Mudcat Café message #2700869 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119969   Message #2700869
Posted By: GUEST
15-Aug-09 - 09:44 AM
Thread Name: love the young people writing folk
Subject: RE: love the young people writing folk
"Songs written in the traditional way!! Would you say songs by Bellowhead or Eliza Carthy or the gorgeous Seth Lakeman were NOT folk?! GAH ... is all I can say"

while I don't have much time for the "what is folk" question, I do struggle when it comes to Seth Lakeman. I really don't like the tunes or arrangements he gives to pieces - to my ears they have almost none of the hallmarks of traditional British material that I listen to folk music for. I suspect that if you were to do a Schenkerian analysis of Lakeman's music, you 'd find he had more in common with, say, Green Day than any 'source singer'.

i think adapting tunes is an organic part of a process but I really scratch my head when a new tune has been given to traditional lyrics and that tune is indistinguishable from one that Oasis or Coldplay might come up with. I just don't see the point: all you're preserving is one formal aspect of the work of art – the words – and then for me the whole enterprise suddenly seems totally arbitrary.

To give one example: I really can't fathom why on earth S Lakeman sings 'Ye Mariners All' the way he does. If you think the tune that's traditionally been attached to it is so worthless, why not just pick a different song to sing? After all, while the lyrics to that song are fun - they remind me a lot of country blues lyrics, bit like 'If the Sea Was Whisky' - it's not like there's a shortage of drinking songs in the Brit folk tradition.