Mudcat Café message #3885129 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162917   Message #3885129
Posted By: RTim
27-Oct-17 - 02:51 PM
Thread Name: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
I am sorry if this is long - but I just wanted to lay out my thoughts and post them hear - Thank You......
What most people sing in folk clubs - are songs??songs from many diverse sources, and many sing them because they have good voices and others enjoy listening to them. They generally also choose them because they like them or they tell a great story or they are personally connected or have some local significance.

They probably don?t sing them as part of an illustration of their political will or Agrarian or Industrial background. Yes - there maybe one or two who do this, but they are in the minority, and they write their own songs and are known for them.
Similarly, there are those who don?t have a good voice, like some of the old guys who have been collected from in the past. I once heard someone say, who deeply involved in folk music - that they liked bad singers because they wanted to hear what they did with a song to make it work.
Some others don?t have the patience to listen to this - they want to be entertained by slick and practiced professionals. However, someone who is interested in this music, has to start somewhere - and I can tell you, singing at home in from of the mirror is a lot easier than in front of an audience!!
Singing in font of others - particularly peers - is a very daunting task, not one to be taken lightly.

On a related front - While I had the mind and body to do it - for most of my life I was a Morris Dancer. I came to it first as a 9 year old at school - and at first I didn?t think much of it - I wasn?t allowed to dance with the girls, and I didn?t live in an area where it had any real significance.
Later, some 12 or so years later, when I became interested in Folk Song - some of my friends at a local club wanted to start a team - so I said - Yes - I have done that. After a couple of years it took over my life. As a Socialist - I loved the fact that when you danced in a team of 6, you were not 6 individuals, but a team of one!
To me this was an important lesson in my development as a person. It affected me to such a extent that when I need a job, it took one in the middle of the Morris Dance world centre - Oxfordshire.
Soon I was dancing where so many had danced in history, and I even got involved helping to revive the dances in villages where they originated.
I felt invigorated and in my element, particularly dancing in our village and doing the old village dances. That is the real voice of the community, song comes close - but doing it with others of a like mind is magical.

Now I can no longer dance - I spend time researching and singing songs - the ones I like or that may have a particular relevance to me - nobody else - just me. I don?t expect anyone to do things the way I do, or tell others they can?t do it the way they want to. I am still a Socialist???and I will continue to sing my songs for as long as I have wit and breath so to do.
Folk Clubs are the only real outlet for people like me, and I am sure I am not alone.

Tim Radford