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Folklore: Old Songs & Stories; For me, for Kids

saulgoldie 19 Mar 11 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 19 Mar 11 - 04:00 PM
Anne Lister 19 Mar 11 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Stan 19 Mar 11 - 07:39 PM
michaelr 20 Mar 11 - 02:50 AM
michaelr 20 Mar 11 - 02:52 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Old Songs & Stories; For me, for Kids
From: saulgoldie
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 10:34 AM

I hope this isn't too "all-encompassing." Here goes.

I have recently been reviewing my CDs with two goals. One is to enjoy my music and evade the horrifying news that permeates the media these days. The other is to look for songs and stories that I might perform for youngsters when I volunteer my, um, "talents" in the schools.

Some of the songs I have unearthed--yes, "unearthed" is the proper term--include:

This Land Is Your Land
Reuben James
Greenland Whale Fisheries
Blowin in the Wind
Where Have All The Flowers Gone
Aragon Mill
Early Morning Rain
Country Roads
The John Birch Society
The Universal Soldier
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
Whistlin Gypsy
Hard Travelin
Down The Road
Roseville Fair
Catch the Wind
The Last Thing on My Mind
The Marvelous Toy
Mr. Bojangles
Another Man Done Gone
Mary Ellen Carter
Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya
Joe Hill (sung by Paul Robeson!)
Hard Times Come Again No More

And others. For me: I still like listening to these songs. In addition to not having good access to newer accoustic music, I find that they resonate with me more than some of the newer stuff that I have heard. Am I helping to destroy "Folk Music" by not getting with the newer stuff? Also, the older stuff has the advantage that I can actually play it with standard tuning and straightforward picking and strumming.

For them: Is what I have listed here the best I can present to young people, or should I "get jiggy" with more current stuff to accommodate my audience rather than impose my own tastes on them in my attempt to enjoy the experience and also "teach" them some history?

Also, I have been thinking of incorporating some spoken "songs"
The Box
The Sick Note
On Education (a non-rhyming poem)
and other more prosaic material in my presentations. Unfortunately, I have found very little in the way of recorded stories that I can learn (or remember from "back then").

So, should I include more recent material for myself? For them? Where can I get recorded stories? Are they relevant for youngsters?

I realize that this is a lot to ask, and I recognize that this thread could drift in all sorts of directions. I look forward to hearing from the group wisdom of the Mudcat. Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Old Songs & Stories; For me, for Kids
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 04:00 PM

Not at all theres a great resurgence of story telling in English folk clubs. I feel sure some will be on Youtube. I'm told taff thomas is very good. he used to a do a show called Magic lantern explaining the ballads with a magic lantern show - that was very good.

Tim laycock was involved in that as well.

many of the songs you have selected have great stories attached to them.

best of luck - I believe in this in this sort of work. Folksong can tell astory much faster than the punchiest video.

I know Brian peters does some work in schools - mostly about conditions for children in the indusrial revolution. I've no doubt, he will give you better practical advice than I could.

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Old Songs & Stories; For me, for Kids
From: Anne Lister
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 05:37 PM

There's a lot of storytelling going on in the UK, quite a bit of it in schools, but it sounds as if Saul is in the US. To find out what's available, try using Google as there are several really useful sites with lots of stories and links to other stories as well as to storytellers, festivals, clubs and more. Mudcat tends to be more about music.
As to what sort of repertoire you should acquire, the only rock solid guarantee I know is that you should follow your own instinct as to what inspires you and what you feel most comfortable with. Trying to find out what appeals to youngsters is probably not the best way to go, as young people vary as much as older ones in what they like and in my experience they will be fascinated by a real person performing live in front of them and ready to listen more attentively than you might expect. I've worked in schools here in the UK as well as in the US and most of my experience has been with "difficult" kids, so I hope this is useful.

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Old Songs & Stories; For me, for Kids
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 07:39 PM

There's a couple of recent threads about the Pete Seegar film, the power of music. You have a couple of his songs from that film in your list. He reckons that singing for children is his favourite singing experience. If you have not seen it you can find it on youtube. You really are in the best of company

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Old Songs & Stories; For me, for Kids
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 02:50 AM

That's a fine list of songs, Saul. (I could do without Wimoweh...)

It's a good idea, IMO, to include more recent material. There's a slew of great American songwriters who have produced a stellar body of material over the past 30 years; some names that come to mind --

Steve Earle
Lucinda Williams
Gillian Welch
Darrell Scott (check out his A href="">"You'll never leave Harlan alive".

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Old Songs & Stories; For me, for Kids
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 02:52 AM

Sorry, that link didn't work out.

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