The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2224   Message #3747114
Posted By: Lighter
28-Oct-15 - 12:00 PM
Thread Name: What is a Folk Song?
Subject: RE: What is a Folk Song?
> no references to 'telling a story'

An ingenious balladic criterion, Tim, and you;re welcome to it, but wouldn't it leave out all those traditional songs that *don't* tell a story?

Most chanteys, for example.

(And IMO, songs like Marty Robins' "El Paso" and Jinnie Driftwood's "Battle of New Orleans" don't meaningfully become "folk" just because they obviously do "tell a story" any more than does a rap song that does so.

Also, if your definition of "folk" isn't shared by others, they won't know WTH you're talking about - a maddening situation we've already touched upon.

Tricky, isn't it?