Mudcat Café message #1953314 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98509   Message #1953314
Posted By: Scrump
31-Jan-07 - 06:11 AM
Thread Name: Folk Process - is it dead?
Subject: RE: Folk Process - is it dead?
I think many singers will change their own songs, adding a verse or changing the words, which is fair enough. I'm not so sure it's right for other singers to change the songs of other living writers, though, without the writer's consent. George gave some examples where others have changed his words, and he was happy with the changes and adopted them himself - that's fine.

But if someone changes the words to (say) a Ralph McTell song, because he thinks he has thought of some better words than Ralph's, or writes a new verse to it, without asking Ralph for approval first, it could be that the 'improved' version is not as good in the eyes of anyone apart from the 'changer', and that if Ralph were aware of it he would object. Does that count as the folk process, and would you approve of it? Or would you say the person changing the original song is doing something wrong in a case like this? Or doesn't it matter at all? I guess it would depend on the views of the original writer - or would it? Let's have your opinions please.

(I just used Ralph as an example, there's no significance in that - I'm not aware of this happening to any of his songs).

Just trying to get to the bottom of what the folk process is, and what is acceptable within it.