Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Folksong-when performance/when political rally

*#1 PEASANT* 06 Apr 10 - 08:20 AM
Bettynh 06 Apr 10 - 12:42 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Apr 10 - 12:58 PM
frogprince 06 Apr 10 - 12:58 PM
VirginiaTam 06 Apr 10 - 01:02 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Apr 10 - 01:26 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 06 Apr 10 - 03:38 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Apr 10 - 04:08 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 06 Apr 10 - 04:15 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 06 Apr 10 - 04:58 PM
artbrooks 06 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM
DonMeixner 06 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM
Bettynh 06 Apr 10 - 05:34 PM
Leadfingers 06 Apr 10 - 06:30 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Apr 10 - 06:51 PM
mousethief 06 Apr 10 - 06:53 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 06 Apr 10 - 07:27 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 06 Apr 10 - 07:30 PM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 06 Apr 10 - 08:08 PM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 10 - 08:59 PM
mousethief 06 Apr 10 - 09:05 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 10 - 10:41 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 06:46 AM
Bettynh 07 Apr 10 - 10:33 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 11:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Apr 10 - 11:22 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 12:15 PM
Stringsinger 07 Apr 10 - 03:22 PM
Stringsinger 07 Apr 10 - 03:33 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 10 - 03:58 PM
Bettynh 07 Apr 10 - 04:36 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 04:56 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 05:11 PM
catspaw49 07 Apr 10 - 05:34 PM
Stringsinger 07 Apr 10 - 05:58 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Apr 10 - 06:03 PM
Bettynh 07 Apr 10 - 06:40 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 07 Apr 10 - 07:11 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 10 - 08:25 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 09:10 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 09:19 PM
dick greenhaus 07 Apr 10 - 09:44 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 09:56 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 07 Apr 10 - 10:05 PM
Art Thieme 07 Apr 10 - 10:10 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 10 - 10:19 PM
catspaw49 07 Apr 10 - 10:27 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 10 - 10:31 PM
catspaw49 07 Apr 10 - 10:41 PM
Don Firth 07 Apr 10 - 11:00 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 08 Apr 10 - 07:07 AM
Stringsinger 08 Apr 10 - 10:08 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 08 Apr 10 - 12:26 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 10 - 04:32 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 08 Apr 10 - 07:15 PM
Stringsinger 08 Apr 10 - 07:54 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 08 Apr 10 - 08:50 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 10 - 10:41 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 08 Apr 10 - 10:45 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Apr 10 - 07:37 AM
Bettynh 09 Apr 10 - 11:11 AM
Bonzo3legs 09 Apr 10 - 11:21 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 09 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 09 Apr 10 - 11:32 AM
Ruth Archer 09 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 09 Apr 10 - 11:41 AM
Bettynh 09 Apr 10 - 11:58 AM
mousethief 09 Apr 10 - 12:45 PM
Stringsinger 09 Apr 10 - 01:05 PM
Don Firth 09 Apr 10 - 02:35 PM
mousethief 09 Apr 10 - 03:43 PM
Don Firth 09 Apr 10 - 04:26 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 09 Apr 10 - 04:43 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 09 Apr 10 - 04:45 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 09 Apr 10 - 04:53 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 09 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM
mousethief 09 Apr 10 - 05:31 PM
Ruth Archer 09 Apr 10 - 06:57 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Apr 10 - 08:18 AM
theleveller 10 Apr 10 - 12:46 PM
Don Firth 10 Apr 10 - 02:07 PM
Don Firth 10 Apr 10 - 03:11 PM
Don Firth 10 Apr 10 - 03:12 PM
buddhuu 10 Apr 10 - 03:25 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Apr 10 - 03:38 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Apr 10 - 09:12 PM
theleveller 11 Apr 10 - 04:16 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 Apr 10 - 05:09 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 Apr 10 - 05:14 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Apr 10 - 08:00 AM
theleveller 11 Apr 10 - 01:02 PM
Don Firth 11 Apr 10 - 03:09 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Apr 10 - 03:46 PM
mousethief 11 Apr 10 - 03:48 PM
Melissa 11 Apr 10 - 04:52 PM
Don Firth 11 Apr 10 - 07:59 PM
Don Firth 11 Apr 10 - 08:13 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Apr 10 - 08:32 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Apr 10 - 08:45 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Apr 10 - 11:43 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Apr 10 - 12:09 AM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 10 - 12:34 AM
theleveller 12 Apr 10 - 04:23 AM
Stringsinger 12 Apr 10 - 01:29 PM
dick greenhaus 12 Apr 10 - 02:43 PM
Dave the Gnome 12 Apr 10 - 03:26 PM
theleveller 12 Apr 10 - 03:34 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 12 Apr 10 - 10:04 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 12 Apr 10 - 10:28 PM
theleveller 13 Apr 10 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,Neil D 13 Apr 10 - 11:31 AM
catspaw49 13 Apr 10 - 11:48 AM
theleveller 13 Apr 10 - 03:02 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 10 - 03:26 PM
Stringsinger 14 Apr 10 - 01:56 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 08:20 AM

This is in the folklore category as it pertains to folk performance. Please remove any BS off topic rather than re categorize.

When is a folk music performance a performance and when does it become a political rally>?

What is a political Rally?

A political rally is a group gathered to hear music etc. who all share a political party or point of view. It is not a forum except where there are internal disagreements within the same general point of view.
Music performed is not intended so much as art or aesthetic experience but as motivation to act. Go out and vote x, stop the war etc.

What is a Folk Concert/Festival?

A folk festival./performance is a forum which celebrates music and folklore not as political statement but as a language for expression, discussion and negotiation. Songs are there as art objects, treasures, heritage. Songs present would illustrate a wide range of points of view, cultural outlooks, traditions, values and would not necessarily agree. Slight exceptions would be songs gathered in groups for workshops focusing on one topic or another or a concert by a particular artist. Music becomes therein a language- A folk festival then would be like a festival of german language wherein many people of many points of view are invited to study and appreciate the language using a common language of expression. Political views and cultural views would be diverse. Like faire festivals now common- not one costume but using the language of costume many expressions the more the merrier with an emphasis on diversity.


How do you know a folk song performance is a folk song performance?

You will know that a folk song performance is not a political rally when people of all varieties of political point of view join in singing. When after the song is over the presenter talks about the following and related topics: Rhyme scheme used in the lyrics, vocabulary used in the lyrics, history of the song, cord progressions used in the melody, history of the melody, background of the presenter, other versions, instruments used....so much to talk about.

How do you know a folk song performance is a political rally?

Easy! At the end of the song the singer shouts out phrases like: "End the war" and the crowd repeats or "stop the baby killing" and everyone repeats or "civil rights for everyone" and the crowd repeats, or "legalize same sex marriages" and the crowd repeats...or any other type of political view. Or when political literature is distributed.

Relevance:

I believe imho that folk music benefits most when music and song are projected as languages for expression rather than means to political ends.

This does not mean that performers and organizers are not free to utilize folk events as political rally's but that it might be helpful for all concerned to protect open forums for the appreciation of art and literature as folk music certainly is.

It does mean that it might be advisable to invest a little time and effort in bringing in the widest spectrum of expression. To include people who have perhaps felt unwelcome in the past. To encourage all sides all points of view to express themselves in artistic works of song and to come and share their works of art of verse and musical notation with the world freely. We have perhaps to do a bit of work to reach out and exclaim that our forums are open.

We do not have to do this but some things that are good are things that we none the less might consider working for.

So now that I have explained my definitions and have demonstrated why this discussion might be of assistance in helping the world of folk music to grow and expand more efficiently. I seek your opinions.

I do not seek BS this is about the folk experience.

Thanks!!

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally
From: Bettynh
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:42 PM

BS if ever I've seen it. Conrad you've answered your own questions here. Your opinion is decidedly not humble. That said, I can only answer from the USA perspective and understand that you are in Germany.

I say go for it! Rent the hall and collect those opposing acts on the same stage or in the same program. Cut them off when they start to shout slogans that are part of the songs. Invite musicologists and linguists to discuss. Since the goal is art, the lack of audience won't matter at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:58 PM

This is getting ridiculous. Why a carbon-copy thread of the Smothers Brothers Pete Seeger thread?

Conrad is establishing his own set of criteria and trying to ascertain that his opinion is fact. WRONG!!!!!!

"A folk festival./performance is a forum which celebrates music and folklore not as political statement but as a language for expression, discussion and negotiation. "

Who is Conrad to set such a standard?   The history of art, literature AND folklore shows that politics ARE a part of the story. For Conrad to advocate CENSORSHIP of such performances is lunacy.

Why stop at politics? A folk festival should not be used as an expression for violence or incest, so lets remove all Child Ballads. We should also exclude all work songs since that represents a class system and we do not need such controversy.   Let's remove love songs because the songs can be a statement for same sex couples. And lets remove all those foreign songs because nobody knows what they are saying since they aren't speaking good English!   I don't want to hear any religous songs, becaue it promotes something I do not believe in.

I guess that leaves a couple of instrumentals.

Do you not see how stupid this discussion can be?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: frogprince
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:58 PM

Same song, 714th verse....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:02 PM

what I don't get is why people take the bait. Just don't reply and the thread will die.

Simples!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:26 PM

The thread may die - but it should not die without a statement or two to show that there are two sides to the issue. Don't forget, these threads show up in searches and there is no reason why someone without knowledge of the subject should find an unchallenged post, expecially when the original post is so far from reality.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 03:38 PM

The context of performance folks not the song itself.
How the song is used not its contents
Some uses are different from others
No banning advocated
or censoring

The context of a song peformance.

If it is performed for political purposes pirmairly it is a political rally.

If it is a political rally rather than a performance it will have limited appeal.

It will also discourage others with other points of view

It will brand folk music generally

Those things are negative factors in regard to the growth of folk music.

And you don't have to do anything but one should try a few good things.

Conrad
Baltimore, Maryland if it matters....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM

I do not believe that Conrad has ever been to a folk concert or folk festival because what he is describing simply does not exist.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM

You are wrong. Folk can include politics. Folk brands itself - it is the product of a community. No reason why not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:08 PM

Sorry - that "you are wrong" was directed at Conrad, not Don.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:15 PM

"If it is performed for political purposes pirmairly it is a political rally.

If it is a political rally rather than a performance it will have limited appeal.

It will also discourage others with other points of view

It will brand folk music generally"


To anyone reading this thread, bear in mind that those four items are opinions from Conrad. Many others disagree with each of those items. It is not criteria that is recognized to consitute "folk music", nor is it any sort of accepted criteria for performers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:58 PM

didn't say it was!

so discuss but read what I have written first.

I have never suggested removing political content from songs.

I am concerned only with the environment- the intent of performance.

By its very nature political use of songs is divisive. If you utilize the same songs as art then you will not loose those for which the political message (a very small aspect of any song) is offensive.

If too many songs appear that are used primairly in a political manner then one would discurage others from performing at the venue.

If the one sided political performances persist over time the genre as a whole can become branded and will turn people away before they arrive.

If one does not get the feeling that musicians are preaching at them or lecturing following the performance indicating that they expect the crowd to take action along the lines the song suggests then we can keep to expression, art a level of interest which has broader appeal.

I have been to many folk concerts. I have seen the mayor of baltimore sing IRA songs following them up with anti british chants and black glove salute (he is now governor of Maryland) I have seen women sing women's liberation songs followed up with a few choice words of politics against men etc.

Politicization of a folk event is different from playing folk music with a political message and talking about music leaving the political speeches out. Let the songs stand on their own any way as art.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM

Would a clone please merge this into the other thread on exactly the same topic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: DonMeixner
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM

I am waiting for the Art Car references to start.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally
From: Bettynh
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:34 PM

"I have been to many folk concerts. I have seen the mayor of baltimore sing IRA songs following them up with anti british chants and black glove salute (he is now governor of Maryland) I have seen women sing women's liberation songs followed up with a few choice words of politics against men etc."

By your own definition, those weren't concerts. When have you attended "a folk song performance ... when people of all varieties of political point of view join in singing. When after the song is over the presenter talks about the following and related topics: Rhyme scheme used in the lyrics, vocabulary used in the lyrics, history of the song, cord progressions used in the melody, history of the melody, background of the presenter, other versions, instruments used....so much to talk about"?.

Conrad, it does matter where you are writing from. I can forgive you if you are at a distance and describing a situation I don't know. If you feel you can speak from an American perspective, however, I can say you are wrong and purposefully provocative.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:30 PM

I cant make up my mind as to wether Conrad IS Purely Provocative , or if he believes some of the things he posts !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:51 PM

inasmuch as the word FOLK lost any semblance of meaning quite a while back, I fail to see the point in all this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:53 PM

In 1968 Hubert Humphrey had an election rally. Tommy James and the Shondells sang "Crimson and Clover". But since it was a political event, it had limited appeal and discouraged other points of view. As a result, it branded 1960s pop music generally. And in less than 3 years, there was no more 1960s pop music, except in recorded form. Chillingly, nobody has made 1960s pop music since (with the possible exception of Smash Mouth).

I think we should all take heed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:27 PM

Perhaps Dick -this is the problem. So few people wish to return FOLK that it is causing worry when it is suggested.

You are right bettynh in my definition it became a political rally. But they called it an Irish Folk Festival. Therein is the problem. The same songs could have been sung at a festival but without the rhetoric and the implication that the songs were there for political purposes rather that for purposes of entertainment, analysis and folklore.

No problem with the songs it is the environment.

Thnks mousthief that was most enlightening {:)

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Folksong-performance/politcal rally when
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:30 PM

This thread is totally different from the seeger smothers thread. No need to mention them here. This thread applies to all performance situations and is general. I hope the BS level will go away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM

I've heard criticism of US folk music, people saying that it it too much political and too little traditional. These people prefer UK folk music, which, they say, is truer to tradition (guess they'd never heard of Ewan MacColl).

I really like political music, but much of it is topical and ephemeral. It may be stirring and relevant today, but a museum artifact next year. The songs about Lyndon Johnson and Dickie Nixon and Jimmy Carter just don't speak to people anymore - but they sure were good when the topic was hot. Tom Paxton is a master of topical song, and he has written many, many songs that are no longer relevant. Nonetheless, I'm glad that he dusts them off every once in a while and sings them. And many of Paxton's songs are timeless, and others cyclical - they may have seemed dead at one time, but history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.

MacColl covered both sides of the discussion. He (and Peggy Seeger) did wonderful work on truly traditional songs, but he also wrote and performed many topical, political songs. For that matter, Pete Seeger did the same thing - but I didn't know much about his work on truly traditional music until Folkways brought out the American Favorite Ballads CDs and introduced me to a whole body of Pete Seeger's traditional work I had barely known about.

How do you know when it's a performance? - when the performer has a table out for selling CDs.

How do you know when it's a political rally? - when people have ironing boards for taking petition signatures....

Am I right, or am I right?

Right, Joe...

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 08:08 PM

Sounds good. I prefer performance. But who buys cds any more....I am amazed that so many bristle at the idea of singing both sides of an issue. Songs are songs. They are the language of a political position not the position itself.

Paxton is a great example. One can not possibly agree with each and every song. So many of them so many topics. Yet. His construction of lyrics and matching them to tunes will take over and make you forget what the song is about. You just end up with a grin and tired foot for tapping too much.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 08:59 PM

There's something to that, Conrad. Paxton usually has a delightful touch of humor in his political songs, and that's very effective. Even if you disagree with him, how can you help but laugh? Besides that, Paxton is never totally partisan - he can lead you to laugh at both sides of almost every issue. I have to say that MacColl was rarely humorous, and that made him seem strident at times.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 09:05 PM

I prefer CDs. People who think it's a good idea to have their entire music collection on a hard drive have never had one fail. Ditto for iPods.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 10:41 PM

"But who buys cds any more...."   Lots of people, Conrad.

"I am amazed that so many bristle at the idea of singing both sides of an issue."

I am amazed that you are amazed. If I don't believe in a particular issue, especially if I see that it will lead to some really bad things, it would be a violation of my personal integrity in addition to being totally hypocritical of me to speak out—or sing out—in favor of it. At the same time, those with whom I share that belief would be mystified if I did that, and I would not blame them for writing me off as a traitor.

I know politicians who talk out of the both sides of their mouth. I don't vote for them.

"Songs are songs."

Songs can be considerably more than just songs. They can tell a story, as ballads do; they express emotions, as love songs do; they can be funny; they can lull a child to sleep—or they can rouse people to rebellion.

"The Marseilles," (currently the French national anthem) is a very rousing song. And during the French Revolution, it was a strong agent in stirring up people's anger and inspiring them to rise up against the aristocracy. The storming of the Bastille (regarded by the French as their version of Independence Day) was accompanied by the crowd singing "The Marseilles," and this powerful, stirring song was the leitmotif of major change, not just in France, but all over Europe—and America! It toppled the French monarchy (which, in itself had a domino effect), turfed out the aristocracy, and put "Madame Guillotine" to work throughout what is now known as "the Reign of Terror."

Even now, upon hearing the song, it's easy to see how it stirred vast numbers of people to action. The words alone can give you an idea. But the words and music combined are powerful.

[English transliteration of the French]
Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts

CHORUS:
To arms citizens
Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows


What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny

Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who pitilessly
Ripped out their mothers' wombs

We shall enter into the pit
When our elders will no longer be there
There we shall find their ashes
And the mark of their virtues
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!
Whew!!

There are a whole batch of powerful union songs that inspired action during the 1920s and 1930s. They don't get sung much anymore, but for inspiration purposes, they were very effective. You can thank these songs for helping to bring about the forty-hour week, time-and-a-half for overtime, and an end to child labor.

And going further back:   Giuseppe Verdi's opera Nabucco contains a chorus—Va pensiero—or "The Hymn of the Hebrew Slaves." This reflected the feelings of many Italians at the time, as Italy was under the thumb of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the chorus is said to have played a part in Italy's subsequent independence. The story is told of a crowd of over a thousand people in the city square (Rome? Naples? Not sure which city) spontaneously bursting into singing this chorus to register their protest.

Heavy stuff!!

Never ever make the mistake of thinking that songs are only songs. The combination of words and music often has much greater power than speech alone. History has demonstrated this time and time again.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:46 AM

Don- read a few posts above.

Its like a channel.

The call to arms or political message is just one channel of many running through a folk song.

We can turn on and off any channel we wish as we listen to a song.
To focus on the power of the politics is to discount the value of a song's other artistic dimensions as a work of art.

A song is powerful not because of its political message but because of the art of the composition of the lyrics and the fit of those lyrics to a well crafted rousing tune and then there is the performance.

You must also look at songs of solidarity as pieces of a sports game.
There is always a looser. Their songs are still good songs but they get lost and forgotten. Folklorists have then to find them again a very wasteful process.

Just because people hold a grudge or dont agree with the message (which is easy to do as someone somewhere in todays society doesnt like any given thing at any given time) the artworks of great artists suffer.

Not playing a song just because you don't agree with it is sort of like burning the books in the middle ages or cromwell's defacing of beautiful sculptures. It is no different in music.

The way to get yourself around this hang up is to play the songs in an artistic setting rather than a political setting. Describe the song, give its history, talk about the traditions involved in its construction, talk about earlier performances and its importance in history. You don't have to say anything about like or dislike- ask the crowd to determine that for themselves.

Years ago I did a lot of hard work to rescue the songs of the Protestant, unionist, loylist, orange traditions from oblivion.
I encouraged a friend in Belfast to market cds on his web pages.
He was a historian and doubted the value of the effort. A few days after the site was launched he could not believe the market for the musical tradition that no one had access to because some people happened to be on the other side of the issues.

Let the music stand on its own as art. No need to trash anyone's tradition and hard work.

Remember. Some day a side opposite to yours might triumph (not that I want it to) How would you like them to treat the songs you love>?

Do unto others as....

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Bettynh
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:33 AM

"You will know that a folk song performance is not a political rally when people of all varieties of political point of view join in singing. When after the song is over the presenter talks about the following and related topics: Rhyme scheme used in the lyrics, vocabulary used in the lyrics, history of the song, cord progressions used in the melody, history of the melody, background of the presenter, other versions, instruments used....so much to talk about."

I've been trying to imagine this. I can think of a few precedents: Leonard Bernstein's childrenss' concerts, Dave van Ronk's last concert, Utah Phillips' recorded songbook, Doc Watson and David Holt's 3-disc recording. None of them presented opposite points of view, all were very personal, but they did have the music-discussion format. Usually, the discussion preceded the music. Even the radio ballads sorta did this. But I can't imagine this as a routine thing, and I wouldn't call them concerts. I can imagine a radio series/podcasts though. If the opposing groups tend to be confrontational, editing might come in handy.

Please don't give up on folk festivals. I've learned a lot at the few I've attended, mostly by wandering into something completely unfamiliar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:11 AM

Festivals are good.

My opinion is that like the state fair-

If when you go to the state or county fair in USA and you cant find the animals and the 4 h canning and craft competition areas it is too commercial

Same with folk festivals. If you can only see a sea of crafters and food booths then balance is off.

Another thing to look for in a festival is a band that does not plan to flee the scene after its gig but hangs out throught the day just as the rest of the volunteers try to do.

You don't have to say anything to perform a song- It is helpful and inspiring but if you have to say something simply keep it to the music. yes I remember seeing Utah Pyhillips while I was in school in Knoxville great informed performer.

Opposing points of view are not as essential when you address the music and not the politics however we should always try to find and encourage others who might feel turned away we dont have to but we have to get out of the narrow view and do a little reverse discrimination and go out and encourage.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:22 AM

What if the politics is part of the music or performance? As it often is with Leon Rosselson or Roy Bailey for instance? Sorry - don't know the US equivelants. Surely the politics are as part of some music as are the lyrics, tune and performance? I don't think there can be such a narrow dividing line between the two as it becomes blurred in many cases.

I must say that while I do agree that politcal songs of most persuasions should be preserved, that should be tempered with a sensitivity that would stop anyone performing them inappropriately. And there are some songs, those that incite hatred of other people for instance, that will always be inappropriate!

Cheers

DeG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 12:15 PM

I think appropriateness of songs is to be judged by the nature of the context of presentation.

If you do not intend to incite hatred songs will not do that.

Its sort of like songs plus attitude and preaching is bad songs just sung harmless.

When a song is presented as art as music and lyric- abstractly it should be appropriate. The difficulty comes when the artist performs a song then includes an introduction and conclusion statement which incites people to action.

You need not say anything just play the song or you can talk about the song as music or art- then it would be just that music or art.

If on the other hand you wish not to have a concert or open festival you may sing the song at a political rally where you can use it to incite behavior and if violent behavior is incited in that context it is bad.

While many causes are good in my view the only way to avoid politicization of the venues, media and festivals is to encourage the context of presentation be that of art and not politics. That helps us be more inclusive yet not guilty of preaching or inciting action.
This shoiuld apply imho to all sides of any discussion.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 03:22 PM

Conrad makes a very simplistic case for his views. It is virtually impossible to separate an artist from his/her political views. A political rally and a concert are sometimes indistinguishable.

There are many traditional folksongs that could be interpreted as "hate" songs but I don't think this can be ascribed to Pete Seeger. There are songs critical of current social issues but these don't necessarily reflect a distinct political platform. I think that's specious reasoning.

If inclusivity involves the avoidance of topical songs or personal social statements
then this is an oxymoron. This is not inclusivity but avoidance. The idea that the artist shouldn't offend someone's viewpoint in the audience is not inclusive. It's patronizing.

The dissection of art from political or social issues is silly. Picasso's "Guernica" is all that needs to be seen to belie this view.

Pete Seeger has never incited violent behavior.

The songs of the Civil Rights Movement were effective as much as for their art then their political statements.

Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude" was a musical political statement as was Beethoven's
music at times. This in no way degraded their artistic contributions.

Once again, someone without any convictions may desire a pseudo-open-mindedness
but this is not in the realm of art which requires passion and persuasion. Once again,
holding conflicting ideas does not reflect integrity.

The great songs of Utah Phillips and Woody Guthrie reflect a decided approach to social issues. Neither pulled any punches and it did not detract from the art or their fans.

I say the song is powerful because of the art of construction and at times its political or social intent. "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" is a remarkable example of a lovely melody wedded to a specific point-of-view about a social issue. "Waste Deep In the Big Muddy" was banned from TV because of the conservative attitudes of the executives who certainly exercised their political clout and unapologetically at that.

The idea that one must avoid stepping on the toes of an audience by self-censorship
is really denigrating the role of the artist in any society.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 03:33 PM

As a followup, songs of the American Civil War for example are political statements as most of the songs of the First and Second World Wars.

In the Southern U.S., songs of the Confederacy are used as political statements with underpinnings of racism.

I think that "The Unreconstructed Rebel" can be sung in a context where the intent of the song (anti-U.S.) doesn't reflect the views of the singer. But it can be used as a political or social weapon as was the song "Dixie" which was stolen from Daniel Emmett by a New Orleans publisher. It however, remains a good song which was re-interpreted by the Confederate South which would have dismayed the composer who was pro-Northern.

This is all to say that you just can't separate a song from it's political or social intent or content otherwise you have a piece of bloodless and inane material. If you research the background of songs you can find a connection to a social issue which some would interpret as being "too political". This is true of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" as it is of
a great many folksongs in the U.S. coming out of historical and social events.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 03:58 PM

Pardon me, Conrad, but when you start lecturing me on music, my eyes tend to glaze over.

I've been studying music all my life. I spent some three years at the University of Washington School of Music and another two years at the Cornish College of the Arts (a conservatory). I have been teaching music (both privately and in classes) since the middle to late 1950s. I have also devoted the past fifty-eight years (longer than you have been alive) to the study of folk music. And during that time, I have performed in concerts, on television (including educational television), in clubs and coffeehouses, and at many folk festivals.

You have said nothing to indicate that you have any in-depth knowledge of music—certainly no more than someone who has never taken any music lessons and maybe learned to play a guitar out of a copy of "Guckert's Chords for Guitar without Notes or Teacher" (and yes, there is such a book). And you have also revealed repeatedly in this and other threads that your knowledge of folk music and what it is all about is next to non-existent.

Nor do you display any awareness of the effect that music can have—and does have—subliminally. And that includes both music with and without words.

In short, instead of trying to tell people what they must do and generally set policies, you should be reading, listening, and trying to learn.

You're not the first neophyte to try to tell those who have devoted their lives to a particular thing how they're doing it all wrong. And, of course, you won't be the last.

Statements like "Not playing a song just because you don't agree with it is sort of like burning the books in the middle ages or cromwell's defacing of beautiful sculptures. It is no different in music." demonstrate not only a painful naivety, but a failure to grasp simple logic.

If I chose not to sing a song because I don't agree with its message, I am not destroying the song (a la burning books or defacing statues), I am simply not singing the song. I have a fairly large repertoire, but there are many songs I don't sing. I don't sing some of them because I disagree with there message, or because the song simply does not appeal to me for one reason or another—or because I haven't even heard it!

I do not sing popular songs, rock, rap, Broadway show tunes, Schubert lied, operatic arias, or songs in Urdu. And I do not yodel!

One can't sing everything. One must make choices.

This does not mean that I am destroying those songs. The songs still exist, and they are there for others to sing, if they choose to.

Think! If I chose not to read a particular book, that is not the same as burning it! The book is still there for others to read if they wish.

So you may as well just get off that bus now, Conrad, because it's going nowhere!

Here's a suggestion:   Get a copy of This is Your Brain on Music : The Science of a Human Obsession, by David J. Leviton – HERE – and read it carefully.

In fact, I would suggest that anyone who sings and/or plays music—or, for that matter, listens to music—should read this book.

###

Conrad, in the reunion concert that Bob Nelson (Deckman) and I did together in 2007, the program was almost entirely non-political—except for one pair of songs in the second half of the concert. With no comment or introductions at all, I sang Eric Bogle's The Green Fields of France. When I finished, I set my guitar aside while Bob began Tom Paxton's My Son John. [This was the only example I could find on YouTube. Bob's rendition was considerably smoother.]. We made no comment, because the songs said what it was we wanted to say.

Get the point?

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Bettynh
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 04:36 PM

We all speak from our own experience, Conrad. Is it safe to infer that a) you have studied and enjoy a form of music that has been deemed politically incorrect by an audience or fellow performer and b) you are trying to imagine a setting where you wouldn't be booed off the stage? You really put your foot in it when you dragged up history you didn't understand and you haven't been forgiven yet. Sometimes bad things happen and we can imagine better ways.

Understanding your language is a problem.

Does "I think appropriateness of songs is to be judged by the nature of the context of presentation. If you do not intend to incite hatred songs will not do that." mean "I just liked the song and they got all political on me"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 04:56 PM

subliminally

yes of course we all follow the direction of the evil songs LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM

sometimes after a long lifetime of doing things one might just come to the realization that one may be on the wrong track.

if you were all right why is it so hard to find folk music within walking distance of my place-why arent folk music venues on every corner.

Why dont the local children and their parents for that matter know any folk music....

aha yes because you have got it right.

Nothing wrong with your good work which I do respect but you really need to look at songs more as art

No I am not telling anyone what to do. Just asking that you think outside the comfort zone of the past 50 years.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:11 PM

Ok my musical background, yes many people have more of a musical background than I do, It has nothing to do with the points made but here it goes.

1. Grew up in a musical household where music was ever present via recordings multiple genres including folk music, classical, modern. (pete seeger was banned as he was a lefty-I regret that he had so branded himself as to be excluded...)

2. Choir elementary until middle school. Church music

3. Around fourth grade piano till middle school where I took up french horn.

4. Studied classical french horn in london england in the 60s.

5. French horn throughout high school into freshman year of college both marching band tradition and classical.

6. Studied Irish traditional music at University of Md. Munich Campus as well as Celtic Studies. Started on tin whistle.

7. Learned tin whistle from native of donnegal at Durham University UK whilst learning newcastle and geordie music via sessions in working mens clubs and in the terrace pubs of the Toon. (I learned by watching therfore hand position is reversed)

8. Graduate school U of tennessee knoxville. Played in a country/uk music trio and lots of sessions locally.....tin whistle, bones

I have played professionally tin whistle, bones over the past 30 years or so off and on while teaching in Irish Studies/Irish Folk music, storytelling....

About the only bluegrass tin whistle player I know of.

Invented the horn hat and currently the horn coat and jacket and am exploring seriously musical arrangements for these.

Publications in Folk Music....several.

And what has that to do with a few simple observations?>

Not much at all.

Anyone can see that if you only play songs you dont like or believe in some songs will suffer.

Anyone can see that when one places too much emphasis on politics people will either brand the tradition or be offended.

If you think songs make people do bad things as sort of incantations and curses...well you are being silly.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:34 PM

Ah yes.......ART! The wonderful form of rhyme and meter......Songs are only hurtful or incite violence if sung to incite hatred or violence.

What a fuckin' crock of shit.

So Conrad......Hop into one of your "Artcars" and go down to The Yard and setup out front to entertain the folks. Sing some baseball stuff if you want like "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" or "The Earl of Baltimore" or "Willie, Mickey, and The Duke." Then throw in some happy little ditties and then this wonderful piece of art:

Now listen, you communists and niggers and Jews                  
Tell all your buddies to spread the news                  
Your Day of Judgment will soon be nigh               
As the Lord in his wisdom looks down from on high                  
Will his battle be lost by mixin' the races?                  
We want beautiful babies, not ones with brown faces                  
Never, never, never, I say                  
For the Ku Klux Klan is here to stay
Never, never, never, I say                  
For the Ku Klux Klan is here to stay


Let us know how it goes for you. Enjoy yourself and your "art."{


Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:58 PM

Conrad, did you know that church music is political propaganda?

Pete didn't brand himself to be excluded. That's just not true.

Who holds the branding iron?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:03 PM

Conrad, I happen to think you are right about one important item - it IS important to preserve songs of opposing opinions. Just as Spaw used a KKK song to teach a point, there is a need to preserve these songs for historical and educational purposes. Spaw did not share (or sing) the song because of enjoyment.

Yet, there is a HUGE difference on performing these songs for entertainment and education. You seem to be flip flopping on your intent in this, and the Seeger/Smothers thread.

Context is the key, and you cloud the argument by mixing education and entertainment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Bettynh
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:40 PM

"why is it so hard to find folk music within walking distance of my place-why arent folk music venues on every corner.

Why dont the local children and their parents for that matter know any folk music...."

I don't know where you live, but have you ever taken that whistle out to the front steps and just played a bit? If you live in the city, you might attract some kids, and they'd at least have heard your tunes. Or not, but you would have created a music venue on your corner.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 07:11 PM

"why is it so hard to find folk music within walking distance of my place-why arent folk music venues on every corner."

Perhaps you are looking in the wrong places. Folk music doesn't come from a "venue", it comes from the street corners and within walking distance - you just do not recognize it.

The only thing you will get in a venue is a performance.


"Why dont the local children and their parents for that matter know any folk music...."

They do. You are placing expecations about what it should be and not seeing the folk music they are sharing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:25 PM

Conrad, you're being disingenuous (there are stronger, more precise words, but I'll stick with that). The fact that you can't find a folk music venue on every corner does not mean that we who have been at it most of our fairly lengthy lives have been doing it all wrong.

Folk music, as a genre, never has been that popular, even during the "Great Folk Scare" of the 1960s. Prior to that, most of what you heard on the radio and on the juke boxes was whatever was regarded as "popular" at the time, generally products of "Tin Pan Alley," Broadway, and the movies, along with the occasional radio station that played some classical music from time to time.

Even during the 1960s, you could not find "a folk music venue on every corner." Usually in cities of some size and in the vicinity of a local college campus one might find a few coffeehouses where one could hear folk music—generally varying widely in quality of performance, from quite professional sounding singers to kids who knew three guitar chords and six songs.

During this period, Seattle (a city of roughly 500,000 at the time, with two fairly large universities) had some four coffeehouses that featured singers of folk songs, and a couple of others where jazz was the entertainment of choice. None of these were "basket houses" where one sang for tips. The owners all paid fairly well (although not up to what might be earned in a night club), and regularly. Two of them in particular were quite nice (your elbows didn't stick to the tables), and were more like non-alcoholic night clubs.   And they were full-up on weekend evenings. And not just with "folkies."

Some of us who sang in these coffeehouses would be approached to sing concerts at the nearby colleges, or at private affairs—or at arts festivals or other such events. On a couple of occasions during this time, I was asked to appear on television shows.

The so-called "folk music revival" of the 1960s ran its course like all such popular music fads, and was replaced in the mid-1960s by what is sometimes referred to as "the British Invasion":   the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Petula Clark, Gary and the Pacemakers, Lulu, et al. This, in turn, was replaced by the next pop music fad. Then the next. And the next.

But all this time, both before and since, there has been an undercurrent of interest in folk music. I got interested in and began singing folk songs at a time when if you mentioned "folk music," most people thought you were talking about Country and Western, or "Modern Western Swing," such as what the Sons of the Pioneers sang. A few people had heard of Burl Ives.

Looking back on it, I often think that although I made a good living during the "Great Folk Scare," in the long run, the kind of singing career I had envisioned for myself in the mid-1950s, was not especially helped by it. One might say that after several years of The Kingston Trio, The Limeliters, The Brothers Four, and God knows who all else, the general public was "all folked out!" Something fresh, like the Beatles, was a welcome relief. Now, if I mention to someone that I sing folk songs, they often say, "Oh! You mean like Bob Dylan?"

No. Not like Bob Dylan.

More like Richard Dyer-Bennet. Or Ed McCurdy. Or, for that matter, Burl Ives (minus the "Little White Duck" stuff), although my voice is more like McCurdy's than either of the other two.

Now, "folk singers" (or people who write their own songs and call them "folk songs") are a dime a dozen.

No, Conrad, I don't think a folk music venue on every corner is necessarily a good thing. However, I believe the house concert is an excellent venue, and certainly in keeping with both the traditions of home-grown music-making—and the traditions of minstrels and troubadours, who, more often than not, sang in private venues.

By the way, this coming weekend, I have my choice of about four places here in Seattle where I can go to hear folk music.

But I don't accept the idea that because you can't find a folk music venue on every corner is necessarily because we have been doing it all wrong.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:10 PM

it is because you have been doing something major wrong...ok then what is your solution?

Every time I have encountered a house concert it has been a secretive elitist setup where hosts demand money.
I have been to many.

Sometimes they wonder how it was that me a peasant with no money got in.
Concerts are bad elitist house concerts are worse.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:19 PM

I play regularly whereeveer I am . At festivals I am found outside the restrooms where the lines cheer as they are glad to find music while they wait. I play on the corners, I play in home depot parking lots.....I have interoduced the local kids to folk music,,,,,I play bbc mkie harding sunday folk and folkwayves out for anyone walking by.

And due to the way folk music has been conducted for some reason it is all new to them.

So we need change and drastic change.

people are hungry for it but folk musicians persist in making big mistakes some of which I have been pointing out.

unlike some professional folkies I play free all the time anywhere and dont immediately leave festivals.

These days I am also working on horn hattery. Not just to clown around but as a real genre. Also suit jacket and coat hornery.

Horn calls from the mind these days but last year I came close to harmonizing with an accordian player. Volunteers welcome.

But we cant go on with the same old thoughts as I have seen rear their good but ugly heads here.

We have to create an open environment and let people have communication via song without getting in the way.

All songs, any songs are art. Enough said. No censorship needed lest someday your favorites are censored. No politicking. Yes songs with politics in them. But no politicking. Seems a welcoming environment to me.

It takes courage for a performer to say- "I dont agree with the song but Its great anyway and I'm playing it" Honor the art.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:44 PM

Conrad-
virtually all the house concerts, including the ones that Susan and I present, solicit contributions----all of which go to the performer.


"Every time I have encountered a house concert it has been a secretive elitist setup where hosts demand money. "
I guess this would be true if it were elitist and secretive to try to offer folks a chance to hear some of the not-necessarily-well-known performers.
It's a format that I---and most performers--prefer to formal stages----or even street corners.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:56 PM

The ones in DC that I have attended about 60 have all been elitist insider knowledge events.

Not everyone knows that they occur.

When I get there folks are surprised that I have no money just a rabid interest in music.

I guess its how one treats those who just like the music and havent any money. Then it is an alternative forum.

Also I would like to see a sign at the concert. Follow us to the house concert at x. address.

I am not yet convinced that house concerts are an alternative to the commercial concert scene but just another set of ringers to obtain more money.

and I have been to loads of these. My problem is that I am never PC hardly dress, rarely bathe, have no money....I guess for non peasants it is easier.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:05 PM

Also-

I open my house several times a year. No charge. People come, celebrate, play music, listen to music, donate food and drink. Sometimes we get something like 125 other times 40. (google center for fawkesian pursuits) We dont have to have port o pots, sound engineers, concessions we just do it. (almost 31 years now)

My wife won't let me pass the hat or have a donation bucket. People bring food and drink and turn up with friends. These things can be done. Part of our tradition going way back. As in church suppers, barn raisings.....everyone sings. Everyone enjoys. New people are converted. Always!

Two years ago I saw the benefit in all this. About 20 college students friends of my daughter had never heard folk music in their lives went away with stars in their eyes - converts. Does not get any better than that.

I remember attending a chieftains concert with alan jabour we were the only ones tapping our feet.....the rest were elitist high culture students of culture- loads of money but not on the same level. We went on to play music all night they went home to bed.

Generally the artist has just done a concert. Its just double dipping. I would put the artist up for the night as an exchange. Feed hem maybe pass the hat but dont get agressive as I have found most hosts here to be... We have to make some events non gated to freely expand the music. Where possible.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:10 PM

A long while back I went to the old Chicago Stadium to see the Black Hawks play the national team from the USSR. I expected to see a hockey game; that and only that. By the time the game ended, I felt like I'd just witnessed a major battle of the Cold War play out on a sheet of ice. For the crowd in attendance that night, the game became a political rally of a sort---and it completely lost any sportsmanship aspect it might've possessed.

We left feeling depressed by the raucous turn of events.

I'm not sure if what I'm remembering is worth mentioning here, but there it is---for what it's worth.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:19 PM

Following on with what Ron Olesko and Bettynh said just above, in Seattle, if I go down to the Pike Place Market, one of Seattle's icons and major tourist attractions along with the Space Needle and the monorail, one can hear a whole variety of street singers and buskers. Practically any time of any day, but particularly on sunny weekends, the place is full of buskers.

These photos were all taken at the Pike Place Market:

Thomas Hubbbard.   Mariide.   Dunno who this is.   Charlotte Thistle.   All sizes, shapes, and varieties:   CLICKY.

All of these photos were taken at the Pike Place Market, and there are dozens more.

If you stand and listen to someone for more than just a song or two, it's customary to drop a few coins or a bill into their hat or open instrument case. This is in keeping with the centuries-old tradition of wandering musicians performing in the village square. It is an ancient and honorable occupation.

And we must not forget this fellow.

Since I have never been asked by anyone if they could join me on stage or in front of a mic or television camera, I've never had an opportunity to refuse ("censor") them. So—you're going to have to explain to me, in detail, just exactly what I've been doing wrong all this time that has—in your estimation—killed folk music.

And "something" isn't an answer!

"Secretive elitist setup." House concerts are generally advertised a variety of ways, including on an internet web page. Usually it's necessary for people to make reservations so 500 people don't show up all wanting to crowd into a living room that will seat a maximum of thirty people. And as Dick says, it's customary for people to make a donation to pay the performer (who may have traveling and lodging expenses that they have to cover, otherwise they wouldn't be able to come and do the house concert). Not "secretive" or "elitist" at all.

I think I'm beginning to get a glimmer of just exactly what your problem is. And it has nothing to do with what other people may be "doing wrong."

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:27 PM

My problem is that I am never PC, hardly dress, rarely bathe, have no money....

.............uh,huh....................suitable comment is lacking.............


Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:31 PM

What it boils down to, Conrad, is that you are not drawing any kind of audiences, therefore, someone else must have killed peoples' interest in folk music.

Take a look in the mirror.

####

This, and the other threads started by Conrad have been one, long, tedious whine.

Don Firth

P. S. Folk music is alive and healthy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 10:41 PM

Actually Don, what Conrad needs to draw is a tub of bathwater or even better, a hot shower. I would have to assume that Conrad "B.O. Plenty" Bladey draws flies and not audiences....................

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 11:00 PM

Ya know, for the life of me, I can't really think of very many people who would want to go and listen to fascist songs being sung by someone who looks like an explosion in a haystack and smells like a toxic waste dump. . . .

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:07 AM

Unless a house concert is put on in coordination with a folk music society I have never seen anything in the way of publicity even if there is a reservation system. Generally word of mouth after the concert - I here about it in conversation and then the reaction is how did you get in here and why dont you have any money.
The point is that house concerts are not better they are the same.

Its not that bad I just don't dress up in designer costumes and for Irish events I have never had a fishermans sweater me and my clean overalls just feel out of place.

Just go up to folks and invite them to join you on the stage and sing whatever they want. What a great thing to do.

The point is that everything has gotten bigger even folk music but it is not as big as it could be and believe me its not my fault as I am hardly a mover and shaker. The movers and shakers are perhaps moving and shaking in the wrong way - which is ok....hard to see what is needing fixing from inside. But something might just change and put folk music on a faster track.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 10:08 AM

Conrad, your points are really fuzzy. It almost seems as if you are stirring something up for
a hidden motive. (Are you a secret agent? :)
.Do you have an axe to grind that requires this forum?

I have no objection to your being able to speak here, but I question your motives.

House concerts are generally given by fans and the money goes to the performer.
Any scams would be broadcast among the performers.

Inviting people onstage to sing whatever they want sounds like a foolish idea to me.
I wouldn't pay money to hear that.

I can understand your need for attention but could you please make more sense?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 12:26 PM

"The point is that everything has gotten bigger even folk music but it is not as big as it could be and believe me its not my fault as I am hardly a mover and shaker."

I think there is an old country term to describe you - "shitstirrer".

Of course everything has gotten bigger. You wish it to be even bigger, but on your terms. You have not come to grips with the fact that not many people see the world the way you do, and the free enterprise system of house concerts has been a huge help to the artist and the music in general.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 04:32 PM

Simple, Conrad.

You obviously have a computer and you have access to the internet. Pull up "google" and put in "house concerts," followed by the name of your locality.

I did that just a few moments ago:   "'house concerts'" and "seattle" and I came up with pages and pages of stuff. To give you an idea, here's a LIST of folk music venues in and around Seattle. At some of these, there is no admission charge or cover, and all it would cost you is the price of a beer. An easy further search revealed that there are more house concerts in this area than I had ever dreamed! Dozens every month! Sometimes three or four on the same day!

And they all have web sites. That's the network whereby they make their announcements. It saves having to have fliers printed up, then wandering up and down the streets stapling them to telephone poles (along with the notices about lost cats).

Yes, they do require that you make a reservation ahead of time for reasons already explained. If the comfortable capacity of their living room or rec room is, say forty-five people, they don't want to have to turn away and disappoint a couple of hundred people lined up expectantly outside. So—it only makes sense to specify "reservations only."

This is NOT secretive, exclusive, or elitist. It's just common sense.

And, yes, there is an admission charge. This household is providing an opportunity to see and hear this performer in a comfortable, intimate setting rather than in a large and austere theater or auditorium, with you sitting in the fourteenth row and the performer up on a stage a quarter of a block away. And often the host provides refreshments. Sometimes there is a potluck before or after the concert. And rather than getting rich off sponsoring house concerts, it gives the host (usually a folk music aficianado, not the bloated capitalist you seem to think) a chance to meet the performer and hear them up close. More often than not, ALL of the proceeds are given to the performer, and if the host keeps any of it, it's only to cover whatever expenses they may have incurred in putting on the concert.

And your remark about the performer "double dipping"—doing a big concert, then following it with one or more house concerts in the same locality—that simply doesn't happen. Often the performer is a local person who is not well-known enough to draw a crowd to a large theater and this is their only opportunity to sing. Or—the performer is on tour, doing a series of house concerts. In this area, for example, Bellingham on Saturday evening, Everett the following afternoon, Seattle on the next Friday evening, followed by Sunday afternoon in Tacoma, then Portland, Oregon on the next Friday, and on down the Pacific Coast.

It is the admission fees given to the performer that make this kind of touring possible, giving many people a chance to hear them and become acquainted with them up close, and gradually allowing them to build an audience for themselves. Nobody gets rich off house concerts. Most of what the traveling performer receives goes to pay his or her traveling expenses.

Richard Dyer-Bennet polished his performances by singing in a night club (The Village Vanguard) early on, then hired New York's Town Hall and gave a concert there. World famous impresario Sol Hurok heard him there and took him on as a client. That was a huge gamble on Dyer-Bennet's part (have you tried to rent New York's Town Hall recently?), but it paid off. Not every aspiring performer can do that.

A house concert can be an end in itself. I've done dozens of them, and enjoy doing them very much. Even so, I've not become rich by doing them. And it is a way for a relatively new performer to gain experience and build an audience. Or for an older performer such as myself who wishes to give an occasional concert and prefers a smaller, more intimate venue.

####

If you don't care about the performance aspect of folk music and you just want to sing yourself and hear other people sing, then that should be idiot simple to do.

Invite a few singers to you home of an evening and sit around and sing for each other.

The first folk music events I ever went to were what we called "hootenannies."

The word got pre-empted by commercial interests later on, but in the 1950s, here in Seattle, there was a "hoot" almost every weekend. Some were in places like community centers, some were held at the University Friends (Quakers) Meeting House, but most were held in private homes. We would gather on a Friday or Saturday evening and there were no formalities. Grab a seat on a chair, sofa, or sit cross-legged on the floor. When a number of people had gathered, we'd all tune up (guitars, banjos, whatever), and someone would start singing. There was no special organization. The singing was in no specified order. We didn't go around in a circle or anything like that (although you could—around here, that came later when the Seattle Song Circle was organized, but we'd been "hooting" for decades before that). The main protocol merely said "Don't hog the show." Sing a song, then let someone else sing. Sing solo or sing together. Sometimes we'd rock the place with group songs such as sea chanteys. Any and all combinations. But have some consideration for the neighbors.

Jazz musicians would probably call something like this a "jam session." Same general idea.

It was this sort of thing that allowed me to grow from a green-around-the-gills neophyte who knew three songs and an equal number of guitar chords to someone who felt confident in singing solo for larger groups, and eventually into doing long-term gigs in cooffeehouses and clubs, then concerts, TV, and such. Warm plunge!

This might be right up your alley, Conrad. If you're hung up on politically oriented songs, go for it! If someone sings "We Shall Overcome" or "Union Maid," there's nothing to stop you from singing "The Horst Wessel Song." Go for it!

Total cost for such an event? Nuthin! If you're feeling generous, you could always supply a case of beer or a gallon jug of cheap wine and some paper cups, maybe some chips and dip. But that's strictly local option. You could specify BYOB.

So if you want a free venue and you want to be free to sing whatever you want, stop whining, get off your butt, and get to it!

Don't pollute! GIVE A HOOT!!

Don Firth

P. S. By the way, I was not aware of this until I read Pete Seeger's The Incomplete Folksinger, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1992. Pete says that the word "hootenanny" in relation to an informal gathering of folk singers apparently originated in Seattle, probably sometime in the 1930s. He and Woody Guthrie first heard the word in this context in Seattle in 1941. They took the word back to New York and started calling their Saturday song fests at Almanac House "hootenannies," and the term caught on. See The Incompleat Folksinger, page 327


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 05:29 PM

By the way, that's The Incompleat Folksinger, as in the second iteration above. The first time 'round, MS Word's "magic automatic typo corrector" changed what I had typed. I caught the second one, but missed the first one when I hit the "Submit" button.

(Lest someone feel impelled to correct my spelling, Pete's title is a take-off of Izaac Walton's The Compleat Angler.)

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:15 PM

Hey don I have been doing free events at my place for decades. Works fine. That is why the festival people with their high costs events amuse me. If the audience is dedicated to the music then it is mutually supportive and can be free.

Just listened to a great bbc show today radio three on play it again. They discussed how the folk music scene was taken over by the left in the 50 s and 60s and now the folkies are complaining that it is being taken over by the right. The same way it was taken over by the left.

Must find the programme and report back.

Lisa Carthy was interviewed.

her views on nationalism and british folk music and performance.

The trouble with conquering music and dominating it is that the branding process occurs and you turn away all the other side for a while then secondly the music of the party out of power is under played and starts to be lost or is archived which makes the already overworked folklorists work too hard.

We should understand that the process is wasteful and that there must be a way to short circut it.

The answer imho is in managing the nature of the venue. Keeping music music and art and leaving politics to occur only within the music. Then also a conscious effort to encourage, invite bring in the other side as best you can so that music becomes the language of a multi sided debate rather than a genre dominated and conquered by one side or another.

This widening or welcoming appears to have been discarded in the 50s and 60s as one side too control and as it appears perhaps did not too much to invite everyone to the table.

No one knows for sure but as a result of attitudes expressed and re expressed here on mudcat it is evident that possession of the stage is 9 tenths of the law and it has been exercised by those who have used aesthetic forums to play only one side of an issue.

So to get out of the cycle do what you can to avoid any given side from owning the venues and stages. You don't have to but it might just work.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:54 PM

Every song has a point-of-view that is attached to the singer with a point-of-view.
Audiences can select what they want to hear. It doesn't have to be all on one concert
or show.

For any performer, they are onstage because they have something they feel is important to say. A concert isn't a advocacy situation like a court of law.

This taking sides idea makes no sense.

I remember the words of Mike Gerde at his table in his New York coffee house.
"If everyone likes you, there must be something wrong with you."

As for me, I will play my view of the story because that's who I am.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 08:50 PM

People have used concerts as advocacy situations. Despite folk access to the US media in the 50s and 60 s there was genrally only one view provided.

When you use music to limit the range of points of view you are doing the musical genre and its listeners a disservice as well as artists that are not made to feel welcome.

When you do that you limit the ability of folk music to expand. You loose the opposing viewpoint and tend to stifle it.

Here is a great bbc programme still available for play it again for a day or so.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00rs4rx

it is noted that the left took control of the genre in fiftys and sixtys now they are upset as the right is making a challange to their dominance.

The solution is not grinding one side to dust and trashing their music but the welcoming of all points of view accepted equally as art.
Without extended calls to action and lectures of manefestos.

The constant conquest and re conquest of a musical genre is harmful and limits what we all can do.

We have to stop the one sided filters. We have to be confident that music is just music and that will let everyone enter the tent. You don't have to agree with them but you should grant them access and liseten to their songs as you would like them to listen to yours.

You should try to bring in the opposite side as much as you try to bring in the side you agree with.

Just seems to make sense to me.

No you dont have to just an idea. Think on it.

Remember if you loose to the right your music will be on the chopping block unless something is soon done to make folk music a language and art rather than a point of view to be dominated by one side or the other.

Remember although you may think you are right the other side thinks the same.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 10:41 PM

Conrad, the situation in the UK that you keep citing has been noted here in a number of Mudcat threads. Concern about folk clubs and other folk venues—IN ENGLAND—being taken over by members of the British National Party. And the fact that many people think of the BNP as the "British Nazi Party" can give you a pretty good idea of what they are all about. I've checked a few things about the BNP on the internet (their web sites, speeches by their members on video, etc.), and believe me, they are a pretty gamey bunch! They want to claim British folk music as their own, not let singers sing anything other than what they regard as English folk songs—and this in addition to "sending all those Jews, Pakis, and wogs back to where they belong!!"

Now, let me be abundantly clear here:   if your sympathies lie with this bunch, then I have nothing to say to you, save that I—and many, many others—will oppose you every step of the way, however we can.

Your ideas about how folk music has been "taken over" by "lefties" and that this limits the audiences for it are just plain unrealistic. If you think folk music is "limited" by political orientation now, just wait until the BNP takes over. Then everything will be limited, confined, straitjacketed, and, yes, CENSORED. You will see censorship like you'd never believe possible. And WORSE.

After all—it's all happened before.

But this is the situation in the British Isles, and unless the Teabaggers or the Aryan Nations suddenly decide to try to claim American folk music as their own, that situation simply does not and will not exist on this side of the pond.

And your notions of the "lefty" slant of American folk music is grossly exaggerated. Yes, there are left-oriented songs, but these songs make up such a small segment of the entire body of American folk music that to make the kind of claims that you are is just not realistic. There are individual singers who may sing a lot of politically oriented songs (I know a few such people), but they, too, make up a small percentage to those who sing folk songs.

Take another look at that list I linked to of the folk venues in Seattle. And that's just one city and its surrounding area. Google "house concerts" or "folk music venues" along with names of other cities and I think it will become abundantly clear that there is no limit on the audience for folk music in this country.

Conrad, those giants waving their arms and terrorizing the countryside are only windmills.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 10:45 PM

"When you use music to limit the range of points of view you are doing the musical genre and its listeners a disservice as well as artists that are not made to feel welcome."

Bunk! Give us a single example where that has happened. Again, it is just your opinion.

Folk music develops to fit a need. Folk preservation in this country began in this country in the early 20th century as a way of preserving a way of life that conservatives felt was changing. Staunch conservatives such as Henry Ford were heavily involved. John Lomax was a conservative.   Folk festivals were part of a conservative movement.

At the mid point of the 20th century, the shift began. The focus on labor and HISTORICAL protest song was evident, and it was carried out with social changes that were occuring.   The folk process at work - and representing a community.

Sorry Conrad, but your whining is not working. YOu are ignoring the fact that language, art and politics are intertwined.   Wishing it would go away is not going to change facts.

Your definitions are leaking.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 07:37 AM

Surely all we need is a modicum of common sense to see the difference between songs which put over a particular point of view and songs which offend major sensibilities. Trouble seems to be that common sense is indeed far from common:-(

Songs which portray an historic or even current fight against genuine oppresion are vastly different to songs which incite people to hatred against another group of people.

Songs which cleverly, and often humourously, point out flaws in any political systems are not likely to cause revolution but may lead to reform. Songs which simply attack individuals are likely to stir trouble.

Songs of cruelty to animals are OK in an historic content but not acceptable if they urge people to continue barbarity.

Songs telling of the child abuse inflicted by mine and mill owners or, more recently, human trafficers, form an important social document. Any which glorify the abusers should never be heard.

The list could go on but hopefuly most people will understand the line, even if sometime wavey and blurred. Those that cannot or will not see the difference need, at the very least, some serious education. Or maybe some songs writing about them?

DeG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Bettynh
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:11 AM

Conrad, what do you think of the Smithsonian's efforts with Folkways and the summer festivals?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:21 AM

I seem to be reading a load of bollocks here in our wonderful hotel near Marbella Old Town. You should forget all this nonsence and get yourselves to the sun!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM

Don- I never said I sided with any political party I just state that they have a right to ride on the bus and to feel as welcome as any point of view. Folk venues are best as open forum where an effort is made to reach everyone who would like to perform even if this is not an obligation.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:32 AM

Ron it just makes sense. If you see that a media is hostile to your point of view you probably won't go in the room. Obvious. That inherently discourages participation.

Yes originally folk music was preservation of the country ways and heritage. Then it was taken over by lefty politicos and their political views became Iconic of the whole- they inserted a one sided politics.

If there is only one brand of peanut butter in the store you have to buy that brand no matter what brand. Those in power in the folk movement had only one brand. You can not argue selection of the market place if there was no choice.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM

"Remember although you may think you are right the other side thinks the same."

That's as may be, but when the "other side" are racists and white supremacists, they are wrong. When they want to use folk music as one of several tools to lever themselves into power, in order to be able to make discriminatory laws and to turf every non-white person out of this country, they are wrong.

Conrad, please have the courtesy to make pronouncements about what you have some understanding of, which is presumably the situation on your side of the Atlantic. You clearly have absolutely no understanding of the current political climate in the UK, nor the points Eliza Carthy and Trish Winter were making in the programme you posted.

As Jon Boden said, Folk Against Fascism is not politicising folk music. The BNP are doing that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:41 AM

David- common sense is culturally defined. That is the way it should be.

Freedom to interpret the world is important. So often westerners claim that western received views should be inflicted upon everyone. That should never happen.

Same with music.

Just look at how terrible immoral behavior has now been accepted in the United States and the west as perfectly ok. Same with general tolerance of the once thought terrible use of drugs. Values change.

Look at the islamic views of consumption of alcohol- they dont believe in it at all.

So its all relative.

My feeling as an anthropologist, yes I have a degree and graduate work....is that the solution is freedom to opt in and out. We should not tell people that their culture is immoral we should just help them to leave it and start a new life elsewhere. Same with entering a culture. It should not be place of birth or genetically determined (we fought a war about that) it should be the mastery of the culture.
And active practice of the culture.

So we always have sides trying to claim that only their PC values be expressed in music. As politics changes one set of songs is ground to dust as the other is raised up. This is wasteful and discrespctful of the song or genre as art.

The solution is to guarantee a forum where music is presented as music and as art and where everything possible is done to bring in those who may not feel welcome not to keep them away.

The other side has just as much right to possess the music as you if you wish to maintain the battlefield. That battlefield needs to be removed.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Bettynh
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:58 AM

"We should not tell people that their culture is immoral we should just help them to leave it and start a new life elsewhere."

Conrad, please clarify this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 12:45 PM

Opposing fascism is not being "PC". It's being human.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 01:05 PM

Conrad would like to rob the artist of his/her individuality by making their performance
so bland that it would appeal to everyone. The problem with this is that the more appeal an artist has to a larger audience, the tendency is to reduce the performance to a vacuity.

There are certain things in every culture that are objectionable. For example, Islam's practice of "honor killings" and public beheadings. Or Christian witch-burning. (check out Martin Luther and John Wesley's attitude about this). As to cultures specifically, it was part of the Southern culture of the Forties to hang black people.

PC is a term that has lost its meaning. There is no political correctness any more. Politics is all over the map and is often confusing such as the ideas promulgated by the "Tea Baggers".

PC was used by devotees of the Right-wing to condemn those whom with which they disagreed.

The idea that the current musical artist is part of a "conspiracy" to push rigid political ideas across to anyone is specious. It has no merit.

If you analyze the development of the performing artists who make a difference in people's lives you find change and fluidity in their ideas, musically and lyrically.
The idea that their are those who are frozen in time in their political beliefs just
doesn't apply today. At the same time, those without passion or conviction in their politics or ideas make for very dull performers.

Most folkies admire Pete or Utah Phillips or Woody Guthrie precisely because they made
statements that if at least the audience may not have agreed with the sentiments, they
realized the integrity of their performance.

The cultural anthropologist is not in a state of wanting to freeze people in time although this was the tendency of Herskovitz and many stuffy folklorists. Societies are fluid,
change with the times, and can't be monolithic in their views.

The "multicultural" tolerance and pseudo-objectivity can become enabling for the
destructive tendencies of some cultures and religions and these should not be tolerated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 02:35 PM

". . . common sense is culturally defined. That is the way it should be."

WHAT!??

Conrad, there are many, many things that were accepted as "common sense" by various cultures and at various times in history that are patently irrational, some so irrational that they constitute abominations. Others have mentioned some of these above, such as public beheadings for things such as adultery, chopping off hands for minor crimes such as petty theft, witch-burning or being burned at the stake for not believing properly, or just being accused of not believing "properly."

The idea that the earth was the center of the universe was the universal belief of practically all cultures. It was common sense. You could see just by looking about you that the earth stayed in one spot and all of the heavens moved around it. And then Galileo pointed this newly fashioned gadget called a "telescope" at the skies, saw that things were not as everyone believed them to be. Rather than being a perfect sphere, the moon had mountains, valleys, craters; Jupiter was not a wandering star, it was another world—and it had smaller worlds circling about it. Could it be that—? Not only "could it be," but it turned out that this is indeed the way it is. The earth is not the center of the universe.

This meant that Man, God's greatest creation, was not that all-fired important in the Grand Scheme of Things after all!

Of course this flew in the face of "common sense." So much so that the Church offered Galileo the choice of either repudiating what he had seen with his own eyes or being burned at the stake.

"Common sense" is often at odds with the way things ARE.

Does this mean that Reality has changed? No, it means that "common sense" was wrong.

Once again I cite the kultur in Nazi Germany. Ridding the world of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the handicapped, and anyone who was not blond and blue-eyed was "common sense" to many presumably modern, educated, and "civilized" people—"common sense" to a sufficiently large percentage of the population that even those who had the courage to protest and say, "This is wrong!" were either ignored or themselves arrested and sent to the death camps.

If you have a degree in anthropology, Conrad, then you are living proof that having a sheepskin in a particular subject does not mean that one has any kind of fundamental understanding of that subject.

And you would take Art, bring it down to the lowest common denominator by castrating it and turning it into nothing more that a pretty little pile of flavorless goop.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 03:43 PM

Don Firth: So much so that the Church offered Galileo the choice of either repudiating what he had seen with his own eyes or being burned at the stake.

Actually he was placed under house arrest. It's far more glam to say he was going to be burned at the stake. It's just not true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:26 PM

Maybe so. But nevertheless, Galileo was given the choice of repudiating what he knew to be true, or spending the rest of his days in incarceration. Actually, the Church was burning "heretics" at the stake at the time, and who knows what would have eventually happened to him had he not backed down.

The principle holds:   Galileo was right. "Common sense," determined (dictated) by the culture of the time, was wrong.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:43 PM

mousethief- what would they say about you....I am sure they think they are equally correct. You dont change anything by telling someone that their position should not exist.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:45 PM

stringsinger I never said anywhere that I would limit the artist. I have said that all songs are ok, all content ok, political speeches not so good


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:53 PM

don we as as a society do lots of things that others even those in our own society think are terrible and immoral.

just talk to the anti abortionists

Again I do not support fascists and again the solution is that they can do what they want with the restriction that people can leave and become established elsewhere if they dont like the cultural practices and others can enter who wish to master and live the culture.

There are many belief systems- if they want to believe that the earth is flat or that wine changes to blood whatever...that is their choice and has nothing to do with me they have a right to their own freedom and the right to be different.

Lots of changes within the last 50 years would have deeply shocked the people of my parents generation as immoral. But now we all agree that people make choices and those choices are valid and now they can become moral. It is all in the eye of the culture and cultures need not agree with each other. I dont agree with quite a few sub cultures in this country.

You should not inflict your particular values on a culture or a music tradition. You should work on ways to bring in the greatest diversity not eliminate or discourage one color or another.

I think lots of fascists would have nothing to do with killing people however on the positive side they may have ways to make the trains run on time.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 05:00 PM

Here is one for you -

Are you going to stop singing any catholic song, irish catholic songs, hymns from the catholic church, ave maria etc.....now that the word is out that internationally and as a trend the church has condoned and covered up child molestation?

The Jewish people in Jerusalem stoned to death St. Stephen the first martyr of the church. Not exactly a moral act in your book....Shall we all eliminate jewish songs and music.

Look far enough and any people, political group, culture, race has done something terrible it is only by forgiveness and finding the good in their works of art that we can overcome. Again one can appreciate a work of art even not understanding the words at all. And the old calls to action are stale - so the next time you hear a song about going and joining Charlie are you going to run around looking for a cavalier king to join up with?

Perhaps by reacting so violently to the old ideas you let them have power over you that should be long dead and part of the history.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 05:31 PM

Conrad: mousethief- what would they say about you....I am sure they think they are equally correct. You dont change anything by telling someone that their position should not exist.

I didn't tell him his position should not exist (whatever that means) but that it was wrong. And you have to tell people they're wrong -- that's how progress is made in all science and history.

The RCC didn't kill a single scientist. (Plenty of Protestants, alas.) Many people don't know this. If they assert otherwise, they are wrong. It is possible to be wrong, Conrad, however much you might wish it were not so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:57 PM

"There are many belief systems- if they want to believe that the earth is flat or that wine changes to blood whatever...that is their choice and has nothing to do with me they have a right to their own freedom and the right to be different."

Well,if those belief systems truly wanted to simply pootle along as they wish, and not dictate the way I or my friends choose to live our lives in any way, there wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, many people of a particular religious or political ideology don't just want to govern how THEY live - they want to govern how WE live - and this includes you, Conrad, and your bizarre folk zealotry. Stop telling us what to do. If you like what we do, participate in it. If you don't - bugger off and do whatever turns you on with your horn jackets. But don't tell me I have to engage with your creeds, or how you think I ought to engage with music on any level. Because, like as not, I will simply tell you to fuck off.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 08:18 AM

I have said that all songs are ok, all content ok

That is certainly an opinion I would oppose. Songs that incite people to hurt others are not OK. Try this song for an example.

The common sense I was talking about is the sense that SHOULD be common to everyone. That is the sense that tells us some things are just plain wrong. Religious beliefs rarely come under that category. The examples cited above about the earth being the centre of the universe etc. are nothing to do with common sense. They were a common belief or a shared faith. Faith and sense are often mutualy exclusive I'm afraid.

DeG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: theleveller
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 12:46 PM

"this includes you, Conrad, and your bizarre folk zealotry"

The problem is, Ruth, that Conrad lives in his own little self-constructed world of fakelore that has more resemblance to Tolkein than reality. I bet he also believes that the world is flat, that he has fairies at the bottom of his garden and that he is some great wizard. I've come across people like him before and their state of mind usually stems from reading too much Lord of the Rings. taking too many halucinogenic substances and listening to The Moody Blues Threshold of a Dream. I've started to find all this extremely amusing now - I'm waiting for threads from him on what to wear when entering an enchanted forest and how to disarm a Balrog.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 02:07 PM

See this thread:    CLICKY

By the way, leveller, have you seen Conrad's web site?   If not, you are actually closer to the truth than you may realize. He doesn't have all that many fairies at the bottom of his garden, but he seems to have hordes of garden gnomes.

Not to mention miscellaneous body parts!!????

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 03:11 PM

KITCHY kitchy coo!!

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 03:12 PM

Sorta wonder what the neighbors think. . . .

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: buddhuu
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 03:25 PM

This gobshite has a website? Oy vey...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 03:38 PM

but he seems to have hordes of garden gnomes.

Imposters every one!

DeG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 09:12 PM

Dave-
re your post with the link to the BNP song.
Certainly not a pretty sentiment. And certainly not one I agree with. But nevertheless an artifact of our times, and as such worthy of collection.
Thanx for the link.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 04:16 AM

"By the way, leveller, have you seen Conrad's web site?"

Bloody 'ell, it's even worse than I thought - total reality bypass!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 05:09 AM

""You should not inflict your particular values on a culture or a music tradition. You should work on ways to bring in the greatest diversity not eliminate or discourage one color or another.""

At last you begin dimly to realise what we are on about, but, as usual, you've got the whole scenario arse about face.

We are the ones who are trying to prevent others from doing just what you talking about.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 05:14 AM

""I think lots of fascists would have nothing to do with killing people however on the positive side they may have ways to make the trains run on time.""

That's exactly what they said about dear old Adolf.

THEY WERE WRONG!

Ask all the Jewish people whose families ceased to exist in the forties what they think of Griffin's sidekick walking down London streets, shouting "Death to the Jews".

YOU ARE WRONG!

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:00 AM

Thanks for all of the interest in my art!
Truly wondrous.
The neighbors dont think much at all generally
Most people are amazed, stop in wander about take photos.
All welcome.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 01:02 PM

"Thanks for all of the interest in my art!
"

Oh ther's some art in there, is there? Must have missed it amongst all the lurid coloured junk. It's pretty much sums up your your posts, Conrad - colourful but complete rubbish!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 03:09 PM

But is it . . . ART?

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 03:46 PM

Messenger bashing- I love it. Always know when a nerve is touched and they can't reason out a good defense.

Here is a bumper sticker I saw today- great instruction for you-

FEAR NO ART

Yes I am an outsider visionary (art brut) artist look it up. Lots of us out there. Nationally recognized at that. See the wonderous tabletop book edited by my friend Matt Lake- Weird Maryland, And the second artcar book by Harrod Blank, and a survey of important Baltimore sights by Dan Rodricks-another great photo study. Additionally covered by Voice of America Television. Hey you overseas folks mightjust have seen me!

My bottle tree is progressing nicely. The most recent project. My first show of the year is this week-

Your views on art expressed here match your intolerance of the music of others at least you are consistant.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 03:48 PM

How dare we like and dislike differently from you. Because in art, "dislike" must perforce equal "intolerance".

The artistic soul has no time for logic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Melissa
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 04:52 PM

Peasant: "Always know when a nerve is touched and they can't reason out a good defense."

I think maybe your cliches have somehow gotten scrambled.
When you said you 'touched a nerve' maybe what you meant was 'triggered a gag reflex'

***

Instead of trying to get people to open their stage to contrary opinions, wouldn't it be easier to create Contrary Fests where opposing viewpoints combine their regular events to double your pleasure?
For example, how about combining a Gun&Knife Show with a regular Folk Festival. Each group would have a ready audience and the stage could be shared equally.

You could set yourself up as a Specialized Promoter, Conrad!
You could propose and coordinate these Contrary Fests because you've already got an incomprehensible idea of how to solve a (possibly non-existent) problem you have identified.
If you do that, we'll be able to see whether the sensible folk who doubt your perception are as logical as they appear..or whether we get to eat your dust.

I bet you could get some other ideas for OpposingCombo Events right here if you play your cards right.
Think of the wasted audience at women's clinics..pro-lifers outside, stressed out women waiting in the lobby. Why not set up a stage there?!
Why are you the only one who has thought of this??

Go for it, Conrad!
Let us know how it works out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 07:59 PM

Some decades back, I had a very good friend named Ric Higlin, He was an artist. At least people who saw his work (me included) thought of him as an artist. He painted in various media, drew and sketch very skillfully, and he was quite a good sculptor. Many knowledgeable people bought his works, sometimes for fairly respectable amounts of money.

He could do all kinds of abstractions. And at the same time, he was prodigiously skilled, to the point where, if he wished, he could draw or paint a portrait that was almost a photographic likeness. And any and all points between, including outrageously funny cartoons and caracatures. He had essentially complete control over whatever media he chose.

No matter how abstract or realistic, Ric's works were not "accidents."

When people would ask Ric what he did, he would respond, "I am a painter." Sometimes a bit flummoxed, not knowing if he might be a house painter or sign painter, they would ask, "What sort of things do you paint?"

"Pictures," Ric would respond.

"Oh!" they would say, "then you are an artist?"

"Well," responded Ric, "that's not for me to say. I paint pictures. If people look at something I've done and declare it to be 'art,' that pleases me very much. But whether or not I am an 'artist' is not for me to judge."

I always had a great deal of respect for Ric Higlin.

In terms that would be understood by readers of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I'd say that Ric knew where his towel was.

Don Firth

P. S. A quote from Douglas Adams that may be germaine to this discussion:

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:13 PM

Art Brut:

"Named after French painter Jean Dubuffet's definition of outsider art -- art by prisoners, loners, the mentally ill, and other marginalized people, and made without thought to imitation or presentation. . . ."

Okey dokey. . . .

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:32 PM

My position on art exactly. I put things together in a way that pleases me. I never called myself an artist until people came up and told me that I had created art.

I started out by covering a car with bumper stickers. A response to children vandalizing my broken down car with a sticker. I did not scold them I just got even by adding a few of my own. The car was repaired and it went through several phases or concepts eventually being invited to appear at large local art shows.

I have always been driven by the effect of my work upon others. Generally I am working alone in my home office still sort of taking care of my child which I have had responsibility for for almost 21 years. As I created art people stopped by and talked, they smiled and complemented me I moved on to do more and more with it.

I drive my art daily as we have no plain cars at all. After driving art one is so impressed with the change in the world it accomplishes that one would never go back to plain.

My goal is not self promotion but convincing others to exercise their freedom and drive art. That is my message when I park on exhibit at schools and festivals. Other cartists have criticized me for this- what if everyone did it we would not be special? I never wanted to be special just to help people discover the wonder of it all.

I have taken the same path with music and costume art and my art environment. I do it as a lifeway. My particular path I encourage others to spend some time on it from time to time but there are many equally good paths out there. Politics creeps into the artcar world from time to time. The houston orange show parade where I won first prize in my daily driver category, has a good number of political entries each year. The politics is so one sided on the left or liberal end that I don't think anyone from the right or conservative side would dare to enter. That hostility is the problem. I would rather have balanced politics at such events or none at all.

I dont like art events to become taken over by politics of one side. When there is not effort to avoid this the politicos just get a free rally!
At least a good effort should be made to make others welcome, perhaps contacting groups with opposing views perhaps sharing of slots for political entries more evenly.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:45 PM

"Are you going to stop singing any catholic song, irish catholic songs, hymns from the catholic church, ave maria etc.....now that the word is out that internationally and as a trend the church has condoned and covered up child molestation?

The Jewish people in Jerusalem stoned to death St. Stephen the first martyr of the church. Not exactly a moral act in your book....Shall we all eliminate jewish songs and music."


Conrad, no one - other than yourself - has asked for eliminate of ANY song. There is a huge difference between "singing" as a means of entertainment and personal expression and the study of history.

Your analogy about the Catholic Church and the Jewish religion makes very little sense.   Show me songs that promote the crimes that you mention? Those crimes are not representative of the goals and teaching of either culture.   It would be like saying we won't sing German songs because of what the Nazi's have done.

NO one is promoting banning. There are appropriate places for the study and collection and there are improper use of these tools.

You are completely playing spin doctor here and trying to twist analogies and philosophies. It is not working. Face it, you have no one buying your brand of B.S.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 11:43 PM

Some songs are made unwelcome and that is not right.
Songs should be presented in an environment where they can be viewed as art without being extended by political statements. No group no matter what people think of them should be made welcome and where necessary affirmitive action should be taken to make sure the imbalnces of the past do not occur. Active recruitment of a wide range of musicians and songs should be pursued.

In a recent radio program on the bbc it was recognized thoroughly that the folk music movement of the 60s and 50s was co opted (I believe that was the term) by the liberal left. This has to be undone or at least actions should be taken to make sure that this perception is destroyed. No you don't have to but it would be a good idea to keep the folk music world as open politically to differences as it is to different cultures.
After all go back far enough in any culture and you will find something that distresses you. If we can have cultural diversity represented by flawed humans we can have political diversity as well.

The reaction of the far right to the dominance of folk music by the left and liberal is obviously justifed. If this dominance did not exist then these people would be inside the forum working together rather than feeling locked out by a monopoly. Some cause for the atmosphere of dissent can be found within the folk community.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 12:09 AM

"Some songs are made unwelcome and that is not right."
You keep making statments like this. Please give an example.

"Songs should be presented in an environment where they can be viewed as art without being extended by political statements."
Why??? You make this sound as this is the only way songs should be presented. You completely miss the history and reason for the songs existence.

"In a recent radio program on the bbc it was recognized thoroughly that the folk music movement of the 60s and 50s was co opted (I believe that was the term) by the liberal left."
IF that is the case - so what? IF you look at folk music from the perspective of an ethnomusicologist, the music exists to suit the purposes of the community. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE WAY A CULTURE DEVELOPS THEIR MUSIC. Simple fact.   You play ignorant to the fact that the folk revival had roots in a conservative movement, and the fact that it evolved with a liberal bent is merely the reaction of the culture and the times.   YOU CANNOT CHANGE HISTORY.

"it would be a good idea to keep the folk music world as open politically to differences as it is to different cultures."
You fail to recognize that folk music DOES recognize different cultures. Perhaps it is time for YOU to realize that there are different cultures that do not think the way they do, and you cannot alter their music.

"After all go back far enough in any culture and you will find something that distresses you. If we can have cultural diversity represented by flawed humans we can have political diversity as well."
There you go again - twisting reality for your own purpose.   Of course you will find something that distresses you in any culture! There is political diversity.

The biggest mistake in your entire way of thinking is that you fail to recognize that PROTEST music is about PROTESTING. In order to PROTEST, you have got to have a reason. IF you have a reason, then you already have an opposing opinion. You entire argument crumbles on the fact that you fail to recognize the folk music community arose because of the very repression of ideas and cultural diversity that you are attempting to claim they now ignore. That is pure bullshit. If you have an opinion, put it in song. If people do not support it, that is not the fault of the culture - IT IS THE CULTURE!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 12:34 AM

"When is a folk music performance a performance and when does it become a political rally?"

In the Philippines? There IS no difference....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 04:23 AM

Art brut, eh? And there was me thinking it was pretentious, exhibitionist, self-obsessed twat art. I stand corrected :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 01:29 PM

Since when a conservative program on BBC become an accurate defining arbiter of folk music?


By censoring political expression through music, you are trampling on freedom.

Says Conrad, "The reaction of the far right to the dominance of folk music by the left and liberal is obviously justifed."

How is it justified? They use techniques of intimidation and propaganda toward this "justice". In the late Forties and through the Fifties, it was called "red-baiting". Now,
other labels are used, many of them racist.

Conrad doesn't understand that the rise of the Folk Revival came from participants who were active in the Left Wing Movement. Wall Street and McCarthy weren't interested. If it wasn't for the Left, folk music as we know it in America would not have survived on a popular level. Linkletter and the Hootenanny Show and the commercial folk groups actually co-opted folk music for financial gain.

There is no Left-wing or Right-wing folk music really. There are just songs that represent all kinds of ideas. The Fox News "Fair and Balanced" approach is specious. To censor
anyone on a political level be it the Dixie Chicks or anyone else is repellant to American democracy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 02:43 PM

Frank-
I agree. But do you think that applies to things like "New Leather Jacket"? (If you haven't heard it, go to YouTube)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 03:26 PM

But nevertheless an artifact of our times, and as such worthy of collection.

Good point and I agree with the sentiment, Dick. As a social comment it is vital that these things are recorded. But surely the line should be drawn at performing them to incite hatred of immigrants - Which it is obviouly intended for. Or am I missing something?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 03:34 PM

My 19-year old son just made a statement to someone who said that they weren't interested in politics, "why not, politics is life?". He's right, of course. The vast majority of folk music is about politics because it's about life. Folk music has always been about radical politics - the politics of the (often disenfranchised) common people with a grievance against the ruling classes. To say that folk music is conservative is a total distortion of history as anyone who has studied the history of radical politics (at least in the UK) will know. Read Hill. Read Tawney. Read any of the books of my son's degree course in History and Politics.

So, every time we sing a folk songs we are, in a way, making a political statement - about the lives of the people who created the music. So every folk song performance is a political rally - and long may it be so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 10:04 PM

Ok if you let everyone in it is performance

If you keep it to your own view it is a political rally

Actually the song doesnt matter its the open forum. And the setting of the song.

If you sing a song and spend most of thetime talking politics it is taking over the folk stagefor a political rally. You can sing any song you want and if you spend most of the time talking not about the song but about moving to action then it is a rally simple....

If you limite the songs to those you agree with you are also making a political decision if you refrain from so doing then others have a chance to use the same forum which is good.

There is no song that you have to fear.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 10:28 PM

That the best you got? You can't defend your position against the questions being asked or the reasoning being presented to - so you just repeat yourself? What next, holding your breath until you turn blue?

We've heard your OPINION Conrad. No one is agreeing with you. Not much left to say is there, unless you want to counter the points instead of resorting to rhetoric.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: theleveller
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 03:18 AM

Totally missing the point yet again, Conrad. I agree with Ron - no point in getting into a battle of wits with an unarmed man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 11:31 AM

One wonders how this barely-dressed, unwashed, poverty stricken pack rat ever got a college degree without learning of the existence of the comma.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 11:48 AM

Conrad has won me over. I am now out fighting for those he says deserve accessibility.

Conrad, if you read the "Mudcat Update" thread you will see that I am forceful in saying we need accessibility for trans-sexual cross dressing Albanian hat blockers doing nude Morris Dancing while smeared in yak dung and Marmite.

I hope the rest of you can see the sense in this as well.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: theleveller
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 03:02 PM

Makes sense to me, Spaw - but only if their yaks are allowed in as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 03:26 PM

Just out of morbid curiosity (and a pathological tendency to avoid doing the damned Income Tax, despite the looming deadline), I did some checking into past postings.

It looks like Conrad has been honking essentially the same theme song for some years now. Which is to say, "You people are doing it all wrong!!"

For example, back in 2004, he's griping that on a CD that Bruce Springsteen recorded as a tribute to Pete Seeger, Springsteen is not singing the songs exactly the way Pete sings them. Having not heard the CD myself, I don't know how large the "discrepancy' between Springsteen's and Seeger's performances are, but—

Let me put it this way:    I've learned a whole pot-full of songs from the records of Richard Dyer-Bennet. There's no way in hell that I can sing them the same way that Dyer-Bennet does because he is a light tenor and I am a bass-baritone. And since I have to sing the songs in different keys, this, of course, requires me to work out different accompaniments on the guitar. And although I will borrow (steal) ideas from Dyer-Bennet, they do tend to come out differently in different keys.

I have also learned songs from the recordings of Burl Ives, Ed McCurdy, Andrew Rowan Summers (who accompanies himself on a dulcimer), Susan Reed (Irish harp), Cynthia Gooding, Frank Warner, John Runge, Guy Carawan, Joan Baez, Gordon Bok, Ed Trickett (need I go on?), and, yes, Pete Seeger. And from some field recordings. Not to mentions songs that I've learned directly from people such as Walt Robertson, Merritt Herring, Bob Nelson, Patti McLaughlin, and Helen Thompson.

I've also learned a lot of songs from song books, such as Carl Sandburg's American Songbag, miscellaneous books by the Lomaxes, The Viking Book of Folk Songs, Evelyn Kendrick Wells' The Ballad Tree, all in all, several shelves full of books, some quite academic, others compilations of songs sung by Peggy Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Judy Collins, Ewan MacColl, and on and on, world without end, Amen!

And other than the words and the dots, these books, although they may give some background on the songs, don't say much about how one should sing them. So I'm pretty much left to my own judgment and taste.

I'm sure there are vast numbers of singers of folk songs out there who built their repertoires the same way I did.

And according to Conrad, it looks like we're ALL doing it all wrong! Including—as of recent threads—Pete Seeger!

Now, we're not supposed to sing songs that have a viewpoint or take a position for fear of turning a performance into a "political rally." Or if we should happen to sing a song that expresses an opinion, we are morally bound to invite someone who takes the opposite view on whatever the matter it happens to be to come up on stage and express their view!

For example, should you have the bad judgment to sing a song that advocates putting an end to war, or to racial prejudice, you must let someone come up and sing a song advocating war or racial hatred.

(ARE there any such songs?)

Otherwise, a concert, a coffeehouse gig, an open mike night, or a sit-around-with-a-few-friends-and-swap-songs evening somehow becomes a "political rally."

Okay, suppose you do sing a song with political content. And you do invite anyone with an opposing view to come up and sing something in rebuttal. In your effort to be "fair and balanced," you may be setting the stage for a bipartisan riot!!

Way to go, there, Conrad!!

Well . . . back to the bloody taxes.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folksong-when performance/when political rally
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 01:56 PM

Dick,

Tried to get that song but there was an obstacle course attached to it. Something
about confirming a birthdate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 24 June 12:50 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.