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Midchuck Contacts for copyright permission-various (26) RE: Contacts for copyright permission-various 21 Aug 14

There was a thread about RUS on the UMGF. I posted the following rant about 3 years ago:

I realize nobody likes a negative person, but that book is one of my pet peeves.

I have three complaints about it:

1: Half the time, the chords they give are wrong. But you can't always tell whether they're wrong or right, since they're not really linked to the lyrics in any way that can easily be understood.

2: The authors seem to think it's ok to change song lyrics whenever they consider the originals racist, sexist, too conservative, or homophobic. Almost all real, traditional, American folk music is sexist and/or racist, if you go back before the late '50s boom. So the songs get messed up.

3 (the really important one): People worship the (^%& book to the point that, at a song circle, they'll yell out, "You can't sing that! It's not in The Book!" Or if your lyrics that you learned 30 or 40 years ago differ at all from the ones in The Book, they'll curse you for heresy. And that's not to mention the fact that people get so dependent on it that they read from it as they sing, which means they sing into the book rather than to the people who are listening. Gets muffled.

It's one of the only books I would have all the extant copies of confiscated and burned if I had the power.

Now, the 1954 edition of The New Song Fest, by Dick and Beth Best - now, THERE was songbook. And it included a copy of the Preface from the earlier edition, which stated, in part:

"A reward of one left-hand dungaree patch, guaranteed not to rip, run, rust, tear, split, melt, break, etc. is hereby offered for the pelt of the first bohunk caught surreptitiously using this book at a songfest."

Up with the yellow book! Down with the blue book!


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