Mudcat Café message #1954351 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98509   Message #1954351
Posted By: Sugwash
01-Feb-07 - 06:09 AM
Thread Name: Folk Process - is it dead?
Subject: RE: Folk Process - is it dead?
I guess that people have always made changes to songs, either intentionally or unintentionally. It doesn't damage the original song; we're not breaking into the Lourve and defacing the Mona Lisa, we're Photoshopping a copy of it.

I've changed the odd trad song in my time. I didn't like the ending of 'The Gallant Brigantine', a promising story that fizzled out in my opinion, so I made up my own ending. I don't try to pass it off as the original, or rather the version that is best known, who knows what the original version was like.

Shakespeare plays are constantly adapted or interpreted, classical music the same; the original versions survive. I think it was Martin Carthy who said "It's a difficult tradition to damage" or words to that effect.

I recently sang a song I written to a friend. He didn't record it at the time, but some months later he did and the 'folk process' had subtley altered the tune for the better I'd say.

Troublesome word folk, perhaps we should just call it the process. Anyhow, to answer George's question: no, it's not dead, it's a fiesty old bugger that'll see most of us off.