Political Correctness and Song Titles

The recent kerfuffle over Baby It’s Cold Outside being banned because it is currently construed in a manner that it hints at date rape got me thinking about another aspect of retrofitting some older songs to fit today’s political correctness.

This excludes Go Away Little Girl which includes the line I’m not supposed to be alone with you – clearly indicating a restraining order has been put in place

I imagine there are literally millions of songs with the word girl in the title. If we assume these songs refer to adult females (yes, this excludes Go Away Little Girl which includes the line I’m not supposed to be alone with you – clearly indicating a restraining order has been put in place) shouldn’t the word girl be replaced with woman?

Here’s but a few of the titles that should be considered for change:

Uptown Woman –  Billy Joel.
My Woman – The Temptations, Smokey Robinson.
Brown Eyed Woman – Van Morrison.
Fat Bottomed Women – Queen.
Jessie’s Woman – Rick Springfield.
Big Women Don’t Cry – The Four Seasons.
Rich Woman – Hall & Oates.

Of course, should the change be made, some songs just won’t work. Including Jim Stafford’s 1974 top ten comedic hit My Girl Bill

But, on the bright side while the nitpickers are picking at traditional Christmas carols, perhaps they will miss Van Morrison’s Blue Money in which we find the lyrics:

You search in your bag
Light up a fag

I guess John Lennon could see the writing on the wall all those years ago when he penned Woman. Roy Orbison should also be lauded for his classic Oh Pretty Woman.

Happy 100th Anniversary George and Madge

My grandparents’ wedding announcement from December 1918

Exactly one-hundred years ago today – it was a Tuesday – December 3, 1918, London was enjoying an unseasonably mild day. With the Armistice having been signed just weeks before, one can easily imagine the sense of relief and happiness that must have pervaded the city after long years of war. Locals could once again get back to the business of living, without the focus being placed on the trenches of France and the Great War.

One pair in particular was, I suspect, in very good spirits. At least I’d like to think they were. My maternal grandparents, Sergeant George Ernest Blackwell of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps., and Madeline (Madge) Deegan of St. Julien’s Road, Kilburn, were married on this day, one century ago.

The wedding took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Quex Road, Kilburn. While the church still stands to this day, having survived the bombing of the Second World War, I have to believe the officiating priest, Father Burke, has passed on to a better place.

My grandfather (L) with a future brother in law

Little is known about how or exactly when my grandparents met. My grandfather arrived in England in 1914 with his colleagues in the Black Watch, part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force that volunteered to defend King and Crown. Like many of his comrades, he suffered numerous afflictions in the trenches, including septic boils, influenza, the effects of gassing and shell shock.

In early September of 1918, during the Second Battle of Arras, part of the Last Hundred Days offensive that would lead to the German surrender, he received a gunshot wound that left shrapnel in his knee and cost him the sight in his right eye. His war was over.

Several decades of marriage.

He was seen by several doctors in various hospitals in and around London. However, evidently, he was well enough to get on with the matter of marriage. On November 22, 1918, while at the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Seaford, he was granted permission to marry “at public expense”.

Sacred Heart Church, Quex Road, Kilburn

And so, a century ago today, my grandparents tied the knot. One of the memories I have from my childhood was their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1968. The dregs of an almost entirely evaporated bottle of sherry remain in my refrigerator to this day.

Ten years later they marked their 60th, or diamond anniversary. George passed away in early 1980 and Madge followed in May of 1981. 

In December 1968 my grandparents celebrated their 50th – or Golden – wedding anniversary. 

Here are a couple of posts about my Grandfather’s favourite phrases and a bit of family lore


An article I wrote for Family Tree magazine about my grandparents.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Permission To Marry

Excerpt from my grandfather’s WW1 file.

One hundred years ago this weekend, Saturday, November 23, 1918, my maternal grandfather, recovering in England from wounds sustained in September during the Second Battle of Arras, was ‘granted permission to marry at public expense”.

I imagine that were he alive today he may point out that although it did not cost him anything to get married, he spent the rest of his life paying the price: my grandmother was a strong person, to put it mildly.

He was a hardworking man who, as was the case in the late fifties, was retired from his civil service job on his sixty-fifth birthday. Before he had a chance to drive his wife around the bend, or she him, he returned to work in the private sector for several years.

Here is a link to a post I published about the many phrases he was wont to use.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

No Cold Beer?

Beer: Cold and ready to drink.

Last night my wife and I went out to dinner with a group of friends to celebrate a couple of birthdays. The restaurant was a “Bring Your Own Wine/Beer” affair. On the way, being a beer person, we stopped by a Maxi supermarket and I ran in to pick up a six-pack of beer.

The place was immense, one of those combined grocery store/department store places that sells everything from rhubarb to rubber boots. I wandered about looking for the beer fridges but could only find shelves of beer. As in warm beer.

The place was immense, one of those combined grocery store/department store places that sells everything from rhubarb to rubber boots.

Being pressed for time I asked a staff member where the cold beer was located only to be told Maxi does not sell cold beer.

Huh?

Evidently, this chain of mega stores only sells shelved beer. I recall a time when in neighbouring province Ontario, where the government has a firm grip on beer and alcohol sales, the Beer Store did not sell cold beer. As if selling only warm beer would keep an alcoholic from consuming it as soon as possible.

By not selling cold beer all Maxi is doing is forcing people to go next door to a convenience store to get their cold beer. A strange marketing concept.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Postnasal Drip And My Daily Ca-cough-ony

Caco

For the past few weeks, I have been dealing with what has become for me a semi-annual event: the dreaded upper respiratory virus. I used to get colds just like anyone. But several years ago I started to experience the absolute joy of postnasal drip.

No stuffy nose, no body aches, no fever, and my doctor insists my lungs are clear. I just have this wicked cough. And, as it is a virus, no antibiotics. In the morning I feel as though I have smoked about two hundred cigarettes the night before. Lozenges help get me to sleep but are not a cure.

PNDThe neighbours must think I’m on my deathbed such is the racket emanating from my apartment. Only time and patience are at my disposal. Until then I’ll just have to put up with my daily ca-cough-ony!

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Donation Difficulties

furniture-pick-up-couch-donation-pick-up-new-sofa-donation-pick-up-interior-top-design-charity-furniture-best-mattress-donation-pick-up-furniture-pick-coupon-code

I currently find myself with a number of pieces of furniture and several boxes of perfectly usable kitchenware that I would like to donate to charity. There are no antiques, no heirlooms, just decent bits and bobs that someone could certainly use.

All I needed was an organization to come by and pick up the goods. Well, you’d think I was asking for the moon.

We often hear about refugees and immigrants settling in a new country. There is no shortage of organizations and associations seeking donations of clothes and home furnishings for these folks, many of whom are fleeing horrific conditions.

So I packed up the utensils, cutlery, small appliances, and flatware. I turfed out the unusable furniture and readied the sturdier pieces. All I needed was an organization to come by and pick up the goods. Well, you’d think I was asking for the moon.

Evidently none of the traditional charities, the ones that used to be pleased to come and get your donation, offer this service anymore. The Salvation Army said no, as did several other local agencies. But the worst was our neighbourhood Habitat for Humanity; when I called them they assured me they still offered the pickup service, but it would cost me $50.

What part of donation do these folks not understand?

I am perfectly willing to donate pieces of furniture … But I’m certainly not going to pay to do so.

I am perfectly willing to donate pieces of furniture that will either be sold, proceeds going to charity, or given to needy people. But I’m certainly not going to pay to do so. I find it absurd that in this day of economic adjustment for the many deserving refugees arriving in Canada that charities try to put a squeeze on potential donors.

I am a regular blood donor. but if they started charging me to donate, I fear I would have to reconsider.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Awkward Subway Meeting

a-man-and-woman-bumping-i-010

I may have inadvertently become part of the #metoo movement last week. Imagine this: Friday morning rush-hour, I entered the Metro station as I do most mornings and checked to see if the train was in the station. No train, no need to run. As I was going down the stairs to the platform I heard the train arrive and picked up my pace.

She came around the corner in one direction while I did so in the opposite direction. We avoided a total wipe-out collision by a nano-second.

At the bottom of the stairs, I saw the train, doors open and passengers getting off and on. It was very crowded, I picked a door to run to and off I went. As I made my way to the end of the concrete wall and onto the platform I was met by a woman who was running in the opposite direction, I suspect to catch a bus at ground level.

She came around the corner in one direction while I did so in the opposite direction. We avoided a total wipe-out collision by a nano-second. Both of us reacted reflexively and pivoted, thereby reducing any contact to a small sideswipe. She went on her way, and I got on my train.

However, in the course of our run-in, as I was unexpectedly confronted by a person coming around the corner at high-speed, and not knowing if I was about to collide with a college coed or a college linebacker, I naturally put up my hands in a defensive position.

Wouldn’t you know it? My hands were at breast height. Her breast, not mine. I got a left hand full of boob.

Wouldn’t you know it? My hands were at breast height. Her breast, not mine. I got a left hand full of boob.

There have been many jokes about gropers claiming the victim placed whatever part of her anatomy in their hand, but in this case the whole thing was unintended. I know I am not a manslammer. She made nothing of it, but it stuck with me all day. Would she have confronted me if she was not in a hurry? Would we both, in true Canadian fashion, have apologized? I know it was accidental, but it made me wonder just how many times women are grabbed and “bumped” in fully planned incidents.

Frankly, I would not know the woman if I saw her again, given the brisk nature of our encounter. But if by some chance she reads this I hope she understands the complete lack of intention on my part.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+