Mudcat Café message #2152779 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104892   Message #2152779
Posted By: Stewart
19-Sep-07 - 01:56 PM
Thread Name: Folk Music for the Middle Class
Subject: RE: Folklore: Folk Music for the Middle Class
Since I was cited in the first post, I should probably respond to this. I certainly didn't mean that one shouldn't sing songs about things that one hasn't experienced or lived through. Just don't try to affect some artificial persona, accent or style. If you're a good enough actor that you can pull it off and it seems genuine, that's fine. But if it looks artificial, it's not.

I sing a lot of Irish songs, but I'm not very good at the accent, so I don't try. Besides, the words are more understandable if I don't, and understanding the words and the story is more important. And I try to research the subject so I know what I am singing about, the history and the terminology, so if someone were to ask me, I wouldn't appear like a total fool.

I also sing songs of the sea. I used to sail as a teenager off the California coast, so I have some experience and know some of the terminology. But I've never been on a whaler, survived a ship wreck, or sailed around the horn. But that doesn't mean I can't sing about it. But then, I try to understand what I'm singing about. That's just interesting in itself.

Then there are some songs that I can't sing because they don't fit my style, my voice or personality. So I don't even try.

So just sing what you enjoy, try to understand what you are singing about, and don't try to come across as something you're not. That's all.

Cheers, S. in Seattle