The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19126   Message #194873
Posted By: Amos
14-Mar-00 - 04:55 PM
Thread Name: BS: What is folk music?
Subject: RE: BS: What is folk music?
Well, Whistle, maybe "borrowed without agreement from prior owners/users" is a better expression. It's a rough category anyway, and you're right about the transitional nature of the beast.

But 'Spaw and those even more bound in hide in these parts raise a good distinction, I think, between those songs which have been through the fine filter of a generation or two, and those which were sort of injected into circulation by modern mass media. There's an automatic quality of survival in a song that you bother to teach your kids, and many "great" songs from earlier times are long forgotten because they did not meet this standard, even though it seems like a whacky and arbitrary one.

Whether the discrimination is one that suits personal taste or not is another matter, of course, but it is clear that the oral tradition (even if it is playing old 33's to your grandchildren) as a way of passing on a musical mantle certainly does divide sheep from goats, regardless of which you prefer...better stop while I'm ahead, eh?