The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34695   Message #469418
Posted By: John P
24-May-01 - 09:00 AM
Thread Name: Are folk lyrics ever 'wrong?'
Subject: RE: Are folk lyrics ever 'wrong?'
I prefer it when people change songs I write to suit their own experience and performing style. It makes me think I'm writing folk music. I freely change any piece of music I learn to suit myself. It the composer doesn't like it, too bad. They don't have to listen.

As for traditional songs, doing a bunch of research is an academic pursuit. The folk process is, in many ways, the exact opposite of an academic pursuit. If no one learned the lyrics "wrong", we wouldn't have half the wonderful phrases we have. And if everyone did careful research, we would have a bunch of scholars and not much living tradition. The singer who is singing is usually much more interesting than the scholar who is researching and writing.