The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2224 Message #2265417
Posted By: dick greenhaus
18-Feb-08 - 12:01 PM
Thread Name: What is a Folk Song?
Subject: RE: What is a Folk Song?
If I had my druthers, the word "folk" would never have been used for the commercial outpourings of the 60s and on. It's too late now. A definition is only worthwhile if the people using the word agree on what it means. MacColl certainly tried to expand the definition to include industrial songs (though he was diligent about distinguishing between his own compositions and folksongs); Lomax certainly broadened the definition to include the country music of Woody Guthrie; the Harry Smith Collection brought American country music into the fold.
As I said, I have no problem with the 1954 definition, but I recognize that only a small portion of what I sing consists of what I consider to be "folk"; I've spent a half-century or so being labled a "folksinger", though.