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Folk vs Folk

GUEST,The Observer 13 May 08 - 08:26 AM
wordfella 13 May 08 - 08:33 AM
mattkeen 13 May 08 - 08:34 AM
TheSnail 13 May 08 - 08:34 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 May 08 - 09:50 AM
Peace 13 May 08 - 09:56 AM
Banjiman 13 May 08 - 09:59 AM
Richard Bridge 13 May 08 - 10:02 AM
Dave Hanson 13 May 08 - 10:03 AM
Peace 13 May 08 - 10:09 AM
Paul Burke 13 May 08 - 10:09 AM
Bryn Pugh 13 May 08 - 10:11 AM
Dave Hanson 13 May 08 - 10:15 AM
beardedbruce 13 May 08 - 10:16 AM
GUEST 13 May 08 - 10:21 AM
frogprince 13 May 08 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Gripper 13 May 08 - 10:42 AM
glueman 13 May 08 - 10:49 AM
Peace 13 May 08 - 11:12 AM
Jack Blandiver 13 May 08 - 11:17 AM
Peace 13 May 08 - 11:28 AM
DonMeixner 13 May 08 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 13 May 08 - 01:51 PM
Peace 13 May 08 - 01:57 PM
Don Firth 13 May 08 - 02:32 PM
Melissa 13 May 08 - 04:42 PM
Art Thieme 13 May 08 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 13 May 08 - 05:02 PM
Jeri 13 May 08 - 05:20 PM
Peace 13 May 08 - 05:33 PM
Skivee 13 May 08 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 13 May 08 - 05:40 PM
glueman 13 May 08 - 05:54 PM
Herga Kitty 13 May 08 - 05:59 PM
Art Thieme 13 May 08 - 06:04 PM
beardedbruce 13 May 08 - 06:05 PM
glueman 13 May 08 - 06:07 PM
Peace 13 May 08 - 06:23 PM
Herga Kitty 13 May 08 - 06:29 PM
glueman 13 May 08 - 06:33 PM
Jeri 13 May 08 - 06:34 PM
Tootler 13 May 08 - 07:02 PM
Joe_F 13 May 08 - 08:50 PM
Jim Carroll 14 May 08 - 03:36 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 May 08 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,freda people 14 May 08 - 04:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 May 08 - 07:52 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 14 May 08 - 08:25 AM
mattkeen 14 May 08 - 08:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 May 08 - 08:51 AM
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Subject: Folk vs Folk
From: GUEST,The Observer
Date: 13 May 08 - 08:26 AM

To what extent, if any, is Folk Music the music of an actual Folk other than folkie Folk, whose actuality is compromised by their adoption of objectivist methodology entirely at odds with the subjectivist criteria of actual Folk, thusly perceived?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: wordfella
Date: 13 May 08 - 08:33 AM

The extent is mitigated in large part by the ineluctable modality of the observer's preconceptions. It's obvious, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 13 May 08 - 08:34 AM

This is very funny


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 May 08 - 08:34 AM

You know something? That's almost a sensible question.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 May 08 - 09:50 AM

I'm actually losing sleep over this - or is it too much Asda Cuban Havana?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 08 - 09:56 AM

I thought this would be an appropriate song to hum while reading the thread. Observer, from the heart, you are great. Love your humour and approach. It's time for a character like you. You've weathered the abuse and come out smiling. Makes my day. Thank you.

ARTIST: Brewer and Shipley
TITLE: One Toke Over the Line

{Refrain}
One toke over the line, sweet Jesus, one toke over the line
Sittin' downtown in a railway station, one toke over the line
Waitin' for the train that goes home, sweet Mary
Hoping that the train is on time
Sittin' downtown in a railway station, one toke over the line

Who do you love, I hope it's me
I've been changing, as you can plainly see
I felt the joy and I learned about the pain that my mama said
If I should choose to make it part of me
Would surely strike me dead, and now I'm

{Refrain}

I sail away, a country mile
And now I'm returning, and showing off my smile
I met all the girls and I loved myself a few, and to my surprise
Like everything else that I've been through
They opened up my eyes, and now I'm

{Refrain}


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 May 08 - 09:59 AM

How dare you suggest this I'm outraged!

How could you suggest that there is a difference between folkie folk and actual folk even if subjectively perceived......where is this covered in the 1954 definition?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:02 AM

That is the point: the question is meaningless if one bothers to understand "what is folk". It could be more meaningful if addressed to Lloyd's concept of "industrial folk" and compared to "post-industrial folk" (whatever that is, over to you WLD!)


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:03 AM

guest The Observer, does it even exist if it is not observed ?

eric


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:09 AM

You folks gotta loosen up. I have discovered the real definition of 'folk', and so announced on another 'Observer' thread. Did anyone ask, inquire? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Bah, humbug.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:09 AM

I think we should paraphrase the question to make it clearer:

How much of it, folk music, folk music, folk music actually - people who are actually a threat or methods - objectivist totally against its own standards, the actual folk, and this?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:11 AM

Surely the paradigmatic contradistinction between folk actually and folkie folk is the result of the objective methodolgy employed ?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:15 AM

Jasus Bryn I'm well impressed with that, whatever it means.

eric


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:16 AM

THE FOLK SONG ARMY
(Tom Lehrer)

We are the Folk Song Army,
Ev'ryone of us cares.
We all hate poverty, war, and injustice,
Unlike the rest of you squares.

There are innocuous folk songs,
But we regard them with scorn.
The folks who sing 'em have no social conscience
Why, they don't even care if Jimmy Crack Corn.

If you feel dissatisfaction,
Strum your frustrations away,
Some people may prefer action,
But give me a folk song any old day.

The tune don't have to be clever,
And it don't matter if you put a coupla extra syllables into a line.
It sounds more ethnic if it ain't good English,
And it don't ever gotta rhyme---excuse me---rhyne.

Remember the war against Franco?
That's the kind where each of us belongs.
Though he may have won all the battles,
We had all the good songs.

So join in the Folk Song Army,
Guitars are the weapons we bring
To the fight against poverty, war, and injustice.
Ready! Aim! Sing!

Copyright Tom Lehrer


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:21 AM

The question is really unanswerable; pragmatically speaking, there is simply too much fluctuation in the dynamic parameters of the situational transitions involved to permit stabilized analytical conclusions.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: frogprince
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:24 AM

Ooops; that last one was me.   Dean


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: GUEST,Gripper
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:42 AM

Okay I take the bait albeit under a pseud.
Whilst like anything that attaches itself to the word 'folk' it is almost impossible to define BUT it is possible to make a few generalisations. The real folk are out there singing football chants, bawdy songs, children's rhymes, Beatles and other past popsongs, while the rest of us 'folkies' are enamoured with the pop songs of say 1750-1850 as remembered largely by the real folk of c1890-1920 from their youth. If we really wanted to emulate them we should be doing what my mate Roy Acko largely does in singing the pop songs of his youth. I often make this point by singing in folk clubs 'Gilly Gilly Hosanpeffer whatever' which I remember from my youth.
However some of us simply love the stuff that was popular among the folk c1890-1920, and what's more we're perfectly entitled to, whatever we might call it!


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: glueman
Date: 13 May 08 - 10:49 AM

There is no independent phenomenon known as Folk, therefore it is a human construct with all the vying possibilities that implies. The brass signs with pretty copperplate writing usually front the phoniest businesses.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 08 - 11:12 AM

OK. Piss on the lot of you, then. The real definition of folk music which will come to supercede the now out-dated 1954 thing is this:

"If you can name the author/composer of the song, it ain't folk."


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 May 08 - 11:17 AM

Bang goes the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs then, Peace!


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 08 - 11:28 AM

Tough times call for tough decisions.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 May 08 - 01:30 PM

Eluctable?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 13 May 08 - 01:51 PM

too much cappuccino, either that or I'm thoroughly bored to death.

Me thinks this so-called observer is too chicken to reveal him/herself, though I have a couple of ideas. Say goodnight Dick!

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 08 - 01:57 PM

"Eluctable?"

Ding dang, Don. I had to go look that up only to find out I can't because it ain't.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 May 08 - 02:32 PM

Where's Billy Goat Gruff when you need him?

Okay, I'd like to try to get serious for a moment.

Why bother, Firth?
Well, it's kind of a slow day here at the skunk works.
Well, okay then, if you really feel you have to.


Let me see if I can cut through the crap here:

Wilhelm Gottfried von Herder, as far as anyone knows, was the first man to use the word(s) "folk song" (volkslied). By the word "volk" (folk), von Herder was referring to "the rural peasant class."

I think there are a lot of folks people here on Mudcat who are in the same boat I'm in. I did not come from a rural background. I was born in a city and have lived in cities all my life. My father was a professional man. I am not a member of "the rural peasant class." I grew up in a thoroughly middle-class family.

When at university in the early 1950s, I became interested in "folk music." The songs sung and recorded by such singers as Burl Ives, Susan Reed, Richard Dyer-Bennet, and Cynthia Gooding. Later, Pete Seeger, Jean Ritchie, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, and a large variety of other such singers. I learned songs from their records and from song collections like those of the Lomaxes, Carl Sandburg, Cecil Sharp, and many others. After gaining a bit of skill both as a singer and as a guitarist, and with a fairly large repertoire of songs, people started hiring me and paying me money to sing. Most gratifying and enjoyable. As a communications short-cut, most people referred to me as a "folk singer." Indeed, I referred to myself as a "folk singer." Meaning that I am a singer who sings folk songs. I am a singer-guitarist who sings a variety of songs, most of which are traditional/historical songs and ballads.

Am I a "folk singer?" Certainly not in the sense that von Herder meant.

Is there a "rural peasant class" anymore? Well, when you think of the scarcity of small family farms these days, replaced by huge corporate farms, and the fact the most farming these days is done, not with a hand plow drawn by a couple of horses or mules, but by machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, huge feed-lots owned and run by large food companies; ax-wielding loggers of yesteryear replaced by Weyerhauser employees with chain-saws; sails, save for recreation, have been replaced by diesel engines—well, you get the picture. It's a little hard to believe that "the rural peasant class" that von Herder referred to still exists.

This, in my opinion, is the reason there is so much quibbling over the word "folk."

It's a word that has lost much of its meaning because it has been cut loose from its roots in the real world.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Melissa
Date: 13 May 08 - 04:42 PM

When I was very young, I spent a good deal of time with very old people who sang/taught me songs they had learned when they were very young (from people who were old at the time) Being interested and mannerly made me an excellent child for them to give their gifts to.
Our area had active pockets of Music at the time.

Now, I spend quite a bit of time with various clusters of music in the area where I am the old-timer. I sing older songs and play in a style that would probably fit seamlessly into gatherings of a hundred years ago. The part about being our local Old Timer is that I'm usually the youngest musician within our clumps.

I would seem to be Don's opposite.
I do not consider myself a 'folk singer' or 'folkie' and I have never been called either by anyone who knows me. It's not a term we seem to use in this backward, rural, small-farming area.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 May 08 - 04:57 PM

One is probably dumb, and absolutely wrong.

The other is, most assuredly, correct!!   ;-)

Due to the vagueness inherent in the semantics, we will never see either clearly.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:02 PM

'To what extent, if any, is Folk Music the music of an actual Folk other than folkie Folk, whose actuality is compromised by their adoption of objectivist methodology entirely at odds with the subjectivist criteria of actual Folk, thusly perceived'

if you can't dazzle'em with brilliance, baffle'em with BS, eh observer? *LOL*

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jeri
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:20 PM

INeluctable: –adjective
incapable of being evaded; inescapable: an ineluctable destiny.
[Origin: 1615–25; < L inéluctābilis, equiv. to in- in-3 + éluctā(rī) to force a way out or over, surmount (é- e- + luctārī to wrestle) + -bilis -ble]

Therefore, 'eluctable means it can be evaded, is escapable, and you can get out or over it.

Or to translate what wordfella said (The extent is mitigated in large part by the ineluctable modality of the observer's preconceptions. It's obvious, isn't it?), you don't know because you don't know what the flip the observer's thinkin'. Maybe.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:33 PM

"inéluctâbilis"

WELL! If my buddy Don had said THAT to begin with I'd be in the loop. He was treating the situation with floccinoccinihilipilification. Nothing could be more ineluctabilis, he said perniciously and with moderationality.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Skivee
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:37 PM

I think that the situation is covered by Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle; in that the observation of "Observer" making observations about folk music is notablely unreliable, as the negative energy that Observer introduces into what would normally be a neutral subject, tends to make the observation of observer's actual position unreliable. This disregards whatever charge "Observer" hopes to get out of the deal.

Or to quote a venerable bit of folk or folkie advice,"Tell your parents not to muddy the water. They may have to drink it soon"


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:40 PM

"Tell your parents not to muddy the water. They may have to drink it soon"

....and our parents said this to their parents, and......well you get the idea, I hope...

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: glueman
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:54 PM

The inescapable truth is that an authentic folk sensibility would not recognise themselves as such. That would be left to taxonomists, rule makers and the rest of the folk revival machinery. Self consciousness is the antithesis of folk, but bread and butter to the revival scene.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 May 08 - 05:59 PM

Glueman - don't you mean bread and marge? I think it's probably folk even (especially?) if no-one's listening, though God knows what Bishop Berkeley would make of it...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:04 PM

And that bread always falls butter side down. Watch where you step;
it's

    a

         slippery

                      slope

                               we

                                       descend!

---------------------Art


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:05 PM

(Unless you tie it on the back of a cat ( butter side up) before you drop the cat)

Then the cat and bread spin wildly and disappear.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: glueman
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:07 PM

Kitty, I was going to say meat and drink but that raised a tankard - figuratively and metaphorically - and a hearty post-modern ploughboy came unbidden into view. But let's not give Derrida, a Frenchman, the last word (though I belive Bretons are almost Cornish these days). We'll settle for marge.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:23 PM

OK. Someone has to ask. I love Observer's threads. BUT, will someone please tell me what an Ob is?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:29 PM

Peace - depends on how you say it. An ob, or a nob?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: glueman
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:33 PM

Maybe the OP is luring us into Scrabble hell with a Mauritanian anal flute known only to adepts and Giles Brandreth?


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jeri
Date: 13 May 08 - 06:34 PM

An Ob delivers baby. I think the whole word is 'obstatician', but maybe that's just the guy who counts the babies and records what accessories they have.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Tootler
Date: 13 May 08 - 07:02 PM

I think that the situation is covered by Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle; in that the observation of "Observer" making observations about folk music is notablely unreliable, as the negative energy that Observer introduces into what would normally be a neutral subject, tends to make the observation of observer's actual position unreliable. This disregards whatever charge "Observer" hopes to get out of the deal.

I think what you really mean was summed up by those eminent physicists, Michael Flanders and Donald Swann

"Work is heat and heat is work and all the heat in the universe is gonna cooooool down.

Yeh, that's entropy man!"


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 May 08 - 08:50 PM

According to an article I once read, the belief that buttered toast always falls butter side down is an exaggeration. The probability is never 100%, but depends on the value of the surface beneath. Experiments with a toast-flipping machine showed that even with a Persian rug you could only get the probability up to 89%. Efforts to obtain a Gutenberg Bible to better that record were unsuccessful.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 May 08 - 03:36 AM

"If you can name the author/composer of the song, it ain't folk."
Not really - many written songs, particularly by local poets here in Ireland, were taken up and adapted locally, so passing into the tradition.
Two examples local to here spring to mind - Nora Daly (Miltown Malbay Fair) and Farewell To Miltown Malbay, both by Tomás Hayes (1866-1935).
You can't throw a stone here without hitting someone singing A Stór Mo Chroi, which was written by Brian O'Higgins (Brian Na Banban) (1882-1949)
Then you can start on the Irish Language repertoire, which is full of songs with known authors.
Sorry Peace - back to the drawing board. What's wrong with the 1954 definition anyway?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 May 08 - 04:30 AM

An Bunnan Bui (The Yellow Bittern) (Cathal Bui Mac Giolla Gunna b 1680) is a great favourite too, I believe, although it sees to exist in various versions! My favourite was that sung by Paddy Tunney, which I recall goes something like:

Was the break of day but no bittern's horn filled the waking morn with its hollow boom
For I found him prone by the bare flag blown by the lough shore lone where he met his doom
His legs were sunk in the slime and slunk; a hostage held in the fangs of frost
O you of knowledge lament his going; for want of liquor his life was lost

O yellow bird it's my bitter grief I'd as lee or lief that my race was run
No hunger's tooth but a parching drouth that has sapped your youth after all your fun
Far worse to me than the sack of Troy that my darling boy with the frost was slain
O no want nor woe did his wings bestow as he drank the flow of a brown bog drain

Ah degrading vile was the way ye died o my bittern beauteous of glowing sheen
Was at dawn of day that your pipe ye'd play as content ye lay on your hillock green
O my great fatigue and my sorrow sore that your tail is higher than heart or head
And the tipplers say as they pass your way: had he drunk his fill he would not be dead

O bittern bright it's my thousand woes that the rooks and crows are all pleasure bound
With the rats and mice as they cross the ice to indulge in vice at your funeral mound
Had word reached me of your awful plight on the ice I'd smite and the water free
You'd have all the lake your thirst to slake and we'd hold no wake for the Bunnan Bui

O it's not the blackbird that I'm bewailing or thrush assailing the blossom bray
But my bittern yellow that hearty fellow who has my hue and my wilful ways
By the loughshore bank he forever drank and his sorrow sank in the rolling wave
Come sun or rain every drop I'll drain for the cellar's empty beyond the grave


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: GUEST,freda people
Date: 14 May 08 - 04:42 AM

Folk Music comprises that which is felt, perceived and held together by a tradition, dogma or identifiable pattern, recognised as evoking understanding, raising awareness or challeging preconceptions of a social, perceptual or historic nature through musical method. While it may be deemed subjective by some, its capacity to speak to the mass consciousness demonstrates that it is in fact an objective medium which has demonstrated its own historical relevance and integrity.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 May 08 - 07:52 AM

Some fifteen years or so back, I was fortunate to meet with a octogenarian singer and ex-miner who'd lived all his life in the Durham Coalfield. He was highly entertaining on various subjects, and told me all about the cigar-box fiddles they used to make & play in 4 part harmony. However, when I asked him about Folk Songs, he didn't know what I was talking about. I sang him snatches of The Collier's Rant and The Blackleg Miner but he'd never heard of them, nor of anything like them, which gave me significant pause for thought. Of course this is just one person, but one steeped in over 80 years of mining history & culture, active socially and politically throughout, so when one hears of Ewan McColl & Bert Lloyd giving concerts of folk songs in the WMC at Tow Law to the baffled locals, one begins to suspect that all is not as it first appears!

To quote WalkaboutsVerse on the Chords in Folk thread: Traditions exist due to folks being impressed by how their forebears did things, a notion which would at least have the appearance of plausibility about it. However the caveat must be that traditions only exist in the imaginations of the impressed, and that their forebears (or more likely not their forebears at all...) had no concept of tradition as we understand it today, much less The Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 14 May 08 - 08:25 AM

I'd like to hear something from that cigar-box-fiddle genre, Sedayne - it may be a good one for the likes of yourself to resurrect...I never said that what we now term "English traditional folk music" was the only genre I've ever enjoyed.


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: mattkeen
Date: 14 May 08 - 08:31 AM

QUOTE: Guest, freda people

"Folk Music comprises that which is felt, perceived and held together by a tradition, dogma or identifiable pattern, recognised as evoking understanding, raising awareness or challeging preconceptions of a social, perceptual or historic nature through musical method. While it may be deemed subjective by some, its capacity to speak to the mass consciousness demonstrates that it is in fact an objective medium which has demonstrated its own historical relevance and integrity."


Oh thats nice a snappy then


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Subject: RE: Folk vs Folk
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 May 08 - 08:51 AM

Makes perfect sense to me, although I'm not so sure about its capacity to speak to the mass consciousness, nor yet its historical relevance and integrity, but otherwise...

These old cigar-box fiddles turn up in junk shops all the time, single string, long necks, very often fretted, at least marked, obviously played la gamba style. As for a revival, I'd have to find three other like-minded souls to participate!


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