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Definition of folk song

Related threads:
What is a Folk Song? (292)
Who Defines 'Folk'???? (287)
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Lighter 15 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 08:54 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 07:56 AM
GUEST 15 Sep 14 - 07:48 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 06:27 PM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 04:40 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 14 - 02:14 PM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 01:35 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 14 - 01:33 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 01:09 PM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 12:16 PM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 12:01 PM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 11:59 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 11:57 AM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 11:22 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 14 - 11:21 AM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 11:12 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 11:08 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 14 - 10:16 AM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 10:06 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 09:50 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 09:11 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 07:44 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 07:08 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 06:55 AM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 04:22 AM
Larry The Radio Guy 11 Sep 14 - 03:50 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 03:05 AM
Larry The Radio Guy 11 Sep 14 - 12:05 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 11:39 PM
Lighter 10 Sep 14 - 07:51 PM
kendall 10 Sep 14 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Seonaid 10 Sep 14 - 07:31 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 04:36 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 10 Sep 14 - 04:30 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 10 Sep 14 - 04:11 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 03:50 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 10 Sep 14 - 02:23 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 01:56 PM
Bounty Hound 10 Sep 14 - 10:05 AM
frogprince 10 Sep 14 - 09:55 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 14 - 04:02 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 03:49 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 03:26 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 14 - 02:40 PM
Bonzo3legs 09 Sep 14 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Derrick 09 Sep 14 - 12:21 PM
The Sandman 09 Sep 14 - 12:18 PM
Musket 09 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM

> no closer to defining

It's been done, if you'll look.

Few seem to care however.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 08:54 AM

I'll look forward to that too Michael :)


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 07:56 AM

John - Have arranged with Ruth to come to Ely on 16 Dec. Much look fwd to meeting you.

≈Michael≈


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 07:48 AM

interesting debate !! but..... no closer to defining what is a folk song then ???


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 06:27 PM

Hi Michael, we're probably running the risk of being accused of hijacking this thread here! Thank you for your kind comments, I'm only just down the road in Bury St Edmunds, and yes, I know Ruth. In fact the 'Hounds' are doing an unplugged set as the December guests at Ely Folk Club, perhaps we might get to meet then?

Jo is indeed a great fiddler, sadly she has recently left the band, (no animosity I hasten to add, and she will still make the odd guest appearance with us) The good news though, is that we've brought in master melodeon man Alex Goldsmith (formerly with Mawkin-Causley)into the band to replace Jo, so onwards and upwards :)

John


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Musket
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 04:40 PM

Get a room


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 02:14 PM

Liked your High Germany + reels track too, John. All good lively traditional folk just like in the good ole times, wot!

So cheer up, me lads, let your ❤❤❤❤❤ never fail...!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 01:35 PM

how do you define an aggressive post?
I think you are seeing aggression where there is not any, my posts are correcting some of your numerous inaccurate statements, what is aggressive about that?meanwhile you have insulted me by suggesting that ruuning a festival for 3 years and running sessions and running folk clubs is not of worth, it is you that needs to get a grip.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 01:33 PM

Many thanks, John. Good, lively work. I like your lady fiddler. I live near Ely, & used to sing with one of the festival organisers, Ruth Bramley, who is a neighbour, whom you probably know. I rather gave up clubs & festivals some years back: haven't so much energy these days. But I liked your videos & will seek out some more. Glad you liked mine.

All best

≈Michael≈


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 01:09 PM

"you make statements about folk clubs yet you visit them rarely,"
Virtually every posting you have made on one of these threads has been aimed directly and has been aggressive and ill mannered
A large majority on the other have been of a similar nature
That is stalking
If you continue with this I will continue to ignore you - get a grip
"Perhaps you should get out more!" heard nothing recently to encourage me to do this and your list does not help.
I stopped going to most clubs when I came out without having heard
anything resembling a folk song - I stuck to the few where I knew I could.
Festivals are no substitute for local clubs - not available to everybody and tend to remove the possibility of involving the local people necessary to ensure that folk song has some sort of future.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 12:16 PM

no aggression, just a statement of fact, thousands attend the festivals i named , please keep up to date.
you make statements about folk clubs yet you visit them rarely, you make statements about folk festivals,yet thousands attend them, what is aggressive? if you say something not accurate, you must not interpret a correction as being aggressive, it is just a correction.
i will carry on correcting any more inaccurate statements made by anybody,that includes you.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 12:01 PM

MGM Lion, just had a quick look, and actually, I've come across your stuff before when looking for things on youtube, Good stuff :)

And as you kindly asked, The band is called The Bounty Hounds, and here's a couple of links for you, Blackleg Miner from our CD launch last year,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO4PrQZgahA

And one of my songs about John Chapman, the peddlar of Swaffham, from Ely Folk Festival a couple of years back,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiNXR6I0GIU

If you like what you hear, you'll find lots on Pete Simmonds youtube channel, put The Bounty Hounds Moira Furnace in the youtube search bar. You'll even some 'fan' videos from various other festivals if you dig around.


John


And Jim, '"have you not noticed thousands flocking to FOLK festivals up and down the country"
No I haven't'
   Perhaps you should get out more!


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Musket
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 11:59 AM

Ah!, you aren't talking about folk music after all! You are talking about a musical style!

You should have said.

Silly.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 11:57 AM

"pleae keep up to date jim Carroll"
If you can't address me without the aggression - don't
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM

thousands attend cambridge, towersey, chippenham, sidmouth, whitby, folk festivals, pleae keep up to date jim Carroll.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 11:22 AM

"You sneer at today's folk "
No - I argue with those who suggest it is folk - no more.
My reference to folk rock refers to the usage of folk song which has been totally stripped of its original function - that of communicating ideas, information and emotions verbally and replacing it with musical accompaniments which are lifted from pop music forms.
I confess freely, I detest the aggressively arrogant attitude displayed by modern pop musicians that music has to be delivered at a level I find unbearable and, I understand, detrimental to the hearing.
The volume at which this music is played, I find both unpleasant and unhealthy.
I find it offensive when it is applied to folk songs.
Sorry and all that - sound pollution is one of mt things.
"have you not noticed thousands flocking to FOLK festivals up and down the country"
No I haven't but I am aware of the many millions who don't.
"You've had several from various posters, including me!"
No I haven't - I don't count "anything that takes place in a folk club", or "anything I care to call folk song" definitions.
Nothing else apart from these
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 11:21 AM

Well, BH/John, my use of the term "cross-purposes" showed that I didn't think the denunciation was just a one-way process. Jim has been pretty denunciatory also, to be sure.

Sorry, but I don't know your actual identity or your work or the name of the group you front, but it sounds very interesting. Anything of yours I could access on YouTube or somewhere? Should be most interested to hear you perform.

Just sing traditional stuff myself. My YouTube channel is still up & running... if of any interest to you, URL is

http://www.youtube.com/user/mgmyer

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 11:12 AM

i have defined folk songs and how new songs imo can possibly become folk songs, what is so funny is that my definition turns out to be very similiar to jims, but because I make it[ the so called dreaded cyber stalker], jim has to say that i have nothing of value to say, the joke is that since i am saying the same thing as him, that make his evaluation of no worth, its reminiscent of alice in wonderland.
so my evaluation was this when new songs get taken up by people who are not folk afficianados or who are not part of the folk revival and the singers assume they are traditional, that is my defintion of a new song possibly becoming a folk song , examples in my experience are dirty old town, fiddlers green, shoals of herring, caledonia.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 11:08 AM

'BH et al seem to be immoderately denouncing him for not accepting their gloss on his interpretation, constantly asserting that he has got to accept their emendations of and extensions to his understanding of the term'

actually MGM Lion, if you look back through this, and the other similar thread, you'll find that the majority of my posts have been questioning things Jim has said, so perhaps it is the other way round?

The difference between us is simple, Jim believes that folk music died when the oral transmission of songs stopped and there can therefore be no new folk music, I believe, based on evidence I see with my own eyes all around me, that the process is alive and well but has changed along with society.

As for 'denouncing' him, Jim has made it perfectly clear in no uncertain terms, that he does not like my favoured 'style' when I am performing (In case you don't know, I front a folk/rock band with a largely traditional based repertoire) and as I've pointed out to him, that is simply a matter of personal taste, but I can tell you that in doing what I do, I'm bringing traditional song to the attention of a much wider audience than the solo unacompanied singer. You'll also note that I have on more than one occasion, acknowledged the debt we all owe to the work of Jim and the like, so who's 'denouncing' who?

John


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 10:16 AM

There seems to me to be a degree of cross-purposes in these exchanges. Jim favours a particular interpretation of the term "folk music". BH et al seem to be immoderately denouncing him for not accepting their gloss on his interpretation, constantly asserting that he has got to accept their emendations of and extensions to his understanding of the term to include elements which he doesn't feel to be part of the discourse to which he is referring.

Why should he? It's simply begging the question to assure him that the meaning has changed [with the implication that for some unspecified reason change=progress], so he'd just better adjust. Why not try to take his points on board, instead of sticking so pertinaciously to their own glosses as being somehow definitive?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Musket
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 10:06 AM

Jim won't go near a festival that doesn't provide protective clothing when folk rock is on? You told me off for referring to old men with their trousers up to their tits with a finger in their ear singing out of tune....

You sneer at today's folk and expect people to treat something that is part of where entertainment got the words and vague idea of tunes from as being superior to that which is actually entertaining to most people?

You are no Philip Larkin. Not everybody can be a poet and librarian at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 09:50 AM

'Unfortunately folk has never become popular enough to bring about such changes
The term simply doesn't have popular usage when applied to song and any changes have been brought about by self-interested groups who either don't know or don't care what the term means when applied to song.'


You are so wrong there Jim, have you not noticed thousands flocking to FOLK festivals up and down the country?

'bring me a new definition and we might be able to discuss it'
You've had several from various posters, including me! but from your responses to my posts, it is clear that you choose not to understand another's point of view. You yourself posted a definition earlier in this thread, which you said you agreed with, only to twist it and add words that were not there and try to change the meaning of what was, when it was pointed out to you that this definition clearly encompassed new music.

Discussion only has a purpose if both parties are prepared to have an open mind! You are absolutely right, YOUR 'constant and unqualified repetition of the same points seems to be getting us nowhere' so I'll leave you alone in your insular little world now whilst your music dies, and I go and enjoy my 'Folk' music!


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 09:11 AM

"Jim, definitions change because of popular usage, ask a linguist"
Yes they do
Unfortunately folk has never become popular enough to bring about such changes
The term simply doesn't have popular usage when applied to song and any changes have been brought about by self-interested groups who either don't know or don't care what the term means when applied to song.
As I have constantly said, bring me a new definition and we might be able to discuss it - constant and unqualified repetition of the same points seems to be getting us nowhere, very, very slowly
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 07:44 AM

Jim, definitions change because of popular usage, ask a linguist.

I'm quite happy to accept that you don't like folk/rock as a musical style, we all have different tastes, but a matter of taste is just that, so what I really fail to understand is why you want the music you've worked to protect to die, surely, whether you like the 'presentation' or not, you should be happy that traditional songs are still being sung? (incidentally, there was lots of traditional unacompanied song in the mix at Swanage last weekend!)

Walter Pardon was very happy to embrace new technology, making recordings and films of his songs, and my understanding was that he was delighted to share his songs, so I suspect you're way off the mark with your last statement. If he walked into a folk club today I'm sure he would be delighted to find people singing his songs and keeping them alive!

John


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 07:08 AM

"'Folk' has moved on from 60 years ago"
The definition has not moved anywhere unless someone has slipped one in when I haven't been looking - there is no existing alternative definition.
What passes for 'folk' in the revival has moved not so much on but away from its roots and the music that I love has all but died exactly because of this.
Sorry - wouldn't go near a folk fesival that puts on folk/rock without protective clothing.
Never found it particularly approachable when it was popular - nowadays it's downright an anachronistic - sort of like the punks who were still hanging around the corner of Kings Road and Royal Square when we left London..
If Walter Pardon were to miraculously turn up at a folk club today he'd find himself locked up in one of these immigration compounds waiting until they could find out where he came from so they could ship him back there
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 06:55 AM

'Why bother - the folkies have naused the scene up so much nowadays that it would be a total waste of time - hard to imagine a legal team willing to take on such an enterprise - proves nothing Bounty.
Proof of how far down the pan folk has desended is to be had from your own list:
"from bluegrass and Americana, traditional song, new songs written in a traditional style, folk/rock etc etc."
All that's missing from your list is heavy metal at one end and Wagner and Mahler at the other to make it a full definition of "music"
Pretty fair evidence that 'Holby City' and 'Lewis' have more to offer than a night at a folk event, I'd say.'


Oh Jim, I've got to take you to task on that one,
firstly, I was not of course expecting a response from Lighter or MGM Lion, but it was to illustrate the point that the definition of 'Folk' has moved on from 60 years ago.
Secondly, do you really not see that if everyone took the same negative view that you express above, the music you have worked so tirelessly to protect and preserve will die. Fortunately, the majority are (from the clear evidence of clubs and festivals) happy to accept a wider definition and as long as there are people performing traditional songs as part of that wider mix then those songs will be preserved.

John


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Musket
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 04:22 AM

So I says to him, I says..

"Stop calling Vivaldi classical music! It's baroque, as per the 1754 definition!"


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 03:50 AM

Thanks Jim,

Actually, during my younger days I took quite an interest in traditional Canadian folk music, having started The Edmonton Folk Club which attempted to present some of that richness, focusing on music of various cultural groups.

I was very familiar with that Edith Fowke book, and loved the "Folk Songs of Ontario" record of songs she had collected....which included the great O.J. Abbott.

But alas.......not being very good at focusing, I went a different route, becoming even more and more eclectic as I aged.

As much as I'd love you as a research assistant for my radio program, my radio program (Musical Therapy) is about the therapeutic aspects of music---and it spans a wide range (including heavy metal and Wagner.Mahler). But a lot of singer-songwriter material, because of it's focus on lyrics.

Folk music, in so much as it brings cultures together and also communicates across cultures, can certainly be therapeutic.

So.......yes.   At some point I think I'd like to do a program on folk/traditional music and therapy.   Any thoughts about that?

(And I love JEan Carignan).

-Larry


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 03:05 AM

"I'm involved in trying to set up a radio station in Canada. "
It seems to me that anybody looking at Canadian Folk Music is fishing in a very rich pool; it really depends on how wide you want to cast your nets.
Not only are there plentiful recorded examples of Canadian national music collected by researchers like Edith Fowke and Helen Creightion, but you have masses of French, Irish and Scots material to draw from.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with collector and researcher, Margaret Bennett a couple of months ago and she gave a talk here on some aspects of the Scots material to be found there; she gave us a copy of one of her recent books containing a CD of one of her singers, Jerome Downey, from Newfoundland.
Edith Fowke's collections include an overview of the entire repertoire, Irish, Scots, French Canadian and native material, surely still available there.
The richness of some of the instrumental music is staggering, with traditional fiddle players like Jean Carignan and the recently deceased Rufus Guinchard.
Some of Edith Fowkes singers, notably O.J. Abbott, are well worth a look-at for singing.
On top of this, of course, you have the French, Scots and Irish language material - the latter still to be found as a singing tradition in the Newfoundland Outports.
As I say, a very rich pool as far as the tradition goes.
I can't speak for the revival side of things, but I know Calgary has an annual Folk Festival - looking at lists of performers, that seems quite heavily U.S, C&W biased - hard to tell from this distance.
It's a bit unfair to say "If it were me working with a radio station", but If it were me.....!
Certainly don't think I would have too much trouble finding material to fill the programmes - without having to leave home, but if you chose to, you have that wonderful source over the border in the Great lakes Area and down the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
Don't suppose you're looking for a research assistant!!!
A good literary guide to Canadian songs is to be found in The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs edited by Edith Fowke, or any of the books she and Helen Creighton produced from their own Collections.
Edith also co-edited a fine collection of American protest songs, with New York singer/songwriter, Joe Glazer.
Bottomless pit"I thought that Barbara Allen (the variants have been studied to death), Scarborough Faire, and Wild Mountain Thyme were traditional. Am I wrong?"
No, you're not though both Scarborough Fair has been faffed about with somewhat by the pop industry - plenty of examples of far superior trad versions to choose from though.
Barbara Allen is the most popular and widely travelled traditional ballad in the English language (200 plus versions in Bronson alone)
Samuel Pepys refered to it as 'old' in the 17th century.
American singer and collector Jean Ritchie used it as a collecting tool for drawing out old songs from the singers:when she was collecting in Ireland in the 1950s.
"I used the song Barbara Allen as a collecting tool because everybody knew it. When I would ask people to sing me some of their old songs they would sometimes sing 'Does Your Mother Come From Ireland', or something about shamrocks.   But if I asked if they knew 'Barbara Allen', immediately they knew exactly what kind of song I was talking about and they would bring out beautiful old things that matched mine; and were variants of the songs that I knew in Kentucky.   It was like coming home".
"Disappointed to find that neither Lighter or MGM Lion have responded to my challenge to fund a test case with trading standards!"
Why bother - the folkies have naused the scene up so much nowadays that it would be a total waste of time - hard to imagine a legal team willing to take on such an enterprise - proves nothing Bounty.
Proof of how far down the pan folk has desended is to be had from your own list:
"from bluegrass and Americana, traditional song, new songs written in a traditional style, folk/rock etc etc."
All that's missing from your list is heavy metal at one end and Wagner and Mahler at the other to make it a full definition of "music"
Pretty fair evidence that 'Holby City' and 'Lewis' have more to offer than a night at a folk event, I'd say.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 11 Sep 14 - 12:05 AM

I thought that Barbara Allen (the variants have been studied to death), Scarborough Faire, and Wild Mountain Thyme were traditional. Am I wrong?


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 11:39 PM

lrry, style wise they may not be folk, but the fact that all of them with the exception of yesterday ad coal miners daughter have in my experience been mistaken by singers[outside of the uk folk revival] as trad, means that they sound like folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 07:51 PM

> we may never have a time again in which a true (i.e., localized) "folk" culture can flourish

Traditional songs and tunes in Britain and America weren't usually very localized. A few were, but these seem to have generated relatively little interest either among the "folk" or the scholars.

> Folk songs and tales are to be cherished because they explain ways in which groups of people understood their world and managed their experiences and expectations.

Popular literature and song does exactly the same thing, even if most of their attitudes are promoted by the mass media - which runs on profits that are eagerly contributed by the entertainment-buying public - who almost invariably get what they want(scary, isn't it?).

If you're suggesting that folk music and lore should be valued primarily for their historical interest, few would object. Unfortunately, as this thread shows, many would deride.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: kendall
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 07:38 PM

I didn't mean to "Drop a clod in the churn" but, maybe I did. I guess I was a bit perverse.

It's all opinion, and one is no better or worse than another.
My own opinion is simple. Folk music is traditionally acoustic, and handed down from years ago.It's about lyrics, not hot licks.
Lord Randall is one. Then, in recent years, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald will certainly be a real folk song. In my opinion, it is now.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: GUEST,Seonaid
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 07:31 PM

And then there's the definition Garrison Keillor uses --
"A folk song is one you learned from someone else, and remember the words to, mostly."

Folk songs and tales are to be cherished because they explain ways in which groups of people understood their world and managed their experiences and expectations. What with modern media saturation, we may never have a time again in which a true (i.e., localized) "folk" culture can flourish. But we can still enjoy, and learn from, the existing treasure troves.

BTW, to the list up there, I'd add:
Lullabies
Spirituals
Nonsense songs


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 04:36 PM

"So the question would be, for what purpose are we wanting to define 'folk song." because we have nothing better to do.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 04:30 PM

I realize I sort of 'hi-jacked' this thread by introducing my own agenda; for that I apologize. I'll go back to the original thread "CRTC Category of 'Folk or Folk Oriented'" and bring it back at some point.

So let me say something I hope is more relevant to this thread.

It seems to me that any definition really does depend upon it's function.   So "folk" from a collectors need---where a fairly strict definition of folk needs to apply, may be different from a 'folk club' organizer (who may accept any kind of 'acoustic' music), which may be different from somebody who is learning certain songs, etc.

The PRinceton Traditional Music Festival, which I've been to a few times, doesn't even use the word 'folk'......but they are fairly clear about their definition of 'tradtional music', and it doesn't generally include modern folk....yet a couple years ago I heard a traditional group do a great rendition of a Kinks song.

So the question would be, for what purpose are we wanting to define 'folk song'.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 04:11 PM

Good Soldier Schweik: Some of those are clearly folk. OThers are pretty clearly 'folk oriented'.   Only "YEsterday" and possibly Coalminer's Daughter (C&W) would be classified as pop or country. (although a few I'm not familiar with...such as Jez Lowe's songs).

Do you agree?


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 03:50 PM

,larry.
scarborough fair, dirty old town,the town i loved so well, wild rover,coalminers daughter,dark as the dungeon,kilgarry mountains, all around my hat, first time ever i saw your face,good night irene,all of jez lowes songs..fiddlers green,little red rooster,yesterday,wild mountain thyme , rare ould times,fields of athenry,barbara allen, caledonia


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 02:23 PM

Interestingly, I find the definition of 'folk song' a lot more clear than the definition of most musical 'genres' such as jazz, rock, 'world music', and even classical. Of course there is always overlap.

I think that Jim Carroll has done a lot on this thread to throw clarity on the term and I value that.

I don't really put incredible energy into defining musical 'genres' (although I do think it's important to be clear about the folk process that makes a song into a folk song).

My dilemma (I once started a thread on this but it didn't go anywhere---maybe I should bring it back) is more of a practical one.

I'm involved in trying to set up a radio station in Canada. And one of the requirements of the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) is to have a certain %age of songs that are Canadian content.   For what they call "Category 2"...which is pop, rock, C&W, easy listening, etc. it has to be 35%. For category 3 it is only 12%.   Category 3 includes something called "Folk or Folk Oriented".   A lot of what I play spans the line between pop/rock, country, and 'folk oriented'. I'd like to be able to claim it's 'folk oriented' so I only need 12% Canadian content.

Are you with me?

So my question than becomes, what is 'folk oriented'. The only assistance I can get is that if the majority of people think of it as folk or folk oriented, then I can get away with calling it that.

So I'd love to hear what people in Mudcat classify as folk oriented.

I have no problem defining what I would definitely call 'folk'.

If I started a new thread and say, listed about 100 songs that span that boundary between pop and so-called 'folk', how many of you who have contributed to this thread would feel any energy in checking off which ones you would place in the category of 'folk oriented'.....again, knowing that CRTC is NOT providing any kind of definition.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 01:56 PM

the facts are there, for everyone to see, Jim Carroll continually insults people who disagree with him.
here is an example of a contribution to this thread that is not apersonal attack or personally insulting.Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:10 AM

jim, there is no vendetta, i have respect for your collecting activities, i am trying to point out the foolishness of insulting other members and how it undermines the occasions when you have something of value to say.
in my opinion, folk song can be defined when new songs get taken up by the public who are outside of the uk folk revival,and assumed to be trad, examples in ireland are dirty old town, caledonia, song for ireland, fiddlers green, these songs have been taken up by members of the public who are not aware of folk clubs , or the 1954 definition, this does not mean that these songs are not also sung in folk clubs, but in my opinion it is when they capture the minds of the "folk", who are not folk song afficianados


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 10:05 AM

I've just come back from a weekend at Swanage FOLK festival, where I've observed a large number of people enjoying 'folk' music of a wide variety of styles, from bluegrass and Americana, traditional song, new songs written in a traditional style, folk/rock etc etc.

Disappointed to find that neither Lighter or MGM Lion have responded to my challenge to fund a test case with trading standards!


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: frogprince
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 09:55 AM

Y'know...
Long ago I knew two preacher who argued for years over whether Jesus was not able to sin, or able to not sin.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 04:02 AM

I have had enough of this
Every posting you have made to this thread has been aimed directly at me and most of them have been a personal attack, personally insulting - exactly what you accuse me of doing.
You have contributed noting to the topic under this discussion, but have made this and the other one a part of your obsessive vendetta.
It will stop now - if it doesn't I will ask one of the adjudicators to order you to stop.
I'm far too old to cope with a cyber-stalker.
You have been far nastier on one thread than mot people could possibly have been in a whole lifetime.
Take you unpleasantness and peronal attacks elsewhere - if you have anything to say on the subject, please do so, but do not address them to me
I'll post this up on both threads
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 03:49 AM

herE you are insulting Keith A,[ for my part whether i agree with Keith or not i do noty respons with childish unpleasant insults.Jim Carroll, I meant you,and here is the evidence, to the Snail, "you arrogant little prat". and another
Subject: RE: BS: BDS of Israel 'Gathering Weight.'
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 03 Mar 14 - 04:57 AM

"I ignore nothing as you know, Jim, & deplore Israel's actions as much as you."
Yes - we know you don't like olive trees being cut down - which is about as serious an accusation as you have ever made of Israel.
You have allowed Keith the moron to make your case for you and leapt to his defence whenever he got into trouble
On occasion you have resorted suggesting that those of us who feel strongly about Israel's behaviour as anti-Semites and "Jew-baiters"
You are as sad a case as he is a disgusting one
Jim Carroll Subject: RE: BS: BDS of Israel 'Gathering Weight.'
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 07:47 AM

The Jerusalem Post - my apologies?
The film must have been a load of shit in that case.
All the points in the German paper were fully covered by the film itself
The film was not about Palestine - it was about the effects of an apartheid ethnic cleansing policy has on ordinary human beings.
One of the most telling moments was the mistrust shown towards Palestinian politicians who muscled in on the press interviews.
You can dredge up any dissenting reviews you wish - the film said it all
It is a superbly honest film and has been recognised as such with world-wide acclaim

"5 Broken Cameras" has been screened at a number of film festivals and won the award for best Israeli documentary at the 2012 Jerusalem Film Festival. It also took the prize for best documentary directing in the World Cinema category at the Sundance Film Festival.
It was nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary feature category this year, but lost to "Searching for Sugarman.""
Take your ethnic cleansing apologisms elsewhere you deplorable toe-rag.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 14 - 03:26 AM

jim, the fact that you continually insult other members when they disagree with you is every members business, apart from Bryan you regularly insult KEITH A.
"Mind your own business - unless Bryan has P.Md you asking you to stick up on his behalf - mind your own business - we really do have nothing to say to each other.
Jim Carroll"
The quote from your post illustrates that it is you that is attempting to tell me what to do"mind your own business".
next,you insult me and my work here
"I don't agree with Brian, sometimes over-enthusiastically, but I respect both his work for folk music and his opinions, otherwise I would ignore him as I am trying to do you, who has none of those qualities."
so the fact that i have organised a folk festival for 3 years, organised folk clubs, performed and been booked regularly at folk clubs[ in the case of Stockton Folk club 25 times in 50 years] and folk festivals is not deserving of respect and means I do not have similiar qualities as BRYAN who organises a folk club in Lewes, all i can say is this is yet another illogical and rude statement from your good self?.
Jim, please l


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Sep 14 - 02:40 PM

"He says he doesn't really care what other people think "
No such thing - I said "What opinions a small group of folkies hold of what I do and think really doesn't interest me in the long run" - Anybody willing to criticise my woek with a view to improving it iterests me very much - that is not happening here - your suggestion that I should agree to differ and by implication, go away, doesn't interest me in the slightest other than to disturb me on a forum where we are supposed to be able to discuss these things.
"think respecting that someone has a different opinion is selling out."
Please don't misrepresent what I said, accidentally or otherwise.
I undertook to record songs from source singers using the argument that if they weren't recorded they would die out when the singers died.
That has nothing whatever to do with my shutting up for the sake of peace and quiet, which is what I would be doing and is what you suggested I do.
"my quote is not attempting to stop you speaking freely"
"evolution to change in the use of language"
Such cange needs far more than a small pressure group attempting to bring about a chand in order to take over a seat already occupied.
"go off and collect butterflies"
You are probably the most arrogant, ill mannered and self-promoting individual on this forum - you have no compunction in insulting people and have on many occasions
Kindly mind your own business and do not to tell me how to talk to people - especially somebody who has no compunction in insulting me, and has done in the past.
I don't agree with Brian, sometimes over-enthusiastically, but I respect both his work for folk music and his opinions, otherwise I would ignore him as I am trying to do you, who has none of those qualities.   
Mind your own business - unless Bryan has P.Md you asking you to stick up on his behalf - mind your own business - we really do have nothing to say to each other.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 09 Sep 14 - 01:34 PM

One sung by the Full English.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 09 Sep 14 - 12:21 PM

I'm taking the same route as Steve for much the same reasons as he is.
Jim has decided what he he believes words to mean, backed up by many years of research, and is immovable on the subject and seemingly impervious to evolution to change in the use of language.
He says he doesn't really care what other people think and seems to think respecting that someone has a different opinion is selling out.
Keep up the good work Jim,even if I don't agree with all of your views


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Sep 14 - 12:18 PM

a misquote from jim again i said
"jim stop wasting everyones time go off and collect butterflies"
you are wasting everyones time when you attempt to deny that you insulted anyone, when in one of your posts you call the snail an arrogant little prat.
my quote is not attempting to stop you speaking freely if you are prepared to be civil, it is saying learn some manners or go somewhere else.


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Subject: RE: Definition of folk song
From: Musket
Date: 09 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM

WELL STOP SUPPRESSING ANY VIEW YOU EITHER DISAGREE WITH OR PLAIN DON'T UNDERSTAND THEN!

Sorry, you've got me shouting now.


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