The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #121629 Message #2657816
Posted By: Marje
16-Jun-09 - 12:27 PM
Thread Name: Do male singers have all the best songs?
Subject: RE: Do male singers have all the best songs?
In traditional song, there's often a switch of perspective as the narrative progesses - it may start out, say, with some passer-by observing a conversation, and then the rest of the song will be shared between a couple having some sort of dialogue, so the singer has to represent all three points of view. No one expects him/her to start singing falsetto or putting on a false beard to demonstrate who is singing. So if you're fond of a song, I don't see why you shouldn't sing it, even if it's all written from the male point of view. I recently heard a lovely version of "Spanish Lady" sung by a woman, with total conviction, and it never occurred to me that it was inappropriate.
As someone says above, if you want more specifically female songs, dig out some recordings of woman singers and you'll find some great material. I find the main problem is that there's a preponderance of sad songs about girls being pregnant/abandoned/ otherwise let down by men, and although some of these are cracking songs, there are times when you want to lighten up a bit, and most of the jovial songs seem to be men's ones (about drinking, womanising, hunting, poaching, general carousing, etc). Some of these you may find quite singable, while others may make you uneasy - just stick with what you find comfortable, and your listeners will be happy for you to share the song with them.
For what it's worth, I first heard "Ride On" sung by a woman singer at a folk club, and have never thought of it as a man's song. "The Town I Loved" is a bit different as it has very specific details that might jar a bit - I don't really like tweaking songs, but in this case I have, in the past, substituted, "and become a wife" for "and I'd found a wife" - the rest of it I left as it was.