Mudcat Café message #8550 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2224   Message #8550
Posted By: Barry Finn
12-Jul-97 - 01:47 AM
Thread Name: What is a Folk Song?
Subject: RE: What is a Folk Song?
First to stop a rumor, BK, I don't recall if Peggy wrote that or Ewan, but she speaks and sings it as if it were from or for her. Awhile back I stopped replying to posts I didn't think were folk (even borderline) oriented. Like good wine weakens with water, I feel the same holds true here. You want a good/true/real/authentic/etc. antique go to a good antique store, if you want less go to a curio shop, anything else go to a flea market, you'll eventually find a bargain or even a gem there at a cheap price after wading through all the other castaways. If it were left to us (the non commerical) to lable what is or isn't folk music, this , in my opinion, would not mount to a hill of beans, but with the commerical end of the business trying to control it's sales and market , to me it becomes a very serious issue. In days gone by the hawker selling the penny broadside or the harpist trading a nights lodging for a tune was not the high high tech trade of today. Collectors of the past, Burns, Child, Bronson, Lomax, Lloyd, Sharpe etc. all tried to pass on what they'd found, thinking that it was something worth preserving, whether they changed or added to it or not, maybe in there wisdom some thought to rearrange a piece here or there only for the sake of it's survival, or to permently save it from the watering down (folk?) process. Any harm done there is insignificant (and probly unintenditional) in contrast to what todays media is intenditionally capable of in it's quest for the dollar. The hype that folk music survives is only because someone who cares takes it upon their shoulders and carries the burden for the rest of us as did the afore mentioned collectors, without them what we know as folk music today would be quite different, and found, as it was back then, only in the out of the way spots where those that have the time, love, money or know how would be exposed to it. I think we will continue to see cycles in the resurgence or the renewing or the recycling of folk music, it's up to those that love it, as to whether or not it continues in a form that's folk appealing or just some other form of watered down wine(whine?). Another point, because of modern tech, the so called singer/songwriter area of folk music no longer gets the test of time judgement, in this area why not just hand over the guidelines to the record/broadcast/producer/promoter/companies, they've always had the music and our best intrests at heart. I'm being cruel here but I don't think I'm to far off. Durning the 30' - 60's the folk of the Delta, played blues into new fangled tape machines and got squat while the same material played by urban FOLK a few years later made them a livelyhood, thank christ for those that gave credit to the oldtimers, them that otherwise might not have reaped as others raped. Elsie you do the folk justice even if it's just us. Barry Finn