Songs Offending My Darlings?

I am offended…

Given that everyone is now allowed and encouraged to be offended by absolutely everything, I’ve decided to crack down on the lyrics of other Christmas songs which, let’s be honest, are incredibly offensive to offendable people who like to be offended.

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Last year’s uproar about the dreadfully offensive lyrics of Christmas classic croonfest “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is being spouted again by the EOTs  (Easily Offended Types).  It quite rightfully opened the door* for all sorts of uproar about every lyric ever written ever.

(*the door was not opened or held open by the song or for the song, but rather automatically so that basic manners might not be perceived as chauvinistic by the easily offended).

It’s only taken us 70 odd years to realise the utterly heinous and terrible connotations of dominance and kidnapping in the lyrics of this shocking song.  How were we so naive?

How could we ever have misconstrued the lyrics as a playful interaction between a man and woman, who, at the end of a date are toying with the idea of getting the leg over. How dare we see it as a coy, flirtatious exchange in which the man is trying to extend the cuddle time, and the woman, (who quite obviously wants to stay) is playing a little hard to get… by choice.  What were we THINKING?  I mean, he’s obviously an evil-demon -from-hell-Mantype.

There’s no way he’s just a man.  Or you know, that she’s just a woman, who (shock horror) doesn’t mind the idea of coitus, even though 1940s society would have frowned upon such frivolity.

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Shit Lads, what were we thinking? (Sorry,I shouldn’t say lads. Ladies? No, that too is offensive as it has the word lad in it… )

I am indeed offended by the lyrics.  I shall ignore the fact that it’s one of my favourite Christmas songs and jump onto the offended bandwagon, just because it is cool to be offended by anything and everything.

I am also joining in with the campaign to change or bleep out the word “faggot” from the classic “Fairytale of New York”.  It offends me.

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Actually, so do the the words “Cheap and lousy” as they suggest that I am not willing to spend money.  I ‘m offended by the glorification of betting and gambling in the line “Came in eighteen to one” and the OBVIOUS ageism in “An old man said to me won’t see another one”.

I’m also offended by the suggestion that I “can’t face it all alone” or that “I could’ve been someone”.  Do NOT TELL ME I can’t be ANYTHING I WANT TO BE!  You are OFFENDING MY RIGHTS!

Can we also take out the word “arse” as, you know, offended… And while we’re at it, let us change the title.  Because we should NOT be telling our daughters that Fairytales are a thing.  That is making them grow up into the type of woman who gets trapped by the evil demon from hell mantype who wants to drink with her and doesn’t want her to catch cold… Irresponsible parenting is personified in the title.  I am offended.

Other Christmas songs that we shoud just ban while we’re at it, are:

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Frosty the Snowman.  I am offended that this particular snowman is a man.  Also, the fact that he is “made of snow” offends me because it suggests that he is weak. He also tells us he’ll “be back again someday”.  This offends me as sometimes, people leave  This line therefore is giving our children a false sense of security.

“I saw Mammy kissing Santa Claus” must also go.  It reeks of adultery.  Where is poor Daddy? Mammy is conveyed as a slut here. She is EXACTLY what the woman in “Baby it’s cold outside” would have turned into, had we not saved her by being offended…

Rudolf the red nosed reindeer...WHY do we feel the need to differentiate between him and the others based on the colour of his nose? Borders on racism I tell you.  Offended.

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“Jingle Bells” obvious sexual connotations.  “All the way” is putting me under pressure.  One-horsed open sleigh is OBVIOUSLY animal cruelty.  Why aren’t there two horses? And to be politically correct, why is a horse doing the job of a reindeer? Discrimination or equinism gone too farf?  Offended.

“All I want for Christmas is you”  offends me.  It suggests that all women only want a man.  Are we not perfectly capable of being fully rounded, successful and whole beings ALONE? Offensive.

“Santa Baby”  promiscuous wench, bordering on prostitution. Slapper she is in her fluffy cuteness…Offensive.

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“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – full of threats.  Obvious threats.  “You’d better watch out.  You’d better not cry.”  Obviously abusive language. Offensive.

“Driving Home for Christmas” offends me.  What if I don’t have a car? What if I’m a stay-at-home-parent or a work-from-homer who is ALREADY at home? Do you think I want to be listening to a song which puts pressure on me to drive somewhere, JUST so I can drive home again?

I’m dreamin of a White Christmas”  –  eh racist no?

“Live Aid”  –  Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you?  Well now THAT is just offensive.

Actually, can we move away from Christmas songs?  There are many other offensive tunes on our radios each day.

“Dontchya wish your girlfriend was hot like me” offends me.  What if Nicole Sherzimeister actually means it and is going to steal my Husband who might agree that she is indeed “hotter” than his plain old boring wife?   Offended.  (And genuine cause to hate the perfect one obviously.)

Bohemian Rhapsody?   –  Violence!  Offended by Mama pulling a trigger.  I’m pretty sure the word Fandango should offend me too…

Dance Monkey?  –  I am offended that you think my dancing makes me look like a primate.

Would you like me to go on?  I could you know?  I could find offense in fucking Nursery Rhymes if I felt like it.

But do you know the thing about being easily offended?

It means NOTHING!  NOBODY GETS HURT AND NOBODY ACTUALLY CARES IF YOU ARE OFFENDED.  You don’t get a rash.  You don’t get a badge.  You just get tired with all the energy it takes to be OFFENDED BY EVERYTHING ALL THE FECKING TIME!

Have I offended you?

Whatever.  You’ll survive.  Write a letter to Santa or The Grinch.  He can put you on his ever growing “offended” list.

It’s on the page after the Naughty List ends.

 

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I am Some Mum Power Mum

Letterkenny Musical Society will present the outrageous “Nine to Five” to the boards of An Grianán Theatre next week.  This is the first production of the hit musical in the North West.

This wonderful, heartwarming and funny tale of three amazing women is being brought to us by a cast of equally brilliant local women.

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Three secretaries turn the tables on their boss in an office driven by chauvinism.  The film starred Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Over 20 years later, it was adapted for the musical stage, with Dolly writing a number of new songs, combining country with rock and roll, along with some big band swing and beautiful ballads.

For lovers of the film, the story will be familiar. Indeed, large sections of dialogue are unchanged.

Nicola Shields plays Violet, Rachel Akkoç plays Judy, and Ciara Gallagher takes on the challenge of channelling Dolly as she brings Doralee to the stage.

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Rachel, Ciara and Nicola in rehearsals

Maria Rushe plays Roz, Laura Harvey plays Hart’s wife Missy, while Mariosa Bryce, Andrea Logue and Lorraine Porter are Kathy, Maria and Margaret.

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DW spoke to 5 of the ladies involved in the production on and off the stage; the 3 leading ladies, the Co-Director and the Choreographer.

 

Nicola Shields plays Violet.

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Nicola excels as Violet

Nicola is wife to Johnny & Mum to 2 beautiful furbabies, Belle & Seve.  She teaches Modern languages at Mulroy College, Milford. Nicola has been a member of LMS since 1999 & has been involved in every production since then, playing various leading roles over the years.
Nicola said, “I’m very excited to be part of 9 to 5 & very much looking forward to bringing Violet to life next week . Great to be involved in a show that offers 3 leading roles to ladies over 40 !!”

 

 

 

Ciara Gallagher plays Doralee

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Ciara has morphed into Doralee. She even has the giggle perfected!

Ciara is a primary teacher in Carrigart. She is married to James and is a mother of four.  She has made the role of Doralee her own and is loving playing the infamous character played by Dolly Parton herself in the movie version.   

Ciara said “Doralee is a wonderful character; she is sassy and feisty, funny and vulnerable. I feel very lucky to play such a strong female role, and luckier still to be involved in a show that highlights women’s issues in such a positive and uplifting way, with super-talented fellow cast members. This really is a show not to be missed!”

 

 

 

Rachel Akkoç plays Judy.

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Rachel is beautiful as vulnerable Judy

Rachel hails from Dublin, but considers herself to be ‘adopted Donegal’, having moved to Letterkenny in the early 90s. She has two sons, Ziya and Zana, with her Turkish husband, Ejder. Rachel works in the public service by day, but her real love is performing. The stage has been her spiritual home for all of her 45 years. She is a trained dancer, an accomplished vocalist and has taken on countless diverse acting roles over the years. 
‘The role of Judy in 9 to 5 is one that I’m relishing. She starts out downtrodden, but having returned to the workforce, and with the help of her feisty co-workers, she gradually regains her mojo and becomes a strong, empowered and self-assured woman. I love portraying that metamorphosis.’

 

 

 

Roz

Maria Rushe is hilarious as Roz

Maria Rushe plays Roz.

Donegal Woman columnist Maria is married to Emmet and they have two little Drama Queens who inspire her blog, The S-Mum.  She teaches English & Drama in Coláiste Ailigh and has been a member of the LMS since 2004.  Having choreographed past shows, she now directs the show alongside Donal Kavanagh.  Maria loves the stage and has played many roles with LMS.

Maria said “Playing Roz is so much fun. She is clumsy and awkward and misses the point in so many ways. She loves Hart desperately, but has a very different journey to the other ladies. Roz is an intricate character who the audience will hopefully love, hate and sympathise with in equal measure.  And any show where I get to sing, dance and make people laugh is a joy for me. This show is my favourite yet.”

 

Rebecca Thompson is the Choreographer.

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The Lady who keeps them on their toes, Rebecca is choreographer.

Rebecca Thompson is 36 years old, married to Ian and she is mummy to six boys, James, Charlie, Harry, Freddie, Max and Bobby. She left her post as a secondary school teacher to open Encore Performing Arts Academy. This is her third year involved with LMS as choreographer.

“I love working with and bringing Musical Theatre movement to adults who may have no previous experience of dance. I find it really rewarding and humbling watching everyone put in the effort in making my vision and ideas come alive on stage,” says Rebecca.

 

Obviously, we have powerful men in and behind the show also.  Our leading man Franklyn Hart Jnr is played by Donegal’s finest performers, Giles Murray.

Kieran Connor plays Joe, the junior accountant who’s in love with Violet; Joe Harley plays Doralee’s husband Dwayne; while Anthony McGarrigle plays Dick, Judy’s ex-husband.  The leading men deliver stellar performances along side the women.

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Our male chorus. Director Donal Kavanagh back centre, Producer Noel O’Donnell Back left.

The show is produced by Noel O’Donnell and directed by Donal Kavanagh and Maria Rushe.

Musial direction comes from the ubertalented Mark Bradley.

The show runs at  An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny from Tuesday, February 27, to Saturday March 3.

Show time is 8pm and tickets cost €18 and €20.

For booking, go to www.angrianan.com or ring 0784 91 20777.

 

 

 

I am Stage Mum

“Where do you find the time?”

“How can you be bothered?”

“It can’t be worth that much work?”

Musicals.

I’ve been on stage my whole life, first as an Irish Dancer and for the past 14 years, as a member of Letterkenny Musical Society.  This year, we’re doing Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical.

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The ultimate Girl Power Show!

Every September, we meet to begin our winter of rehearsals and of fun.  It begins as once a week, and by February each year, it’s 2 to 3 nights a week and Sundays.  At the minute, I’m eat, sleeping and breathing 9 to 5.  I’m having ideas at 3am that are sending our Producer into tailspins.  I’m dreaming about walking on stage with no bra on.  Last night, there was a Bull in the wings as the curtain was going up… and it wasn’t me.  My kids are singing the songs and my head is spinning.

I don’t KNOW how I find the time, but I do. In fairness, I rehearse when the girls are in bed. The Sundays are hard but it’s only for such as short time.  The LMS gets me through the winter. It’s a family.  It keeps me out of trouble.

Yes it’s a lot of work. Yes, it’s busy.  Yes it’s a lot on top of being a Mammy AND working 9 to 5… But it’s worth it.  Every member has a busy life.  We all have day jobs.  We all have families.  We all have commitments.  We all get stressed and tired coming up to the show, but then?  Get-in day arrives and the curtain gets ready  to rise, and we remember WHY we do it.

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Next Sunday, the side door to the stage is rolled up, sunlight flooding the stage.  Lighting rigs are hoisted at head height while the crew work on them.  The production team are creating the world for the characters to inhabit. This year it’s an office in America in the late 70s.
I’ll arrive in the middle of it at around 3pm and walk onto the stage. I’ll close my eyes.  The familiar voices of Hubby and the usual suspects calling instructions to each other, co-operating and working together will make me smile.  The sounds of the cordless drill…the smell of fresh wood and sawdust…the muffled conversation of the sound guys from the auditorium… it will be beautiful.

I’ll open my eyes and look at the chaotic scene in front of me, wondering (not for the first time in my theatre life), at how within just a few hours, this chaotic canvas will be transformed into a completely believable world into which our amazing cast will step.

 

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And then I’ll do what I do and get together with my colleagues to get our heads around the problems and challenges that only a production team can face, and by the time our cast arrive, we’ll be ready.

So how do I have the time?  How can I be bothered?  Is it worth it?

Yes.  Because this is ME.  Yes, I have children.
My girls are the most important thing in my world.
They are my show.
They are my production.
They are the choreographed chaos of which I’m most proud, and I’ll direct them through life with the same dedication and love that I put into the shows.

But they are also only a part of me.
Yes, I am their mummy, but I’m still me.
I’m still the drama queen that lives for the stage.
I still love the theatre.

I still love how pretending to be someone else can bring me to emotions that I’ve never experienced.  I love to entertain.  I love to make people laugh. I love that I can make people cry…
I still get goosebumps when I hear someone hitting that note.
I still get so carried away watching my closest friends on stage, that I cry because I absolutely believe the pain they are conveying.

And so, standing there next Sunday,  I won’t feel guilty.

Yes, it’ll be a week of rushing and balancing, but my girls are quite safe and well looked after (the dog is so responsible!), and they know that show week is important to Mammy and to Daddy.

Roz

I’m playing Roz!

My girls will grow up in rehearsals for shows.
They’ll see the stress and work and time and effort that goes into this “hobby”.
They’ll learn confidence, respect, organisation skills.
They’ll experience the fruits of the long months of hard work, and they’ll learn that if you want something to happen, you must work to make it happen.
They might even perform on stage with me at some point.

Maybe they’ll work backstage with their Daddy.
Maybe they’ll hate it all.  That’s OK too.

But if I can’t continue up to be who I’ve always been, just because I’ve been blessed with two little darlings, I’m not doing anyone any favours am I?

I am after all, Still Stage Mum.

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9 to 5 opens on Tuesday 27th and runs until Saturday 3rd March. 

Tickets for Friday and Saturday are almost sold out, so if you fancy being swept away by a super cast, a hilarious script and beautiful music, get your tickets soon.

Buy tickets here

I am Some Things that Make me Smile Mum

What makes you smile Mammy?

“My children’s arms around my neck… spending time with my family… seeing my childrens’s faces when… hearing my children’s voices…cuddles with my babies…”

Yadda yadda yeah.

Of course these things make you happy.  And so they should. Being Mammy is the most rewarding and smile inducing thing in the world.

But Back up Bitcheepoos.  I asked what makes YOU happy.  What things, (not including your precious little cherubs and their hillarious/cute/wonderful milestones), make Mammy smile.   I want the OTHER answers, the things OTHER than your kids that make you smile, because it’s important to remember the things that make Mammy smile, other than being Mammy.

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Apart from these two, obviously.

Here are some of mine:

Food:  Food is possibly my favourite thing in the world. Nothing gives me the same joy as good food. The smells.  The textures. The flavours… I have been known to make questionable noises while eating certain things.  Add a smooth warm wine to a Prawn Balti and I may just love you forever. Eating is not just functional.  It’s sensual. God dammit, sometimes food is just sexy. End of.   I’m salivating now just thinking about it… To Hell with diamonds…The way to this woman’s heart is through my belly.  Just feeeeeeed me.  I’m like a puppy.  I’m not beyond being bribed to do tricks…

When someone else thinks of me:  When Himself leaves my cup and pod ready in the coffee machine before I get up.  When my friend hands me a pair of ridiculous slippers just because she thought of me when she saw them. When someone calls me, not looking for something, just to say hi. When someone texts me out of the blue.

Chatting:  With two chatterboxes for daughters, I don’t get a word in edgeways.  If I get the rare chance to meet my mate, my Him or my Mum for a cuppa without my little people, Oh but it does make me smile.  Uninterrupted, uncensored conversation with our favourite grown up people is soooooooo good for us, isn’t it?

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Hugs:  Apart from my Him and the Hers, there are some people whose hugs make me especially happy.  My Daddy is the bestest Hugger in the world.  End of story. No one will ever win an argument with me about that.  I love hugs from my siblings, especially the two who flew over the Irish Sea to make their nests. It doesn’t matter how long has passed between hugs, they’re stronger than ever each time.

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Hugs makes the sun shine

Being alone:  The true joys of being alone can never be understood until you are a parent.  When I get it, I take it.  And I’m talking ANYWHERE!  The bathroom. The shower. The car journey between drop off and work.  Sometimes, I run awful errands just to get 25 minutes alone! Even putting the bin up to the road is a chance to stop and breath and be alone for a minute. Grabbing a coffee alone is a luxury. I get up most mornings before 6am, just to have an hour to myself.  And who needs a holiday when you have the Supermarket to mosey through all by yourself?

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How I feel on aisle 3

The Beach:  The beach near my home is my absolute favourite place.  It’s my thinking place. Yes I love to walk here with the girls, but add this one to Number 5 and you’ll see a content and happy S-Mum.  If I stand on that shore long enough, all the world realigns and everything is better. It’s cleansing. It blasts away my stresses. And I’m discovering as I get older, that the worse the weather is, the better the blast.

People watching:  This one makes me smile just thinking about it.  I LOVE to people-watch.  I love to pretend and make up what is happening with them.  I write them into characters and scenarios in my head, and sometimes in my book.  (If you have ever passed me, especially if I’m alone, there’s a chance you’ve inspired something. That counts as a disclaimer right?)

Exercise:  This one might not be everyone’s list, but it’s definitely something that makes me smile.  It also makes me swear, grunt and cry, but so does food! There is a fine line between pleasure and pain isn’t there!?

Food: I know I’ve said food already, but seriously, I don’t think I have enough words to make anyone understand the utter joy that it brings me. 🙂

Smells: Stop and smell the roses, or the cut grass, or the baking bread.  Breathe in your Granny’s perfume, your baby’s head, the chocolate cake.  ALWAYS take a second to smell your wine. Or your coffee.  Or the washing powder.  Or the smell in your parent’s hall when you visit.  Smells are memories.  Memories make me smile.

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Breathe it in…

I could go on.  And even as I write this and think about these things, I realise that they are largely easy to do, find and that they are mostly free.   And so it makes me wonder, why I don’t do them more often.  Of course, time is an issue. Being a busy Mammy with a job and 20,000 other things going on will always make time an issue, but at the same time, none of these things are outrageous or elusive really.

And so maybe it’s time to make time to do them.  

So now, I ask you again.  What makes YOU smile? (apart from your Darlings).

Write down a few of them and stick the list on your fridge or in your diary.  Then, try to tick one or two of them off that list at least once a week.

 

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My Random Musings

 

I am Sing it girl Mum

Mini-Me has taken to making up her own songs.

It’s adorable and Mammy is generally quite chuffled that she seems to have a tolerable voice and that she can rhyme off the top of her head.

Musical skills are very importantful in this life you know?

Yesterday’s fabulouscious song went like this:
(Think Buddy in Elf as he sings 🎶”I’m siiiiinging…”)

🎵🎶🎵”I am going to fiiiiiind
my Pwince Chaaaming
And we will get maaaaawied
and then live in Scotland,
coz dat’s what Jesus teaches meeeee
to beeeeee!” 🎵🎶🎶

Erm…😕😕😕

I don’t quite know where to go with this one.
Is that grape o’ clock me hears? 🤣🤣🤣

Happy Friyay Lovelies xxx