Mudcat Café message #8570 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2224   Message #8570
Posted By: BK
13-Jul-97 - 05:43 PM
Thread Name: What is a Folk Song?
Subject: RE: What is a Folk Song?
The rumor => I have read supposedly authoritative sources that said the song was written for Peggy by Ewan, while he was still married to his previous wife. I have no reason to think that information is inaccurate, but, of course, it could be. And it does not make it any less sensuous and beautiful, and yes, I tend to think of it as a folk song, rather than place it in the "popular" category, in which it might more logically be thought to belong. Actually, I usually just think of it as a beautiful song, rather than in any category.

If, however, I want to hear a recording of it - and I don't own any Roberta Flack recordings - I'm going to look in my nominally folk collection, for the Joe & Eddie version, because it is one of my favorite renditions - and, from the same duo, like as not on the same album, will be some of the gospel-jazz numbers, by which they defined themselves, and blues, and other "modern & composed" songs, such as the lovely and enchanting "girls in summer dresses," (supposedly written by their guitarist??) and they - in my mind - are always associated with folk venues, performers, times, feelings, days of my youth, etc... I could hardly dissociate them, even if I wanted to. And, I don't...

When I was younger, and more passionate about righting wrongs, and wrong-headedness, I would have emphatically agreed with Elsie. Now, while I see instinctivly that it her ideas are worth consideration, I must conclude that there is a low liklihood of agreement.

On the other hand - I use my (probably incorrect) folk categorization when I want to find the song, and it helps me find the album it is on. So... We do need categories, and they need to be useful enough to be practical. And we need to agree on them in order to communicate... (If you look in my LP collection for Joe & Eddie albums, you also might immediatly look in the folk category, but if you think of them as gospel-jazz, or blues, [or "folk-pop,"] or whatever else, you might never find the recording you want.)

In retrospect it seems that we should applaud the efforts of the inevitable set of people who will continue to espouse a more rigorous approach, knowing (also applauding?) that entropy will always be tugging in the other direction...

I do agree that the selection process for DT, thus far, seems to be working pretty well, however one may categorize it.... (Why isn't "Abiyoyo" in there? I don't know...)

And we all have our own perceptions...

Onward through the fog... Cheers