Mudcat Café message #2281404 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98509   Message #2281404
Posted By: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
06-Mar-08 - 02:34 PM
Thread Name: Folk Process - is it dead?
Subject: RE: Folk Process - is it dead?
Good point, Don T.

I'm one who has said that singer-songwriters are more than welcome to compose and present new material, but I have wondered out loud why they want to call their creations "folk" songs. I see your side; I really do. If you react emotionally to something in 2008 and you write and perform a song about it, you are doing exactly what I suppose balladeers did in the dim dark distant.

What I've been doing, I think, is thinking about it in terms not of the individual performer but of the whole society of "the folk," i.e., those who are receptive to and perpetuate "folk" music. From that standpoint, you can't WRITE a "folk" song any more than you can RECORD a "gold" record. It gets waxed/taped/burned and then if enough people like it, it goes gold. Septimus Winner wrote a song that touched enough people so that they remember, perform and enjoy, e.g. "Listen to the Mockingbird." That has been proven by "the test to time." More power to you and all composers, but how many songs that are launched from some "point of performance" at an open mic today are going to be remembered even five years, let alone 150 years from now? Are the ones on the "cutting room floor" also "folk" songs? From the composer's standpoint, yes; from the 'consumer's' standpoint, are they?

I don't think so, but you've got me rethinking my categories, so this is a great Socratic exercise.

And here I thought all these 'let's define folk' threads were boring.

Chicken Charlie
Who Must Now Re-Invent His Inner Chicken