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Hackneyed Folk Songs

RTim 23 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 23 Feb 19 - 12:20 PM
keberoxu 23 Feb 19 - 12:25 PM
Iains 23 Feb 19 - 01:34 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 19 - 01:44 PM
meself 23 Feb 19 - 02:12 PM
Tattie Bogle 23 Feb 19 - 02:20 PM
Tattie Bogle 23 Feb 19 - 02:33 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 19 - 02:56 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 19 - 03:00 PM
Jos 23 Feb 19 - 03:04 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 19 - 03:25 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Feb 19 - 03:28 PM
Phil Cooper 23 Feb 19 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 23 Feb 19 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Observer 23 Feb 19 - 04:43 PM
Jack Campin 23 Feb 19 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Observer 23 Feb 19 - 04:52 PM
GUEST 23 Feb 19 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,Observer 23 Feb 19 - 04:59 PM
David Carter (UK) 23 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Feb 19 - 05:15 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 19 - 07:47 PM
Jimmy Twitcher 23 Feb 19 - 10:47 PM
Little Hawk 24 Feb 19 - 01:34 AM
GUEST 24 Feb 19 - 02:31 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Feb 19 - 03:36 AM
Iains 24 Feb 19 - 04:15 AM
Johnny J 24 Feb 19 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Hootenany 24 Feb 19 - 05:53 AM
Acorn4 24 Feb 19 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 24 Feb 19 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,FloraG 24 Feb 19 - 08:54 AM
GUEST 24 Feb 19 - 11:19 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM
Tattie Bogle 24 Feb 19 - 01:46 PM
Jack Campin 24 Feb 19 - 01:55 PM
Iains 24 Feb 19 - 02:00 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Feb 19 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 24 Feb 19 - 02:40 PM
The Sandman 24 Feb 19 - 02:44 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Feb 19 - 02:58 PM
meself 24 Feb 19 - 03:12 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Feb 19 - 03:27 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 19 - 06:12 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Feb 19 - 06:36 PM
meself 24 Feb 19 - 06:51 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Feb 19 - 06:58 PM
Iains 25 Feb 19 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,LynnH 28 Feb 19 - 03:52 AM
GUEST 28 Feb 19 - 05:29 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Mar 19 - 03:16 AM
Bat Goddess 02 Mar 19 - 12:54 PM
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Subject: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: RTim
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM

Hi all - Are there any really Hackneyed Folk Songs that you don't care whether you ever hear again or not......??

No motives here - just wondered.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 12:20 PM

Speaking for the traditional folk songs: Funny thing. Once upon a time I may have wished not to hear again, say, Red River Valley or Blue Tail Fly, I find all I have to do is live another year or two and I begin to hear those old songs' inner beauty, sometimes in different terms than before.

So, me personally, I would hesitate to name any traditional song that I wouldn't like to hear over again, maybe after a little time's gone by. And so to remove any doubt I hasten to say I love the above two songs, Red River Valley and Blue Tail Fly, and pretty much all the rest, because they keep surprising me and revealing themselves to me little by little.

So it's a matter of perception.

About the other songs called "folk," contemporary folk and so on, I'm not sure I can say anything useful.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 12:25 PM

Tom Dooley, I'm sorry to say.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Iains
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 01:34 PM

I've been a wild rover............


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 01:44 PM

Tom Dooley is hardly ever sung in the uk or in ireland, it would not come under the classification of hackneyed in those places


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: meself
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 02:12 PM

That's the thing: what's hackneyed in one place might be rarely-heard in another ...... Similarly between generations .....


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 02:20 PM

"Wild Mountain Thyme" could fall into that category in my area (Scotland): I have seen eyes rolling as if to say "Oh no, not THAT again!" though it also a "crowd-pleaser" to some, and most people do at least know the chorus. (and I'll not get into any argument about copyright of the song!!)
"Caledonia" also: have heard Dougie Maclean describe it as " a millstone round my neck - but I'll get lynched if I don't sing it". I like it, some don't.
Perhaps we're really talking about "Marmite songs" - love 'em or loathe 'em?


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 02:33 PM

P.S. Tom Dooley: I have heard it sung in sessions in the UK, even sung it myself, but you have to be "of a certain age" to remember it!! One of the first "singles" I ever bought!


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 02:56 PM

The County Louth version of Wild Rover is one of the most exquisite traditional Irish songs you could possibly hope to hear
It can be heard sung by Pat Usher (Mary Ann Carolan's brother) on a CD of the family using recordings made by Donal Maguire
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:00 PM

There' also a superb source version of 'Tom Duleh' among the Library of Congress (it may be by Dillard Chandler)
Traditional songs tend not to become 'hackneyed" - just over-sung by crap singers and drunks
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jos
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:04 PM

At school we were taught a version of Tom Dooley in Latin. I can't remember it now.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:25 PM

Try This
FRANK PROFFITT
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:28 PM

Well worth following that link through to some other Proffitt songs
I'd forgotten how good he ws
Jim


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:19 PM

Amazing Grace.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:40 PM

The Frank Profitt version of Tom Dooley (real name Dula) was a 1939 recording I believe for the Library of Congress. It was first recorded commercially ten years earlier in 1929 by singer/fiddler G B Grayson and
guitar back-up man Henry Whitter.

Much of America's folk music was preserved thankfully by the record industry not for the sake of preservation but because it sold.

I sometimes wonder if Frank knew this song from the Grayson/Whitter recording or what his source was. Not that is important, both versions are well worth hearing.

It was the Profitt recording which appears to have been the source of the awful pop hit of the late 50's


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:43 PM



Well when you investigate the songs origins and it comes out as and East Anglian Temperance Song I rather wonder where the "exquisite Irishness" enters the eqation,


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:46 PM

Anything by Eric Bogle except "I Hate Wogs".


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:52 PM

Apologies I was referring to the temperance song "Wild Rover" that has nothing whatsoever to do with Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:54 PM


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 04:59 PM

"Amazing Grace" is a Hymn and should be treated as such by anyone who wishes to sing it. It most definitely IS NOT A FOLK SONG and anyone who thinks it is wants their bumps read.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 05:07 PM

The words to Amazing Grace were written by John Newton as a poem, and were combined with a tune of uncertain origin to form the hymn we know.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 05:15 PM

Dear Mr. Observer,

Please expostulate regarding your observance.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

We all know the ship, the family, and career.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 07:47 PM

tom dooley was a soldier in the american civil war, the song is based on a true story, tom dooley was not the murderer but an accesoory after the fact, i think it dates from approx 1866


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jimmy Twitcher
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 10:47 PM

Mary Ellen Carter. Lord save me from hearing that again.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 01:34 AM

"The Last Thing On My Mind"


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 02:31 AM

"Yellow On The Broom"


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 03:36 AM

"Yellow On The Broom"
JOE AITKEN
I've just listened a number of naff performances of this - again, a perfectly good song when sung well
A poor workman always blames his tools, in my opinion
Try listening to it in conjunction with the moving BOOK THAT INSPIRED IT
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Iains
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 04:15 AM

The Irish origin of "Wild Rover is disputed". According to Professor T. M. Devine in his book The Scottish Nation 1700 - 2000,the song was written as a temperance song. Some claim Norfolk for the songs origin
A song known in England as The Green Bed and common in North-east Scotland under the title Johnny and the Landlady, is thought to be the original of this piece. Dean Christie found the older song in Banffshire more than a century ago and printed it as The Brisk Young Sailor. The Wild Rover owes its popularity to its wide circulation as a broadside during the 19th Century. Musically, the Aberdeenshire versions show most similarity to those from East Anglia leading one to suspect that the song may have been carried by sea up the East coast.
The quality of a song's performance has zilch to do with whether it is considered hsckneyed or not. After all hackneyed means overdone, worn out, time-worn, platitudinous, vapid, stale, tired, threadbare.
Nothing to do with playing with a jews harp accompaniment or performing handstands after every verse.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Johnny J
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 04:18 AM

We should maybe start a thread on "Hackneyed Folk Discussions" which we wouldn't really care if we saw them on this site again or not.
:-))

I'm sure you'll know of some current examples......
;-)))


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Hootenany
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 05:53 AM

Sandman/Dick

Yes the date of the murder was 25th May 1866. A recent biography of Grayson and Whitter by Josh Beckworth gives a pretty full account.

It was in fact an uncle of G B Grayson who "arrested" Tom Dula.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Acorn4
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 06:43 AM

Sometimes you just hear what you think of as a definitive version of a song and this makes other versions seem a bit hackneyed perhaps?

Tom Dooley - DocWatson


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 06:43 AM

Maybe they become hackneyed because more people like them & hence perform them?-
Whether popularity equals quality I'll leave others to judge- it certainly doesn't apply with regard to the English Press


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 08:54 AM

I am a member of a group who sing folk songs as a hobby. I am always surprised when I suggest a song I think is ' mainstream' to find how few know the song.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 11:19 AM

"Yellow On The Broom"

"JOE AITKEN" : know him well.

"I've just listened a number of naff performances of this - again, a perfectly good song when sung well".   : Agreed, but the question wasn't about "good" or "bad" songs, the word was "hackneyed", and it's a much abused and over-sung song - usually "naff performances", to use your phrase, and I'm thoroughly sick of it.

"A poor workman always blames his tools, in my opinion". What is that supposed to mean, in the context of this thread ?

"Try listening to it in conjunction with the moving BOOK THAT INSPIRED IT" : Read it years ago. Bit condescending of you to assume I hadn't. The book doesn't have any relevance to the "naff" versions of the song I regularly hear.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM

Guest
As well as referring to overuse, "hacneyed" also includes "unoriginal and trite"
I don't think a good song can be overused; I believe that it can be sung badly too often, but this does not change its quality
I wasn't addressing my remarks to you - just using your mentioning it.
My advice on Yellow on the Broom still stands, as I'm sure you agree, having read it


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 01:46 PM

Yellow on the Broom is an iconic song: yes, I've read the book, know the author of the words, and Joe Aitken. Have heard it sung by many folk, of varying "standards" but would never say it was "hackneyed". (Btw, does anyone know how the term "hackneyed" came about? Was it from music hall? Of course, I know where Hackney is, and its association with carriages!)
The one version that really made my flesh creep was when a certain well-known band ramped it up top speed and "4 on the floor", with a pedal-operated bass drum pounding out the beat. They should have known better, and hopefully realise this now!
The other side issue re this song is that it uses the tune of the trad song, "The Female Drummer" (maybe that inspired the bass drum?), which is perhaps lesser known, especially up here in Scotland. (And is freely acknowledged by AM who wrote the YOTB lyrics.) Got some really funny looks when I sang "The Female Drummer" - on the lines of "How dare you sing another song to the tune of Yellow on the Broom?"


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 01:55 PM

The song Yellow on the Broom predates the book by many years; the book was named after it.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Iains
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 02:00 PM

Tattie Bogle

a partial answer.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-hac1.htm


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 02:31 PM

Iains
The full history of 'The Wild Rover' is well documented and well-known and appears in several threads here. It appears to have started life indeed as a 17th century temperance song on a broadside probably written in London which is where all the presses were. It had many more verses but over the next 3 centuries was rewritten by broadside writers and reduced down eventually to the 5 verse 19th century broadside which gave rise to all of the oral versions.

Incidentally there is also a strong probability that The Green Bed evolved from the same original piece but by the 19th century they had no text in common and therefore are fully independent songs.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 02:40 PM

Songs don't become hackneyed because they are poor songs, on the contrary they are such good songs that everyone wants to sing them, so they become overfamiliar and lose their power. It's not a criticism of the song's quality, quite the opposite, just of the audience's willingness to hear it yet again.

I have noticed that a lot of the songs which were standards for my generation, until they became hackneyed and dropped from people's repertoires, are being rediscovered by the younger generation of singers for whom they are still fresh. I've also taken to revisiting some of my old songs and taking new enjoyment from them.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 02:44 PM

Howard good points and all the more reason to try and do them skilfully


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 02:58 PM

Me too, Howard, but there are some I wouldn't touch with a bargepole. When I look back I think we sang some of them just because they were traditional and no other reason. Silly really. But I'm really enjoying reviving The Barley Mow, The Collier Brig, Sailor's Alphabet, Still I Love Him and some of my grandparents' songs. Amazing how quickly the words come back when you haven't sung them for 50 years.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: meself
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 03:12 PM

Yellow on the Broom is not the first song that would come to my mind as 'hackneyed' - because, AFAIK, I've never heard it, and this is the first I've ever heard OF it ... !


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 03:27 PM

Nice one, Jack!
m, I think it's a Scots thing. I have the book somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 06:12 PM

What is "hackneyed" depends very much on where you are.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 06:36 PM

Sorry to dispute you Jack, but the book "Yellow on the Broom" first appeared in print in 1979: it was re-printed in 2001. Every other source, including Tobar an Dualchais says that Adam McNaughtan was inspired to write the song AFTER reading the book. Also as shown in the sleeve notes of his 1988 CD, "Words, Words, Words".

Meself, I think you are from "the other side of the pond"? We can't possibly all know all of each others' songs nor expect to, hackneyed or not. We had a visiting American singer at our local folk club once, who got really narked with the audience not joining in with "this song that everyone knows" - not a single person there did, even some of our most knowledgeable members. "C'mon, you must know it - everyone does!" Well, sorry, but not here, they don't!


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: meself
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 06:51 PM

Yes - and that is my point: 'hackneyed' is relative; what's hackneyed to you is new to me!


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Feb 19 - 06:58 PM

Agreed!
And thanks to Iains for the "partial answer".


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Iains
Date: 25 Feb 19 - 04:24 AM

Tattie Bogle
You are welcome.
A fairly common UK expression is to be "hacked" off with something.
This epitomises the discussion in a nutshell insofar as it is something the INDIVIDUAL is fed up with, to the extent of being irritated/angry In this case the cause is a song, tune, ditty.......


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 28 Feb 19 - 03:52 AM

"Wild Rover" in The Clancy Brothers/Tommy Makem 'style' where audiences immediately automatically clap in the chorus etc. There are other versions of the song, e.g. in Ken Stubbs 'The Life of a man' which is the one that I sing.


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 19 - 05:29 AM

But try & sing ANY other version of the Wild Rover in ANY company & see how far you get before being told 'you've got it wrong'


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 03:16 AM

"But try & sing ANY other version of the Wild Rover in ANY company & see how far you get before being told 'you've got it wrong'"
Depends on where you sing it
I sing it as regularly as I am able
As guest pointed out - "depends very much on where you are."
Maybe it's your audiences that are "hackneyed "
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Hackneyed Folk Songs
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 12:54 PM

Lou Killen always said his biggest regret was teaching "Wild Rover" to the Clancy Brothers. They're the ones who added the claps in their performance.

Definitely not traditional. But it's close to impossible today to sing the song without someone adding the claps. The audience expects it.

The song is also wildly overdone. I cringe and try to pretend I'm not hearing it.

"Wild Mountain Thyme" has also been done to death.

It very much depends on where you are as to which songs are sung to the point of tedium and which (overdone in other circles) are still relatively fresh and enjoyable.

Linn


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