Mudcat Café message #2262875 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2224   Message #2262875
Posted By: Brian Peters
15-Feb-08 - 04:42 AM
Thread Name: What is a Folk Song?
Subject: RE: What is a Folk Song?
>> Didn't we have a thread recently about what would be the folksongs of the future? <<

Very probably. I must look it up sometime; I daresay someone will have mentioned 'Happy Birthday', which is one song that - through its association with a specific celebration - continues to be passed orally down the generations. A fine example of a folk song, notwithstanding that we know the composer.

>> I wouldn't be surprised if "Ride Sally Ride", "Johnny be Good" and "American Pie" ended up there. <<

But again, how many people not into karaoke or a covers band could sing a single verse of any of those - particularly 'American Pie', which has a memorable chorus but pretty complicated verses? And those songs are at most fifty years old.

Many old pop songs retain widespread familiarity - for now, at least - because they're continually recycled by the nostalgia industry, appearances in film soundtracks and - most spectacularly if bizarrely - the annual churning out of the 1970s / 80s Christmas Soundtrack. But there again, although my kids are familiar to the point of exhaustion with 'Merry Christmas Everybodee', how many of my generation or theirs could actually sing any more than the chorus and maybe that single line about hanging up the stocking? We are forced passively to listen to those songs - no-one has adopted them as their own, in the way that several generations cherished 'Barbara Allen' or 'The Farmer's Boy'.

G2G - back to those Child Ballads.