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A Reflection on Different Traditions

GUEST,Volgadon 03 Dec 07 - 01:29 AM
GUEST 03 Dec 07 - 03:02 AM
Newport Boy 03 Dec 07 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 03 Dec 07 - 10:21 AM
Jack Campin 03 Dec 07 - 08:19 PM
Jim Lad 03 Dec 07 - 10:37 PM
Dead Horse 04 Dec 07 - 01:34 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 04 Dec 07 - 02:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Dec 07 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 05 Dec 07 - 03:23 AM
The Sandman 05 Dec 07 - 07:49 AM
GUEST 05 Dec 07 - 02:53 PM
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Subject: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 01:29 AM

I love both the UK/USA folk traditions and the Russian. It struck me the other day that apart from differences in delivery (and so on), a HUGE difference is that while there are plenty of songs about death, there is a lack of murder ballads in Russian folk songs! Pretty refreshing, if you ask me. The Lowlands of Holland would be more at home there than, say, Little Musgrave.
Before anyone tells me 'shanson' or 'blatniye pesni', the criminal songs, I'm not talking about them, they are a very different tradition. Even then, most seem to fall into guy gives girl lots of nice things she doesn't know he is a bandit the cops come and kill/incarcerate him. Murka is a little atypical.


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 03:02 AM

I think Stenka Rasin was a murderer.


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: Newport Boy
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 05:10 AM

Ah, but he was a HEROIC murderer!

Phil


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 10:21 AM

Yes, there are songs dealing with murder, but they are atypical.


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 08:19 PM

I have been reading around some the odder traditions of the Middle East and nearby regions lately. Both Anglo-America and Russia seem lacking in

- bridegroom-shaving songs (Palestine)
- lullabies for the aged that derive from euthanasia songs (Adyghe)
- charms for making beer ferment (Chuvash)
- formal song duels where you have to leave out any labial consonants and practice with a pin between your lips (north-east Turkey)
- firewalking hymns (the Ahl-e-Haq of Kurdistan)
- songs wishing the dedicatee an auspicious bloodletting (mediaeval Arab)

It really is a big wide world out there.


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: Jim Lad
Date: 03 Dec 07 - 10:37 PM

"Blessings for a mud hut" is another subject that isn't touched upon much, north of the equator.


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: Dead Horse
Date: 04 Dec 07 - 01:34 PM

Aint no Igloo Blessing songs in the Swahili language come to that !


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 04 Dec 07 - 02:00 PM

Theodore Bikel does a great riff on Stenka Rasin on an old LP of his.

Bill Hahn
Sunday Simcha/WFDU


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 07 - 06:22 PM

There seem to be far fewer songs about localities - villages, towns, counties - in England's traditions than in Ireland's, where virtually every place has a song attached.


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 03:23 AM

As a Brit living in Ireland, I have been fascinated by the difference in the subject matter of the two traditions and how it illustrates the history and social background of the two countries (probably the most important function of traditional song).
Apart from love songs, which appear to dominate all traditions, the two most prominent subjects in Ireland (for obvious reasons) are emigration and politics.
When there were a lot of older singers around to record here, we used to wince "Oh no, not another bloody emigration dirge". This was until we realised that there isn't a family here which hasn't been affected by emigration.
We saw a number of people at our local dancing/song/music venue, around this time of the year, reduced to tears when an old musician/singer sang the emigration song, The Christmas Letter, and a description from the thirties, of an elderly farmer tottering up the railway tracks after the train carrying his eldest son on the start of his journey to America, produced the same reaction from us.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 07:49 AM

yes,Jim it is interesting,
what I also find interesting is the lack of modern songs in a folk style[in Ireland]about the dangers of drug addiction,it is, as if some subjects are swept under the carpet,also not many modern folksongs about immigration from other countries,these are two things that are happening right here and now in Ireland ,yet singers are not singing about them,have you collected any?,or do you think that is not part of your remit as a collector?does it mean the tradition is stagnating?.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: A Reflection on Different Traditions
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 07 - 02:53 PM

Hi Cap'n,
Up to about ten - fifteen years ago there were a fair number of younger songwriters here creating in the folk style; Fintan Vallely, Tim Lyons and Sean Moan spring immediately to mind with their songs about moving statues and corrupt politicians. During one Willie Clancy Summer School a loggerhead turtle was washed up on the shore a couple of miles down the road and by mid-week there were four songs in circulation about where it drank, what instrument it played and who it was dating.
There were also local bards with no connection whatever with the folk scene making songs in the traditional style; usually somewhat sentimental pieces about their home-place (there were at least a dozen songs composed over the last say half century about beautiful Miltown Malbay!)
To my recollection, the only 'serious' subject for these modern composers was the political situation up North which produced some extremely powerful songs, the most memorable for me being the one on the Hunger Strikers, 'O'Hara, Hughes, McCreesh and Sands'.
Nowadays there appear to be only a tiny handful left, mainly making humourous songs, probably the best known being Con 'Fada' O'Driscoll from Cork.
All these we considered part of our collecting brief, though not the singer-songwriters which were composing in a different manner for a different audience.
Jim Carroll


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