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John Lennon - Folk Singer

GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 09 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM
Waddon Pete 09 Feb 08 - 03:56 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 09 Feb 08 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 09 Feb 08 - 01:02 PM
KeithofChester 09 Feb 08 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 09 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Whipcrackaway 08 Feb 08 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 08 Feb 08 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,guest...again 08 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Anon 08 Feb 08 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 08 Feb 08 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,guest 08 Feb 08 - 02:09 PM
Ernest 08 Feb 08 - 01:55 PM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 01:37 PM
Ernest 08 Feb 08 - 01:25 PM
KeithofChester 08 Feb 08 - 01:02 PM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 12:46 PM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 08 Feb 08 - 12:22 PM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 08 Feb 08 - 12:09 PM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 12:02 PM
Ernest 08 Feb 08 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 08 Feb 08 - 11:33 AM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 08 Feb 08 - 11:23 AM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 08:14 AM
Gene Burton 08 Feb 08 - 08:10 AM
GUEST 08 Feb 08 - 07:07 AM
The Sandman 08 Feb 08 - 06:53 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Feb 08 - 03:17 AM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 08 Feb 08 - 03:02 AM
Gene Burton 07 Feb 08 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 07 Feb 08 - 06:11 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Feb 08 - 06:04 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 07 Feb 08 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 07 Feb 08 - 05:06 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Feb 08 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 07 Feb 08 - 02:53 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 07 Feb 08 - 02:50 PM
Gene Burton 07 Feb 08 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Ruth - arrrgh! 07 Feb 08 - 01:57 PM
Nerd 07 Feb 08 - 01:45 PM
Gene Burton 07 Feb 08 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 07 Feb 08 - 01:12 PM
Gene Burton 07 Feb 08 - 01:10 PM
GUEST 07 Feb 08 - 12:50 PM
Gene Burton 07 Feb 08 - 12:26 PM
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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 05:21 PM

Anon and Trad. Arr, the two most prolific writers in musical history
:-D

Charlotte (one of THEM)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 03:56 PM

Hey guys....you've missed that great contribution from Anon. That is a very fine piece of work. Whoever you are, Anon, you should also post it on the writers thread!

Writer's corner

If you are still out there...has it a tune?

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 03:02 PM

Neither did I, but oh the hair... big flippin' hair


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 01:02 PM

Let It Be has become much the better record, without the excesses of Phil Spector. Sorry to say (and it maybe my relatively young age speaking here) I, for one, have never quite "got" Phil Spector (thread drift..I know *LOL*)

Charlotte (somwhere along The Long and Winding Road)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: KeithofChester
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 12:25 PM

Rubber Soul is indeed very acoustic.

There is a John Lennon Acoustic album, released a few of years back, that showcases a lot of his later solo work in very pleasant stripped back arranggments. I think the source of quite a bit of it was demos, although songs like his version of Working Class Hero were always pretty sparsely arranged anyway.

Let It Be was also much improved when Yoko Lennon-Carthy relented and let Paul Waterson-McCartney remove the worst of the Phil Spector excesses to produce Let It Be Naked.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 09 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM

Hasn't Rubber Soul been described as The Beatle most acoustic album? Now I'm not saying it's folk mind you, but it is definitely very acoustic.

Charlotte (drives her own car)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Whipcrackaway
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 05:53 PM

A child with an enchanting voice singing the haunting 'A Day in the Life'.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Ytmw_4t3FCY

I think that a song deserves the 'folk' label when it is passed through the generations and endures through continued performance. And I don't mean karaoke machines or on CD or on radio - I mean in live performance.

'Norwegian Wood' always struck me as a superb melody that ought to have had a decent narrative. I bet it won't be performed and it won't last as long as 'Day in the Life' for that very reason.

I really enjoyed Allan and his boy's Youtube appearance. Wonderful stuff! Thank you.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:44 PM

I believe the phrase "some people" have a problem with her...a small equally vocal minority...the usual suspects, if you will. I'm not one of them, but, then again, I'm not tking sides either, this simply an observation

Once you start a website or Myspace, space that is based around a musican or group, it might be fan-based (and quite frankly I've seen fan-based sites that are far better than the so-called "official" websites) but it still must be kept up, and there's nothing, necessarily wrong with that.

Now, as this is off topic, this is my final word on the matter.

Charlotte (keeping it folkie)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,guest...again
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:05 PM

No...no problem multi tasking either, and no problem with enthusiasm. But the vitriolic fervor which accompanies most of the answers to her posts should tell her, that maybe she is a little too enthusiastic! I used to thank jazzers were too serious, but man, too many stiff shirts on here sometimes! And myspace pages that lizzie created are fan sites, not official, so updating them is for her enjoyment, she's not drawing a salary for her work. Charlotte, I wrote this, you will notice not as a personal vendetta. I have not slagged her off once. Its just an observation that maybe, just maybe, she needs to understand why people have a problem with her. She says she doesn't give a toss about what others think, but I think thats a problem too, If you write about things as much as she does, wouldn't you through reasonable discourse hope to persuade someone one way or another? Wouldn't you enjoy that same discourse for being what it is, rather than holding onto some conspiracy theory regarding the BBC? Debate and discussion are a wonderful thing, and when it gets heated, you need to step back and tell the other person, hey...no offense, you're entitled to your opinion...we'll have to agree to disagree, etc? That is something that Lizzie doesn't seem to grasp very well


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Anon
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 02:59 PM

"ANON"

          There's no name on the stone I sleep under today
          There's no book that can tell of my time
          But you know me so well when you sing roundelay
          For you're singing my tune and my rhyme
          I am "Anon", you know me that way
          I had something to say about life in my day
          So I made a song and somewhere the sound of it
          goes round and round, to be lost and then found
          And that is the way that life is
          That is the way it is with songs
         
          It was in the alehouse, I would sing with the rest
          then I made up a tune of my own
          And a full harvest moon put the words in my head
          As I trudged 'cross the fields to my home
          When I sang it next day, my friends asked me how
          Did I find my own song in the blade of my plough
          So I asked in return how the stonemason saw
          A sweet face in the stone on the old quarry floor
          They asked "Is that the way that it is?"
          I said "That is the way it is for me."

          So they learned every word and they sang every note
          Till my song was a work of renown
          And within a six month I heard boys from the school
          Whistling my tune in the town
            And I smiled when I heard what came out of the sky
          coming now from a child as he quickly ran by
          Would it pass from that child, when as father he'd sing
            To a child of his own? Who'd believe such a thing
            But that is the way that life is
            That is the way it is with time

          It was 20 years gone, when our parson came home
          From a journey he'd made far away
          He shook my hand hard, said the inn where he'd stayed
          Had some men who sang there every day
          And he'd listened with joy as one, with a bow
          sang the song that I'd found in the blade of my plough
                So he told them my name,but they said that my song
          Was as old as the hills, and our parson was wrong
                  I asked "Is that the way that life is?"
          He said, "That is the way it is my son."

    So I planted and ploughed till my bones bowed and bent
         I made up no more verses to sing
          And it seemed that my life had been wasted and spent
    on the curses my hard days would bring
    Soon death came to call with a voice that cried "Now!"
    And the song that I'd found in the blade of my plough
    Leaped from my heart as I journeyed on
    And I knew it would live even though I was gone
    And that is the way that life is
      That is the way it is for us all

    There's no names on the stones we sleep under today
      There's no books that can tell of our time
       But you know us so well when you sing roundelay
       For your singing our tune and our rhyme
      We are "Anon", you know us that way
      We had something to say about life in our day
      So we made our songs, and somewhere the sound of them
      Goes round and round to be lost and then found
      And that is the way that life is
      That is the way it is with songs


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 02:32 PM

funny, keeping websites updated seems to me to be a necessity, far better than letting them go to hell in a handcart, but that's just my opinion.

I personally spend time on the internet while at the same time working on other off-line projects, nothing wrong with multi-tasking.

To be quite honest with our mystery guest (is this What's My Line?)
I see absolutely nothing wrong with enthusiasm, lord knows this place could use some, what with all the "serious folkies" who, also, seem to spend an inordinate amount of time here

Pleas consider THIS as some friendly advice......

Charlotte (what's my line again?)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 02:09 PM

Didn't seem that offensive to me either. Lizzie if you are reading this I choose to remain anonymous. I am on a few of your myspace pages. I have no beef with you personally, but while everyone is entitled to their opinions, you do come on strong. Say what you feel, disagree, but leave it at that. I find a lot of the problems people have with you is that you don't simmer down. Step back a moment and ask yourself, is this a little over the top? To stress about conspiracies against you and the music by everyone from the BBC to froots? I can agree with you that a lot of the music that we mutually like is criminally under played, and ignored, but using that as the basis for your diatrabes against others is wrong. And I do have one other thing to say, again as someone who is on some of your myspace pages. I had a, shall we say unhealthy internet addiction some time back, before I decided enough, I would use the internet for an occasional bit of research, or wholesome fun like youtube or myspace, band websites, etc. Judging by the time you spend updating your websites, time spent on lengthy arguments on here, time spent looking all the stuff you write about on here, could it be possible that you have an internet addiction? I mean that seriously, no humour intended. I'm not just talking about mudcat, but it seems to me like you spend way too much time online. Please consider this as some friendly advice. Cheers


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Ernest
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:55 PM

Hairsplitting???

Oh, I thought I mentioned that I am a lawyer....

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:37 PM

Oh, I see what you're driving at...splitting hairs, really, isn't it?
OK, so the first songs may not have been physically WRITTEN, but the point is that somebody had to come up with them...

BTW, the deletion of Lizzie's postings has made me look like I've been talking to an imaginary friend in MY last few postings. Was it REALLY necessary? I mean, it's not as if there was anything said that was abusive or inflammatory, and the jibe about turkeys I found genuinely funny...surely we aren't THAT easily offended?


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Ernest
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:25 PM

"singing was invented before writing."

Was it?? I must admit, that's news to me. (Assuming your remark about birds is tongue-in-cheek...technically bird "song" is nothing of the sort, because there are no words. You need both words and melody to have a song. And, come to think of it, most bird "song" is largely a-melodic, too...I mean, could you hum it back to yourself?)"


Gene, you are mixing up language and scripture now....


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: KeithofChester
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 01:02 PM

Here's my go (with alittle help from Trevor Lucas)

Two thousand and eight was the year I remember so well
they put my father in an early grave and slung my mother in gaol
now I don't know whats right or wrong
but they hung Cuddles on nails
6 kids at home & 2 still on the breast
they wouldn't even give her bail

CHORUS:

Poor Cuddles, you're better off deadat least you'll get some peace of mind
you're out on the track
they're right on your back
boy they're gonna hang you high


You'll need to put a few English placenames in the next verse in place of all the Australian ones.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:46 PM

If your postings get deleted, does that bring the total back down below 200, or do they still count...I'm getting worried now...

BTW, if it WAS you who started this thread, seriously, thanks. I've had probably hours of free entertainment as a result.

Now where IS that kazoo?


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM

Oh, and...200!!!


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM

"Maybe it was because you kept dating turkeys Gene. Next time I'd try taking a woman out, it may make all the difference to your love life."

Most amusing, Lizzie. Now, who do I complain to??


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:34 PM

I'd imagine if you kept your mouth just the right distance away from the sides you could achieve an interestingly distorted, kazoo-like effect...you could then walk just behind any obese people who happened to be passing and provide an inpromptu soundtrack to their wheezing journeys...much cheaper entertainment than watching a Beatles tribute act!


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:22 PM

Now that's one venue I've never sung in, a paper bage...

Charlotte(doesn't wear one on her head either)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:16 PM

...and most of the birds I've dated couldn't sing their way out of a paper bag...maybe that's why I'm single now (sigh...)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:09 PM

ummmm...taking the thread a little bit too seriously are we?

..."the screens, nurse"

Charlotte (registered little voice)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 12:02 PM

"singing was invented before writing."

Was it?? I must admit, that's news to me. (Assuming your remark about birds is tongue-in-cheek...technically bird "song" is nothing of the sort, because there are no words. You need both words and melody to have a song. And, come to think of it, most bird "song" is largely a-melodic, too...I mean, could you hum it back to yourself?)

AARGH!!! NURSE! NURSE! IT'S THE VOICES AGAIN!!!


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Ernest
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:35 AM

The first who ever sang a song of his/her own invention was NOT a songwriter because singing was invented before writing.

Fortunately no one started a thread called "Birds - Folk Singers" yet.

Hopefully, no one will. Those who are thinking about it: Beware - most birds are fierce traditionalists.

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:33 AM

and considering, at least in my opinion, this whole thing seemed to start out as something less than serious, 200 is a remarkable feat

Charlotte (as responsible as anyone for extending the joke beyond its shelf live)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:26 AM

This thread'll get to 200, or my name's not Theophillus Goon...


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:23 AM

"the first person who ever sang a song of his/her own invention was an acoustic/acapella/singer/songwriter. Get over it."

and THIS is the final word is it?*LOL*

Sorry, sunshine, it's not....get over it

Charlotte (get's over nothing)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 08:14 AM

Although, having said everything I've said on this thread...I've just been listening to The White Album...and it can't be denied, when all's said and done...McCartney was the greater talent!!! (LOL)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 08:10 AM

Quite!


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 07:07 AM

Now THERE's a first, Dick!

:)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 06:53 AM

Ruth, I agree.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:17 AM

"b) Given added resonance through the contribution of those contemporary songwriters worthy of assuming the mantle."

But see, here's where the argument starts to become circular again. For you, Gene, it's just about good quality songwriting. For me, contemporary music can't be folk unless it uses the tradition, at the very least, as a starting point. It can be great music; but I'd categorise it as acoustic singer/songwriter music, rather than folk.

I say again, I'm not a purist. I love music that takes the tradition in new directions. I'm LOVING the new Chumbawamba CD - whether I'd categorise it as folk is another matter. I loved Suzanne Vega in the 80s - but I don't think she's a folk singer.

I guess my point is that you're never going to get a definition that everyone agrees on. Even the very broadest definitions will have their detractors, and - as I tried to express yesterday, though not very successfully - the broader they are, the more meaningless they become.

We're never going to get ownership of the F word back - it's been co-opted and commodified by HMV and EMI and every lazy journalist looking for the Next Big Thing: Acid Folk, Nu-Folk, Twisted Folk...blah blah blah. Media noise. Against such odds, how can we ever hope to reach concensus?


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:02 AM

"wasn't there a feature in one of the broadsheets recently about that phenomenon in Manchester? It seemed to be centred around one club, but justified by the fact that they were planning to open similar clubs in other cities..."

That article was essentially an extended avertising piece for one bar, (which is 500 yards from my house and very nice it is too - they even occasionally let us old farts in!). However there are plenty of other 'nu-folk' events in Manchster that pre-date it. It's only been able to do as well as it has because of the existence of a thriving scene, I think. Most of that scene is low-key, DIY and fiercely independent - quite punk in spirit, in fact - and well supported.

Cheers

Nigel

Not that this has anything to do with whatsisname, that multimillionaire pop singer who wanted us to imagine we had no possessions and then had the temerity to 'wonder if we could'...


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 07:54 PM

Oh, we DO need Folk. No doubt about that in my mind. We need a term that recognises the melodic quality and universal truths about human experience which are a) Encapsulated in those traditional (ie. without known author) songs which have survived to be sung to the present day AND b) Given added resonance through the contribution of those contemporary songwriters worthy of assuming the mantle.

The concept will wither if confined solely to one or the other. The term Folk is vital in order to illustrate the thread which links our past with our present. That's why this debate, to me, is far from purely theoretical. It's OUR music; it doesn't belong to any one cultural or socio-economic sub-group; and as such it must be recognised for what it is, and championed.

(BTW, the EFDSS do some great work, and I won't hear a word said against them. Then again I may be a tad biased...)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 06:11 PM

"Maybe we should just give the F word to them, and find another word for the stuff we do.."

nope, I'm not surrendering the flag to anyone.

Charlotte (keeping on keeping on)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 06:04 PM

wasn't there a feature in one of the broadsheets recently about that phenomenon in Manchester? It seemed to be centred around one club, but justified by the fact that they were planning to open similar clubs in other cities...

I doubt it's a "folk" that many people here would recognise - but that's because folk and acoustic have become interchangeable terms in the media and recording industry.

But this is also an example of what a broad spectrum of young people is represented by the word folk. And another exmple of why the word has lost any intrinsic meaning, TBH. Maybe we should just give the F word to them, and find another word for the stuff we do...


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 05:52 PM

Hi Ruth! I listen to lots of traditional music by young people - its probably what gets the most airplay in my house and it's really brilliant that it's happening. But here in central Manchester there are sod all traditional music events, and those that do happen, such as Les's lovely singaround here in Chorlton, are mainly populated by people quite a bit older than me (and I'm 44...). Lots and lots of young people - what someone I was talking the other day calls 'fashionable fake folkies' - here in Manchester go to these sort of nu-folk nights though, often to see unsigned local acts. It's very healthy, but exists in a parallel universe at present... and one that probably sees forums like this as 'the man'!

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 05:06 PM

"people coming in are younger and younger: kids in their 20s"

I was playing The Transports the other day (the silver anniversary edition) and my 12 year old wanted to know who and what it was..I asked her if she liked it, the answer to that is, I can't stop her playing it now.

Charlotte (converting one person at a time)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 04:39 PM

"they also generally have little interest in the tradition or the revival(s) - they're too busy enjoying themselves"

But there are also a lot of other bright young things, Nigel, who have respect for and interest in the tradition. Malcolm Taylor, the library director at Cecil Sharp House, says the people coming in are younger and younger: kids in their 20s who want to know where all this stuff came from. Then there are the kids doing the folk music degree in Newcastle, who study the tradition as part of their course. They're there because they want to be - because they think it matters.

So to assume it's only old farts like us (and given some of your early folk influences, I reckon we must be around the same age) who are interested in the traditional, or who equate it with folk, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater...


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:53 PM

"Does anybody ever get to the end of Lizzie's maundering diatribes? "

does anyone besides me get tired of this MacKenzie person's stupendous rudeness?

Charlotte (better raised than that)


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:50 PM

Shock! Horror! Not another 'what is this beast, the one we call folk?' thread on Mudcat... actually, I quite like them on the sly. This thread has always threatened to become one.

The 1954 definition is now 54 years old and predates the explosion in accessible communication and information storage technology... These days it would be bloody hard to 'forget' who wrote what song (except things like football chants). I reckon the '54 definition could almost be described as having entered the tradition - except its authorship has not been forgotten and it seems strangely resistant to being altered or adapted by oral transmission/the folk process...

Over time, the meaning of some words change with a changing world and changing culture. I reckon 'folk' is one such word. It's a good while since it was synonymous with 'traditional' and I think we simply have to accept that and use a different word to describe traditional music (and original music deeply rooted in tradition). Like... erm... I know! Traditional music!

You can't put the genie back in the bottle. The first 'folk' music I heard that I liked was the Pogues, the Men They Couldn't Hang, Malcolm's Interview, The Band of Holy Joy, The Fishwives, The Whiskey Priests, Blyth Power etc. It's doubtful by many definitions whether any of these are actually folk on any level. But that was the first time I heard songs by, say, Ewan McColl and the first time I heard 'folk' in a context that made sense to me as a young post-punk type. When that scene went off the boil I didn't listen to any more 'folk' for years till my interest got reawakened by reissues of late sixties and early seventies 'acid folk' albums. Again, hardly 'folk' by most definitions (even if the wonderful Forest did start as a Watersons/Young Tradition inspired vocal trio...).

I don't really care what people choose to describe as folk music. Some of it I'll like and understand, some of it will leave me cold. But as a description of a recognisable type of music, I don't believe the term has ANY meaning in 2008. Go to bars and live music nights and you'll find hip young things with acoustic guitars making great original music that they call folk, and whilst some of the music is a bit twee and wafty, a lot of it is really good (and there are a hell of a lot of them around and they all look like members of the Stone Roses, even the women!). Whilst, praise the lard, very few of the ones I've seen are introspective singer songwriters, they also generally have little interest in the tradition or the revival(s) - they're too busy enjoying themselves - and have a tendency to disparage 'proper' folk as 'three blokes with a beard'. So any arguments we have at Mudcat about the meaning of folk, especially if we're coming from the turning-back-the-clock perspective, are ones we've already lost. 'Folk' has moved on.

When it comes to defining traditional music, however, that's an entirely different matter... We should be a lot more rigourous if we believe what we have needs to be kept.

Cheers

Nigel

PS: personally, I think if Cecil Sharp was around these days, he's be into collecting rare northern soul 7" singles.


Only joking. Really.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:43 PM

Come on, Joan/Ruth- how on earth was I going to figure out you were Joan/Ruth if you didn't enter a name?? As I said, I am NOT omniscient...yet.

I'm afraid I cannot in all conscience feign sufficient interest in rap to engage with you or anyone else on the subject, and I will happily bow to anybdy's superior knowledge on the topic.

I'm not aware that I've made any statements which negate or belittle the historical context of traditional music. If anything, I raised the issue of whether the writers of trad folk songs considered their songs to be folk songs in an attempt to put the discussion into some kind of historical context. My point being, if they themselves didn't necessarily consider themselves folksingers, who are we to limit the concept of folk to their songs?


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST,Ruth - arrrgh!
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:57 PM

Gene, I don't think I mentioned academic credentials. All I said was that this is, as Nerd has demonstrated in his post, an issue with quite a long history. I think for any meaningful discussion to take place, that history and context has to be acknowledged - not just the recent past.

I wasn't hiding behind anoymity - it's just that many people here already know who I am. I don't keep it a secret.

My name is Joan Crump. I run a festival and programme a venue, and manage a folk development and outreach programme. And I am on the National Council of EFDSS, though the views I express here are my own and don't represent the Society in any way.

Nerd, I agree with all you've said - but I would still say that rap has its roots in singing!


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Nerd
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:45 PM

Actually, many folklorists would have less problem talking about rap as folklore than John Lennon songs as folklore. If you were around the streets of New York in the 1980s, as I was, you heard lots of rapping that was directly a product of not only Jamaican toasts, but African American toasts (a la "Signifyin' Monkey.")

Gene may certainly be right that it's not singing, though! In practice, rapping in those days was somewhere in between, more sing-song than speech, less melodic than singing. Folklorists are interested in spoken traditional folklore as well as in singing per se, and rap has its strongest roots in that tradition, so folklorists are still interested in it.

Gene has actually gotten to an interesting, if arcane, issue with the category of "folk." As Gene says, it was never a category that people applied to themselves, until the folk revival. There is a simple reason for this: "Folk" as a qualifier for the various arts was not invented at all until 1773, and it was invented by a German, Johann Gottfried von Herder. It was not incorporated into English for another fifty years, and the word "folk-lore" not coined until 1846.

Folklore remained a scholarly concept, rather than a generally-known one, for some time after that. Thus, the turn of the century revivalists (the era of Grainger and Sharp) were the first generation of people applying the word and publishing it widely in connection with music and dance. People had a variety of terms for what we call "folk song" now, including (in England) "country songs," "old songs," and other terms.

Research into the attitudes of the singers from whom songs were collected suggests that, although they may have liked and sung other kinds of songs, such as music-hall songs, they made a distinction between these and older traditional songs. Unfortunately, interest in the attitudes of that generation of singers roughly coincided with their dying out, so not that much is known! Still, it's pretty certain that they only would have used the word "folksongs" under the influence of the revival.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:20 PM

Well, it's self evident that everybody is rooted in the time in which they live...it'd be strange if things were otherwise.
If we're trading academic credentials, I have a degree in History, not that it's ever done me any bloody good. I think it was Alan Bennett who said it's ultimately just one fucking thing after another...

How about putting a name to your postings?


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:12 PM

I was born in the late 20th century, too. But I still know about some stuff that happened before I was born. Like, from books an' that.
I think if you're going to discuss this subject, you need to be able to put it into context.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:10 PM

"I think a lot of your perspectives are rooted in a late-20th century notion of what "folk" means."

Yes. I was born in the late twentieth century, you see. Pray forgive me for not yet having mastered time travel. Unlike some particularly enlightened individuals on this forum, I am not omniscient. Just clever.

(Chuckle).


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 12:50 PM

Rap can be traced back to the call and response music of field singing and to Jamaican toasting. It also incorporates music. If all that other stuff is folk, then so is rap.

Of course they didn't consider themselves folk singers - the term wasn't even invented when many of these songs were created. And folk as a term was not initially used to recognise "quality and staying power" - it was a largely pejorative term used to distinguish peasant crafts and pastimes from the "high art" created by the educated classes.

I think a lot of your perspectives are rooted in a late-20th century notion of what "folk" means.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon - Folk Singer
From: Gene Burton
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 12:26 PM

Sorry Nigel- I should have made that clear myself. Didn't mean to set the Performing Rights Gestapo on your trail!


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