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Contemporary song in folk music

GUEST,Allen 06 May 05 - 04:08 PM
John Routledge 21 Oct 05 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,DB 21 Oct 05 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,wld 21 Oct 05 - 07:58 PM
growler 22 Oct 05 - 03:58 PM
nutty 22 Oct 05 - 04:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Oct 05 - 02:00 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Oct 05 - 02:20 PM
Barry Finn 23 Oct 05 - 06:50 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Oct 05 - 06:52 PM
Pauline L 04 Apr 06 - 03:43 AM
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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 06 May 05 - 04:08 PM

Breezy, Andy Irvine is British. Scottish father, Irish mother, but born and raised in London.


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: John Routledge
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 01:53 PM

Thanks for all the names guys - and the debate.

Now the difficult but fascinating bit of selecting songs to learn :0)


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 05:26 PM

Two unhelpful 'definitions' of folk song:

(i) "I like folk song, I like this song - therefore this song must be folk song".

(ii) Anything in the 'Folk' section of HMV - by this definition Welsh Military Brass bands are folk song.

Personally, I quite like Sharp's idea that to be accorded the label 'folk song' a song must have been through some sort of process involving oral transmission etc. - but there are so many if, buts and maybes that my head starts hurting.

Oh go on then ... if you like it it's a folk song! what's the harm?
I know, let's replace folk music with rock music and call it 'folk music' - now we're all happy aren't we? I and a few other 'purists' are a bit pissed off but 'folk music' is a lot more commercial now and we don't have to think anymore, do we?


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: GUEST,wld
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:58 PM

please pm me when you've all sorted this one out.

Remember the meaning of life is 43 and work backwards.

I think by AL Loyds description of the creation of a folksong, most of the stuff herein discussed wouldn't really rate as folksongs.

As I remember you had be to talking about YOUR life, and then holding the words to your bosom and honing them to perfection.
And then your local community should be going, bugger me he's immortalised us in song, or some such.

I think maybe songwriters should try and write something which they find satisfying, and hopefully which entertains - but that second bit is optional. If someone is ungenerous enough to award it the status of folksong - it usually just means how ever popular it is, you won't get paid for it.


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: growler
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 03:58 PM

Surely Folk songs are songs about folk. I dont know what traditinal has to do with it. I happen to move in the same circles as Richard Bridge and Don Thompson, both of whom have contributed to this thread. They can both perform ' traditional songs ' or their own to the same effect. For God's sake, let us do what we are good at, that is transcribing life into song


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: nutty
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 04:26 PM

Don't forget Archie Fisher


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 02:00 PM

Okay I'll remember him.

any particular reason?


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 02:20 PM

Look, distinguish definition from virtuousness or value.

What's a "folk song"? I've told you. The definitive meaning of the term is above. If you don't like it, tuff. Those are the formal bodies entitled to set out a definition. There it stands. Anything else is just sloppy thinking.



What's a song that is worth singing, or a song that has merit, or a song that can be sung in a folk club? Different question. I sing plenty of contemporary songs (interestingly, I only just found out that Step it Out Mary is contemporary, but I'll still play it from time to time so long as I feel like playing something Irish). The Gay Fusilier is not a folk song, but I'll still play it. "Sweep" is a folk song and I'll still play it, in my own rather modifed way. But for FourEcks sake remember it is a different question.


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 06:50 PM

What a refreshing thread, thanks


I've always loved some of the songs of Laura Nyro & considered her to be an inner city folk singer & songwriter. Being born & raised in an inner city myself she sang directly to & of my environment. To many, by any description, she probably wouldn't be considered a folk singer (when was the last time you heard any of her songs being sung at any form of folk venue, outside of NYC) but she is to we. She had her own style, didn't try to conform herself, sang & wrote meaningful songs of her times & her environment & I watched as she got herself booed off the stage at a 60's Newport Fest, so there you go. Then you're got some one like Martin Graebe who's all but unknown (as far as I know, anyway) outside of Britain who wrote "Jack In The Green", taken by many (including myself) to be a traditional song & is IMHO headed to drawer marked Traditional Songs. A few reasons 1) his name, sorrowfully, is becoming forgotten as the writer (see Sharp on this issue) 2) it's spawned a few different versions since it was first collected from it's (known) writer (see Child, Bronson & again Sharp) 3) it's a song that's BY THE FOLK (maybe only 1 folk, but isn't he of THE FOLK?), FOR THE FOLK & OF THE FOLK (see agricultural songs in the collector's files). Then there's Ewan MacColl/Peggy Seeger, A.L. Loyd & Pete Seeger (among others) all collectors of traditional songs & writers of contemporary folk songs whose had a song or 2 mistaken as traditional music & MacColl accordingly to himself collected a song of his own writing. My thought is that folk music is so vast in it's definitions in to today's folk world that to pin it down is futile & would think of it in terms as a universal & at the same time a communal entity. Maybe a combination spirit & mind maybe guided by a feeling if you will. I'm not trying to put a label on something that (IMHO) can no longer be labeled except for commercial purposes. Today someone could be considered a trash collector or an environmental engineer or a sanitary worker or some else that would cover the distance in between. Here in the US the last of the traditions that spawned traditional music died off in the 1960's. The prison work songs, the songs from the Menhaden Fishing, the West Indian whaling songs & the Georgia Sea Islands songs (surprisingly all from the black tradition, gives reason to ponder, eh?) which are purposefully being kept alive rather than continuously living for the sake of necessity' (at this point I'd to thank A Lomax for his collections in some of these areas). So I guess it boils down to is what one or all would consider a folk song? What makes a contemporary song a folk song as opposed to say Nancy Griffths songs which maybe falls under an umbrella of C&W, Pop/Folk/Rock or just under some label like just singer songwriter? I'd tend to follow history as the judge on what enters the traditional repertoire. With folk it's likely that there will be only opinions. Mine of which would be tend to go heavily with trying to keep a finger on the pulse of both the past & the present folk community's spirit & on their universal DNA code & to try to stay in tune with that same spirit that has guided us from the birth of folk music to the present & if acknowledging that we may find the same benefits that will continue to keep contemporary & traditional folk music alive into the future. A bit more than my 2 cents worth's but surly enough already from me.
   

Barry


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 06:52 PM

I think tha tmight be interesting, btu can we have it in English please?


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Subject: RE: Contemporary song in folk music
From: Pauline L
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 03:43 AM

Amazon.com is taking orders for We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" by Bruce Springsteen. I love Seeger and I love Springsteen. Speaking about this dual disc recording, Springsteen said "So much of my writing, particularly when I write acoustically, comes straight out of the folk tradition. Making this album was creatively liberating because I have a love of all those different roots sounds... they can conjure up a world with just a few notes and a few words." It sounds good to me. Any comments?


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