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Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?

GUEST,Mary 27 Feb 14 - 06:30 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 14 - 08:45 AM
Willa 27 Feb 14 - 09:56 AM
GUEST 27 Feb 14 - 10:05 AM
Bert 27 Feb 14 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Feb 14 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,EKanne 27 Feb 14 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Feb 14 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,gillymor 27 Feb 14 - 01:46 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Feb 14 - 01:55 PM
MikeL2 27 Feb 14 - 02:32 PM
Joe Offer 27 Feb 14 - 03:35 PM
Bert 27 Feb 14 - 03:37 PM
Richard Mellish 27 Feb 14 - 04:14 PM
mg 27 Feb 14 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,henryp 28 Feb 14 - 01:45 AM
Bert 28 Feb 14 - 01:56 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Feb 14 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,Guest - Lin 28 Feb 14 - 03:01 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST,Mary
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 06:30 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and fairly novice when it comes to folk music =) I was wondering whether I could get some ideas/recommendations for which songs I could try next which might suit my voice...

To give you an idea, songs that I already have in my set list include things like Beeswing, Willie O' Winsbury, Fear a bhata, and the Creggan White Hare. I like to get a good mixture of songs but would like more English songs as I'm English so I feel kind of guilty having a set list that's mostly Irish music!...

I have a fairly high voice (A below middle C to high E/F when singing folk, higher when singing in my classical register). I've been told I have quite an 'irish' voice and enjoy performing decorations when I sing.

I hope this doesn't sound like an inane post but if anybody knows of any other nice songs I could have a look at/cover please let me know! At the moment I'm looking into doing Blackwaterside, possibly Reynardine and I'd like to try Bold Doherty by Niamh Parsons too...

Thank you,

M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 08:45 AM

Listen to as many singers as you possibly can - and try to sound like none of them.
You have your own voice, explore it as far as you are able and push it to its limits, then expand those limits.
Listening to the older singers helps enormously in this - you don't want to sound like an octogenarian (presuming you aren't), so you are forced to rely on your own resources.
No harm in learning Irish songs as long as you don't try to sound what you are not - many of them Anglicise perfectly - many of the English language ones probably originated elsewhere anyway.
The best advice we ever got from traditional singers is that the words are far more important than the tunes when it comes to interpreting the songs, the latter is there to carry the former.
The English language song tradition is by and large a storytelling one, if you sing narrative songs you are a singer of tales.
Niamh Parsons is an extremely pleasant and skilfully singer, but if you want to learn Bold Doherty listen to Mary Anne Carolan's singing of it first - I'm pretty sure Niamh did.
If you want a good selection of Irish singers and songs (and English), become a member and P.M. me with a contact address - I'll be more than happy to supply you with a wide selection.
By the way - there's no such animal as "an Irish voice"
Best wishes
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Willa
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 09:56 AM

Hi Mary. Welcome to mudcat; joining is free and easy to do.

Black Waterside is one of my own favourites.

If you want to learn more 'English' songs you could listen to the Waterson/Carthy CDs - they sing many English songs, and encourage others to do the same.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 10:05 AM

What do you mean by "enjoy performing decorations when I sing" ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Bert
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 11:58 AM

Hi Mary, Jim Carroll gives some very good advice.

Some folk songs that I sing are

The Cornish Nightingale
Tom Pierce
Still I Love Him
The Night Visiting Song
The Barley Mow
A Roving
A New Jerusalem
Adam in the Garden
Beer Glorious Beer                
Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms        
Bheir Me O
Blow the Candle Out                
Blow the Man Down                
Blow Ye Winds in the Morning
Bonnie Lass of Fyvie                
Botany Bay
British Workman's Grave
Careless Love        
Carlton Weaver        
Cathewsalem
Chandler's Wife - The
Chivalrous Shark
Clementine                
Click Go The Shears
Columbus Landed Here                      
Columbus Stockade
Country Vicar                
Crawdad                                
Cripple Creek                
Cuckoo's Nest
Dahn the Plug'Ole                
Danny Boy
D-Day Dodgers
Dead or Alive                
Dear Ol' Dutch                
Dear Old Shannon Shore
Doodle Let Me Go                
Down by the Riverside                
Down in the Valley
Drunken Sailor        
Early One Morning
Ebeneezer - The
Fields of Athenry - The
Fireship - The
Foggy Dew                
Foggy Mountain Top
Fox - The        
Frankie and Johnny        
Froggy Went A Courting    D                
Frozen Logger
Gentleman Soldier
Gnat - The
Gold Rush is Over - The
Golden Vanity
Go to Sea Once More
Goodnight Irene
Goodnight Ladies
Green Grow the Rushes Oh        
Greenland Fisheries                
Gypsy Rover
Harbour Le Cou
Her Hair Hung Down in Ringlets
I Wish I Was Single Again                                
If I was the marrying kind
Ilkley Moor Baht 'At
I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
In Eleven More Months and Ten More Days        
In Me Liverpool Home
In Mobile
Island Woman
I've Got Sixpence        
Jamaica Farewell
Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye                
Johnny Todd                
Jug of Punch
Keeper - The                
Kilgarry Mountain
Last Farewell - The                        
Leave Her Johnny                
Leaving of Liverpool
Little Boxes        
Little Sally Racket
Maggie May            D                                
Mama Don't 'Low
Master McGrath       A                
Maybe it's Because I'm a Londoner                 
Mayor of Bayswater's Daughter
Mermaid -The
Michael Finnegan
My Gal's a Corker                
My God How the Money Rolls In
Nice Quiet Day        
Night Visiting Song           
No More Booze                                
Nobby Hall                                 
Noreen Bawn        
Nutting Girl
Oh Sir Jasper                
Old 97
Old King Cole
Old Sow Song
One Man Went to Mow
O'Reilly's Daughter        
Paddy Lay Back
Paper of Pins
Putting on the Style
Red River Valley
Robert Emmett
Roddy McCorley       D                
Roll Alabama Roll                
Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms                
Roll Your Leg Over        
Scarborough Fair                        
Seven Dear Old Ladies
South Australia       A                
Spanish Ladies
Thing - The
Thrashing Machine
Waltzing Matilda       A                                
Waters of Tyne
Whip Jamboree                
Whiskey Johnny
Wild Mountain Thyme   A                
Woad
Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies - The                
Wreck of Old 97


Well that is just a few to get you started. As Jim says sing in your own voice, Don't try to copy anyone. I know that some of these aren't strictly Folk. As you can guess I started with a few that came to mind and then I went to my song list.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 12:21 PM

Here's another idea:

At the upper right corner of the Mudcat page there's a box that says ":Lyrics and Knowledge Search." the bottom half of the box says "DT Lyrics,"

Clear as mud, ain't it? Well, DT stands for 'Digital Tradition', and the Digital Tradition is a collection of thousands of songs, many of its entries providing lyrics and music. I suggest you take one letter of the alphasbet a day and scan for songs that you know or that intrigue you.

It doesn't matter that your voice is high. If a song is too low, you just change the key. If you want help with that, get back to us.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST,EKanne
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 12:56 PM

How about 'The Blacksmith' ("A blacksmith courted me, nine months or better"); or any of the many versions of 'I Wish, I Wish, I Wish in Vain'; or the lovely American songs 'Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies' and 'Black is the Colour of My True Love's Hair'?

And you might also want to think about adding some chorus songs, so that others can add to the lovely noise.

But please try to do as Jim says -- listen to the singers, understand what the song is about, and then sing in your own voice.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 01:04 PM

Bert, your list of songs is most impressive. I didn't even know you were a singer!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 01:46 PM

A couple I started with about 40 years ago and still sing today are House Carpenter and Matty Groves and since you seem to be an RT fan "How Will I Ever Be Simple Again" and "1952 Vincent Black Lightning". My only rule is if I like I learn it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 01:55 PM

With all due respect to Jim's opinion, to which I normally listen with care I would suggest that you decide whether you want (mostly) to sing English, Scottish, Irish, or American. Or indeed contemporary and ARSS.

If you are going to do long ballads you have to be a consummate story-teller. But if you feel inventive it is possible to prune long ballads. I can get a version of Sir Patrick Spens done in about 5 minutes and at that duration there is an anthemic rock feel to the Nic Jones tune (with which I have taken some liberties).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: MikeL2
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 02:32 PM

Hi Bert

Yes what a long list of material.

I am interested to see Maybe It's Because I am a Londoner there !!

Because it was the first "folk song" that I sang in public.
I was in the RAF in at the time in Inverness and was not used to
the demon drink !!!

So having had a few " half & halfs " we ended up in a Scottish folk session. It was a sing-around and when it came to my turn I was embarrassed and tried to get out of it. But they insisted and ,even more embarrassly, I sang the only song I knew the words to.

Yes it was Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner.

I am a Mancunian but tried to sing it with a cockney accent. I knew I was rubbish and tried to hide under the seat.

As a result I tried to find out as much as I could about folk music and learned I a few. So that when I went to that Folk club again I made sure that I was sober.....ish and had practiced and learned the words.

The encouragement I received from the Scots gave me the impetus and interest to study the Folk field and I went on to sing and play many kinds of music as a semi-professional for many years.

I returned to my " Folk Roots" after many years and ran a few Folk Clubs and took gigs both as a member of a group and also solo.

Not sure whether M.I.B.Im.A.L would qualify here as folk music but it got me started.

Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 03:35 PM

Bert, you say, "Don't try to copy anyone." Still, there are a number of songs on your list that would work well for me. I think I'll learn some of them.

Bert is a good singer indeed, and he writes good songs. He attended the Getaway in the Washington DC area a few times (or was it only once) before the moved west. It was nice getting to know him back then.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Bert
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 03:37 PM

Thanks Leeneia,

That is just the folk songs picked from my song list. I must admit though that for many of them I would have to put the guitar down as I don't know all the chords. And I will also admit that I do that fairly often :-)

Mike, I'm glad that you had the courage to try a Cockney Accent. If people know it and sing it, if it is not folk then it is pretty close.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 04:14 PM

It's important that songs are sung, but some are sung more than enough. If lots of people, or even just one or two famous performers, sing a particular song, they're probably doing a good enough job of it, and I can't see much point in anyone else learning and singing it. That's not to say you mustn't do so, but it's not the best use of your efforts, unless you are going to bring something new to it.

Have a go at some songs that aren't been sung so much (or at all), which you can find in such places as The Full English and Kist o Riches, and on CDs available from such places as Veteran Mail Order and Musical Traditions.

And don't bother at all about whether a song you've heard suits your vocal range. There's no law that says you have to sing it in the same key you've heard someone else sing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: mg
Date: 27 Feb 14 - 08:43 PM

Here are two more irish..streets of and irish am i guess is jack haggerty. English.. I am not so knowledgeable...merry mountain child ks great...some great tyneside ballads too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 01:45 AM

You could buy Judy Collins; The Original Album Series. It's a set of five CDs of songs - four of them wonderful, one merely acceptable. It is available for £11.32 from Amazon, but I recently found it for just £9 in Sainsburys.

There are folk songs in the early records, but most songs are from contemporary writers. You should find some songs to sing, but you should also get a lot of pleasure just listening to her singing against some exceptional arrangements.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Bert
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 01:56 AM

Thanks Henryp, I'll keep a lookout for that; but I want to know what modern audiences are looking for. Most of my stuff is Folk, Fifties or my own.

I need to update a bit.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 02:42 AM

"I would suggest that you decide whether you want (mostly) to sing English, Scottish, Irish, or American."
Sorry Richard - crossed lines.
That is my point exactly - sing what you want but do so in your own voice, not anybody else's.
To me, wanting to sing like anybody but yourself is pointless - why try to sound like Shirley Collins say, when Shirley makes a far better job of sounding like herself, so you might as well go and buy her albums.
The joy of singing is interpreting a song for yourself and making that song work for you - making it part of you.
You can only do that in your own voice, otherwise you become little more than one of those sad pub 'tribute' artists.   
I don't believe you can do that using somebody else's voice or accent.
'm not suggesting for a minute that you can't adapt what other singers have to offer to your own singing, but that's a mile away from trying to sound like them
But there you go - that's me (nobody else)!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ideas for more folk songs for me to try?
From: GUEST,Guest - Lin
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 03:01 AM

Hi Mary:

I love two of the songs you mentioned that you sing, "Willy O' Winsbury" and "Fear A Bhata"

Do you have a link or CD where I could hear you sing those two songs in particular?

Have you ever listened to the late American folk singer, Kate Wolf?
There are a lot of her songs to hear on Youtube. She was from California and wrote many, many great songs. Two beautiful songs that she was very well known for are, "Across the Great Divide" and "Give Yourself to Love" both covered by many singers.
I don't know if you are interested in covering folk songs by American singer/songwriters but have a listen to Kate Wolf songs as they are very good and well written songs.

Lin


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