Curmudgeons.net

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. –H.L. Mencken

Friday Music: So We Came Across the Water


The other day, I was listening to this TED talk, which discusses the loss of native languages and the prevalence of English in our modern world. As I was listening, I was reminded of my love/hate relationship with the English language. On one hand, it provides a great medium for discussion and sharing of information across cultures. Yet its inability to adapt within any real guidelines can be eternally frustrating to students. Its incredible tendency to borrow steal from any other language at any time can function as either an asset or a detriment.

Unfortunately, as is pointed out in Suzanne Talhouk’s talk, knowledge of English is often an indicator of socioeconomic or educational status. To my mind, English is playing the role of an homogenizing agent across the globe. If you desire acceptance or to have your opinions heard, they must be in dominant tongue. In this way, even language has been co-opted as a tool of imperialism and nation building destroying by empires throughout history.

 

“Celtic Aggression” ~Tonic

Somebody cried the death of culture
Somebody spit in a little boy’s face
Somebody said you robbed my homeland
Somebody got the wrong impression

So we came across the water
From the shores of the Isle of Green
Speaking separate tongues in the death of culture

Somebody said you stole my language
Some people will say anything
Somebody said you robbed my heritage
Some people will believe anything
Somebody said you always spoke English
Somebody got the wrong impression

So we came across the water
From the shores of the Isle of Green
Speaking separate tongues in the death of culture
It was the death of culture
It was the death of culture

Bhi machree ohin trasna na farraige (a long time ago, my heart came from across the sea)
Bhi machree ohin trasna na farraige

So we came across the water
From the shores of the Isle of Green
So we came across the water
Speaking separate tongues
In the death of culture

 

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This entry was posted on October 3, 2014 by in Imperialism, Music and tagged , , , , , .

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