Mudcat Café message #1429740 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78907   Message #1429740
Posted By: Uncle_DaveO
08-Mar-05 - 11:40 AM
Thread Name: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
Subject: RE: 'Learned from the singing of...' ?
Someone brilliant once defined a folksinger as one who would spend five minutes introducing a song, and two and a half minutes singing it.

Well, under some circumstances that's okay, I guess. A singer who's a good storyteller can be every bit as entertaining with his introduction as with the song. And it gives a change of pace, and pads out the set so that the singer doesn't have to be singing every moment.

(Have patience, I'll get to the point of the thread eventually.)

I seldom if ever just jump into a song, especially with a general, non-folky audience. The songs I sing are usually story songs, and I want the full attention of the audience to the words. I find that an appropriate introduction gets them thinking in the right direction for the story, and I can (subtly or explicitly) define what might be a strange word or custom referred to in the song, without which the story would lose force or credibility.

I can, and sometimes find it appropriate, to work into that introduction where I learned the song, or who wrote it, but I cannot imagine the introduction (at least to a general audience) being nothing much more than, "Here's a song by Utah Phillips." I hear other singers doing that sort of thing, but it seems not much if any better than no introduction at all.

Dave Oesterreich