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'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?

Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM
johncharles 15 Sep 14 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Sep 14 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Sep 14 - 12:11 PM
Jack Blandiver 15 Sep 14 - 12:13 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Sep 14 - 12:13 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 14 - 12:16 PM
The Sandman 15 Sep 14 - 12:16 PM
johncharles 15 Sep 14 - 12:24 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Derrick 15 Sep 14 - 12:28 PM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Sep 14 - 02:01 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 02:04 PM
Howard Jones 15 Sep 14 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,emily s 15 Sep 14 - 02:10 PM
Musket 15 Sep 14 - 02:23 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Sep 14 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Sep 14 - 02:52 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Sep 14 - 03:41 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 14 - 05:14 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Sep 14 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 15 Sep 14 - 05:59 PM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 06:59 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 14 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Stim 16 Sep 14 - 01:59 AM
Musket 16 Sep 14 - 02:13 AM
Howard Jones 16 Sep 14 - 04:00 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 04:25 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Sep 14 - 05:05 AM
Bounty Hound 16 Sep 14 - 05:30 AM
Musket 16 Sep 14 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM
Rob Naylor 16 Sep 14 - 06:13 AM
Musket 16 Sep 14 - 06:27 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 06:44 AM
Lighter 16 Sep 14 - 08:36 AM
Backwoodsman 16 Sep 14 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 16 Sep 14 - 08:57 AM
Musket 16 Sep 14 - 01:05 PM
Backwoodsman 16 Sep 14 - 04:02 PM
Musket 16 Sep 14 - 04:58 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Sep 14 - 01:48 AM
GUEST,Stim 17 Sep 14 - 02:28 AM
Musket 17 Sep 14 - 02:38 AM
GUEST,Stim 18 Sep 14 - 12:47 AM
Musket 18 Sep 14 - 02:51 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Sep 14 - 04:51 AM
Musket 18 Sep 14 - 06:36 AM
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Subject: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM

On the thread about 'what makes a new song folk', Jim Carroll maintains that folk/rock makes traditional song meaningless as you can't hear the lyrics.

Now I'm well aware that folk/rock is definately not to Jim's taste, but to make the sweeping statement that a particular style of accompliment to a traditional song makes that song meaningless is not something I either understand or accept.

My view is that it is a means of preserving the tradition, and if the folk/rock style makes traditional song more accessible to the wider public, then that can only be a good thing.

I gave Jim this example of my band performing 'Blackleg Miner' but he tells me he can't hear the words!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO4PrQZgahA


So what does the team think, does folk/rock make a traditional song meaningless?

(and before anyone else says it, I'm well aware that if you can't hear the lyrics, then that could be down to a bad performance or a bad sound engineer!)

John


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: johncharles
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 11:59 AM

Great stuff. Words are clear and the music excellent. I particularly like your lead guitarists playing. Unlike a good many "traditional Folk Singers" I have heard, who appear to think singing unaccompanied and out of tune is the way to go. I know which of the two I would rather watch.
john


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:06 PM

meaning ???... who needs meaning....!!????

there's absolutely no point or purpose to anything..
it's all a deep dark pit of emptiness and despair...


unless of course you have an electric guitar and a fuzz box............



nah, full respect to Jim, but he's not right about everything....


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:11 PM

Btw.. as far as I'm concerned folk rock seldom rocks hard enough..

Just imagine if early Black Sabbath or Iggy and the Stooges
had founded their entire repertoire on trad folk songs..

now we might be talking 'folk rock' !!!


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:13 PM

The Blackleg Miner is a fake song made up by A L Lloyd - allegedly.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:13 PM

As far as I'm concerned this is a bad example - I see Blackleg Miner as a faux-radical Bertsong & wouldn't much care if nobody ever sang it again.

As a general thing, the question for me is whether it is a way in to traditional songs more broadly. Take Bellowhead - I love their sound, but are they going to turn anyone on to traditional songs? If you like what they did to Roll Alabama, are you going to love Fisherman's Friends or Brasy? I can't see it.

The other potential problem with folk-rock is that folk songs are, pretty much by definition, songs that anyone can learn and sing. When I was growing up & listening to Steeleye Span, it never crossed my mind for a moment that I could do what they were doing - in fact, given that I wasn't in a band and couldn't play guitar, I plainly couldn't do what they were doing. Hearing Jacqui McShee sing "When I was in my prime" unaccompanied made a much deeper impact.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:16 PM

And if you play it differently each night then you are your own folk process. The more you do the process the folkier you will become.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:16 PM

words are clear.
if jim carroll did not exist someone would have to invent him, I have never come across a more opinionated folk dinosaur in over 40 years of being involved with folk music, he reminds me of all the reasons I decided to not go to the singers club.
however unlike john charles i can appreciate folk rock and unaccompanied singing, its not some sort of competition, people are allowed to like both.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: johncharles
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:24 PM

I like GOOD unaccompanied singing, however, my experience in folk clubs is that a lot of unaccompanied singing is not good.
john


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:27 PM

One or two words obscured -- "round the heaps they run a ?-race" -- but that can happen in any performance. Otherwise perfectly clearly articulated. Tho must say, in fairness, that if it were a song I didn't know pfreviously, I think I should hope for some sort of words-insert; but that applies pretty generally, not just to folk-rock.

Re folk-rock in general. Some groups better than others. I never cared for Trees, because they would follow that maddening habit, so common in all rock so far as I can hear [not a genre I spend that much of my life into!], of playing an interminable impro-sounding instrumental break as a bit of show-off, which goes on so long that when finally at last they do resume singing you've forgotten what the bloody song was about. Even Fairport tended to this to a greater extent than I could generally be bothered with.

Steeleye, otoh, in their height [the first three line-ups or so], for all the electrification, often brought some very sensitive singing from Maddy & Tim, Martin, Robert Johnston, et al, with some beautiful instrumentals from Robert, Rick Kemp, Peter Knight; and when the electrics did SOUND OUT it was often for fine dramatic effect, as in Bob J's superbly sung King Henry, where the crescendo bits had something of the impetus of well-managed storm-noises in a highly dramatic version of the blasted heath in King Lear!

Nothing intrinsically 'meaningless' in the genre IMO ∴: it had/has its part to play, and never threatened any danger anyhow of driving out other modes of performance so far as I could see.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 12:28 PM

I can hear the lyrics clearly and understand them,so in that respect the song has meaning.On the other hand the music is complex and intrusive and distracts me from the words.
To sum up the whole arrangement is complex and to me at least there is too much going on, which makes it difficult to appreciate either the words or music.
The song is good as folk rock goes,I guess it's just not to my taste.
As the saying goes one mans meat is another man's poison


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 01:39 PM

Ok folks, thanks to you all for your responses.

Perhaps 'Blackleg Miner' was not the best choice of song, as I'm well aware there are questions over it's provenance. (I chose this particular video because it is a professional production and therefore a good reflection of the actual live sound, rather than something videoed on someone's phone)

Thanks again for those that have said good things about the song, but I was not looking for opinions on the band, or the performance. What I'm wanting is comments on the general principal of whether folk/rock makes a traditional song meaningless, (I suspect Jim's comments elsewhere have more to do with his dislike for anyone 'messing' with his tradition) or whether it is a valid way of maintaining the tradition, and bringing traditional song to a wider audience.

John


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:01 PM

I would suspect that whaever advertuous or experimental things any of us are ever likely to do
to mess with the 'tradition'.

- even if Simon Cowell threw together a short-lived Trad Folk Boyband to exploit the pocket money
of Mumford fans younger sister's -

any realistic hopes of a 'wider audience' are probably long gone...

So I wouldn't be too bothered worrying about that.

I'd just 'abuse' the tradition for my own curiosity to see what the results might sound like
and be pleasantly encouraged if anyone else liked it...


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:04 PM

I can't see where the provenance or ideologies of the song are at all relevant to the question. Nelly Dean or Stand Up Stand Up For Jesus would have done just as well, if articulation and apprehensibility were what we were concerned with. Or Jack & Jill or Freude Schöne Gotterfunken, FTM!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:06 PM

Traditional song is raw material, which performers then interpret. Folk-rock isn't intrinsically any different from a singer with acoustic guitar, or Benjamin Britten arranging 'The Foggy Dew' for piano and voice. It's just another way of approaching the music.

Unless you refuse to allow any treatment which isn't strictly within the confines of traditional practice (whatever that might be) then the only judgement should be aesthetic. You can't say one is morally superior to another.

What is noticeable is that most efforts to make folk sound up-to-date and 'relevant' quickly become dated as musical fashions change. 1970s folk-rock sounds, well, 1970s.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,emily s
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:10 PM

Adding a drumkit, electric guitar, bass, screaming vocal, and other elements of folk rock doesn't invalidate the song. The song remains a folk song. Adding guitar, banjo, bodhran and other "newcomer" instruments, didn't invalidate the song 100 years ago...or whenever. Understandable lyrics have nothing to do with the genre, but how they are sung and/or recorded. There will always be folks who think certain instruments aren't folky enough...but where does one draw the line? Play what you enjoy, rock it up, strip it down, up the tempo or slow it down. Keeping the music alive in any form is much better than to let it die out with old fogeys.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:23 PM

The problem is that some people are confusing history books with music.

Music is an art form for fucks sake!

Yeah, listening to the words eh?

Fol de rol
Fol de rol
Fol de rol day.

Get Simon chuffing Schama to tell us what that means...


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:25 PM

There's nothing wrong with electric guitars - or any other instrument - as an instrument. The question is, can you still hear the song? - and I don't just mean in the sense of being able to make out the words. If the arrangement allows listeners to go home with the tune and the words in their heads, the job's a good 'un. If you're playing the same rock'n'roll/ambient chillout/death metal/brass-driven knees-up music you would have played anyway, only with some traditional lyrics secreted about its person, I'm not so keen - because that way you're not really introducing anyone to the song.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:52 PM

One of my more recent aquisitions is a British made Fuzz/Distortion box called "The Hairy Tongue"*

Now if that doesn't sound 'Trad Folk' enough.. nothing ever will...



[* I also have the 'budget priced' Chinese made version which sounds even raspier
- but this one's probably better suited for Medieval music ???]


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 03:41 PM

Nice to see that some understand both the folk process and that "folk" is about derivation not form.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 05:14 PM

"My view is that it is a means of preserving the tradition, .."

then: "Adding a drumkit, electric guitar, bass, screaming vocal, and other elements of folk rock doesn't invalidate the song. The song remains a folk song."

*sigh* then you have distorted the concept of "folk" and "traditional" to suit changing tastes in 'Music'.

Play what you wish... just use words they describe the new music so it is not confused with the old music. We need ways to differentiate... else why bother calling it anything? Just advertise a concert as "music,,, with some vocal elements". If I did that, and it turned out to be Opera, you would argue, like me, that clearer language was required.

If it's rock, then just say "rock" and if necessary, explain that certain elements of the song echo some folk or trad tune. If the entire feeling & experience of a song has changes so that those who like the earlier version can't stomach it, then you have *something different*. Why use those earlier words just because they are short or convenient?


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 05:45 PM

Don't agree, Bill D. Little Musgrave is still Little Musgrave, whatever instruments you back it with, as long as you can hear the song. If you can't, sure - it's folk-inspired rock or rock with a hint of folk, or whatever.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 05:59 PM

I ask your indulgence.
If you have a few spare minutes and the patience,
please consider this idle notion....

"Portishead" are a well respected South West British electronic band.
The singer Beth Gibbons has a background / side project in some kind of 'contemporary folk'...

This is a band I wish actually did perform Trad Folk songs.

I can only imagine what it might sound like,
but certainly very different to the standard staid middle of the road 1970s folkrock sonic format.

In an alternative time dimension, what might Steeleye Span's sound be
if they had started up and kicked off folk rock in the late 1990s
instead of the 1970s ???


Portishead live in Portishead

A low key informal home town gig, performed by a bunch of ordinary looking middle aged folks
in a local school hall.

If you can't tolerate the first couple of minutes intro, skip to the song starting just after the 5 minute mark,
then if you still want to play, 15 and a hlf minutes;
and try to imagine what favourite trad songs might sound like if performed by this singer with this band
with this sonic palette ???

I wouldn't blame you if your conclusion is it would sound shite,
but at least it's an idea maybe worth kicking around in this thread ?

[keen observers may note the cutting edge sound of the 1990s
does sound more than vaguely inspired by 1970s Krautrock....
but there you go.. that's dynamic music culture, innit...]


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 06:59 PM

If it's rock, then just say "rock" and if necessary, explain that certain elements of the song echo some folk or trad tune.

Isn't that exactly what the description 'Folk/Rock' does Bill D? If, as was the subject of the thread, we are talking traditional words and tune here, then it's still the same 'folk' song.

If the entire feeling & experience of a song has changes so that those who like the earlier version can't stomach it, then you have *something different*

With tongue firmly in cheek here Bill, haven't you just described the 'folk process' ;) But, if that 'something different' introduced that song to an audience that would otherwise never have heard it, should not the response from those who like the earlier version be more along the lines of 'I don't like that musical style, but at least the song is being sung?

Not sure about the 'screaming vocals', never done that myself. I came to folk/rock via acoustic or unaccompanied song, which I still, of course have a great love for, and I've always considered the words to be the most important of the elements that make up a song, and hopefully, when performing my words can be heard, and the songs recognised for what they are.

John


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 10:22 PM

"Isn't that exactly what the description 'Folk/Rock' does?"

Sort of...but your position was: "My view is that it is a means of preserving the tradition, "
My view is that it does NOT preserve the tradition.... the tradition is not just the basic song/story, but the essential feeling that a certain style conveys. Loud & fast with drums may be your taste... and who am I to tell you what to play? It just is so different that I doubt many who like loud & fast will care to explore the older styles. I heard "Scarborough Fair" played in 'modern' style over speaker at work 20 years ago, and I had to bring in books to prove it was several centuries old... and even then they couldn't deal with the idea.

"Little Musgrave is still Little Musgrave,"
Certainly... but it has escaped the realm of 'folk-trad'. You can take Barbr'y Allen and make it rock.. and I heard that done as a parody 30 years ago.. it was amazing, but it was not trad.

" haven't you just described the 'folk process' ;)"

*grin* yup.. with the folk processor set on "puree"!


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 01:59 AM

Curious as to what there is about this music that makes it rock.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 02:13 AM

What makes it rock?

Back in the '70s I went to see Judas Priest. The support band were an Irish heavy metal band called Mama's Boys. They had worked out that jigs and reels certainly can rock!

I reckon they more than any Fairport or Steeleye influenced my own work, putting folk influence into my rock music and rearranging acoustic versions of my songs written for rock.

Therefore delighted to hear Martin Carthy sing Slade's Cum on Feel the Noize.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 04:00 AM

Talk about 'preserving the tradition' is meaningless, whether applied to folk-rock or other revival styles.

The 'tradition' is on the verge of extinction because, like other endangered species, its habitat has been all but wiped out. Tradition has to exist within a community, and most modern communities no longer have a need for tradition, at least not the old musical traditions we are talking about here. There are of course exceptions, but these are comparatively few.

What has happened is that a minority of enthusiasts have picked up the dying embers of the old traditions and reinterpreted them to create their own. In some cases there are close similarities with traditional practice, in others this is less so. A concert, whether or not amplified, seems to me some way from 'tradition' and in the realm of (to use the current buzz-word) 'folk arts'. I don't say there's anything wrong with that, but let's not kid ourselves this bears any resemblance to 'tradition'. Neither am I saying that only performances within, or close to, the 'tradition' are valid.

The paraphanalia of a rock band, with its amps, PA, microphones etc, mean that folk-rock can really only function as a concert. That alone, in my view, makes any claim to be 'preserving the tradition' a nonsense.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 04:25 AM

"meaning ???... who needs meaning....!!????"
That's the impression the clip left me with as well.
"Nice to see that some understand both the folk process and that "folk" is about derivation not form."
Cheers Richard
This has descended from what is folk to what is personal taste and some people can't resist making it a personal attack
"if jim carroll did not exist someone would have to invent him, I have never come across a more opinionated folk dinosaur in over 40 years of being involved with folk music, he reminds me of all the reasons"
The Skibbereen Stalker rides again - stuff you and your insecure nastiness Dick - it has no place on a discussion form.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 05:05 AM

PFR - I would love to hear Portishead sing folk. Although I have a sneaking suspicion they'd screw it up by adding extra portentousness.

On Hal Wilner's Rogues' Gallery shanty collection there's a version of A Drop of Nelson's Blood by Jarvis Cocker. He rocks it up - which is fine - but also puts it in a minor key & makes it sound dark and edgy, as if drinking rum is the nastiest, most transgressive thing you could imagine. Which I think is just a bit silly and juvenile - we're all grownups, we know what we're talking about (getting drunk), and what we're talking about is fun; why not be happy about it? It's linked to the passive tension/release thing I wrote about here.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 05:30 AM

'Talk about 'preserving the tradition' is meaningless, whether applied to folk-rock or other revival styles.
Let's try putting it a different way then Howard, how about 'keeping traditional songs alive'

You are of course correct that the 'habitat' that the tradition grew in has gone, but that makes keeping those songs (and tunes) alive all the more important in my view.


And Jim, ''"meaning ???... who needs meaning....!!????"
That's the impression the clip left me with as well.

as pointed out elsewhere, I'm well aware of your distaste for folk/rock as a style, but you do seem to be in a minority of one in not being able to hear the words, and perhaps your comment 'meaning...' could be interpreted as being, to use one of your favourite words 'insulting' and questioning my motives for singing the song in the first place.

John


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 05:32 AM

Err... You are the one pushing personal taste as definitive Jim.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM

"You are the one pushing personal taste as definitive Jim."
No - I damn well am not Muskett
The definition I have given, which I use as a rough guide, was arrived at 8 years before I became involved in folk song - it was based on research carried out from the beginning of the 20th century.
Preference has at no time come into my arguments - I defy you or anybody to show where it has.
Unless you want to say that I prefer having a definition to not having one - happy to put my hands up to that one any time.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM

"as pointed out elsewhere"
And as I said elsewhere - you are blaming the listener for your failure to make the song work for him
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 06:13 AM

BountyHound: On the thread about 'what makes a new song folk', Jim Carroll maintains that folk/rock makes traditional song meaningless as you can't hear the lyrics.
.
.
.
.
So what does the team think, does folk/rock make a traditional song meaningless?


Well, going back to the original post:

a) I can think of very few "folk/rock treatments of traditional songs where you can't hear the lyrics. I'm "quite mature", my hearing's not what it was, and I have tinnitus in my left ear, so I reckon if *I* can hear the lyrics of almost all folk/rock songs, then anyone who can't must have either very significant hearing problems or some kind of psychological hangup that militates against audibility!

b) No, of course a folk/rock treatment doesn't render *any* song, traditional or not, "meaningless". Inaudible, badly-sung unaccompanied songs mumbled through intervening sheets of lyrics are. to my ears, much more "meaningless" ( in the literal sense of the term) than most folk/rock!


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 06:27 AM

What's all this crap about clear diction? The voice is a musical instrument as anybody with a love of traditional music knows, if they stop and think about it for once.

Fol de rol, diddle aye do.

If you must analyse words, then note that they are sometimes rather clumsy from a use of language sense because fitting the rhythm is more important than fitting the grammar.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 06:44 AM

"The voice is a musical instrument "
The voice is als an instrument for communicating ideas and emotions - as are fok songs - an instrument for communicatinf thoughts and feelings - a perfect combination when used to its full extent
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 08:36 AM

What disappoints me, and presumably others, is not the sound(Steeleye was, and occasionally still is, marvelous), but the fact, which others have noticed, is that "folk tradition" as technically understood has vanished from the genre.

Probably inevitably.

"Trad folk-rock" is another minor concert genre in the musical spectrum. It is arduous to produce and perform, and it requires a team of professionals or semiprofessionals to do it. As is true of other music, the performers copyright their material and their imitators usually feel compelled to reproduce it (at least the words) as closely as possible.

It's hard to call something "folk" in any historically meaningful way if it can only be done right by well-equipped professionals. I suppose the accompaniment varies from performer to performer, but that's only one element of "tradition."


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 08:53 AM

Bloody hell, now I find myself in agreement not only with Musket, but with Bunter too!
'Ere, wots goin' on?


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 08:57 AM

Mama's Boys ???

I don't recall them at all ?

- but then, there are guilty reasons for black holes in my memory of the 70s....

The only Youtube's I can find are 80s videos of an average commercial pop metal band..

any better links to suggest ?

Thin Lizzy and Rory Gallagher are more obvious partial folkrockers who are easier to remember...

But my favourite mid 70s folk rockers were Jack The Lad [Lindisfarne spin off band]

Definitely had a more assertive, even aggressive, arguably 'proto punk' vibe about them...
even though they played predominantly 'acoustic' instruments...


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 01:05 PM

No idea re Mamas Boys, other than hearing them at Sheffield City Hll on the same tour Judas Priest got a bollocking for riding a motorbike on stage at Newcastle. '78? '79?

Never heard about them since, but they influenced me in some ways as they not only played lots of jigs & reels very well, with a fiddle leading, but some of their tunes were borrowed strongly from traditional tunes and seemed well suited to their heavy metal style. I still remember them now, and that's something considering we had been in the Wapentek before the gig, front loading on old Peculiar as usual....

Backwoodsman. Take a tablet and lie down. Then tomorrow get your arse to Epworth and buy me a pint eh?


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 04:02 PM

Musket, not overly exercised about agreeing with you, it happens more often than you'd probably think, but agreeing with Bunter?!? That's a worry.

No can do Ep'th this time - domestic responsibilities must take priority - but I've every intention of getting over there very soon.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 04:58 PM

You realise the thought of anybody agreeing with me makes me feel guilty??


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 01:48 AM

Don't worry about it, even a broken clock is right twice a day. :-)


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 02:28 AM

Well, don't feel to guilty, Musket. I don't agree with you. At least I don't agree that you've given any sort of explanation of what makes anything rock. Forget about traditional, forget about folk, tell me what you think rock is.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 02:38 AM

If I look to my left I see rock. To my right is a hard place.

It's an evolution. Like many genres, it is a library card system to lessen the chances of being disappointed once you get to the gig if it is labelled to your liking.

What is classical? Is baroque different? Can you call Benjamin Britten or Gilbert and Sullivan opera? Is madrigal accapella?

When Martin Carthy sings a Slade song, does that make Noddy Holder a folk songwriter?

When you go on Mudcat, do you think everybody gets precious over silly things in their real lives too? How many of us have real lives? Has anybody thought of the significance of the three musketeers?

Tomorrow. How to nail jelly to the ceiling.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 12:47 AM

The short answer being that you have no answer.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 02:51 AM

No. I'm thick, you see.

It takes gross stupidity though to demand answers to rhetorical questions.

zzzz


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 04:51 AM

It seems that, in the UK "folk" refers only to the words of a song.; in the US, style is much more the defining characteristic. Not a difference that can be reconciled by logic or discussion. Even by noisy debate.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional' folk/rock - meaningless?
From: Musket
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 06:36 AM

UK? This debate was started in another thread by a pedant in Ireland who could start an argument in an empty room.


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