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'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'

GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Nov 11 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Nov 11 - 11:59 AM
Lighter 26 Nov 11 - 12:00 PM
open mike 26 Nov 11 - 12:08 PM
open mike 26 Nov 11 - 12:11 PM
Arkie 26 Nov 11 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,SteveG 26 Nov 11 - 12:42 PM
The Sandman 26 Nov 11 - 12:48 PM
Don Firth 26 Nov 11 - 01:37 PM
Mark Ross 26 Nov 11 - 01:43 PM
GUEST 26 Nov 11 - 01:45 PM
Gy Morris man 26 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM
The Sandman 26 Nov 11 - 02:55 PM
RTim 26 Nov 11 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Nov 11 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,matt milton 26 Nov 11 - 03:20 PM
Paul Burke 26 Nov 11 - 03:28 PM
Brian Peters 26 Nov 11 - 03:37 PM
Suffet 26 Nov 11 - 03:46 PM
Elmore 26 Nov 11 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Nov 11 - 04:49 PM
Tattie Bogle 26 Nov 11 - 04:49 PM
Rob Naylor 27 Nov 11 - 04:35 AM
Young Buchan 27 Nov 11 - 05:21 AM
Young Buchan 27 Nov 11 - 06:06 AM
The Sandman 27 Nov 11 - 06:24 AM
Young Buchan 27 Nov 11 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,SteveG 27 Nov 11 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 27 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM
babypix 27 Nov 11 - 11:40 AM
Will Fly 27 Nov 11 - 11:52 AM
Tim Leaning 27 Nov 11 - 02:44 PM
Tootler 27 Nov 11 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,mg 27 Nov 11 - 10:07 PM
Gy Morris man 28 Nov 11 - 03:17 AM
theleveller 28 Nov 11 - 04:14 AM
Valmai Goodyear 28 Nov 11 - 04:32 AM
Banjiman 28 Nov 11 - 05:52 AM
The Sandman 28 Nov 11 - 06:23 AM
Paul Davenport 28 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM
Sailor Ron 28 Nov 11 - 10:59 AM
The Sandman 28 Nov 11 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 28 Nov 11 - 05:12 PM
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Subject: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 11:46 AM

Now and again you will see comments on Youtube where someone is surprised that a particular song was composed recently rather than being a genuine product of an earlier period.
Have you ever been fooled to thinking that a modern contemporary folk song actually dated from a much earlier time(19th century for example).


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 11:59 AM

Thinking about it, I suppose lots of Mudcaters will have examples of such compositions.
But, which is the one example that really, really surprised you!


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:00 PM

Bob Coltman's "Son of Child" ballads could fool anybody.

Read all about 'em: thread.cfm?threadid=104920

Well done, Bob.

Some of Martin Carthy's versions are so rewritten as to be practically new. Try "Long John, Old John, and Jackie North" for starters.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: open mike
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:08 PM

A whole panel of judges were fooled into thinking that "Darcy Farrow" was a traditional song...it won a prize in a contest designed for such songs. Only later did they find out that it was newly composed, at the time. It was composed by Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell in 1965. It is often mistakenly attributed to John Denver, as he recorded it on HIS Rocky Mt.HIGH ALBUM IN 1972.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: open mike
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:11 PM

Nanci Griffith sings Darcy Farrow


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Arkie
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:15 PM

David Massengill's 'Fairfax County' and Damon Black's 'Jake Satterfield' were presented to me as 'folk' songs and I did consider that possibility. But the 'Fairfax County' tale tied together a little to neatly and 'Jake Satterfield' was such a good song (as is Fairfax County) that I wondered why I had not heard it year's earlier. Both songs certainly have a real flavor of a 'folk' song.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:42 PM

2 Yorkshire examples.

Many times Keith Marsden's 'Bring us a Barrel' has been mistaken for a much earlier song.

I was recording a traditional West Sheffield singer about 6 years ago when he launched into a song I hadn't heard before called 'The Loud Auctioneer' about a farmer attending the auction of all his stock after going bankrupt. It blew me away but I neglected at the time to get the background on it. Excitedly I rang another retired farmer/singer from another part of the county. I described the song to him. His response, 'Ah can give yer chapter an' voss on that. Ah wrote it!'


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 12:48 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peA18SO9afUhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peA18SO9afU, and this one written by richard graingerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9k0HmPElec


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 01:37 PM

"Copper Kettle." I learned it in the late 1950s from a Bob Gibson record a friend loaned me, and maybe I should have read the liner notes more carefully.

I'd been singing it for some time when the idea occurred to me to combine it with a somewhat plaintive version of "Moonshiner" that I learned from Rolf Cahn. I'd go from "Copper Kettle" right into "Moonshiner," and it worked beautifully. The combination became enough of a signature song of mine that when we had a "coffeehouse reunion" concert in 1991, when I started my guitar intro to the combination, the old-timers in the crowd (habitués of The Place Next Door and Pamir House back when) burst into applause! Wow! Heady stuff!

Anyhoo, after singing "Copper Kettle" for years, assuming that it was traditional, I learned that it was written in 1953 by Frank Beddoe for a "folk opera" he wrote.

Surprise surprise!!

Don Firth

P. S. I've collected (blatently swiped) a lot of songs from Gordon Bok's records and I have to check his liner notes carefully to know whether a particular song is traditional or if he wrote it. I find that they seem practically indistinguishable. If Gordon wrote it, I'll sing it anyway, but I want to be sure to give proper credit.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 01:43 PM

At a conference on coal mining, an old man got up and announced that he was going to sing an old song that expressed how he felt about his home state of West Virginia, and proceeded
to sing Utah PhIllips' GREEN ROLLING HILLS OF WEST VIRGINIA. Archie Green, the eminent folklorist, labor historian, and ethno-proctologist turned to Utah afterwards and said that he would introduce Utah as the author of that song. Phillips told him no to, because he was proud to think that his piece could become part of the tradition.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 01:45 PM

Would love to listen,Dick but the sound quality is very poor. Can not hear a word you are saying or singing?


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Gy Morris man
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 01:56 PM

Fiddlers Green that famous (Irish) folk song was written by John Connoly of Cleethorpes Lincolnshire.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 02:55 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9k0HmPElechttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9k0HmPElec very clear anonymous guest[ i thought anonymous guests were deleted] get a hearing aid


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: RTim
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 02:58 PM

How about - Ian Robb's - Old Rose & Crown.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:17 PM

"to sing Utah PhIllips' GREEN ROLLING HILLS OF WEST VIRGINIA. Archie Green, the eminent folklorist, labor historian, and ethno-proctologist turned to Utah afterwards and said that he would introduce Utah as the author of that song. Phillips told him no to, because he was proud to think that his piece could become part of the tradition."

I suspect Utah probably also just didn't want to embarrass the guy. A very noble gentleman was that Mr Phillips.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:20 PM

I've sang "Miner's Refrain" by Gillian Welch a few times and had people ask about it afterwards. They've been surprised to be told it was written in the 1990s. Not a decade known for songs about mining in Tennessee.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:28 PM

Cawsand Bay (or M-Cawsand\Bay if you're Dave Burland) surprised me in the opposite sense- I thought it was a recent composition, but it turned out to date to the 1880s at latest. But other real surprises were that many of the classic "Cockney" songs associated with the Blitz, like "Mybey it's becawse i'm a Landaner", are post-War compositions.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:37 PM

'Poverty Knock'


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Suffet
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:46 PM

While they are not recent compositions, here are four more examples of songs I have heard described as traditional. The last two date back to the 19th century, so maybe they are old enough to have "gone into the tradition." Nevertheless, in all cases the published sheet music exists and the composers are known.

I'll Fly Away, written by Albert E. Brumley.

The Mingulay Boat Song, written Sir Hugh S. Roberton. He adapted the melody from a traditional air.

Oh, Dem [sic] Golden Slippers, written by James Bland.

Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill, written by Thomas Casey and Charles Connolly.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Elmore
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:41 PM

May Song by Dave Webber. A lot of Dave's songs sound like they might be traditional.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:49 PM

Gillian Welch

She's got her finger on the old pulse for sure, songs like Caleb Myer, The Devil Had a Hold of Me and Rock of Ages have a rare reek of the 'real' about them. All of this goes to confirm my theory on the idiomatic derivation of Folk Song as a whole. Our dear friend & colleague Ron Baxter has as canny knack at this too; his roughly hewn words inspire melodies that feel ancient - they appear as mediumistically as ectoplasm when you begin working on them - like THIS, which often gets taken for an old song, but dates to around 2007. Timeless!


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:49 PM

"The Earl O' March's daughter" by the late Lionel McClelland, sung here by Mike Lamont.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooyo1rWVYmY


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 04:35 AM

@ Brian Peters:

We discussed Poverty Knock in 2010:

Poverty Knock Thread

While some people say that Tom Daniel wrote the song, I think it's fairer to say that he more likely re-adapted it, or "rescued" it.

I definitely remember my mum singing bits of it in the 1950s and her and her sisters could sing it straight off when it first came on the radio. They remembered singing versions of it in Popplewell Mill near Cleckheaton (very close to Batley where TD worked) in the 1930s.

So I think that one may be a bit of a red herring, unlike, say, Fiddler's Green, Shoals of Herring, Safe Harbour Tonight, etc, where we know with 100% certainty who wrote them and when.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 05:21 AM

As Lighter suggests, the problem comes at the margins with rewrites. Sally Gardens is by Yeats with 3 lines of You Rambling Boys of Pleasure which is Trad. O'Casey wrote Red Roses For Me, but I've heard enough elderly drunken Irishmen tell me he stole bits it from a traditional song to make me wonder - probably not since if you buy them a couple more drinks they will usually tell you that he stole it from them personally!


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 06:06 AM

And if you really want a complication: I was once roundly abused in a Folk Club after performing the William Delf version of the Grimsby Fishing Disaster (author known, but song pushing 120)for doing a 'modern' version, instead of the 'authentic' Three Score and Ten (rewriter unknown, but song not yet three score and ten)!


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 06:24 AM

The 3 SCORE AND TEN[or grimsby fishing disaster that has been folk processed[IMo] is better.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 07:12 AM

Thanks Dick!
I actually think that on this occasion the usually benign folk process completely eviscerated it, rather as Leadbelly's Who's Going To Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet is not what you might exactly call an improvement on Elizabeth Cronin's Lord Gregory.
Chaqu'un a son gout


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 10:39 AM

Whilst I'm sure most of us here think that folk-processed songs are improvements on the originals, this can only be a matter of opinion!


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM

According to Pete Coe, 'Joseph Baker' is apparently repeated listed as 'Trad.'

A few musicians, and the local press in Bakewell, were apparently surprised to learn that 'The Bakewell Witches' is not a traditional song (even if the story is). I should know.......copyright Don Wise 1974

I know-shameless plugging.......


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: babypix
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 11:40 AM

Larry Hanks' "Apple Picker's Reel" is a "new" song (1960s) and NOT traditional, composed by "Anonymous", or any other such citation we've seen!!!

www.larryhanks.com


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 11:52 AM

"Cornish Lads" by Roger Bryant.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 02:44 PM

Good Soldier Schweik

There is no problem with the singing on your vid link its just errr background noise and wind slightly going over the vocal sometimes still enjoyed listening though.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 05:12 PM

Dick,

I suspect the problem lies with Humber and Dogger rather than Whitby Whaler. Humber and Dogger is very quiet and it is difficult to hear the words. It is quite clear, but you need to turn the volume well up which can then introduce distortion from the amplifier which will then render it difficult to listen to.

Whitby Whaler is fine though, as Tim Leaning Says, the background wind noise might annoy some.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 10:07 PM

When was Fiddler's Green written and did it precede Wrap me up in my taurpalin jacket? mg


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Gy Morris man
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 03:17 AM

Fiddlers Green was written I think in 1967/8.
By John Connoly of Grimsby in lincolnshire.
I was present when he first public performance at the Grimsby folk song club.
Also i heard the man himself do the song last night at the current Grimsby folk song club.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 04:14 AM

I once had the very funny experience of hearing someone singing one of my songs at a singaround and claiming that it was traditional. I think it's because it uses the old Yorkshire beggars' prayer "From Hull, Hell and Halifax, good Lord deliver me," which goes back to at least the early 1600s and has been used in quite a few songs over time.He took a lot of convincing that I'd written it.

Beggars' Litany


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 04:32 AM

I can't stop myself mentioning this on several threads at the moment as it's relevant. There's an all-day workshop on songwriting in the tradition with the wonderful
Jez Lowe
at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club on 24th. November 2012. Jez performs at the club in the evening. Full details will be on the club website about four months before the event.

If you'd like to go on the mailing list for this and other workshops, please email me on valmaigoodyear[at]aol[dot]com.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 05:52 AM

I think this sounds old:

Lass O'Gowrie


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 06:23 AM

I agree Banjiman, very good song, well performed, I found the words clearer on this take
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1efoaQ4cT-A&feature=related


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 10:49 AM

Yup, 'Lass O'Gowrie' sounds right. I don't think 'old' is the right word however, 'authentic' is better. She's kept it simple and been willing to twist the grammar occasionally to make the rhyme, both of which are features of traditional song. This one works because you can't pin it down in time.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 10:59 AM

Alan Bell's "Bread and Fishes", another song that has been ascribed to the 'Irish Tradition'. Alan also tells of a night in a Yorkshire Folk Club where his "Alice White" was sung, and the singer was adamant that his grandmother knew "Alice", and he had got the song from her!


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 12:27 PM

ron, bread and fishes may have been ascribed to the irish tradition , but i would say it does not sound traditional to my ears, that is no reflection on it as a song,just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: 'Authentic' new 'old folk songs'
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 28 Nov 11 - 05:12 PM

Tommy Daniels did however write "Eighteenpence On The Bed" to the Poverty Knock tune. Am I the only one who remembers him singing it?


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