the narrator of someone else's
words. No one thinks the singer is relating his or her own
experiences. The song was written Bob Stone.
Post by Tak To
I don't think
Cher is old enough to have been born when there were still
traveling shows on *wagons*. In short, she was comparing her
own life experience to a "Gypsy" of a past (and perhaps
imaginary) era, in which the term had a racial element.
Cf her song /Half Breed/ two years later.
Cher was not of Native American descent. Some people thought so
because of her appearance, but that came from her Armenian father. Her
mother claimed some Cherokee ancestry, but never that she was Native
American.


That song was written by Peter Fawthrop.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter T. Daniels
2019-01-21 03:22:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
Oh, please. The singer is usually the narrator of someone else's
words. No one thinks the singer is relating his or her own
experiences.
Tony Cooper, Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift, Tony Cooper.

I might also adduce Brian Wilson and John Lennon.
Jerry Friedman
2019-01-21 03:26:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tak To
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:38:17 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.
I think it is more metaphorically than literal. I don't think
Cher is old enough to have been born when there were still
traveling shows on *wagons*.
...

That's what her surgeons want you to think.

Okay, she was born in 1946. Motorized circus vehicles carrying baggage,
cages, portable seating, etc., were still called wagons in this 1959
article.

https://books.google.com/books?id=RAoEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA59

I get the impression the songwriter had a smaller show in mind, but
maybe they transported their equipment in "wagons" too.
--
Jerry Friedman
GordonD
2019-01-22 13:05:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.
No, she says that's what they were called by the people of the towns
they visited. She isn't accepting the names as accurate.

Gypsies, tramps, and thieves
We'd hear it from the people of the town
They'd call us Gypsies, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2019-01-22 19:59:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tak To
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:38:17 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.
I think it is more metaphorically than literal. I don't think
Cher is old enough to have been born when there were still
traveling shows on *wagons*.
She's a couple of years younger than I am, and I'm not old enough for that.

We saw her in Moonstruck (Étoile de Lune,and thus eligible for Arte's
Winter of Moon series) the other night: she did a good job, but I'm
surprised her performance was thought worthy of an Oscar. She's very
beautiful, of course, but I didn't think being beautiful was enough for
an Oscar.
Post by Tak To
In short, she was comparing her
own life experience to a "Gypsy" of a past (and perhaps
imaginary) era, in which the term had a racial element.
Cf her song /Half Breed/ two years later.
Post by Tony Cooper
It wasn't a protest of anything. She didn't seem apologetic or angry.
My original point was that people today react and protest about slurs
on minority groups. In 1971, gypsies wouldn't have been a minority
group that anyone would notice being slurred. Today, things like this
are picked up and become big deals.
--
athel
Peter T. Daniels
2019-01-23 20:24:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Tak To
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:38:17 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Tony Cooper
A show I was watching last night had a bit of background music, and
one of the tunes was Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves". That
was a big hit in 1971 both here and in the UK.
If that song was released in 2019, I imagine there would be a din of
protest for associating Gypsies with tramps and thieves.
As I recall it, the song was a protest against the sort of people who
associated Gypsies with tramps and thieves. Have I misunderstood?
As I understood it, the singer was admitting to being brought up
surrounded by gypsies, tramps, and thieves because she grew up as a
member of a traveling show. It was a self-deprecating claim.
I think it is more metaphorically than literal. I don't think
Cher is old enough to have been born when there were still
traveling shows on *wagons*.
She's a couple of years younger than I am, and I'm not old enough for that.
We saw her in Moonstruck (Étoile de Lune,and thus eligible for Arte's
Winter of Moon series) the other night: she did a good job, but I'm
surprised her performance was thought worthy of an Oscar. She's very
beautiful, of course, but I didn't think being beautiful was enough for
an Oscar.
Cher, beautiful? That doesn't seem a common description. "Striking" would
fit -- but also, "gawky," at times. Certainly her role in *Moonstruck* is
anything but glamourous -- and it's a great movie. As for her Oscars,
would you have preferred one of the other nominees:

Glenn Close – Fatal Attraction as Alex Forrest
Holly Hunter – Broadcast News as Jane Craig
Sally Kirkland – Anna as Anna
Meryl Streep – Ironweed as Helen Archer

(Close now holds the record for living actor with the most nominations
without a win, Peter O'Toole having retired from the competition. The
kibitzers are suggesting that this will be "her year," even if her movie
*The Wife* was little seen and is otherwise undistinguished -- cf. *True
Grit* for John Wayne, *Scent of a Woman* for Al Pacino.)

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