The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20983 Message #1797929
Posted By: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
31-Jul-06 - 02:01 PM
Thread Name: What is Folk? IN SONG.
Subject: RE: What is Folk? IN SONG.
Okay, it's been a wee while, but for a number of reasons I find the above, though humorous, unduly hard on those who know where a song was "collected" (which smells a little of embalming, if "collected" implies some intent to "preserve", as distinct from "learning it in order to sing it yourself"). Many an Irish traditional singer will precede a rendition (or song or indeed instrumental piece) with something like, "I got it from ******** of ********, who told me he had the words from ********." Sometimes they'll even say the name of the air to which words are set, especially if it's a set of words they wrote themselves. Some of the most useful theoretical observations on song-making can come from the makers of "Traditional" or "Folk" song, and to pretend that the only people who analyse and theorize are pedants and collectors is in itself a way of confining "FolkSong" to a niche, one inhabited by simple folk who don't know what they're doing, who sing because they have to, who reduce discussions to "folks sing, horses don't!" etc etc etc.