The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168299 Message #4066445
Posted By: cnd
29-Jul-20 - 12:07 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Johnstown Flood
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnstown Flood
I did have a typo in my last lyrical snippet, but I don't think it's worth worrying more further; we've got the gist of the song.
"What is it doing here?" -- not sure I get the question. Mudcat hosts all kinds of folk music and discussion, "traditional" or not. I really don't get what makes this thread more objectionable than plenty of other discussions. Sure, it's not some song that comes from the British Isles, and it hasn't been passed down orally since the 1800s, but it's a song related to the folk idiom--and I don't think it's a huge stretch to think that.
In my experience, a lot (note: NOT all) of the tragedy songs from America in that period didn't really start as "folk" songs; they started as overly-sentimental poems in newspapers or other local sources and filtered into singing tradition like that, often further simplified and refined. This song is a modern construction, as best as I can find, so it's probably attempting to imitate that tradition. I am, of course, speaking in suppositions, but that's my assumption for the sort of trawling nature of the song.