Thursday, 27 April 2017

Mugwumps Old and Young

This deeply dull election campaign has become a tad livelier thanks to our old friend Boris Johnson, who has lobbed a few verbal firecrackers the way of Jeremy Corbyn. In the course of pointing out, quite rightly, that a JC government would be a serious national security worry, Boris describes the Labour leader, mildly, as a 'benign Islingtonian herbivore' and, more vigorously, as a 'mutton-headed old mugwump'. Now, this is noun seldom heard on this side of the Atlantic except in a Harry Potter context. Politically, it means an independent who stands apart from, and even against, his own party - which was certainly true of JC before, thanks to a badly misfiring joke, he found himself leading it. However, it's unlikely Boris had that angle in mind - or even the Harry Potter angle. More likely he just went for a word that sounded silly and sat well with 'mutton-headed'.
 Self-described Mugwumps were the short-lived Sixties combo of that name, which has its place in the complex archaeology of the Mamas and Papas and the Lovin' Spoonful, since Cass and Denny of the former and Zal Yanovsky and John Sebastian of the latter were involved. One LP was released, after the band had broken up, and I once owned it, but I have to say that, despite all the talent involved, it is really of curiosity value only. This track is about as good as it gets...

8 comments:

  1. For odd Folk Rock, I've always enjoyed the Beau Brummels Country tinged album. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnCre5F9T6A

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  2. Thanks Adam - I enjoyed that. The Beau Brummels are one of those bands I've always been vaguely aware of but never listened to. I must look into Bradley's Barn...

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  3. But, not that anyone would believe it, the word mugwump is native American Indian by origin and means Great Man or Chief! The Republican dissenters from the party line 'appropriated' it for their own use.

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  4. Yes indeed - Great Chief, how apt for JC!

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