did everyone know this was a racist song? (am i the only one who didnt?)

(147 Posts)
deakymom Mon 12-May-14 00:39:56

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-27360884

okay so basically the sun has got his hat on has the n word in it i never knew that i spoke to someone about it and they gave me the look hmm "everyone knows that don't they?" no i didnt blush we used to sing it in school i really dont remember that word being there?

am i the only one who didnt know?

Bogeyface Mon 12-May-14 00:41:46

I heard this on the news earlier, and I didnt know either. I think it was something to do with a particular (1932 iirc) version.

Apparently he has played it before and never heard the word in it. I do think sacking him on the basis of one mistake is a bit OTT, he should have had the chance to apologise and explain.

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 00:43:28

Argh. I had no idea. But don't DJs generally know the music they're playing a little better than that?

deakymom Mon 12-May-14 00:44:06

it does seem a bit of an overreaction but racism it racism what was it doing on the song list though? they dont just google it surely there is a list?

cutefluffybunnes Mon 12-May-14 00:44:12

Nope, didn't no that, either!

Doristhecamel Mon 12-May-14 00:44:50

Really?shock I had no idea either.

Had no idea.

Hope they sack all the presenters who play snoop dog, ice cube and jay-z!

Notfastjustfurious Mon 12-May-14 00:50:06

Didn't even know there was more than one verse! The article said it was from his private collection so he probably hadn't played it in years and really who'd have thought it. Massive overreaction from the BBC though. Agree with Patrick, the n word is thrown about all over the place in rap and nobody bats an eye.

LettertoHerms Mon 12-May-14 00:51:12

Oh, the article makes me a bit sad. He seems genuinely upset and contrite, he wanted to apologize on air and they wouldn't let him.

I'm not familiar with the song, but it seems like an easy mistake, if it's commonly known song without the word in it. The record was from his own collection, he probably just picked it up, 'Oh that's interesting, a version from 1932.' He should have noticed, but I certainly don't hear every word to songs I'm playing, and if the lyrics were slightly different from the version I knew firmly, it might not register.

Ludways Mon 12-May-14 00:55:26

I sing it all the time to get my dc's out of bed on a morning, lol. I've only ever sang one verse over and over again, I didn't even know there was a second verse.

I love the song, can I just sing the bit I know still or would that be bad now I know?

DoJo Mon 12-May-14 00:57:49

That seems a shame - it was clearly a mistake and I bet there are only a handful of people who know the song even has a second verse, let alone well enough to remember the lyrics clearly. An apology should have been enough, especially considering how heartfelt I imagine it would have been.

I wonder if the listener who wrote in was anticipating this response from the BBC. I would feel awful in their shoes.

TillyTellTale Mon 12-May-14 00:59:32

hmm. I didn't know it beyond the first verse, and the chorus. So, like the national anthem then The question for me is: is that because of my age? Would someone older reasonably be expected to be familiar with the whole of it?

On the other hand, the following quote from the article doesn't sound very apologetic to me!

I don't have any quarrels with any of my colleagues. It's the system of political correctness which has turned this into a rather badly-handled affair. "I think we're all too ready to bow to political correctness. One feels one is following a verbal tightrope, even in casual conversation."

Caitlin17 Mon 12-May-14 01:06:35

I only know
"The sun has got his hat on
Hip,hip, hip hooray,
The sun has got his hat on,
And we're coming out to play
Every one be happy,
Hip, hip, hooray"
Repeat ad nausea

So yes exactly like the National Anthem (and unlike whatever dirge Scotland uses at rugby/football matches where I don't even know 1 verse)

DoJo Mon 12-May-14 01:08:19

That quote seems to be from him after he had offered to resign, had his resignation accepted and then been told that he could have his job back but too late to stop the stress of the situation exacerbating a health condition which made him decide not to return to broadcasting. I think he probably felt that a moment's thought before a massive over-reaction could have prevented both the end of a 30 year career and a decline in his health.

DoJo Mon 12-May-14 01:08:46

Sorry - that was to Tilly.

One of my fondest, earliest childhood memories is attached to this song. I had no idea! I wonder how many people know?

With notfastjust in agreement with Patrick too!

TillyTellTale Mon 12-May-14 01:12:05

Terry Pratchett had some wonderfully accurate remarks about national anthems, if I could be bothered to hunt them down.

No-one ever knows the second verse. Except scoundrels.

“It is considered in the Sto Plains that only scoundrels know the second verse of their national anthem, since anyone spending time memorizing that would be up to no good purpose.”

Okay, I lied. Here's one quote.

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 01:13:56

Have just listened to it and the word is very clearly enunciated and very obvious and noticeable, and to modern ears extremely jolting in a happy, frivolous, jaunty little tune. I think it would definitely register with most people if they listened to the song whether they were concentrating or not. I can only assume that the DJ didn't listen to it again all the way through before broadcasting it. It would have been a lot less jarring, sadly, to people in previous decades, so the fact it has an ethnic slur in it may not necessarily have stuck in his mind the way it will stick in mine.

AlpacaYourThings Mon 12-May-14 01:14:19

I didn't know that either.

I'm not sure I understand why he was sacked/forced to resign.

He played a song with a racist word in it? Seems like a mistake. If he himself had said the word or expressed that he agreed with the word being used, fair enough, sack him.

Caitlin17 Mon 12-May-14 01:14:54

Not the first time this has arisen. I don't recall this incident in 2007.

ITV feels the heat over N-word song lyrics

gu.com/p/38tab

TillyTellTale Mon 12-May-14 01:16:04

DoJo I have no doubt that it is from him, post the debacle. However, people who claim that political correctness is like following a tightrope are voicing their personal experiences of feeling actively constrained by it. i.e., they found that political correctness got in the way of things they wanted to say.

What did they want to say, exactly? <narrows eyes> Political correctness has never prevented me from saying anything!

CorusKate Mon 12-May-14 01:18:10

I can't work out from that link, Caitlin, if Calendar actually broadcast the verse in question, or whether they just used a different segment out of the song.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Mon 12-May-14 01:18:27

If I had to hear the word then personally I'd rather hear it in a song from the thirties, used in a way that was in common parlance and is outdated rather than in rap when it's been put in specifically because it's that word if that makes sense.

I think sacking him was very heavy-handed, an apology saying "the song contained this word, I'm very sorry for any offence caused, of course I wouldn't have played it if I'd realised" would have been absolutely fine. He didn't do it to hurt or offend anybody, how could he when he didn't know the word was in there?

TillyTellTale Mon 12-May-14 01:21:52

Corus Says they broadcast the actual line.

How the hell did that happen? This was just a guy in his 70's fishing a record off the pile. I can see how that would happen.

That's quite different to a production team setting footage to music without hearing the lyrics!

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