Parody, satire and intertextuality in the songs of The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil

Brown, I. and Innes, S. (2015) Parody, satire and intertextuality in the songs of The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 35(3), pp. 204-220. (doi:10.1080/14682761.2015.1069946)

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Abstract

In The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil (1973), which draws on earlier radical Scottish theatre practices, John McGrath uses traditional folk song and parodies of commercially developed music hall songs to explore the Highland Clearances and other forms of exploitation in Gaelic Scotland. McGrath’s theatrical heritage and his praxis for such usage are both discussed. A hallmark of this play is the use of well-known tunes for satirical new texts, creating a disjunction between pre-existing referents and new contexts for political meanings. We outline the complexity inherent in McGrath’s use of existing Gaelic and Scots songs, where at times, the historical realities of cultural identity and political action in Scotland may complicate the dialectics of the play. In The Cheviot, McGrath’s masterful musical use of parody and comedy enriches and drives the political narrative, and yet intertextuality may complicate and challenge the play’s themes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Innes, Dr Sim and Brown, Professor Ian
Authors: Brown, I., and Innes, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
College of Arts > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Journal Name:Studies in Theatre and Performance
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1468-2761
ISSN (Online):2040-0616
Published Online:25 August 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Studies in Theatre and Performance 35(3):204-220
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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