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The Folk Process

Related threads:
Folk Process - is it dead? (244)
what is the Folk Process (35)
Steps in the Folk Process (54)
The New Folk Process (youtube link) (19)
What does the term 'folk process' mean? (23)


theleveller 15 Sep 09 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 Sep 09 - 04:49 AM
theleveller 15 Sep 09 - 03:47 AM
GUEST 14 Sep 09 - 05:40 PM
Brian Peters 14 Sep 09 - 05:05 PM
glueman 14 Sep 09 - 04:12 PM
Brian Peters 14 Sep 09 - 04:00 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Sep 09 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Sep 09 - 03:16 PM
glueman 14 Sep 09 - 03:07 PM
Brian Peters 14 Sep 09 - 02:53 PM
theleveller 14 Sep 09 - 02:50 PM
glueman 14 Sep 09 - 01:40 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Sep 09 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Sep 09 - 01:36 PM
The Sandman 14 Sep 09 - 10:01 AM
Stringsinger 14 Sep 09 - 08:43 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 09 - 08:10 AM
theleveller 14 Sep 09 - 07:34 AM
glueman 14 Sep 09 - 07:34 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Sep 09 - 06:31 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 09 - 06:20 AM
glueman 14 Sep 09 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Sep 09 - 05:20 AM
Phil Edwards 14 Sep 09 - 05:02 AM
The Sandman 14 Sep 09 - 04:44 AM
glueman 14 Sep 09 - 04:21 AM
theleveller 14 Sep 09 - 04:15 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 09 - 07:48 AM
The Sandman 13 Sep 09 - 07:24 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 09 - 01:51 PM
Art Thieme 12 Sep 09 - 01:39 PM
glueman 12 Sep 09 - 12:03 PM
The Sandman 12 Sep 09 - 08:00 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Sep 09 - 12:32 AM
Tug the Cox 11 Sep 09 - 07:59 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 09 - 04:33 PM
Art Thieme 11 Sep 09 - 04:27 PM
Goose Gander 11 Sep 09 - 04:19 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 11 Sep 09 - 04:15 PM
The Sandman 11 Sep 09 - 03:35 PM
glueman 11 Sep 09 - 03:04 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 09 - 03:02 PM
glueman 11 Sep 09 - 02:45 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 09 - 02:28 PM
Goose Gander 11 Sep 09 - 02:12 PM
Goose Gander 11 Sep 09 - 02:03 PM
The Sandman 11 Sep 09 - 01:55 PM
glueman 11 Sep 09 - 01:48 PM
glueman 11 Sep 09 - 01:45 PM
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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 07:25 AM

"But experience suggests that people who 'innocently' ask the types of questions that you asked almost always (think that they) 'know' the answers in advance and are really just stirring it."


Well, pardon me. For a minute there I thought that this was a discussion forum and that, as the thread is about The Folk Process, it would be interesting to hear some opinions, but our self-appointed GUEST moderator has decided he/she knows better than us and wants to dictate what Mudcat members can and can't post here, as well as being a mind-reader who can discern our motives without, on his/her own admission, knowing anything about us.

Anyway, back to the subject. Having been talking to a number of singer/songwriters at the weekend, there seemed to be a general consensus that they did, for various reasons, want to be recognised as the authors of their songs rather than have them deemed Trad. or Anon.(as has happened with songs like John Connolly's 'Fiddlers Green). What was interesting, however, was that they often resurrected half-forgotten stories and legends as the subjects for songs that had, I suppose, been through a sort of 'folk process' before the songs were written.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 04:49 AM

Oh, it's not personal, 'theleveller' - how could it be? I don't even know you!

But experience suggests that people who 'innocently' ask the types of questions that you asked almost always (think that they) 'know' the answers in advance and are really just stirring it.

In my opinion a more honest approach would be for people state their opinions in advance rather than to ask 'loaded' questions. And again I would remind you that the answers to your questions are in the public domain and a little digging should produce them. The trouble is that there appears to be a rather vociferous group of people, within the folk community, who don't like those answers. They appear to believe that if they keep on asking the same questions over and over again they will eventually receive different answers which are more acceptable to them and more in line with their preconceptions.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 03:47 AM

Thanks for a genuine answer at last, Brian. I think I would agree with what you're saying. As for defining what folk is - I realised that you're on a hiding to nothing, there.

"Just be happy that people are being moved by your songs."

Oh, I'm more than happy with that. I'm not a professional musician, just someone who loves to write songs abot things that mean something to me. I was just curious to know if people thought that the "folk process", which is what this thread is about, is still happening.

GUEST:Shimrod, will you kindly stop trying to drag me down to your level with your unwarranted personal attacks. The only person who is being dishonest here is you by trying to imply that I have some hidden agenda which is simply not there. Just be a good chap and crawl back under your bridge and let those who are interested in the subject have an intelligent discussion.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 05:40 PM

This is just silly. "This Land is Your Land" was a folk song the first time Woody sang it, as was everything else he ever sang. The requirement that an illiterate hillbilly or drunken Irishman (& those are my roots)sing a song differently than they heard it to make it a folk song makes no sense. Neither does it make sense that some people take offense when you sing a folk song differently than "the right way" when at a jam. Lighten up people, it's not that important, and it's supposed to be for fun.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 05:05 PM

The general health of the music looks better to me now than it has for decades. People like Bellowhead are certainly breaking out of the bubble. But public sterotypes of folk music still generally go along tired old 'Arran-sweater' lines.

'Grumpy' and 'exclusive' are new ones on me. 'Hairy', maybe.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 04:12 PM

"I doubt if it's anything to do with the legendary curmudgeons cited on the other thread. They impinge on the imagination of the populace at large not one iota."

Dunno about that either. I reckon if you asked the average chap or chapess to define what a traditional folk music enthusiast was like, 'grumpy' would score highly. 'Exclusive' and 'hairy' would follow close by.
Modern sensibilities often have an acoustic shaped hole to be filled and folk fits as well as anything. See a Bellowhead gig for the number of young, conventional people listening to English traditional music with very little in the way of song introductions to see how accessible it can be. If the population at large aren't listening it's not the fault of the music, so where does the blame lie?


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 04:00 PM

>> "Like it or not, the folk music world is a small, specialised bubble which impinges only occasionally on the imagination of the populace at large."

I wonder why that might be? <<

Probably because most people aren't comfortable with the sound of it. Folk music - pretty much however it's defined - sounds nothing like the commercial product we're all brought up on.

I doubt if it's anything to do with the legendary curmudgeons cited on the other thread. They impinge on the imagination of the populace at large not one iota.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 03:22 PM

either for reasons of genuine curiosity or faeces-agitation

That reminds me, I finally got round to watching 2 Girls 1 Cup last night and was dismayed that it didn't live up to the folkloric hype which permeates everything from the idle speculation of my mates down the folk club to a recent episode of Family Guy.

Otherwise - genuine curiosity every time, Brian!


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 03:16 PM

"Oh, dear, getting a persecution compex are we?"

No, I'm just a bit pissed off by lazy dishonesty.

"As for being a 'folk fascist' - well, if the hat fits....."

Thought so! Your agenda is revealed just as I predicted.

As for answering your questions, if you were really interested in the answers you could do the research just as well as I can.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 03:07 PM

"Like it or not, the folk music world is a small, specialised bubble which impinges only occasionally on the imagination of the populace at large."

I wonder why that might be?


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 02:53 PM

"So, my questions are: are these songs folk songs and, if not, what are they; will they ever become folk songs; and, if not, why not?"

I'm going to take theleveller's question at face value. First he/she is clearly writing good songs if they can move to tears people from the community they're written about. I sometimes sing Keith Marsden's 'Prospect Providence', which has the same kind of power.

Are they 'folk songs'? Well, a couple of weeks ago someone told me they'd heard a song I wrote twenty years ago being sung in their local singaround. That was mildly flattering but would never lead me to claim 'folk' status for it. If I'd walked into my local pub and found the bar ringing to the sound of my song, belted out by a roomful of people gathered around the old joanna (never mind that I've not heard a pub piano in our part of the world since I was seventeen), then... maybe. If I'd heard it crooned by drunken voices through the open window of a passing coach, then, maybe. One person in one little corner of the folk world...? I don't think so.

Like it or not, the folk music world is a small, specialised bubble which impinges only occasionally on the imagination of the populace at large. I tried to point out on the 'What is the Tradition' thread (which this one is rapidly coming to resemble in all its ill-tempered and often tedious detail) that's the folk scene is a very different beast culturally from the old singing tradition.

There are people who regard processes going on within that section of the folk scene (or revival, or whatever) where participatory singing takes place, as analagous to processes that used to go on in the wider population. If you believe that, and your songs take off within that specialised world, then you might want to call them 'folk songs'.

But why the need? Whether they're 'folk songs' or not is immaterial to their acceptance in any of those 'designated folk environments' that Mr. O'P likes to tell us about. In thirty years I've never found a folk club, festival or pub session (even ones liking to call themselves 'traditional') where there's been an insistence on nothing but 'folk processed', '1954', or 'authentic' material being performed. The traditionalists on this forum make no such demands of singing venues. Those kind of concepts only take the stage when someone - either for reasons of genuine curiosity or faeces-agitation - asks the question 'What is Folk?'

Just be happy that people are being moved by your songs.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 02:50 PM

"I live in hope that you haven't got a 'hidden agenda', 'theleveller' but my experience of this board is that people who ask those sorts of questions already think that they know the answers to them. They are just waiting for those of us who believe that folk is a limited and definable genre to reveal ourselves so that they can then jump up and down shouting 'folk fascist!' or whatever. "

Oh, dear, getting a persecution compex are we? If you have so much experience, why are you a Guest - or maybe a 'troll' would be a better description? And why, if you are so experienced, are you unwilling (or, more likely, unable) to answer my question?

As for being a 'folk fascist' - well, if the hat fits.....


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 01:40 PM

Go on Shimmy reveal yourself, you know you want to!


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 01:39 PM

They are just waiting for those of us who believe that folk is a limited and definable genre

I believe Traditional English Speaking Folk Song & Balladry to be a limited and definable genre (the evidence speaks for itself) just I don't believe it has anything to with 1954 or the folk process.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 01:36 PM

"I was asking a question in the hope that people who appear to know more about the folk process than I do would give me an answer. No hidden agenda, just interested in what people thought."

I live in hope that you haven't got a 'hidden agenda', 'theleveller' but my experience of this board is that people who ask those sorts of questions already think that they know the answers to them. They are just waiting for those of us who believe that folk is a limited and definable genre to reveal ourselves so that they can then jump up and down shouting 'folk fascist!' or whatever.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 10:01 AM

Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Stringsinger - PM
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 06:16 PM

I don't know if I mentioned this before but the biggest detractor of the "folk process"
is the modern copyright law. Performance rights societies try to avoid a public domain
designation for a song because no one can make a buck off of it. A song no longer
becomes part of the possession of the "commons" but becomes an individual's intellectual
"property". This is antithetical to the "folk process".

I have no problem with a song being composed or authored and the creators making money from it but it categorically and specifically not a folk song.

Anonymous and PD are often the determinants of a folk song.

Frank Hamilton
and
Any one of the songs being written today is potential for being part of the "process".

But newly minted, they are not.

Frank Hamilton
so does that mean composers of new songs have to do a BERT,AND PRETEND THEY ARE TRADITIONAL?
Next,any newly minted song does not have that potential,if it is not written in a certain style,that is why some[not all] of Paul Macartneys songs will never be Folk songs because even if they are processed,they will be what they are processed cheese,folksongs have a certain style,and why other newly minted songs willbe folk songs,it is to do with how they are written,and their melodies and uses of certain modes,they have an indelible stamp ,in the same way Jazz ,cannot be jazz without improvisation.
the folk process is only part of the equation.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 08:43 AM

Why can't a folk song grow from any specific source such as a recording or even a print version as did the revival of Barbara Allen? Where it comes from makes no difference as
long as it is a part of the process of change and variation.

If people take it up, preserve it through the ages, and it is common property, not
intellectual property by an individual who derives income from it, then it is a folk song.

Why have these folksongs survived? Because enough people sang 'em, changed 'em
and may have forgotten who wrote 'em.

Any one of the songs being written today is potential for being part of the "process".

But newly minted, they are not.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 08:10 AM

"Like I said Jimbo, if I didn't exist you'd have had to make me up."
Still struggling with your 'Dirty Harry' persona I see, Can't wait for "Make my day succa".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 07:34 AM

"Why are you passing the buck?"

I wasn't aware that I was. I was asking a question in the hope that people who appear to know more about the folk process than I do would give me an answer. No hidden agenda, just interested in what people thought.

Why is it that you can't ask a simple question here without people seeing their arses?


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 07:34 AM

Like I said Jimbo, if I didn't exist you'd have had to make me up. Judging by that cartoon depiction, you just did.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 06:31 AM

by non-specialists in non-specialised contexts.

I can think of no finer example of a specialism than Traditional English Folk Song, nor of any finer specialist than a Traditional Singer of such songs. This always occurred in a highly specialised context, that which we now might think of as The Tradition. The songs are as specialised as any example of a master-craftsman's art, be it a ploughman's perfect furrow, or cartwright's perfect axel, or the brickie's pointing on our Victorian terrace that I was admiring just this morning. It doesn't get any more specialist than that. Similarly the traditional singers were specialists too; master song-makers and song-modifiers, operating in their fluid oral / aural tradition of creative invention and adaptation, shaping the countless masterpieces and their innumerable variations that represent the very finest English Language verse has to offer. This was their medium; creative, dymanic, vital and as determinedly perfectionist as one could ever hope for.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 06:20 AM

"Did the original 'folk' give a smug lecture......"
If you just want to sing the songs, there is nothing in the world stopping you. You aren't averse to giving your own 'smug lectures' until you paint yourself into a corner with them - and then cry 'foul'
I thought you didn't believe in the existance of the 'original folk! - make up thaa mind lad'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 05:33 AM

Did the original 'folk' give a smug lecture before each performance to which the audience gave agreeable little laughs to the well rehearsed jokes and asides and potted histories? Or did they get and and sing it?


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 05:20 AM

"I have performed my song frequently but was amazed when a respected folk musician said that he had listened to someone singing it a couple of days previously and claiming it was a traditional song."

Why were you amazed? We know from threads like this, and others, that some people seem to take great pride in knowing nothing about the songs they sing or listen to - whilst others are very confused about what is, or what is not, a traditional song.

"So, my questions are: are these songs folk songs and, if not, what are they; will they ever become folk songs; and, if not, why not?"

As a song writer and singer you have as much responsibility for providing answers to these questions as anyone else here. Why are you passing the buck?


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 05:02 AM

are these songs folk songs and, if not, what are they; will they ever become folk songs; and, if not, why not

OK, I'll bite. The first one's a standard; the second's a new song which may well become a standard. To become folk songs they'd need to be sung, and learnt, by non-specialists in non-specialised contexts.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 04:44 AM

leveller,in my opinion they are and they do not necessarily have to have been folk processed.
furthermore LITTLE WHITE BULL,will never be a folk song even if it is processed.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 04:21 AM

Lady Glue had family over so my attendance was required away from Meadow Lane GSS, unfortunately. Only a few weeks ago you could get 33/1 for the Pies to win the league and astronomical odds for them to get to the Premier League in successive years.

It's looking a fair bet now.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 04:15 AM

Just got back from a great weekend at the Osmotherley Gathering, where I listened to some superb singer/sonwriters, and there is something that is genuinely puzzling me: is the 'folk process' still going on, and if and when does a modern song become a folk song? Let me cite a couple of examples from personal experience, which are in no way unique to me.

I wrote a song called Beggars' Litany, based on the old couplet "from Hull, Hell and Halifax" etc., the first written version of which goes back to at least the 1630s and is obviously much older than that. It has appeared in a number of songs, not least The Dalesman's Litany. I have performed my song frequently but was amazed when a respected folk musician said that he had listened to someone singing it a couple of days previously and claiming it was a traditional song.

The second example is a song I wrote based on a story told to me by a family acquaintance, who was an old Yorkshire Wolds farmer, about the transition from horses to tractors. I sang this recently in a pub (funnily enough called The Chestnut Horse) in the very area that the song is about. Having finished it, an elderly bloke sat in front turned round, tears streaming down his face, and said that the song had touched him as that was exactly what had happened on his father's farm. This song was fortunate enough to win the songwriting competition at Osmotherley this weekend and one of the comments was that "it is already sounding like a classic".

So, my questions are: are these songs folk songs and, if not, what are they; will they ever become folk songs; and, if not, why not?


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 07:48 AM

Sorry Cap'n, in the middle of painting the bathroom - quick reply; more later.
Walter was present at family sing-songs (harvest and Christmas), but his participation was very slight; he said he song The Dark Eyed Sailor' bucause "nobody else wanted it".
When he returned home after the war the main singers of the family were all dead and, with the help of his mother, he began rebuilding the family repertoire; writing the texts in a notebook and memorising the tunes on the melodeon.
The tunes are extremely interesting as, while they appear to be the standard ones, little differences make them unique to him (Mike Yates wrote an interesting piece on this in Musical Traditions).
Walter's main singing was done in the context of the revival (as, in fact, I believe many of our traditional singers was).
I think I have a written account of Walter's 'collecting' and his introduction to the revival somewhere, which I will be happy to let you have (and/or put up on Mudcat if there is room - it's quite large).
Back to the ******* bathroom, more later,

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 07:24 AM

Walter Pardon, categorised his songs by their style, or used style as a contributory factor as to how he judged them.
he differentiated between Music hall songs and child ballads or trtaditional songs,but he didnt differentiate between the songs on the basis of the folk process oe whether they had been altered by the folk process
Jim please correct me if I am wrong.
now were all or the majority of the songs Walter learned,learned by the folk process,and had they been processed?
if they were it means Walter who was a TRADITIONAL SINGER,didnt categorise his songs solely by whether they had been learned by the folk process,or solely because they had been folk processed.,he took other factors into consideration such as style.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 01:51 PM

Glueman,Notts County won today,did you see the match?


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 01:39 PM

Yes, we ought to stuff all the SMARTARSE war lovers into the ARSENAL! (By way the the Andy Warhol.

Art


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 12:03 PM

Heads up. Aldi are doing a folk processor at only £14.99. 200 year guarantee and traditional settings.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 08:00 AM

Oscar Wilde
"...I like talking to a brick wall- it's the only thing in the world that never contradicts me!"
Ah Oscar,I know the feeling well.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 12:32 AM

One of most influential songs of the Revival was Irish traveller Margaret Barry's wonderful, heartbreaking rendition of She Moved Through The Fair, which everyone, but everyone, was singing in fine traditional style in the late50s-early60s [despite its traditionality being disputed, whatever Wiki sez]. When ultimately asked in an interview [by Karl Dallas if memory serves] where she had learned it - on the road? from parents? from other travellers? - she replied cheerfully, "Oh no, I learned it off a gramophone record by Count John McCormack".

Not the first time I have mentioned this; but I thought it belonged on this thread also


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 07:59 PM

yep, working radish, I meant, of course, protean, though promethean is interesting, as you suggest.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 04:33 PM

Without naming names, I feel moved to quote that firne TRADITIONAL saying ---

viz   N O B O D Y   L O V E S   A   S M A R T A R S E


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 04:27 PM

Well, I see I must change my mind now---after hearing so many tell me what I thought for 50 years is not correct. With that in mind, I feel I am ready to acknowledge that Odetta's hair style is, indeed, a part of the folk process! Anyone not agreeing, just f..k off.

Art


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Goose Gander
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 04:19 PM

"please read my posts,or go somewhere else"

Now, that's a pleasant way to engage in conversation.

I don't see that Little White Bull has been folk-processed. It was in a film, it's a familiar popular song (like Return to Sender) but where is the oral transmission, change over time, etc.?

Again, the idea that commercial products can become folk culture by the process of oral transmission, etc. is NOT a concept that originated with Howard.

Master's of War is popular song written in a folk style. Dylan was at pains to point out that he was not a folksinger, that was a label hung around his neck by people who then accused him of 'betraying' folk when he picked up an electric guitar.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 04:15 PM

I despair of these threads. There seems to be an inability of people to understand the basics of any scientific argument. Logic and balance of proof of points seems to be beyond the grasp of some participants. I normally confine myself to posting tunes and lyrics, but there's a certain morbid fascination in reading this. So without wishing to get drawn into the debate on what is folk/the folk-process/the tradition - all of which seem to be rehashing the same things - here's a few observations on this thread.



I don't intend to check all the references, but as far as Child 61 - Sir Cawline - goes, although Child may give only a single set, my copy of Roud's index lists 13 entries for the song under a three or four titles. I suspect if I bothered to check others in the list of singular entries from Child a similar situation would apply. Having a song once or more than once in folk-collections is not really relevant (I have a friend is has a special interest in songs that have only been collected from a single source). These are snapshots of a particular place at a particular time; nothing more. And with regard to Child, it has already been mentioned that he was interested in ballad text, not folk songs as we would understand them (in any sense of the word).


Quality of songs (and the criterion of quality doesn't matter) is an irrelevance that Dick brings up repeatedly. There is dross in all genres of songs; but being dross doesn't prevent the song being an example of the genre. As a child, on car journeys, my parents sang to me The Birdy Song (Let's all sing like the birdies sing...). I learned it orally and I might sing it to other children, who might pass it on. I might well consider it a folk-song. That doesn't mean it isn't a rubbish song. If there is such a thing as a folk-process, you might expect that over time the dross would be weeded out;people will remember and sing the better songs. But not necessarily - one man's dross may be another's gold nugget. Applying a goodness quality criterion to select songs is no better than the (different) selectiveness that the 19th/20th century collectors have been accused of. All goodness tells you is whether the song is a good folk song or a bad folk song; nothing more. Whether you choose to sing it or not, whether anyone will listen to it or not is a different question. I'm now begging you - Please, please, please stop asking if Masters of War is better than Hitler's Only Got One Ball (or whatever). As far as I can see it, the countless times across these threads noone has disputed that Masters of War is a good song; they've only disputed whether it can be called a folk-song. (And for what it's worth Lloyd would dispute about the commonality of Masters of War with traditional song; IIRC he says at the end of FSE with respect to protest songs something along the lines of protest songs are fairly rare in the English tradition. But that's his opinion and that is something you could debate).


The general point seems to be that Dick (and some others) wants modern written songs to be called folk songs - his post of 03:35 has at the start modern folksongs, which precludes any disputation of their naming; the other side wants modern written songs to be in a different category from what we may recognise as traditional songs (this is the same argument that Lloyd was making in the article cited in a recent thread; in FSE he thought it did a disservice to the modern songs to call them folk-songs - maybe if Bob Dylan hadn't been so strongly associated with folk he would't have been booed so much for refusing to work on Maggie's Farm). In general usage the boat has probably sailed - they are all indiscriminately referred to as folk songs. Personally, I see nothing wrong in distinguishing them in a technical sense; it doesn't stop me singing Masters Of War any more than having them all called folk songs would stop me singing The Lass Of Lochroyal. But noone's changing sides. One side has a set of criteria which has been used in the past to define folk-songs; Dick offers a new set of criteria which would allow him to include modern written songs as folk-songs. No-one is seeing any merit in the others' viewpoint. Save yourselves from the endless name-calling and mudslinging and retire these threads gracefully.



Mick


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 03:35 PM

you miss my point,
modern folksongs are written[in fact all folksongs and broadsheets were composed by someone]Most but notnecessarily all traditional songs have been folk processed.
It does not matter whether LITTLE WHITE BULL was written by Tommy Steele or Jez Lowe,according to Howard songs becomes folk songs if they becomes folk processed ,so logically a modern song is not a folk song unless its been processed,and I am saying that that is a stupid way to determine whether a modern song becomes a folk song,and that there are other additional characteristics that make a song a folk song,please read my posts,or go somewhere else.
Little White Bull according to that logic fits the definition if processed,but Masters of War which has much more in common with Traditional Folk songs,is not a folksong unless its processed,that is just the most utter codswallop I have ever heard,IT TAKES NO ACCOUNT OF STYLE OR CONTENT.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 03:04 PM

And you Jim are very, very grumpy.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 03:02 PM

You really are a defensively unpleasant little scrote - aren't you.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 02:45 PM

Answered many times JC, always the same way, ignoring the reply is the same as not listening. I think you are talking out your fundament, you think I am, inclusivity, fun, anything folkie goes so long as The People enjoy it, smiles, togetherness, youth, kindness, yes bloody kindness, I am your folk nightmare. If I didn't exist you'd have had to invent me.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 02:28 PM

"*Waits for Shimrod to make his 'favourite music' claim.* W
Waits for an answer to his question
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Goose Gander
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 02:12 PM

And how has 'Return to Sender' been folk-processed? It was written by Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell, best known from the singing of Elvis Presley. 'Little White Bull' by Tommy Steele? Don't see the folk-process there, either.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Goose Gander
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 02:03 PM

"ask yourself, why music hall songs the have been assimilated, its because they are compatible with the folk repertoire,because they have quality,not because they have been folk processed"

Absolutely ass-backward, good soldier. They are compatible with the repertoire because they have been folk-processed. The originals generally wear their stage-clothes proudly and are distinct from folk (exceptions for faux-folk productions, with 'country' dialect, etc.)

Howard was merely restating an accepted opinion that is only controversial to to horse-singers and amateur tautologists.

I read as many of the posts here as I care to, anyone who reads ALL the posts here needs an intervention.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:55 PM

no i dont,but I see it as ridiculous to use a definition,that would exclude Recruited Collier or Masters OF War,because they hadnt been folk processed,and yet include Return toSender or Little White Bull because they had been folk processed.
ask yourself, why music hall songs the have been assimilated, its because they are compatible with the folk repertoire,because they have quality,not because they have been folk processed.
lastly it is Howards argument,right here.
Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: Howard Jones - PM
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 03:39 AM

I am one of those who believe it is the crucial factor in identifying a folk song. There are plenty of very good songs which are perfectly compatible with the traditional repertoire, but until they have gone through the "folk process" and developed recognisable variants they cannot be "folk songs".
Micheal Morris read all the posts please


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:48 PM

That's right MM. It's an Illuminati conspiracy to have Puppet on a String accepted in the hallowed walls of the Finger and Tankard.


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Subject: RE: The Folk Process
From: glueman
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:45 PM

*Waits for Shimrod to make his 'favourite music' claim.*


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