The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93859   Message #1823040
Posted By: Crane Driver
30-Aug-06 - 06:28 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
You have to separate surface from substance - I think that's what Art is saying in his more artistic way. I write songs in a traditional idiom and based superficially in events of the past - but the strongest ones are those that resonate with today's concerns as well. As has been said many times before, those who don't know their history are condemmned to repeat it.

For example, I wrote a song called 'Cobre Days' which is on the surface about an incident from 1876, when a ship from Cuba brought yellow fever to my home town of Swansea and killed a lot of people. The ship was brought into dock by the Cobre Mining Company against the advice of the port medical officer for financial reasons. The Cobre Mining Co was eventually absorbed into Rio Tinto ("Tainted River" - perfect name for their environmental approach) - and the song is really about corporate greed and big business putting profit ahead of safety - hardly an irrelevant concern today. But superficially it looks like a song about a long-forgotten historical incident. That's the style I'm comfortable with - I would find it hard to write about a modern incident with the same 'message'.

Does that mean I'm 'stuck in the past'?