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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Some bloke Sexual identity & trad folk music (33) RE: Sexual identity & trad folk music 01 May 17


Many themes that were at odds with the controlling of communities that churches liked to hold were treated in code or double meaning in traditional song.

Gender per se as opposed to sexuality has always been the first hurdle for progressive troubadours in the past. When introducing songs, I tend to note how so many songs that are to be sung by a woman are prefaced by the narrative of a man, usually by him stumbling across her whilst out walking and "this is her tale."

In the written word, love and adoration were commonly used words to describe feelings for people of the same gender even when sexual attraction or even platonic "life partner" wasn't implied. Shakespeare's sonnets were largely written to say nice things to rich young men in order to have them sponsor his plays yet reading them at face value and knowing they were aimed at male aristocracy would lead you to think he chatted them up!

Always dangerous to read too much into interpretation of song but as I read my trusty Penguin I see many lines that set reality against the rise of homophobia a few years later with Victorian morality. Previously before Victorian oppression and after puritanical influence after the English civil war, we seem to have been more enlightened even if non conformist lifestyles were referred to in code.

A fascinating subject. Start with songs of women pretending to be men and take it from there!


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