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Is it Really Folk Music???

Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 04:49 AM
theleveller 22 Aug 12 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Stim 22 Aug 12 - 05:25 AM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 05:32 AM
Ole Juul 22 Aug 12 - 05:43 AM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 05:53 AM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 06:31 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Aug 12 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Ed 22 Aug 12 - 07:19 AM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 07:21 AM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,wyrdolafr 22 Aug 12 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,wyrdolafr 22 Aug 12 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,999 22 Aug 12 - 07:44 AM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,999 22 Aug 12 - 07:55 AM
PHJim 22 Aug 12 - 12:03 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 12:06 PM
Spleen Cringe 22 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM
PHJim 22 Aug 12 - 12:20 PM
Leadfingers 22 Aug 12 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Stim 22 Aug 12 - 02:15 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 02:31 PM
Elmore 22 Aug 12 - 02:38 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 02:56 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Aug 12 - 03:07 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 03:19 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 03:22 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Aug 12 - 08:12 PM
Don Firth 22 Aug 12 - 08:43 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 08:51 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 09:08 PM
Don Firth 22 Aug 12 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 22 Aug 12 - 09:26 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 09:35 PM
Henry Krinkle 22 Aug 12 - 09:41 PM
Don Firth 22 Aug 12 - 09:51 PM
John P 22 Aug 12 - 11:05 PM
John P 22 Aug 12 - 11:21 PM
GUEST,Stim 23 Aug 12 - 12:26 AM
Don Firth 23 Aug 12 - 12:32 AM
Larry The Radio Guy 23 Aug 12 - 01:24 AM
Don Firth 23 Aug 12 - 02:44 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Aug 12 - 03:00 AM
Henry Krinkle 23 Aug 12 - 03:16 AM
Henry Krinkle 23 Aug 12 - 04:16 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 12 - 04:27 AM
GUEST, Sminky 23 Aug 12 - 05:22 AM
Henry Krinkle 23 Aug 12 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Stan 23 Aug 12 - 05:41 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 04:49 AM

Is it? If the person singing and playing has only experience the folk lifestyle from afar and out of songbooks? Singing about cotton picking, chaingangs, murdering their baby, hoboing, pawn shops, etc. Or is it just poser music?
If you haven't lived it, it shows in your music.
Cute and funny, but not the real thing.
Like Son House called it, Monkey Junk.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: theleveller
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:02 AM

Ooooer! The words "cat" and "pigeons" spring to mind. Pass me my tin hat, mother.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:25 AM

You really did it this time, Henry.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:32 AM

Well. I've lived it. I didn't pick up guitar in a college dorm room.
I picked it up in reform school. And lived my life with the hot Georgia sun beating on my skin. Working construction. Operating heavy equipment.Not fluorescent lighting.
Working in an office. Growing fatter and fatter.
(:-( D)=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Ole Juul
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:43 AM

Working construction. Operating heavy equipment.Not fluorescent lighting. Working in an office. Growing fatter and fatter.

Where I live, people work mostly with heavy equipment doing mining and road work. A few more gentle souls work in construction. It seems to me that someone who had actually worked in the exotic world of an office with florescent lighting would have a more colourful and interesting story to tell. YMMV


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 05:53 AM

Yea. All about office politics.
He's using my coffee cup.
She stole my pen.
The boss says I have to work late.
BlahBlahBlahYakYakYakYak!
(:-( P)=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 06:31 AM

But tonight they'll go to a hootenanny and sing about being lynched on the chaingang by the Captain. For being his wife's back door man.
And drinking his whiskey.And not picking enough cotton fast enough.
(:-( O)=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:11 AM

Oi 'enry (:-(O)= away.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:19 AM

We have a term for people such as Mr Kringle around these parts:

"Complete prick"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:21 AM

Oohhh!Methinks I touched a nerve!!
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:26 AM

It really doesn't take much to elicit curses and namecalling here.
Just ask simple questions
And be attacked for asking them.
Shame on you.
(:-( P)=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,wyrdolafr
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:32 AM

"songs about murdering your baby"

I wonder how many people who sang those kinds of songs back in Ye Olden Folke Times, actually killed their own babies? Not many I presume, such an admission of infanticide would probably got you as far as the 3rd verse before the audience turned on you and some form of constabularly was trying to get to you (to hang you officially) before the mob did (unofficially).

Similarly, do people have to commit crimes in order to have 'permission' to sing about criminals. I've been in prison myself, but would have had to have specifically been in Folsom before I sang 'Folsom Prison Blues'?

There's a lot of social commentary in folk music which is still relevant today. Whilst the specifics might be different (in Britain, there's very few 'folk jobs' left following the downscaling of employment in heavy and light industry), the principles are the same: people at the bottom of the pile getting shafted by the people at the top of the pile.

Also, since a lot of those jobs are no longer in existence, a peek into a world that no longer exists in the same way is pretty important. Lots of miners and agricultural labourers in my family tree and songs involving that kind of work are of interest to me: those folk stories are my relatives stories and I'd rather stories like that weren't forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,wyrdolafr
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:38 AM

The ultimate conclusion of this argument is people can only sing songs they've wrote themselves as, no baby murder, prison song, work song &c will every really be specific enough to the singer otherwise. Not sure many folkies will be happy about that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:44 AM

Well, folks, ya don't have to drive vehicles to sell them, but the experience sure helps.

Certain kinds of folk music have tales to tell that can and do convey wisdom, mostly homespun. I also don't think ya have to be hanged to arrive at the conclusion lynching isn't a good thing, and singing about it after the fact ain't gonna happen--well, not unless yer Clint Eastwood in whatever that movie was, but he didn't sing that I recall.

I think Henry asks a good question (and I also think he did it to rattle a few chains). The view from a piece of heavy machinery will be different than that from a horse or a jail cell, as it will be for sighted and non-sighted people. Enter the role of the observer, interpreter, presenter. If we demanded that only experienced people gain more experience, when we croak there will be scads and oodles of folks who can't do a damned thing. Hell, witness the state of Congress!

All that aside, have a lovely day.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:51 AM

Sing what you want to sing. But know yourself. And where you come from.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 07:55 AM

With you all the way on that, Henry.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: PHJim
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 12:03 PM

WHITE COLLAR HOLLER (to the tune of Lining Track)

Well, I rise up every morning at a quarter to eight
Some woman who's my wife tells me not to be late
I kiss the kids goodbye, I can't remember their names
And week after week, it's always the same

And it's Ho, boys, can't you code it, and program it right
Nothing ever happens in the life of mine
I'm hauling up the data on the Xerox line

Then it's code in the data, give the keyboard a punch
Then cross-correlate and break for some lunch
Correlate, tabulate, process and screen
Program, printout, regress to the mean

Then it's home again, eat again, watch some TV
Make love to my woman at ten-fifty-three
I dream the same dream when I'm sleeping at night
I'm soaring over hills like an eagle in flight

Someday I'm gonna give up all the buttons and things
I'll punch that time clock till it can't ring
Burn up my necktie and set myself free
Cause no one's gonna fold, bend or mutilate me.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Written by Nigel Russell
Dedicated to the city of Bramalea,Ontario,Canada


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 12:06 PM

Very very good.
Sing about your life experience.
Not someone elses.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM

Plenty of songs aren't about work, thankfully. Some of us want to forget the day job when we get home...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: PHJim
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 12:20 PM

Yuppy Blues (3rd verse by Martin Mull)

Well since my woman left me, I don't know what to think.
Yes since that woman left me, I just don't know what to think.
Guess I'll pop another Valium and go and call my shrink.

Well I took my BMW down to the tune up stand.
Yes I took my Beemer down to the tune up stand.
Said, "Check the fuel injection, Pleeeeaaase Mr. Tune Up Man."

Woke up this afternoon and found that both of my cars were gone.
Woke up this afternoon and found that both my cars were gone.
I got so God damned mad I threw my drink across the lawn.


Now here's a guy who's lived the life he's singin' about.
"You've got to suffer if you wanna sing the blues." D. Bromberg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 02:08 PM

Henry - WAS that a serious question ? Or are y0u just another Wind Up Merchant trying to cause trouble in here ?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 02:15 PM

The murderers who sing from their own experience have relatively short musical careers, as summed up here:

"The judges and the jurymen, on me they did agree,
For murdering of this pretty fair maid; so hangèd I shall be."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 02:31 PM

I didn't call it Monkey Junk.
Son House did.
(:-( 0)=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Elmore
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 02:38 PM

I have vowed never to respond to a henry kringle response again. This is a non-response


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 02:56 PM

(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 03:07 PM

(:-())=

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 03:19 PM

(:-( 0)=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 03:22 PM

(:-( D)=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 08:12 PM

Working hard in the hot sun gives you a red neck, but not necessarily authenticity.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 08:43 PM

< screed on >

One can draw a distinction between a "folk singer" and a "singer of folk songs."

And one may quibble 'til hell freezes over about who is which (as is the wont of many who inhabit these threads here on Mudcat), but bear with me for the moment until you see where I'm going with this.

A "folk singer" would be a member of "the folk" (whatever that is). But to clarify that, let's go back to the root of the term "folk song." It was first used by the eighteenth century German philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder. Among other things, Von Herder was into matters of nationalism and national identity, and he recommended to composers of classical music that if they wished to imbue their music with a national character, they study the indigenous music of the country, and incorporate its elements and themes in their own compositions.

Such as Sibelius did with works like "Finlandia," or Rimsky-Korsakov did when he tried to capture the flavor of Spain with his "Capriccio Español," or Ralph Vaughn Williams, an English composer, does with "Fantasia on Greensleeves."

"Volkslieder" (folk songs) was the term von Herder used. And this, as far as scholars have been able to determine, was the first use of the term "folk song" as a specific category of music, i.e., the music and songs of, again according to von Herder, the "rural, peasant class."

A "folk singer" is a member of this "rural peasant" class who sings folk songs of his or her own region.

A "singer of folk songs" would be a person of any class or locality who sings folk songs of any region or nationality.

There are other terms that may be even more appropriate in this latter case. Richard Dyer-Bennet, born in England, the son of a member of the English peerage, and raised in the United States, and a classically trained singer and guitarist, included many folk songs in his repertoire. But he did not refer to himself as a "folk singer" or even use terms like "singer of folk songs." He also sang songs of his own or other's composition which are distinctly not folk songs, but most of the songs in his large repertoire were folk songs.

He prefered the term "minstrel." A minstrel was a singer who often travelled from place to place, singing—and accompanying himself on a small, portable instrument—in the courts of the nobility, or in the town square (we call this "busking" these days), picking up songs as he went. He was a professional musician, because in order to keep doing it, he had to make a living at it.

Dyer-Bennet—and many other "singers of folk songs" who are not members of the rural, peasant class—make their livings basically the same way. One can still sing on the streets (busk), but there are also clubs, coffee houses, concert halls, television, folk festivals—and house concerts, which is getting close to performing in the halls of aristocrats who hired minstrels (or even such august musicians as Mozart or Beethoven) to perform in their salons for the entertainment of their guests and friends. One need not be prince or aristocrat these days; but one does need a house with a large enough room.

Minstrel. Or the French equivalent, troubadour. Or the Scandinavian skop or skald. Or the Celtic bard.

I am not a "folk singer" because I am not a member of the "rural peasant class." I was born in Los Angeles and, with the exception of a few side-trips such as Denver, the San Francisco Bay area, Vancouver, B. C., and Kingston, Ontario, I have spent most of my life in Seattle—hence, not "rural." Both of my parents were health care professionals and would be considered "professional class." Most of the jobs I have held, other than singing, although singing, too—engineering aide, technical writer and editor, radio announcer and newscaster—would also be considered "professional."    Including performing and teaching music.

But this does not preclude my right to sing folk songs and ballads. Or anything else, for that matter.

I do not have to have been on the deck of an English man o'war in the midst of a pitched battle with Barbary pirates to sing "High Barbaree," or have spent time in a logging camp to sing "Blue Mountain Lake," or be hanged to sing "McPherson's Fareweel." Or spent time in prison to sing "The Midnight Special." And I don't have to be a woman to be able to sing "Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies" or "He Came from his Palace Grand."

As long as I understand the song myself, and can put that understanding and emotions across to an audience.

I do not try to pass myself off as a member of "the folk." Frankly, I take a dim view of those city born-and-raised singers who learned all their songs from records and song books—where, incidentally, I learned the vast majority of the songs I sing—who try to pass themselves off as "rural peasant class" by dressing in their "scuzzies" before going on stage, or who affect a dialect or accent not their own. I have known singers who did that, but I've never done it myself. Save in some of the songs themselves, which may require dialect or accent if the song is to make sense. Singing "The Bonny Earl of Moray" without affecting a Scottish accent would be pretty damned lame!

Out of respect for my audiences, I dress well before I appear on stage. Not a tux, like Dyer-Bennet, but frequently in grey slacks, a light cotton turtle-neck sweater, and a navy-blue blazer (no brass buttons so as not to scratch the back of my guitar). Not quite formal, but not informal either.

However, I see nothing wrong in, say, Mike Seeger, Tom Paley, and John Cohen dressing in plaid shirts and bib overalls and doing a lot of "hayseed" clowning around on stage as "The New Lost City Ramblers." This is their "act," and they're not trying to fool anyone into thinking that they're genuinely "country boys" rather than guys from the big city.

Whether a song is a folk song or not is determined by the song. Nor by the person who sings it.

And—I reserve the right to sing any song I damned well please. And if someone doesn't like it, he doesn't have to listen to me.

< screed off >

Don Firth

P. S. Trying to put someone down for singing folk songs when he or she is not a member of the rural peasant class and not having been in prison and not laboring their life away in a hot, sunbaked field, etc. is a bit like bitching at Sir Lawrence Olivier for playing Hamlet when Olivier is neither a prince nor a Dane!

Sorta stoopud!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 08:51 PM

Monkey Junk
Son House's words
Not mine
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 09:08 PM

It's an act. Not your story. Sing your story.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 09:11 PM

Monkey Junk, eh? I presume you're referring to the rock band.

Ever hear of The Tragically Hip?
Since their formation in 1983 they have released 12 studio albums, two live albums, and 46 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 in Canada. They have received numerous Canadian Music awards, including 14 Juno Awards.
My nephew, Rob Baker, is lead guitarist in that group.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is it Really Folk Music???(:-( 0)=
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 09:26 PM

I'm not entirely in disagreement with Henry Krinkle on this one...

so it's fortunate I'm not a singer
as I'd have to restrict myself to only singing songs authentic to my current social status and lifestyle
of mainly eating, sleeping, shitting, shagging
and wasting a few hours each day watching TV and effing about on the internet...

Are there any folk songs about sitting on the sofa watching TV
with a bottle of cider and a bag of tortilla chips,
and giving the wife an affectionate grope up the front of her jumper
during the ad breaks..???


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 09:35 PM

Son House defined the blues in his performances. It's either the blues, or it's just Monkey Junk. His words.
(:-( P)=


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 09:41 PM

Cute and funny.
But not the real deal.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 09:51 PM

I don't do blues. Not because I don't like it, but because I'm not good at it.

One should know one's limitations.

And heed that knowledge.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: John P
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 11:05 PM

Is it really folk music?

Yes. Just like classical music is really classical music and country music is really country music and rap is really rap.

I don't give a rat's ass what someone does for a living. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not they are real. It has nothing whatever to do with whether or not the songs they sing are folk music.

I work in an office now. Like most people, I've had lots of jobs, including construction, factory work, landscaping, and music. Do I get to be a "real" folkie? Do I? Huh? Huh?

Are these folk songs?
The Jolly Wagoner
John Barleycorn
The Devil and the Farmer's Wife
The Cruel Mother

Who is authorized to sing them as a real folkie? What do you call these songs if they are sung by an fake folkie? Do they suddenly become faux folk? How many highwaymen are riding around on horses using a flintlock and rapier to steal from passers-by? Does any song that no one, today, can experience firsthand need to be sent to the dustbin?

The first music I ever played was the blues. I taught myself. I'm a white guy from the American Midwest. I play the blues. By definition, that means I'm a bluesman. If Henry is saying that I don't play the blues (or folk), he can go fuck himself along with the elitist, exclusionary horse he rode in on. If Henry is just posting bullshit in order to start an argument, he can go fuck himself twice.


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: John P
Date: 22 Aug 12 - 11:21 PM

It's either the blues, or it's just Monkey Junk. His words.

Actually, your words. You're the one who posted them. I don't care at all what Son House thinks the blues are or aren't. He's not in this discussion. You are. Trying to push your offensive comments off onto someone famous is cowardly. If you're going to talk, own up to your words.

Just out of curiosity, what is monkey junk and how does it relate to the playing of music? And does posting an inane comment multiple times make you think it's more true, or that repetition suddenly makes it sagacious?


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 12:26 AM

You have a real gift for annoying people, Henry. Not just the people who like to get annoyed, either. People who usually manage to keep their perspective.


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 12:32 AM

I suspect that that is his main aim.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 01:24 AM

But at the same time....while I don't prescribe to the belief that you have to have 'been there' in order to sing about something......I do get tired of people who are going through the motions singing songs that they have no understand of, no real affinity for, and no ability to interpret in any meaningful way.

I choose songs to sing because somehow they mean something to me.   No, I don't have to explain to people why (nor does anybody else).

So there's a part of me that kind of resonates with Henry's rant.


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 02:44 AM

I can agree with you on that, Larry. During the early 1960s, there were a number of coffee houses here in Seattle that offered folk music as entertainment, and with the advent of the various popular "folk" groups such as the Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, the New Christy Minstrels, and of course solo singers such as Bob Gibson and Joan Baez, there were kids crawling out of the woodwork, teaching themselves enough guitar chords to get by, and learning songs off records. Some of them landed jobs in the coffee houses, and I'm afraid I have to say that the vast majority of them were pretty gawdawful. Most of them vanished from sight when the Beatles came along, the "British Invasion" started, and folk music was no longer pop music's "flavor of the month." But a few stuck around, learned what folk music was about, and got pretty good.

The big problem was that all too many of them didn't have a clue as to what they were singing about. They'd learned it from a record, and if they knew anything about the song at all, it was what they got off the liner notes—if any.

I had taken some voice lessons before I became interested in folk music. And when I decided I wanted to make a career of being a modern-day minstrel, I took more singing lessons—not to sound like an opera singer, but to be able to use my voice without doing the kind of damage to it that I knew could happen if you abuse your voice.

One of my teachers asked me to bring my guitar to the lessons, and after going through the routine of vocal exercises and voice technique, he would have me sing whatever song I was learning at the time. He would often stop me and ask, "What does that line mean?" Now, he knew what it meant, but he just wanted to make sure that I knew what it meant and wasn't just singing it by rote.

This got me into really researching the background of any song I sang, and making certain that I understood what it was all about. And could put that across to my audiences. And I think I think I learned how to do that pretty well.

Not that I'm so flamin' brilliant, I just had some good teachers along the line.

This is one of the reasons that I recommend that those interested in singing folk songs seriously don't shy away from taking a few lessons. It won't make them sound like an opera singer (I know a lot of aspiring opera singers who wish it was that easy, but it bloody-well isn't). They can teach you how to keep your singing voice healthy, AND you can never tell what other good things you might learn from a good teacher—such as, "What does that line mean?"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 03:00 AM

Krinkle demonstrates again that he is an ignoramus - ignorant of the basic difference between a folksinger and a folksong singer.


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 03:16 AM

Namecalling and insults.
Refuge of the weakminded ignoramus.
I quoted Son House.
I didn't put words in his mouth.
Howlin' Wolf didn't think much of white city kid blues players either.
(:-( P)=


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 04:16 AM

A folk song singer is kind of like a parrot, right?
And Don, early, very early in my thread I stated that you should know who you are and where you came from. If you want to be authentic.
Or just keep putting on a cute and funny act.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 04:27 AM

I realise this is a windup but, for what it's worth, a singer is like a storyteller; their job is to tell the story not live it - that's what life is for .


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 05:22 AM

A great while ago there was a schoolboy
who lived in a cottage by the sea,
And the very first thing he could remember
was the rigging of the schooners by the quay.
He could watch 'em from his bedroom window
with the big cranes a-hauling out the freight,
And he used to dream of shipping as a sea-cook
and a-sailing for the Golden Gate.

He used to buy the yellow penny dreadfuls,
he'd read 'em where he fished for conger eels,
As he listened to the slapping of the water
the green and oily water round the keels,
There were trawlers with their shark-mouthed flatfish
and the nets a-hanging out to dry,
And the skate the skipper kept because he liked 'em
and the landsmen never knew which ones to fry.
There were brigantines with timber out of Norway
just oozing with the syrups of the pine,
There were rusty dusty freighters out of Sunderland
and clippers of the Blue Cross Line.

To tumble down the hatch into a cabin
was better than the best of broken rules,
For the smell of 'em was like a Christmas dinner
and the feel of 'em was like a box of tools,
And before he went to sleep in the evenings
the last thing that he would ever see,
Was the sailormen a-dancing in the moonlight
by the capstan that stood beside the quay.

Now he's sitting on a high-stool in London,
the Golden Gate is far away,
For they caught him like a squirrel and they caged him,
now he's totting up accounts and turning grey,
And he'll never get to San Francisco
and the last thing that he will ever see,
Is the sailormen a-dancing in the moonlight
by the capstan that stands beside the quay.
To the tune of the old concertina
by the capstan that stands beside the quay.

Alfred Noyes, The Old Grey Squirrel


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 05:34 AM

I don't know how to do links here, but go to youtube. Search Son House Monkey Junk ...Watch the Son House interview. Not the white wannabe bluesmen (boys?) (:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Is it Really Folk Music???
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 23 Aug 12 - 05:41 AM

Try this as a definition.

Folk music is an attempt to recreate the popular music of previous generations of your own or other cultures.

If this is the case then singing about working on a chain line in a country you never visited is folk music and singing about working in your own office is a parody of folk music.

If someone has already made this point I apologise. This thread has got a lot longer since I last read it.


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