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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,ST What makes a new song a folk song? (1710* d) RE: What makes a new song a folk song? 22 Sep 14


"i have spent the last fifty years passionately interested in folk music " (Big Al Whittle : Date: 21 Sep 14 - 06:49 AM)
"lets hope the next generation don't settle for the bloody nonsense of traditional folk music" (Big Al Whittle : Date: 21 Sep 14 - 08:52 PM)
Sounds a bit like David Cameron's passionate interest in Scottish independence. (No offence intended just interested in juxtaposing the two comments.)

"the clincher for me is always Sheath and Knife. i have seen tony rose and paul downes and countless others waste their talent trying to breathe life into this rubbish song." (Big Al Whittle :Date: 21 Sep 14 - 08:52 PM)
I wonder why such countless numbers of performers (and such good ones as Rose and Downes, thought it worth their while. Could you be missing something? Still, it all goes to show that what one enjoys is just a matter of taste. For me Tony Rose's "Sheath and Knife" is a brilliant song brilliantly performed – whereas, generally, I hate songs that try to be funny or listening to English singers singing with assumed mid-Atlantic accents. Again, no offence intended; it's just a matter of taste for performance/material not a reflection on the person of the actual performer. What should not be a matter of taste though is which songs should merit the title folk song – no matter how popular. Even "Mabel from the chippy mumbling Sheaf and Knife over her half moon glasses, pausing to turn the page" (Musket : Date: 22 Sep 14 - 02:36 AM) couldn't change what the song is, only how well it's being performed. On this point though I'd agree with (Phil Edwards : Date: 22 Sep 14 - 04:14 AM) "The stuff about people reading the words, "three-chord songbooks" and the rest is interesting, though - in my experience that laid-back attitude to amateurism is much, much more common in anything-goes FCs than in the more traditional settings." At the singarounds I go to people mainly sing traditional songs from memory. (I can only think of one singer, who suffered a stroke a couple of years ago, who has words written down) At the folk clubs there is always a smattering of people with music stands and apparently failing memories who need the words to get through their Tom Paxton song.

" "The music is alive and vibrant, it's just not happening in old-style folk clubs."
yes it is, depends on the folk club, Howard you should visit some folk clubs in the north east, for example THE WILSONS CLUB. The answer is it is happening in both, house concerts and folk clubs." (Good Soldier Schweik : Date: 22 Sep 14 - 05:29 AM)
I would agree, and could cite a few other examples of "traditional" clubs but, in my limited experience, I think the majority of traditional songs are now sung in singarounds (interestingly not usually advertised and rarely having the word "folk" associated with them when being discussed by those who go to them – Edit – see below). Folk clubs that feature mainly traditional material are in the minority (most seem to favour the "anything goes approach" which, in practice means a lot of 1960s/70s music with a few additional singer/songwriters) and there's a whole other dimension out there of "Acoustic clubs" (usually with P.A. provided!) and open mic. set-ups where you can hardly find a traditional offering at all.

(Howard Jones : Date: 22 Sep 14 - 04:57 AM) Absolutely to all your points. Just what I'd have said if I were more articulate.

(Edit; "By contrast, the singarounds I actually go to - and which are mostly traditional in content - are the "Sunday Singaround" and "Songs and Tunes at the Beech"[1]; no mention of the F-word." (Phil Edwards : Date: 22 Sep 14 - 05:53 AM – got there first!)


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