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“I'm a little black boy and I don't know my place”: Phil Lynott and the Black Atlantic


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This presentation uses Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic to examine the music and career of Phil Lynott, of 70s Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy. Lynott’s “mixed” ethnic and national lineage (half Caribbean black, half Irish white, born in the UK, raised in Ireland) relate directly to Gilroy’s black diaspora both in terms of parentage and popular music, the latter being central to Gilroy’s argument about the articulation of black experience of trauma and dislocation in creative and other forms. Discussion of gender in popular music, particularly the association of rock music with masculinity, intersects with discourses about ethnicity that highlight “excessive” masculinity in non-white subjects. The essay considers alternative approaches to masculinity that focus on intra-ethnic conflict, gender performativity, homosocial interaction and punk, while also employing Black Atlantic concepts of antiphony and rhythmic complexity to investigate the band’s music.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Matthew Bannister
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2020 22:51
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:07

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