I had an interesting confrontation with about 5 ladies at the Works Folk Club in Sowerby Bridge the other evening after the Peggy Seeger concert. I think they might have been feminists.
They took objection to Kimber’s Men singing a traditional folk song because they thought that particular song demeaned women. Apparently they walked out during the song. Sadly for them the protest was lost on most people because they were respectful enough to do it quietly. I certainly never saw them go. After the concert they instructed us never to sing the song again. It is of course never our intention to offend anyone and it is the first time that referring to one woman “having great big legs and teeny weany feet” has caused such offence. I’m certain despite their demands, which were rather high handed in my opinion, the song will be sung again. But this whole episode begs a question or two. Should we ban hymns on television because they offend atheists? Should we ban buskers because they offend shoppers? Where will it all end? Here in Yorkshire we suddenly discover we’ve been coveting one of the most serious sex offenders that ever walked the television studios and hospital wards in our history. Surely women have more to worry about than objecting to a bunch of blokes singing a traditional folk song. That same evening a young and very talented girl from Sheffield sang a traditional song about a man being too young to copulate. I didn’t see any men walking out. The ladies stayed for that one.