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You have lots of ideological arguments when you’re a student, but my main memory of them from the late 1970s was not the particular ideologies we argued about but the fact that you could express an idea, or refer to something, in one of two ways: either by avoiding buzzwords and clichés as much as possible (which usually meant finding a new way to talk about familiar and often contentious ideas so as to forestall a long and boring conditioned reflex) or...by not avoiding them, and sitting out the consequences.

I can’t actually remember any examples of buzzwords from that time, only their inflammatory effect on a discussion. But it had to be a discussion about something massively important to at least one party for the effect to happen. When it comes to sacred cows, it never pays to take the bull by the horns. Find some udder way (etc.)

lyrics

3. Sacred Cow

I was walking along,
surveying the trees,
just singing this song,
just chewing the breeze,
and suddenly it happened,
I don’t know when,
but I put my foot in it again.

‘Cos you never know where
a question will lead:
one hand in the air
can cause a stampede.
And suddenly it happens:
you don’t know how,
but you crashed into a sacred cow.

Ooh - well she represents a
force of circumstance,
she’s a bovine censor -
you should see her dance.

There’s a number of things
blow up in your face,
like questions of sex,
and questions of race.
You only have to mention
a single word,
and there’ll be trouble in the herd.

Ooh - well she represents a
force of circumstance,
she’s a bovine censor -
you should see her
dancing in herds and legions,
sacred Friesians.

That’s the end of my tale.
The moral is clear:
just watch what you say,
or the cow will appear.
Avoid the burning issue,
withhold your views,
and you won’t have to clean your shoes.

Ooh - well, she etc.

credits

from Follow The Gleam, released January 22, 2013
composed by Heneghan & Lawson

Ben Heneghan: vocals, keyboards
Ian Lawson: piano, rhodes
Mike Heneghan: bass
Andrew Lawson: drums
Sylvia Strand: backing vocals
Kat Squire: backing vocals
Hwyel Maggs: guitar
Dan Jones: guitar
Gethin Liddington: trumpet
Gareth Roberts: trombone
Lee Goodall: flute
Osian Roberts: tenor sax

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The Boo-Hooray Theory Cardiff, UK

The Boo-Hoory Theory is led by composers Ben Heneghan and Ian Lawson. The band records and performs original Heneghan & Lawson songs with a 'classic' 11-piece, line up.

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