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Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club

autoharpbob 30 Jan 10 - 07:25 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jan 10 - 07:38 AM
manitas_at_work 30 Jan 10 - 07:43 AM
The Borchester Echo 30 Jan 10 - 07:45 AM
LesB 30 Jan 10 - 07:45 AM
Acorn4 30 Jan 10 - 07:57 AM
Tug the Cox 30 Jan 10 - 08:02 AM
Will Fly 30 Jan 10 - 08:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jan 10 - 08:36 AM
Spleen Cringe 30 Jan 10 - 08:43 AM
Amergin 30 Jan 10 - 08:52 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jan 10 - 08:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jan 10 - 09:01 AM
Paul Burke 30 Jan 10 - 09:07 AM
TheSnail 30 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM
The Borchester Echo 30 Jan 10 - 09:21 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Jan 10 - 09:40 AM
autoharpbob 30 Jan 10 - 09:45 AM
Acorn4 30 Jan 10 - 09:45 AM
glueman 30 Jan 10 - 09:46 AM
BobKnight 30 Jan 10 - 10:00 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jan 10 - 10:12 AM
MikeL2 30 Jan 10 - 10:29 AM
TheSnail 30 Jan 10 - 10:49 AM
VirginiaTam 30 Jan 10 - 11:03 AM
autoharpbob 30 Jan 10 - 11:05 AM
autoharpbob 30 Jan 10 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,Gordon T 30 Jan 10 - 11:12 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jan 10 - 11:14 AM
PoppaGator 30 Jan 10 - 11:22 AM
autoharpbob 30 Jan 10 - 11:29 AM
autoharpbob 30 Jan 10 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Jan 10 - 11:38 AM
VirginiaTam 30 Jan 10 - 11:54 AM
Ebbie 30 Jan 10 - 11:55 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Jan 10 - 12:01 PM
Ian Burdon 30 Jan 10 - 12:11 PM
Doug Chadwick 30 Jan 10 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Jan 10 - 12:21 PM
Steve Lane 30 Jan 10 - 12:43 PM
Bert 30 Jan 10 - 12:51 PM
Tug the Cox 30 Jan 10 - 12:59 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Jan 10 - 01:01 PM
Mavis Enderby 30 Jan 10 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Jan 10 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,AndyC 30 Jan 10 - 01:57 PM
Paul Burke 30 Jan 10 - 02:01 PM
Bonzo3legs 30 Jan 10 - 02:04 PM
Marje 30 Jan 10 - 02:09 PM
MikeL2 30 Jan 10 - 02:16 PM
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Subject: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: autoharpbob
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:25 AM

I am fairly new to Folk club singing in the UK, only about three years. But I am finding, through painful experience, that there are some songs that are apparently on a "banned" list? I don't mean the occasional pop song or country song or heavy metal - these seem to be fine with most clubs. I mean that there seems to be a list of songs that clubs have decided have been done to death, and when I start singing them I just get sighs and moans and maybe polite applause at the end. In the hope of avoiding this reaction in future, could anyone add to the list I am compiling of these songs. Here are the ones I have discovered so far:

Fields of Athenry
Botany Bay
Wild Rover
Tom Lehrers Irish ballad - added that one last night!
Where have all the flowers gone - unless Pete Seeger has just died

I am sure there are others!


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:38 AM

This will run and run but will probably be taken too seriously then break out into warfare around post 20.

Welcome to the Hotel California?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:43 AM

REally LTS on the sofa...

You pretty much covered the tabus there... most of them have been done to death in recent years although there are still places that sing them... I don't think they've all quite reached Pitcairn Island yet.... :D

The best thing is to just play by ear, as you would in trying not to sing a 'regular's' song...discrete questioning of the host before the evening starts helps, or just attending for a few weeks before you perform, to get the lay of the land as it were.


You could try jiggling the arrangement/tune so the average punter doesn't quite recognise it - in the way of lift muzak where you know the tune but can't quite place it.... but better - that often works.

Good luck with it!

Oh, and avoid 'The Green fields of France (Willy McBride) unless it is actually Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:45 AM

Jackie Oates' rendition of WHATFG, a New Year gift to all her Facebook friends, sounds gloriously fresh and new, a prerequisite for anyone with thoughts of putting out yet another version of some old chestnut. But what is even more appalling, tedious and ill-mannered than trotting out yet another hackeyed copy of the like of what is listed above are those floor singers who upstage the booked guest by decimating the setlist by selfishly and unthinkingly knocking off their best-known numbers lifted directly from said guest's recordings.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: LesB
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:45 AM

I agree, a lot of songs have 'the groan factor'. I find that is sometimes works giving them a 'different' treatment. ie:- slowing them down, varying the accompanyment. Mind you no matter how it's done I still groan when I hear 'The Fields of Athenry'.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:57 AM

I think the deciding factor if you are thinking of doing one of those songs is "can I value add to it?" - people will groan if it's just like a million and one arrangements - an American singer called Trtavis Tritt (good singer, stupid name!0 got the idea of doing "I Walk the Line" as a slow ballad and this was a revelation when I first heard it - I've heard some of your autoharp arrangements, Bob, and they always seem fresh so I would imagine you could breathe life into these old standards.

The Anchor Bar at Sidmouth introduced a £10 fine for singing "Wild Rover" (donated to charity)

When I went to a club near Nottingham someone introduced me to the "S.O.S songbook (Same Old S***e).


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 08:02 AM

If you liked any of them when you first heard them.......they haven't changed, so what has? Find out, and perhaps protest about it, but leave the songs alone.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 08:10 AM

Interesting, eh? What (for example) would happen to "The Wild Rover" if it was never sung for the next, say, 10 years? Would it arise afresh to be sung regularly all over again?

Just because a song is popular and performed ad nauseam in clubs and singarounds doesn't make it a worthless or awful song. I can understand that to include such a song in one's repertoire may not be a wise choice if everyone else sings it constantly, but that doesn't change the nature of the song.

And, d'ye know, I can't recall the last time I heard "The Fields Of Athenry"...


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 08:36 AM

Who was it who said you cannot do any permanent damage to a song by singing it?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 08:43 AM

And, d'ye know, I can't recall the last time I heard "The Fields Of Athenry"

You're so lucky!

I could also happily live my life never having to sit through "A Mon Like Thee" or any similarly "jaunty" northern ditties again... or most "stirring" rebel songs.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Amergin
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 08:52 AM

The Dropkick Murphys do the only version of Fields of Athenry that I can stand....every other version sounds horribly maudlin.

However I can imagine certain songs like The Sniper's Promise would piss off a few folks....


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 08:57 AM

You shouldn't sing any song you are uncomfortable with - as you obviously are with these, but in the end, the choice has to be the singers.
There are excellent versions of Botany Bay if you are not happy with the usual one.
The version of The Wild Rover usually heard in the clubs is the one kicked to death by The Clancys, Dubliners... et al - have a look at Mary Anne Carolan/Pat Usher's version (if you can find it), beats most popular songs in the club repertoire and hardly ever heard.
Fields of Athenry - there are far better songs for telling the Brits what a balls-up they've made in Ireland - try The Row In The Town!!!
Where have all the flowers gone - hackneyed, maybe, but inoffensive.
"pop song or country song or heavy metal - these seem to be fine with most clubs."
Confirms my worst fears - are things really that bad over there? If shit like this is acceptable in folk clubs, Tom Lehrer's Irish Ballad should be at the top of your list - at least it has humour and imagination.
There should NEVER be a 'banned list' of folk songs in folk clubs, if the repertoir works for you sing it, and when the village idiots start popping their cheeks during 'Larks', tell them to piss off.
Jim Carroll.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:01 AM

If the posts on Mudcat, in a general sense, are anything to go by I cannot imagine any situation where'folk songs' are sung where someone will be somewhere between a bit bored and a bit suicidal when someone sings something or other.

We grit our teeth, drink our beer and swear to sing something that more people will enjoy. Sometimes we manage this and sometimes we don't.

Let s/he who is without sin sing a song that nobody will be bored by.

Best wishes

L in C


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:07 AM

The Holmfirth National Anthem is bordering on sung-out, and Jack Campin told us about the Scots ballad festival that banned Jock o' Hazeldene.

BTW if Mr Happy drops in, I've just discovered the right-click spell check in Firefox- the Holmium Anthem sounds interesting, while Jock o' Hazelnut sounds like an aborted Cadbury's advert.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM

Jim Carroll.

"pop song or country song or heavy metal - these seem to be fine with most clubs."
Confirms my worst fears - are things really that bad over there?


No.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:21 AM

I can't remember when I last heard Jock O' Hazeldean but it was most likely by Dick Gaughan in about 1975. It's one of those songs that is very difficult to do badly, with a manageable range of not much more than an octave which surely most can manage, provided that they have rehearsed and established what key to pitch it in. Might sound obvious, but it's amazing how many don't even take these basic requirements into consideration before inflicting the results of not doing so on their captive audience.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:40 AM

"The Holmfirth National Anthem is bordering on sung-out"

Depends on where you are. In context (such as at The Blue Ball at Worrall during Sheffield Carols, or pretty much anywhere Will Noble wants to sing it), it's fab.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: autoharpbob
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:45 AM

Some interesting points, thanks. I have sung all the songs in my list, at different times, because I do enjoy them, and as Acorn4 said, its a fair bet that the people in the club had at least never heard them with autoharp accompaniment, so in that sense they were fresh. I sang them also because I had never heard them before in the clubs. It wasn't till I had finished them that various comments and reactions made me realise why I hadn't heard them. Then later I heard the parodies - a really funny one on FoA, and another on Wild Rover - and I finally worked out that if people were parodying these songs they really must be sick of them. But then last night I heard a parody of Eric Bogles "Now I'm Easy" and I still think thats a beautiful song. Tom Lehrer's Irish Ballad was really interesting last night. I was only introduced to this song about two months ago, so it was new to me. When I sang it, I could see a really clear division in the audience. Those who had heard it a million times put their heads in their hands and half-heartedly joined in the refrains. Those who had never heard it laughed out loud! My point was though, are there any others that I should avoid?

Of course any song can be sung if it is appropriate. Last night someone sang "Blowing in the wind" which I would think might be another on the List, but he dedicated it to Tony Blair - "How many deaths does it take till you know that too many people have died?"


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:45 AM

"Ride On " is another hard to mess up completely with a range of four notes, but, on the other hand it's hard to better the Christy Moore Version and EVERYBODY seems to do it.

Personally I always switch off in those "the first to come in was a..." songs -they all end up sounding like "Ten Green Bottles" - think I've said my two pennuth on this thread, and and someone said earlier the "Handbags at 50 paces" will start soon!


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: glueman
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:46 AM

Anything covered by a folk-rock group, anything covered by the Pogues, anything covered by a New Generation Folk artist, anything you've heard sung in a folk club, anything you've heard.

Still leaves plenty to go at.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: BobKnight
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:00 AM

I've been going to Aberdeen Folk Club for about 5 years, and never heard anyone sing The Fields Of Athenry, Wild Rover, Willie McBride.

What really pisses ME of is when people sing things like "Summertime," from Porgy and Bess, or songs from musicals.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:12 AM

Holmfirth National Anthem - have I missed something - did they declare UDI when we weren't looking?
"pop song or country song or heavy metal - these seem to be fine with most clubs."
"Confirms my worst fears - are things really that bad over there?"
"No."
The evidence on the ground appears to indicate the contrary in the rest of the country Bryan or is our o.p making it up as well?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: MikeL2
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:29 AM

Hi

I must attend similar clubs to Will. I haven't heard the Fields of Athenry for yonks.

I do hear the occasional version of Mon Like Thee....but though I don't really rate the song, when it comes up, most of the audiences appear to like it. I guess it depends on the type of area that the club resides and the particular slant of the music at that venue.

I am surprised to hear that floor singers deliberately choose a guest artist's material without asking anyone.

Although I don't perform much these days when I was around I found that prospective singers knew most of the guests and their material and deliberately avoided doing it.

When I was guesting some did ask if I minded if they perforrmed something that they had heard me do. I usually managed to work around these. On a couple of occasions I agreed with the singer to call him/her out and we would do the song as a duet.

Songs I would avoid - most Irish Traditional songs - not because I don't like them but because I am not Irish and never felt that I could do them justice.

I agree with others who have advised that if you really enjoy singing a song then you should continue - maybe try to add something to the standard version - or change the song in subtle ways to provide a different sound.

Finally I have found that the worst people for "switching off" and making noise when repititious songs are sung are the very people who should be giving most attention - yes the so called Traditionalists.

Floor singers should be encouraged not only out of courtesy but for the well being of the continuation of the folk club traditions for being understanding and tolerant.

Cheers

Mike - putting soapbox away....lol


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: TheSnail
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:49 AM

Jim Carroll

The evidence on the ground appears to indicate the contrary in the rest of the country Bryan or is our o.p making it up as well?

autoharpbob

I am fairly new to Folk club singing in the UK, only about three years.

Bob must have had a busy three years if he's picked up more knowledge about the rest of the country than I have in about forty.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:03 AM

I could do without hearing these again

Goodnight Irene

Cockles and Mussles

Halleluia - except parodies of it


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: autoharpbob
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:05 AM

Jim, you quoted me but missed off the most important word - "Occasional". And personally I have no objection to "Summertime" - I know one club where a lady with a beautiful voice does the song justice, and that's all I ask.

I too have been in several clubs where the artist doing a feature spot has been seen frantically crossing songs off the set list they came with as they are knocked off by the floor spots! Not been in that situation yet as my repertoire is heavy on Old Time and Carter Family - not often heard over here. But there are some songs that I would like to do, but a "star" performer in the clubs I go to is known to sing these often, so I do chck to see if they planned to do that when I was there. And believe it or not I was booked as a support to AJ Clarke one night in Aug - but he has had to cancel - I was not planning on singing "Gloria" that night!


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: autoharpbob
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:07 AM

Virginia, I agree about Hallelujah - which is a real shame! If that Burke hadn't made it unsingable, it was a great song! And it does sound good on the autoharp!


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: GUEST,Gordon T
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:12 AM

As it happens,Brian Peters and myself sang the Wild Rover last night at Saxmundham folk club (it was his idea!).We were the booked guests and we travelled over 500 miles to do so ( we did a few other songs as well).Not the usual version of course - we did an english version (its not really an irish song anyway).
Some of the other suggestions,yes,I agree with.I feel myself slipping into the slough of despond when I hear the opening lines of Willie MacBride or The Green Fields Of France - interminable, and we know the story doesnt end well.Ride On, again seems to go on forever,although in this case no-one has a clue what its about.But they were all good songs once.
Maybe bringing life back into them is the ultimate singing challenge.Usually, singing one of these songs simply indicates a lack of imagination - but if you really want to sing the song, and love it and do it in your own way, then you may bring something fresh to it, and I would say - do it anyway.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:14 AM

Bob - occasional is far too often as far as I'm concerned.
Summertime is a beautiful song - but in a folk club????
It worked wonderfully in Porgy and Bess though.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:22 AM

No mention of "Kumbayah"? That would be top of the done-to-death list in the US ~ not in the UK?

(Actually, the informal ban on it has been in force for so long that there may be a whole new generation who would find it fresh and new...but I don't think so.)

Another sign of my ignorance as an across-the-pond outsider: I have no idea which song called "Hallelujah" causes such offense: "Hallalujah I'm a Bum"? "Glory Glory Hallelujah Since I Laid My Burden Down"? I hope it's neither of those, 'cause I like' em both...


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: autoharpbob
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:29 AM

The "Hallelujah" written and sung by Leonard Cohen - a song of majesty, mystery and beauty. A reasonable version by Tim Rice had some success a couple of years ago, it was then murdered by the winner of X Factor 2008. RIP.

Never heard "Kumbayah" sung over here - in my limited experience. Maybe it is time?


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: autoharpbob
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:32 AM

Sorry - that should have been Damien Rice, of course, not Tim!


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:38 AM

I'm all for "Summertime", and it has a long tradition of being performed in folk clubs. I recall being at the Leeds University Folk event back in 1967 when somebody introduced "Summertime" as, "that beautiful old song written by Cole Porter". At that time, I was heavily into George Gershwin, and in a moment of madness shouted out, "Gershwin!". I still feel embrassed over that incident. The last time I recall hearing in a folk club was when Carolyn Hester sang her amazing version at the Maghull Folk Club, Liverpool ten years or so ago.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:54 AM

Wondering if I should ever sing Summertime again now. I know a wonderful fiddle player who wants to accompany me singing it, so I must not be too terrible.

My version is deep and bluesy, not high and throaty.

If Summertime is frowned upon, what of actual blues songs? I am doing more blues and American folk and less English Trad (what I cut my folk teeth on). As an American in the UK, I did sometimes feel quite shy about singing the trad stuff. Like... it is not appropriate for me to sing.

Feel better about some things, now I have heard early American folk performances of English and Scottsh trad. Thank you Odetta.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 11:55 AM

I'm in the US and I expect our list of tired old songs is different. The ones I tend to go for a cuppa tea on are those like I Saw the Light, I'll Fly Away, Paddy's Note (or whatever it's called) and Rivers of Texas. Oh, and yes, Where Have all the Flowers Gone.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:01 PM

and in a moment of madness shouted out, "Gershwin!". I still feel embarrassed over that incident. ===

Why? What was mad or embarrassing about setting right someone who had committed an inaccuracy? Accuracy Matters - & you were performing a valuable service. I would have done the same. [Mind you, on another forum-website that I contribute to, another regular has commented that "MtheGM's pedantry is legendary". I am not sure that she intended a compliment; but I have taken it as one.]


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:11 PM

"I can't remember when I last heard Jock O' Hazeldean but it was most likely by Dick Gaughan in about 1975."

The last time I heard Jock O' Hazledean was a couple of years ago downstairs in the Royal Oak in Edinburgh. The barmaid was listening intently and when the Lady avoids her wedding and runs off with Jock, the barmaid sniffed and loudly declared with finality "the tart!".


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:16 PM

agree about Hallelujah ..........If that Burke hadn't made it unsingable

For me it was NEVER a good song, sung by anyone!

I still like the Wild Rover though.

DC


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:21 PM

Thinking about songs "from the shows", I think it would be the style of singing that might put me off. I remember years ago, hearing a chap in a folk club singing " Hard Times( come again no more)" (which isn't from a show, I realise) in a Howard Keel type voice and I felt - maybe irrationally -that that type of vocal delivery didn't sit well in folk club.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Steve Lane
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:43 PM

I'm not sure it is so much about how hackneyed the songs are but more how good a singer you are. The problem is that many of these songs seem to attract the 'ahem' less able/drunk/unpracticed/ (delete as appropriate) variety of performer.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Bert
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:51 PM

Many beginning performers tend to sing well known songs. They should be encouraged.

But even us old farts sing well known songs from time to time.
I often sing Maggie May, or Seven Dear Old Ladies. I know you've heard them many times before but they are still fun to sing.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:59 PM

Well, I guess that there's two types of people in this thread. those who enjoy music, and those that enoy posing as those who like music. Find it hard to understand why any of then songs mentioned are offensive 'per se'.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 01:01 PM

Summertime is a cert round here in the ropier sessions, along with Fields of Athenry. Also, one of the sessions I go to always has Go Tell it on the Mountain as the big sing-along song. Being American, I feel like I'm back at Girl Scout camp every time it starts. I tried introducing Thousands or More and a couple of other folk club sing-along crowd-pleasers, but no one knew them...


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 01:11 PM

As someone who has sung occasional pop, country and metal songs at folk clubs or gatherings I must be Jim Carroll's worst nightmare. What I've done seems to have gone down OK though, or are people just being polite, and actually inwardly seething that someone has dared to perform "shit like this"?

My advice would be to keep on doing what you are doing Bob, maybe select out some songs if they are repeatedly getting a bad reaction, but base your set list on real life experience, not what you read on a forum!

Pete

PS - I've done Summertime too!


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 01:21 PM

Come to think of it, I heard "Summertime" performed last year at the Bothy Folk Club, Southport, UK. It was done as a harmonica instrumental by one of the club's residents. Very nice!


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: GUEST,AndyC
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 01:57 PM

The best way to get away with doing pop or contemporary songs in a folk club seems to be to not tell the audience what it is before you play it. I remember hearing someone in a very 'trad' club do an Arctic Monkeys song that was actually in the charts at the time, but as the performer kept the song's origins quiet the audience happily applauded the song just on its merits.

Slightly tongue-in-cheek, my suggestions for what you would never get away with in a folk club would be anything that promotes the Ulster Unionist point of view (rather than Irish republicanism) or any song which suggests that the First World War was a justified response to Kaiser Wilheim's aggressive expansionism!

And if you want to divide a folk audience straight down the middle, do a song which either supports or opposes fox hunting....


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 02:01 PM

There's nothing offensive about them, TtC, just overdone. Puff the M... no, better not go there. The Kippers did us all a great favour by making Dido Bendigo all but unsingable.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 02:04 PM

My goodness, some of the posts here highlight the sort of people I would not wish to see at a folk club, who clearly have their own set of rules in their beards and pint mugs.


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: Marje
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 02:09 PM

I'd also be wary of doing any "funny" song if you're not in familiar surroundings. If it happens to be one that's been done regularly by a local singer, it won't be funny to the listeners now, just boring.

I think it's very sensible and sensitive, autoharpbob, to ask this question rather than waste your efforts on a song that's just too familiar and tired to appeal to your audience. The list you have would be valid in most folk clubs; they're not "banned" but probably not very welcome in many places where they've been done to death. I'd add "Streets of London", "Cockles and Mussels", "Leaving of Liverpool" and "She Moved Through the Fair" - none of them bad songs, but all a bit over-exposed in many areas.

Having said that, if you should find yourself in a public bar where singing takes place in the presence of non-folkies, most of the "don't sing" songs are the ones they'll ask for and enjoy most.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Songs you shouldn't sing in UK folk club
From: MikeL2
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 02:16 PM

hi MtheGM

" Why? What was mad or embarrassing about setting right someone who had committed an inaccuracy? Accuracy Matters - & you were performing a valuable service. I would have done the same "

I cannot disagree with you more. OK the guy made a mistake and you knew it....bully for you.

If you had to show your knowledge you should take him on to one side and put him right quietly.

To shout it out in front of an audience is not clever IMHO.

Cheers

Mike


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