The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60042   Message #960779
Posted By: Marje
28-May-03 - 05:17 PM
Thread Name: Living Tradition and the Revival
Subject: RE: Living Tradition and the Revival
Willie-O: I don't disagree with what you say, I do think that it's better if you can relate the song in some way to your life. But I think we can still do this with old songs about the past, as it's still part of our heritage.

We once went to Portsmouth to visit Nelson's flagship the Victory. You can see the spot where Nelson died, you can see the cramped sleeping quarters the sailors endured and the whips they were beaten with. When you hear that sometimes they were taken on this ship for seven years and never allowed on shore (yes, this very ship, which is still there for us to see and touch) it gaves a whole new depth to all those songs about sailors going away for seven years, and helps you appreciate why they had recurrent fears about not being recognised or loved when they got home.

So I think the personal connection with the song does matter - it needn't be a first-hand connection, but there needs to be something in the song you can relate to directly. That way, it's still part of the traditional process when you sing and share the song.