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Different types of contemporary folk

The Sandman 22 Mar 19 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 22 Mar 19 - 02:18 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Mar 19 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 22 Mar 19 - 01:49 PM
GUEST 22 Mar 19 - 05:15 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 19 - 03:16 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 19 - 03:02 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 19 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 21 Mar 19 - 06:56 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Mar 19 - 04:18 PM
The Sandman 21 Mar 19 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 21 Mar 19 - 01:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Mar 19 - 10:53 AM
The Sandman 21 Mar 19 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,matt milton 21 Mar 19 - 07:11 AM
The Sandman 21 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 19 Mar 19 - 08:30 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 19 - 07:40 AM
CupOfTea 16 Mar 19 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,ripov 13 Mar 19 - 07:08 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 19 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,ripov 12 Mar 19 - 10:38 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 19 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,ripov 11 Mar 19 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,jag 11 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM
Iains 11 Mar 19 - 11:24 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 19 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,jag 11 Mar 19 - 09:39 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 19 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 11 Mar 19 - 08:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Mar 19 - 07:50 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 19 - 07:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Mar 19 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Observer 11 Mar 19 - 03:20 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 19 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,ripov 10 Mar 19 - 08:56 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Mar 19 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 08 Mar 19 - 12:56 PM
Johnny J 05 Mar 19 - 01:06 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 19 - 08:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Mar 19 - 07:41 AM
Johnny J 05 Mar 19 - 07:21 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 19 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 05 Mar 19 - 05:42 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 19 - 05:35 AM
GUEST 05 Mar 19 - 05:32 AM
FreddyHeadey 04 Mar 19 - 04:48 PM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 19 - 04:26 PM
Jim Carroll 04 Mar 19 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,LynnH 04 Mar 19 - 02:09 PM
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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 03:03 PM

tom brown nice man , but not mucgh of a singer in my oipinion, not in the same league as harry cox or phil tanner, as for the song he sang my second name is clarence,poking fun at gay people and transvestites thoroughly nasty song


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 02:18 PM

Absolutely Steve.

Hence him loving it when I (and many others) took the piss when we were comperes.

Performers of any genre should let the music be serious but never ever believe it puts you the person on the same level as your art.

Happy memories of being lucky enough to live down the road from Tom and Bertha Brown as a teenager and accompanying them to many traditional festivals and club bookings, meeting those who influenced my own take on "trad"


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 02:06 PM

Dear old Fred played the game set up by others. He simply did what was expected of him. His own culture rejected his songs as old-fashioned as happened to many others in isolated communities. He saw chanty groups of teachers and bank clerks wearing fairisle jumpers and seamen's caps, and others wearing waistcoats and other old-fashioned stuff and thought 'I'll have a piece of this.' He had his old farming gear with his trousers tied up with string and it got him bookings all over the country. It was his persona, trade mark if you like, and why not?


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 01:49 PM

Fred Jordan used to laugh when I introduced him as a real folk singer due to wearing his trousers up to his tits. In fact Tom Brown tried it for a while till Bertha put her foot down. I tend to wear a waistcoat on stage but rather than living the dream, it's somewhere to put picks, capo, tuner etc.

Although Fred only did so to perform....

Harry Chapin was comfortable being referred to as a folk singer as is his mate Bruce Springsteen.

Note the use of comfortable. Possibly because its a style or set of styles....


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 05:15 AM

time you all went on a summer holiday


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 03:16 AM

compare it to summer holiday
We're all going on a summer holiday
No more working for a week or two.
Fun and laughter on our summer holiday,
No more worries for me or you,
For a week or two.
We're going where the sun shines brightly
We're going where the sea is blue.
We've all seen it on the movies,
Now let's see if it's true.
Everybody has a summer holiday
Doin' things they always wanted to
So we're going on a summer holiday,
To make our dreams come true
For me and you.
For me and you.

The Sun burns a promise
In my eye
Mama strikes me
And I draw a breath and cry
Above me a cloud
Slowly tumbles through the sky
I am glad, to be alive
It is my seventh day
I taste the hunger
And I cry
My Brother and sister
Cling to Mama's side
She squeezes her breast
But it has nothing to provide
Someone weeps, I fall asleep
It is twenty days today
Mama does not hold me
Anymore
I open my mouth
But I am to weak to cry
Above me a bird slowly crawls across the sky
Why is there nothing
Now to do but di


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 03:02 AM

imo,this song written by harry chapin is a contemporary folk song despite his style and treatment of the song
i was born today the shortest story, compare the lyrics as well as the tune.,
and ignore the style harry does it in.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix-Yj_Md2no it is more than the style a song is performed in. am born today
The Sun burns a promise
In my eye
Mama strikes me
And I draw a breath and cry
Above me a cloud
Slowly tumbles through the sky
I am glad, to be alive
It is my seventh day
I taste the hunger
compare it to summer holiday
We're all going on a summer holiday
No more working for a week or two.
Fun and laughter on our summer holiday,
No more worries for me or you,
For a week or two.
We're going where the sun shines brightly
We're going where the sea is blue.
We've all seen it on the movies,
Now let's see if it's true.
Everybody has a summer holiday
Doin' things they always wanted to
So we're going on a summer holiday,
To make our dreams come true
For me and you.
For me and you.
And I cry
My Brother and sister
Cling to Mama's side
She squeezes her breast
But it has nothing to provide
Someone weeps, I fall asleep
It is twenty days today
Mama does not hold me
Anymore
I open my mouth
But I am to weak to cry
Above me a bird slowly crawls across the sky
Why is there nothing
Now to do but die?
you see contemporary folk song is about content as well as form as well as style


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 19 - 02:13 AM

you can think what you like ,but i already said some time ago about certsin modes being CONTRIBUTORY,[ if you paid attention instead of masking puerile irrelevant remarks about tits and trousers, but that is all it is contributory art of it. you are WRONG summer holiday will never be a folk song even if it was sung in aunaccompanid sean nos style, becaouse it is more than style


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 06:56 PM

Sorry Dick but itís a style or a set of styles. Tunes have no words so that kind of pisses on your chips.

Youíll note that neither Steve Roud nor I have trousers up to our tits just yet. Probably because neither of us get hung up on it. He is a learned scholar in the field and Iím just an amateur hobby level researcher into the epidemiology of song.

Iíll stick with what people who donít let ignorance and personal use of precious words get in the way. Out of interest, whenever Iíve seen you play I have enjoyed the noise it makes. Iíve even borrowed an arrangement of yours on a song. But you do come out with some daft comments on Mudcat. A pity really.

Dave. I retired fully last September. Far more free to make excuses to get around a few more places. Mind you, since retiring Iíve spent time in Thailand and am presently in Canada. I tell the kids Iím spending their inheritance.....


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 04:18 PM

We must, Musket! I am in Whitby in July but the festival is not on then :-( I am finishing work in July as well though so, hopefully, will be able to get out more :-)


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 04:00 PM

[ go back to my point. Itís a style or set of styles.@]
its no reiterating this, neither is it relevant going onbout trousers up to the tits.
i could sing going on a sunner holiday umaccompanied in sean nos style that does not make it a contemporary folk song


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 01:37 PM

Aye but the issue as ever Dave is that we tend to know what we think we know and are comfortable with. We see it in more than just music.

If you or I type BBC into a search engine we expect The British Broadcasting Corporation. A teenager in The USA smuggling his iPad under the covers at night expects a rather different acronym....

When I used to give talks with traditional ballads thrown in I used to say why go to a museum and see 200 year old ploughs when listening to the songs puts you in the mind, hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations of the people living then?

Contemporary songs can carry this on. Deep Purpleís Smoke on the Water describes an event in time, ditto Boomtown Rats I donít like Mondays. You could argue that a 350 year old love ballad tells us nothing other than blokes were nursing semis when thinking of their lovers back then.

I go back to my point. Itís a style or set of styles. A genre even. Roots is a term that more of us are becoming comfortable with as it separates the value to future generations from enjoying the noise it makes.

Dave. We must argue this out again at Whitby? Itís a couple of years since we had a pint.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 10:53 AM

I agree with that too, Matt. However, the phrase you used, "you can call it folk if you like - most people do", does complicate issues. If someone who believes Milford and Sons to be folk and go into a folk club expecting to hear that music, they may be disappointed. They may be pleasantly surprised too of course:-) Worse still, if a youngster learns a Mumford song and plays it at a folk club they may received some hostility from died in the wool traditionalists. That is where some guidance may be needed.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 10:27 AM

fairly good matt, well done.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 07:11 AM

I think it's actually fairly simple. The threshold between contemporary (singer-songwriter) folk and traditional folk is pretty recognisable to anyone who is gets really into traditional folk music - like most of the people on this forum.

Martin Carthy's treatment of certain pop and theatre songs (New York Mining Disaster, His Name was Andrew, The Wife of the Soldier) is a really good example. He clearly picks songs that have certain aspects in common with the folk tradition in their words and perhaps music, and that's presumably why he was attracted to them. He sings them with a delivery and arrangements that make it consonant with his other material.

Then there's the next degree of difference: singer-songwriters like the early Bob Dylan, Bert Jansch, Ralph McTell or Nick Drake, who are clearly very influenced by traditional music (who may even play a fair of traditional music) but who mostly play originals.

Then there's pop music that happens to be played on acoustic instruments (Mumford & Sons et al). We've all got ears here; you can call it folk if you like - most people do - but acoustic pop is probably a better term.

Isn't it just as simple as that?


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM

no folk is not just a style, if i wanted i could sing, we are all going on a summer holiday unacompanied in Sean-nůs style that still does not alter the dreadful lyrics
We're all going on a summer holiday
No more working for a week or two.
Fun and laughter on our summer holiday,
No more worries for me or you,
For a week or two.
We're going where the sun shines brightly
We're going where the sea is blue.
We've all seen it on the movies,
Now let's see if it's true.
Everybody has a summer holiday
Doin' things they always wanted to
So we're going on a summer holiday,
To make our dreams come true
For me and you.
For me and you.
1.this song was written in 1962, at that time londoners were going on working holidays in the kent hopping fields. let us compare hopping down in kent and the the two sets of lyrics.
HOPPING DOWN IN KENT

(Mary Ann Haynes, Sussex, 1974. Noted by Mike Yates)

Now hopping's just beginning,
We've got our time to spend.
We've only come down hopping,
To earn a quid if we can.
With the tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay, tee-i-ee-i-ay.

Now early Monday morning,
The measurer he'll come round.
"Pick your hops all ready,
And you'll pick them off the ground".
With the tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay, tee-i-ee-i-ay.

Now early Tuesday morning,
The bookie he'll come round;
With a bag of money,
He'll flop it on the ground.
Saying, "Do you want some money?"
"Yes sir, if you please,
To buy a hock of bacon
And a roll of mouldy cheese".
With the tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay, tee-i-ee-i-ay.

They say all hopping's lousy,
I believe it's true.
Since I've been down hopping,
I've got a chat or two.
With the tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay, tee-i-ee-i-ay.

Early Saturday morning,
It is our washing day.
We boil 'em in our hopping pot,
And we hangs 'em o'er the ground.
With the tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay, tee-i-ee-i-ay.

Hopping is all over,
The money is all spent.
I wish to God I'd never done
No hopping down in Kent.
With the tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay, tee-i-ee-i-ay.

I say one, I say two,
No more hopping shall I do.
The tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay, tee-i-e-i-ay.Now some say hopping's lousy I don't believe it's true
We only go down hopping to pick a hop or two
    Chorus:
    With me tee-aye-I, Tee-aye-O, Tee-aye-ee-aye-o.

Now when I went a hopping, hopping down in Kent
I saw old Mrs. Riley a-sweeping out her tent.

Now every Monday morning just at six o-clock
You'll hear the old hoppers calling: Get up and boil your pot

Now Sunday is our washing day, don;t we wash it clean
We boil it in our hopping pots and hang it on the green

Now do you want any money? Yes sir if you please
To buy a hock of bacon, a pound of mouldy cheese

Now here comes our old measurer, with his long nose and chin
With his ten gallon basket, and don't he pop 'em in!

Now when our old pole-puller he does come around
He says: Come on you dirty ol' hop-pickers, pick 'em up all off the ground

Now hopping is all over, all the money spent
And don't I wish I never went a-hopping down in Kent

or

tWhen you go down hopping
Hopping down in Kent
See Old Mother Riley
Sitting on the fence
With a T I O and a T I O and a T I E I O

Some say hoppings lousy
I don't believe it's true
We only go down hopping
To earn a bob or two
With a T I O and a T I O and a T I E I O

Sunday is our washing day
And don't we wash em clean
We boil em in the hopping pot
And hang em on the green
With a T I O and a T I O and a T I E I O

Now do you want some money?
Yes sir, if you please
To buy a Hock of bacon
And a mouldy lump of cheese
With a T I O and a T I O and a T I E I O

Now Hopping is all over
Money is all spent
Don't I wish I'd never been
A hopping down in Kent
With a T I O and a T I O and a T I E I O
I suggest you study the two songs. content wise
to say that contemporary folk song is just about style is an over simplification , and frankly is codswallop, balderdash and poppy cock


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 19 Mar 19 - 08:30 PM

Nothing to see here.

Think of the song not the performer or even the style.

Led Zeppelin sang Gallows Pole. A folk song by any definition and all. Martin Carthy sang Cum on Feel the Noize. A pop song by any definition and all.

You see, folk is a style. This nonsense about being old songs that have passed down generations being folk and something I wrote last week being not... Pish.

Dave rightly put contemporary in the title here. In that sense, Iíd perhaps argue that the performer isnít the genre but the style might be. You listen to someone you are familiar with with expectation. Dylan goes electric anyone???? But that performer might slip in songs and styles that are different. Ralph McTell writes excellent songs in a folk, blues, jazz and crooning style, depending on the song. Richard Thompson is as important to my son, a rock musician as he is to me, a folkie with a trouser waistband getting perilously close to my tits.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 19 - 07:40 AM

jim you are a silly billy, hootennay did identify it


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: CupOfTea
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 01:59 PM

I am astonished that the American view seems absent in this thread, though much of is back-and- forth between a few fellas. I'm not sure it's resolved any of the "drawing a line" issues, but in the venn diagram sorting out of contemporary folk there is a large group we call "Singer-songwriters." Within that designation, there is also a large spectrum, which in this context, could be looked at as "taste"

--On the shallow end of content, you have what Sandy Paton used to call "omphaloscopists" - entirely self refferential, no background in trad, just willing to play an acoustic guitar. A sub-set of these are people who style themselves"folk" to get booked into nice folk venues only until they make the jump to larger halls and big tickets. Got played by booking a couple of these.

-- On the deeply traditional end, you have writers who come out of the tradition, sing traditional, and expand it with traditionally styled songs. Si Kahn, Ian Robb, Jean Ritchie, David Weber, Craig Johnson, Gordon Bok, Andy M. Stewart, Jennifer Cutting - just a few who come to mind as illustrations.

-- Then there are those who are genre-spanning, trad-folk-pop-rock-jazz-blues-world adventurers. Lots of exciting people in this category, Richard Thompson at the top of that list, with staunch fans in both trad folk and rock camps. I got a kick out one concert where you could tell where all the traddies were sitting: we were the ones who got the jokes about Morris Dancers.

Gordon Lightfoot is definitly pop- rock, yet his ballad "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" has become traditional Great Lakes ballad.The Irish and maritime music I enjoy has a plethora of rock-pop/ folk-rock: Gaelic Storm, Great Big Sea. England had Fairport and Steeleye Span.

And there are those who take trad, and singer-songwriters and package them up as pop. in the US, on PBS we get "Celtic Women"(Barbie has a bůdhran) "Irish Rovers" and "Peter, Paul & Mary" on endless repeats during pledge drive. Some of this makes my teeth ache, but it illustrates part of what the "folk music audience" encompases.

I am quite comfortable with using "Trad Folk" for them 'as gots a pedigeee & history, "Contemporary Folk" for genre spanning, and of them "Singer Songwriters" more specificly for those who mainly perform their own songs, no matter how traditional sounding or not. This is how I differentiate my tastes in folk song. (Too tired to mention tunes in the trad/contemporary debate)

As always, your milage may vary- this is not a debate, it's my opinion, solely.

Joanne in Cleveland (who ironicly gets billed as "our traditionalist" at open mics, where I tend to sing lots of the singer-songwriter material)


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 13 Mar 19 - 07:08 PM

Jim sorry, I wasn't meaning that the songs should be written down and put in a big stack never to be looked at, but rather that we (them that can sing and are blessed with a good memory for the words, that is - which is not me, these days I can't always remember the right "B" part to play) should be able to perform them pretty well as they were sung when they were collected, as well as giving our own "take" on them. A counsel of perfection, unattainable probably; but something to aim at. And well understood by wider society, with tribute bands, cover versions and someone elses arrangements.
The other side of that coin of course is that if we keep that original form too strongly in our mind, the almost random variation that is the "folk process" doesn't have room to operate, and the only variation that occurs is deliberate, a totally different thing.

And - of course we should keep singing and playing. And hopefully derive a great deal of pleasure from doing so, however imperfectly. How many times have I argued in this forum that the important part of a "folk festival" is the informal gathering in churches, halls and pubs where we sing and play together, talk, drink, and maybe sometimes think. And perhaps pass on our enthusiasm and love of music to those who stop to listen.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 19 - 03:18 AM

"we have a responsibility to find and preserve the music, song"
And there seems to lie the difference
How about actually enjoying singing and listening to it.
That's what brought me to it and that's what's kept me at it.
I stopped singing for quite a long time - if you are intensely involved in something like collecting and have a full time job you have to make a choice which one you are going to make a priority - collecting won hands down
I had a repertoire of over 300 songs that, for a long time, only existed as a list in a notebook
About six years ago the opportunity opened up here to sing again and I was stunned at how the songs had survived in my memory and, when I started resurrecting them, how they were actually more enjoyable than they ever were before
The work we did with MacColl enabled me to tackle some of the 'age' problems, loss of range, breathlessness... but I find now that, with a few run-throughs I can remember all the songs in the book to sing publicly, the only problem being that now I find difficulty in controlling the emotions contained in the songs - I have to work hard at maintaining the balance between technique and emotianal interpretation - I found out last week that a fine singer I put up as an example on the other thread has the same problem
I enjoy research, I enjoyed collecting, but singing is an opportunity to tell others how I feel about certain things - that's what the folk songs were made for and that's what they did for me.
These songs are not there to be preserved, they are there to be sung, and I argue as I do in the hope that others get the same opportunity that I had to wade in a fantastic river of songs - and I want to be there to hear them do it
It's beginning to happen in Ireland with youngsters finding the songs as we did - it's not going to happen in England unless somebody gets their finger out
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 10:38 PM

Jim, I wouldn't argue with you on any of those points.
My feelings are firstly that, as (in the broadest sense) Folk Artists, we have a responsibility to find and preserve the music, song, and customs of vanishing societies, as you are doing; and to do our best to be able to demonstrate them in their original form. To research their roots; and then to build on these, according to our abilities, to produce new "sports" that reflect their origins , and yet are novel, and relevant to current society. Two seperate facets of the same jewel.
We all have different talents. And we tend to see things according to these, or maybe, as we mature, according to our recognition of our deficiencies.
I am a fiddler from the "classical" side, and my initial interest in the folk scene (many years ago) was a belief that I could inform my playing of, in particular Bach, by finding out how music contemporary to him was played. Alas, I discovered that, folk or classical, no-one had the faintest idea! But my point in mentioning this is - your area is particularly folk-song. Mine is tunes, a great number for dance. So we approach the concept of "folk" from different directions.
Regording folk music in england, I said, long ago (a little tongue in cheek) that it is mainly "eurotrash" - southern english, that is, not the northern tradition. But how could it be anything else? Our trade, our comings and goings, were with France (with apologies to the Bretons), Spain, Austria, Bavaria
and so on. Culturally southern england is part of Europe, whereas the north is allied to the Scandinavian countries. But happily the scandinavian/northern english music is being revived in the south, by people such as John Offord and Christine Dyer.
And there I will stop. The only cans left are 6% cider. And I will start writing rubbish - or at least say things I wish I hadn't!!


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 19 - 04:25 AM

"Please let different folks' concepts of what folk music is lie peacably alongside each other."
Only if it makes sense and doesn't distort and confuse, surely
If we are going to discuss something we leed a consensus to communicate with each other ; that goes, not just for music, but right across the board
If you call anything you wish 'folk' then the term becomes meaningless- which from recent discussion, it has
If you decide to involve yourself in and art form (that's what folk music is) then you take on the responsibility of preserving the integrity of that form otherwise you will damage its identity
In my opionion, folk song, in particular is an extremely important art for because it has been created, sustained and passed on by a people who are largely regarded as artless - that's why it has always been referred to as 'the voice of the people'
Even Child referred to his gatherings as 'popular ballads' - the ballads of the people
Once you move away from that highly documented and long accepted identity and submerge it in the music you personally want to perform and listen to you lose the real thing.
I sing what I want when the mood takes me - - if I sing at a venue that styles itself 'folk' I sing folk songs
The problem with what appears to have happened to the English folk scene is that they have no perceivable identy any more - they once had - no longer
That doesn't mean you can't stretch the barriers, but you need to remember those barriers exist if you do
I have always wanted to see new songs made using folk forms - it's the only way we will ever create a new tradition, if that's possible
People turned away from the scene in their thousands because the sound they were being given was no longer what they had come to expect
I went to as many folk clubs as I could manage - I wouldn't go anywhere near avenues that are being suggested in the course of these discussions
If you don't like folk song proper or don't think it important enough to prserve, you need to say so, but please don't ignore the damage that is being done to it
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 08:50 PM

Jim - with respect - this post is about contemporary (presumably contemporary with us),and therefore "newly composed" music. If it didn't have a composer it wouldn't exist (Hebrews 3:4), and neither would the music you specialise in. Whether the composers names are forgotten or not is really irrelevant. Should O'Carolan's works be disregarded, out of almost the entire Irish folk repertoire, because we know his name. Or Neil Gow's from the Scottish, or James Hill's from the English (or even Purcell for that matter - eg "The Hole in the Wall")?

Please let different folks' concepts of what folk music is lie peacably alongside each other. We are all musicians (and not excluding singers, poets, actors), from whatever subdivision of the art, classical, folk, jazz, pop even. We play music for our pleasure, and hopefully the pleasure of those around us. Some, like you, have had the privelege (and I know also the hard work) of being able to make a study of a part of the wide musical spectrum, and so added to our understanding and apreciation. And we are all the richer for it.

Regarding copyright.
Iains - Once you've let a tune loose in the wild, you don't really "own" it. You may have the right to be the only person who is allowed to play it. But see if anyone else cares! Although to be fair, people have always asked if I mind them playing my tunes. Whether they actually do play them of course is another matter!

DtG - Most venues will have a licence (PRS?) So that performance there of copyright works is legal (I believe).

Perhaps as has been said, copyright is a "red herring". But it is a difficult matter for those of us who write tunes or songs that we would love others to play or sing, rather than just to buy. Because always at the back of the mind (and often in the advice of family and friends) is the thought that if it becomes really popular, someone else will make a vast profit, and we will lose out.

Ultimately, of course, the great public (or a subset thereof) will decide whether the music lives on and becomes a contender for being called "folk" music.. Probably not in our lifetime though.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM

I would argue that they haven't been 'claimed by the folk' until they are being sung in social settings other than clubs or concerts with audiences. If it is done in an ad-hoc setting - granny's birthday party or around campfire etc - then copyright won't be hindrence. Authorship or origins may not be of interest.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Iains
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 11:24 AM

modern songs can never be claimed as folk because someone owns thm - the term is meaningless whan applied to them

Is that still true when the copyright expires?
In Ireland song copyright outlives the author an additional 70 years


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 10:36 AM

"If we don't know who they are how do we know they never laid claim to them? "
It all happened so long ago that its no longer relevant - ownership onluy lasts for so long by law0
This is a bit of a red herring,don't you think
modern songs can never be claimed as folk because someone owns thm - the term is meaningless whan applied to them
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 09:39 AM

we don't know who they are and they never laid claim to them

If we don't know who they are how do we know they never laid claim to them? They may have been very cross if their contemporaries stole their songs.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 08:42 AM

"composed (or perhaps better expressed as "originated") by somebody"
Yes- of course they did, but we don't know who they are and they never laid claim to them, which allowed them to pass from community to community and constantly be claimed and remade wherever they landed - 'the folk process'   
Why should you regret asking
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 08:38 AM

"None of which belong or are made by 'the folk' but are composed or belong to somebody"

I'm sure I'm going to regret this, but I find it hard to imagine songs not being composed (or perhaps better expressed as "originated") by somebody - the idea of some form of spontaneous emergence seems unlikely.

Over time, they evolve and are accepted into the common culture, but I'm sure the majority start off with one person or perhaps a very small "few people",


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 07:50 AM

That's what I said, Jim. Copyright is a red herring. I'm agreeing with you and it wasn't me that brought it up.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 07:23 AM

" Copyright is a red herring."
Nothing to do with copyright apart from the fact that once we sang anonymous songs and could claim them as our own, now we can't
Stop complicating things with legalities
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 03:31 AM

Why has this suddenly come up again? Because :

A) Copyright is a red herring. Even if in copyright, songs can be performed at folk clubs. Give us chapter and verse on people being sued for singing at folk clubs and maybe it can be used as an argument.

B) Go back to Date: 26 Feb 19 - 09:53 AM where Jim suggested using "contemporary songs using folk forms and functions" and shortly after where both Steve and I agreed it was a good description. There has already been a general agreement that they are not folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 03:20 AM

Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 03:03 AM


Well said Jim.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 19 - 03:03 AM

"Newly composed"
None of which belong or are made by 'the folk' but are composed or belong to somebody - the antithesis of folk song, which makes the term 'folk' meaningless
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 10 Mar 19 - 08:56 PM

Different types of "contemporary folk"?
How about:

Newly composed
1. Instrumental/choral compostions for several voices
2. Songs/tunes that cannot sensibly be performed without instrumental backing.
3. As 2 above, but suitable for dance, modern or traditional/social
4. Songs/tunes that can be 'performed' by one person, the tunes not necessitating an instrument, but can be whistled or hummed.

I was tempted to mention copyrighting. A composition can hardly be regarded as "folk" if no-one is free to play it. But equally, if no copyright is claimed, it is easy for the commercial world to exploit this; which doesn't prevent the "folk" connotation, but is manifestly unfair. So to be "contemporary folk" there has to be some freedom for others to perform, but not necessarily profit from, the new work.

Jim, the original "Birdie Dance" - the Canary - has never become "folk", even though well known in the early dance movement (but don't they make it so SERIOUS). So I doubt the modern one will!


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Mar 19 - 02:12 PM

"I've been paying less than full attention to the thread as it has grown.
:"
I noticed
"it's got less interesting-"
It would be far more interesting if people began responding to what has been written with their own arguments
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Mar 19 - 12:56 PM

it's got less interesting-


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Johnny J
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 01:06 PM

OK. Thanks, Dave.

I've been paying less than full attention to the thread as it has grown.
:-)


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 08:23 AM

There are surely other alternatives Dave
As things stand, what you and others have suggested are suitable for a folk club suggests that 'song clubs' is as good as any
Mine wasn't a suggestion for a label -none of my business what others call their music - all I'm interested in is finding folk songs when I turn up at folk clubs
MacColl never called any of his clubs 'folk' just as he never claimed the title for any of his songs - he didn't have to, in those days we could more or less know what we would hear when we turned up at one
Now the clubs are not the only problem of course
When your researchers go AWOL and declare pop songs to be 'folk' you have problems on all fronts
This last is neither oogical, notr is it consistent - if it was 'The Birdie Song' would have a Roud number - maybe I speak too soon - early days yet !!
Jim


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 07:41 AM

I think we came to a conclusion about the term some time back JohnnyJ. To save you trawling through, here is the summary for Steve Gardham.

The movement is against using the term 'contemporary folk song': Jim suggests, 'contemporary songs using folk forms and functions' which is a mouthful even if it is a good description. If they are contemporary songs using Jim's description why can we not use for shorthand 'contemporary folk songs'? If not then it still needs a short phrase that can be trotted out.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Johnny J
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 07:21 AM

Jack asks

"why would any performer, promoter or venue operator today want to use "contemporary folk" as a description? "

I quite agree. "Contemporary folk" was a very sixties term and was basically used to describe those artists who frequented the folk scene and clubs and composed their own material which may or may not have been intended to be in a "traditional idiom". The "Greenwich Village" scene in New York, "Yorkville" in Toronto etc.
It was also very prevelant in The UK, of course.

These days, it's not really thought of as a genre in its own right although new songs and tunes by "non trad folkies" will still find their own way into traditional musicians' repertoires.
However, many good traditional singers and players will also compose new and original material. However, I wouldn't necessarily want to describe this as "contemporary folk".


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 07:08 AM

"I have DELIBERATELY avoided 'swings at him'"
Inferior versions of songs etc...
You have never avoided the opportunity Jim and you know it
Your suggestion of my not posting about him on a thread like this is enough - he wrote more contemporary songs in the folk style than any other singer
I have deliberately avoided insulting people as you just have - I have never been deluded neither have I ever felt calmer in my life, in fact I'm quite enjoying this
I'm not sure what question you posed earlier - maybe you posted under The Other Jim or Guest - both were concerning N.E. English songs ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 05:42 AM

Jim Carroll, you're deluded- I certainly have a view on MacColl but my only questions here have been genuine queries about his behaviour which YOU as a self- stated admirer and friend may be able to answer.

I have DELIBERATELY avoided 'swings at him' and any reader would see that I recognise what he did, with reservations-

- your post again bears no relation to the questions I posed earlier, and I've little hope you will ever do so, and in order to avoid any more OH YES I DID and AND OH NO YOU DIDN'T I'm off now & I suggest you go and have that cup of tea & calm down.


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 05:35 AM

Would I have replied if I wasn't listening
Perhaps you might do the same
I spent half a lifetime recording what traditional singers thought were folk songs
No matter whatever else they sang they considered their folk songs different
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 05:32 AM

You're right Lynn H but he's not listening


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 04:48 PM

If anyone fancies a break for half an hour there's a programme on radio 4 which I think might refresh you.
... improving our dialogue is good for everything ...
link & comments thread.cfm?threadid=165751


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 04:26 PM

Getting a bit closer to the original point - why would any performer, promoter or venue operator today want to use "contemporary folk" as a description? Surely there are better options? I don't think any non-anglophone culture would use such a term. (I find it much easier to locate the kinds of music I'm after in a Turkish record shop than in a British one).


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 02:50 PM

"Does it really matter?"
Yes it does Lynn
If you want to know why I suggest you read through the threads
If welsh miners sang arias from Aida in their opera societies (as they most certinly did) would they be valid candidates for a fplk night ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Different types of contemporary folk
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 04 Mar 19 - 02:09 PM

Does it really matter? A quick look at the lists of songs collected from our revered singers of yesteryear suggests that they sang what they liked, irrespective of whether it had been handed down through the generations or was a current popular 'hit' of the day.


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