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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones Are all folk musicians political? (164* d) RE: Are all folk musicians political? 29 Jan 21

Steve Shaw is probably right when he says that "folk" music, music that connects with "folk" (the ordinary people??) would generally attract people who lean towards socialist sentiment. Many on the left then fall into the trap (I'm not accusing Steve of this) of thinking that it could only attract people of that way of thinking. They also fall into the trap of believing that only those on the left are aware of social issues and injustices and are the only ones who care, whereas many on the right also see these but have different ideas about how to deal with them.

It is undoubtedly true that many of the key figures in the folk revivals in both the US and UK were motivated as much by left wing politics as they were by musical considerations, perhaps more. It is also true that folk became the principle musical vehicle for expressing left wing views and social commentary (until punk took over). Consequently no one is much surprised by left wing views in folk, whereas any other point of view will inevitably provoke an argument (remember the row when Vin Garbutt sang a song opposed to abortion?). Those with alternative political views who simply want to enjoy music without getting into an argument tend to keep their opinions to themselves. Perhaps this is why some are so surprised, aggrieved even, to find that others who share their love of this music don't also share their political views.

It's just music. It's an aesthetic experience above everything else. If your politics gives you a particular perspective which helps you enjoy that experience that's fine, but don't assume that political views are necessary in order to enjoy it, or that those views need be the same as yours in order to enjoy it.

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