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Worst Folk Song Ever?

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GUEST,Nick 03 Jun 07 - 07:32 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Jun 07 - 07:44 PM
Peace 03 Jun 07 - 08:15 PM
yrlancslad 03 Jun 07 - 08:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jun 07 - 08:41 PM
Peace 03 Jun 07 - 08:55 PM
Tim theTwangler 03 Jun 07 - 10:07 PM
Taconicus 03 Jun 07 - 10:15 PM
Taconicus 03 Jun 07 - 10:22 PM
Johnhenry'shammer 03 Jun 07 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Ron W 03 Jun 07 - 11:00 PM
Taconicus 03 Jun 07 - 11:07 PM
Bert 04 Jun 07 - 12:09 AM
Liz the Squeak 04 Jun 07 - 03:06 AM
Pilgrim 04 Jun 07 - 03:24 AM
guitar 04 Jun 07 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Phil Williams 04 Jun 07 - 04:33 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jun 07 - 04:48 AM
Grab 04 Jun 07 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,edthefolkie 04 Jun 07 - 07:01 AM
kendall 04 Jun 07 - 07:05 AM
Folk Form # 1 04 Jun 07 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 04 Jun 07 - 08:56 AM
guitar 04 Jun 07 - 09:08 AM
frogprince 04 Jun 07 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,woodsie 04 Jun 07 - 09:51 AM
Ythanside 04 Jun 07 - 10:11 AM
Bee 04 Jun 07 - 10:32 AM
Midchuck 04 Jun 07 - 10:44 AM
Bee 04 Jun 07 - 10:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jun 07 - 11:05 AM
RTim 04 Jun 07 - 11:38 AM
Mr Fox 04 Jun 07 - 12:41 PM
Claymore 04 Jun 07 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 04 Jun 07 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,mg 04 Jun 07 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,DocJ 04 Jun 07 - 05:12 PM
Liz the Squeak 04 Jun 07 - 05:32 PM
GUEST 04 Jun 07 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,Gordon T 04 Jun 07 - 05:46 PM
Severn 04 Jun 07 - 06:15 PM
Severn 04 Jun 07 - 06:24 PM
Herga Kitty 04 Jun 07 - 06:59 PM
Herga Kitty 04 Jun 07 - 07:04 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Jun 07 - 07:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jun 07 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,john f weldon 04 Jun 07 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 04 Jun 07 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,Greycap 04 Jun 07 - 08:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jun 07 - 08:40 PM
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Subject: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 07:32 PM

Now I did check to see if this thread had been covered before in this forum. Either I messed up, or this is the first. If I messed up Admin can kill this, with my apologies. But like John Belushi in Animal House, when he rips the guitar out of the hands of the folkie on the stairs an bashes it, perhaps there are oft played songs you care for very little....
discuss


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 07:44 PM

There is absolutely no way I can identify the singer or artist I have in mind, but let me put it this way. You had time for a crap, a pee and at least three visits to the bar before the he or she in question got to the last of his or her very many verses. I assure you that I'm not trying to go all generic about this. My coeur is cri-ing at the very recollection.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 08:15 PM

OK. What do you mean by folk music?


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: yrlancslad
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 08:31 PM

By my definition of folk music none of them can be that bad since theyve stuck around for 100+ years "in the mouths of the people". HoweverI could fill a page with so-called folk music by singer/songwriters whining on about their problems to a tuneless guitar backing.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 08:41 PM

Here are a couple of names that slid into my mind.
Black is the color
Greensleeves

Maybe it is just that these need a rest. A long rest. Until after I'm gone.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 08:55 PM

LOL


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:07 PM

Feilds of athenry is very popular around here
And usually is played after the proper set and all beer is gone!
There are a lot of others but it depends on how many times have heard them in last year as to whether think are bad or just over done.
many whingy songwhiner ones as the well ballanced and not at all biased person above has posted.
But also many shanties and overly sung trad stuff.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Taconicus
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:15 PM

Just off the top of my head, I vote for "On Top of Old Smokey."


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Taconicus
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:22 PM

On top of Old Smokey,
All covered with snow,
I lost my true lover,
For courting too slow.

For courting's a pleasure,
But parting is grief,
And a false-hearted lover,
Is worse than a thief.

A thief will just rob you,
And take what you have,
But a false-hearted lover,
Will lead you to your grave.

The grave will decay you,
And turn you to dust,
Not one boy in a hundred
A poor girl can trust.

They'll hug you and kiss you,
And tell you more lies,
Than the crossties on a railroad,
Or the stars in the sky.

So come ye young maidens,
And listen to me,
Never place your affection
In a green willow tree.

For the leaves they will wither,
The roots they will die,
And you'll be forsaken,
And never know why.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Johnhenry'shammer
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:42 PM

The Young Man Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn. Jenny Jenkins.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Ron W
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 11:00 PM

Which brings to mind: The Blue Tail Fly.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Taconicus
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 11:07 PM

The Blue Tail Fly was at least a subversive resistance song with a (not too) hidden meaning.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 12:09 AM

Lamkin has got to be in there somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 03:06 AM

I must admit to cringing every time I hear 'Lowlands', but that could be because I've heard it done terribly on too many occasions. I'll still sing along though!

The best version I've heard in the last 5 years has to be Mortica's rendition of it, she sang it in a key hitherto unknown to herself, discovered a whole range she didn't realise she had and made it a singable song again.

Otherwise, if possible, it has me skipping to the bar.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Pilgrim
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 03:24 AM

The Seven Drunken Nights

Pilgrim


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: guitar
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 04:13 AM

back home in Derry


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Phil Williams
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 04:33 AM

Well, it may not be the worst ever, but theres one that strikes terror at its very mention .... The W.. The Wi... Wild Ro*** .... No sorry, can't bring myself to type it.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 04:48 AM

Ride On, as sung too slowly by anyone under 25 with two chords. What's with that horrible bit about claw and gut anyway?


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Grab
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 06:48 AM

"Come out you Black and Tans" - a nasty little piece of work promoting prejudice.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,edthefolkie
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:01 AM

Guest, Streets of London the worst folk song ever?

You gotta be kidding. Look out boy, Ralph's a big lad!


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: kendall
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:05 AM

I agree, 7 nights drunk is so boring!

Pete Seeger doesn't like Greensleevs either.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 08:36 AM

How can anyone not like Greensleves? It's right up there with Streets of London.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 08:56 AM

Whip Jamboree. It has a real physical effect on me, like a cross between recoiling from a poisonous snake and brain-numbing boooooorrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeddddddddooooooooooooommmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: guitar
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 09:08 AM

my other worst song is any song from the film Grease, I know it isn't folk songs but I just the ongs/fim/cd/dvd/ or any other thing about it.

If I had my way I would ban it forever and those that sing any songs from it in to Jail.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: frogprince
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 09:11 AM

If you ever dare to actually think about the implications of "Scarlet Ribbons", it's kinda like those religious spams that promise, "if you
pass this on to 76 friends within 15 minutes, something miraculous will happen to you within 24 hours".


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 09:51 AM

"Ride On" - what a pile of shite, meaningless lyric to the chords of "All Along The Watchtower"


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Ythanside
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 10:11 AM

ANYTHING you've heard sung by others more than fifty times in the previous year(if you're still singing it yourself then it's among the best ever written, of course). Don't blame the song, though, when you've reached your own saturation point, as it surely has some quality that makes it so popular. A few of these surface again years or decades later and sound just fine to a whole new generation. The now much-despised and decried 'Wild Rover', a favourite of my own grandfather in his youth, brought thousands of converts into the fold in the 1960s. But that's folk music. Thankfully.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Bee
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 10:32 AM

The Unicorn song - if it is a folk song. The religious implications are horrible, the story is distressing in the extreme, and rather a lot of musicians/singers think it's a good song to sing to kids. The Unicorns drown, people, because they were playing and having fun!


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Midchuck
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 10:44 AM

The Unicorn song - if it is a folk song.

It isn't. A standard of the "Irish" repertoire - written by an American Jew.

Link - "The Bloody Unicorn".

Peter


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Bee
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 10:55 AM

Thanks, Peter, that was amusing.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 11:05 AM

Mostly good songs so far.

The trouble with songs we've heard too often is we get to think we know them inside out. But the great thing with folk music is that any good song can always surprise you. You suddenly hear someone sing it in a way that shows you something in it that you never heard before, and it's like hearing it for the first time.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: RTim
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 11:38 AM

Many many years ago at a Friday "Murder Songs Theme" evening at The Focsle in Southampton I sang a version of murder ballad - Cup of Poison - I called it Jealousy, and it was collected from George Blake of St. Denys . Now half way through the song (that I had learnt for the occasion) I forgot the actual words, but remembered the story - so I sort of made it up as went along.
John Paddy Brown (compere of evening) said afterwords - "That was probably the WORST song I have ever heard song in this club!" - Of course he was right and it took me well over 30 years to sing the song again!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Mr Fox
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 12:41 PM

ANYTHING by Scafell Pike or Elencampane. There are other dire folk-rock bands but they have to be the worst.

Scafell's album 'The Month of Maying' with it's camper-than-a-pink-volkswagen title track, parlour ballad for the deaf arrangement of 'David of the White Rock' (with commendable restraint the Welsh refrained from declaring war) and, worst of all, their sub-Steeleye Span version of 'James James Morrison Morrison' (Yes, the A A Milne nursery rhyme) complete with OTT electric guitar solo has got to be the worst, but Elencampe's 'When God's on the Water' ("A musical interpretation of a river's journey to the sea" it says here) deserves dishonourable mention if only for the heavy metal arrangement of 'Marrowbones'.

Mind you, Corkscrew were nearly as bad and as for Frogmorton........


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Claymore
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 01:18 PM

"Kum-by-ya" has to be the worst. It has all the prerequisites for a bad folk song.

Pretention,
religion,
unction,
and three chords...


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 02:36 PM

Streets of London the worst folk song ever written? I wish I had written it. £££££


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 03:23 PM

I don't know why but anything I have heard by Dougie McClean??sp.?? makes my hair stand on end. I thought it was just his voice but something even when others sing his stuff...built in whine or something. Caledonia...mg


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,DocJ
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 05:12 PM

Worst because it's hackneyed must be that one about the female highway robber or John Barleycorn.
Greensleeves! syrupy tune and nauseating words. Not a folk song, couldn't be.
But the most irritating must be "The Day We Went To Blackpool" (or is is Brighton) Once you've heard that tune you can't clear it. It's put me off cider for life.
DocJ


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 05:32 PM

It's 'Day trip to Bangor' you're thinking of.

Fairly tedious.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 05:39 PM

It's a personal choice, but for me it's any olde English ballad with 300 verses about a dead Margaret.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Gordon T
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 05:46 PM

Great to see some sacred cows getting slaughtered here - tho I disagree about Streets Of London - its well-written all round as far as I can see.Sometimes its the fact that you hear so many awful inept renditions.
I do think Ride On deserves a good kicking as well as all these phoney bloody First World War epics,like Willie Mac Bride (someone did a brilliant parody of that one).
Greensleeves is obviously an "art" song that moved into the tradition,but there are some very nice folk versions,including instrumental dance variations.
John Barleycorn is a classic.Anyone who thinks this is the worst folk song ever is beyond help.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Severn
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 06:15 PM

Of all the "Idiot Bastard Son Kills His Girlfriend" ballads "Banks Of The Ohio" is probably the most nauseous. "Streets Of London" and Wild Rover" get a little old after repeated hearings, but I disliked this one the FIRST time I heard it (which should be the criteria here), but somehow as many people seem to know it and sing it as the other two.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Severn
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 06:24 PM

Eor a pub sing, the one about "Charlie Mopps, The Man Who Invented Beer" is about as stupid a drinking song as was ever written. Again, one I disliked from the very first, with the very last, unfortunately, not in sight.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 06:59 PM

I wish Roy Bailey hadn't popularised the song about witches. Am I alone in cringing when I hear "Isis, Astarte, Hecame, Demeter, Kali"?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:04 PM

I cringe when it's Hecate too....


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:08 PM

Hmm, Herga, 'twas Christy Moore that did that one in for me. Come to think of it he was the guilty party apropos of Ride On too. Well Below The Valley also has me giving up the will to live. But I do love the man. Especially when he does Home By Bearna. :-)


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:15 PM

I'm with you there, Kitty. I rather thought I was the only one.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,john f weldon
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:50 PM

-Home on the Range
-This Land is your Land
-Waltzing with Bears


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:55 PM

I nominate The Zombie Jamboree.


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 08:18 PM

It's a difficult choice, but my personal two ng that gives me the dry heaves,'cos I've no liking for them, and they are invariably sung very badly by neophytes with a guitar needing serious tuning, are:
(1) Donna, Donna, bloody Donna.... boredom, always sung by young ladies with nylon-strung guitars, which they tune after being asked to do their floor spot.
(2) The Crow on The Cradle - equal boredom - used by every 'committed' singer giving us the benefit of his 20 years of misery...right?
My humble opinion, after 43 years experience of singing, playing and making some of my living in folk clubs.
I take rejection and criticism lightly,


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Subject: RE: Worst Folk Song Ever?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 08:40 PM

"I disliked this one the FIRST time I heard it (which should be the criteria here)"

Basically I think that the idea behind that is right - with the qualification that sometimes a song that you don't like the first time you hear it will turn out to be pretty good when you have listened to it a bit. And it can sometimes happen the other way round

But the idea that a song that was at one time a good song can become rubbish just because you have sung or heard it sung too often is a bit of a nonsense. For example, most of the songs mentioned in this thread.


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