My rebuttal to Toadfrog, not a quote, my own words:
Of all deleterious influences on folk-song, the most corrosive and deadly are the people who think that a folk-song ahs a fixed and unchanging form.
Get real! A folksong that is even as young as fifty years old has changed coutless times. Why? People play songs the way they like them. I'm guilty of it on numerous occasions. A lyric doesn't scan the way I want to hear it? Fine. I've re-written entire verses of child ballads. That is the point of folk music, that it is processed through the styles and hearts of those that play it. Of neccessity the music is changed by each who picks it up and plays it? Audience reaction? Of course! even in a amateur setting, you pitch your songs to those who are listening. I wouldn't play bluegrass at an irish session, or vice versa, but there are plenty of songs that have versions in each genre. why? Because people changed them to suit their style. Folk is a dynamic process, and the music is inherently corrupt. That's why it's not classical, with all of the notes, dynamics, and playing style written down so that everyone can play the same piece the same way.
I've got more to rant about, but i think I'll let it slide for now, I'm supposedly at work here. (Nobody's ever written a Tech-Writer Chantey so far as I can tell.)