The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18581   Message #522635
Posted By: M.Ted
07-Aug-01 - 12:29 PM
Thread Name: BS: What isn't Folk?
Subject: RE: BS: What isn't Folk?
As I understand it, it isn't really a yes or no question--it is more just a situation of figuring out which elements come from where and what the processes might have been.

There are different things that you can look at-- Woody generally used traditional melodies, and I'll assume that he learned them by hearing them, so generally, whatever else is going on, the melody is always going to satisfy a very tight definition of folk/tradtional.As to topical lyrics, even if the events are new, the process of creating them is traditional (at least the way Woody did it)--even the political elements are characteristics of topical broadsides--a lot of his other songs, as well, would be written with traditional ballads other songs that he had heard as a model, so they would be coming out of a tradition--

Some of his lyrics probably are more influenced by the contemporary or popular music, but which ones are more derived from popular music than from traditional is a doctoral thesis for somebody--