The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4153   Message #22633
Posted By: Bill D
01-Mar-98 - 02:44 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over
Subject: RE: Lyrics please:20th Century's Almost Over
William James, the American philosopher, was once asked to briefly explain his 'pragmitism' philosophy..so he told the story of being out with some men hunting, and came back to camp to find them watching a squirrel on a tree, and walking round & round the tree trying to see the squirrel....and arguing about whether they were walking around the squirrel or not, since the squirrel always was keeping the tree between himself and them, and thus always facing them. According to W. James, he quickly settled the argument by pointing out that it just depended on their personal definition of 'around', and that it wasn't really important or possible to decide.....and that was a 'pragmatic' answer.

So...Steve Goodman? he was a singer...he was a songwriter....his songs were pretty nice. Some of us want the 'title' of 'folksong' to be delayed until certain tests are met, and some want to apply it wholesale to anything which they like to hear or sing..My own view is that pragmitism is a cop-out, but James would just say that my attitude is itself an example of pragmatic definition..so *shrug*...whatta ya' gonna do?