Mudcat Café message #3879598 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3879598
Posted By: Lighter
01-Oct-17 - 08:54 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
> The "1954" definition isn't too far wrong

Actually, it isn't "wrong" at all (or "right" for that matter), because songs empirically exist that fit it to a T.

It's a definition that says, "this what we specialists who agree on this definition mean by "folksong" and what you should mean too." It *isn't* the kind that tells what the word means in general usage: as we know, there are many such meanings - sad, perhaps, but certainly true. It's also true that there's no way to enforce this definition - also sad, perhaps, but true.

The point of dispute is whether songs included in the 1954 def. are the *only* ones that "deserve" the name of "folksong."

A related, possibly more interesting question, is why certain songs are *called* folksongs - and by whom.