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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Sleepy Rosie Performance Ability does it matter? (249* d) RE: Performace Ability does it matter? 06 Mar 09

Much as I genuinely believe in each person making the effort to do their best by the songs they perform - and it is indeed something which I shall continue to do - I don't know that I believe that an inclusive 'all abilities welcome' ethos in free amatuer song-circles could possibly 'kill the music'.

IMO that's akin to arguing that village 'watercolour clubs' could kill art... If Trad Song has suffered a kick in the guts, I suspect it's far more likely to be as a consequence of an overall cultural and even political sidelining. And indeed, I would suspect that if anything, these little folk clubs where all are welcome, represent a contintuity of the heart which early 'real' (aka: source) folk singers would have had for their songs. A love which if I listen to some of these old recordings, comes through their fragile quavering elderly voices...

As said in my first post on this thread, as a thirtysomething, I literally had no clue about the depth and richness of my own cultural heritage... This to me begs serious questions, some of which have been answered in part by comments on this very forum. But still I compare my own experience, or indeed utter lack of it as a 'modern' Englishwoman, to those of my Irish family - one London Irish cousin now runs an Irish dancing school, which is succesfull amongst Anglo-Irish and other interested students. Also a friend of mine from Check, who as a once highly respected and valued member of a touring traditional dancing troupe in her home country, when she moved here simply couldn't believe the public ridicule poured upon our nations dances and dancers, when she witnessed it firsthand!

If someone 'killed' folk music or indeed was responsible for it's demise until now, I suspect it was not the 'singaround' in any way, but something rather more dark, forged out of some kind combination of native revulsion against, and political shame and reaction to, the essentially English 'British' empire, which led to a cultural abandonment of native tradition, on the one hand. And a rampantly capitalist 'aspirational' ethos on the other, which has encouraged the working classes in particular to denigrate and abandon their cultural roots in favour of some kind of faux 'middle class' image archetypically described by lust for Europanstick Ikea and Panini blandness.

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