The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34695   Message #469367
Posted By: paddymac
24-May-01 - 07:01 AM
Thread Name: Are folk lyrics ever 'wrong?'
Subject: RE: Are folk lyrics ever 'wrong?'
I think that both views as as "correct" as anything can be in the world of folk, so long as "personalizing" doesn't change the basic story of message of the song. Languages and useages within are continuously evolving, and the "message" of a song can be lost if the wording doesn't keep up with the vernacular. Look at Shakespeare as but one example. His clever use of metaphor and the colloquialisms of his day are lost in varying measure on many of today's audiences without either (a) a prior gounding in Shakespeara's english, or (b) some degree of "up-dating" of dialogue.

And then there's the case where the "bowdlerizer's" goal IS to change the meaning of a song, while still leaving it instantly recognizeable as its former self. The limits of "art" are nearly impossible to define with precision.