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neo-fascist-folk, please illuminate.

Sleepy Rosie 21 Nov 08 - 03:30 PM
Jack Campin 21 Nov 08 - 03:45 PM
Little Hawk 21 Nov 08 - 03:51 PM
Joybell 21 Nov 08 - 04:23 PM
PoppaGator 21 Nov 08 - 04:50 PM
Murray MacLeod 21 Nov 08 - 05:15 PM
Jack Campin 21 Nov 08 - 05:30 PM
Murray MacLeod 21 Nov 08 - 05:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Nov 08 - 06:53 PM
Jack Campin 21 Nov 08 - 07:31 PM
TheSnail 21 Nov 08 - 07:33 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 08 - 05:34 AM
The Borchester Echo 22 Nov 08 - 06:02 AM
trevek 22 Nov 08 - 06:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 08 - 06:49 AM
RiGGy 22 Nov 08 - 06:39 PM
Joe G 22 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 08 - 07:26 PM
Joe G 22 Nov 08 - 07:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 08 - 08:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 08 - 09:06 PM
Manitas_at_home 23 Nov 08 - 02:58 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Nov 08 - 04:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Nov 08 - 05:05 AM
Sleepy Rosie 23 Nov 08 - 06:09 AM
Spleen Cringe 23 Nov 08 - 02:39 PM
VirginiaTam 23 Nov 08 - 03:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Nov 08 - 03:52 PM
Ruth Archer 23 Nov 08 - 04:23 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Nov 08 - 07:15 PM
bobad 24 Nov 08 - 07:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Nov 08 - 07:41 PM
Escapee 24 Nov 08 - 09:37 PM
Little Hawk 24 Nov 08 - 11:14 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Nov 08 - 03:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Nov 08 - 03:14 AM
Spleen Cringe 25 Nov 08 - 04:28 AM
MartinRyan 25 Nov 08 - 04:36 AM
greg stephens 25 Nov 08 - 04:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Nov 08 - 05:07 AM
TheSnail 25 Nov 08 - 06:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Nov 08 - 06:43 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Nov 08 - 06:45 AM
greg stephens 25 Nov 08 - 06:54 AM
TheSnail 25 Nov 08 - 07:03 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 25 Nov 08 - 07:44 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Nov 08 - 08:02 AM
The Borchester Echo 25 Nov 08 - 08:20 AM
Folkiedave 25 Nov 08 - 09:28 AM
Faye Roche 25 Nov 08 - 09:55 AM
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Subject: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 03:30 PM

I've been bumping up against neo-fascism in England and in particular the British Nazi movements ideological investment in our English heritage.

Can anyone enlightn me as to what the fuck? I thought these guys liked lager and football riots...
    Note: this discussion is open only to registered members.
    All Guest posts will be deleted, with NO exeptions for members who are not logged in
    - so please do not reply to Guest posts.
    We've had too many problems with Guest posts on this subject.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 03:45 PM

Not so much "neo" as the original. Google for Rolf Gardiner.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 03:51 PM

Well, German folksongs were very popular among Nazis, young and old, during the 30s and 40s. This was probably true in Italy and in Franco's Spain too. What makes you think that folk music and fascism are mutually exclusive? One of the notable features of fascism is a fierce pride in (many of) the nation's old cultural traditions, one of which is traditional folk music. Part of the appeal of fascism is that it invokes old heroic national myths or archetypes and attempts to meld them with new military technology, for example.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 04:23 PM

Labels are moveable. I can think of many times a label has been attached to songs, ideas, the way someone looks, paintings.
In the 60s True-love was involved in the Civil Rights Movement. In Mississippi the KKK jammed the radios with wonderful old music and songs. Both sides loved those old songs.
Joy


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 04:50 PM

I've seen videos of a white-supremacist meeting in Tennessee with Memphis soul music (black singers accompanied by integrated bands) playing in the background.

Go figure.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 05:15 PM

This song (Tomorrow Belongs to Me) has always inspired mixed emotions as far as I am concerned.

I have linked to this version rather than the movie clip because this video is a little more thought provoking.

I happen to think it is a truly great song, but in the movie it acquires horrendous overtones .

I know it isn't a folksong and that it was written for the musical, but it does have the timeless quality that all great songs have, whether "folk" or not.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 05:30 PM

I can't do YouTube on the computer I normally use for Mudcat - what do you mean, "Tomorrow Belongs to Us" from "Cabaret"?

There's a similar phenomenon in Scotland - the fascist wing of Scottish nationalism, Siol nan Gaidheal, has a lot of folkies in it. One of the better known is a neo-Celtic bagpiper and folkdance instructor, others are into the crude we-gubbed-the-English historical song genre that Gaberlunzie specialize in. (I've no idea to what extent Gaberlunzie themselves are that way inclined, but they must have noticed the response that kind of song gets).


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 05:41 PM

yes, you guessed right Jack.

somehow, Gaberlunzie songs just don't have the same spine chilling effect ...


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 06:53 PM

During the wars in the former Yugoslavia, folk music of one sort or another was very much in evidence as a way of generating enthusiasm for the conflict among Serbs.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 07:31 PM

Maybe Sleepy Rosie could say where she'd come across the connection - just on the "English national instrument" thread, or elsewhere?

English folk can't be a promising avenue of infiltration for a fascist these days. In the 20s and 30s, it had much more potential as a mass phenomenon, and in the Balkans (not just Serbia) it still is one, with the "turbofolk" movement. You can't go far in the British folk scene without bumping into a grumpy old Daily Mail reader, but they aren't going to be organizing uniformed mass rallies any time soon.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: TheSnail
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 07:33 PM

Keep an eye out for this lot - Steadfast Trust..

We had one chap that we thought was quite a good recruit to the local folk scene albeit with some romantic ideas about Anglo-Saxon England. Then he started campaigning for this bunch and spouting forth against immigration and the importance of the Germanic-Scandinavian gene pool.

He was told his ideas were not welcome and we don't see much of him now.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 05:34 AM

The big advantage to fascists of concentrating on the past is that while you're getting maudlin about the sad sufferings and stirred by the heroic deeds of a hundred years ago - you can be dismissive of the sufferings and heroic deeds of the society you want to change with the jackboot.

Having said that, you can't chuck away your heritage and the advantages its confers.

I do feel though, we have been through a terrible time of people feeling that they can confront and dismiss what the generality of people are listening to - and thus disenfranchise them from the folk process.

In the 1960's we were all so bloody competitive - who could be the most esoteric. It was not just folk. It was every kind of music. In classical music it was Schoenberg and John Cage outraging the Beethoven fans. Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayers in the jazz field - outraging the boppers, who in turn had had their fun pissing off the trad jazz fans. And didn't we all love the look of puzzlement and anger on our parents faces when B Dylan's discordant harmonica, and Jimi Hendrix's drug inspired feedback epics gripped their shit.

Our comeuppance was soon on the way though, when the traddies hit the form that has never really deserted them. An insistence that old gypsy singers were doing it right, and the rest of us were doing it wrong - an obsession with dance tunes that no one much in England dances to. songs in accents no one speaks in any more.

When we so totally ignore the present in trying to cling to the past - we are on our way to accepting the fascist agenda. Its to do with saying, 'I have no obligation to communicate with you. You must get on MY wavelength.'

I think it is high time we tried to build bridges - the fascist are already saying - No need to understand the man down your street - understand your glorious past!

Big Al Whittle
(speaking from the BNP heartland in North Notts)


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 06:02 AM

an obsession with dance tunes that no one much in England dances to

Really? On the eceilidh list only a couple of days ago, Derek Kingscote wrote (in a discussion about the lack of a searate dance music category on the Folk Awards):

"I call for about forty ceilidhs a year [weddings/PTAs/parties etc] and the average attendance is around 100 [ok not all of those dance] but that's 4000 people a year watching and dancing to e-c; and I'm just a jobbing caller. If there are, say, 100 callers nationally doing a similar amount to me then that's 400,000 people a year [and I'm not talking about the e-c mafia and their Woodpeckers, Committee, Stomp, Gloworms, Random, Steamchicken, etc and the all the regular dancers you see at these events] This is Joe Public having traditional culture given back to them".

That's a lot more than "no-one much".

There is, however, considerable concern over attempts to hijack the work of well-known artists by the nasty right. Chris Wood, Spiers & Boden. Show of Hands and Maggie Holland (to name but four acts from the top of my head) have had struggles on their hands to get listings of recordings and illegal streamings removed from neo-fascist sites which used them in such a way as to suggest that they were lending their support. It's very insidious, but that's how fascists operate. In present day Germany. trad music is still a shameful, guilty secret which remains locked away in university music departments because today's musicians don't want to be associated with its nazi connotations. It's desperately important not to let Britain's white supremacists get hold of ours.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: trevek
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 06:26 AM

I think a lot of it ties in with visions of the idyllic Britain of the 19thC and early 20thC, funnily enough, when all the folk movements and anthropology were getting into the swing.

Across Europe people were digging up old folk songs and classifying things as 'pure whatever-nation'.

If you think about Irish Gaelic nationalism, Finnish nationalism (Kalevala etc)and Polish nationalism (Mickiewicz etc) then it really isn't that surprising to find it being used today.

I've seen Punch and Judy being heralded by BNP. It's symbolic of the fight for survival of 'British Culture" against the PC brigade. Worrying, cos I'm a Punch performer myself and certainly not a BNP supporter.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 06:49 AM

You gotta do what your conscience and your sensibility dictates I guess, Diane.

I was absolutely gobsmacked to find a village about two miles away from me (Brinsley)on the PM programme. Apparently 42% of people from there support and vote for the BNP.

I know this place has always had its problems - the lead singer of Skrewdriver was born in Heanor (just down the road) and the BNP have had rally weekends in Jacksdale (between here and Heanor).

It made me think there needs to be a new note in our music. Its not there in my music at the moment and in its certainly not there in any of this old stuff. We've been waking up and smelling the coffee too long, we need to wake up and smell the danger.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: RiGGy
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 06:39 PM

I have a good friend who's a great fiddler. He got a gig with a successful, touring Celtic-Rock band from Northern California.
Over a relatively short time he noticed a sharp spike in skin-head attendence at their concerts. Turns out they were adopted as a musical focus for a neo-nazi org. Seems that a new take on celtic is that it's REAL "white" music. Buddy quit the gig.

Riggy


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Joe G
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 06:59 PM

I'm struggling to follow the argument here weelittledrummer - are you saying that we should reject our folk traditions in case by hanging on to them we leave them open to appropriation by the extreme right? I believe it actually makes it more important for those of us with moderate political views to celebrate our folk traditions so that they are not twisted by those who would use them for their own evil ends. I also hugely support those on the folk scene who are building the bridges you mention - I consider The Imagined Village to possibly be the most important folk CD for a generation - though I also believe that Steve Knightley's Roots is possibly the most important song.

I can't see why you have chosen to criticise English Dance Music in this context as well - as Diane says there are quite a lot of people who adore this music, including me. I don't see why it should be abandoned for fear of subversion by the fascists!

Sorry if I have misunderstood you but, though I love contemporary folk probably more than traditional, I believe we need both to prosper.

Interested to hear you further views, especially if I have misinterpreted your comments


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 07:26 PM

No I'm saying we need to write something pretty bloody quick which addresses the present situation, where fascists (who my Dad spent five shitty years in a tank fighting against) are getting elected. Not just dumb kids but parents are passing these racist ugly violent values on to a next generation.

If you think you can say something which addreses a modern audience on the subject sounding like a peasant or factory worker of a century ago - you do it!

Steve 's song - I don't really want to comment on. I'm not really much in sympathy with it. I've had to work anywhere there's a job, anywhere I can afford to live all my working life. We'd all like to live in a two hundred grand cottage in Cornwall.

However he states his position with eloquence and he has great presence and stagecraft - compared to the early 1970's when he used to gig down the Opposite Locks in Exeter. I admire him and Phil Beer immensely. and paul Downes.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Joe G
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 07:39 PM

Thanks for that clarification - I certainly can't do it but I think Robb Johnson has been doing just that for many years - unfortunately he does not seem to have acquired the audience he should have given the quality of his material and performance.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 08:58 PM

Okay i'll look out for his work.

But really if there is someone who is doing it. We should know about it. And its the fault of BBC djs (mainly paid by the public purse) that we don't.

cos its the best thing our music can do for our age. Far more important I've heard addressed by the current crop of folkies. Myself included in the criticism.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 09:06 PM

are we gonna wait til these bastards start killing people? Study Hitler. Its not very far down the line. right now I feel intimidated to write something - knowing that 42% of the village down the road are pro fascist.

It really is that simple. which side are you on?


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 02:58 AM

But why is it that White supremacists seem to have latched on to Celtic culture? Didn't Hitler consider the Celts to be lesser humans?

Mind you, that's not as strange as skin-heads in the 1960's and 70's playing reggae and ska.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 04:10 AM

From Wiki : A skinhead is a member of a subculture that originated among working class youths in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, and then spread to other parts of the world. Named for their close-cropped or shaven heads, the first skinheads were greatly influenced by West Indian (specifically Jamaican) rude boys and British mods, in terms of fashion, music and lifestyle. Originally, the skinhead subculture was primarily based on those elements, not politics or race. Since then, however, attitudes toward race and politics have become factors in which some skinheads align themselves. The political spectrum within the skinhead scene ranges from the far right to the far left, although many skinheads are apolitical.

On YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufKb5M9Uj4E


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 05:05 AM

'But why is it that White supremacists seem to have latched on to Celtic culture? Didn't Hitler consider the Celts to be lesser humans?'

well you could play the connections game all day. aren't there celtic connections with Wagner's operas.

Not that I think it loomed large in the oafs minds who attacked the newsagents 6 year old kid in in our village.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 06:09 AM

Cheers for the requested illumination people. Very interesting discussion, thanks. Although I'm in no informed position to comment, I can certainly appreciate where weelittledrummer's 'dangers of purity' type reasoning is coming from. And it's a thought provoking one.

Yes I know the Caberet clip, and a little of the history of German Nazisms appropriation of folk tradition to their cause.

The BNP are always looking for some way to appeal to the 'common man'. In recent years they have toned down their style. And they do appear to be doing so with increasing success now. Where once they were laughed off, I too think they are an increasingly insideous influence.

So, I'm curious about the politics. Are many folkies out there actively addressing this?
Any folk anti-fascist songs being written...?
Must admit to have a fond spot for a bit of Billy Bragg in days past.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 02:39 PM

There's always a danger that fascists will appropriate traditional folk songs but I'm with Joe and Diane that its all the more reason not to give them up. Luckily the far right doesn't exactly seem to be producing a slew of talented folk singers and most folk clubs and events I know wouldn't exactly welcome them with open arms. Hopefully that is the same elsewhere.

I think it's a shame that so few of our contemporary UK folksong writers (is that the right phrase?) are addressing political/social issues, but I hope if more start to, it isn't just mindless sloganeering and purer-than-thou piety. That would send me, for one, running for the hills. The best left wing/protest singers have also been great story tellers and aware of nuance and subtlety - such as Leon Rosselson or Billy Bragg when at their best. When Chris Wood gets stuck into addressing contemporary concerns he's bloody good at it (just listen to Trespasser) but I can't think of many others.

Maybe folk club organisers and regulars could name a few have come there way over recent years? Maybe some of our left of centre songwriting Mudcatters could big themselves up here?

I suspect the folk clubs will hardly be the front line in the current battle against fascism, though, any more than any other harmless, minority interest hobbyist groups...


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 03:46 PM

If only I could write and perform like Billy Bragg but it's wrong to wish on space hardware.

If a leftie folkie was doing a song that derided the Bastard Nutter Patrol would a sympathiser of the latter even notice? If it was done to a trad tune do you think they listen to lyrics?

Well I guess they aren't all thick. More's the pity.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 03:52 PM

I suppose theres no real reason why folk music should concern itself - any more than any other music.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 04:23 PM

Robb Johnson is a good call - he's a really good songwriter, IMHO.

The following comes from the BNP's Mission Statement:

"Torch bearers of culture

The rich legacy of tradition, legend, myth and very real wealth of landscape and man-made structures is one of our island's richest treasures. The men and women of the British National Party are motivated by love and admiration of the outpouring of culture, art, literature and the pattern of living through the ages that has left its mark on our very landscape. We value the folkways and customs which have been passed down through countless generations."

I found two members of my local morris side (and it's a side that blacks up - am I right to find this even more disturbing?) on the recently leaked BNP membership list. Maybe I'm wrong to do so, but as they are both listed as "activists", I presume that their membership of a morris side is one expression of their political identity. I also presume that they are not an isolated case.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 07:15 PM

If I may edit slightly: -

"The rich legacy of tradition, legend, myth and very real wealth of landscape and man-made structures is one of our island's richest treasures. We are motivated by love and admiration of the outpouring of culture, art, literature and the pattern of living through the ages that has left its mark on our very landscape. We value the folkways and customs which have been passed down through countless generations."

Now what could be wrong with that?

Al, Tom Robinson wrote some superb anti-nazi songs - but alas his chord sequences are so much cleverer than one realises (mark of an artist there) that I can't play any of them. I'd like to do them acoustic though.

More generally, I do feel it important that we both preserve and renew the great music and song from our past - and beieve that there is a link through that tradition to the present day. That should not get that great music and song dismissed as irrelevant or condemned as racist (both of which happen disappointingly often here on this site).

There is no reason why there should not be accretion to the tradition. As I type I am re-playing the Maddy Prior thing off BBC4 and when Maddy Prior and June Tabor do "the Grey Funnel Line" it's nearly made it as a folk song (1954 def) even if we know the composer. The next song in the set is "Dives and Lazarus" - more boogied than I do it. Folk song can come up to date too (athough the line about the dogs licking his sores away makes me heave!).

I am more worried about the Irish songs that celebrate the murder of the English than I am about the Scottish similar ones, perhaps because the relevant events are more recent.

Where do we draw the line? Is it only modern song that must not address the impermissible? Remember the fellow from the BNP, what was his name, Hannam? He used to be a member and post here. Not a bad guitarists, not a bad singer. Some songs that were good presenters of social concern - until suddenly the absence of housing was the fault of foreign immigrants - rather than the capitalist system.

Why and where does pride in one's ancestry and history and traditions tip over into hatred of others? (Other than the French of course - Trafalgar to the lot of them).

Difficult stuff.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: bobad
Date: 24 Nov 08 - 07:12 PM

It seems that the BNP are big fans of Mudcat, they even set up a web page extolling its virtues: http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=7570532622.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Nov 08 - 07:41 PM

In the US "folksingers" are just assumed to be left leaning peacenick agitators. My impression is that the same music without those assumptions gets called Country...


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Escapee
Date: 24 Nov 08 - 09:37 PM

It hardly seems fair that we have to tolerate these people. My father got to drop bombs on them.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Nov 08 - 11:14 PM

And their fathers got to drop bombs on "you". So what? That's what young people in air forces do whenever their country gets involved in a war. After it's over, the ones who won it get to lord it over the others and declare their immense moral supremacy for a few decades or centuries afterward...(depending on how long their military dominance lasts).

Tolerance is the hallmark of any genuinely democratic society. Intolerance is the hallmark of fascism, authoritarianism, dictatorships, and other extreme systems of that sort. If you want the right not to "tolerate" certain groups of people expressing their views, then I think you may be on the wrong track.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 03:13 AM

Yes I was a huge fan of Tom Robinson of the Power in the darkness period. Saw him loads of times. I thought he would be the English Springsteen. I'd rather have a drink with Martin, than the bloke in Meeting by the River.

Tom was having an affair with the Head of Drama at the school I was teaching in at the time. I never got to meet him but I locked onto his recordings - I was very sorry when he didn't seem to spot the potential himself!

Anyway, I wrote this, and I'll probably stick some chords to it soon.

The Blame Game Boys

Oh the rich man stood on his castle wall
And said that the poor deserve bugger all
So soon there was no one oiling the lock
And all the economy went to cock
And the radio kept up a stream of pap
And the tv pumped out nowt but crap
Dream of being a ce-leb/wag on a reality show
Buy this year's strip, and give it a go!

Chorus
The Blame Game Boys are out there , and at it again
First they tell you, that you're their friend
They say, Oh my friend, you're not a reading man
But from the book of hate I taken this plan
Its all these blacks and all these Asians
They ruin the fabric of our nation
And soon the bloke next to you in the pub
Has a mind like a jackboot or a club

And the schools couldn't teach the kids
And no one could reach
So much wrong-headed right wing crap had been preached

Chorus
The Blame Game Boys are out there at the school gate
Stopping the white kids calling 'em mate
You don't read too good, don't worry man
I've read the book of hate and I've got a plan
Its all these blacks and all these Asians
All the fault of this immigration
And soon the kid next to you is going through life
With a mind like a jackboot or a flick knife

So this is a song
To say your parents are wrong
If they vote BNP, they've been fooled and conned
You wanna go the place Hitler took the krauts?
Just think twice before you bring that about
Pride in Fatherland
Make the foreigner bow
It was bollocks then and its bollocks now!
Chorus
The Blame Game Boys are out there , and at it again
First they tell you, that you're their friend
They say, Oh my friend, you're not a reading man
But from the book of hate I taken this plan
Its all these blacks and all these Asians
They ruin the fabric of our nation
And soon the bloke next to you in the pub
Has a mind like a jackboot or a club
© Alan Whittle 25/11/2008 07:48:08


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 03:14 AM

Allright you!
Hey Nonny sodding no!


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 04:28 AM

Goood man, WLD!


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 04:36 AM

There are lots of differences between the "left" and the "right" - but their ability to use folk music and song for their own purposes is not one of them.

Regards


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 04:56 AM

On Saturday night I was playing traditional music for people to dance to.Every week I play traditional songs for people to listen to. Until wee little drummer pointed it out on this thread, I had never realised that I was thereby opening the door to fascism. What should I do? Burn my guitar? Perhaps it will be all right if I write "This machine kills fascists" on the fret board.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 05:07 AM

Tonight I'm backing Hugh Lamond, Ilkeston's only singer in Gaelic (and no I don't understand the words). I don't see why addressing a contemporary audience and playing traditional songs have got to be mutually exclusive.

Why aren't they part of the same thing - folkmusic. But I get told my songs aren't folkmusic.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:21 AM

While I am sure there is plenty of scope to oppose fascism with contemporary folk song, my main concern is to make sure that traditional music does not become identified with the right and it suffers the sad fate of German folk music. Ruth's quote from the BNP's Mission Statement above shows the danger.

I have heard that Nick Griffin likes to finish BNP meetings with a hearty rendition of John Barleycorn. This is not a reason for not singing John Barleycorn but a reason to sing it all the more in celebration of its central message and abiding truth - Beer Makes You Drunk!


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:43 AM

Well if you're absolutely sure in your own mind and you're insistent that John Barleycorn stands for nothing except getting drunk - you really have only yourself to blame.

The song is (from the top of my head and I'm no trad scholar) about the fecundity of the earth, the equality of all men before a great force of nature, the cruelty and pitiless nature of the life cycle....

Sounds to me that at least this Griffin character has recognised there is substance there - even if he has seized upon it and misappropriated it.

If you leave unconsidered trifles hanging round - they will be snapped up.

The reason this song is not more well known to the general public and they don't know about it, despite nearly sixty years of folk clubs on the streets of England is because - your traddy lobby has insisted that it be sung in a daft lugubrious voice in a style that recognises its true modal character. In other words totally inaccessible to modern ears.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:45 AM

It depends. There are three versions of John Barleycorn (maybe more).


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:54 AM

The band that I play with has a repertoire consisting of 99% traditional folk music. We play a lot of gigs in Stoke, which judging by the council elections is a BNP hotbed. But I have to say the right wing is not in evidence at our gigs (as far as I can judge). I think we appeal mainly to woolly minded lefty Guardian readers, as folk music has always tended to in living memory. I may be wrong, obviously, the far right doen't tend to wear swastika arm bands when going to the pub. But I would be incredibly suprised if they are coming to our gigs.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please iluminate.
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 07:03 AM

OK WLD, it's also about corn deities and death and resurrection and Osiris and Jesus. What it is NOT and must never be is an anthem for fascists and racists.

Sing it how you like but SING IT or else the nasties will take it over.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please illuminate.
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 07:44 AM

"Why and where does pride in one's ancestry and history and traditions tip over into hatred of others?"
Richard Bridge (posted above)

I wish I knew the answer to that Richard.   Sometimes I wonder if patriotism and racism aren't two sides of the same coin. Maybe a racist is only a patriot who has got on top, and a patriot is just a racist who is still underneath. Perhaps the day will come when everyone on this planet realises that we are all citizens of the same world, and that (as Auden said in 1939) "we must love one another or die". But not just yet, I fear.

Meanwhile, the old familiar stuff keeps on happening. If people who live in misery, feel humiliated and see no hope for the future are fed with plausible lies by charismatic orators, what happened in Germany in 1933 could happen again. Anywhere. (Yes, even here.) And against this threat, the old familiar remedies still apply. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance – and all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that the good do nothing.

Singing politically "right-on" songs may help, but it's not enough. It may prick the consciences of the comfortable, but it has little impact on the deprived, the desperate, or the deranged.   The bigger challenge is to create an environment where people who feel downtrodden and undervalued (sometimes with reason) have better things to look forward to than the ultimate victory of "us" over "them".

And how is this to be achieved? Well, if I knew an easy answer, I might become a highly paid government consultant, a best-selling author, or a Guardian columnist (rather than a retired history teacher who dances the Morris and plays guitar in a ceilidh band). Anyhow, I suspect that the economic and social renewal of an entire nation requires something more than a master-plan scribbled on the back of an envelope by an amateur.

While we wait for the professionals to tackle the big problems, there are tasks nearer at hand that we might undertake. Music, dance and song (traditional or contemporary) can play a part in restoring the sense of community which has been so massively eroded over the last half-century or so. But only if we are prepared to take it out into the community, rather than just preaching to the converted behind closed doors. This may not accomplish much, but better to light a small candle than keep on cursing the darkness.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please illuminate.
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 08:02 AM

'But only if we are prepared to take it out into the community, rather than just preaching to the converted behind closed doors.'

Theres this terible thing though isn't there - the poplularisers are despised in the folkscene.

Roger Whittaker, The Yetties... you never see 'em booked at the big festivals.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please illuminate.
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 08:20 AM

WLD you seem to have missed (or ignored) my post of 22 Nov @ 0602 when, in response to your assertion that nobody dances to trad tunes any more, I quoted statistics from a well-known caller showing just how many people in the community (i.e. not just the eceilidh mafia) are regularly involved annually.


The Yetties are a band who are frequently out there playing for local village dances. I haven't a clue, though, what Roger Whittaker has to do with a discussion about the threat to English culture (unless you consider him a threat per se . . . )


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please illuminate.
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 09:28 AM

I saw Rolf Harris at Sidmouth along with thousands of others, I've personally booked Chumbawamba in their old incarnation, for a festival. The Yetties did Sidmouth in the last couple of years or so,,,,,,,

As for taking folk out into the community - people do.

Loughborough Festival in collaboration with the Demon Barbers had a fruitful collaboration with local schools and others have used this model to get funding for work within schools. Gate to Southwell Festival did the same and I spent a great afternon watching the young people doing long-sword, and rapper and singing.

At Ulverston three years ago I saw a superb group of young performers doing ensemble, solo, duo and trio work. One of these is in the Young Folk Awards final this year. She was fourteen at the time I saw her.

Shepley Festival has a community choir conducted and encouraged by Bryony Griffiths and works in schools.

Down in Alton Hamshire I listened to a community choir singing songs collected locally by Gardiner and encouraged and conducted by a local folk luminary.

Sheffield Folk Chorale has a load of bookings over December at churches and they appear with young folk group Kerfuffle at Belper just before Xmas, now an annual event by the looks of it.

I am prepared to bet most ceilidh bands' work is weddings and PTA's and similar - I know people came from a long way to dance to Glorystrokes at the Wateraid ceilidh 'cos I was busy selling raffle tickets and talked to a lot of people.   

And don't start me on the work of Sam Lee employed at the EFDSS - that well-known dinosaur of folk music :-) - who is taking a range of folk music based on the library in C# House out to schools, colleges, community choirs and even the Royal College of Music.

I can give loads of examples (those are just a few) of folk going out into the community. The work of Nick Wyke and Becky Driscoll and the Wren Trust......Hallamshire Traditions.....

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to point these out.


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Subject: RE: neo-fascist-folk, please illuminate.
From: Faye Roche
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 09:55 AM

To sidetrack a little: what about songs such as "The Bold Fenian Men" or "The Wind that shakes the Barley"? Can we ever divorce them from their politics and judge them just as songs?


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