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blt Folk, Blues & Politics-no contradiction (27) RE: Folk, Blues & Politics-no contradiction 03 Oct 01

And stories have a political context, which the performer and the audience have the opportunity to imagine, interpret, dream up, ignore, exaggerate, forget, dismiss, adore, imitate, etc., etc. I think it's called the folk process. Sometimes I think we would debate whether water is wet, just for the spirit of argument--not that I'm arguing about that, however.

Meaning, sometimes, is important. Sneaking the meaning into metaphors, images, between the lines is not just a speechwriter's passive-aggressive habit--rather, it's a time-honored tradition that has an active life in the present. However, there's no rule that I know of that demands that the meaning be dug up and presented as the only truth around, that's the beauty of it, IMHO--maybe she is simply Sweet Betsy from Pike, there's nothing wrong with that. However, maybe she's a woman who was abused by the polygamous practices of a Mormon patriarch and this was the only way to speak about that particular history. That is important, even if it matters to only a few, or is understood that way by only a few. This is truly what I absolutely love about folk music--it's chameleon nature and ability to forgive.


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