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Is Tom Paxton a folkie?

05 Oct 00 - 09:01 PM (#313186)
Subject: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: GUEST,Ramblin' Boy

Is Tom Paxton a folkie?

Consider the evidence.

1) At almost every concert, he sings only songs that he's written himself. Nothing traditional.

2) Folksongs are supposed to last for centuries. He refers to many of his songs as having "short shelf life."

3) Some of his songs have been recorded by pop singers.

4) He's been backed by drums, electric guitars and even orchestras on some of his recordings.

5) He knows Don McLean personally.


05 Oct 00 - 09:06 PM (#313190)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: Joe Offer

Does it matter? I like his stuff. I also like Bach and the Supremes.
Does anybody really care if a person's recordings go in one bin or another in the record store?
-Joe Offer-


05 Oct 00 - 09:27 PM (#313200)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: bbelle

Well said, Joe Offer! I seem to recall a couple of Seeger's tunes being recorded by pop singers/groups, as well. I'm more a Debussey and Four Tops gal.


05 Oct 00 - 09:44 PM (#313213)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: GUEST,Ramblin' Boy

I thought it would be obvious that my post was satire.

I guess that I shouldn't have made that assumption.


06 Oct 00 - 12:01 AM (#313303)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: DonMeixner

I got it Ramblin'

Its like: God is love, love is blind, Ray Charles is blind, Ray Charles is God.

Ipso Facto

Don


06 Oct 00 - 12:13 AM (#313308)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: GUEST,pete proctor

He folking well is!!


06 Oct 00 - 01:15 AM (#313330)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: Joe Offer

So, the idea, Ramblin' Boy, is why did you bother to start a new thread about it? I usually do my best to stay out of these "Who's your favorite superlative" threads, but this obvious copycat of the McLean thread was the straw that broke my camel's back.
If you take a look at the list of threads today, you won't find many thread titles that would make you think that this is a place for intelligent discussion. Next time you want to start a thread, think twice.
-Joe Offer-


06 Oct 00 - 07:40 AM (#313397)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: GUEST

Joe Offer wrote:

"If you take a look at the list of threads today, you won't find many thread titles that would make you think that this is a place for intelligent discussion."

Why should today be different from any other day?


06 Oct 00 - 08:39 AM (#313422)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: Steve Parkes

Well, it's not too late to turn this thread into an intelligent discussion. Trouble is, it's likely to be "What is 'Folk'", which we can really do without one more time. How about, say, "Do we constrain the kinds of songs and music we perform to certain genres; and if so, in what ways, and for what reasons?". Any takers?

Maybe you should have prefixed the thread tilte with "BS", Ramblin' Boy?

Steve


06 Oct 00 - 09:17 AM (#313449)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: DonMeixner

This actually goes back to many discussions we have had in the pasr. What is folkmusic? And words to that effect. As I understand it.

Folksongs are the songs in the public domain and of people who sing them in a manner typical to their region, entertainment need , and type of work. Unaccompanied or with the instruments that are addapted to the lifestyle of the people who live in that area.

Folksongs tell of the local history, entertain, communicate a need, express love or other emotions.

The folksinger in this equation is obvious. The singer is the one who sings. Could be an adult or a child but its the singer who matters.

Our oral tradition has become so vast over the years and we have become so educated that we tend to copartmentalize all we experience. The same with folksongs and singing. Its by acident of good oral tradition and the constant process that has changed these songs over the years and refined them to the beauty many now have.

Some guy stood by the pub fire and said" So Rodney and about sixty others come down the street at a run. These was nearly out of breath by the time they engaged the soldiers. They all died gamely but Rod was captured and hung for the ring leader."

It tells the story all right but the folk process changes things and we have:

Oh see the fleet footed host of men

who speed with faces wan.

From Farstead and from fishers cot

Along the banks of Bann.

They come with vengence in theor eyes

too late too late are they,

For young Roddy McCorley goes to die

on the bridge of Tuam today.

In no other way could a miner incident in history have stood th time so well. The song didn't spring from whole cloth. It took years of singers to process the song inti what it now is.

I still maintaine that its the singer and singing, not the song that is the tradition.

Is Paxton a folksinger? Certainly in the style of one he is one.

Don


06 Oct 00 - 10:39 AM (#313486)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: mousethief

Is there an oral tradition any more in the age of print, recording, and the world wide web? Where would you go to find it?

If not, then the "canon" of folk song would seem to be closed, like the canon of baroque music, for example. (Of course one could always turn up a new Handel symphony, but that's rare these days.) True "folkies" are the gatekeepers of an aged and aging and fairly closed corpus.

If there is still an oral tradition, then knowing the author of a song shouldn't stop the song from being considered a folk song, if it has entered the oral tradition.

But what do I know? I LIKE Tom Paxton. And Don McLean. And... well, you get the idea.

Alex
O..O
=o=


06 Oct 00 - 11:12 AM (#313499)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: Art Thieme

Sure, Tom is a folkie ! Didn't he once room with Don McLean ? **SMILE**

But he's not a folksinger unless he sang folksongs. **bigger smile*** (but lower case)

Art Thieme


06 Oct 00 - 01:08 PM (#313580)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: The Shambles

Does folkie=folksinger then?

Would he want to be considered a folkie? Whatever that is?

I think he's great, whatever he may be.


06 Oct 00 - 01:25 PM (#313596)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Apart from songs I wrote myself, virtually any song I sing will be one I first heard someone sing live, and that I liked enough to chase up the words, and maybe make uopmthe ones that I couldn't find. And I don't think I'm in any way unusual in this respect.

I call that an oral tradition. And some of the songs might be hundreds of years in the making, and some might have been written last week.


06 Oct 00 - 04:58 PM (#313743)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: pastorpest

I remeber a folk festival which I will not name where too many "singer/songwriters" sang too many of their own songs with lyrics and melodies that were fortuneately forgettable. Several of these singer/songwriters must have known because they hyped their songs before and after. The one redeeming singer/songwriter was Tom Paxton who did not even introduce his songs. He just sang them and his audience knew them. And it was not an American festival so he was not even in his own country. I am enjoying this thread. The irony is that many of his songs are now in the tradition, and the songs' shelf life will be (I will not be around to prove it) significant.


06 Oct 00 - 05:15 PM (#313756)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: Doctor John

Well, Joe, I guess it does matter about those bins; it helps you decide where to go and what to look for - but it doesn't stop you liking what's in several of them. "Folk": yes, I'd go to that but I don't expect to get heavy rock styles when I get there. "Opera": give it a miss. "New Orleans Jazz": yes, but I don't expect a big orchestra. "Heavy Metal": wide berth. You don't go to Cranwell to learn how to sail. Dr John


06 Oct 00 - 05:21 PM (#313759)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: GUEST,Ramblin' Boy

I'd like to offer an appology to Joe Offer for starting this thread. I thought it was a good natured little satire, that all Mudcatters would recognize my post for what it was and that it might generate a smile or two.

I certainly did not mean to offend you Joe.


06 Oct 00 - 05:43 PM (#313770)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: Bert

I'm guessing that more people know the words to 'Last thing on my mind' than to 'Lamkin'. Whether that makes him a folkie or not, I wouldn't know.

I think he's one of the best (if not THE best) singer/songwriters ever.

Well I knew you were kidding Ramblin' Boy. I think more people would have know the same if you had used your Mudcat name.

Bert.


06 Oct 00 - 06:26 PM (#313789)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: Joe Offer

Oh, I don't get offended - just a bit overloaded with tedium at times....


06 Oct 00 - 10:26 PM (#313877)
Subject: RE: Is Tom Paxton a folkie?
From: GUEST,Aunt Irony

Dearest Rambling Boy. Satire is NEVER obvious here. When you want people to know you're joking, it's best to surround your remark with happy faces and repeat the words "grin grin" as many times as possible. Your thread may not be of earth shattering importance, but it's no worse than most. Have strength.