SCREEN-L Archives

March 2004, Week 1


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Lang Thompson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 2 Mar 2004 22:29:04 -0500
text/plain (26 lines)
>tomorrow's lecture focusses on representations of sex.  This morning I was
>trying to work out precisely *when* metaphor/slang became dispensable in
>lyrics about sex.  I'm not talking about the 'heavy breathing' stuff by Jane

At least since sometime in the late 19th century (probably earlier if
things like the Carmina Burana--the original Goliards not necessarily
Orff--are any indication).  Jelly Roll Morton's "The Murder Ballad" and
others recorded in the late 30s for the Library of Congress are as
completely explicit as any rap today and much more than the Kate Bush
tracks (examples at  Much of this was
composed decades earlier but that's hardly the only example (there are
others by the Drifters, Harmonica Frank Floyd, Alberta Hunter and more) but
for obvious reasons these types of songs weren't documented very
well.  Even if you're talking about music for a mass audience instead of
the local roadhouse it's still not that clear.  Songs that today might seem
draped in metaphor could to contemporary audiences seem very blunt.


Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: