Mudcat Café message #3886362 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162917   Message #3886362
Posted By: Jim Carroll
02-Nov-17 - 07:22 AM
Thread Name: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
Jim. I do not think you will find anyone on this forum trying to "junk"
either the material, the existing definitions,
You have done both Ians - you have described the music as an irrelevance of the past and have consistently challenged the definition
"But in your definitions it is now a sterile ,fossilised body of work,"
I did not say this - I pointed out the uses it has been put to in both creating new songs and being used to display workers lives, particularly in the form of the Radio Ballads
The songs themselves are no more "corpses" than are the plays of Shakespeare or the literary creations of Dickens and Hardy - they continue to entertain, inspire and move   
All have the similar problem of the dumbing down of our culture via technology - the beauty of our language is being debased, literacy is being destroyed by misuse or non-use, the general attention span has lessened and the commercialisation of our culture has made it subservient to the market rather than the needs of people in general.
Today's music is created with a sell-by date and it comes into the world still-born - fixed in its conceived form and belonging to the creator - that is why it can never belong to 'the folk'
You can sing it in your bath, but is you attempt to pass it on to the general public you pay for the privilege.
Ye can no longer pass on, receive and remake the songs in our own image, which was an essential feature of folk creation
The essential creative asset of folk creation was its narrative quality and its universality was based on the fact that the depicted characters generally were named and had real occupations - we could identify with and adapt them to meet our own situations.
We could even revisit them a century or so later and continue to do the same.
That is not the case with commercial modern composition, though it can work with newly made songs using the old forms
As with Al's background, my dad was a navvy - when I restarted singing I took a look at MaColl's neglected navvy songs, Rambler From Clare, Indeed I Would, Farwell to Ireland and Tunnel Tigers - I had n problem in identifying with them and neither do those I now sing them to here on the West Coast of Ireland.
They reflect their lives as they resonate with my family background
No pop song could ever do that in a million years as they are rooted in a fantasy world of nameless non-people (with very few exceptions)
Jim Carroll