Mudcat Café message #313449 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26185   Message #313449
Posted By: DonMeixner
06-Oct-00 - 09:17 AM
Thread Name: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
This actually goes back to many discussions we have had in the pasr. What is folkmusic? And words to that effect. As I understand it.

Folksongs are the songs in the public domain and of people who sing them in a manner typical to their region, entertainment need , and type of work. Unaccompanied or with the instruments that are addapted to the lifestyle of the people who live in that area.

Folksongs tell of the local history, entertain, communicate a need, express love or other emotions.

The folksinger in this equation is obvious. The singer is the one who sings. Could be an adult or a child but its the singer who matters.

Our oral tradition has become so vast over the years and we have become so educated that we tend to copartmentalize all we experience. The same with folksongs and singing. Its by acident of good oral tradition and the constant process that has changed these songs over the years and refined them to the beauty many now have.

Some guy stood by the pub fire and said" So Rodney and about sixty others come down the street at a run. These was nearly out of breath by the time they engaged the soldiers. They all died gamely but Rod was captured and hung for the ring leader."

It tells the story all right but the folk process changes things and we have:

Oh see the fleet footed host of men

who speed with faces wan.

From Farstead and from fishers cot

Along the banks of Bann.

They come with vengence in theor eyes

too late too late are they,

For young Roddy McCorley goes to die

on the bridge of Tuam today.

In no other way could a miner incident in history have stood th time so well. The song didn't spring from whole cloth. It took years of singers to process the song inti what it now is.

I still maintaine that its the singer and singing, not the song that is the tradition.

Is Paxton a folksinger? Certainly in the style of one he is one.