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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Ian cookieless Guardian calls Ani DiFranco folk singer (208* d) RE: Guardian calls Ani DiFranco folk singer 15 Oct 07

Just discovered this very interesting thread. Frogprince's comment hit the nail on the head:

"Folk song/music. 1954 definition.
Folksinger.   A singer of folk songs who has learned them through the folk process.
Folksong-singer. A singer of folksongs who has learned them in any other way.

So what does that distinction actually mean, in practice? Doesn't it sorta imply that "folksinger" should be reserved, at least for the most part, for blind singers who don't read braille?"

As I get older I understand less and less why my way of learning songs - books, or other singers, or CDs, or old records - is any less 'folk process' than so-called 'traditional folk singers'. They learned their songs their way because that was what was available to them. In learning songs their way, they changed them a little (or a lot), as others had done before them. That's the folk process, surely? I - and others like me - learn my songs my modern way because modern methods are available to me. This is more national or even global than local, but this is the world I inhabit. In learning songs my way, I change them a little (or a lot), as others had done before me. That's also the folk process, surely?

Richard, you say "Try getting the Guardian to publish a long letter. Then you will understand why I wrote a short one. An newspaper columnist ought to try to know something of his topic. Would you send Jordan to interview a nuclear physicist?" That's like saying, 'They're stupid, they'll never understand, so why bother?' I still don't know why you did. And if you want to bother at all, you would, I hope, want to elicit something positive from the correspondence. That won't happen with a one line insult.

This thread reminds of Monty Python's Life of Brian. Do we belong to the Judean People's Front, the Front for the People of Judea, or the People's Front of Judea? Does it matter? It didn't seem to matter to 'traditional singers', as previous posts have indicated. I'd rather just sing.

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