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School:What did you learn about Folk?

Mr Happy 17 Aug 10 - 08:23 AM
SINSULL 17 Aug 10 - 08:36 AM
Vin2 17 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM
Vin2 17 Aug 10 - 08:39 AM
Mr Happy 17 Aug 10 - 08:41 AM
theleveller 17 Aug 10 - 09:03 AM
Fred McCormick 17 Aug 10 - 09:03 AM
RTim 17 Aug 10 - 09:10 AM
greg stephens 17 Aug 10 - 09:16 AM
Bonzo3legs 17 Aug 10 - 09:22 AM
Old Vermin 17 Aug 10 - 09:32 AM
Dave Sutherland 17 Aug 10 - 09:33 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Aug 10 - 09:50 AM
bubblyrat 17 Aug 10 - 10:04 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Aug 10 - 10:25 AM
Crowhugger 17 Aug 10 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,LDT 17 Aug 10 - 10:32 AM
Crowhugger 17 Aug 10 - 10:38 AM
Cats 17 Aug 10 - 10:39 AM
Bettynh 17 Aug 10 - 10:49 AM
MikeL2 17 Aug 10 - 10:56 AM
Bonzo3legs 17 Aug 10 - 10:56 AM
Rob Naylor 17 Aug 10 - 11:05 AM
Rumncoke 17 Aug 10 - 11:06 AM
Stringsinger 17 Aug 10 - 11:07 AM
Joe Nicholson 17 Aug 10 - 11:13 AM
SylviaN 17 Aug 10 - 07:25 PM
John P 17 Aug 10 - 08:03 PM
open mike 17 Aug 10 - 08:10 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 18 Aug 10 - 01:43 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 10 - 05:55 AM
Will Fly 18 Aug 10 - 06:21 AM
Girl Friday 18 Aug 10 - 09:11 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 18 Aug 10 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,LDT 18 Aug 10 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,HiLo 18 Aug 10 - 09:55 AM
open mike 18 Aug 10 - 10:12 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Aug 10 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 18 Aug 10 - 11:50 AM
Bill D 18 Aug 10 - 12:12 PM
PHJim 18 Aug 10 - 12:36 PM
Tootler 18 Aug 10 - 12:38 PM
Anne Neilson 18 Aug 10 - 12:51 PM
Sooz 18 Aug 10 - 12:51 PM
Tootler 18 Aug 10 - 12:52 PM
Rob Naylor 18 Aug 10 - 02:41 PM
Anne Lister 18 Aug 10 - 02:54 PM
Art Thieme 18 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM
Art Thieme 18 Aug 10 - 04:08 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Aug 10 - 11:39 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Aug 10 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,Johmc 19 Aug 10 - 08:55 AM
Bettynh 19 Aug 10 - 11:37 AM
Mooh 19 Aug 10 - 11:58 AM
Howard Jones 19 Aug 10 - 01:40 PM
Tootler 19 Aug 10 - 03:00 PM
Art Thieme 19 Aug 10 - 05:40 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 Aug 10 - 06:23 PM
JHW 20 Aug 10 - 04:56 PM
Joe Offer 20 Aug 10 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,DJ 20 Aug 10 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 20 Aug 10 - 06:56 PM
Kent Davis 20 Aug 10 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Johnmc 21 Aug 10 - 04:06 AM
leeneia2 21 Aug 10 - 10:04 AM
Stringsinger 21 Aug 10 - 12:57 PM
Mick Woods 21 Aug 10 - 01:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Aug 10 - 02:28 PM
Mr Happy 22 Aug 10 - 07:43 AM
Mooh 22 Aug 10 - 08:36 AM
Lighter 22 Aug 10 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,Guest - Lin 22 Aug 10 - 09:49 PM
Kent Davis 03 Sep 10 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 03 Sep 10 - 03:53 PM
Suffet 03 Sep 10 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,LDT 03 Sep 10 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Sep 10 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:23 AM

While musing in the garden, I pondered how relevant was the stuff I was taught in school to my 60 years on this mortal coil?

Only in primary school was there any folk heritage introduced in the forms of country dancing & the BBC series of Singing Together.

Both of these have had relevance in my life, as opposed to much of the other stuff.

Apart from being given instruction in the 3Rs plus a smattering of geog/hist, I'm wondering why the educational authorities placed so much importance on children learning about the intricacies of the Bessemer Converter, tin mining in Cornwall & constructing a model of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre from a cardboard box from the co-op?

Not one of these examples has had any useful impact on my life.

Anyone similar experiences of being forced to learn such tosh?


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:36 AM

Minimal folk music. A Catholic School in the 50s taught hymns and lots of them. The Irish nuns in high school celebrated St. Patrick's Day with some Irish folk music and stories. But I learned Barbara Allen from Burl Ives on TV and never heard it sung anywhere else until college in the 60s.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Vin2
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:37 AM

My recollection of secondary school (Bishop Marshall, Langley, Middleton '62 - '67 - now pulled down) is a similar one Mr Happy.

Yeah Bessemer Converter, i remember doin that in metalwork which i hated (loved woodwork tho) and then there was learning about the pampas regions of South America in history, making rafia baskets in craft lesson ? As for music, we did have classes which mostly involved singing from books e.g Dirty Old Town, The Campbells are Coming (ho ho, ho ho,) mostly out of tune.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Vin2
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:39 AM

P.S forgot about the hymms - catholic school like yours sinsull.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:41 AM

Also, the revelation that the Corn Laws had been repealed!

Would my destiny have been different, had I not learned this??


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: theleveller
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:03 AM

Weel, ah leerned that theer's nowt sa queer as fowk.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:03 AM

Absolutely nothing. The songs were presented as sets of words and tunes with no history and absolutely no social consequence. Indeed, the few worthwhile folksongs we did learn, I was all but put off for life. At any rate I was involved in folk music proper for years before I could accept Barbara Allen as a very fine ballad, not the stupid little ditty we'd learned at school.

The extraordinary thing is that once I came to understand the folk tradition, I also realised what an incredible vista of lower class history and culture it represents. But my primary/secondary education was formed at a time when the working classes were still held to have no creative ability or existence of their own. Even the classical music we were played was presented as though it was a wonder beyond our comprehension; something which only our "betters" could truly understand, and of course that was one of the things which it was claimed, made them fit to lead.

I sincerely hope that things have improved since those awful days.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: RTim
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:10 AM

I don't remember very much about learning folk song at either primary or secondary school in South Hampshire as a child. I did always sing in the school choirs, but it was never folk music.
I did learn to Morris and Country dance when 9 years old til 11 years old (1956 to 58). We performed at music festivals, the one I remember most was at Portsmouth, and I still have a photo of me with my group. As a member of the Dance club we also became members of the EFDSS, so I guess my later involvement in Morris dance came from those roots.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:16 AM

Ditto to Fred: absolutely nothing. Consequently, I started a school folk club, in 59 I think.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:22 AM

Country dancing at Colindale School in north London 1951-55.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:32 AM

Middlesex - as we thought of it - with a London postal address.

Country Dancing. My diary, aged 11, says I enjoyed it except for the waiting around.

Singing

Daily assembly - religious service with hymns sung.

In lessons

- Sally Brown with the m-word.
- Bobby Shafto.
- Dashing away with a smoothing iron.
- On yonder hill there stands a creature
- Nuts in May
- Mulberry bush

& Co.

Radio programme to accompany?

Grammar Schools - London & Surrey.

Daily assembly - religious service with hymns sung.

- The English Hymnal, I think. R Vaughan Williams.
- School song more-or-less to the tune of The Blacksmith. Monks Gate.
'He who would valiant be'

And the comic moment when the new German assistant snapped to attention for the opening bars of 'WGlorious things of thee are spoken, Zion city of our Lord'....

Formal music lessons were pretty dire, in an all-male school where the majority view was that serious classical musical achievement was odd or effeminate. Of course, most of us went through puberty and had voices utterly out of control at crucial times.

And unofficially the Rambling Sid Rumpo school of parody, and Rare Bog a Rattling Bog learned orally. Assorted smutty soldiers' songs via the CCF. 'Three-score and ten' being done in school concert. Started going to Folk Clubs in my last year or two at school. Even went with a parties of schoolboys to hear Carthy & Swarbrick in London which was a revelation - venue had wood panelling - and The Yetties unbelievably loud in a tin hut by North Camp railway station.

There was also Americana/country about - Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, etc. Who did 'Deck of Cards'? Hillbilly stuff - Flatt & Scruggs? - was generally derogated. While a sub-set were buying R & B on Pye records. Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, Spencer Davies/Stevie Winwood were what everyone bought. Was very probably still at school when I acquired LPs by the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, etc. Ceiliidhs in the dance sense existed and took far too much brain-power for me.

So the early formal environment was mostly favourable, as was the informal scene as I grew up. Just took best part of forty years to get to actually doing stuff.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:33 AM

We did learn some songs of the North East eg "Ca Hawkie", "Buy Brooms Bezzoms" and "Adam Buckham - O" (precious few of the lads sang the proper chorus to that one!) and where they were written in dialect we were expected to follow as such. Woe betide however if he were heard using "Geordie slang" outside of music lessons.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 09:50 AM

Bonzo ~ Colindale 1950s eh?. I was at Hendon County 1943-50.

Quite a lot of folk in music lessons: Sweet Nightingale &c.

At Northampton Town & County [there during WWii 1941-43] particularly remember my form, 1-Lower {8-9 year-old}, always most enthusiastic about Ho-Ro My Nutbrown Maiden which we all loved singing.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:04 AM

Wink Martindale ,wasn't it ?? ("Deck Of Cards" ,I mean).I think,sadly,that Max Bygraves did a crap version over here,but we needn't dwell on that, or anything else by Max Bygraves,to be honest.
    I remember learning " Marie's Wedding" and "Westering Home" at school, and it WAS educational,because my curiosity was aroused as to what Scotland and Scottish Islands ,and the people who lived there,were like. I mean, I think music can have that effect on someone ; it always has had on me ! Another song we learned was "Hearts Of Oak" ; I wouldn't say that it was definitely instrumental (no pun intended) in my decision or desire to join the Royal Navy, but as a naval musician I certainly played the tune enough times over a period of 11 years !


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:25 AM

I can safely say that I learned absolutely nothing about folk song at school.

In the choir at prep school we were taught some songs that I later learned were folk songs, let's see, one about Bonnie Prince Charlie, one about high roads, low roads, and Scotland, a part song "Full Fathom five my Father lies", oh, and Cottonfields.

At Aldenham, later, a "folk group" did come and do a concert for the music club - I remember a couple of Simon and Garfunkel songs and the Paul Simon verions of "Anji". Three boys the year above me formed a folk group and did some songs for the parents in the intermission of a school play - and a bit of a rumpus resulted in that they did amongst their songs "The Foggy Foggy Dew" which was thought - er - unsuitable - by the powers that were. Oh, and a Canadian boy in the school for a while while I think his father was stationed at the Canadian scandalised the music master by entering the school music composition saying he was a folk singer and performing the Peter and Gordon version of "World without Love". The competition was supposed to be about classical music, see.

I regret however the designations above of some things as irrelevant. What I learned in physics has been part of my life ever since (including, in fixing a bedside lamp, today, although I am not clear how useful the Frasch process is today) and surely the social history relevant to the repeal of the corn laws is of greater current importance than "the expansion of Europe, 1485 to 1625" that I studied for O level, and indeed the internal history of England in the same period that managed to omit the occupation of Ireland and to stop just short of the constitutional changes of the Commonwealth period that are still of relevance to constitutional law today.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:29 AM

I remember in public school under the Ottawa Board of Education, in grades 4-6 we learned A Capital Ship & Barbara Allen, Acres of Clams, Streets of Laredo, The Keeper (which I already knew from home) and many more songs the names of which escape me just now. These were all in a school music text book.

But I was already singing folk music at home with my mother (songs like Cindy, Gently Johnny My Jingalo, The Frozen Logger, J'entends le moulin, Vive la canadienne, Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot, Hey-up! Judy Drownded, Bimini, The Ballad of Jesus Christ, Log Roller's Waltz, Uncle Reuben, Squid-Jiggin' Ground and many, MANY more). Mom played guitar and banjo to accompany folk songs from here (Canada) as well as USA, British Isles and the Caribbean. My father taught me ukelele when I was much too small to manage a guitar fretboard. My maternal grandmother is the one I heard singing the "popular folk" of her day--Cockles & Mussels, Loch Lomond, Skye Boat Song to name 3--accompanying herself on piano.

Folk music was always just there, a given in my childhood, so I understood what was being taught by the time it came up at school although only minimal historical context was given there. At home the Fireside Book of Folk Songs was always on or beside the piano, which is where all music books were kept, including mom's Pete Seeger teach-yourself guitar and 5-string banjo books. Oh and a Burl Ives songbook, and Songs for Canadian Boys, which, mom assured me, were quite suitable for me to sing as well, and a Gordon Lightfoot songbook.

In grades 7 & 8 under the Carleton Board (southern 'burbs of Ottawa) as part of phys. ed. the girls got a couple of 2-week units in folk dancing (boys did not). One unit was North American dances--line, round and square. And only the dances of the invaders, no dances of the conquered peoples were included. The other unit was called "international" and included the Hora, something German and several others I don't recall but again it was a mix. Always the music was recorded. I would have LOVED to dance the whole year in place of floor hockey, track and field, etc.

I would say that those Ottawa-area educators got something partly right in the 1960s, but they thoroughly missed the notion of Canadian music, which I gained entirely at home.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:32 AM

erm.....nothing. Unless you count learning 'what shall we do with the drunken sailor' on the recorder in infants school.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:38 AM

Oh yes, I learned Drunken Sailor in school too, grade 5 or 6 I would say. But I'm sure I'd heard it before then around a campfire or coffee table. I have to wonder, would the thought police allow such a song to be systematically taught to young ears nowadays?

Which reminds me of another public school offering: Jack Was Ev'ry Inch a Sailor.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Cats
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:39 AM

Tin mining in Cornwall has been really important to me and if I had learned about it in school I would have had a head start, but in Lingfield, Surrey, we had Singing Together, May pole Dancing, country Dancing and, becuase it had it's own tradition of Bonfires and Bonfire Societies like Lewes, Lots about that. Out of School though, I lived 4 houses away from Ken Stubbs the eminent Folk Song Collector and was forever round his house as his daughter and I were good friends and about the same age, so heard many of the people who he collected from when they came to his house to sing for him. Then I went to Oxted Grammar School where I was told by my music teacher, Mr Oram, that folk songs were not proper songs and had no value and that the instruments I played were folk instruments and not proper ones.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Bettynh
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:49 AM

Elementary school in a Boston suburb in the 50s: jump rope and ball-against-the-wall chants in the schoolyard and square dancing once in awhile for indoor recess (when the weather was bad. We had to push the desks out of the way and dance in the classroom, since this was a 6-grades/6-room school.) I know we sang once in awhile in class, but can't remember any songs at all from school. They all came from church or Girl Scouts.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: MikeL2
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:56 AM

hi

I went to a Roman Catholic primary school until I was 11. Then a boys ( only) grammar school until I was 17.

We were taught to sing nursery rhymes ( do they qualify as folk ??) in the primary school but nothing that resembled folk song or music in the Grammar school.

At the grammar school we did listen some classical stuff - New World Symphony - Fingal's caves etc - but like Fred's experience we were not expected to understand it because it was thought to be beyond us.

Also the school had an operatic society that produced a Gilbert & Sullivan opera each year. Although I failed auditions I have to say that the standard was excellent.

Because in my first year I was good at Latin I was pointed ( no choice here !!) down the classics route for the rest of my years.

Although we had music lessons regularly - eg one hour per week - we never were taught to play an instrument.
The brother and sister of one of our teachers were professional music teachers and pupils who wished to, could enrol at a discounted fee. They only taught classical music and the fees were beyond most "ordinary" students.

Although by 13 I was learning to play the guitar I could not qualify for this tuition because they didn't teach guitar and we couldn't afford the fees anyway.

Outside of music, being in the classics stream we did not get woodwork/metalwork etc. or anything that was of any practical use.

We did have teacher who was a fine cricketer and who encouraged and helped me to become a reasonably competent player of a game I love and played until my August years.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 10:56 AM

"At Aldenham, later, a "folk group" did come and do a concert for the music club - I remember a couple of Simon and Garfunkel songs and the Paul Simon verions of "Anji".

You could have slipped out of school and visited Borehamwood Folk Club, and I believe there was a folk club for a while at the pub next to Elstree traffic lights!!


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 11:05 AM

We did quite a bit of folk in our music lessons, both at primary and secondary schools. And classical. And even occasionally rock...I recall our teacher being a bit bemused by the ending to Cream's "Badge" in one of our "bring your own records in" lessons.

Maybe I went to unusually enlightened schools, but I never felt I was being told that classical stuff was something that only "our betters" could understand. Or that "working class culture" was under-valued. My mother (who left school at 14 to become a mill girl) and my father (who didn't go to school after 11 , and became a window cleaner, miner and leatherworker in turn) were both members of the local Amateur Operatic Society, and my father often got lead roles based purely on his voice, rather than his social standing.

And if learning about Bessemer Converters, South American Pampas and Cornish tin mining had no immediate application to our lives, you could probably say the same for our music lessons. Not crucial to development of a vocation or profession! I for one am glad I learned to much about so many diverse topics at school, whether it was "useful" in later life or not.

And who knows what's going to turn out "useful"? I thought tensor calculus, fourier analysis and vector algebra were pretty abstract things when I learned them in maths, but I've spent a good portion of the last 35 years actually using them in productive work!!!


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 11:06 AM

I went to school in Barnsley, Yorkshire - now South Yorkshire, and although we learned a few folk and folk type songs, did English county dancing and Scottish reels and - briefly - long morris - it was not presented to us as 'Heritage', it was simply something the authorities had decided we should do.

Don't knock Bessemer converters though - Sheffield's steel industry was a powerful force in the economy - Sammy Fox's steel works where my dad was employed made the molybdenum steel for the Americans - it was needed in the space rockets. It was very expensive.

When I left school I began to learn that the songs my family sang were something I should have paid attention to and not lost most of, that the few lines of silly dialogue my father's father quoted were from a play - in comes I little devil doubt, no matter how you try you cannot cast me out - in my hand a frying pan, on my head a rusty pail -

All too late.

Anne Croucher


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 11:07 AM

I learned from a choral instructor that folk songs were inferior. Some contained swear words which were objectionable in a high school setting. In short, I learned how prejudiced the
educational system is and this motivated me to want to study more about folk music.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Joe Nicholson
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 11:13 AM

In primary school in the 30s I remember me and my best pal sitting at the back of the class falling about laughing as we listend to and watched a lady teacher with a very posh vioce singing 'Dashing away with a smoothing iron' and doing the actions. We did not know the Headmaster was behind us till he banged both our heads togather. (you could do things like that to children then) This convinced me that I did not like folk music.It took me thirty years to come round to that which has since become a great part of my life. But I think that at that time folk was compulsory in English schools probably taught by people who knew little about it and didn't really want to teach it
and is one of the reasons why a whole generation will have nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: SylviaN
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 07:25 PM

I remember singing Banks of the Sweet Primroses in the choir and there must have been others. I was very lucky in that one of the teachers at secondary school started a folk club, and that lead from one thing to another.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: John P
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:03 PM

We had an hour of singing once a week in grade school. Mostly overly well-known American folk songs. I still like most of those songs, even though I really don't like most of those songs, if you get what I mean.

As for all the other stuff I learned, no, most of it is useless in real life. However, I'm glad they threw so much stuff at us -- it gives kids an idea of what's interesting to them so they know in what direction to point their future learning.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: open mike
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:10 PM

there were a lot of folk songs in the Silver Burdett music books
(discussed here: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=69027)
used in school. I was in grade school from '59-'65 or there-abouts

I remember Erie Canal....among other songs..


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 01:43 AM

Some posters have said "nothing" and then gone on to describe what folk songs they did learn. Well in my case (as with LDT) absolutely nothing means exactly that, nothing at all, nada, zilch. Though we may have been exposed to Vaughn Williams when one lady teech brought her classical music LP's to school.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 05:55 AM

Not an awful lot in my Primary school, songs like 'Go Tell Aunt Nancy the old grey goose is dead' 'Early One Morning' which were more like traditional songs or songs about hunting 'Do Ye Ken John Peel' that had no relevance to my little life but I still enjoyed singing them and of course we had country dancing in which we were forced to hold hands with dreaded boys (oh no!), but out of school I would listen to Peter, Paul and Mary, The (Old) Seekers, The Settlers and Bob Dylan etc. and sing along to those songs.

In Secondary High School very much the same, traditional songs and sea shanties with a bit of classical thrown in from time to time. The music teacher had a very high shrill voice, she thought her voice was beautiful it was really bad. We would just fall about with laughter and then she would finish the lesson with sex education which was just becoming part of the curriculum. Needless to say we didn't learn anything let alone folk.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 06:21 AM

Songs we sang regularly in primary school in Lancashire in the early '50s, as part of a music hour:

The Ash Grove
The Lincolnshire Poacher
The Keeper
Oh, No John, No
The Minstrel Boy
The British Grenadiers
Sweet Lass Of Richmond Hill
Dashing Away With The Smoothing Iron
Flow Gently, Sweet Afton
and others...

plus hymns and, towards Christmas, carols.

Oddly enough, I can still sing all of these songs, and many of the hymns and carols we learned at school - 55 years on. I was never religious and am still not, in any way whatsoever, but some of the hymn tunes are glorious melodies. Stripped of the hymn words which were put with them, I still play many of them on guitar.

No snobbery, musical or otherwise, at any of the schools I attended - primary and public - just music teachers who enthused about their music and passed much of it on to those kids who were interested - of which I was one. I joined an orchestra at 12 and had a year or two on viola before changing schools.

But my first real exposure to music of a folk nature was in my teens: Sonny Terry, Leadbelly, Brownie McGhee, Big Bill Broonzy, Reverend Gary Davis - all good traditional singers from Lancashire!


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 09:11 AM

I went to Willows Primary School in Morden Surrey. I remember singing The Ash Grove, Linden Lea, and Westering Home, but I can't say we got them from the radio. We all did country dance, and the boys learned what must have been Rapper because I remember being in the grounds watching the dance that makes a star from swords or sticks.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 09:22 AM

"School:What did you learn about Folk?"

Well, I learned that most of the Folk I went to school with were people who didn't seem to think very deeply...and seemed to follow like sheep, unquestioning...

I learnt that the teachers weren't always that intelligent (or nice)..and often could be cruel, patronising and sarcastic, some almost delighting in ritual humiliation. I learnt to treasure the good Folks, the good teachers, because hey, they actually LIKED me and treated me like a human being, made me feel great about myself and my abilities.

I learnt that the young Folk around me were like animals, vying to be top dog, dishing out the bullying at every opportunity. I learnt to avoid them like the plague.

Basically I learnt that most of the Folks at school were Folks I couldn't wait to get away from, and that out there in the REAL world were people who cared, who didn't judge, and who loved and supported you.

;0)


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 09:41 AM

"Some posters have said "nothing" and then gone on to describe what folk songs they did learn. Well in my case (as with LDT) absolutely nothing means exactly that, nothing at all, nada, zilch. Though we may have been exposed to Vaughn Williams when one lady teech brought her classical music LP's to school. "

Crow sister which school did you go to? And was it in the 90's you were in school? (I suspect we are from the same area)


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 09:55 AM

I do not believe there is any such thing as "useless" knowledge and I do dislike the word relevent because it is such a personal word that when applied to a universal system has no meaning at all. As for folk, I learned quite a lot of it, in the broad sense of the word, although I might not have known what it was at the time. As for the Real world, well, I have no idea what that means..school was very real and valuable to me.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 10:12 AM

hey the aunt whose goose died was Aunt Rhody...not Nancy...where I'm from anyway...


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 10:30 AM

Open Mike. You can take it that some versions have Aunt Nancy. Almeda Riddle's if I recall correctly.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 11:50 AM

In Scotland we might have one of the most outstanding examples of a teacher who practically
instigated a revival all on his own in the West. The later MP Norman Buchan inspired many in his house gatherings ( early 60's ?) too and, of course, produced his essential Scots song book.
As for me, The Ash Grove and Bobby Shaftoe (maybe Marie's Wedding) was the diet. But really, music in secondary school took off after the seventies. There is a school in Glasgow which has a great Irish music "club", I believe.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 12:12 PM

The only 'folky' songs I remember (all in primary school) were "Little Mohee" and "Oh, Susannah"...and 'maybe' one about chickens sneezing. 'FOLK' was not a recognized category where I went to school, and these were just from little songbooks compiled to fill music hour.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: PHJim
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 12:36 PM

Miss Helen Miller in grade 4 taught us songs and played recordings of folk singers like Alan Mills and Oscar Brand. Mrs. Brown, my grade nine English teacher, played several recordings of songs like The Golden Vanity sung by Burl Ives. Jack Bell was my grade 12&13 English teacher. He had many field recordings by Helen Creighton and Edith Fowke and he'd have us listen to them. He even let me take home an O.J. Abbot recording when I showed interest. After I went to see Pete Seeger at Delta Collegiate in Hamilton, Ont., Mr. Bell brought me a poser for the concert that was hanging in his friend's book store window.
I taught school for thirty some odd years and found that kids loved many folk songs, like Carl Martin's Barnyard Dance, a tune I learned from the New Lost City Ramblers called Hopalong Peter and jug band tunes like Boodle Am Shake. We even had a jug band at my last school.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 12:38 PM

Tom Paxton sums up a pretty fair chunk of my education. Just change the US references to UK ones.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN SCHOOL TODAY
(Tom Paxton)

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that Washington never told a lie
I learned that soldiers seldom die
I learned that everybody's free
That's what the teacher said to me
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that policemen are my friends
I learned that justice never ends
I learned that murderers die for their crimes
Even if we make a mistake sometimes
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad
I learned about the great ones we have had
We fought in Germany and in France
And someday I might get my chance
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned that our government must be strong
It's always right and never wrong
Our leaders are the finest men
So we elect them again and again
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 12:51 PM

At a west of Scotland primary school in the 1950's we sang songs like 'The Ash Grove', 'Barbara Allan', 'Sir Eglamour', 'Early One Morning' etc. from a series of little song books (sometimes in staff notation and sometimes sol fa) titled "Folk, National and Art Songs of the British Isles".
Then at Rutherglen Academy in 1957 our English teacher Norman Buchan started a Ballads Club where we sang all sorts -- American songs from Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Woody Guthrie etc.; bothy ballads from the north-east of Scotland; the muckle sangs; some Gaelic songs, courtesy of a native speaker who was also an English teacher; calypsos; spirituals etc. etc. etc.
And we also saw live performances from people such as Jeannie Robertson, Flora MacNeil, Jimmy McBeath, The Weavers and Pete Seeger, Rambling Jack Elliott and Cisco Houston!
As Johnmc said, Norman went on to edit "101 Scottish Songs" in 1962 (known informally as The Little Red Song Book) and then "The Scottish Folksinger" in1973, with Peter Hall. Both books are highly sought after and still a source of great versions of great songs.
And 53 years after the Ballads Club started there are still umpteen indebted people who sing these songs (some professionally) and pass them on to others. How wonderful is that!


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Sooz
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 12:51 PM

Singing Together was brilliant in primary school. At secondary school, we were introduced to a wide variety of music, and singing hymns taught me a huge amount about harmony singing which I still value. There wasn't much folk music, although at the time I didn't know about the little boxes we now put things in!


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 12:52 PM

In fact very little folk music at school. Having a RAF father meant a somewhat nomadic childhood and I went to a number of primary schools. In the last one we had singing together and we learnt to play the recorder (well started to learn the recorder; you never finish learning to play it)

At grammar school nothing. No music teacher so no music. The Bessemer converter and the like was useful as I eventually studied Chemical Engineering at University. Other things that people refer to as "useless" may well have not been directly useful, but on the whole I am glad of what I studied at school as some of it was interesting and you never know in which direction life will take you.

I think I was aware of folk music as something in the background of my life. My grandmother used to sing around the house and my grandparents had a collection of sea shanties on 78 which, sadly, my grandmother got rid of when my grandfather died as I always wanted them (along with her 3 tier cake stand).

I discovered the blues during a year working after leaving school and then discovered folk music during my time at University, though I subsequently developed other musical interests and have only come back to folk music fairly recently. I rediscovered the recorder when my daughters started playing it in school and I am still playing it.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 02:41 PM

Tootler: Tom Paxton sums up a pretty fair chunk of my education. Just change the US references to UK ones.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN SCHOOL TODAY


An awful lot of people, many in my age group, seem to have suffered from really poor schooling. I don't recall learning that our government's "always right and never wrong" etc. I do recall being taught to look at things from several angles and not to always be content with the obvious explanation.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 02:54 PM

I was lucky. Quite a lot in primary school (Singing Together) and then at school here in Wales we had the New National Song Book (which had a lot of folk songs in it) as well as another song book with a different selection. We had an annual Eisteddfod to encourage us to sing, write poetry and all that and we started a school folk club (jointly with the neighbouring boys' school) when I reached the sixth form. It was enough to get me interested. Then when I saw the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and then the Watersons in concert it enabled me to get a wider picture still.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 03:22 PM

As I've said in these threads a few times, for 22 years I sang thousands of performances and workshops in the schools all over Northern Illinois (USA) --- mostly the eight counties around Chicago and in that fair city. My workshops included a map I gave out to students---of the USA with 5 specific geographic areas. Instead a place names, songs from the areas were printed close to where the songs came from--or where the song was found by a collector. Students colored in the area in 5 colors and we travelled East to West much like the way the U.S. was settled.

This map can be viewed in my "Art's Place" folk photos website -- along with the map Sam Hinton created from his repertory after he saw what I'd done.

If anyone can link to it, it would be appreciated by me a whole lot.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 04:08 PM

a small aside:

Judging by how many have posted to this thread saying how those years of my doing workshops and performances influenced them, I suspect nobody was in those audiences. ;-)


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 11:39 PM

Looking at the question from the other [teacher's] side: In 30 years of teaching English myself [1950s-80s], I used folksong as part of my teaching curriculum at every school I taught at, as well as running guitar clubs, folk clubs & folk groups for school concerts, &c. I still occasionally meet an ex-pupil who remembers, and says I turned him/her on to folk which remains an interest.

I am sure there must be many present or former teachers reading this thread with similar stories to tell.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 04:43 AM

See also post I have just put on 'Recording Of Golden Vanity' thread.

~M~


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,Johmc
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 08:55 AM

I remember using McTell's "Old Brown Dog" in lessons and getting an emotional response from the younger ones. And Dylan's "Hollis Brown" for social commentary. "The twa Corbies" featured in quite a few poetry anthologies and, of course, Burns songs for Burns suppers must have had some effect.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Bettynh
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 11:37 AM

Art's Place


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Mooh
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 11:58 AM

Next to nothing, except there were one or two decent songbooks with a few traditional melodies that aware teachers would use.

My early folk schooling came from home. Mum's Scottish heritage, Dad's English heritage, their church-folk influence, camp songs, boy scout and girl guide songs, all combined with the requisite music theory.

I dare say that if my piano studies had included some folk music I would have stuck with it longer, but Conservatory books in the '60s and '70s were pretty much all "classical" (that is to say classical, baroque, romantic...).

As for other folk culture, nada.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 01:40 PM

Not a lot. I had a very old-fashioned music teacher who focussed almost entirely on classical music. However his teaching methods completely failed to spark any interest in me - for example we spent an entire term analysing Beethoven's 5th, going through the score while he played bits on the piano, without ever hearing it. It was only in the final week that he played the record - by which time we were all heartily sick of it. It took another teacher, an enthusiastic amateur, to awaken in me an interest in classical music.

The teacher recognised I was musical, and invariably wrote, "should learn an instrument" in my report, but he refused to recognise the guitar as a musical instrument, so the school didn't provide lessons in the instrument I wanted to play. I had to teach myself, at home.

We did a bit of singing of folk songs, but without any context. Also, one of the English teachers, perhaps in an attempt to be trendy, set us studying a Bob Dylan album, and another got us to write our own versions of Donovan's "Universal Soldier".

There was a school folk club, the main attraction of which was that it was run jointly with the local girls school (mine was all-boys). It was dominated by a girl who sang her own songs, until a friend and I subverted it and converted it to trad. It even gave me my first paid gig, bottom of the bill behind a local duo and Martin Carthy (who didn't turn up due to a booking snafu - I still have the press cutting saying I "stood in" for him, which wasn't exactly the case!)

Besides that, the usual repertoire of scout songs and rugby songs, sung at full volume in the back of the CCF's 3-tonner (the teacher driving it would bang on the roof as we approached a village, to tell us to shut up, and would bang again when we were out of it so we could carry on).

I came away from school knowing very little about music.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 03:00 PM

Rob Naylor,

I don't take the Tom Paxton song too literally, but its general tone summed up in a lot of ways the the kind of education I received in a small rural grammar school. When I first heard it back in 1965, it resonated with me.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 05:40 PM

Bettynh,----------Thanks so much.

At that site, if you put the word "map" in the search feature. 3 items will come up---1) my folk song map, 2) Sam Hinton's folk song map, and 3) a picture I took of Jo MAPes. -- aren't computers wonderful!!?

The maps can also be seen by clicking on "recent comments" ------- I just refreshed both maps by adding a new comment for each one!

Art

The maps are viewed best by printing them out and holding them in your hands!!


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 06:23 PM

Almost everyone here (in this thread, at least) seems far younger than I am.

I attended grade school in Minnesota from 1935 until 1941 (if I reconstruct it right), and from that time I can recollect only three songs which were identified as "folk". Each one was from another country, with words applied which seem not to have had anything to do with the original. Other than the bare assertion of the origin of the tunes, nothing was taught to us.

A song called "Centa, Sweet Centa", alleged to be built on an Italian folksong. I can still sing it. Nice tune, but not much content in the text. Kind of cute.

A sort of romanticized song called "Island of My Desire", which the book said was based on a song from the Phillippines. The words given, on their face, could not have been the original text, I think. Nice tune, though, when we were learning to sing in parts.

And lastly, "Jenny Wren is Building in the Willow". Full of vacuous, precious words. This was English in origin, so said the book. Only when I was about sixty, when I took up the banjo, did I hear that tune again, as a very common banjo tune, without any words that I've ever heard.

Oh, and now I do remember an American folksong from that time: Old Dan Tucker.

If there were any other claimed folk tunes taught, I don't remember them.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: JHW
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 04:56 PM

Singing Together in primary school a long time ago.
Wonder what happened to all those booklets - are they archived somewhere?


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:15 PM

I went to Catholic schools from first grade through college, and we had music every semester. In grade school, we learned hymns and Gregorian chant in choir practice, and I think classroom music was mostly folk songs and songs from musicals, and lots of Stephen C. Foster. "Goober Peas" and "Long, Long Ago" are two that stick in my memory, alsong with "Camptown Races" and "O Susanna" (which I learned in harmonica band).

In high school, we had a year of classical music appreciation and identification, a year of theory, and a year that exposed us to popular music.

College was chant and hymns, and music theory - I was in a Catholic seminary for high school and college.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,DJ
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:31 PM

The first folk song I learned in school was Why Paddy's not at Work Today ten years ago, as part of our physics class.
After seeking out this song on the web I became an ardent Folkie.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:56 PM

Oddly I was lucky beginning in 7th grade. For a year or more previous to that, I had been learning quite a lot of folk songs from Burl Ives' early 45s and LPs, starting on a ukulele, and had just gotten my first guitar.

Maine-based Bill Bonyun sang at our school assembly (he also spent time at my home teaching me guitar chords and igniting my lifelong love for traditional music with his own infectious enthusiasm). Tom Glaser also sang at our assemblies. Seems as if my Quaker grade school in eastern Pennsylvania was alert to folksingers.   (Even Walt Kelly of Pogo fame spoke to us once and I, a budding cartoonist and fan, got to meet him and shake that talented hand ... what a cool school. In that respect at least.)

We even had an avocational folksinger in our school administration. The new principal of our grade school came to us in my 7th grade year from the Pine Mountain Settlement School in southeastern Kentucky, a center for folksong and folklore activities. He played the autoharp and sang authentic traditional songs like "Cherry Tree Carol" and "Devil and the Farmer's Wife."

In high school our assembly programs included Oscar Brand, the Duke of Iron and, as I got better singing with guitar, me. Our shop director kindly recommended me to the local radio station, where I was interviewed and sang. A fellow student loaned me his book of Florida folksongs out of the kindness of his heart, and I was twice awarded Book Awards for which I chose the one-volume Child Ballads and Padraic Colum's Irish Folklore.

Special credit goes to a Britisher, the grandson (if I remember correctly) of Alfred Lord Tennyson, who guested in our English class one day with a fascinating tape of music from boatmen recorded in India, which began my lifelong love of Indian music.

In college I was able to take part in inaugurating and performing at the first Dartmouth College Folk Festival, where Jean Ritchie and Alan Mills headlined. And I was instrumental in bringing Pete Seeger to Dartmouth for a concert. Neither, probably, would have happened if I were not all over the place performing traditional songs, giving concerts and entertaining at a fraternity in a school that was sorta bemused, largely unaware of folksongs, but receptive.

All in all, for schools in the 1950s which began largely ignorant of traditional folksongs, I was lucky to get a really memorable and formative response.

Gee, until I summed it up just now, I don't think I realized how good it all was.

Didn't make school any easier in other respects, of course, but you can't have the moon.

Bob


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 10:38 PM

I was in the Orangeburg County, South Carolina, public schools from 1966 to 1972 (1st through 6th grade). We had a travelling music teacher for part of that time and, at least in 4th grade, our homeroom teacher taught us music using "Time for Sounds", an education television program on a UHF channel.

Some folk and folkish songs which I believe I learned in school are:

Senor Don Gato (Was a Cat)
Erie Canal
Hawaiian Rainbows (with hula motions!)
John Brown's Ford (Had a Puncture in It's Tire) (This was not in our
    books or on T.V. The teacher taught us this parody, and hand
    motions to go with it, on her own.)
Do Your Ears Hang Low (The same teacher taught us this one, also
    with motions.)
This Land Is Your Land (This Land Is My Land)
Aiken Brown
Ach, Du Lieber Augustine
Valeri, Valera (I Love to Go A-Wandering)
Frere Jacque
Goober Peas
The Rattlin' Bog
There's A Hole In the Bottom of the Sea
There's A Hole In the Bucket (Dear Liza)

There were other songs that I had heard from other sources, but which (I believe) we also sang or heard in school:
Cindy (Get along Home, Cindy, Cindy)
Oh, Susannah
She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain
Go Tell Aunt Rhody
John Henry
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Ezekiel Saw the Wheel
Where, O Where, Has My Little Dog Gone

Thanks, Mr. Happy, for encouraging me to ponder some happy memories.

Kent


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 04:06 AM

Nice one, DJ; we did Wooden Heart for Carpentry.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: leeneia2
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 10:04 AM

In my schools, we didn't learn anything 'about' any kind of music. We sat down, we opened our music book (or leaflet) and we sang until class was over.

Maybe it was just as well. Most of the day was filled with adults talking. Music class was a nice break from that.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 12:57 PM

In the Los Angeles educational system of the Fifties, no one really knew much about folk music. I was an odd-ball. I was pleasantly surprised that in my high school,after I graduated, a valuable folklorist emerged from there, Norm Cohen who wrote Long Steel Rail, an informative book on railroad songs.

At my time at Fairfax High School, folk music was anathema to the middle-to-upper class students who fit the stereotype of the provincial high schoolers of the time. (I may have been the first "hippie" there in their eyes because I had long hair, wore jeans and played the guitar). I was also left-of-center which occasionally got me into hot water particularly when I refused to "drop" or "duck and cover" for atomic bomb drills.

Woody Guthrie was known only to a few people when I visited him in Topanga Canyon.
"This Land Is Your Land" was not well-known at the time. No one in my high school
knew any of the names we all know now such as Leadbelly, et. al. Pete Seeger, if anyone knew anything of him, would have been considered a "dirty red". I was reviled by a choral teacher there with the unfortunate name of Homer Hummel for singing a folk song in the local playing area. The kids loved it. Phil Spector has mentioned the unfortunate Hummel in his autobiographical notes.

Although I did go to junior high school with Jerry Lieber (later of Lieber and Stoller) who actually did know about folk music and the blues.

Because of the Net, Mudcat, and so many sources for information, this has been suitably corrected. We now can use a search engine to find our favorite traditional singer.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Mick Woods
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 01:31 PM

I remember well singing Hog Eye Man as a round also John Pearce lend me your grey mare and that song that chants a load of names ending with Uncle Tom Cobbley and all!


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 02:28 PM

Grade school for me was in the 1930s. The word 'folk' was not part of the vocabulary, although we sang cowboy songs and were taught Spanish songs (northern New Mexico).
Old songs by Foster, and other composed songs like "Walloping Window-blind," I remember. Also minstrel songs inc. Old Dan Tucker.
Folk and folklore were not taught as such.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 07:43 AM

While at a friend's birthday party last night, I got to chatting with other guests & got on topic of school & music.

Apart from me, 'er indoors & the hostess & partner, none of the others were musical.

Again staggered/ outraged by numbers of people who said at school, teachers had told them they couldn't sing or weren't musical!

How horrendous!

I guess they were then forever persuaded that this was true, so never sang or attempted an instrument.

Anyone similar experiences?


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Mooh
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 08:36 AM

Mr Happy...What a crock! Yeah I was told I wasn't musical at school at the same time that I was competing in vocal competitions, completing conservatory piano exams, singing soprano in church, going to summer music camps.

I didn't mention it earlier in the thread, but the high school I had to attend (small town) had no music, art, or drama programs. My only high school arts credit is grade 9 typing! I had so looked forward to arts programs as my older siblings had excelled in them, but my family moved just before I entered high school. Didn't learn anything about music at school after grade 8 anyway. Thank God my parents got me private instruction and we had music at home.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 09:31 AM

I think I first heard the phrase "folk song" when I was about five. I had a 78 album that may have had the words in the title. I'd recognize the sleeve if I saw it today: a cartoon farmboy in a hill-shaped white hat strumming his guitar under a tree while his dog watched. At least that's how I remember it.

In grade school (public, i.e. city) in NYC about 1956, at least one of our teachers led us in songs from "The Fireside Book of American Folk Songs." She explained that people used to make up their own songs before there were radios, phonograph records, and TV. They often used folk songs to spread the news. Once or twice a folk revivalist showed up to entertain a school assembly in the auditorium (or "assembly room" as we called it).

That was pretty much it till college. I just liked the songs.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,Guest - Lin
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 09:49 PM

I went to high school in Southern, California. We were not taught anything at all about folk music. I was hanging out at some local coffeehouses on the weekends and sometimes on school nights so I came to discover folk music there. Also a little bit was played on the radio, (on rock and roll stations.) We didn't have radio stations that played all folk in the Los Angeles area but sometimes you could hear Donovan, some Peter, Paul & Mary and Dylan played on these L.A. rock n' roll stations.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Kent Davis
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:18 PM

Besides the folk songs listed in my post of August 20 (above), we also sang:

Red River Valley
O Shenandoah
I Gave My Love a Cherry
Billy Boy

We studied some Child ballads in Jr. High or High School (Southern West Virginia, '72-'77), but they were presented as poetry rather than as song. We read "Lord Randall" (#12), "Edward" (#13), and "Sir Patrick Spens" (58) as examples of English Renaissance poetry. Meanwhile, folklorists were collecting some of the same songs as part of a living Appalachian tradition.      

Kent


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:53 PM

All of my public education (including ex-pat British school) included:
Singing:
Instruments:
Sqaure Dances:
Folk Dance:
Round Dance:

The foundation came through the six book series Music for Living
Copyright 1956 by Silver Burdett Company. and was accompanied with a full record set.

EVERY Classroom sang. Not for performance but pleasure.

In the introduction (very condenced) "Point of View: what music can do for children"
1. Pleasure
2. Emotinal release and satisfaction
3. Creative self-expression
4. Self-fulfilment and success
5. Discipline of achievement
6. Sharing and cooperating with others
7. Enrichment for all the years to come
8. Iluminate and interpret a wide range of experiences

The songs and dance connected to the curriculum of history, and social studies, creative art. Every song had a historical background and the teacher's editions are a treasure trove of information.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I inwardly weep for what some of you have missed forever..


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: Suffet
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 04:24 PM

When I went to the New York City public schools 1954-1963 we were taught a lot of what were called folk songs. Among the songs I clearly remember are:

? This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
? Waltzing Matilda (Banjo Patterson)
? Oh, Susannah (Stephen Foster)
? The Camp Town Races (Stephen Foster)
? Over the River and Through the Woods (Lydia Maria Child)
? Kookaburra (Marion Sinclair)
? The Happy Wanderer (Friedrich Wilhelm Möller)
? My Darling Clementine (traditional)
? She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain (traditional)
? Alouette (traditional)
? Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho (traditional)

OK, maybe most of these are not folk songs in the strictest sense of the terms, but that's what our teachers called them.

There are also the songs that we young ones learned from one another, including:

? Bang, Bang, Lulu
? Walking Down Canal Street
? The Bear Went Over the Mountain
? We're Here Because We're Here
? 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
? I Hate Bosco
? Hitler Had But One Big Ball
? George Washington Bridge

These definitely are folk songs by anyone's definition.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 06:39 PM

Someone mentioned about being dicouraged with music.
Instruments - never could afford the instrument/lessons and living in a flat practice was discouraged, quieter pursuits encouraged.
Singing- as a child only ang in groups and if requested for relatives a rendition of I do dite do de the deedide (I do like to be beside the seaside), could be produced but last year of jnr school got hold of a tape recorder. Recorded myself singing and played it back...oh my it was terrible, I never sang again.


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Subject: RE: School:What did you learn about Folk?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 10:58 AM

Between the ages of 7 and 11 I went to a Junior school in the English East Midlands. Our music teacher I remember as a rather bad-tempered old git (he was probably about 35 at the time). He didn't teach me anything about music whatsoever (if you had no 'natural' apptitude you were just 'written off' - no questions asked). He did teach us some English folk songs, though: 'Oh No John' (expurgated version), 'Boney Was a Warrior' and 'The Raggle Taggle Gipsies'. The latter made a curiously deep impression on me. Years later I discovered that the version that we learned at school was very close to that collected by Cecil Sharp from Mrs Emma Overd of Langport in Somerset.
Many years after that I got to meet, in Langport itself, Mrs Overd's great-grand daughters (lovely ladies - as full of fun and life as their distinguished great-grand mother was reputed to be).

That song will always have a very special meaning for me.


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