Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tom Bliss The folk process and songwriting (75* d) RE: The folk process and songwriting 29 Nov 09

"So before many songwriters congratulate themselves on the fact that they write folk music, it would be good for them to study folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology and sociology and do their homework in songwriting. That way, there would be better songs out there."

Stringsinger - I think you're being unreasonably confrontational - specially given Jerry's request in the OP.

I learned long ago not to call my songs 'folk' when in the presence of people who'd decided (unilaterally) that they owned that word and would allow only one use of it.

But when in the presence of others I've often accepted the title, because I understand they're using it to mean something completely different - as indeed they have every right to do.

Actually I wasn't even thinking of any 'folk' process (I doubt my songs will ever qualify under your definition). I was merely saying that as a writer I welcomed the organic changes that take place naturally when others take on a song.

If that eventually proves, with hindsight, to be the first step in some 'folk process' then all well and good. But it's not claiming that my songs are therefore already 'folk' (by your definition).

As to how people should go about writing new 'folk songs,' your suggestion makes no sense at all. By your definition, no amount of study could make a new song instantly 'folk' - that can only come about through time and multiple usage by many over time. And by the other meanings of the f word, (there are quite a few - all legitimate), study of those topics would be unlikely to produce 'better' songs. Passion, objectivity, brevity, a talent for words, stories, chords and music is all that's necessary.

I happen to have put a fair bit of the topics you mention into some of my songs, and can think of many others far better informed than me who also do so, but it's not a prerequisite.

You personally may prefer new songs that have that sort of depth, but I hope you'd agree that it's not healthy to expect everyone to like only the style that you prefer.

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.