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100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)

Related threads:
The Essential Folk Recordings (46)
50 Great Voices-all genres- NPR (74)
Folk Alley 100 Most Essential Folk Songs (31)
NPR-100 most impt. musical works of cent (25)


Smedley 24 Nov 09 - 06:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Nov 09 - 06:50 AM
Smedley 24 Nov 09 - 06:50 AM
Tim Leaning 24 Nov 09 - 06:51 AM
matt milton 24 Nov 09 - 06:52 AM
Smedley 24 Nov 09 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Silas 24 Nov 09 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 24 Nov 09 - 07:36 AM
catspaw49 24 Nov 09 - 07:40 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Nov 09 - 07:41 AM
Marje 24 Nov 09 - 07:45 AM
beeliner 24 Nov 09 - 07:47 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Nov 09 - 07:49 AM
bobad 24 Nov 09 - 07:50 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Nov 09 - 08:04 AM
Young Buchan 24 Nov 09 - 08:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Nov 09 - 08:36 AM
SINSULL 24 Nov 09 - 08:50 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Nov 09 - 09:58 AM
Marje 24 Nov 09 - 09:59 AM
pdq 24 Nov 09 - 10:02 AM
Young Buchan 24 Nov 09 - 10:08 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Nov 09 - 10:11 AM
pdq 24 Nov 09 - 10:12 AM
Young Buchan 24 Nov 09 - 10:16 AM
Young Buchan 24 Nov 09 - 10:23 AM
TheSnail 24 Nov 09 - 10:26 AM
catspaw49 24 Nov 09 - 10:29 AM
catspaw49 24 Nov 09 - 10:49 AM
theleveller 24 Nov 09 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Guest John Hartford 24 Nov 09 - 11:23 AM
SINSULL 24 Nov 09 - 11:57 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Nov 09 - 12:01 PM
pdq 24 Nov 09 - 12:06 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Nov 09 - 12:11 PM
pdq 24 Nov 09 - 12:35 PM
Marje 24 Nov 09 - 01:08 PM
pdq 24 Nov 09 - 01:50 PM
EnglishFolkfan 24 Nov 09 - 02:00 PM
Art Thieme 24 Nov 09 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Gerry 24 Nov 09 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,The Folk E 25 Nov 09 - 05:48 PM
Spleen Cringe 26 Nov 09 - 03:25 AM
Smedley 26 Nov 09 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 26 Nov 09 - 06:21 AM
Marje 26 Nov 09 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 26 Nov 09 - 12:48 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Nov 09 - 01:52 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Nov 09 - 04:00 AM
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Subject: 100 Essential Folk Songs
From: Smedley
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:46 AM

As voted for by American-based website/radio show Folk Alley . The 100 Essential Folk Songs.

Should cause a few arguments......


1. This Land is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
2. Blowin' in the Wind - Bob Dylan
3. City of New Orleans - Steve Goodman
4. If I Had a Hammer - Pete Seeger
5. Where Have All The Flowers Gone - The Kingston Trio
6. Early Morning Rain - Gordon Lightfoot
7. Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
8. We Shall Overcome - Pete Seeger
9. Four Strong Winds - Ian and Sylvia
10. Last Thing On My Mind - Tom Paxton

11. The Circle Game - Joni Mitchell
12. Tom Dooley - The Kingston Trio (Trad)
13. Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
14. Who Knows Where The Time Goes - Sandy Denny
15. Goodnight Irene - The Weavers (Trad)
16. Universal Soldier - Buffy St Marie
17. Don't Think Twice - Bob Dylan
18. Diamonds and Rust - Joan Baez
19. Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel
20. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

21. Alice's Restaurant - Arlo Guthrie
22. Turn, Turn, Turn - The Byrds (Pete Seeger)
23. Puff The Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul and Mary
24. Thirsty Boots - Eric Andersen
25. There But For Fortune - Phil Ochs
26. Across The Great Divide - Kate Wolf
27. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band (Robbie Robertson)
28. The Dutchman - Steve Goodman
29. Matty Groves - Fairport Convention (Trad)

30. Pastures of Plenty - Woody Guthrie
31. Canadian Railroad Trilogy - Gordon Lightfoot
32. Ramblin' Boy - Tom Paxton
33. Hello In There - John Prine
34. The Mary Ellen Carter - Stan Rogers
35. Scarborough Fair - Martin Carthy (Trad)
36. Freight Train - Elizabeth Cotton
37. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
38. Paradise - John Prine
39. Northwest Passage - Stan Rogers

40. And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - Eric Bogle
41. Changes - Phil Ochs
42. Streets of London - Ralph McTell
43. Gentle On My Mind - John Hartford
44. Barbara Allen - Shirley Collins (Trad)
45. Little Boxes - Malvina Reynolds
46. The Water is Wide - Traditional
47. Blue Moon of Kentucky - Bill Monroe
48. No Regrets - Tom Rush
49. Amazing Grace - Odetta (Trad)

50. Catch The Wind - Donovan
51. If I Were a Carpenter - Tim Hardin
52. Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
53. House of the Rising Sun - Doc & Richard Watson (Trad)
54. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine - The Weavers
55. Tangled Up In Blue - Bob Dylan
56. The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel
57. Someday Soon - Ian and Sylvia
58. 500 Miles - Peter, Paul and Mary
59. Masters of War - Bob Dylan

60. Wildwood Flower - Carter Family
61. Can The Circle Be Unbroken - Carter Family
62. Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound - Tom Paxton
63. Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills Nash & Young
64. Deportee - Woody Guthrie
65. Tecumseh Valley - Towns Van Zandt
66. Mr. Bojangles - Jerry Jeff Walker
67. Cold Missouri Waters - James Keeleghan
68. The Crucifixion - Phil Ochs
69. Angel from Montgomery - John Prine

70. Christmas in the Trenches - John McCutcheon
71. John Henry - Traditional
72. Pack Up Your Sorrows - Richard and Mimi Farina
73. Dirty Old Town - Ewan MacColl
74. Caledonia - Dougie MacLean
75. Gentle Arms of Eden - Dave Carter
76. My Back Pages - Bob Dylan
77. Arrow - Cheryl Wheeler
78. Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
79. Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire

80. Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley (Trad)
81. Shady Grove - Traditional
82. Pancho and Lefty - Townes Van Zandt
83. Old Man - Neil Young
84. Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan
85. American Tune - Paul Simon
86. At Seventeen - Janis Ian
87. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
88. Road - Nick Drake
89. Tam Lin - Fairport Convention (Trad)

90. Ashokan Farewell - Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
91. Desolation Row - Bob Dylan
92. Love Is Our Cross To Bear - John Gorka
93. Hobo's Lullaby - Woody Guthrie
94. Urge For Going - Tom Rush
95. Return of the Grievous Angel - Gram Parsons
96. Chilly Winds - The Kingston Trio
97. Fountain of Sorrow - Jackson Browne
98. The Times They Are A Changing - Bob Dylan
99. Our Town - Iris Dement
100. Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:50 AM

This is why the word Folk has no meaning or cultural currency. Quite the most depressing thing I've read in a long while!


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Smedley
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:50 AM

Excuse the slight error in the thread title - it should be 'essential' not 'most important' - my mistake.

----------------- thread title changed (Nov. 24)---------- mudelf


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:51 AM

I like them ones they are good ...


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: matt milton
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:52 AM

I wouldn't set much store with that. Not really much to discuss - it's not the 100 most important folk songs, it's just the 'Folk Alley' top 100 playlist really.

Anyway, what does 'important' actually mean in the context of a folk song? How could you possibly assess it?


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Smedley
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:55 AM

It interests me, I suppose, as a kind of 'baseline' list composed (I'd surmise) by people Of A Certain Age and in the USA.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:09 AM

Pile of crap. Replace 'Important' or 'essential' with 'most popular in the USA' then OK.

Still crap though.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:36 AM

Another pointless listing and mis-titled. From a fleeting look the material all seems to be by singer/songwriters. As good as some of the material listed may be, I didn't notice any folk material.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:40 AM

Here's a 10 year old thread that you might find more interesting:

Essential Folk Recordings

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:41 AM

I didn't notice any folk material

Scarborough Fair? Tam Lin?

Anyway - sho is going to start the smae old argument?

Oh, go on the, seeing as I am here...














What is folk music?

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Marje
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:45 AM

This thread is going to turn into another example of cultural confusion if we don't untangle it right now.

The original post makes it quite clear that it's an American list. No one said it applied anywhere else. There are certainly some cracking songs there, but most of them would not be regarded as "Folk" on this (eastern) side of the Atlantic.

OK then, critics above, how about creating a comparable list of British/Irish songs? What's your list of "essential" or "important" or even "favourite" folk songs? No need to assign a name to it if the song is traditional, as I hope most of them would be - America has a great song-writing culture and tradition, as is shown by the list above, but we in these islands have a wealth of traditional songs that few countries could match.

So, who's got a list of a few classics to start us off?


Marje


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: beeliner
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:47 AM

They're all pretty good songs, the argument is probably how many qualify as folk songs.

'Blue Moon of Kentucky' is surely one of the 100 greatest WALTZES ever written, I'm not sure that mentioning a borderline Southern state in the title makes it a folk song.

By the way, the tile of no. 4 is 'The Hammer Song'.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:49 AM

Our friends in the good old US of A seem to have different definitions of the words ' essential ' and ' important ' than the people who gave them their language to begin with, just one at random, Mr Bojangles, what feck is important or even essential about it ? good song though it may be.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: bobad
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:50 AM

A lot of good songs there, who cares what label is put on them.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:04 AM

Most of us do who trouble to log on to these threads, Bobad — as you very well know. So what purpose do you imagine yourself to be serving by being so irritatingly provocative?


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Young Buchan
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:29 AM

I'm not going to try 100, but I'm prepared to set myself up as Aunt Sally with 10. I take essential to mean: imagine each folk song in turn had never existed; the absence of which ten would most have changed the tradition as we have it.

The Banks of Claudy
The Butcher's Boy
Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight
The Mermaid
Barbara Allen
Jamie Douglas
Captain Wedderburn's Courtship
Johnny Faa
Died for Love
Sweet William

Of course if you ask the same question, but extend it to OUTSIDE the folk world, you would get a rather different answer.

Bonny Woods of Ivy (Old McDonald!)
Wild Rover
Strawberry Lane
Drunken Sailor
Barbara Allen
Lilibulero
The Sash
Blaydon Races
Where are you going to, my Pretty Maid
Tavern in the Town


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM

Well, I'll get my votes in early then.

Aggadoo
Shuttupa your face
and
The biggest aspidistra in teh world.

DeG


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:36 AM

Ya forgot the Birdie Song Dave.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:50 AM

This thread puts me in mind of Dave Mallett whose "Garden Song" was voted the Best Folk Song of the Millennium on some website. He was amused enough to say that he felt honored being up there with Barbara Allan and a few others.

Did anyone here vote on this list? Who voted? How many voted? Were they limited to one vote?


My point? It is a meaningless list with no real value. Geez - the Garden Song wasn't even nominated!


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 09:58 AM

I've no interest in those kinds of 60's American 'folk' songs myself, but I did get given this some months ago:
Anthology of American Folk Music
Which I personally find much more interesting, and powerfully evocative too.

Here's a couple from YouTube:
Fatal Flower garden, quite the spookiest song I ever heard!
Old Lady and the Devil

Track listing isn't quite a hundred, but near enough (in case anyone's interested):

1. Henry Lee - Justice, Dick
2. Fatal Flower Garden - Nelstone's Hawaiians
3. House Carpenter - Ashley, Clarence
4. Drunkard's Special - Jones, Coley
5. Old Lady And The Devil - Reed, Belle
6. Butcher's Boy (The Railroad Boy) - Kazee, Buell
7. Wagoner's Lad (Loving Nancy) - Kazee, Buell
8. King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O - Parker, Chubby
9. Old Shoes And Leggins - Dunford, Uncle Eck
10. Willie Moore - Burnett & Rutherford
11. Lazy Farmer Boy - Carter, Buster
12. Peg And Awl - Carolina Tar Heels
13. Ommie Wise - Grayson, G.B.
14. My Name Is John Johanna - Harrell, Kelly
15. Bandit Cole Younger - Crain, Edward.L.
16. Charles Giteau - Harrell, Kelly
17. John Hardy Was A Desperate Little Man - Carter Family
18. Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand - Williamson Brothers
19. Stackalee - Hutchison, Frank
20. White House Blues - Poole, Charlie
21. Frankie - Hurt, 'Mississippi' John

22. When That Great Ship Went Down - Smith, William & Versey
23. Engine 143 - Carter Family
24. Kassie Jones - Lewis, Walter 'Furry'
25. Down On Penny's Farm - Bentley Boys
26. Mississippi Boweavil Blues - Masked Marvel
27. Got The Farm Land Blues - Carolina Tar Heels
28. Sail Away Lady - Stevens, Uncle Bunt
29. Wild Wagoner - Jilson Setters
30. Wake Up Jacob - Hunt, Prince Albert Texas Ramblers
31. La Danseuse - Gaspard, Blind Uncle
32. Georgia Stomp - Baxter, Andrew
33. Brilliancy Medley - Robertson, Eric & Family
34. Indian War Whoop - Ming, Floyd & His Pep-Steppers
35. Old Country Stomp - Thomas, Henry
36. Old Dog Blue - Jackson, Jim
37. Saut Crapaud - Fruge, Columbus
38. Acadian One-Step - Various Artists
39. Home Sweet Home - Breaux Freres
40. Newport Blues - Cincinnati Jug Band
41. Moonshiner's Dance Part One - Cloutier, Frank
42. You Must Be Born Again - Gates, Rev. J.M.

43. Oh Death Where Is Thy Sting - Gates, Rev. J.M.
44. Rocky Road - Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
45. Present Joys - Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
46. This Song Of Love - Middle Georgia Singing Convention
47. Judgement - Nelson, Sister Mary
48. He Got Better Things For You - Memphis Sancified Singers
49. Since I Laid My Burden Down - McIntosh, Elder & Edwards' Sanctified Singers
50. John The Baptist - Mason, Rev. Moses
51. Dry Bones - Lunsford, Bascom Lamar
52. John The Revelator - Johnson, 'Blind' Willie (1)
53. Little Moses - Carter Family
54. Shine On Me - Phipps, Ernest & His Holiness Singers
55. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room - McGee, Rev. F.W.
56. In The Battlefield For My Lord - Rice, Rev. D.C. & His Sanctified Congregation
57. Coo Coo Bird - Ashley, Clarence
58. East Virginia - Kazee, Buell
59. Minglewood Blues - Cannon's Jug Stompers
60. I Woke Up One Morning In May - Hebert, Didier
61. James Alley Blues - Brown, Richard 'Rabbit' (1)
62. Sugar Baby - Boggs, Dock
63. I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground - Lunsford, Bascom Lamar

64. Mountaineer's Courtship - Stoneman, Ernest V.
65. Spanish Merchant's Daughter - Stoneman Family
66. Bob Lee Junior Blues - Memphis Jug Band
67. Single Girl Married Girl - Carter Family
68. Le Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme - Breaux, Clemo
69. Rabbit Foot Blues - Jefferson, Blind Lemon
70. Expressman Blues - Estes, 'Sleepy' John
71. Poor Boy Blues - Thomas, Ramblin'
72. Feather Bed - Cannon's Jug Stompers
73. Country Blues - Boggs, Dock
74. 99 Year Blues - Daniels, Julius
75. Prison Cell Blues - Jefferson, Blind Lemon
76. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean - Jefferson, Blind Lemon
77. C'Est Si Triste Sans Lui - Breaux, Clemo
78. Way Down The Old Plank Road - Macon, 'Uncle' Dave
79. Buddy Won't You Roll Down The Line - Macon, 'Uncle' Dave
80. Spike Driver Blues - Hurt, 'Mississippi' John
81. K.C. Moan - Memphis Jug Band
82. Train On The Island - Nestor, J.P.
83. Lone Star Trail - Maynard, Ken
84. Fishing Blues - Thomas, Henry


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Marje
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 09:59 AM

Thanks for your positive response, Young Buchan. I wish some of those who whinge would offer some constructive alternatives to the US list, if they don't like it.

Here are a few more I'll add as contenders for the UK/Ireland list:
Clyde Water
Mary Hamilton (The Four Marys)
The Water is Wide (inc. Waly Waly and its variants)
Pleasant and Delightful
The Bunch of Thyme
Raggle Taggle Gypsies
The Trees They Do Grow High
The Blacksmith
Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy (and its Irish relative, The Holy Ground)
Banks of the Sweet Primroses

And for your excellent add-on list of Most Popular Folk Songs with Non-Folkies:

Will Ye Go, Lassie?
Leaving of Liverpool
Irish Rover (not the same as the Wild Rover, although people who ask for them frequently confuse them)
Whisky in the Jar
Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl
Auld Lang Syne

This is just some suggestions for starters. I haven't even got round to considering shanties, or lullabies, or the many excellent trad-style songs of recent composition.

Any more?

Marje


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: pdq
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:02 AM

I really like the list in the original post.

Nice to see a thread that everyone can think about. Also one that is not political.

Most of the songs mentioned will appeal to folks raised in the 1960s.

BTW, Young Buchan, you mention "Barbara Allen" twice, and the initial poster also mentions the song.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Young Buchan
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:08 AM

pdq

I do indeed mention Barbara Allen twice, deliberately. The point is that this song is, by my definition, essential uniquely to both the folk and the non-folk community, which were the subjects of the two lists.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:11 AM

I wish some of those who whinge would offer some constructive alternatives to the US list, if they don't like it.

Most important American Folk Songs? Well there's 1600 of them freely available to the general punter at The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection. That has to be a start. Shame the UK collections are still languishing rather - ho-hum...


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: pdq
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:12 AM

Just for the record, I think Jean Ritchie's version of "Barbara Allen" is great. Uniquely American. She posts as Kytrad and is Mudcat's most beloved member.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Young Buchan
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:16 AM

Marje

With the exception of Clyde's Water, which I really don't think is very inflential, I would not disagree with any of your choices. May I just point out that Johnny Faa on my list = Raggle Taggle Gypsies and Jamie Douglas = Waly Waly :-)

I can't believe I missed Braes of Balquiddar/Will ye Go Lassie Go from my non-folk list! I'm going out to beat myself up!


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: Young Buchan
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:23 AM

pdq "She posts as Kytrad and is Mudcat's most beloved member."

Oh please don't tell Suibhne that. He thinks HE is!


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: TheSnail
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:26 AM

Suibhne O'Piobaireachd

Shame the UK collections are still languishing rather - ho-hum...

Well, there;s quite a few in the Take Six collection and quite a lot more at the Wiltshire Community History Folk Music Search.


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:29 AM

The track list from Electra's FOLK BOX from the thread linked above:

Track Listing:

Cynthia Gooding: Greensleeves
Ian Campbell Folk Group: Down In The Coal Mine
Ewan MacColl: Geordie
Irish Ramblers: Whiskey In The Jar
Susan Reed: Irish Famine Song
Ed McCurdy: Gypsy Laddie
Jean Redpath: Tae The Weavers
African Traveling Song
Navajo Night Chant
Gene Bluestein: Skada At America
New Lost City Ramblers: When First Unto This Country
Susan Reed: Springfield Mountain
Ed McCurdy: Good Old Colony Times
Oscar Brand: Jefferson And Liberty
Pete Seeger: Darling Cory
Jack Elliott: Jesse James
Leadbelly: Rock Island Line
Woody Guthrie: Oregon Trail
Erik Darling: Swannanda Tunnel
Ed McCurdy: Kentucky Moonshine
Alabama School Children: Green Green Rocky Road
Leadbelly: Pick A Bale Of Cotton
Seafarers Chorus: Haul On The Bowline
Pete Seeger: Paddy Works On The Railway
Harry Jackson: I Ride An Old Paint
Cisco Houston: Zebra Dun
Horace Sprott: Field Holler
Koerner, Ray & Glover: Linin' Track
Willer Turner: Now Your Man Done Gone
Josh White: Timber
Negro Prisoners: Grizzly Bear
Marilyn Child & Glenn Yarbrough: Mary Had A Baby
Josh White: Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin Bed
Blind Willie Johnson: Dark Was The Night
Judy Collins: Twelve Gates To The City
Theodore Bikel: A Zemer
Glenn Yarbrough: Wayfaring Stranger
Ed McCurdy: Simple Gifts
Leadbelly: Meetin' At The Building
Bob Gibson: You Can Tell the World
Christian Tabernacle Church: Down By The Riverside
Willy Clancy: Sligo Reel/Mountain Road
Eric Weissberg: Old Joe Clark
Clarence Ashley: Coo Coo Bird
Tom Paley: Shady Grove
Eric Weissberg & Marshall Brickman: Flop-Eared Mule
Jean Ritchie: Nottamun Town
Doc Watson and others: Amazing Grace
Doc Watson: Cripple Creek
The Dillards: Pretty Polly
George Pegram & Walter Parham: Yellow Rose Of Texas
Dián And The Greenbriar Boys: Green Corn
The Dillards: Old Man At The Mill
Sonny Terry: Lost John
Big Bill Broonzy: I Wonder When I'll Get To Be Called a Man
Leadbelly: Black Snake Moan
Blind Lemon Jefferson: See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
Hally Wood: House Of The Rising Sun
Mark Spoelstra: France Blues
New Lost City Ramblers: Carter Blues
Dave Ray: Slappin' On My Black Cat Bone
Dave Van Ronk: Don't Leave Me Here
Josh White: Southern Exposure
Ed McCurdy: John Brown's Body
Frank Warner: Virginia's Bloody Soil
Theodore Bikel: Two Brothers
Judy Collins: Masters of War
Theodore Bikel: Blow The Candles Out
Jean Redpath: Love Is Teasin'
Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson: Sally Ann
Jean Ritchie: Little Devils
Limeliters: The Hammer Song
Woody Guthrie: This Land Is Your Land
Pete Seeger, Almanac Singer With Audience: Which Side Are You On?
New Lost City Ramblers: No Depression In Heaven
Woody Guthrie: Talking Dust Bowl
Big Bill Broonzy: Black Brown And White
Oscar Brand: Talking Atomic Blues
Hamilton Camp: Girl From The North Country
Judy Collins: The Dove
Tom Paxton: High Sheriff Of Hazard
Phil Ochs: The Thresher
Pete Seeger: We Shall Overcome


Spaw


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Subject: RE: 100 most Important Folk Songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:49 AM

ANd at this site you can check out a collection of 30 from the Library of Congress field recordings selected by Stephen Wade. You can even have a listen if you like..........Library of Congress-30 field recordings


Spaw


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:59 AM

Making lists of 'the best' of anything is almost always a pointless exercise - no-one is ever going to agree.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: GUEST,Guest John Hartford
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 11:23 AM

This list is like any list of it's kind contentious- Remember though folks it's a list of the MOST POPULAR AMERICAN folk songs - voted for no doubt by AMERICANS !!!

I have no arguements with any of the chosen songs. There are some really good songs here mainly written by songwriters who have defined and set some standards in the world of "folk" music ( whatever that might be).

And besides I have had a great time in learning and performing them over the years.....Oh and I have made a few bob out of it too.

Gawd that will wake up the anti-commercial crowd....lol

As for British Folk songs....well there's going to be many suggestions so I will abstain from clouding the water.

I would love to see an Austaralian list though - could be very interesting.......and humourous.

So tie me kangaroo down sport......and by the way I love Aussie and all who sail in her.

John


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 11:57 AM

My Boomerang Won't Come Back?


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 12:01 PM

Silly to fall over backwards avoiding the obvious — so

WALTZING MATILDA?


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: pdq
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 12:06 PM

The Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music is now on a 6 CD set...

Release Date: Jan 04, 2005
Format: CD
Record Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Number of Discs: 6
UPC: 093074009024

Track listing
DISC 1: VOLUME ONE-BALLADS:
1. Henry Lee - Dick Justice
2. Fatal Flower Garden - Nelstone's Hawaiians
3. House Carpenter, The - Clarence Ashley
4. Drunkard's Special - Coley Jones
5. Old Lady and the Devil - Bill Reed/Ola Belle Reed
6. Butcher's Boy, The (The Railroad Boy) - Buell Kazee
7. Wagoner's Lad, The (Loving Nancy) - Buell Kazee
8. King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O - Chubby Parker
9. Old Shoes and Leggins - Uncle Eck Dunford
10. Willie Moore - Burnett & Rutherford
11. Lazy Farmer Boy, A - Buster Carter/Preston Young
12. Peg and Awl - The Carolina Tar Heels
13. Ommie Wise - G.B. Grayson
14. My Name Is John Johanna - Kelly Harrell

DISC 2: VOLUME ONE-BALLADS, CONT.:
1. Bandit Cole Younger - Edward L. Crain
2. Charles Giteau - Kelly Harrell
3. John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man - The Carter Family
4. Gonna Die With My Hammer in My Hand - The Willliamson Brothers/Curry
5. Stackalee - Frank Hutchison
6. White House Blues - Charlie Poole/The North Carolina Ramblers
7. Frankie - Mississippi John Hurt
8. When That Great Ship Went Down - William Smith/Versey Smith
9. Engine 143 - The Carter Family
10. Kassie Jones - Furry Lewis
11. Down on Penny's Farm - The Bently Boys
12. Mississippi Boweavil Blues - The Masked Marvel
13. Got the Farm Land Blues - The Carolina Tar Heels

DISC 3: VOLUME TWO-SOCIAL MUSIC:
1. Sail Away Lady - Uncle Bunt Stephens
2. Wild Wagoner, The - Jilson Setters
3. Wake up Jacob - Prince Albert Hunt's Texas Ramblers
4. La Danseuse - Delma Lachney/Blind Uncle Gaspard
5. Georgia Stomp - Andrew Baxter/Jim Baxter
6. Brilliancy Medley - Eck Robertson
7. Indian War Whoop - Hoyt Ming & His Pep Steppers
8. Old Country Stomp - Henry Thomas
9. Old Dog Blue - Jim Jackson
10. Saut Crapaud - Columbus Fruge
11. Acadian One-Step - Joseph Falcon
12. Home Sweet Home - Breaux Freres
13. Newport Blues - Cincinnati Jug Band
14. Moonshiner's Dance Part One - Frank Cloutier & The Victoria Cafe Orchestra

DISC 4: VOLUME TWO-SOCIAL MUSIC, CONT.:
1. You Must Be Born Again - Rev. J.M. Gates
2. Oh Death Where Is Thy Sting - Rev. J.M. Gates
3. Rocky Road - The Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
4. Present Joys - The Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
5. This Song of Love - The Middle Georgia Singing Convention No. 1
6. Judgement - Sister Mary Nelson
7. He Got Better Things For You - The Memphis Sanctified Singers
8. Since I Laid My Burden Down - The Elders McIntorsh/Edwards' Sanctified Singers
9. John the Baptist - Rev. Moses Mason
10. Dry Bones - Bascom Lamar Lunsford
11. John the Revelator - Blind Willie Johnson
12. Little Moses - The Carter Family
13. Shine on Me - Ernest Phipps & Holiness Singers
14. Fifty Miles of Elbow Room - Rev. F.W. McGee
15. In the Battlefield For My Lord - Rev. D C Rice & Congregation

DISC 5: VOLUME THREE-SONGS:
1. Coo Coo Bird, The - Clarence Ashley
2. East Virginia - Buell Kazee
3. Minglewood Blues - Cannon's Jug Stompers
4. I Woke up One Morning in May - Didier Hebert
5. James Alley Blues - Richard "Rabbit" Brown
6. Sugar Baby - Dock Boggs
7. I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground - Bascom Lamar Lunsford
8. Mountaineer's Courtship, The - Ernest & Hattie Stoneman
9. Spanish Merchant's Daughter, The - The Stoneman Family
10. Bob Lee Junior Blues - Memphis Jug Band
11. Single Girl, Married Girl - The Carter Family
12. Le Vieux Soulard et Sa Femme - Cleoma Breaux & Joseph Falcon
13. Rabbit Foot Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
14. Expressman Blues - Sleepy John Estes/Yank Rachell

DISC 6: VOLUME THREE-SONGS, CONT.:
1. Poor Boy Blues - Ramblin' Thomas
2. Feather Bed - Cannon's Jug Stompers
3. Country Blues - Dock Boggs
4. 99 Year Blues
5. Prison Cell Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
6. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean - Blind Lemon Jefferson
7. C'Est Si Triste Sans Lui - Cleoma & Ophy Breaux/Joseph Falcon
8. Way Down the Old Plank Road - Uncle Dave Macon
9. Buddy Won't You Roll Down the Line - Uncle Dave Macon
10. Spike Driver Blues - Mississippi John Hurt
11. K.C. Moan - Memphis Jug Band
12. Train on the Island - J.P. Nestor
13. Lone Star Trail, The - Ken Maynard
14. Fishing Blues - Henry Thomas


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 12:11 PM

Do you have it PDQ? I flagged it up above as well - some really atmospheric material! A few tracks from the anthology can be found on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: pdq
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 12:35 PM

I have the old version in a box set of vinyl records.

Have no functional turntable and haven't played an LP in a decade.

You Brits will have to pay around 50 Pound Sterling for the (reatively) new 6-CD set.

That makes it an "investment" as much as "entertainment".


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: Marje
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 01:08 PM

Just to clear up any misunderstanding: when I said "alternatives to the US list" I meant UK/Ireland alternatives, to create a UK/Ireland list as an alternative. Whether the US list is in fact representative of the US folk world is something I'll leave to Americans to decide.

Young Buchan: I didn't know Johnny Faa by that name, so thanks for pointing it out. Jamie Douglas is, yes, one of the Waly Waly family but has (in the version I know) quite a different tune from other versions of The Water is Wide.

In fact, there are so many variants of melody, words and titles of traditional songs that our main difficulty could be creating a list of songs that are recognisable to all by those names.

Leveller: Just because people done't agree about something doesn't mean it's not worth discussing - quite the opposite, I'd have thought! I'm interested to hear what others think and what songs they value most, even if they have different tastes from mine.

Marje


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: pdq
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 01:50 PM

Young Buchan...

Perhaps Suibhne O'Piobaireachd could change his name to something we can all spell, such as "Insane Beard". Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: EnglishFolkfan
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 02:00 PM

Essential: for what purpose?


Being the exemplar of a song performance
Learning by rote
Performing
Joining in
Listening to
Educating oneself or others
Ticking off the 'I own that version'
Being a temporary playlist


I felt there was a need to better define the question before providing an answer and so didn't take part in the vote.

There are too many of these 'end of decade' 'end of whatever' polls floating around across the musical genres lacking a clear point of reference: imho.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 02:24 PM

I'm not sure how many songs are in my list. Off the top of my head, here are some actual folk songs I do. I don't have any idea who wrote ninety percent of them. But I do know who I learned them from---and I thank them heartily for passing them on to me via the tradition---person to person and/or the electronic and printed page tradition. You know who you are!!-- Unlike the list in post #1, these are folk songs in the main.------ Art Thieme

Buffalo Skinners
The Hobo's Last Ride
Pokegama Bear
Portland County Jail Babara Allen
Cowboy's Barbara Allen
Froggy Went A-courting
The Days Of '49
The Pig and the Drunk
The Old Sow Took The Measles
Drill Ye Tarriers
What Was Your Name In The States
Shenandoah
Spanish Is A Loving Tongue
Red River Valley
Streets of Laredo
Diamond Joe (cowboy song)
Diamond Jo (riverboat song)
Gonna Leave Old Texas Now
Old Paint
Trail To Mexico
Utah Carroll
Blue Mountain
Dobe Bill
Sam Bass
Sam Bass
Billy The Kid
The Red River Shore
Santa Fe Trail
The Kansas Cyclone
Wabash Cannonball
Ox Drivers Song
The Old Woman Who Loved A Swine
Dreary Black Hills
My Name Is Yon Yonson
The Big Combine
The Sioux Indians
Robin Hood's Death
Zack The Mormon Engineer
Billy Venero
Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie
The Pinery Boy
The California Boy
The Sailor Boy
The Shanty Boy On The Big Eau Claire
The Gal I Left Behind
James Whalen
The State Of Illinois
The Hanging Of Charlie Birger
The Death Of Carl Shelton
Goin To Cairo
Swapping Song
Bayou Sara
State of Arkansas
Down In The Arkansas
Railroad Bill
The Lakes Of Pontchartrain
Abilene
Red Iron Ore
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
By The Hush
Simple Gifts
Mr. Garfield
Erie Canal
The Bulllhead Boat
Pittsburgh Town
In 1861
Banks Of The Ohio
9 Pound Hammer
Take This Hammer
What Does The Deep Sea Say
Casey Jones
Cotton Mill Girls
Hard Times In The Mill
Betty And Dupree Blues
Stackerlee
The Boll Weevil
The Gray Goose
The Fox
The Titanic
The Diamond
Greenland Whalers
Peter Emberly
Master Of The Sheepfold
Andrew Bordee
Rackets 'Round Blue Mountain Lake
Springfield Mountain
Blow Ye Winds Of Morning
Good Old Colony Days
Sarah Brown and Lord Thomas
In 1795
Butternut Hill
Shool Aroon
Bibble-ala-doo-shi-do-ree
Hush A Bye
The Cuckoo
Shady Grove
Old Joe Clark
John Henry
John Hardy
Tell Old Bill
Franklin D. Roosevelt Back Again
The Death Of Ellenton
From 40 to 65
The Wreck Of Number Nine
Wreck Of Old Ninety-seven
The House Carpenter
Little Margaret
The Wind And Rain
The Two Sisters
The Golden Vanity
Run Come See
The Sloop John B


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:48 PM

You know, we already had this thread, in June. Folk Alley 100 Most Essential Folk Songs


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: GUEST,The Folk E
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 05:48 PM

The original list is what common every day folks enjoy as folk music. People love these tunes, know them, sing along with them.

Of course that greatly disturbs the folk snobs.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 03:25 AM

Folk E... so if someone doesn't share your musical taste they're a snob? Gerraway wi'ya, man!

I agree that such lists are pretty pointless, but TV and radio stations and journalists love 'em! (which is why there are so many around - cheap filler). About 20 of the songs on the list of quite famous folk & pop songs that started the thread float my boat quite happily, but essential? Dunno what that's about... At least they had the good sense to put "This Land Is Your Land" (presumably the unexpurgated version) at number one. That song at least is pretty essential...

I'm not going to give an alternative list (cos I'm not playing) but if I was it would have to include "The Cruel Mother", "Willie of Winesbury", "Sam Hall", "Lord Bateman", "Lord Gregory" and "Blackwaterside" for starters. Non-trad songs would include Bob Pegg's "the Gypsy" and The ISB's "A Very Circular Song", neither of which would make it onto many lists that weren't exclusively controlled by me... thus underlining the pointlessness of such lists.

Nice thread though.

PS: Crowsis - try to get hold of Volume 4 of the Anthology which came out a few years back on John Fahey's Revenant Label. I believe the songs were selected by Harry Smith but the album was never released as part of the original series. It's an absolute belter:

1. Memphis Shakedown - Memphis Jug Band
2. Dog And Gun - Kincaid, Bradley
3. Black Jack David - Carter Family
4. Down On The Banks Of The Ohio - Blue Sky Boys
5. Adieu False Heart - Arthur Trio Smith
6. John Henry Was A Little Boy - Mainer, J.E. Mountaineers
7. Nine Pound Hammer - Monroe Brothers
8. Southern Casey Jones - James, Jesse (1)
9. Cold Iron Bed - Kelly, Jack & His South Memphis Jug Band
10. Packin' Trunk Blues - Leadbelly
11. Baby Please Don't Go - Williams, Joe
12. Last Fair Deal Gone Down - Johnson, Robert (1)
13. Parchman Farm Blues - White, Bukka
14. Mean Old World - Heavenly Gospel Singers

1. Hello Stranger - Carter Family
2. Stand By Me - Hudmon, Sister Clara
3. West Virginia Gals - Hopkins, Al & His Bucklebusters
4. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live - Reed, Al
5. Wreck Of The Tennessee Gravy Train - Macon, 'Uncle' Dave
6. Governor Al Smith - Macon, 'Uncle' Dave
7. Milk Cow Blues - Estes, 'Sleepy' John
8. No Depression In Heaven - Carter Family
9. I'll Be Rested (When The Roll Is Called) - Graves, Roosevelt
10. He's In The Ring (Doing The Same Thing) - Memphis Minnie
11. Cockeyed World - Wallace, Minnie
12. Barbecue Bust - Mississippi Jook Band
13. Dans Le Grand Bois - Hackberry Ramblers
14. Aces' Breakdown - Four Aces


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: Smedley
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 03:41 AM

One reason I started the thread is because I like these lists, even (or especially!?) the ones I disagree with. They take snapshots of taste, and can tell you a lot about prevailing preferences.

And, or so I am told by those who work in journalism, they are not 'filler' but are guaranteed to increase sales of any magazine that features them. The same is probably true for listening figures at radio stations.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 06:21 AM

Essential? Important?

I love subjective lists. I reckon if we all sat down and wrote our own list, there would be some occurring more than others.

Still wouldn't be essential or important. May not be folk, unless somebody actually defines folk. I have dismissed as many definitions as I have had thrust upon me.

If they were essential or important to anybody other than baby boomers with beards, ethnic skirts and sandals, then Simon Cowell would be making money out of them.

I love alternative realities. They give me a warm feeling when I visit them.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: Marje
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 09:11 AM

Songs can still be important to people like us (with or without our beards, sandals etc) without making much money for anyone. The reasons that Cowell and co are not interested in folk are:
1. Folkies are too clever to be taken in by all the hype and razamatazz
2. We can, and do, make and enjoy this music by ourselves without the services of the recording industry, and therefore-
3. Record promoters can't make much money out of folk

Folk music is more comparable to a non-musical hobby like beekeeping, or ice-skating, or amateur dramatics. These things may all be hugely important to those who take part, and give lots of pleasure to many others who witness them or enjoy the by-products. But, as with folk music, the number who make big money from them is relatively tiny, so they're of no interest to commercial promoters who want to make money.

Don't confuse commercial success with other values that really matter, that would be a big mistake.

Marje


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 12:48 PM

Dunno about that.

I don't mind being labelled as a folkie, (got a beard incidentally) yet I don't think I'm too clever to be taken in by hype. I'm thick as shit and taken in by shiny objects. I have every gadget that comes out, and if it says Apple on it I queue to get one.

I do try in my own little way to prick the bubble of pomposity, and sadly I do find a lot of the ruddy stuff in the stereotypes I referred to above....

Record producers make lots out of folk, (assuming I admit that folk is a genre...) In fact, scroll up to the original list. A few zillion $$ there over the years.

Trust me, if the word essential is used, there is an assumption that it is there for a purpose, and if it really were essential then Cowell would be there, just like it was fashionable in the '70s and early '80s for folk club based comedy to appear on Top of the Pops. (Mike Harding, Jasper Carrot, Billy Connolly, Tony Capstick, Fred Wedlock.)

Every dog has his day.

Enjoy what you enjoy, I do. I just don't reckon it is essential. I recall a few months ago getting all upbeat, saying folk tradition as a musical art is having a renaissance due to the young turks and those who followed.

Wow, you should have seen the reaction here on the mudcat thingy.

We wonder if dinosaurs had feathers or scales? They certainly had and still have a chip on their shoulder. Alive and kicking on this very forum. I reckon David Attenborough should pontificate on how life can carry on in the strangest of environments when the animals in question are doing their best to become extinct.

ps. I enjoyed the (American) list. Lots of nostalgia for a bygone age there...


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 01:52 PM

Essential? Those which are so to me are those which I love to sing the most, & which people have said they liked my renderings of — especially my late wife, no musician or singer herself, but my severest critic who would not hesitate to say so if she thought me out of voice or useless at a particular song or on a particular occasion. Which meant that if ever she said she liked my performance of a particular song I knew it meant something. So here, for my list, a few of those to which she reacted most positively over the years. It seems to me a reasonable criterion:

Queen Eleanor's Confession; Spanish Lady; Willie More; The Tailor in the Teachest; The Devil & the Feathery Wife; The Days of '49; Butter & Cheese & All; Boston Harbour; Fanny Blair; The Band Played Waltzing Matilda; In Praise of John Magee; On Board the Victory; Roll the Old Chariot Along; Going Down Town; Bowling Green; April Morning; Star of the County Down; The Bonnie Wee Lassie's Answer Was Don't Come Again; The Besom Maker; The Little Skillet Pot; Red Apple Juice; Lord Thomas & Fair Elinor; Squirrel Is A Pretty Thing; The Red & Green Signal Lights; Valentine O'Hara; Here's Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy; Ratcliffe Street [London version of Jack-All-Alone — I'm a Londoner]; Katy Cruel; Cotton Mill Girls; Santa Fe Trail; I'm Bound To Follow the Longhorn Cows; Cold & Raw; The Magdalene Green; Follow the Drinking Gourd; The Black Cat Piddled in the White Cat's Eye; On Monday I Never Go To Work; The Treadmill Song; The Prickle-Holly Bush; The Wild-Goose Shanty; Peggy Bann ...

That'll do for now.


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Subject: RE: 100 Essential Folk Songs (Folk Alley poll)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 04:00 AM

Oh, - & should add Fair Tender Ladies: that was the one I happened to be singing when a camera flash went off & my wife, whenever she looked at that photograph, would always say that was the moment it flashed into her mind "That's the young man I am going to marry". & once she had made her mind up to anything... Does that make it an 'essential' song, I wonder?


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