Mudcat Café message #195789 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19126   Message #195789
Posted By: wysiwyg
15-Mar-00 - 09:25 PM
Thread Name: BS: What is folk music?
Subject: RE: BS: What is folk music?
TtR, That sounds like what we try to do with our singalong band. See, in this neck of the woods, as in many others, hymns are just part of the folk tradition.

Bert, I guess it depends on who the folk are whose folk music we're talkin' about, and what springs to mind when you think about what a hymn is. The one's I am talking about are the ones passed from soul to soul, not the ones bound up in official hymnbooks of this or that denomination.

Thinking now about the women's group I used to attend weekly, a wacky rural mix of charismatic Mennonite and conservative Baptist women, who, when they got together as women, in one of their homes, were just folks. All the songs were learned orally, and if you had a new one to contribute, good on you. Someone would say, lets' do this one, and most all would just join right in. If you were new you listened till the chorus came then joined in, and after awhile you knew the songs too. In this group, you could also say, "What's that one that sounds like this (humming a tune fragment) or has this phrase in it-- and someone would know the song and a little bit about it, or just start it. Some of the songs were old camp meeting songs, some were new praise material, some were by members who just had a song come up out of them. Not so different from Mudcat, really. If you can get folkier than that, let me know where to go and I'll be there.

These women knew something about music and people, and being just folk, that I needed to learn. Bet I'm not the first flatlander they gentled, bet I won't be the last. Bet more of us could enjoy that fellowship and love of song they had, and be as surprised as I was by where it is sometimes found.