". . . as real, and thrilling, as putting my foot into a stone stair hollowed out by hundreds of years of wear."
Nice image, Mudlark! Mind if I steal it? I also like, "And it is usually true, for me, at least, that the songs that truly move me are very spare traditional songs, traditional in nature if not in fact, where little is said, much implied. Pain and tragedy is explained and accepted, with no need to ask or beg for anything from the listener."
In the early Sixties, bluesman Jesse Fuller was in town for about a week, singing at a local coffeehouse. One comment he made between songs was, "I gotta laugh about all these college boys singin' about bein' a 'steel-drivin' man.' I mean, I have drove some!" Not specifically about sentimental songs, but I think it applies.