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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Don Meixner Original Music That Sounds Traditional? (83* d) RE: Original Music That Sounds Traditional? 30 Jan 99

Bill D.

I must say that you and I are probably related in some way. " Atonal...Navel Gazing." I love it. Very few people can do a good job of introspective writing that I find I like. Gordon Bok does nearly all the time. Kate Wolf was hit or miss for me, mostly miss.

I will still argue that it is more the singing that is the tradition and less the song. For centuries songs and ballads were the entertainment and to a certain degree, the way the tribal (human/clan/family) history was passed along. "Roddy McCorley" would have been an unknown participant in a little known rebellion in the history Ireland had not somebody taken the time to create the song we know as traditional today. But the song spread the story and both Roddy's heroic stand and the Antrim rebellion have their places assured in history because of it.

The topical songs of Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and that Bob guy carried the tradition along. The Ballad of Medgar Evers, Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol are great examples of this thesis. These songs all tell the stories of these people who were martyred in the cause of civil rights. They all tell a story start to finish through song. Had they been written in a less technological age we would probably never know the names of the authors but the songs would still be here. Mainly because of other singers spreading the story. (I'll grant that Life Magazine will help to carry these stories along too, but thats only futher acceptance on my part of the technological age.)

Its the singer more than the song that is the tradition.


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