Mudcat Café message #3422932 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147588   Message #3422932
Posted By: Larry The Radio Guy
20-Oct-12 - 01:31 AM
Thread Name: Republican or Conservative folk singers
Subject: RE: Republican or Conservative folk singers
I'd like to address briefly pdq's very important point: "Too many Lefties have tried to co-opt Folk Music and use it for their political purposes.   Social comentary is not the same as politics"...........An old Appalacian singing about the poor quality and high price of food is social commentary, not political.

For the most part I agree. Even Linda Ronstadt dedicating "You're No Good" to George W. Bush.....while inwardly I cheer....I also recognize it's a bit cheap.   

But I think that most social commentary is "small p" political...particularly when we know that even Democrats (or, in Canada, NDP'ers) who espouse concern for the poor sometimes end up supporting policies that are the antithesis to that....and most political issues are debatable.

Yet.....for those of us who believe in what I consider to be 'good' values (eg. compassion, equality, respect, openness to different), ideas, I think we have a duty to communicate those values in our performances and our songs (include the inbetween patter).

So, for example, when Mitt Romney makes comments like "I'm not concerned about the very poor", I think folksingers would be neglecting their duty if they didn't at least make fun of these comments.....and to demonstrate as effectively as possible how this is not in line with the values that many of us 'folk singers' believe in.

I do agree that somebody with conservative/republican sentiments very much has the right to write songs and to be heard.   And.....if they can communicate in a way that is consistent with what I believe are positive values, I'll listen to them.

In fact, I think Clint Eastwood, as a movie director and script writer, is one 'conservative' who does a beautiful job of that....and I love the humanity that is in most of his movies.

Off hand I can't think of any 'republican' type folk singers/writers who do that (though I'm sure some exist).

I agree there are a lot of 'lefties' who shove diatribes down our throats, and I personally find them boring. On the other hand there are so many like Utah Phillips, Tom Paxton, Fred Eaglesmith (who no longer identifies himself as a 'lefty'), Peter, Paul & Mary, Bruce Springsteen, Cheryl Wheeler, etc. who are clearly 'liberal' or left-wing and bring their small 'p' political beliefs to their performances....and they're inspiring!

But I do wonder if there are any 'Clint Eastwoods' in the folk music world. People who bring an intelligent and thoughtful conservative sentiment that can find the 'meeting place' between what we think of as left wing or 'liberal', and those that some Republicans might also embrace?