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What makes a new song a folk song?

Related threads:
Popfolk? (19)
What isn't folk (88)
What is a Folk Song? (229)
Still wondering what's folk these days? (145)
Does Folk Exist? (709)
Definition of folk song (137)
Here comes that bloody horse - again! (23)
What is a traditional singer? (136)
Is the 1954 definition, open to improvement? (105)
Folklore: Folk, 1954 definition? (133)
So what is *Traditional* Folk Music? (409)
'Folk.' OK...1954. What's 'country?' (17)
Folklore: Define English Trad Music (150)
What is Folk Music? This is... (120)
What is Zydeco? (74)
Traditional singer definition (360)
Is traditional song finished? (621)
1954 and All That - defining folk music (994)
BS: It ain't folk if ? (28)
No, really -- what IS NOT folk music? (176)
What defines a traditional song? (160) (closed)
Folklore: Are 'What is Folk?' Threads Finished? (79)
How did Folk Song start? (57)
Traditional? (63)
Should folk songs be sung in folk clubs? (129)
What is The Tradition? (296) (closed)
Who Defines 'Folk'???? (177)
What is Blues? (80)
What is filk? (47)
What makes it a Folk Song? (404)
Article in Guardian:folk songs & pop junk & racism (30)
Does any other music require a committee (152)
Folk Music Tradition, what is it? (29)
Trad Song (36)
What do you consider Folk? (113)
Definition of Acoustic Music (52)
definition of a ballad (197)
Threads on the meaning of Folk (106)
Does it matter what music is called? (451)
What IS Folk Music? (132)
It isn't 'Folk', but what is it we do? (169)
Giving Talk on Folk Music (24)
What is Skiffle? (22)
Folklore: Folk, Pop, Trad or what? (19)
Folklore: What are the Motives of the Re-definers? (124)
Folklore: What Is Folk? (60)
Is it really Folk? (105)
What is a kid's song? (51)
Folk Rush in Where Mudcat Fears To Go (10)
A new definition of Folk? (34)
What is Folk? IN SONG. (20)
New Input Into 'WHAT IS FOLK?' (7)
What Is More Insular Than Folk Music? (33)
What is Folk Rock? (39)
'What is folk?' and cultural differences (24)
What is a folk song, version 3.0 (32)
What is Muzak? (19)
What is a folk song? Version 2.0 (59)
FILK: what is it? (18)
What is a Folksinger? (51)
BS: What is folk music? (69) (closed)
What is improvisation ? (21)
What is a Grange Song? (26)


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Musket 28 Aug 14 - 03:51 AM
Phil Edwards 28 Aug 14 - 04:22 AM
Musket 28 Aug 14 - 05:17 AM
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Jim Carroll 28 Aug 14 - 09:22 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Aug 14 - 10:03 AM
Howard Jones 28 Aug 14 - 10:17 AM
dick greenhaus 28 Aug 14 - 11:56 AM
Musket 28 Aug 14 - 12:21 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Aug 14 - 12:46 PM
Musket 28 Aug 14 - 01:31 PM
Don Firth 28 Aug 14 - 02:05 PM
Ernest 28 Aug 14 - 02:16 PM
Musket 28 Aug 14 - 03:12 PM
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Phil Edwards 28 Aug 14 - 06:47 PM
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Bert 28 Aug 14 - 09:41 PM
Musket 29 Aug 14 - 03:02 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 03:59 AM
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Musket 29 Aug 14 - 04:38 AM
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DMcG 29 Aug 14 - 05:49 AM
Musket 29 Aug 14 - 07:47 AM
TheSnail 29 Aug 14 - 08:01 AM
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Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 10:03 AM
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Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Rahere 29 Aug 14 - 12:03 PM
Musket 29 Aug 14 - 12:17 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 12:40 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Aug 14 - 12:49 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 01:15 PM
Brian Peters 29 Aug 14 - 01:16 PM
Bounty Hound 29 Aug 14 - 01:22 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 01:32 PM
Don Firth 29 Aug 14 - 02:06 PM
Ernest 29 Aug 14 - 02:17 PM
Bounty Hound 29 Aug 14 - 02:32 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 03:06 PM
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MikeL2 29 Aug 14 - 03:25 PM
Jack Blandiver 29 Aug 14 - 03:28 PM
Bounty Hound 29 Aug 14 - 04:37 PM
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Musket 30 Aug 14 - 03:22 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 03:45 AM
Musket 30 Aug 14 - 04:23 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 05:00 AM
Musket 30 Aug 14 - 05:25 AM
Bounty Hound 30 Aug 14 - 05:28 AM
Musket 30 Aug 14 - 05:39 AM
Bounty Hound 30 Aug 14 - 05:51 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Derrick 30 Aug 14 - 06:14 AM
Bounty Hound 30 Aug 14 - 06:41 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 06:53 AM
Bounty Hound 30 Aug 14 - 07:04 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,SteveT 30 Aug 14 - 07:36 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 09:16 AM
Bounty Hound 30 Aug 14 - 09:45 AM
Musket 30 Aug 14 - 09:57 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 11:43 AM
Howard Jones 30 Aug 14 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,SteveT 30 Aug 14 - 11:59 AM
dick greenhaus 30 Aug 14 - 12:01 PM
Bounty Hound 30 Aug 14 - 12:51 PM
Bounty Hound 30 Aug 14 - 01:13 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 02:05 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Aug 14 - 02:30 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 02:51 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Aug 14 - 03:04 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 03:15 PM
Richard Mellish 30 Aug 14 - 04:03 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Aug 14 - 04:13 PM
Bill D 30 Aug 14 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,SteveT 30 Aug 14 - 04:46 PM
Musket 31 Aug 14 - 04:01 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Aug 14 - 04:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Aug 14 - 04:56 AM
Musket 31 Aug 14 - 05:23 AM
TheSnail 31 Aug 14 - 06:20 AM
Bounty Hound 31 Aug 14 - 06:25 AM
TheSnail 31 Aug 14 - 06:29 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Aug 14 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Aug 14 - 06:37 AM
Musket 31 Aug 14 - 07:26 AM
Howard Jones 31 Aug 14 - 08:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Aug 14 - 08:20 AM
Lighter 31 Aug 14 - 08:29 AM
Musket 31 Aug 14 - 09:07 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Aug 14 - 09:42 AM
Bonzo3legs 31 Aug 14 - 09:57 AM
GUEST 31 Aug 14 - 12:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 31 Aug 14 - 01:16 PM
Musket 31 Aug 14 - 01:42 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 14 - 03:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 31 Aug 14 - 04:27 PM
Bounty Hound 31 Aug 14 - 04:38 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 14 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Rahere 31 Aug 14 - 05:47 PM
Tattie Bogle 31 Aug 14 - 07:58 PM
mg 31 Aug 14 - 09:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 31 Aug 14 - 10:11 PM
Ebbie 01 Sep 14 - 12:06 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Sep 14 - 03:32 AM
Bert 01 Sep 14 - 03:50 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Sep 14 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Derrick 01 Sep 14 - 05:25 AM
The Sandman 01 Sep 14 - 05:47 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Sep 14 - 06:08 AM
TheSnail 01 Sep 14 - 07:15 AM
The Sandman 01 Sep 14 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Derrick 01 Sep 14 - 08:49 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Sep 14 - 08:52 AM
TheSnail 01 Sep 14 - 10:06 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Sep 14 - 11:46 AM
Musket 01 Sep 14 - 12:01 PM
Phil Edwards 01 Sep 14 - 12:09 PM
Phil Edwards 01 Sep 14 - 12:19 PM
The Sandman 01 Sep 14 - 12:21 PM
Lighter 01 Sep 14 - 12:59 PM
Phil Edwards 01 Sep 14 - 01:04 PM
Lighter 01 Sep 14 - 02:28 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Sep 14 - 03:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM
The Sandman 01 Sep 14 - 04:12 PM
TheSnail 01 Sep 14 - 06:34 PM
Bert 01 Sep 14 - 06:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Sep 14 - 06:56 PM
Phil Edwards 01 Sep 14 - 07:33 PM
Lighter 01 Sep 14 - 07:54 PM
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Lighter 01 Sep 14 - 08:33 PM
TheSnail 01 Sep 14 - 09:02 PM
Don Firth 01 Sep 14 - 09:05 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Sep 14 - 03:29 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Sep 14 - 03:52 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Sep 14 - 04:04 AM
Musket 02 Sep 14 - 04:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Sep 14 - 05:08 AM
The Sandman 02 Sep 14 - 05:09 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Sep 14 - 05:43 AM
Bounty Hound 02 Sep 14 - 07:33 AM
Lighter 02 Sep 14 - 07:57 AM
Lighter 02 Sep 14 - 07:59 AM
Musket 02 Sep 14 - 09:32 AM
Bounty Hound 02 Sep 14 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Sep 14 - 10:47 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Sep 14 - 11:15 AM
Bounty Hound 02 Sep 14 - 11:48 AM
Lighter 02 Sep 14 - 12:27 PM
Musket 02 Sep 14 - 01:01 PM
TheSnail 02 Sep 14 - 01:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Sep 14 - 01:23 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM
Bounty Hound 02 Sep 14 - 03:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Sep 14 - 03:50 PM
Lighter 02 Sep 14 - 04:22 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Sep 14 - 04:43 PM
Amos 02 Sep 14 - 04:45 PM
Musket 02 Sep 14 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Sep 14 - 05:54 PM
Musket 02 Sep 14 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Sep 14 - 06:16 PM
Rob Naylor 02 Sep 14 - 06:44 PM
Amos 02 Sep 14 - 06:49 PM
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Don Firth 02 Sep 14 - 07:35 PM
Phil Edwards 02 Sep 14 - 07:36 PM
Phil Edwards 02 Sep 14 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Sep 14 - 08:04 PM
Lighter 02 Sep 14 - 08:23 PM
Lighter 02 Sep 14 - 08:27 PM
Don Firth 02 Sep 14 - 08:28 PM
Teribus 03 Sep 14 - 02:36 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Sep 14 - 03:37 AM
Musket 03 Sep 14 - 04:13 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Sep 14 - 05:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Sep 14 - 05:48 AM
Bounty Hound 03 Sep 14 - 05:48 AM
Bounty Hound 03 Sep 14 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Sep 14 - 05:56 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Sep 14 - 06:26 AM
Howard Jones 03 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
Bounty Hound 03 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
Musket 03 Sep 14 - 07:27 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM
Lighter 03 Sep 14 - 09:18 AM
Lighter 03 Sep 14 - 09:46 AM
Musket 03 Sep 14 - 10:37 AM
Phil Edwards 03 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM
Lighter 03 Sep 14 - 11:10 AM
Musket 03 Sep 14 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Sep 14 - 11:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Sep 14 - 12:42 PM
The Sandman 03 Sep 14 - 01:01 PM
Stanron 03 Sep 14 - 01:01 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Sep 14 - 02:41 PM
Lighter 03 Sep 14 - 03:50 PM
Howard Jones 03 Sep 14 - 04:07 PM
Bert 03 Sep 14 - 04:22 PM
The Sandman 03 Sep 14 - 04:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Sep 14 - 05:00 PM
TheSnail 03 Sep 14 - 05:29 PM
The Sandman 03 Sep 14 - 05:31 PM
Lighter 03 Sep 14 - 05:34 PM
Stanron 03 Sep 14 - 05:38 PM
TheSnail 03 Sep 14 - 05:50 PM
Bounty Hound 03 Sep 14 - 05:56 PM
Lighter 03 Sep 14 - 06:06 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Sep 14 - 07:43 PM
michaelr 03 Sep 14 - 08:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Sep 14 - 08:49 PM
michaelr 03 Sep 14 - 09:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Sep 14 - 10:26 PM
Amos 04 Sep 14 - 12:05 AM
Gibb Sahib 04 Sep 14 - 12:16 AM
michaelr 04 Sep 14 - 01:14 AM
Teribus 04 Sep 14 - 02:28 AM
The Sandman 04 Sep 14 - 04:05 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Sep 14 - 04:10 AM
Musket 04 Sep 14 - 05:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Sep 14 - 05:16 AM
Musket 04 Sep 14 - 05:30 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Sep 14 - 06:30 AM
Teribus 04 Sep 14 - 06:35 AM
Musket 04 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
Lighter 04 Sep 14 - 08:09 AM
Lighter 04 Sep 14 - 08:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Sep 14 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Sep 14 - 10:56 AM
Howard Jones 04 Sep 14 - 10:59 AM
Musket 04 Sep 14 - 12:43 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Sep 14 - 03:11 AM
The Sandman 05 Sep 14 - 04:10 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Sep 14 - 04:21 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Sep 14 - 04:49 AM
Lighter 05 Sep 14 - 06:54 AM
The Sandman 05 Sep 14 - 08:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Sep 14 - 08:53 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM
TheSnail 05 Sep 14 - 09:54 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Sep 14 - 11:51 AM
The Sandman 05 Sep 14 - 01:27 PM
The Sandman 05 Sep 14 - 01:30 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Sep 14 - 02:11 PM
The Sandman 05 Sep 14 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Sep 14 - 02:34 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Sep 14 - 03:10 PM
The Sandman 05 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM
Musket 05 Sep 14 - 06:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Sep 14 - 06:29 PM
Musket 05 Sep 14 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,Carl Ellis (VT Yank) 05 Sep 14 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Sep 14 - 10:58 PM
Phil Edwards 06 Sep 14 - 04:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Sep 14 - 05:23 AM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 05:54 AM
Lighter 06 Sep 14 - 08:06 AM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Sep 14 - 09:16 AM
Lighter 06 Sep 14 - 09:30 AM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 10:35 AM
TheSnail 06 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM
Lighter 06 Sep 14 - 10:46 AM
Lighter 06 Sep 14 - 10:49 AM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 10:51 AM
TheSnail 06 Sep 14 - 11:20 AM
TheSnail 06 Sep 14 - 11:24 AM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 11:56 AM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 11:58 AM
TheSnail 06 Sep 14 - 12:26 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Sep 14 - 12:46 PM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 01:11 PM
TheSnail 06 Sep 14 - 01:32 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Sep 14 - 01:35 PM
TheSnail 06 Sep 14 - 01:35 PM
Lighter 06 Sep 14 - 03:18 PM
Lighter 06 Sep 14 - 03:30 PM
Musket 06 Sep 14 - 04:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Sep 14 - 08:14 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Sep 14 - 04:41 AM
Musket 07 Sep 14 - 04:51 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Sep 14 - 05:51 AM
Lighter 07 Sep 14 - 07:01 AM
TheSnail 07 Sep 14 - 07:45 AM
TheSnail 07 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM
TheSnail 07 Sep 14 - 07:48 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Sep 14 - 07:53 AM
The Sandman 07 Sep 14 - 07:54 AM
Musket 07 Sep 14 - 09:09 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM
MGM∑Lion 07 Sep 14 - 09:25 AM
Gibb Sahib 07 Sep 14 - 09:26 AM
Lighter 07 Sep 14 - 09:57 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Sep 14 - 01:02 PM
Lighter 07 Sep 14 - 02:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Sep 14 - 09:14 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 14 - 03:17 AM
Musket 08 Sep 14 - 03:31 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 14 - 04:04 AM
The Sandman 08 Sep 14 - 04:33 AM
Musket 08 Sep 14 - 04:35 AM
The Sandman 08 Sep 14 - 04:55 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Sep 14 - 05:14 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Sep 14 - 06:51 AM
The Sandman 08 Sep 14 - 07:50 AM
Robin from Somerset 08 Sep 14 - 08:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Sep 14 - 08:45 AM
Musket 08 Sep 14 - 08:55 AM
Howard Jones 08 Sep 14 - 10:00 AM
TheSnail 08 Sep 14 - 11:07 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Sep 14 - 11:10 AM
TheSnail 08 Sep 14 - 11:16 AM
Lighter 08 Sep 14 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 08 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM
Steve Gardham 08 Sep 14 - 12:14 PM
Lighter 08 Sep 14 - 12:31 PM
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Lighter 08 Sep 14 - 01:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Sep 14 - 01:27 PM
Musket 08 Sep 14 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,sciencegeek 08 Sep 14 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,ecadre 08 Sep 14 - 02:07 PM
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Lighter 08 Sep 14 - 04:03 PM
Musket 08 Sep 14 - 04:23 PM
Phil Edwards 08 Sep 14 - 05:56 PM
GUEST 08 Sep 14 - 07:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Sep 14 - 07:12 PM
The Sandman 08 Sep 14 - 07:30 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 14 - 04:10 AM
Phil Edwards 09 Sep 14 - 04:30 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 14 - 04:31 AM
Musket 09 Sep 14 - 04:57 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 14 - 05:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Sep 14 - 08:25 AM
Lighter 09 Sep 14 - 08:53 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 14 - 09:05 AM
Lighter 09 Sep 14 - 09:39 AM
The Sandman 09 Sep 14 - 09:55 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Sep 14 - 10:04 AM
Musket 09 Sep 14 - 10:08 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM
Musket 09 Sep 14 - 11:05 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Sep 14 - 11:21 AM
Musket 09 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 09 Sep 14 - 11:48 AM
The Sandman 09 Sep 14 - 12:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Sep 14 - 02:32 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Sep 14 - 05:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Sep 14 - 07:23 PM
The Sandman 09 Sep 14 - 07:41 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 14 - 03:52 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 14 - 04:03 AM
MGM∑Lion 10 Sep 14 - 04:29 AM
Joe Offer 10 Sep 14 - 04:34 AM
Musket 10 Sep 14 - 04:38 AM
Joe Offer 10 Sep 14 - 05:13 AM
Musket 10 Sep 14 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Derrick 10 Sep 14 - 05:21 AM
Phil Edwards 10 Sep 14 - 05:28 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 14 - 05:55 AM
Musket 10 Sep 14 - 05:58 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 06:38 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 06:50 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 14 - 07:00 AM
johncharles 10 Sep 14 - 07:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Sep 14 - 07:55 AM
Howard Jones 10 Sep 14 - 08:00 AM
Musket 10 Sep 14 - 08:47 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 14 - 09:07 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Sep 14 - 09:44 AM
Bounty Hound 10 Sep 14 - 09:49 AM
MGM∑Lion 10 Sep 14 - 10:11 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Sep 14 - 11:57 AM
MGM∑Lion 10 Sep 14 - 12:09 PM
Howard Jones 10 Sep 14 - 02:26 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 14 - 03:48 PM
Phil Edwards 10 Sep 14 - 03:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Sep 14 - 07:30 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 14 - 11:51 PM
Teribus 11 Sep 14 - 03:12 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 03:43 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Sep 14 - 03:54 AM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 04:17 AM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 04:53 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 05:51 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 06:36 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 07:21 AM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 08:03 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 08:05 AM
Howard Jones 11 Sep 14 - 08:15 AM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 08:17 AM
Lighter 11 Sep 14 - 08:22 AM
Phil Edwards 11 Sep 14 - 09:02 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 09:04 AM
TheSnail 11 Sep 14 - 09:05 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 09:25 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 09:37 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Sep 14 - 09:44 AM
Phil Edwards 11 Sep 14 - 10:04 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 10:13 AM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 10:23 AM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 10:26 AM
Phil Edwards 11 Sep 14 - 10:58 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 11:07 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Sep 14 - 11:07 AM
Lighter 11 Sep 14 - 11:29 AM
TheSnail 11 Sep 14 - 11:33 AM
TheSnail 11 Sep 14 - 11:36 AM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 11:39 AM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 12:03 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 12:20 PM
The Sandman 11 Sep 14 - 01:38 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 02:22 PM
TheSnail 11 Sep 14 - 02:27 PM
Howard Jones 11 Sep 14 - 02:38 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 14 - 02:49 PM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 04:38 PM
Bounty Hound 11 Sep 14 - 05:01 PM
Musket 11 Sep 14 - 05:08 PM
Phil Edwards 11 Sep 14 - 07:11 PM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 12:00 AM
Musket 12 Sep 14 - 02:45 AM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 03:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Sep 14 - 03:40 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 14 - 03:56 AM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 04:09 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 14 - 04:30 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 14 - 04:47 AM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 05:17 AM
Howard Jones 12 Sep 14 - 05:27 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 14 - 06:02 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM
Bounty Hound 12 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM
Bounty Hound 12 Sep 14 - 06:48 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 14 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Lighter 12 Sep 14 - 08:13 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 14 - 08:36 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 14 - 09:03 AM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 09:34 AM
Bounty Hound 12 Sep 14 - 11:38 AM
GUEST 12 Sep 14 - 12:09 PM
Musket 12 Sep 14 - 12:18 PM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 12:34 PM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 12:42 PM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 12:42 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Sep 14 - 12:48 PM
The Sandman 12 Sep 14 - 01:05 PM
TheSnail 12 Sep 14 - 01:18 PM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 01:21 PM
The Sandman 12 Sep 14 - 02:11 PM
Leadbelly 12 Sep 14 - 02:30 PM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 02:37 PM
Lighter 12 Sep 14 - 02:43 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 14 - 02:48 PM
MGM∑Lion 12 Sep 14 - 02:53 PM
TheSnail 12 Sep 14 - 03:19 PM
Leadbelly 12 Sep 14 - 05:15 PM
Sue Allan 12 Sep 14 - 08:30 PM
The Sandman 13 Sep 14 - 04:50 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 14 - 05:03 AM
Howard Jones 13 Sep 14 - 05:50 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 14 - 06:15 AM
The Sandman 13 Sep 14 - 06:31 AM
The Sandman 13 Sep 14 - 06:32 AM
Musket 13 Sep 14 - 11:32 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 14 - 11:43 AM
Phil Edwards 13 Sep 14 - 11:55 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Sep 14 - 12:37 PM
The Sandman 13 Sep 14 - 01:09 PM
Musket 13 Sep 14 - 01:22 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 14 - 01:24 PM
MGM∑Lion 13 Sep 14 - 02:01 PM
Lighter 13 Sep 14 - 02:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Sep 14 - 02:48 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 14 - 03:19 PM
Musket 13 Sep 14 - 03:42 PM
MGM∑Lion 13 Sep 14 - 04:31 PM
MGM∑Lion 13 Sep 14 - 04:32 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 14 - 05:08 PM
Musket 13 Sep 14 - 05:57 PM
The Sandman 13 Sep 14 - 07:17 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Sep 14 - 08:21 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 02:54 AM
The Sandman 14 Sep 14 - 03:10 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 03:31 AM
Musket 14 Sep 14 - 04:02 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 05:50 AM
The Sandman 14 Sep 14 - 06:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Sep 14 - 07:51 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 08:07 AM
Musket 14 Sep 14 - 09:11 AM
Musket 14 Sep 14 - 09:16 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 10:03 AM
Musket 14 Sep 14 - 10:56 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 11:58 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 12:14 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Sep 14 - 12:16 PM
Bounty Hound 14 Sep 14 - 12:37 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Sep 14 - 12:46 PM
Bounty Hound 14 Sep 14 - 12:48 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Sep 14 - 01:03 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 01:15 PM
Musket 14 Sep 14 - 01:43 PM
Bounty Hound 14 Sep 14 - 01:47 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Sep 14 - 02:12 PM
Musket 14 Sep 14 - 02:24 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Sep 14 - 03:12 PM
Bounty Hound 14 Sep 14 - 03:17 PM
Richard Mellish 14 Sep 14 - 03:36 PM
MGM∑Lion 14 Sep 14 - 04:06 PM
Richard Mellish 14 Sep 14 - 04:18 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Sep 14 - 04:19 PM
MGM∑Lion 14 Sep 14 - 04:54 PM
Bounty Hound 14 Sep 14 - 05:33 PM
Bounty Hound 14 Sep 14 - 06:14 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Sep 14 - 08:27 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 14 - 04:18 AM
The Sandman 15 Sep 14 - 05:05 AM
The Sandman 15 Sep 14 - 06:11 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 14 - 06:35 AM
The Sandman 15 Sep 14 - 07:03 AM
Musket 15 Sep 14 - 07:38 AM
MGM∑Lion 15 Sep 14 - 07:38 AM
MGM∑Lion 15 Sep 14 - 07:40 AM
MGM∑Lion 15 Sep 14 - 07:51 AM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 08:09 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 14 - 08:09 AM
The Sandman 15 Sep 14 - 08:22 AM
TheSnail 15 Sep 14 - 08:36 AM
Lighter 15 Sep 14 - 08:47 AM
MGM∑Lion 15 Sep 14 - 08:52 AM
Howard Jones 15 Sep 14 - 09:13 AM
Teribus 15 Sep 14 - 09:29 AM
Musket 15 Sep 14 - 09:33 AM
Lighter 15 Sep 14 - 09:40 AM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 09:51 AM
Phil Edwards 15 Sep 14 - 10:30 AM
Phil Edwards 15 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM
Musket 15 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Sep 14 - 10:54 AM
The Sandman 15 Sep 14 - 11:38 AM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 11:55 AM
Richard Mellish 15 Sep 14 - 12:31 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Sep 14 - 12:53 PM
TheSnail 15 Sep 14 - 01:39 PM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 02:01 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Sep 14 - 02:18 PM
johncharles 15 Sep 14 - 02:24 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Sep 14 - 02:54 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Sep 14 - 05:31 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Sep 14 - 06:19 PM
TheSnail 15 Sep 14 - 07:13 PM
Musket 16 Sep 14 - 02:21 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 04:15 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Sep 14 - 04:44 AM
Bounty Hound 16 Sep 14 - 05:05 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 05:24 AM
Musket 16 Sep 14 - 05:29 AM
Bounty Hound 16 Sep 14 - 05:37 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 05:56 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Sep 14 - 06:52 AM
Bounty Hound 16 Sep 14 - 08:20 AM
Richard Mellish 16 Sep 14 - 09:28 AM
The Sandman 16 Sep 14 - 09:31 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 14 - 09:43 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 14 - 09:49 AM
Lighter 16 Sep 14 - 10:01 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 10:43 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Sep 14 - 10:46 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Sep 14 - 11:01 AM
Bounty Hound 16 Sep 14 - 12:19 PM
TheSnail 16 Sep 14 - 01:23 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 14 - 01:39 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 03:00 PM
TheSnail 16 Sep 14 - 03:48 PM
johncharles 16 Sep 14 - 03:48 PM
Bounty Hound 16 Sep 14 - 03:59 PM
TheSnail 16 Sep 14 - 04:21 PM
Lighter 16 Sep 14 - 04:40 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Sep 14 - 05:09 PM
johncharles 16 Sep 14 - 07:00 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 07:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 16 Sep 14 - 10:18 PM
Musket 17 Sep 14 - 02:29 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Sep 14 - 02:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 14 - 04:25 AM
Musket 17 Sep 14 - 04:26 AM
Musket 17 Sep 14 - 04:48 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Sep 14 - 05:07 AM
Musket 17 Sep 14 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Derrick 17 Sep 14 - 05:32 AM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 14 - 05:34 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Sep 14 - 06:26 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Sep 14 - 07:45 AM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 14 - 07:49 AM
Lighter 17 Sep 14 - 07:50 AM
The Sandman 17 Sep 14 - 08:09 AM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 14 - 08:12 AM
The Sandman 17 Sep 14 - 08:45 AM
Musket 17 Sep 14 - 08:53 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Sep 14 - 09:01 AM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 14 - 10:22 AM
TheSnail 17 Sep 14 - 10:50 AM
TheSnail 17 Sep 14 - 10:54 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Sep 14 - 10:57 AM
Lighter 17 Sep 14 - 11:33 AM
TheSnail 17 Sep 14 - 12:09 PM
Bounty Hound 17 Sep 14 - 01:08 PM
Musket 17 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM
The Sandman 17 Sep 14 - 01:44 PM
Howard Jones 17 Sep 14 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Phil sans cookie 17 Sep 14 - 06:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 14 - 09:36 PM
Musket 18 Sep 14 - 02:56 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 03:48 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Sep 14 - 04:11 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 04:31 AM
The Sandman 18 Sep 14 - 04:34 AM
Howard Jones 18 Sep 14 - 05:59 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 06:07 AM
Musket 18 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Sep 14 - 06:57 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM
Howard Jones 18 Sep 14 - 08:01 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Sep 14 - 08:07 AM
Phil Edwards 18 Sep 14 - 08:20 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 08:40 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Sep 14 - 08:40 AM
The Sandman 18 Sep 14 - 08:48 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Sep 14 - 09:52 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 10:54 AM
The Sandman 18 Sep 14 - 11:29 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Sep 14 - 11:41 AM
GUEST 18 Sep 14 - 11:56 AM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 12:07 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Sep 14 - 01:36 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Sep 14 - 01:51 PM
Phil Edwards 18 Sep 14 - 04:21 PM
Bounty Hound 18 Sep 14 - 06:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Sep 14 - 07:56 PM
Musket 19 Sep 14 - 02:22 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 14 - 03:31 AM
Bounty Hound 19 Sep 14 - 04:42 AM
TheSnail 19 Sep 14 - 08:04 AM
TheSnail 19 Sep 14 - 08:09 AM
TheSnail 19 Sep 14 - 08:13 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 14 - 08:31 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 14 - 11:25 AM
Musket 19 Sep 14 - 12:29 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 14 - 12:45 PM
Musket 19 Sep 14 - 03:24 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Sep 14 - 04:14 PM
MGM∑Lion 19 Sep 14 - 04:39 PM
Phil Edwards 19 Sep 14 - 05:36 PM
Brian Peters 19 Sep 14 - 05:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Sep 14 - 05:48 PM
TheSnail 19 Sep 14 - 08:13 PM
Musket 20 Sep 14 - 03:26 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Sep 14 - 04:31 AM
The Sandman 20 Sep 14 - 04:34 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Sep 14 - 07:46 AM
Musket 20 Sep 14 - 07:48 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Sep 14 - 08:24 AM
TheSnail 20 Sep 14 - 08:56 AM
The Sandman 20 Sep 14 - 09:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Sep 14 - 11:22 AM
Phil Edwards 20 Sep 14 - 12:11 PM
Phil Edwards 20 Sep 14 - 12:25 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Sep 14 - 12:41 PM
The Sandman 20 Sep 14 - 01:07 PM
Bounty Hound 20 Sep 14 - 03:22 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Sep 14 - 03:28 PM
Musket 20 Sep 14 - 03:35 PM
Brian Peters 20 Sep 14 - 04:02 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Sep 14 - 04:13 PM
Bounty Hound 20 Sep 14 - 04:46 PM
Musket 20 Sep 14 - 07:09 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Sep 14 - 10:59 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Sep 14 - 03:26 AM
Musket 21 Sep 14 - 03:53 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 14 - 04:03 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Sep 14 - 04:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 14 - 06:49 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Sep 14 - 07:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 14 - 12:13 PM
The Sandman 21 Sep 14 - 01:18 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Sep 14 - 02:00 PM
Musket 21 Sep 14 - 02:22 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Sep 14 - 02:48 PM
Phil Edwards 21 Sep 14 - 03:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 14 - 05:33 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Sep 14 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Phil 21 Sep 14 - 06:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 14 - 08:52 PM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 02:36 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Sep 14 - 03:50 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Sep 14 - 04:04 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Sep 14 - 04:14 AM
Howard Jones 22 Sep 14 - 04:57 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Sep 14 - 05:18 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 14 - 05:29 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Sep 14 - 05:53 AM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 05:53 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Sep 14 - 05:58 AM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 06:20 AM
Bounty Hound 22 Sep 14 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,ST 22 Sep 14 - 06:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Sep 14 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 22 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 07:50 AM
johncharles 22 Sep 14 - 08:17 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Sep 14 - 08:45 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 14 - 08:56 AM
Bounty Hound 22 Sep 14 - 09:15 AM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 09:33 AM
The Sandman 22 Sep 14 - 10:06 AM
Bounty Hound 22 Sep 14 - 10:09 AM
TheSnail 22 Sep 14 - 10:10 AM
GUEST 22 Sep 14 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 22 Sep 14 - 10:14 AM
MGM∑Lion 22 Sep 14 - 10:15 AM
TheSnail 22 Sep 14 - 10:45 AM
Steve Gardham 22 Sep 14 - 10:53 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM
Bounty Hound 22 Sep 14 - 11:33 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Sep 14 - 12:23 PM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 12:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Sep 14 - 01:00 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Sep 14 - 01:12 PM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Sep 14 - 01:28 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Sep 14 - 01:46 PM
TheSnail 22 Sep 14 - 02:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Sep 14 - 03:30 PM
The Sandman 22 Sep 14 - 03:47 PM
TheSnail 22 Sep 14 - 04:01 PM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 04:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Sep 14 - 06:31 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Sep 14 - 07:06 PM
Musket 23 Sep 14 - 03:21 AM
Phil Edwards 23 Sep 14 - 04:04 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 04:17 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Sep 14 - 05:06 AM
The Sandman 23 Sep 14 - 05:37 AM
Musket 23 Sep 14 - 05:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 05:52 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 06:36 AM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 07:51 AM
Howard Jones 23 Sep 14 - 07:54 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 08:06 AM
Bounty Hound 23 Sep 14 - 09:11 AM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 09:44 AM
Musket 23 Sep 14 - 10:01 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 10:45 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 23 Sep 14 - 11:49 AM
Phil Edwards 23 Sep 14 - 11:52 AM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 11:54 AM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 11:58 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 12:24 PM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 12:42 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 01:07 PM
Musket 23 Sep 14 - 01:10 PM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 01:18 PM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 01:21 PM
Musket 23 Sep 14 - 02:56 PM
Phil Edwards 23 Sep 14 - 04:35 PM
Musket 23 Sep 14 - 05:22 PM
Phil Edwards 23 Sep 14 - 05:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 05:59 PM
Phil Edwards 23 Sep 14 - 06:35 PM
Don Firth 23 Sep 14 - 07:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 10:11 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 10:29 PM
Don Firth 23 Sep 14 - 11:49 PM
Musket 24 Sep 14 - 02:22 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 03:08 AM
Musket 24 Sep 14 - 03:38 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 03:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Sep 14 - 04:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Sep 14 - 04:24 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 04:25 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Sep 14 - 05:22 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Sep 14 - 05:33 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 06:07 AM
TheSnail 24 Sep 14 - 06:54 AM
Musket 24 Sep 14 - 07:06 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 07:31 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 07:37 AM
Bounty Hound 24 Sep 14 - 08:13 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Sep 14 - 08:49 AM
TheSnail 24 Sep 14 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Sep 14 - 10:12 AM
Musket 24 Sep 14 - 10:31 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Sep 14 - 12:03 PM
The Sandman 24 Sep 14 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 24 Sep 14 - 12:27 PM
Phil Edwards 24 Sep 14 - 12:31 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Sep 14 - 03:16 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Sep 14 - 03:24 PM
Musket 24 Sep 14 - 03:33 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 03:37 PM
Jack Blandiver 24 Sep 14 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Sep 14 - 03:50 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Sep 14 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Brooks 24 Sep 14 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Sep 14 - 04:13 PM
The Sandman 24 Sep 14 - 04:22 PM
Jack Blandiver 24 Sep 14 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Sep 14 - 04:43 PM
Phil Edwards 24 Sep 14 - 04:55 PM
The Sandman 24 Sep 14 - 05:27 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 05:43 PM
Musket 24 Sep 14 - 05:56 PM
Jack Blandiver 24 Sep 14 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Derrick 24 Sep 14 - 06:27 PM
Phil Edwards 24 Sep 14 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Sep 14 - 08:15 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Sep 14 - 08:28 PM
Musket 25 Sep 14 - 03:22 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 14 - 03:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Sep 14 - 03:53 AM
The Sandman 25 Sep 14 - 03:54 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 14 - 04:37 AM
The Sandman 25 Sep 14 - 04:55 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 14 - 05:04 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 14 - 07:23 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 14 - 07:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Sep 14 - 07:55 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 14 - 08:07 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 14 - 08:09 AM
Musket 25 Sep 14 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 25 Sep 14 - 08:39 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 14 - 08:48 AM
Howard Jones 25 Sep 14 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 25 Sep 14 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 25 Sep 14 - 09:26 AM
johncharles 25 Sep 14 - 10:25 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 14 - 11:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 14 - 11:18 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Sep 14 - 11:18 AM
Phil Edwards 25 Sep 14 - 01:27 PM
The Sandman 25 Sep 14 - 02:28 PM
Jack Blandiver 25 Sep 14 - 02:31 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Sep 14 - 05:33 PM
Musket 26 Sep 14 - 02:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Sep 14 - 03:39 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Sep 14 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 26 Sep 14 - 04:40 AM
Musket 26 Sep 14 - 04:56 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
Phil Edwards 26 Sep 14 - 07:25 AM
Jack Blandiver 26 Sep 14 - 08:08 AM
Musket 26 Sep 14 - 08:46 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Sep 14 - 09:12 AM
Phil Edwards 26 Sep 14 - 09:49 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Sep 14 - 10:04 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Sep 14 - 10:13 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Sep 14 - 11:34 AM
Phil Edwards 26 Sep 14 - 11:37 AM
Phil Edwards 26 Sep 14 - 11:40 AM
Musket 26 Sep 14 - 11:40 AM
Musket 26 Sep 14 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 26 Sep 14 - 01:00 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Sep 14 - 01:29 PM
Musket 26 Sep 14 - 05:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Sep 14 - 06:07 PM
MGM∑Lion 27 Sep 14 - 01:23 AM
Musket 27 Sep 14 - 02:19 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Sep 14 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,keith price 27 Sep 14 - 04:45 AM
MGM∑Lion 27 Sep 14 - 05:41 AM
Phil Edwards 27 Sep 14 - 07:49 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Sep 14 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 27 Sep 14 - 09:18 AM
Phil Edwards 27 Sep 14 - 10:08 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Sep 14 - 11:03 AM
The Sandman 27 Sep 14 - 12:03 PM
Musket 27 Sep 14 - 12:33 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Sep 14 - 01:23 PM
MGM∑Lion 27 Sep 14 - 01:24 PM
The Sandman 27 Sep 14 - 04:18 PM
Jack Blandiver 27 Sep 14 - 04:58 PM
The Sandman 27 Sep 14 - 05:58 PM
Tootler 27 Sep 14 - 06:26 PM
Jack Blandiver 27 Sep 14 - 06:52 PM
Don Firth 27 Sep 14 - 06:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Sep 14 - 10:06 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Sep 14 - 01:34 AM
Musket 28 Sep 14 - 02:44 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Sep 14 - 03:18 AM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 03:27 AM
Jack Blandiver 28 Sep 14 - 04:07 AM
The Sandman 28 Sep 14 - 04:42 AM
MGM∑Lion 28 Sep 14 - 04:43 AM
Musket 28 Sep 14 - 06:29 AM
Musket 28 Sep 14 - 06:38 AM
MGM∑Lion 28 Sep 14 - 07:06 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 14 - 08:39 AM
MGM∑Lion 28 Sep 14 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Sep 14 - 09:28 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 14 - 10:01 AM
MGM∑Lion 28 Sep 14 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker[out of bed and back on his co 28 Sep 14 - 10:48 AM
MGM∑Lion 28 Sep 14 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Sep 14 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Sep 14 - 12:37 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 01:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 14 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Sep 14 - 03:03 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 03:04 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,henryp 28 Sep 14 - 03:23 PM
MGM∑Lion 28 Sep 14 - 03:42 PM
Musket 28 Sep 14 - 05:21 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 05:34 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 05:51 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Sep 14 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Sep 14 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Sep 14 - 06:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 14 - 07:48 PM
MGM∑Lion 28 Sep 14 - 11:49 PM
MGM∑Lion 29 Sep 14 - 01:15 AM
Musket 29 Sep 14 - 02:24 AM
MGM∑Lion 29 Sep 14 - 03:01 AM
Musket 29 Sep 14 - 05:18 AM
Jack Blandiver 29 Sep 14 - 06:11 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Sep 14 - 07:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 29 Sep 14 - 08:55 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Sep 14 - 09:24 AM
Jack Blandiver 29 Sep 14 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Sep 14 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Sep 14 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Bounty Hound 29 Sep 14 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,ST 29 Sep 14 - 11:51 AM
Richard Mellish 29 Sep 14 - 12:14 PM
Jack Blandiver 29 Sep 14 - 12:38 PM
The Sandman 29 Sep 14 - 12:44 PM
Musket 29 Sep 14 - 12:59 PM
The Sandman 29 Sep 14 - 02:06 PM
Phil Edwards 29 Sep 14 - 02:45 PM
MGM∑Lion 29 Sep 14 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Sep 14 - 03:10 PM
The Sandman 29 Sep 14 - 03:33 PM
The Sandman 29 Sep 14 - 03:48 PM
Bounty Hound 29 Sep 14 - 04:05 PM
MGM∑Lion 29 Sep 14 - 04:06 PM
Musket 29 Sep 14 - 04:08 PM
Jack Blandiver 29 Sep 14 - 04:19 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Sep 14 - 04:21 PM
MGM∑Lion 29 Sep 14 - 05:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Sep 14 - 06:29 PM
The Sandman 29 Sep 14 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Sep 14 - 07:58 PM
Musket 30 Sep 14 - 03:00 AM
Phil Edwards 30 Sep 14 - 03:16 AM
Musket 30 Sep 14 - 03:33 AM
Jack Blandiver 30 Sep 14 - 04:34 AM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 04:44 AM
Jack Blandiver 30 Sep 14 - 04:51 AM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 05:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 30 Sep 14 - 05:49 AM
Musket 30 Sep 14 - 06:00 AM
Jack Blandiver 30 Sep 14 - 06:11 AM
Musket 30 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
Jack Blandiver 30 Sep 14 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,ST 30 Sep 14 - 07:42 AM
Bounty Hound 30 Sep 14 - 08:51 AM
Howard Jones 30 Sep 14 - 08:55 AM
Bounty Hound 30 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Sep 14 - 09:28 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Sep 14 - 11:08 AM
GUEST 30 Sep 14 - 11:20 AM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 11:34 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Sep 14 - 11:41 AM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Sep 14 - 11:59 AM
Musket 30 Sep 14 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Sep 14 - 12:36 PM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 12:40 PM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Sep 14 - 12:52 PM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Sep 14 - 01:42 PM
Don Firth 30 Sep 14 - 02:16 PM
Phil Edwards 30 Sep 14 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Sep 14 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 30 Sep 14 - 05:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Sep 14 - 07:29 PM
Bounty Hound 30 Sep 14 - 08:07 PM
MGM∑Lion 30 Sep 14 - 11:44 PM
Musket 01 Oct 14 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 01 Oct 14 - 04:01 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 04:01 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Oct 14 - 04:49 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 05:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Oct 14 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 14 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,ST 01 Oct 14 - 05:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Oct 14 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 01 Oct 14 - 06:17 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 06:31 AM
Musket 01 Oct 14 - 08:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Oct 14 - 08:15 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 14 - 09:01 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 09:07 AM
Musket 01 Oct 14 - 09:16 AM
Phil Edwards 01 Oct 14 - 10:01 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 10:17 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 11:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM
Musket 01 Oct 14 - 11:34 AM
The Sandman 01 Oct 14 - 11:37 AM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 11:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Oct 14 - 12:06 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 14 - 12:32 PM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 12:44 PM
Musket 01 Oct 14 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 14 - 12:57 PM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 01:18 PM
MGM∑Lion 01 Oct 14 - 01:25 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 14 - 01:32 PM
Musket 01 Oct 14 - 03:07 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Oct 14 - 03:44 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Oct 14 - 05:01 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Oct 14 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 14 - 07:09 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Oct 14 - 07:29 PM
Jeri 01 Oct 14 - 08:01 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 14 - 04:18 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 14 - 05:22 AM
Musket 02 Oct 14 - 05:34 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 14 - 05:56 AM
Bounty Hound 02 Oct 14 - 06:36 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Oct 14 - 07:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 14 - 08:30 AM
Musket 02 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM
Bounty Hound 02 Oct 14 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 14 - 10:43 AM
Bounty Hound 02 Oct 14 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 14 - 11:09 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 14 - 11:11 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Oct 14 - 11:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Oct 14 - 11:46 AM
Musket 02 Oct 14 - 11:48 AM
The Sandman 02 Oct 14 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 02 Oct 14 - 12:31 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 14 - 01:12 PM
Musket 02 Oct 14 - 02:16 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Oct 14 - 03:12 PM
The Sandman 02 Oct 14 - 04:02 PM
Phil Edwards 02 Oct 14 - 05:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 14 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 14 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Oct 14 - 08:18 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 14 - 03:41 AM
Musket 03 Oct 14 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 03 Oct 14 - 04:27 AM
Bounty Hound 03 Oct 14 - 05:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Oct 14 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Colin 03 Oct 14 - 06:11 AM
Musket 03 Oct 14 - 06:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Oct 14 - 06:29 AM
Bounty Hound 03 Oct 14 - 07:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Oct 14 - 07:13 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 14 - 07:21 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 14 - 07:42 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 14 - 07:46 AM
Teribus 03 Oct 14 - 08:04 AM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 08:21 AM
Musket 03 Oct 14 - 08:39 AM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Oct 14 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 14 - 10:49 AM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 14 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 14 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 14 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 14 - 11:04 AM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 14 - 11:06 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Oct 14 - 11:09 AM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Oct 14 - 11:12 AM
Musket 03 Oct 14 - 11:18 AM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Spleen C ringe 03 Oct 14 - 11:39 AM
The Sandman 03 Oct 14 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Oct 14 - 12:17 PM
Musket 03 Oct 14 - 01:40 PM
Jack Blandiver 03 Oct 14 - 02:47 PM
The Sandman 03 Oct 14 - 03:03 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 14 - 03:12 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Oct 14 - 03:19 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Oct 14 - 03:26 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Oct 14 - 04:10 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 14 - 04:25 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 14 - 04:41 PM
MGM∑Lion 03 Oct 14 - 05:01 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Oct 14 - 05:07 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Oct 14 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 14 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Phil 03 Oct 14 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Phil 03 Oct 14 - 07:16 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Oct 14 - 07:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Oct 14 - 09:20 PM
MGM∑Lion 04 Oct 14 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 14 - 02:32 AM
Musket 04 Oct 14 - 02:40 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 14 - 03:10 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Oct 14 - 04:00 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Oct 14 - 04:03 AM
Musket 04 Oct 14 - 04:53 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 14 - 05:22 AM
Musket 04 Oct 14 - 06:18 AM
Jack Blandiver 04 Oct 14 - 06:31 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 14 - 06:35 AM
Richard Mellish 04 Oct 14 - 08:09 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Oct 14 - 08:35 AM
Phil Edwards 04 Oct 14 - 09:12 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 14 - 09:14 AM
Musket 04 Oct 14 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 14 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,polkafunkrocker 04 Oct 14 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrrocker 04 Oct 14 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 04 Oct 14 - 11:38 AM
MGM∑Lion 04 Oct 14 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 14 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 14 - 11:56 AM
MGM∑Lion 04 Oct 14 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 04 Oct 14 - 12:21 PM
Richard Mellish 04 Oct 14 - 12:27 PM
Bounty Hound 04 Oct 14 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,punfolkrocker 04 Oct 14 - 02:01 PM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 14 - 03:19 PM
Musket 04 Oct 14 - 03:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Oct 14 - 10:01 PM
Musket 05 Oct 14 - 02:21 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 02:26 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 02:34 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 14 - 04:38 AM
Bounty Hound 05 Oct 14 - 04:49 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 05:20 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 06:24 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 06:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 14 - 07:04 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 07:15 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 14 - 07:19 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Oct 14 - 07:35 AM
Bounty Hound 05 Oct 14 - 07:41 AM
Bounty Hound 05 Oct 14 - 07:50 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 08:15 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 08:35 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 14 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Dani 05 Oct 14 - 09:07 AM
Brian Peters 05 Oct 14 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,punkkfolkrocker 05 Oct 14 - 10:04 AM
MGM∑Lion 05 Oct 14 - 10:17 AM
Musket 05 Oct 14 - 11:11 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Oct 14 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Oct 14 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Oct 14 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Dani 05 Oct 14 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Blandiver (Astray) 05 Oct 14 - 01:02 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 01:18 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 01:27 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 01:38 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 01:52 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 02:02 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 02:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Oct 14 - 02:59 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 03:00 PM
Bounty Hound 05 Oct 14 - 03:13 PM
Bounty Hound 05 Oct 14 - 03:43 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 04:04 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 14 - 04:27 PM
Musket 05 Oct 14 - 04:40 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 14 - 04:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Oct 14 - 04:53 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 05:48 PM
Bounty Hound 05 Oct 14 - 05:51 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 14 - 06:01 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 14 - 06:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Oct 14 - 10:58 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 03:25 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 03:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Oct 14 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 06 Oct 14 - 05:00 AM
Musket 06 Oct 14 - 05:38 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 05:43 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 14 - 06:23 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Oct 14 - 06:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Oct 14 - 07:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Oct 14 - 07:30 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 07:34 AM
Bounty Hound 06 Oct 14 - 07:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Oct 14 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 14 - 08:20 AM
Jack Blandiver 06 Oct 14 - 08:36 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 09:04 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 14 - 09:14 AM
Musket 06 Oct 14 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,punkfoklkrocker 06 Oct 14 - 10:10 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 10:13 AM
Bounty Hound 06 Oct 14 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Oct 14 - 11:32 AM
Brian Peters 06 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 06 Oct 14 - 12:45 PM
Jack Blandiver 06 Oct 14 - 12:50 PM
Brian Peters 06 Oct 14 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Oct 14 - 01:05 PM
Musket 06 Oct 14 - 01:41 PM
The Sandman 06 Oct 14 - 02:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Oct 14 - 03:09 PM
Musket 06 Oct 14 - 03:19 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 03:51 PM
Jack Blandiver 06 Oct 14 - 04:44 PM
Jack Blandiver 06 Oct 14 - 04:56 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Oct 14 - 05:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Oct 14 - 06:54 PM
Musket 06 Oct 14 - 07:14 PM
Brian Peters 06 Oct 14 - 08:00 PM
Bounty Hound 06 Oct 14 - 08:03 PM
Musket 07 Oct 14 - 02:51 AM
MGM∑Lion 07 Oct 14 - 03:12 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 Oct 14 - 04:20 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Oct 14 - 04:32 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 Oct 14 - 04:48 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Oct 14 - 05:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Oct 14 - 05:59 AM
Bounty Hound 07 Oct 14 - 06:20 AM
Musket 07 Oct 14 - 06:34 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 Oct 14 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Oct 14 - 06:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Oct 14 - 07:26 AM
MGM∑Lion 07 Oct 14 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Oct 14 - 07:52 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Oct 14 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Oct 14 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 07 Oct 14 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 07 Oct 14 - 09:04 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Oct 14 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Oct 14 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Oct 14 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Phil 07 Oct 14 - 12:09 PM
Jim Carroll 07 Oct 14 - 12:28 PM
Jack Blandiver 07 Oct 14 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 07 Oct 14 - 01:30 PM
The Sandman 07 Oct 14 - 02:26 PM
Phil Edwards 07 Oct 14 - 03:06 PM
MGM∑Lion 07 Oct 14 - 04:14 PM
Bounty Hound 07 Oct 14 - 05:35 PM
Don Firth 07 Oct 14 - 06:24 PM
Bounty Hound 07 Oct 14 - 07:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Oct 14 - 07:58 PM
Don Firth 07 Oct 14 - 08:25 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Oct 14 - 11:35 PM
MGM∑Lion 08 Oct 14 - 01:10 AM
Don Firth 08 Oct 14 - 02:13 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 03:34 AM
Musket 08 Oct 14 - 03:34 AM
Jack Blandiver 08 Oct 14 - 04:01 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 04:17 AM
MGM∑Lion 08 Oct 14 - 04:22 AM
Musket 08 Oct 14 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 08 Oct 14 - 05:09 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Oct 14 - 05:18 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 05:23 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Oct 14 - 05:31 AM
The Sandman 08 Oct 14 - 05:32 AM
MGM∑Lion 08 Oct 14 - 05:33 AM
Musket 08 Oct 14 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 08 Oct 14 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 08 Oct 14 - 06:17 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Oct 14 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 08 Oct 14 - 06:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 08 Oct 14 - 07:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Oct 14 - 08:21 AM
Musket 08 Oct 14 - 08:38 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 08 Oct 14 - 09:57 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 10:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Oct 14 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 08 Oct 14 - 11:05 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 08 Oct 14 - 11:16 AM
TheSnail 08 Oct 14 - 12:28 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 12:44 PM
Musket 08 Oct 14 - 12:49 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 01:09 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 01:38 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 01:38 PM
Musket 08 Oct 14 - 01:47 PM
The Sandman 08 Oct 14 - 02:32 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 03:19 PM
The Sandman 08 Oct 14 - 04:40 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Oct 14 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 08 Oct 14 - 07:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Oct 14 - 10:39 PM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 02:01 AM
Musket 09 Oct 14 - 02:31 AM
The Sandman 09 Oct 14 - 03:03 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 03:22 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 04:08 AM
The Sandman 09 Oct 14 - 04:42 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 04:43 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 04:46 AM
Musket 09 Oct 14 - 05:18 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 05:31 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 05:41 AM
Rob Naylor 09 Oct 14 - 05:51 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 06:02 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 06:03 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 06:09 AM
Musket 09 Oct 14 - 06:24 AM
The Sandman 09 Oct 14 - 06:48 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 07:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 14 - 08:14 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 08:27 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 14 - 08:42 AM
Will Fly 09 Oct 14 - 08:46 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 08:50 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 08:54 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 08:59 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 14 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 09 Oct 14 - 09:16 AM
Musket 09 Oct 14 - 09:20 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 09:33 AM
TheSnail 09 Oct 14 - 09:42 AM
Will Fly 09 Oct 14 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 09 Oct 14 - 09:49 AM
TheSnail 09 Oct 14 - 10:13 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 10:44 AM
Musket 09 Oct 14 - 10:53 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 10:58 AM
The Sandman 09 Oct 14 - 11:06 AM
MGM∑Lion 09 Oct 14 - 11:08 AM
Phil Edwards 09 Oct 14 - 12:17 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 14 - 12:33 PM
The Sandman 09 Oct 14 - 12:42 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 09 Oct 14 - 01:25 PM
Musket 09 Oct 14 - 01:37 PM
The Sandman 09 Oct 14 - 01:43 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 01:50 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Oct 14 - 01:59 PM
TheSnail 09 Oct 14 - 02:09 PM
Musket 09 Oct 14 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,puinkfolkrocker 09 Oct 14 - 02:52 PM
The Sandman 09 Oct 14 - 04:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 14 - 04:48 PM
Rob Naylor 09 Oct 14 - 05:16 PM
Will Fly 09 Oct 14 - 05:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 14 - 07:08 PM
Phil Edwards 09 Oct 14 - 07:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 14 - 07:51 PM
Phil Edwards 09 Oct 14 - 08:02 PM
Musket 10 Oct 14 - 03:07 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Oct 14 - 04:10 AM
Musket 10 Oct 14 - 05:36 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Oct 14 - 05:59 AM
The Sandman 10 Oct 14 - 06:05 AM
Musket 10 Oct 14 - 06:27 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Oct 14 - 06:32 AM
Will Fly 10 Oct 14 - 06:41 AM
Musket 10 Oct 14 - 06:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Oct 14 - 11:23 AM
The Sandman 10 Oct 14 - 12:27 PM
Rob Naylor 10 Oct 14 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Oct 14 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Phil 10 Oct 14 - 12:49 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Oct 14 - 12:56 PM
The Sandman 10 Oct 14 - 01:17 PM
Musket 10 Oct 14 - 01:27 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Oct 14 - 04:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Oct 14 - 04:28 PM
Richard Mellish 10 Oct 14 - 05:27 PM
Musket 10 Oct 14 - 05:52 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Oct 14 - 08:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Oct 14 - 09:43 PM
MGM∑Lion 11 Oct 14 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Oct 14 - 01:36 AM
Musket 11 Oct 14 - 02:31 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Oct 14 - 03:16 AM
Musket 11 Oct 14 - 03:34 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 14 - 04:00 AM
Musket 11 Oct 14 - 05:18 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Oct 14 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 14 - 06:06 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Oct 14 - 06:19 AM
Musket 11 Oct 14 - 06:42 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 14 - 06:57 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 14 - 07:00 AM
The Sandman 11 Oct 14 - 07:21 AM
Musket 11 Oct 14 - 07:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 14 - 07:40 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 14 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Oct 14 - 08:46 AM
MGM∑Lion 11 Oct 14 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Oct 14 - 10:06 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 14 - 10:29 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 14 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Oct 14 - 11:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 14 - 11:22 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 14 - 11:30 AM
The Sandman 11 Oct 14 - 12:48 PM
Musket 11 Oct 14 - 12:59 PM
MGM∑Lion 11 Oct 14 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 11 Oct 14 - 02:35 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 14 - 03:02 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Oct 14 - 03:32 PM
Musket 11 Oct 14 - 05:01 PM
Jack Blandiver 11 Oct 14 - 05:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 14 - 05:32 PM
MGM∑Lion 11 Oct 14 - 11:14 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 03:35 AM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 04:38 AM
MGM∑Lion 12 Oct 14 - 05:07 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 05:45 AM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 06:02 AM
The Sandman 12 Oct 14 - 06:03 AM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 06:55 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 08:29 AM
Howard Jones 12 Oct 14 - 08:56 AM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 12 Oct 14 - 10:03 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 10:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 14 - 11:02 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Punkfolkrocker 12 Oct 14 - 11:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 14 - 12:17 PM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 01:11 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 01:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 14 - 03:04 PM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 03:14 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 14 - 03:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 14 - 03:47 PM
Musket 12 Oct 14 - 06:56 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 14 - 04:05 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 05:04 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 05:16 AM
MGM∑Lion 13 Oct 14 - 05:45 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 06:06 AM
MGM∑Lion 13 Oct 14 - 06:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 14 - 06:24 AM
MGM∑Lion 13 Oct 14 - 06:28 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 07:26 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 09:34 AM
MGM∑Lion 13 Oct 14 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 13 Oct 14 - 10:03 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 10:14 AM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM
MGM∑Lion 13 Oct 14 - 12:36 PM
The Sandman 13 Oct 14 - 01:32 PM
Musket 13 Oct 14 - 01:46 PM
MGM∑Lion 13 Oct 14 - 01:56 PM
Phil Edwards 13 Oct 14 - 05:12 PM
The Sandman 13 Oct 14 - 05:18 PM
MGM∑Lion 13 Oct 14 - 05:58 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 14 - 07:28 PM
Don Firth 13 Oct 14 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Punkfolkrocker 13 Oct 14 - 08:50 PM
Musket 14 Oct 14 - 03:37 AM
Musket 14 Oct 14 - 04:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Oct 14 - 10:51 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Oct 14 - 12:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Oct 14 - 01:50 PM
Musket 15 Oct 14 - 03:12 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 14 - 03:47 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 14 - 04:01 AM
MGM∑Lion 15 Oct 14 - 04:13 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 14 - 08:07 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 14 - 08:21 AM
Musket 15 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Oct 14 - 01:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Oct 14 - 01:47 PM
Musket 15 Oct 14 - 01:51 PM
The Sandman 15 Oct 14 - 02:37 PM
Jack Blandiver 15 Oct 14 - 04:07 PM
MGM∑Lion 15 Oct 14 - 05:30 PM
gnu 15 Oct 14 - 07:28 PM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 03:03 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 04:13 AM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 05:00 AM
Musket 16 Oct 14 - 05:04 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 05:41 AM
Musket 16 Oct 14 - 06:01 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 06:36 AM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 06:44 AM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 06:55 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 07:14 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 07:23 AM
Musket 16 Oct 14 - 08:10 AM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 08:47 AM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 09:10 AM
TheSnail 16 Oct 14 - 09:47 AM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 10:20 AM
Musket 16 Oct 14 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Punkfolkrocker 16 Oct 14 - 11:03 AM
Musket 16 Oct 14 - 11:17 AM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 11:59 AM
TheSnail 16 Oct 14 - 02:38 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 02:40 PM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 02:48 PM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 03:13 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 03:46 PM
TheSnail 16 Oct 14 - 05:13 PM
TheSnail 16 Oct 14 - 05:19 PM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 05:21 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 05:26 PM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 05:26 PM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 05:27 PM
Musket 16 Oct 14 - 05:28 PM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 05:34 PM
MGM∑Lion 16 Oct 14 - 05:34 PM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 05:41 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 06:23 PM
The Sandman 16 Oct 14 - 06:25 PM
Musket 16 Oct 14 - 06:28 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 14 - 07:19 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 12:40 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Oct 14 - 01:35 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Oct 14 - 01:38 AM
Musket 17 Oct 14 - 01:52 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Oct 14 - 03:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 05:06 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Oct 14 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,MikeL2 17 Oct 14 - 06:01 AM
Musket 17 Oct 14 - 06:04 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Oct 14 - 06:44 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Oct 14 - 06:52 AM
TheSnail 17 Oct 14 - 07:21 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 14 - 08:04 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 08:58 AM
MGM∑Lion 17 Oct 14 - 09:49 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 14 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Oct 14 - 10:37 AM
The Sandman 17 Oct 14 - 10:40 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 14 - 12:07 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 01:46 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 14 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,MikeL2 17 Oct 14 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Oct 14 - 02:26 PM
The Sandman 17 Oct 14 - 03:32 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 04:26 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 14 - 04:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 14 - 07:53 PM
The Sandman 17 Oct 14 - 08:50 PM
MGM∑Lion 18 Oct 14 - 01:42 AM
Musket 18 Oct 14 - 01:53 AM
The Sandman 18 Oct 14 - 03:22 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Oct 14 - 03:27 AM
Musket 18 Oct 14 - 04:48 AM
TheSnail 18 Oct 14 - 06:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 14 - 06:37 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Oct 14 - 07:55 AM
Musket 18 Oct 14 - 11:05 AM
Don Firth 18 Oct 14 - 11:50 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Oct 14 - 12:03 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 14 - 01:05 PM
The Sandman 18 Oct 14 - 01:14 PM
Musket 18 Oct 14 - 01:22 PM
Don Firth 18 Oct 14 - 05:22 PM
The Sandman 18 Oct 14 - 05:45 PM
The Sandman 18 Oct 14 - 05:50 PM
Bounty Hound 18 Oct 14 - 07:01 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 14 - 07:25 PM
Don Firth 18 Oct 14 - 09:28 PM
Don Firth 18 Oct 14 - 09:59 PM
Musket 19 Oct 14 - 03:24 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 04:29 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 14 - 05:21 AM
The Sandman 19 Oct 14 - 05:31 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 07:13 AM
Musket 19 Oct 14 - 11:20 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 11:39 AM
MGM∑Lion 19 Oct 14 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Oct 14 - 12:12 PM
The Sandman 19 Oct 14 - 12:19 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Oct 14 - 01:20 PM
Musket 19 Oct 14 - 01:58 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 03:49 PM
Musket 19 Oct 14 - 06:44 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 14 - 06:51 PM
The Sandman 20 Oct 14 - 09:47 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 14 - 09:50 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 14 - 10:17 AM
The Sandman 20 Oct 14 - 11:21 AM
Richard Mellish 20 Oct 14 - 11:22 AM
Richard Mellish 20 Oct 14 - 11:32 AM
Musket 20 Oct 14 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 20 Oct 14 - 11:53 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 14 - 12:39 PM
Richard Mellish 20 Oct 14 - 12:46 PM
Vic Smith 20 Oct 14 - 06:33 PM
Musket 20 Oct 14 - 07:10 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 02:49 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 21 Oct 14 - 05:53 AM
Musket 21 Oct 14 - 06:04 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 06:07 AM
The Sandman 21 Oct 14 - 07:52 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 08:40 AM
Musket 21 Oct 14 - 08:44 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 11:07 AM
Musket 21 Oct 14 - 12:04 PM
MGM∑Lion 21 Oct 14 - 12:51 PM
MGM∑Lion 21 Oct 14 - 12:54 PM
The Sandman 21 Oct 14 - 01:06 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 02:52 PM
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Jim Carroll 21 Oct 14 - 04:08 PM
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Musket 22 Oct 14 - 03:14 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 14 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,pubkfolkrocker 22 Oct 14 - 07:33 AM
Musket 22 Oct 14 - 12:05 PM
MGM∑Lion 22 Oct 14 - 12:40 PM
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Subject: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Andy7
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 02:39 PM

Hi All, I'm a newcomer to this great site, so apologies in advance, as I'm sure this must often have been discussed before. But I've sometimes wondered, what might make a newly-written song a 'folk song'?

I enjoy writing songs occasionally, just for fun, as I'm sure many of you do. But there are only a couple of these that I might label as 'folk songs' (if anyone asked me); one or two more are just lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek 'pop' songs; and the rest are just, well, songs.

So, the serious question is, what makes a new song a folk song? Should it have a particular kind of tune? Must it carry an important message? Does it need to be about ordinary people's lives?

When we're all singing a well-known folk standard from long ago, we just know it's a folk song. But what about a song written last week, or a year ago? Can that be a folk song? Or does it have to be written by an already accepted folk song writer, or stand the test of time?

Andy7


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: mg
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 02:41 PM

lots and lots of people singing it and passing it on and perhaps thinking it is traditional...I would say a song written last week could be and most would not agree with me..but some can go viral now...but i odn't think you can write one with the intention of it being a folk song and just declare it so. Lots and lots of people have to like it and sing it.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 02:49 PM

"What makes a new song a folk song?"

Not a blessed thing save age and lots of it. Thus spake the Ghost of 1954. Now stop stirring shite!


Oh, welcome to Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Andy7
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 02:54 PM

"Oh, welcome to Mudcat."

Thanks! :-)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 02:58 PM

Welcome! :-)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 03:20 PM

I'd say that to be a folk song, it should tell a story. Typical singer-songwriter navelgazing (e.g. writing about one's feelings) does not apply.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 04:04 PM

Time, and being taken up by the "folk process," i.e., other people learning it and singing it. And over time, perhaps changing it here and there.

The person who appears at a session or an open mike and announces, "This is a folk song I wrote on the bus the other day," is talking nonsense, and shows a lack knowledge of what folk music really is.

This is like taking a piece of furniture that looks like it's 200 years old to the "Antiques Roadshow" television program and saying, "This is an antique cabinet that I made in my shop last week!" He would be summarily ushered out of the place and find himself and his "antique" sitting on the curb.

One cannot not make an "antique." Nor can one write a "folk song." It may become that eventually. But only time and usage will determine that.

Don't let that stop you from writing songs, though. Just don't put labels on them that they have not yet earned. That's kind of pompous.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 04:13 PM

Depends what your definition of 'folk' is. There are many definitions on this forum. Most of the previous posters are going by a definition coined in 1954, but the media might argue with that, and the 'folk' themselves don't use this definition. Have a look at the 'folk' section in HMV. If Mumfords can do it so can you.

A folk song is nowadays anything sung by a folksinger! Are you a folksinger? Hee hee!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: mg
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 04:38 PM

I don't think it matters what you sing, just if other people pick it up and sing it.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 04:51 PM

No, Steve, I'm not going by the 1954 definition. I'm going by the definition that people like the Lomaxes, Carl Sandberg, and Cecil Sharp used when they were out collecting songs.

As I just said, you can call something an antique, but only age and use makes a genuine antique. I don't think Tom Paxton, Townes Van Zandt, and other writers of folk-like songs tried to pass them off as folk songs. They knew better.

If it's a good song and other people want to learn it and sing it, it may very well become a folk song in time, but to claim it's a folk song when the ink is still wet is trying to give it a status that it doesn't yet deserve.

Phony. And a bit dishonest.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 05:09 PM

Nothing


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 05:17 PM

Folk song is simply the music of the people, we need to differentiate between traditional music and modern music.

I'm sure there are many here who would readily accept the songs of writers like Stan Rodgers or John Richards as 'folk songs' If you merely apply a qualification of antiquity to make a song a 'folk song' then will everything that is in the charts this week eventually become a folk song? I don't think so!

I think it's got more to do with lyrical style, content and having a musical style that fits the tradition from which it comes. As a 'for instance' I've written several songs based around local historic stories and legend, personally, I'm very comfortable with describing those songs as 'folk songs'

Bounty Hound John


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 05:26 PM

Andy, you've asked a very interesting question, one that I would be interested in discussing. But it will probably be impossible on this site. There will be far too much noise.

In general, for every one Mudcat post addressing the subject of the thread there are at least 20 posts by people who have no interest in the subject but simply have a lot of free time on their hands and a hopelessly vain desire to sound clever.

When the subject includes the word "folk," that ratio becomes much higher: for every one post addressing the subject there will be at least 50 posts by people who just dropped in to tell you that's not what "folk" means, despite the fact that 95% of the American public take it to mean the same thing as you take it to mean. They think they are something akin to the immortels of the Acadťmie franÁaise, with the authority to dictate language and overrule common usage.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Michaelr is certainly on the right track. The songs that we call folk tend to be story songs, rather than, as Bob Dylan said, "tell your ma, tell your pa, our love's a-gonna grow; ooh wah wah."

But there's also a difference in the music. I don't know enough about music theory to describe it, but I can tell a folk song from a rock song without hearing the words, even if the latter is played on acoustic guitar and sung without a microphone. And I can spot a rock musician by his guitar style, even if he's playing a folk song.

It might not be the song itself, but only the manner of playing it. When George Strait sings "Red River Valley" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PupeWwhMbQc), it sounds like a folk song, though most of his songs sound like country-western and not folk. But the Ventures did a rock version of it so trite and commercial that no one would have guessed it was based on a folk song.

One thing that might help the discussion (if we can weave it in between the noisemakers) would be to consider other examples like that, or songs that are on the cusp between folk and something else. I think even the pseudo-immortels would call "Red River Valley" a folk song, since they don't know who wrote it. But we could similarly discuss Stephen Foster's "Oh Susanna" or Jimmie Davis' "You Are My Sunshine."


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 05:50 PM

The 1954 definition is so old and has been interpreted and reinterpreted by so many people that it, too, has become "folk."

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 06:03 PM

The trouble with folk as marketing category (the 'Mumford' approach) is that it's a label without a definition - and that means that you could find two songs, one labelled 'folk' and one labelled 'pop' or 'rock', and be unable to explain to anyone why one is called folk and the other not.

We can say, more or less, whether a song is traditional or not, and we can dig around a bit in the traditional repertoire and identify different flavours of folk - this song escaped from a parlour songbook, this one's a music hall number, this one was circulating on broadsheets when Pepys was writing his diary, and so on. (And, incidentally, if you can identify the song itself as traditional it ceases to matter what it actually sounds like - ambient trad, electro trad, death metal trad, go nuts.)

What makes a newer song sound folk-like is another question. Some people set words to traditional tunes, or actually emulate the style of traditional songs; some people hear 'folk' and think 'protest song'; and lots of people think James Taylor writes folk songs, so that's what they try to emulate.

Ceterum censeo the Bad Shepherds delenda est.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Andy7
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 06:34 PM

Thank you for all your interesting replies! I've been going along to folk clubs and folk weekends for some 10 years now, but I still consider myself a newcomer to the folk scene. (No, I'm not being humble, just honest!)

I like what Tony said, "The songs that we call folk tend to be story songs". But some of the older folk songs that we often sing are actually love songs, not story songs.

How about 'Scarborough Fair', for example? It's very cleverly written, and because of its age it's accepted as a folk song; but it's really just another love song, after all! It doesn't carry any message about oppressed workers, world peace, or an idealistic way of living that we might all aspire to.

Any way, these are just a couple of thoughts. I'm not trying to prove anything; I'm just genuinely interested in understanding what the style of music - folk - that I've grown to love, actually is, haha!

Andy7


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Airymouse
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 06:34 PM

Today I learned that my granddaughter, Nell, is learning a folk song in her music class. It is called Tom Dooley. I haven't heard the song yet, but I fear that it devolved from a song written by Frank Proffitt, which he called Tom Dula. We could drive to Bedford county in 1 1/2 hours and to Franklin county in about 45 minutes, and Cecil Sharp collected 200 "tunes" (as he called them) in these two counties. There is an important distinction between one of these 200 tunes and "Tom Dooley," but obviously that the term, folk song, does not mark this distinction. That is why you hear the terms "vernacular song", "traditional song", "old time song", etc. I think it is time to retreat: let people write folk songs, and let us honor and cherish the kind of songs that Cecil Sharp called tunes.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 06:43 PM

To my way of thinking, folk songs are the songs that most people can sing or play.

This excludes a lot of narrative ballads, which some seem to think are the heart of folk music, and includes a lot of other stuff that those same people wouldn't ever bother with. Sorry about that. The "folk" are people in general, not just the people who go to folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 07:09 PM

Traditional folk songs are commercial songs which have been remembered after their authors have been forgotten. We remember Stephen Foster's name because so many of his songs remained popular for a long time, while songs composed by his less enduringly successful contemporaries are now called traditional.

Maybe one of the differences is that in the past popular songs had a different message than the ones Miley Cyrus sings. Or maybe we should borrow from Marshall McLuhan and say they have a different massage, one that massages the soul rather than the genitalia. Then maybe a new folk song is a new song that carries the older type of message, despite the fact that it's less likely to make a pot of money for somebody.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 07:50 PM

I think you all mean a real folk song is longer than a piece of string?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 08:40 PM

Be aware, Andy, that the song "Scarborough Fair" has been around long, long before Simon and Garfunkel, and over the years--centuries--it has gone through a number of changes and has spawned many different but obviously related versions.

In fact, it dates back at least as far as the 1600s, and probably much, much further. It is related to both "Riddles Wisely Expounded" (Child #1) and "The Elfin Knight" (Child #2).

Definitely a true folk ballad.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 08:53 PM

And "Tom Dooley" ("Tom Dula") was not written by Frank Proffitt. Proffitt learned the song from his Aunt Nancy Prather, whose parents had known both Laura Foster and Tom Dula.

Did one of them write the song? Don't know. Perhaps.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 10:52 PM

The 1954 definition.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 12:09 AM

Why, Richard, are you obsessed with "The 1954" definition? It was neither the first or the last definition offered, and it never was intended to define, it was only an explanation the scope of the work members of the organization.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Haruo
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 12:17 AM

So is the narrator in "Key of R" singing a folk song?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 01:57 AM

Richard, my ideas of what constitutes a folk song and what doesn't does not spring from the "1954 definition," which I never heard of before I started frequenting Mudcat some years ago, in 1999 to be exact.

In the late 1950s, while studying music and English Literature at the University of Washington, I took a course entitled "The Popular Ballad," taught by Prof. David C. Fowler, author of a scholarly work on "Piers the Plowman" and a number of other works on early English Literature. Prior to that, I had taken another course in the English Lit. Department on Early English Literature going back as far as "Beowulf." I have a thorough acquaintance with the Child Ballads and the very early collections of songs and ballads by such collectors as Bishop Percy, Sir Walter Scott, and others?along with, of course, Cecil Sharp. And of course, I'm very familiar with the collections of the Lomaxes, who began by collecting cowboy songs sung by real cowboys (and learned that some of them had English ballad forebears), Frank and Ann Warner, and other American collectors.

Dr. Fowler introduced the ballad class to early troubadour and minstrel songs and ballads, some going back to the 12th century, and the bardic tradition, and touched on the traditions of the scops and skalds of the Scandinavian countries. And songs of the Goliards, along with introduced the class to the early poetry that went into the Carmina Burana. A quite extensive and comprehensive course indeed?with one killer of a term paper assignment that required a great deal of research on my part.

I have long been fascinated by the history behind these songs, ever since, as a teen-ager, I heard a broadcast by Burl Ives on the history of the Erie Canal along with songs connected with it. I learned more about the Erie Canal and its importance in opening the interior of the country in that half-hour than I ever learned in any history class in school.

I have a fairly extensive collection of books on folk music and ballads, from academic studies to song books. A whole bookcase full, in fact. Which I have read.

Real folk songs and ballads have some meat to them!

Therefore, I'm given to snort when I hear someone say, "This is a folk song I wrote this afternoon. . . ."

But my view has nothing to do with the "1954 definition," about I knew nothing until I read it posted here a few years ago, and about which you seem to be so contemptuous.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 03:10 AM

Sing it in a folk club. It instantly becomes a folk song.


Morning Jim!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 03:26 AM

Or, following on from Musket's comment above, get June Tabor to record it? (With or without The Oyster Band!)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 03:38 AM

Oh God! I'm so boooooorrreddd with this 'what is folk?' 'debate'!!!

What questions like this usually boil down to is: "Can someone please give me permission to call the (usually guitar based) music that I like 'folk'? And if you won't I'll scream and shout and stamp my foot!"


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 03:41 AM

They don't allow stomp boxes in 1954 folk clubs Shimrod...


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 04:43 AM

& am I boooorrrrreeeddddd with idiots who open threads that they know they are going to find boring & then complain they are bored!! Why open the bloody thread for christs sake, shim, if you're so bloody bored with the topic? What did you expect to find on it? Discussion of the Retail Price Index or the latest enormities by IS?

You - ahh; umm; err - intellectually challenged fellow, you!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 04:58 AM

Does your dictionary (free with Boys Own 1932) have the word "affinity" in it ?

Me? I love threads describing what folk music is or isn't. Far better that people get all worked up over something they claim to love and understand than the BS topics you err.. they, (phew I think you got away with that Musket) have no understanding or grasp of other than their inbuilt bigotry.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 05:01 AM

"Traditional folk songs are commercial songs which have been remembered after their authors have been forgotten"
'Fraid not
Some traditional songs were sold as broadsides which probably borrowed from an existing song tradition, but there is no evidence whatever that any of them began life as commercial products.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 05:20 AM

Hmmm! Obviously hit a nerve there, MGM ... and, err, Musket (?)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 05:31 AM

Folk songs came from everywhere,some were composed by every day people,
some by scholars,some by political activists,name a source and somewhere exists a song that originated there.
The thing that unites the songs is they have some quality that touches people in some way.
That quality be it sentiment,tune,national pride or whatever is the thing which encourages singers to learn and sing the song and others to learn it themselves.
The songs have travelled through time largly by oral transmission and have been shaped a little by each of the singers who have transmitted them.
The songs of today if they travel in a similar way could well be considered a folk song in 50 or 100 years time.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 06:01 AM

Come on, chaps, did you all miss the definitive statement further up the thread by Guest Tony? Folk music is what 95% of the American public says it is. Anyone who disagrees with that proposition is a 'noisemaker'.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 06:32 AM

rhubarbrhubarbrhubarbrhubarbrhubarb


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 06:34 AM

Much too derivative.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 08:37 AM

Because the genre is so undefined it is truly impossible to say. I think it has a lot to do with the background of the person performing it - if they regularly perform in folk clubs, or used to, their songs are more likely to be thought of as 'folk'. On the other hand you get people writing acoustic songs which might be considered 'folk' who strenuously resist the label because 'folk' is usually unfashionable and commercial death.

Often it's a label of convenience for anything vaguely acoustic which doesn't conveniently fit into the charts' straitjacket.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 08:52 AM

I suppose once it gets a Round Number then the jobs a good 'un. Plenty new songs have these (Shoals of Herring, for example) having been subsequently collected from Bona Fide Traditional Singers - whatever the hell they might be in this day 'n' age; even in that day 'n' age the implications of pure blood cultural innocence are really too much to cope with. One would have thought singing such material would automatically disqualify them - innocence lost and the pure blood sullied.

*

Last night a bunch of us did a gig of entirely Brand New Folk Songs on board of a trawler as part of the opening stages of The Fylde Festival. All the lyrics were newly composed in various Traditional Styles on subjects of Lancastrian Folklore (Folk Dancing, Ritual Bonfires, Witchcraft, Visiting Royalty and Trawlers) by Ron Baxter and set / adapted to Idiomatically Traditional Melodies by the individuals in the band.

Any Fylde goers will have a chance to hear us do it again at The North Euston on this coming Friday noon and Saturday PM (look out for 'Lancashire Curiosities' in your programmes) and I trust no one will be in any doubt as to what qualifies the material as being Folk, however so recent in its composition. In terms of the 1954 Definition it's all bang on anyway - lots of continuity with the past and chock full of creative impulse & variation with the ultimate form determined by the community with plenty of unwritten collective remaking & remodelling to give it that all-important folk character which guarantees that it never comes out the same way twice.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 09:08 AM

As with singers themselves age mainly. Or a current topical/historical theme tends to got a song classed as Folk


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 09:23 AM

It's because the 1954 definition is right.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Airymouse
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 09:38 AM

Even in maths it is possible to believe passionately in an idea that is wrong. David Hilbert gave a famous lecture in which exhorted his audience to work on the 23 important questions he had selected, because as he said, there is no such thing as an unsolvable mathematical problem. As it turned out the very first question he posed was an unanswerable question. The information supplied by Don Firth that "Tom Dooley" is a variant of a song of unknown authorship handed down in an oral tradition from generation to generation leaves me believing passionately that there is a difference between folk songs and other songs, but since I believe "Tom Dooley" is some of the other stuff, I see that I don't know what I'm talking about. Having admitted this, I still have some advice for those who are setting about to write a folk song: the topic is of no importance. The song does not have to tell a story, be for peace or motherhood, or against war and injustice. As Gilbert put it in one his wonderful songs, which is not a folk song 'cause Gilbert and Sullivan wrote it, "The flowers that bloom in the spring, have nothing to do with the case." And Don, if you happen to know that Sullivan swiped the tune from an old English air and Gilbert swiped the words from old English rhyme, please don't tell me.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 09:46 AM

"It's because the 1954 definition is right."

The 1954 definition doesn't allow for new songs to enter the folk music lexicon. It condemns the art form to a slow death.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 10:50 AM

"It's because the 1954 definition is right."

So what were these songs before the 1954 definition? were they 'folk' songs when they were first written/composed,however long ago that may have been, or did they only become folk in 1954!!

'Folk' is merely the name we have given to a musical style and the 1954 definition is an attempt to define the heritage of that style. The definition (I believe) says that folk music is the 'product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission' I think the case that a new song which respects that tradition could be said to be a 'product' of that tradition and therefore be 'folk' would not be too difficult to argue!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 10:55 AM

Should have added for the sake of clarity, the 1954 definition describes a TRADITION that has evolved through oral transmission, it does not specify that an individual song has to 'evolve through oral tradition'


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 11:10 AM

Andy7,

basically a new song doesn't really become a folk song.

However many songs from the Fifties and Sixties have been assumed to be folk. So you choose which definition of Folk that you like and go with it, or make up your own definition.

I find that the 1954 definition is somewhat over restrictive; I sing many songs which I introduce as folk songs which don't fit that definition.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 11:21 AM

If you dismiss the 1954 stuff, it becomes irrelevant.

Try it, you'll be surprised. I was playing in a band at a Celtic festival last year and this chestnut came up over beer. You'd be surprised how many well known names in the traditional scene have no idea or concept of the 1954 stuff and are bemused to see that anybody gives a stuff about it.

When I said try it, there are side effects.

You might find yourself saying rhubarbrhubarbrhubarb...   (Looks like you were right Shimrod. I seem to have a wire welded to his nerve permanently these days. Rather good fun really.)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 11:31 AM

The 1954 definition was "right" for the purpose, time and place for which it was formulated. Applying it more widely may sometimes work but can lead to problems. Notably it excludes songs such as those written by McColl, Tawney et al, which even some of us here (fussy argumentative blighters with a passion for the subject) would like to consider as "folk".

The OP, as an admitted newcomer, asked an innocent question. Unfortunately it's a question to which the classic words of Joad apply: "It depends what you mean by ...". Hence this thread promptly drifting onto what we mean by "folk song". The fact that that subject has been flogged to death several times before on Mudcat hasn't stopped a further round of argument.

The wisest observation that I can recall seeing is that the term "folk" is currently used by different people with such radically different meanings that it has become almost useless.

Many of us know what we personally consider to be folk songs, but that's largely on the same subjective basis as was applied by the early collectors: "I know one when I hear one".


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 11:53 AM

'basically a new song doesn't really become a folk song.'

So are you saying Bert, that it is only antiquity that defines 'folk' songs. perhaps you can explain then what the songs that are now old enough and therefore 'folk' were when they were first written?

perhaps you can then explain how they differ from a song written yesterday that shows a respect to, or an influence from the tradition from which those old songs come?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 01:11 PM

Guest is completely wrong. Any new song can become a folk song when it passes the tests so well encapsulated in the 1954 definition. There are a number of areas where the definition could be tweaked.

"Folk Song" cannot be defined merely by style for the simple reason that then the folk music of one country would not be folk music in another - simply because the styles of the countries differ.

Bounty Hound misreads the 1954 definition. The reference to evolution qualifies the song not the tradition.

The areas where (I feel) the 1954 definition could be tweaked are as follows.

First "community" could be clarified. It need not be geographical.

Second maybe "oral" should be "aural" - to cover those of us who learn songs by ear from the internet. Maybe even that is too narrow and learning from writings and recordings generally should be acceptable (so long as the other parameters are met).

Third, it seems to me that "unwritten" could be dropped.

It may be worth noting that the definition does not require that an individual composer should be unknown.


Thus, for example, the myriad variations of "Ride On" would make it now eligible to be a folk song.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 01:32 PM

Round number? I meant, of course, Roud number.

Does Ride On have one yet I wonder? Surely only a matter of time... Nice to see it has a Bridge number anyway.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 01:37 PM

I just pulled up a thread that contained a statement of the "1954 definition." Frankly, I don't find much of anything to squawk about. It seems pretty comprehensive to me.

Above, I drew the parallel between a folk song and a piece of antique furniture. The genuine antique has a provenance?a history of previous ownership and usage. I think the parallel holds. A newly manufactured artifact is NOT an antique in spite of any claims made in its behalf.

The only people who get "hurt" by this definition are those who wish to claim a status and authenticity for a song they have written which has not yet earned it. Only time and other people learning it and singing it will do that.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: mg
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 01:43 PM

But I don't think anyone is trying to pass something off as antique. Songs like clear away in the morning, the dutchman etc. are not antique but they are known around the world. What is Darcy Farrow? The average folk does not know how old or new the songs she sings area...perhaps we should call a song antique if it is...or maybe call them popular songs in a traditional style.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Elmore
Date: 27 Aug 14 - 10:10 PM

What is Darcy Farrow? A Faux song.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 27 Aug 14 - 10:38 PM

In view of the part of the anatomy which rests on a chair, antique or not, could one posit an 'anal' tradition here, as well as in folk music - oh sorry, that was 'aural', wasn't it?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bert
Date: 27 Aug 14 - 10:48 PM

Bounty Hound, it is a long way from new to antiquity.

As for which songs are old enough to be folk, I wouldn't know. But there are many songs that are old enough to be 'not new' which are still not folk songs and are not yet antique.

If a song was written yesterday it would not have had time to be distributed enough to be accepted as folk.

Unfortunately most songwriters are not widely enough known for their songs to enter the tradition; however good and folky their songs might be.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 01:29 AM

"'Darcy Farrow'" is a song written by Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell, and first recorded in 1965 by Ian & Sylvia on their album, 'Early Morning Rain.' Gillette released his first recording of it in 1967 on his self-titled album, 'Steve Gillette.'

"The song has been covered by more than 300 artists, including, most notably, John Denver, who recorded it three times and made it famous. [Many people assume that Denver wrote it. --DF]

"The song was written in 1964, inspired by something that happened to Gillette's little sister, Darcy, when she was 12. She was running behind her horse chasing it into the corral when she was kicked. She broke her cheekbone but had no lasting ill effects. Campbell took a melody that Gillette had written and came up with a story about two young lovers and a tragic fall. The place names are actual places around the region of the high valleys and the Walker River in Nevada, where Tom lived when he was eight or nine years old."

?condensed from an article in Wikipedia.

Don Firth

P. S. Is it a folk song? Looks like it might be on its way. Time and usage will tell.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 03:26 AM

"Time and usage will tell."
Time, usage and general acceptance as belonging to everybody sounds good to me.
I've never been sure of how copyrighting a song helps that process.
Right up to the 1980s Travellers in England were still making songs about their lives, if you pushed hard enough, you might just be able to find out who made it, it didn't seem particularly important to them who it was.
When you came across it later you would be told "that's a Traveller song" - a sign it had begun to take root.
It had nothing to do with style or subject, just how it was perceived by the people it involved.
The same applied to the hundreds of songs which were made in this part of rural Ireland, certainly throughout the period up to the mid 1950s.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 03:29 AM

Sorry - that should read "Irish Travellers" in England, they were the people we were recording information from.
I'm pretty sure that the same was happening with Scots Travellers, but I can't speak with any experience on that.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 03:51 AM

Thirty odd years ago, Dave Burland got up to sing in a folk club that rather pompously declared itself a "folk only" club. I had earlier sung one of my own songs and got a glare from the MC.

Dave sang "I don't like Mondays" written by Bob Geldof of course for his band The Boomtown Rats and recently been in the charts back then.

He introduced it as a living folk song. Gave the provenance in his intro, all the rest of it.

It's been my interpretation ever since.

Any chance of giving it a Bridge number?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 04:22 AM

Airymouse:

The 1954 definition doesn't allow for new songs to enter the folk music lexicon. It condemns the art form to a slow death.

The first sentence isn't really true, although I'd admit it makes it difficult. But even if it was true, why would the second one follow? I've sung about 100 traditional folk songs and would probably recognise about 100 more, and that's scratching the surface of a drop in a bucket - there's loads of stuff out there, enough to keep anyone going for a lifetime. Is the music of Bach condemned to a slow death? (Must be very slow if so - there haven't been any new examples since 1750.)

Bert:

I find that the 1954 definition is somewhat over restrictive; I sing many songs which I introduce as folk songs which don't fit that definition.

In that case the question is what you'd lose by not referring to thos songs as folk songs. (Just as a thought experiment, not a practical suggestion.) I think an awful lot of the confusion around the 'folk' label is sustained by people thinking 'folk is good, what I sing is good, therefore what I sing is folk'. I take the view that when I sing a Child ballad I'm singing a folksong, when I sing the Ballad of Accounting I'm not.

Musket (and others):

If absolutely any song you care to mention can be called a folk song, what's the point of using the word 'folk'? The only advantages that I can see it gives you are (a) being able to tell yourself you're just as 100%-folkie as you ever were and (b) being able to sneak new songs into traddie venues. And - with all due respect to Dave Burland - why would you want to do either of those things?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 05:17 AM

Because it is a genre, not a discipline.

The folk clubs are all but dead and buried in The UK. Of those left, the average age is rising with the calendar. We have lots of people with guitars and books propped up at the side of them singing Fields of Athenry" and Bob Dylan songs from three chord song books yet call themselves folk clubs.

Show me where I can share the provenance of a Child ballad, note the historical context of the circumstances that the song arose from and get genuine interest for hearing how and why I apply a particular musical style, that cadences were evolving at the time due to the influence of Bach in church music, allowing a freedom of expression in ballad tunes....

See ? Half the buggers are in the bar already.

Folk is an excellent collection hobby. Live music is related but only by marriage. If you want pub acoustic nights to stop calling themselves folk, good luck. If you want lots if people to listen earnestly whilst a retired teacher from Harpenden gives a ten minute lecture on highland crofting before sticking his finger in his ear and clearing the room, good luck.

Folk as a term sits with the term evolution. If your "folk" collection is on iTunes, have a look and giggle at the myriad genres it suggests. An album of A L Lloyd, McColl, Fred Jordan etc on my system seems to be country and western.

Tell you what though. Folklorigists in two hundred years searching my hard drive might defend it to the death.

That's folk....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 06:06 AM

I'm going to disagree with you Richard, the song (or tune) is the 'product'

It is the 'musical tradition' that has evolved.

'Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission.'

On that basis, I'm very comfortable with any new song or tune that pays due respect to that musical tradition being described as 'folk'


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 06:12 AM

"Show me where I can share the provenance of a Child ballad, note the historical context of the circumstances that the song arose from and get genuine interest for hearing how and why I apply a particular musical style, that cadences were evolving at the time due to the influence of Bach in church music, allowing a freedom of expression in ballad tunes...." "If you want lots if people to listen earnestly whilst a retired teacher from Harpenden gives a ten minute lecture on highland crofting before sticking his finger in his ear and clearing the room, good luck." Why are these two (similar) examples in separate paragraphs?

Is either quoted as an example of a "Folk club"? If so in what way do they reflect the process by which songs originally found their way into what became known as the folk repertoire? Is this what the Coppers were doing all the time, or Sam Larner?

"If you want pub acoustic nights to stop calling themselves folk, good luck." Are you suggesting that the gatherings of 20+ singers down the pub every couple of weeks singing choruses, Child ballads and songs Baring-Gould tried to rewrite should not be considered "folk": nor the monthly session in the bar playing mainly Irish tunes, or the monthly music session led by third generation (at least) instrumentalists playing local English tunes? (OK ? perhaps those aren't the acoustic nights you meant.)

True, I'd happily go to the "Child ballad" venue myself whereas I won't go near anything that says "open mic" but I'd not like to claim one was folk and the other wasn't.

Back to the OP ? when songs are written they're not folk songs, they're just songs. If they get processed they may evolve into folk songs. So you can have a new folk song but it will already be an old song and it's impossible to detect a precise point at which it became "folk". The thing with evolution is that you usually can't detect it until after it's happened and there's no precise point during the process that you can identify as the only point ? you can't predict during the process what it's becoming (you can just identify variation), you can only tell after the process what it has become.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 07:55 AM

Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission.'

The problem here is that this applies to all musical idioms and defines the nature of human music making these past 50,000 years or so, which is the only unbroken tradition that matters: the music we make might be new, but its components are as old as time.

Understanding the various aspects of Folk Song & Ballad in terms of Musicological Idiom is the only thing that makes sense. That a lot of (but not all) old songs have multiple variations is only to be expected given the organic variance of universal process (which begins, or begins again, with The Big Bang) in which the inevitability of entropy is the necessity that mothers invention and renewal. The fact that those variants are just part of that process is something often overlooked by those looking for absolutes; pre-revival, nothing would have been sung the same way twice. To understand its true nature we'd need a crack team of time-travelling musicologists to record every single utterance of any given song from its initial composition and follow it along its various deltas until the point when it died. A mighty river of song indeed.   

All musical idioms are evolving, giving rise to new idioms, every single one of which can trace its lineage back to what went before it. As a description of Music, therefore, the 1954 Definition does quite nicely as a truism, but saying it's unique to Folk Music is akin to citing the Horse Definition, which is, one level, perfectly true - all music, on those terms, must be Folk Music, because all music is made by Folks. The term Traditional Music is a tautology; all music is traditional, just as all human beings are folks, and all human music making is part / parcel of what defines our very humanity. This is NOT the same as saying all music is Folk Music - heaven forfend. All music is NOT Folk Music because Folk Music is an idiom defined by a century or more of mealy-mouthed, upper-middle-class revivalism; it does not get any more mealy-mouthed than the 1954 Definition.

Popular Music is the better term, of which the various idioms accepted as being Folk are a sort of anachronistic sub-species lovingly maintained by cranky enthusiasts in the randomly curated cultural equivalent of the archives of the Pitt-Rivers Museum where everything is a matter of taxidermy and taxonomy lifted / abandoned from / by their initial living context. Meanwhile, the Real Living Traditions of Popular Music continue the path of evolutionary process that left idiomatic Folk Music behind centuries ago thus making it the ideal plaything for those of an antiquarian bent to fuss over to their hearts content.

The Devil is, as ever, in the details. Break it down far enough and nothing can ever be repeated the same way twice. This is the way of the Tao, the entropy of nature against which we're in constant battle but which will, one day, ensure that nothing remains of anything except on some quantum level that beggars simple belief anyway. Meanwhile, human genius keeps the whole think ticking over just nicely and those of us with an occasional passion for singing The Old Songs over a quiet pint or three down at The Fool and Bladder are in pretty good company I'd say, which is the whole point ultimately.

Folk : one tiny unchanging pixel of a very big evolving picture.

Now, back to Coventry.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 08:01 AM

The problem, which has been debated endlessly in similar discussions and no doubt will be debated in countless future ones, is that "folk" is used both in a technical sense to describe how a musical tradition evolves (let's call it Type A Folk aka 1954 Folk), and as a description of a style of performance (Type B Folk). This leads to endless argument between people who think that their interpretation is the only valid one. They are of course both valid meanings, but the context in which they are being used needs to be recognised. I prefer to describe Type A as "traditional" and Type B as "folk" but even this causes disagreement.

A newly-composed song might be Type B folk because of the nature of its performance. In time it may become Type A, not because age itself is a characteristic of Type A but because time must elapse for it to take on the characteristics of Type A. I think this has become more difficult, not because of the 1954 Definition but because technology means that people will more easily refer back to either the original or a definitive version as a benchmark and this makes it harder for other versions to evolve. More difficult, but not impossible.

A Type A song might not be performed in a "folk" style (think folk-rock) but remains "folk" because of its Type A characteristics.

There is further confusion between folk as it is understood in the UK and in the US/Canada where, as in so many other matters, there are cultural differences as well as similarities.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 08:25 AM

If a song was written yesterday it would not have had time to be distributed enough to be accepted as folk

There is an anecdote in one of the Opies' books on children's songs about a little ditty from the abdication of Edward VIII.

Hark the herald angels sing
Wallis Simpson's stole our King


It was first spotted in London a few days after the abdication. Without ever having any media exposure, it got to Barra in the Western Isles of Scotland within three weeks.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: BobKnight
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 08:35 AM

I write songs in traditional folk style. Does that make them "folk" songs? Duh - I dunno.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 09:22 AM

"I write songs in traditional folk style. Does that make them "folk"
You can't write folk songs any more than you can write hit songs - it's not your decision to make.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 10:03 AM

Howard,
I like your somewhat simplistic but useful description. It summarises things very neatly.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 10:17 AM

"Yes" in the stylistic sense, "no" (or "not yet") in the tradition sense


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 11:56 AM

All it takes is for someone to call it that. THere are, perhaps, a dozen different definitions of "folk song", each valid in its own way. And, speaking as one who was active in the field in 1954, there was NO generally accepted single definition.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 12:21 PM

Ah but Jim. he can write a song and say it is a hit but it might not be. He can call it a folk song and it is, on the basis of him saying it is alone. Nobody owns the genre, and this thread amongst others proves why.

It is a broad church.. A c17 ballad of someone having lover's balls for the wife of someone else is close to many "pop" songs whilst a song written two weeks ago by me giving an account of the division in society at this particular time is folk. By one definition. By another, it may well be the other way round.

Reminds me of the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham saying the English don't appreciate music, but they love the noise it makes.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 12:46 PM

He can call it a folk song and it is

Can I write a song on my ukulele and call it heavy metal or jazz-funk? Can I write a tune on my whistle & call it a baroque concerto?

Most forms of music have enthusiasts who are rather keen to stop anyone borrowing the label just because they feel like it. It only seems to be folk where the looters have taken over the shop.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 01:31 PM

Of course you can. Not sure you will fill The Albert Hall with your concerts mind... I was in a punk band in the late '70s and acoustic versions of some of my songs went down a treat in local folk clubs whilst one punk band I was in did a few up tempo jigs and reels as our encore (and were well known for it.)

Looters haven't taken over anything. If an old bloke with his finger in his ear is the same genre as Seth Lakeman then fine. Anything goes.

If some people want to call something from 1954 definitive, then folk music will die when the last fair isle sweater is stripped from the corpse. If the principle of being fascinated with and loving the abstract of music to give an identification to history is to be cherished, then loosen up.

At a guesstimate, I'd say less than 5% of those "involved" in UK folk have even heard of the ubiquitous 1954 definition and of those, most of us see it as a historical document in the evolution of our hobby.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 02:05 PM

"You can't write folk songs any more than you can write hit songs - it's not your decision to make."   
--Jim Carroll.

Right on!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Ernest
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 02:16 PM

Musket et al.,

it is not about "ownership" of the genre, but about the definition. You may well argue about the 1954 definition but you`ll have to concede that it at least tries to find a kind of objective criteria whereas the "everything-is-folk-that-I-like-to-call-it"-criteria is purely subjective.

Also, if every music is folk-music you might as well drop the "folk"-part completely.

As far as I see it if the way we still discuss a definition made in 1954 it must have some value, if no one came up with something better in 60 years.

Last but not least: The "everything-can-be-folk"-definition comes closer to the needs of the music industry than to those of a more scientific approach.

Considering that a majority of folkies considers themselves leaning to the left I find it quite amazing how easily they answer to the wishes of the industry... ;0)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 03:12 PM

It did try to put a value but be buggered to dissecting a live fluffy bunny to see how it works. Music is relief from the world around you, not a process of achieving your aims.

By the way, leaning to the left is nothing to do with folk. I note The British National Party claim to sing "John Barleycorn" at their rallies. You may as well note that male folk singers wear sandals and sport beards and that female folk singers eat brown rice.

At a "folk club" the other night with around eight singers on, I noted that the Taylors, Lowdens, Martins and hand made guitars meant at the very least £15k of firewood in the room. Music of the people indeed...

You know, in saying what folk is, you disenfranchise a hell of a lot of bloody good folk music with your pompous pronouncements.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 05:54 PM

Jim Carrol, the history of popular music is littered with examples of songs manufactured to be a 'hit' so I'm afraid that argument does not hold water! And of course you can write a 'folk' song or tune. If a piece of music is written paying respect to the tradition of the country of it's origin, then that is the folk music of that country as it maintains and develops that tradition.

The point above about instruments is also valid, few of the instruments used to accompany folk are native to the British Isles, so if we are not precious about the instruments, how can we be precious about the songs? The late Tim Hart made the point defending critics of Steeleye a few years back, that at the time the songs were first written they would have been sung either unaccompanied or accompanied by whatever happened to be available at the time, and in using electric instruments, steeleye were merely doing the same.

So the only difference is that we have traditional and modern folk songs and tunes, someone wrote the traditional songs in the first place, and the most important thing is to maintain the tradition, and new songs and tunes is how it evolves!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 06:47 PM

if we are not precious about the instruments, how can we be precious about the songs?

What have instruments got to do with anything? The words and the tune are the same whatever you accompany them with.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 07:16 PM

Isn't that what I just said Phil?

The point I was making is that we can't say there is no such thing as a new folk song, but the only songs that qualify as folk are those that have aquired that status by virtue of age, and then accompany them with instrumemts that have little to do with the traditon the song comes from.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bert
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 09:41 PM

...it must have some value, if no one came up with something better in 60 years...

Well that is not strictly the case. The thing is that the 1954 definition is only accepted by a few adherents. It is either unknown or completely ignored by most of the singing and dancing world.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:02 AM

The tune is never the same on my banjo. Be nice for it to stay in ^#}!!! tune for the duration of one song....

Reading some of the posts here, the authentic side of things preclude most instruments after crumhorns, lutes, clavichords and banging a rock with a stick.

For most of the exciting young folk acts I see and buy their albums, Moog synthesisers are "before my time" historical instruments.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:59 AM

"Well that is not strictly the case. The thing is that the 1954 definition is only accepted by a few adherents."
No it isn't - it has been the basis for all study since its inception and it has never been replaced by anything resembling a comprehensive definition.
Originally, it was conceived from half a centuries work that had taken place beforehand.
"Jim Carrol(l), the history of popular music is littered with examples of songs manufactured to be a 'hit'"
The idea of "manufacturing songs to be a 'hit'" is a relatively new one - most of our folk songs are centuries old.
"Hits" are deliberately churned out in view to them having a shelf life, and being replaced when they have served their purpose of expanding the bank accounts of the industry which markets them - they are products rather than than expressions of opinion and emotion that went in to the making of our folksongs.
Different beasts altogether.
"Ah but Jim. he can write a song and say it is a hit but it might not be."
Then he is wrong in calling it a "hit", just as he would have been wrong in calling it a folk song - far too early to tell in both cases.
Can I make a point here before this revert into the old "old bloke with his finger in his ear" slanging match.
As a singer and a listener, it doesn't matter in the slightest what I call the songs I sing or listen to - I either enjoy them or not according to my personal taste (fairly wide ranging in my case).
As I club organiser I believe I take on the responsibility of presenting what it says on the label so the punter knows what is on offer - matter of personal conscience, I suppose.
When I am writing or talking about folk songs have to be specific what I mean.
As well as their entertainment value, folk songs carry a huge amount of unique social, cultural and historical baggage not included in any other form of artistic expression.
A year ago we walked into our County Library office and asked if they would be interested in putting the four to five hundred songs we have collected in this small corner of County Clare, the idea being that they would take them and immediately put them up.
A year later, they are still not quite ready (October is now the aim).
The Library have had two members of staff working on the project for a year and we have spent a good deal of that period annotating and cross-referencing them.
For us, it has been a massive learning curve in discovering the part that these songs played in the lives of those who made and sang them.
We have been made aware of a whole new genre of songs, over 100 local compositions made on local events, some which have survived, many more that didn't, but simply died when the events were forgotten - all in the surrounding area of a fairly isolated one-street town in the West of Ireland.
We have been lucky enough to find a local man, 90 odd years of age, once a fine singer with a magnificent repertoire but now claiming he is "too old to sing any more".
He is still happy to "give it a go" but, more importantly, he is happy to talk about the songs, their importance to him and his neighbours ad what feels makes good singing and good songs - a far stretch from the "free as birdsong" approach that many people apply to folksong.
In the past, we were lucky enough to meet up with someone who was part of the last knockings of the broadside industry in Ireland ("the ballads, as they are known here) and was more than happy to describe the process of putting them into print and selling them around the fairs and markets in rural Kerry.
All this is a big subject and, in order to make any sense of it, we need a fairly specific definition to work to - not the case if we had stuck to being singers, as originally intended a couple of lifetimes ago.
Pat and I both came into this via the Folk Clubs, sadly, the last place I would direct anybody with a genuine interest in folk song nowadays is a folk club - too many personal agendas and far too many axes to grind - sadly.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 04:36 AM

Once again, it comes down the same dichtomy found in Jazz, Trad and Progressive. The idea folk is American I find hilarious, but occasionally offensive: America has its heritage in Europe, mostly in the UK. Every area has its own specialities, sure, but do cowboy songs belong in Folk or C&W?
That Mumford are called Folk is a matter of costume, not custom. That BD is called folk was a mistake of the 1960s, thankfully rectified in the 1990s: how glad I was on returning to the UK after many years overseas to discover the midAtlantic adenoidal with a guitar has nearly disappeared!
Another of the old questions is one of origins. We sing from who we are, and that includes who our family are. It means nobody in the UK is likely to sing cowboy balleds, for example: perhaps gymkhana ones...
At the same time, some traditions are specific, such that particular songs in some areas (Essex, for example) can "belong" to a particular singer to the point nobody else sings them.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 04:38 AM

Can't stop now. Off to write a folk song..

In the wonderful words of Alexi Sayle;

"Oh, I am a computer programmer
I come from Milton Keynes"

I can't recall the rest of the verse but it ends with. "haricot beans." If we make up a few bits each in our own style to end it, Alexi will be the genesis of a true folk song.

Alternatively, anything accompanied with an acoustic guitar will do these days.



(To say it isn't folk according to some, the likes of Mumford &Son are doing quite nicely thank you out of what millions of people recognise as folk... We lemmings can't all fe wrong eh?)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 05:12 AM

Ok, let's approach this from a slightly different angle.

Was the late Peter Bellamy a folk singer? Now I'm assuming that I get a rounding chorus of 'yes of course' from the assembled company.

So there you are, a few years ago, watching Peter perform, first he sings 'Georgie' (Child ballad, so no problem there then) then 'Fakenham Fair' (origin unknown, but thought by many to be a fairly recent song in the grand scale of things) then he sings 'The way beneath the ground' (his own song about a local legend)

So we're all agreed we are watching a 'folk singer' performing, and all the songs are performed in Peter's own inimitable style.

Which one is the 'folk' song??


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 05:49 AM

The late Tim Hart made the point defending critics of Steeleye a few years back, that at the time the songs were first written they would have been sung either unaccompanied or accompanied by whatever happened to be available at the time, and in using electric instruments, steeleye were merely doing the same.

It is worth remembering that when Cecil Sharp first heard morris accompanied by a concertina it was a relatively new instrument: not that very different in age from the electric guitar now.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 07:47 AM

Dunno where Rahere goes listening to folk in pubs but cowboy songs by retired teachers with books as aids are all the rage in The UK.

Mumford play folk. Full stop. It says so on the iTunes

There again, I'm heretic enough to call McColl's radio ballads folk.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 08:01 AM

Musket
cowboy songs by retired teachers with books as aids are all the rage in The UK

You really do need to get out more.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 08:21 AM

Ah, but Progressive Folk should still respect Trad.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 09:39 AM

Please, please, go back and read Howard's point on the 28th 08:01 a.m.

To take this a little further (at the risk of endless repetition on other threads) English is a remarkably elastic language constantly evolving.

Many many words in the dictionary have multiple definitions/meanings.

Surely 'folk' as a word has evolved into multiple definitions in different contexts. You are banging your head against a brick wall if you can't accept that for 'THE FOLK' the word 'folk' has a much wider meaning than what 1954 said.

As a researcher and writer I mostly use the 1954 definition, but then I'm not writing for the man in the street!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 10:03 AM

"Surely 'folk' as a word has evolved into multiple definitions in different contexts"
How does this help our determining what we mean by folk song Steve?
The sad fact is that we have woefully failed to attract anything resembling a wide following for our music means that the definitions that exist outside the 'folkie greenhouse' are the ones documented and fairly clearly defined.
Abandoning those definitions on behalf of self-interest and ignorance on the basis of what happens in a dwindling number of clubs does nothing to draw in anybody - on the contrary, it adds to the confusion and ignorance.
You're not happy with '54 - fine - give us an alternative we can toss around and see if it fits.   
What you are proposing is moving away from a definition very much in need of repair into an 'anything goes' situation.
Doesn't work for me, I'm afraid.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 11:28 AM

Perhaps Jim, as one who thinks there can be no such thing as new or recent 'folk' song, you might like to answer my question above, as no one else has, posted 29 Aug 14 - 05:12 AM

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 11:52 AM

"as one who thinks there can be no such thing as new or recent 'folk' song"!
Never said any such thing - I've recorded recent folk songs from communities that still have a living tradition
Britain doesn't any longer, neither does Ireland - the process of communities making and re-processing songs disappeared when we became passive recipients of our culture.
Don't really see what you are saying about Peter Bellamy.
He certainly was a singer of folk songs, the few songs he made himself weren't folk songs and I wasn't aware he ever claimed them to be.
Have got no problem with the idea of 'folk singers' - its the pedigree of the songs they sing that concern me (that is not a value judgement, just a attempt to create a common ground on which to discuss them).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 12:03 PM

Wouldn't say the UK hasn't, try Northumberland and, strangely, Essex, just about. But if you're right, what has CSH been doing?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 12:17 PM

It's all folk and has folk all to do with personal opinions. The genre has no definitive body, and I write folk songs.

Snail, if I got out more, I'd eventually slip on your slime trail. I'd say that getting PRS income for writing folk songs for almost forty years isn't exactly reclusive, especially as I perform the buggers at least two or three times a week eh? (At folk concerts, clubs and festivals...)

Yeah OK. One or two would be classed as rock or punk by any half intelligent person, but genre is and remains a personal term.

It'd be strange to say I don't play folk. It'd be strange to say Peter Bellamy was only a folk act when playing traditional stuff. It'd be even stranger to say Shoals of Herring isn't a folk song....

What makes a new song a folk song? Being enjoyed by people who consider it folk of course.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 12:40 PM

"CSH been doing?"
If you mean Cecil Sharp House - what indeed?
Adding to the confusion of late in my opinion.
Northumberland ?
"The genre has no definitive body, and I write folk songs."
Yes it does Muskie - the fact that you don't accept that definition doesn't alter that fact one iota.
Folk song is probably one of the most researched and documented song-forms in existence - wanna list of books?
One of the great myths surrounding the subject is that the people who sang them and almost certainly made them didn't differentiate between them and other types of songs - they most certainly did and probably always have done, if anybody had ever bothered to ask them.
If you write folk songs, they are, by law, in the public domain - I take it you have no objection to my putting them out or publishing them - if you would be good enough to send me them....?
(Waits for loud bang!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 12:49 PM

'How does this help our determining what we mean by folk song Steve?'

Who exactly do you have in mind when you say 'we' in this context?

'You're not happy with '54'.
You didn't read my post, Jim. I'm fine with '54'. I'm also aware that millions more people than my few acqaintances and fellow researchers have a different concept of what 'folk' is. The dictionary compilers usually try to follow all of these usages.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 01:15 PM

" I'm also aware that millions more people than my few acquaintances and fellow researchers have a different concept of what 'folk' is"
Millions?
Give us a break Steve - would there were anywhere as near as many involved.
If there are so many - why has nobody ever come up with a workable definition - let alone a consensus?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 01:16 PM

Howard Jones and a few others have already pretty much nailed this one, but the Peter Bellamy question posed above made me wonder why PB was considered a 'folk singer' at all:

Because many of the songs he sang had a certain provenance?

Because he sang them in a particular style, and accompanied them with a concertina?

Because he performed on the folk club circuit?

Then you have to consider whether, if PB and (say) John Denver were both 'folk singers', the term has any useful meaning - even when restricting it to the folk revival of the late 20th century. The trouble with adopting musicological criteria for a definition is that we can't even find common ground between the British Isles and the USA (where our 'traditional folk music' is usually described as 'Celtic'), never mind the rest of the world.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 01:22 PM

"as one who thinks there can be no such thing as new or recent 'folk' song"!
Never said any such thing

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 28 Aug 14 -
09:22 AM

"I write songs in traditional folk style. Does that make them "folk"
You can't write folk songs any more than you can write hit songs - it's not your decision to make.
Jim Carroll

Sorry Jim, must have misunderstood the words 'you can't write a folk song'!

And of course the UK has a living tradition, and I'm pleased to inform you that it always will have whilst people are still writing songs and tunes influenced by, and paying respect to that tradition.

Presumably, if we follow your thoughts, there must be a time when that 'living tradition' ceased, and therefore any song written after that time is not a 'folk' song, perhaps you can tell us when that happened!

I'm quite sure you understood the point I was making using Bellamy as an example, but chose not to answer, I'm certain there would be universal acceptance of Bellamy as a 'folk singer', one of the songs I quoted in my earlier post fits your 'definition', so do tell us, how would you 'define' the possibly more recent song, author unknown, and the song written by the man himself?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 01:32 PM

"And of course the UK has a living tradition, "
Where?
"You can't write folk songs any more than you can write hit songs "
You can't "write a folk song - you can write a song that eventually becomes a folk song
Folk songs become such via a process
"there must be a time when that 'living tradition' ceased, and therefore any song written after that time is not a 'folk' song"
Why?
Still don't get your point about Bellamy - he sang folk songs - he didn't make them
Please point out where I have misunderstood you if I am - certainly not trying to avoid answering you.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 02:06 PM

TIME, Bounty Hound. Time and usage.

If no one but the person who wrote the song ever sings it, then it's NOT a folk song. But if a pop song (not a folk song to begin with) gets picked up and sung by a whole bunch of people (NOT professional singers), then it's on its way to becoming what scholars and folklorists call a "folk song."

I don't see what is so difficult to understand about this.

Actually, I DO know what the problem is. The songwriter who wants his or her stuff accepted as a folk song?thus gaining a status that it has not yet earned!!?calls it a "folk song" the first time it's ever sung by anyone (himself or herself).

Phony, phony, phony!!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Ernest
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 02:17 PM

Musket,
I am afraid I don`t understand your post of 28. Aug 14, 3:12 PM. What is it that you tried to put a value to and how?
In what aspect can a discussion about music by people interested in it but not well known to the public like ourselves can hurt a music?

What have the John-Barleycorn-singing BNP-members to do with beards, sandals and brown rice? Complaining about expensive instruments seems to indicate that in your opinion real folks have to be poor in your view - which looks like a leftis view to me.

And how can someone totally unknown like me "disenfranchise a hell of a lot of bloody good folk music with my pompous pronouncements"?
I can`t prevent anyone to call his music whatever he/she likes to - they are just as entitled to their opinion as I am to mine. That`s what we all have to live with.

I am afraid that your posting might be at least as pompous as mine (looks like we have been successful in driving the OP off ;0)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 02:32 PM

The point about Bellamy is simple Jim, he not only performed traditional songs, but also songs he had written himself, performed in exactly the same style, and to the uneducated ear it would have been difficult to tell the difference. So if that new song is not a 'folk' song, what is it?

At what point does that new song cease to be what ever it is and become a folk song. It's still the same song.

I've had the pleasure of hearing songs I've written sung by other people, and the even bigger pleasure of packed marquees at folk festivals singing along when I've performed those songs, does that make them 'folk' and if not, what are they?

If I'm following what I think you're saying correctly then whatever is the current number one could become a folk song if people are still singing it in, say, 100 years time, or a piece of classical music written 300 years ago and still being performed regularly is now folk.

Surely 'folk' is about a style that maintains a tradition and not about age?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:06 PM

" but also songs he had written himself"
Been there done that - the ones he wrote weren't folk songs and he would have been the last person to have claimed they were.
A nerw song is a new song - it graduates to belg a folk song through a process of natural selection (only we refer to it as the folk process)
"It's still the same song"
It has undergone the process of selection , which by and large, no longer exists - the music industry helped to put paid to that.
"...does that make them 'folk' and if not, what are they?"
You tell me - what makes them folk?
" the current number one could become a folk song if people are still singing it in, say, 100 years time"
Nope - it would still belong to the feller who wrote it and almost certainly copyrighted it - he's have made sure of that.
Is God Save the Queen a folk song - it was written a long time ago?
Is Ode to Joy a folk song - even older?
"folk' is about a style that maintains a tradition and not about age?"
Nothing to do with style otherwise all folk songs would have been made in the same style - they most certainly are not
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,CJ
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:08 PM

"
If no one but the person who wrote the song ever sings it, then it's NOT a folk song. But if a pop song (not a folk song to begin with) gets picked up and sung by a whole bunch of people (NOT professional singers), then it's on its way to becoming what scholars and folklorists call a "folk song." "

Makes sense to me.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: MikeL2
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:25 PM

Hi

Oh dear he we go again trying to define the (almost) undefinable.

For most of my life I have been a musician, not always in the professional sense.

I have played in bands and groups and solo playing all kinds of music.

I played in "folk" clubs and sang " folk" songs but in no way did I consider myself as a folk singer.

One thing I have observed in this journey is that in the folk world their is a great division between traditional folk music and "other" folk music. In my view there is a sort of snob value that tries to separate and divide. This is not only with the musicians but with the audiences too.

I played a lot of jazz. Like many ( if not most ) jazz musicians I regularly crossed over from the Modern Jazz that I loved, to Traditional Jazz that I also enjoyed, and back.
In my experience there was no wide gulf in feeling between the various musicians in fact the opposite.
We used to play together and share knowledge and skills in a way that I never knew with "folk".

To get back on the thread I agree with Musket and believe that a very small percentage of folk musicians neither know about the 1954 "agreement" and much less care about it.

Play the music....whatever it is..

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:28 PM

And of course the UK has a living tradition, and I'm pleased to inform you that it always will have whilst people are still writing songs and tunes influenced by, and paying respect to that tradition.

Er - no, nay, never...

*

Peter Bellamy used the term 'Tradition Idiom' with respect of the tunes he composed to go with the Rudyard Kipling poems. Despite his 'thesis', these worked much better (IMHO!) than the actual Traditional ones he used. In this he proved himself a latter day master of a revival founded on something undoubtably old, but essentially repro in essence, as examplified by his songwriting on The Transports etc, brilliant though it was.

It pays, I think, to know and respect the difference - as Bellamy undoubtably did.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 04:37 PM

Jim, I call them modern folk songs, or perhaps to use the quote above, in the 'traditional idiom', and I believe that to be a fair description, and would like to think that they are my small contribution to maintaining a tradition.

I'm still interested to know how you define the type of song we're discussing though, you've not answered that one yet :)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 05:39 PM

Hm, perhaps I'm confusing folk music and folk song in Northumberland. But people like Kathryn Tickell, Paulene Cato and the rest are nnot only playing the old repertoire but adding to it, and adding words too.

Essex, for that matter, still maintains its local song tradition. One could also add in the Sheffield Carols, indeed all the activity listed on LocalCarols.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:22 AM

The snag is Ernest, it's hard not to sound pompous when faced with something ludicrous.

The Imagined Village first album has sold over a million copies and try telling those who purchased it that they have to alter the genre of five of the tracks because they are not traditional. (I include the excellent Tam Lin revisited in that.)

Tell you what Jim, I'll take you to your word re folk process. Here in c21, the process has given us contemporary folk. Better still, I can exchange my royalties for beer. Even better, whether you publish without permission in Ireland or UK, you can find yourself with an invoice. Although in reality, I encourage my songs to be sung and the score available. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than finding them on lyrics databases from google searches. (Ok, one of my songs has been credited as traditional on one search engine which is pleasing and frustrating in turn.)

It's all folk though.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:45 AM

"Play the music....whatever it is.."
Can't disagree with this in any way, if that's all you wish to do, if you wan't to take it further it becomes more complicated.
If it hadn't been for those who wanted to take it further - the often non-performer researchers, collectors and enthusiasts , et al who made the songs available to us in the first place and have continued to do so, we wouldn't have the songs we have at our fingertips nowadays and we certainly wouldn't be aware of each others existence in order to exchange ideas on forums like this one.   
I've set out my own stall for what my involvement is - not everyone's bag, but whenever I get the opportunity I'm happy to become involved in sharing ideas and experiences.
It certainly has kept me from being bored and given me massses of pleasure over the last half century and has made me a lot of friends along the way.
"trying to define the (almost) undefinable"
It's only undefinable if you ignore the definitions as they exist and try to make sense of them - works as a rule-of-thumb for many of us, though they are in need of refining.
The point always ignored is that many of the older singers who gave us these songs had their own definitions for the songs we call folk songs.
Walter Pardon, probably one of the most important English singers in the latter half of the 20th century, called them folk songs, a term he possibly picked up from the use made of Sharp's 'Folk Songs for Schools' when he was a child.
He probably associated the songs he was taught then with his family's large repertoire of songs and spotted the link.
When he carefully wrote down all his family's songs he could put together in an exercise book in the 1940s, they stood on their own - virtually all folk songs.
He filled several tapes talking about the differences between them and his large repertoire of music hall songs and Victorian Parlour ballads, which he had in abundance and also sang, when requested to do so, though, to my recollection, he never did so at a folk club.
He told us of the time when relatives of his own age abandoned the family repertoire and took up "the new stuff" - a clean break with "the old folk songs".
Blind Travelling woman, Mary Delaney had a repertoire of somewhere between 150 and 200 folk songs (we never managed to quite finish recording her), which she referred to as "my daddies songs' - when we recorded him, he managed to remember around half-a-dozen, she was referring to the TYPE of songs her father sang.
She could have doubled her recorded repertoire with the Country and Western songs she knew, but refused point-blank to sing them because "they aren't the songs we're talking about".
She said she only sang C&W because, "They're the type of songs the lads ask for when we're all in the pub".         
Among the rural Irish singers, they call them "traditional, sean-nůs, old, come-all-yes", a few call them folk.
Virtually all identified them as "Norfolk" or "Taveller" or "Clare"...., wherever they might have originated - they claimed them as their own.
Many of them expressed strong opinions of how they should be sung, we are now recording a ninety-odd year old singer who actually stopped singer his magnificent repertoire because of what "the young crowd are doing with the songs".
It seems that the 'anything goes - near enough for folk song' approach is a 'folkie' rather than a 'folk' point-of-view.
Maybe that's a clue to a new name for what happens in many folk clubs nowadays, 'folkie songs' - certain would help me decide what tin to open.
"Peter Bellamy used the term 'Tradition Idiom'"
That's not a bad term to use to discriminate between the imitations and the real thing - I agree entirely that Peter was one singer who was well aware of the difference.
"maintaining a tradition"
Maintaining a tradition is fine, using traditional forms to create new songs is a wonderful way of doing that, but for me, if we are going to make use of all the other information that our contact with folk songs has brought with it, it is essential to establish the difference, hence these endless discussions.
I cant begin to describe the amount of new knowledge I have gained over the last year by having to annotate the songs we have collected in County Clare in the last forty years - it's thrown open a load of doors into this area's social and political history since The Famine - 'The Half Crown', 'The Cattle Drive protests', ' The West Clare Railway', 'the sinking of The Leon', 'The Quilty Burning', 'The Fanore School incident', 'The Buckingham Palace Meeting'.... dozes more historical and social events that would have been buried in time if they hadn't been immortalised in songs.
As I say, maybe not your bag, but enough to put enough petrol in my tank for a few years to come.
I suspect that I'm not alone in this.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:23 AM

You see, the snag is Jim, I'm not saying you are wrong.

I'm not saying I am either.

It's perspective and relative. Neither you nor I can pronounce otherwise.

And we can both start an argument in an empty room.....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:00 AM

"It's perspective and relative. Neither you nor I can pronounce otherwise. "
It really isn't about "pronouncing" anything Muskie.
We all have our individual interests in these things and work to them.
If we are going to discuss them, involve other people in them, write or talk about them, attempt to pass them on.... we have to reach a consensus on what we mean.
Like it or not, there is an established definition - actually summed up in 1954, but arrived at at least half a century before that.
It is tied in with other disciplines, Folk dance, music, lore customs, tales, art.... all related by origin.
If you are not happy with the existing definition - fine - change it, but in order for it to serve any purpose, you have to reach some form of consensus on those changes.
If you don't need a definition for what you do, fine also, but don't knock those of us who do.
I find it more than a little ironic and often get rather pissed off with sneery and often vicious arguments which rant about "folk police" and trying to "impose our views on others" by people who are doing exactly what they are accusing us of.
If you have a definition of your own - great - tell us what it is.
I've shown you mine - you show me yours!
It seems totally bizarre to me that a subject as fundamental as this has become a no-go area on a forum that purports to be dedicated to folk song and music.
I cannot think of another single artistic or cultural endevour where this is the case.
'The Folk Police Rule - O.K'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:25 AM

There is an established published definition from 2014. Musket published it on Mudcat...

But don't worry, he isn't precious about it.

The point is, folk as a term is not defined by any 1954, 2014 or any other convention. it is what it is marketed as. It is what people see it as.

Musically, the two unfortunate descriptor terms "traditional" and "contemporary" have been bandied around for so many years, they have provenance of their own. It is impossible to say "folk" and just mean one of them.

McColl wrote folk songs. I have no issue with that. Neither do millions of others. (Once whilst interviewing Fred Jordan, I quizzed him over a song he "collected." he said the final few verses were his own work, as the words to what he learned weren't any good....)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:28 AM

"Peter Bellamy used the term 'Tradition Idiom'"
That's not a bad term to use to discriminate between the imitations and the real thing - I agree entirely that Peter was one singer who was well aware of the difference.
"maintaining a tradition"
Maintaining a tradition is fine, using traditional forms to create new songs is a wonderful way of doing that

Hi Jim, me again ;) Can I just say I'm enjoying this debate and thank you for indulging me!

So we seem to be in agreement that new songs that are influenced by, or show respect to the tradition is fine, but I still want to know what we call them?

These new songs (and/or tunes) written using traditional forms are certainly not pop, rock, rap, jazz etc etc if we can't call them 'folk' then what do we call them?

John


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:39 AM

Call them folk. Millions of others do and nobody has been struck by lightning for doing so yet.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:51 AM

Thanks Musket, that's exactly what I do, but having got the acknowledgement from Jim that it's ok to write songs using traditional forms, I'm looking forward to seeing what he calls them :)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 06:12 AM

"but having got the acknowledgement from Jim that it's ok to write songs using traditional forms"
Never been the slightest question of this and it would not be my place to suggest otherwise.
My mentor and late friend, Ewan MacColl, probably wrote more new songs using traditional forms than most of us have had hot dinners - he chose not to call them folk songs.
"but I still want to know what we call them?"
Why bother - they're your songs and hopefully, perfectly acceptable in most folk clubs (providing they fir in with club policy).
"But don't worry, he isn't precious about it."
But does he have a consensus, or even support for it - that's what this is about - communication, being able to understand what each of us are on about
You can call them what you want - in my opinion, dogmatic attitudes like that have not only made the subject a no-go area, but have buggered up the folk scene for many thousands of us who opted out when we found we were not being given what was advertised when we paid our hard-won pennies at the door.
You want to argue with Ewan by claiming he wrote folk songs and spent a lifetime arguing that they weren't - bit late I'm afraid - but feel free to dig out the old Ouija board when the fancy takes you.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 06:14 AM

It's a good job we don't have the folk equivalent of ISIS,or there would a massacre.
Everybody knows what folk means to them,it's everyone else who is wrong.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 06:41 AM

'You can call them what you want - in my opinion, dogmatic attitudes like that have not only made the subject a no-go area'

Not being dogmatic Jim, although perhaps you are, you give a name to what fits your criteia for 'folk' so come on, indulge me, give a name to the new songs that I would call folk.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 06:53 AM

"you give a name to what fits your criteia for 'folk' so come on, indulge me, give a name to the new songs that I would call folk."
I'm not being dogmatic in pointing out that a definition exists - it does and you have access to it.
Nor have I given a name that fits my criteria - somebody else did a long time before I was a twinkle in anybody's eye (or a pain in anybody's arse).
As for a name for your songs, Jack Blandiver, (above) gave an excellent one, songs written in the folk idiom, assuming they are, of course.
It really isn't my job to pick an identification tag for someone else's creations.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 07:04 AM

Ha, so are we getting somewhere? it's ok to use the 'F' word to describe a new song as long as they are of a style that fits the tradition, and as long as you're not trying pass it off as traditional.

Am I understanding you correctly there Jim?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 07:23 AM

You really are making a bit of a meal of this
You have a definition of what folk song is - happy to provide a huge reading list and discography and if it's any help.
Beyond that - nuffin' to do wiv me guv - oyur choice entirely
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 07:36 AM

Thanks for an interesting thread. The general principle that words may mean different things to different groups of people is not uncommon. As an ex-biologist I could give you many examples where the "true" scientific definition of a scientific term is quite different to the way it is used by the general public. Surely that's what's happening here. If you work in a specialised field you need precision in your terminology; the layman doesn't need this precision. I wouldn't classify the record industry (or whatever it is now there are no records) as "specialist" in terms of folk (or even music). They're there to make money and if a term like "folk" will make them money, they'll co-opt it. I would suggest that this is where the terminology problem originated. Before companies started to use the label to sell a product the "specialist academics" who had invented the term (largely in the wake of the development of "folklore" studies") had a clear understanding of the term they'd invented, based probably around the understanding of the "folk" from whom they collected. (See Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 03:45 AM) So, really, before any discussion on this topic it might be wise to decide if it's to be a specialist or layman discussion.

One interesting point that comes out of the discussion seems to be one that's been raised in the past. If you take the "academic" approach to what makes a folk song (which is closer to my own viewpoint) then the process of documenting is one thing that tends to freeze the "folk process". I do believe, however, that the process is continuing ? for example I learn plenty of songs "by ear". I don't read music so the tune comes out perhaps a little different and I won't sing it until I've learned it "by heart" so the words will come out slightly different. I have the privilege of going to several singarounds where this is true of most of the singers. Originally I learned songs by hearing them over and over again: now the "process" is being stalled because it's too easy to look up a written version of the words (on Mudcat?!) and go to You-tube to listen to the tune. This reduces the amount of variation so the evolution of the song is interrupted. So the folk process is, I believe, slowing but not yet dead. Is this slow but continuing evolution of songs happening in a cultural context (akin to the "traveller" communities)? Not quite the same but to some extent the "folk world" has developed its own community. (I seem to be arguing that, in the modern world, the nature of "community" has changed?)

To address a couple of specific points:

"These new songs (and/or tunes) written using traditional forms are certainly not pop, rock, rap, jazz etc etc if we can't call them 'folk' then what do we call them?"
For most of the songs concerned, why not "Pop songs"? They are recently written presumably with the aim of becoming popular. They bear more similarity to the very wide genre called pop than they do to the previously narrowly-defined group called folk. (Or "folkish" see P.S.)
"I quizzed him over a song he "collected." he (Fred Jordan) said the final few verses were his own work, as the words to what he learned weren't any good...." ? surely a perfect example of the folk process; how else do folk songs evolve?

(P.S. I've "written" (I use the term loosely) some songs which I sing at singarounds. I'd love them to become folk songs one day but they're definitely not folk songs now. I've got them on Soundcloud ? I called them "folkish". A couple have even been taken up by others, which is pleasing, but what I really want is to hear someone who doesn't know me, and has learned it by ear, sing one in their own way ? or someone hear me sing one and tell me I'm singing it wrong and that they know the correct "traditional" version. If that ever happens perhaps they'll be on their way to becoming a song folk one day.)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 09:16 AM

Thanks for your "more light than heat input Steve" much needed.
I take your points completely, but would just like to clarify one of them.
"is quite different to the way it is used by the general public"
The term is, I believe not really used by the general public in any way other than in very general generalised references - you could empty a bar in five minutes flat with one of these discussions.
Folk is a term that has been latched onto by a small number of people to hang their own particular hat - I don't believe it does any genre of song to be lumped in indiscriminately with another if you want it to be taken seriously.
Over the last twenty years Irish traditional (folk) music has come into its own and has shifted from being referred to contemptuously on the media as "diddley-di music" to now being accepted as a fully fledged and serious art-form, with all the benefits that has brought.
Up to the present recession, to ask for a research grant for publishing or producing a C.D. or collecting or setting up a heritage centre or, as we did, bringing together the results of thirty years field work, was pushing on an open door.
We have two of the finest traditional music archives in Europe, if not the world (look up the Traditional Irish Music Archive).
Many thousands of youngsters are taking up the music and playing it in traditional styles or experimenting with it - room for all.
This has fed into the tourist industry, bringing thousands to Ireland to listen to, play and learn about (unadulterated) Traditional music each year.
This really hasn't been achieved by faffing around with definitions to please some of the people all of the time, but by someone saying "this is what we are and this is what we are about".
Song has some way to go yet to make up lost ground, but it seems to be getting there slowly.
Our collection has been taken up by our County Library and is due to go on line in the nest couple of months to cater for all tastes, singers, listeners, researchers, cultural and oral historians.... whoever.
We passed on a copy of our work to an authoritative singer friend in the North recently - his comment - "every County should have one".
With a bit of luck......
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 09:45 AM

Just to pick up on a point from Guest Steve T, What I've been talking about here is songs and tunes written influenced by, and paying respect to the tradition, so I'm not sure that 'pop' is the right term for them, perhaps pop might be the description for some things produced by navel gazing singer songwriters that have little substance, but are often passed off as 'folk'

And Jim, I'm not the one making a meal of this, just been asking a simple question, which thus far, you've declined to answer simply.

We have trad jazz, modern jazz, dixieland jazz etc all grouped under a collective term of 'Jazz' we have heavy rock, soft rock, metal etc all grouped under a collective term of 'Rock', we have orchestral pieces, piano concerto's, opera etc, all grouped under the collective term 'classical' and I'm fairly certain those are terms you would use too Jim. So I fail to understand why in your opinion, we can't have the same in 'folk'

I'll ask the question one last time, and of course we are talking here about songs (or tunes) written in the 'traditional idiom' or 'imitating' or 'influenced by the tradition' (Songs that maintain that tradition and keep it alive)

What do YOU call those type of songs Jim?

I'm not really expecting a simple, direct answer, as I suspect from your previous posts that you're struggling to find one without using the 'F' word


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 09:57 AM

I write folk songs.

PRS never had a problem with that.

Neither do I.

Some on this thread, not just Jim, would blank out the millions of contemporary folk songs out there purely on principle. If you like such songs, you go on Amazon or iTunes store and search on "contemporary folk." If you just put "folk" they assume you mean country and western and offer you a Dolly Parton album as first choice...

You see, you need to know what to call something in order to get your hands on it, and the world calls it contemporary folk.... Most British traditional folk gets called celtic by these American websites. Is Martin Simpson celtic through his Scunthorpe origins or Sheffield home??????


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 11:43 AM

" you've declined to answer simply."
If you say I haven't answered them, that is not true - I've dealt with every single point you've made to the best of my ability.
If you mean I haven't provided a simple answer - as far as I'm concerned, there isn't one.
Folk song is a far too complicated subject for yes and no answers.
Perhaps you mean I haven't given you the answers you wanted - sorry, can't help you there.
"What do YOU call those type of songs Jim?"
I've already pointed out what Jack Blandiver wrote about Peter Bellamy's description of them.
I don't need to give them a title; as much as I enjoy some of them and sing a few of them, they are "new songs written in the folk idiom".
That'll do nicely, thank you very much.   
"PRS"
Just hit on a sore spot with me Muskie; the PRS jackals are the last people I would go to for a definition - they neither know nor care which cow they milk.
One of the great experiences in all the time I spent in folk song was the realisation of the freedom and democracy that involvement in folk song brought.
I could stand up and exhibit my limited talents in the venues then available I didn't have to worry about the envelope dropping on the doormat demanding payment for that privilege.
When I met MacColl and Seeger, I was given carte blanche to do whatever I chose with the songs they were churning out and were researching for their own use - wheeeee!
Their publishers may have copyrighted their own songs on their behalf but I never remember their ever objecting to anybody singing or using their songs, with or without their permission - I still get a bit of a buzz to think I was singing 'First Time Ever' ten years before Elvis or Roberta Flack.   
I find it more and more disturbing to read queries about obtaining permission to record and perform "folk songs".
Don't know whether it's the same in the U.K. nowadays, but publicans who play music in their bars now have to watch the door in case the man from I.M.RO. (Irish equivalent of P.R.S.) drops in demanding his pound of flesh - different days, different ways.
You and P.R.S. may be happy to call it Contemporary Folk - then again, some people don't give a toss about the letter 'D' disappearing from the the English language (up to recently I believed 'Brawband' to be a musical criticism in Scotland)         
Takes all sorts!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 11:53 AM

It shouldn't be forgotten that the original meaning of 'folk music' was what we now call traditional music. The meaning has expanded to take in much more. That's fine - we can't stop language changing and common usage is what defines how words are used, not dictionaries.

I think the change of meaning gathered particular emphasis in the 1960s and in the USA, but then came over to the UK. 'Contemporary folk' as a term makes more sense there, where it is a natural evolution from traditional forms. I think the reasons there is such a dichotomy in the UK, and why the arguments can sometimes be so bitter, is that here 'contemporary folk' has no real connection with British traditional forms. Irrespective of the merits of the works of someone like Nick Drake or Incredible String Band, I can see little in them either in content or structure which relates to the forms of English traditional music which I enjoy. In its own way 'contemporary folk' is remote from my tradition as jazz or opera. Call it 'folk' if you like, everyone else seems to, but I'm not going to be predisposed to like it just because of that label.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 11:59 AM

"If you just put "folk" they assume you mean country and western and offer you a Dolly Parton album as first choice" (Musket 30 Aug 14 - 09:57 AM) Presumably you're happy that Dolly Parton's material is folk inasmuch as it has gained popular recognition as such; similar to PRS's acceptance of your own material as folk. (Do you have a website/Soundcloud/Youtube where I can listen to your folk offerings?)

"search on "contemporary folk."" (Musket 30 Aug 14 - 09:57 AM) I thought that this point had been dealt with earlier but I can't find the reference ? perhaps it was in another thread. Someone stated that "you can produce something and call it a "reproduction antique" but can't just claim it as an "antique"." Following similar logic, it would be OK to call it a "contemporary folk song" but not to omit the "contemporary" part. I accept that, in the same vein, you could say that the prefix "traditional" was a requirement but I think the counterclaim would be that the word is understood in the absence of any other qualifier ? in the same way that you don't, legally, have to call something a genuine antique; if the word antique is used without a qualifier the "genuine" is implied.

The points above are made, (despite taking on board Jim Carroll's point that the term is "not really used by the general public in any way other than in very general generalised references") on the basis of my view that "folk" has an academic/specialist meaning and a layman's meaning. If I'm using the layman's terms then, if it's generally called folk (including Dolly Parton, Mumfords and even my own poor attempts), it's folk - but the term then has so little meaning as to be worthless for academic/specialist discussions. Being involved in the music or entertainment business does not make one a specialist in "genuine" (see above) folk any more than being involved in one area of research (such as mediaeval British history) would make you a specialist in other, broadly related fields (such as modern American history). So what defines the specialist? Perhaps it comes back to the time when "Folk song" was first defined by those who had specifically chosen to study, collect and research such material and whether anyone since has come up with an academically rigorous alternative ? or whether the only alternative is the "public acceptance" one of Amazon i-tunes.

I'm not suggesting either side in this discussion is fundamentally right or wrong, only considering the context in which the discussion is taking place and the usefulness of the term folk in those possible contexts.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 12:01 PM

"I'll ask the question one last time, and of course we are talking here about songs (or tunes) written in the 'traditional idiom' or 'imitating' or 'influenced by the tradition' (Songs that maintain that tradition and keep it alive)"

Ignoring the obvious fact that there is no one "tradition", "Folkish" is a term from the late 1940s that seemed to work. As sis "Folk idiom"


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 12:51 PM

Okie Dokie, so let's see if we can sum up this discussion for the benefit of Andy7 the OP

It's perfectly acceptable to write a song that is influenced by and respects the tradition (accepting the fact as correctly stated by Dick above that there is no 'one tradition')

And it's perfectly acceptable to describe that song as a 'song in the folk idiom'

Tell you what, in the interest of plain english, that the mass population might understand, let's simplify that description and call it a 'new folk song'

who knows, maybe when we've got used to that, we could simplify it even further and just call it 'Folk'

Perhaps then we could remember just how much has changed in 60 years, call it the 2014 definition, and then come back here in another 60 years and argue about it!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 01:13 PM

Having had my little moment of sarcasm, I will just say that we do of course, as 'folk' fans, (whatever your definition) owe a great debt to the likes of Jim Carroll and his tireless work in recording, protecting and maintaining traditional song. Thank you Jim.

And just to repeat what I said earlier, I've enjoyed this debate, and if by chance I'm still around in 60 years time, expect me to be a bit grumpy, I'll be 110 by then ;)

John


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 02:05 PM

One of the problems of all this of course is that the term 'folk' is applied to songs that bear no resemblance to folk songs in any shape or form whatever - the tired old 'I ain't never heard a horse sing' excuse being put forward as a replacement for an argument.
I take Steve's point about attaching definitions "freezing the folk process", but if, as I believe to be the case, that process is dead, it is frozen anyway and all we can do is assess it in retrospect.
I have yet to be persuaded that that process is still a living one.
Our folk songs recorded and reflected the aspirations of entire communities, not tiny groups of specialists who self-consciously met once every whenever to listen to each other sing.
They arose from the experiences of those communities, served them for a time and disappeared when they had served their purpose, other than those few that were caught like butterflies by collectors and archived or published.
They were part of those communities social history - a ground-level view of their everyday lives.
The universality of their themes allowed many of them to take root wherever they landed and become an expression of lives there.
I would love to believe that this is still happening, but I can't see how it possibly can.
The oral tradition no longer exists to cater for such creations, technology has guaranteed that they are stillborn, fixed in the form the creator gave them, and more importantly, the sole property of the creator.
I know it was MacColl's dream that the folk song tradition could be used to create new songs to express the lives of 'ordinary people', (whoever they were) - it simply didn't happen, or not to the extent he believed it could.
The revival, in Britain at least, seems to have imploded into a dwindling number of somewhat eccentric specialists somewhat remote from the world in general - it serves itself rather than the communities it once represented.
The songs have lost their 'folkness' inasmuch as they are now the personal properties of their creators unless any of our singer/songwriter friends are happy to declare they are happy to relinquish any rights to their creations - (long, pregnant silence, I suspect).
One of the main practical points I raise has been carefully shuffled around - that of ' where do we go from here?'
I can now turn my radio or television on virtually seven nights a week and find a programme on folk song or music, ranging from recorded and filmed pub sessions to archive selections of past performances to intelligent analytical discussions on various aspects of both.
One of the first programmes we watched when we first moved over 15 years ago was entitled "Has Traditional Music Sold Out?"
I can go out four nights a week and listen to traditional song and music sung and played to a passable to an excellent standard by participants aged from old enough to drink (mostly) to wrinkleys like myself.
Thousands of youngsters are now taking up traditional music, guaranteeing its survival for at leas another two generations.
All this was achieved by a few people concentrating on what they meant by folk/traditional and using that to build a foundation for the future.
Is that happening elsewhere?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 02:30 PM

look -this is getting all too complicated. Why don't we just sing what we want to, in whatever style we like.

then if anyone in the distant future gives a shit about what we were up to =then THEY can decide it was folk music.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 02:51 PM

"Why don't we just sing what we want to, in whatever style we like."
Who ever suggested anything else Al?
This isn't about what we sing but how we promote it.
Who gives a shit - those who wish to discuss it obviously.
Don't want to be rude but if you don't, feel free not to take part.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:04 PM

Somebody mentioned the first use of the words 'folk song'. I know this has been posted before but a volume of poetry was published in 1860 with that very title. All of the pieces in the book were written for the book by the author. None of them ever became folk songs under any description of the words. (Just for fun. Not trying to make a point.)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:15 PM

"published in 1860"
Wannabes have been with us for a long time then?
The word 'folklore' was said to have first put in an appearance some fourteen years before that in 1846 in a letter to The Atheneum written by William Thom, but of course, everybody already knows that.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:03 PM

Jim, I generally find myself either agreeing with, or at least accepting, your contributions to these discussions, but I am having a little difficulty just now.

You have often referred to songs being written in your part of Ireland, and I assumed you meant right up to the present day. And yet you also refer to the folk process being dead. Do you mean that new songs are being made but they are not becoming folk songs? If so, what is preventing them? Are the original versions instantly frozen, by recording or print? Are other people learning them but not changing them at all?

"Our folk songs recorded and reflected the aspirations of entire communities, not tiny groups of specialists who self-consciously met once every whenever to listen to each other sing."

Weren't Henry Burstow and Walter Pardon (for example) likewise specialists, taking an interest in songs from earlier times, an interest that was shared by only a very few of their contemporaries?

"They arose from the experiences of those communities, served them for a time and disappeared when they had served their purpose, other than those few that were caught like butterflies by collectors and archived or published."

What about the songs from the 17th and 18th centuries (whether originally made by peasants or professionals) being remembered and sung by Henry Burstow in the 19th century and Walter Pardon in the 20th?

The early collectors quite deliberately picked and chose what they regarded as authentic "folk" songs and turned their noses up at other songs. But their criteria were essentially subjective and aesthetic.

There have always been people making new songs, and some of those songs have been learnt and sung by other people, sometimes in a process as recognised by the 1954 definition, sometimes by much more deliberate re-writing.

The environment has changed over the centuries. Cheap print certainly made a huge difference to the dissemination of songs, whether or not it was the original source of many of them. Then collectors started issuing song books. Now we have recordings. All these media facilitate the movement of songs to new mouths, and to some extent inhibit variation. But they have not stopped it.

And some segments of "the folk" have embraced new songs to the extent of claiming them for their own. Ask Dave Webber about Padstonians complaining about his singing "their" song which in fact he had written.

Enough rambling for now!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:13 PM

[[[[" I'm also aware that than my few acquaintances and fellow researchers have a different concept of what 'folk' is"
Millions?
Give us a break Steve - would there were anywhere as near as many involved.
If there are so many - why has nobody ever come up with a workable definition - let alone a consensus?
Jim Carroll}}}}

' millions more people' Jim, I was referring to the man on the street, Joe public, the real folk. Walk out on the street and ask anyone who isn't a professor of folk music if 'Little Boxes', 'Freight Train', 'Blowing in the Wind' are folk songs.

Walk into your local folk club and ask anyone who isn't a professor of folk music if 'Freeborn Man', Fiddler's Green', 'Shoals of Herring', 'Waltzing Matilda', 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' are folk songs.
Whether MacColl or Bellamy did or did not want to call them folk songs is irrelevant to this discussion. Neither of these had or have any influence on dictionary definitions. Joe Public, the man the street, the folk, do.

You asked for us to give you other definitions of folk song. Here's a clumsy shot.
1) 1954 take 2. (One of the first clauses was dropped within a year by the IFMC.)
2) Any song sung by participants in the folk revival.
3) Any song found in the Folk section in HMV and other music stores.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:39 PM

threads on the meaning of folk

Or, just ask me. I have explained for 15 years here that it isn't a definition, but a process of elimination/inclusion based on easily understood and mostly universal categories. Some music obviously is.. some obviously is not... and in the middle it will always be fuzzy.

Then I will explain art vs. craft, pretty vs,ugly... and by petition, good vs. bad.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:46 PM

Jim "unless any of our singer/songwriter friends are happy to declare they are happy to relinquish any rights to their creations" (Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 02:05 PM) I don't know if this qualifies but my Soundcloud page (which I created because some strange individuals sometimes ask me for the words/tune) says "If you want to sing any of these songs at singarounds etc, feel free to adapt them to your own style but, if you're going to sing them, please don't just learn the tune and sing the words from a sheet, songs are for singing not reading!!! (If you forget any words, just make your own up.) The songs are not here to be passively listened to but are for those who want to learn them to sing themselves. The greatest compliment you can pay to a song is to sing it better than the person you learned it from."

I hesitate to call myself a songwriter and I'm not the most friendly person you could meet (so I probably wouldn't qualify as anyone's "singer/songwriter friend") but, as far as I'm concerned, anyone is free to sing my songs: if they can make any money doing so, good luck to them. The only thing I'd object to would be if someone claimed one as their own in order to stop someone else from freely singing it. (Having said that there's little chance of anyone making money from my songs and I actually doubt anyone else would want to claim them!)   

Unlike Musket, I don't believe I write folk songs but as Richard Mellish (30 Aug 14 - 04:03 PM) seems to be suggesting, I tend to believe that the process is still creating folk songs, albeit slowly, and I hope my approach to any songs I've made up is in keeping with that belief/hope.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 04:01 AM

I write songs and the few that bring the bacon home are marketed as folk.

If they were marketed otherwise, the champagne might not be quite so good a vintage... (Perspective. I couldn't live on what I get. Overgrown hobby and good luck if truth be known.) That said, I'm not a professional performer and tend to write for others. (My own act, just me and guitar, I slip in a lot of takes on traditional songs, or folk songs as Jim would call them.)

One excellent example of the living folk tradition is how it has evolved to encompass style and performance since 1954 or whenever. Music is an abstraction. That it can be a carrier for portraying historical or human accounts is wonderful, but many traditional songs are as much about sex as any rock n roll song and many contemporary songs fit the bill "songs of the people."

Just look at the list of Mudcat threads at any particular time. Lyrics req' or which song has a line in it about shaving a turkey etc. not a folk song amongst them if the irrelevance brigade have their way.

That's it folk!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 04:15 AM

Richard
Songs were being written here as far as we can make out in Ireland up to the beginning or Word War Two.
Rural Ireland still had a fairly strong oral tradition and entertainment in areas were strongly based around the home - the crossroads dances were gone but the kitchen dances were still happening.
The cuird (Coore), where neighbours would get together to sing, tell stories, play music or simply swap news, formed the basis of rural entertainment.
Around here, this seemed to have gone by the 1950 and people began to look outside the home for their leisure time activities.
I'm sure people still made songs - I know for a fact that one or two people still are, but they stopped being publicly circulated - what has gone is the opportunity to share them.
The songs i referred to as being still passed into the oral tradition, are those made by Irish Travellers; non-literate and without any great access to mechanically produced music to any great degree until the advent of portable television - we estimate that singing around the fire died out among those we were recording in London somewhere between the Summer of 1973 and Easter 1975.
I know songs were still being made and probably sung by them later than that, but I suspect that has disappeared with the clamping down of the larger unofficial stopping places.
They, like us, have become passive recipients of their entertainment.   
Sorry for any confusion.
It's true what you say about Walter certainly - in fact he always insisted he didn't sing until the revival picked him up.
Walter grew up in a family with two singers, mainly his uncle, Billy Gee.
When he was a very young child, the singing was done at Harvest Suppers; the family worked for the local farmer; Walter could not recall any of these.
He vaguely remembered his Uncle Billy attending Agricultural Workers Union Meetings in North Walsham and hearing him sing after one of the meetings.
When this went, the singing took place at a few home events, Christmas parties mainly, but these didn't happen very often and Walter, still a child, only ever sang one song at these, 'Dark Eyed Sailor,' "Nobody else wanted that one".
Walter was in the Army during the War, and when he returned home, the singers of the family had died, so he began to write down all the songs he could remember having been sung, with the help of surviving family members, mainly his mother - he memorised the tunes by picking them out on the melodeon.
That formed the basis of Walter's repertoire - what he put together then, and the tiny handful that we and others managed to wheedle out of him later.
Walter always insisted that, as far as he knew, there was no other singing in his area when he was young.
Sam Larner said that when he was young there was a regular singing session at the Winterton local, The Fisherman's Return "all the real singing was done at home or at sea".
This died out before the beginning of W.W.2 with the advent of the radio.
Sharp always talked about a dying tradition - may have been an exaggeration but I believe it carried some truth.
By the time the B.B.C. mounted their mopping-up campaign in the 1950s they were largely recording a remembered tradition rather than a living one, with a few exceptions.
Sorry to bang on about this for so long, but as I said - a complicated subject.
By the way - if anybody is interested, Pat and I wrote an article on Walter Pardon for a Festschrift of essays dedicated to collector, Tom Munnelly, some years ago - happy to pass it on to anybody interested.
"Walk into your local folk club and ask anyone who isn't a professor of folk music if 'Freeborn Man..."
Sorry Steve - I don't count misinformation picked up off the street as a definition.
Walk into a folk club and you your probably be told "Piss off, we don't need a definition" - and quite likely be asked to leave, judging by the way some of these discussions end up.
I need a fairly solid definition for whet we choose to do - I would have it would have been even more-so with your work.
I really am not being pedantic, just trying to make sense of a great deal of material in order to give it a little more context than just a number of songs, so somebody else can make use of it.
More to say, but have got typer's cramp and I haven't had breakfast yet - and damn - the sun's shining, so I won't be able to escape the acre of bog we euphemistically refer to as a garden.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 04:56 AM

an acre.....! I never realised we were talking to landed gentry. you and Musket must get together and talk about problems with staff, and how they expect wages these days...

I appreciate your needs as a critic and collector. The trouble is - its the tail wagging the dog. all these eejits are trying to write 'in the tradition' to satisfy the agenda of various diktats (now reinforced with the tags of academia!) - and really its as though dramatists were writing scripts with Gadzooks sire! every second line.

with a sinking heart I recently watched a band, fresh from their Uni course in folk music and going great guns on the festival circuit, singing one of their songs with a chorus that something something something hey me lads!

the trouble is, literature had TS Eliot and Leavis - we had Ewan MacColl. He was clever, but not clever enough. His legacy has been that we have a generation whose work tries draw attention to language rather than communicate with an audience.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 05:23 AM

Oh, I dunno. Come midnight one evening last week, I was telling everybody they were my best pal. Communicating with an audience is fine, living up to their expectations is another. Van Morrison doesn't know the meaning of communicate, respect or decency, but he is idolised by those of us who he treats with contempt at his gigs.

Anyway Al. What's all this about paying wages? To work for me is a privilege. They can always sell copies of my autograph on eBay if they are skint.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:20 AM

Musket
I'd say that getting PRS income for writing folk songs for almost forty years isn't exactly reclusive, especially as I perform the buggers at least two or three times a week eh? (At folk concerts, clubs and festivals...)

It seems a bit of a waste of such a prodigious talent if you are only performing to an audience of retired teachers from Harpenden with a finger in their ear singing cowboy songs with books as aids accompanying themselves on expensive guitars. (This I have to see.)

Are you famous? Have I heard of you? Should I be trying to book you? I must warn you that we rarely book singer/songwriter/guitarists unless they are exceptional. We've booked Jez Lowe and Leon Rosselson to give you an idea of the standard.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:25 AM

I was going to leave this tread alone now, but having read Jim's post of 30 Aug 14 - 02:05 PM felt actually very sad, particularly for you Jim is this really reflects where you are now, so wanted to respond to one or two points.


I have yet to be persuaded that that process is still a living one.
Our folk songs recorded and reflected the aspirations of entire communities
They were part of those communities social history - a ground-level view of their everyday lives.
Ask the likes of Jez Lowe what he is doing with songs like 'Taking on men' and 'Black Trade' songs like those are exactly what you describe above.


The oral tradition no longer exists to cater for such creations, technology has guaranteed that they are stillborn, fixed in the form the creator gave them, and more importantly, the sole property of the creator.
Not true at all, technology (the advance of which is beyond all our control) may give a definitave version of a song as the writer intended it to be, but that in no way stops others from changing and adapting a song to suit their particular needs from that song, or even changing words to make it more relevent for them, and this is something that happens all the time. It is also my experience that most writers of 'modern folk' are only too pleased if someone else wants to sing/share/perform their song, and very, very few of them are precious enough to maintain it to be their 'sole property'


Thousands of youngsters are now taking up traditional music, guaranteeing its survival for at least another two generations.
Absolutely true, and long may that continue, but what you fail to go on to say, is that those thousands of youngsters are altering and adapting that traditional music, and adding their own compositions to it, thus ensuring the continuation of the 'folk process'

And one final thought, society has changed dramatically in recent years, particularly in the way we interact socially, or convey news, so following the same logic Tim Hart used about accompanying tradition song with electric instruments, if 300 years ago, someone who had just written a song and had facebook and twitter available to share it, they would of course have done so! Modern technology is widely used, and rightly so, to preserve traditional song for future generations, so is it not a bit of a double standard to maintain that if a new song is passed around via digital rather than oral means it disqualifies it from being 'folk'

We have to live with the here and now, come and join us in the 21st century Jim, you never know, you might just like it!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:29 AM

I should know better but...

Jim Carroll
Walk into a folk club and you your probably be told "Piss off, we don't need a definition" - and quite likely be asked to leave, judging by the way some of these discussions end up.

If you came to our club and started to jump up and down and demand your money back every time somebody sang a song that you felt didn't fit the 1954 definition then, yes, you would be asked to leave.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:34 AM

"its the tail wagging the dog"
No it isn't Al
People compose in whatever form that moves them - they always have.
Any shortcomings of what they compose is down to their own abilities - or lack of them, not the forms that have served generations for centuries and still have relevance with those of us who choose to still listen to them.
You want to sing other types of song - fine by me, but please don't get me started by some of the crap that passes for singing and songwriting today - you''ll never live long enough - Van Morrison - drink to what you've just written any time you care to drop into our local Muskie.
MacColl was a great song writer, and recognised as one by enough people to make that a fairly well established fact.
One of the wisest things he said was "The folk song revival has and will survive most things, but it won't last five minutes if if falls into the hands of people who don't actually like folk song, and that's the way it's heading".
Our "acre", by the way, was a scrubby patch of ground we managed to buy with the proceeds of our house in London towards the end of the property boom - nothing much, just a buchalaun and rush filled field that we now call home - nothing special, unless you call rushes, sallies, rocks and dandelions "special".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 06:37 AM

"every time somebody sang a song that you felt didn't fit the 1954 definition then, yes, you would be asked to leave"
I've been advocating for the composition and proliferation of such songs throughout the time I've been involved in music Brian - have done so several times on this thread - try and keep up dear!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 07:26 AM

No, I'm not famous snail. But not everybody who loves folk music plays in Harpenden. (Thinking on, I don't think I have ever visited or even passed through Harpenden.)

Pop out onto the street now and ask 100 people if they have heard of Martin Carthy. Fame is relative.

By the way, folk music is at an exciting point in its evolution. It has the advantage of being "in" and the number of talented young musicians taking up the genre in their style is a joy to hear. I then support a few local sing around type "clubs" full of weird beards lamenting the demise of their sport.

Funny old world.

(You couldn't afford me Snail, don't fret me old love.)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 08:03 AM

I wonder why these song-writers are so keen to see their compositions accepted as 'folk'? It isn't exactly the best remunerated of musical genres.   Surely it couldn't be because they want an excuse to freeload off the folk scene by using it as a platform to perform, which they might otherwise have difficulty finding? If not, then it appears to me that they must see the term as conferring some additional status. Either way, I think they then owe a certain duty of care to folk music in its original sense.

I recognise Jim's concerns that the special qualities of traditional music will be overlooked and lost if the folk scene becomes dominated be people who have no real interest in it. I think much of the rancour this argument seems to generate could be avoided if more of the songwriters who wish to benefit from the 'folk' label were to show more respect for that point of view, and for traditional music itself.

My biggest difficulty is that the term 'folk' has become so debased as to be meaningless. It has ceased to become a useful label to help discover a particular type of music. When buying music meant ten minutes thumbing through the folk section of a record store that wasn't a problem, but now buying music means browsing through tens of thousands of albums on-line, and the term is used so broadly (especially by iTunes) that very little of what is there is the type of music I am seeking. It is problematic enough to label music anyway, and when a lebel ceases to have any practical use what is the point of it?

I think what is needed is more categories. We already use 'traditional' to mean what 'folk' used to, and new forms are adopting names like 'nu-folk' and 'alt-folk'. 'Contemporary' folk implies (to me at least)introverted singer-songwriters with guitars complaining about their relationships or proclaiming their spirituality, so perhaps we need more labels to cover different styles of modern songs under the broad folk umbrella. With these it would be easier to identify the specific music we want, and those who share Jim's point of view might be reassured that traditional music won't be obscured or debased.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 08:20 AM

'what is needed is more categories' me lads!

you sound like a poor crofter, Jim. Musket, the wicked capitalist, will be along with his black and tan mates to evict you and force you into into exile, me lads!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 08:29 AM

As we've said countless time before, "It all depends on what you mean by a 'folksong.'"

Let's get back to basics. Words have no essential meaning. They mean what most people who use them agree that they mean. That allows people to communicate.

One potential problem is ambiguity, when an utterance can clearly mean more than one thing.

Most English words, lifted from all context, are ambiguous: open a dictionary and see how relatively few words have just one definition.

And multiple definitions aren't the only problem. At what point does a "bottle," for example, become a "jar" or, nowadays, even a paper "box"? A dictionary can tell you the basis of the distinctions, but we've all encountered items that could be described either way, with equal accuracy or inaccuracy.

A "folksong" is far less tangible than a bottle or a jar. So the way is open for many personal or cliquish definitions. Some insist on what a folksong "ought" to be. Some are based on traditional variation. Some are based on the Romantic idea that a folksong must express the "soul of a people." Some are based on form ("If it's in ballad meter, it's a folksong till you prove otherwise.") Many describe a mixture of traits. And some definitions are based on commercial marketing alone.

Moreover, there's no rule decreeing "one person, one def." Not being androids, we're all likely to use the word "folksong" somewhat inconsistently at different times.

Like "poetry," "folksong" is a loose, more or less subjective category that embraces many, many items, many of them borderline by any strict definition.

That's why it's futile to debate whether a song is "really" a folksong unless you explain exactly what your standards are. At least with bottles and jars, cats and dogs we all have a pretty clear idea of what other people mean. "Folksong" is a far vaguer concept, intentionally created in the nineteenth century to describe things that only a few intellectuals perceived as worth distinguishing from other songs.

And by 1954, obviously, not even intellectuals could agree.

Rather than debate "What is a folksong?" it makes more sense to talk about the folklike characteristics of specific songs, which vary wildly.

Is "Tom Dooley" a folksong? If not, could it be in the future? These are diverting questions, but our personal answers aren't likely to advance our understanding of the song.

The essential "folklike characteristics" are, I'd suggest, significant oral tradition, textual and melodic variants, conservative traditional style, and general plainness of diction, with oral tradition at the top of the list. (That lets in certain ornate broadsides like "Napoleon's Farewell to Paris." ) I think that's what most of us are thinking of. But it's not to say that somewhat similar songs that less "folklike" songs are necessarily irrelevant or deserving of contempt. Why should we be so narrow-minded?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 09:07 AM

Song writers want their music to be associated with the people who might listen to music in that genre. The financial rewards may be desirable but one thing I for one love about the UK folk scene is the altruistic approach of those involved.

What an odd question? Of course songwriters who write for a folky audience want their music to be defined thus. Luckily for them it is!


Mind you, Al has never given me a lift in his Rolls Royce. We poor buggers who have to make a living in other fields never get to live the dream like our Al does. I don't need black n tans, letting agents look after Och Aye th 'Noo Land for me.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 09:42 AM

"Ask the likes of Jez Lowe what he is doing with songs like 'Taking on men' and 'Black Trade' "
I know what Jez, and others like him do, and respect that - it's not un-similar to what Ewan, Peggy, Leon Rosselson et al, have always done.
This does not make what they do folk songs, and to my knowledge, none of them claimed it did.
The songs I'm talking about were made within the communities, not to please an audience but to reflect their own lives - not un-similar to sitting in the pub or at the fireside talking about it.
The songs survived in the memories of the people who passed them on because they were important enough to remember, not because they were regularly performed or marketed, but because they lit a spark within the community itself - they became the property of the community - no copyright, no performing rights - more often than not nobody could remember who made the song in the first place.
One of the first of these that came to our notice was entitled The Quilty Burning.
During the Irish War of Independence in the 1920s, local people carried out protest harassing attacks on local police stations and particularly the hated Black and Tans - usually graffiti or minor damage.
One such attack took the form of piling up bundles of paraffin soaked rags against the doors of the empty police stations (barracks) at night and setting them alight.
The Quilty Burning was a comic song about such an attack, it mentions a number of local people and describes their various reactions to the event - I remember playing it to an elderly friend in London who originally came from the village and when it reached verse four he grinned and said "That's my father he's singing about" - one of the magic moments of collecting.
We were told that the song was made by "four local lads, standing at Quilty Cross(roads)" who threw verses among themselves until they had the song - the singer couldn't remember any of their names.
One of the best of these we ever recorded was one entitled 'Paddy ******' (name excluded at request of singers) about a 'made match' (match-made marriage)
It told how a Travelling man selected his wife because of her ability to buy, prepare and re-sell feather mattresses and how she gradually gets to "wear the Trousers"
We were told the song was made by "a bunch of lads sitting on a grass verge outside the church on the morning of the wedding" - a prediction of how the wedding would develop.
None of the singers could remember who the "four lads" were.
By the way Bounty - you didn't respond to my question - would you be willing to forgo your royalties and withhold your name in order to make your songs 'folk'?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 09:57 AM

Ask Fay Hield who I should think knows a hell of a lot more than most here!! And the Full English are the best thing to happen to folk music for a long time!!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 12:21 PM

I was listening in to a playaround at EAMT's Stowmarket festival and some of what was going on wasn't conservative in the least - nor was it accidental. We've long had the odd dabble with iconoclasm - the diminished chord at the end of "Give me your hand", for example - but this spent about five minutes way off in the land of Karlheinz's 57 varieties before resolving itself.
What we might do, perhaps, is benefit from the music industry's grip and say anything which isn't commercial has to be folk.

That being said, watching Sky News broadcasting a bunch of Ukrainian women singing folkssongs while making ghillie suits for their snipers put an entirely new complexion on waulking.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 01:16 PM

Four letters.....a cryptic announcement starting with c and ending with p.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 01:42 PM

I like The Full English.

Just don't try telling Martin Simpson it is a landing pad for those who were pissed off for not being asked to join The Imagined Village.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 03:52 PM

"So, the serious question is, what makes a new song a folk song? Should it have a particular kind of tune? Must it carry an important message? Does it need to be about ordinary people's lives?"
as far as the uk folk revival goes, most of the songs that are considered to be in tradtional style, belong to a limited group of modes, so yes they do appear to have particular kinds of tunes, limited to certain modes, they do not all appear to carry an important message, and some are not about ordinary peoples lives.
for example ICARUS was not an ordinary person.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 04:27 PM

we all have ambitions to fly. we all have the story in our collective consciousness.

jesus wasn't an ordinary person - so is the bitter withy not a folksong.

as long as you let bean counters tell you what is and isn't folk music - there will be tin pot twerps telling you that you don't have validity - so you're not to be on this radio station, or that club, or that its alright to ignore and be rude to you.

don't tell me its not so. like the born again Christians say - i have proved it with my life.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 04:38 PM

Jim, sorry, didn't mean to ignore your question above.

I'm probably not the best person to ask, I'm not a prolific song writer, and just 'produce' a few that I'm happy enough with to set loose on an unsuspecting public, although there are lots end up on the cutting room floor! Most of the band's repertoire is traditional.

I'm not in this for the money, my motivation is firstly from a love of the tradition and wishing to see that tradition maintained and developed, and brought to the attention of a wider audience, (the same reason I'm prepared to be seen in public with a banjo and some strangely dressed folks loosely called a morris side!) and secondly for the personal pleasure of performing and sharing those songs with other people. (I can tell you there is a real thrill in having an audience 5-600 people singing along with a song you've written!)

So to answer your question, I would have no problem at all with forgoing my royalties and withholding my name in order to make my songs 'folk' if that's what it takes, but as you know, we do have to agree to differ on what makes a song 'folk'

John.

PS, sorry about the way the post above came out, obviously incorrect placings of html tags, Bl..dy technology eh! ;)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 05:14 PM

al, i said some are not about ordinary peoples lives, some of course are, but they do not necessarily have to be about ordinary people.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 05:47 PM

One common aspect is that the song verges on folk wisdom. The banale tripe of commercial pop, the superficial egotism of interpersonal relationships, is left at the door: we deal in the longer-term.

For example, ask yourselves why nobody has yet written a song on 9/11, more than ten years on. Because the hurt camouflaged the feeling. Now we can invoke the reality. The starting point is the feel of communion in our playing. That is why the tales are of performers coming together to document things, because it is not one man's work. Sometimes the music passes through many hands before it becomes community property, but it that ownership, I think, which makes it folk: the music of this community. It can be many things and nothing - but it is ours.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 07:58 PM

No songs on 9/11? I can think of a couple, including Tom Paxton's The Bravest, dedicated to the fire and rescue service of New York. And I have sung it on several of the anniversaries of the event, although it's a tough one.
I don't think anyone has yet mentioned songwriting competitions, which occur at several folk festivals and clubs I go to here. The rules vary from place to place, but phrases such as "to be written in traditional style" or "in the folk idiom" crop up. But the entries are often pretty eclectic, with subject matter equally wide-ranging. A very few of these songs take on a life of their own: thinking of Karine Polwart's "Whaur dae ye lie" or Steven Clark's "Coming Home", for example.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: mg
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 09:49 PM

Quite a few people have written songs on 9/11..including me but I can't remember it now.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 10:11 PM

its a bit like these academics who have theories about racial superiority, but they claim to have no responsibility for the stuff politicians get up to in their name.

I have always believed that this garbage about what constitutes a folk song has led to the premature death of artists who have had the English folk club system whipped out from under them.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 12:06 AM

Cowboy/Western
Country
Country Pop
Popular Music
Blues
Jazz
Dixieland Jazz
Folk/Traditional
Opera
People's

I nominate People's music. It can be found in each of those designations and still be a song sung by the people.

I am currently playing music with a woman born in Saipan, grew up in Guam, married a Korean, speaks four languages and dialects. She sings songs in Saipanese, Hawaiian, Guamanian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and English.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 03:32 AM

"I have always believed that this garbage about what constitutes a folk song"
What caused the demise of the clubs, in my experience, is that people stopped going when they could no longer choose what they listened to when they set out for an evening at a folk club - it was certainly my case.
I attended a regular club and I helped to run another - no problem with either - it gave me exactly what it said on the label.
I made a point of visiting as many other clubs as I could to keep me in touch with what was happening.
Gradually, I stopped going to the latter when they began to be used as dumping grounds for singers who had nothing to do with folk song and just took advantage of the democracy of the folk scene to strut their stuff.
Night after night I left half way through the evening, not having heard a folk song.
I have no idea what kind of music you like or play Al, and quite honestly, I don't care too much - as your arrogant attitude towards the music I know to be folk from half a century of listening and working in the genre, suggests a total disinterest for and ignorance of that music and the people who follow it - it is exactly that attitude that emptied the clubs.
If my local greengrocer suddenly decided to sell frocks and call them vegetables, I'd look for another greengrocer - simple as that.
If I ever had any doubt about what constitutes folk song I could bull down any of the hundred or so collections from my bookshelf, or any of the few dozen researched studies of the subject.
We've a collection of a few hundred radio programmes we've horded going back fifty odd years by people who have bothered to get up off their arses and find out about folk music.
And most important - we have hours of recorded interviews of singers like Walter Pardon, Tom Lenihan, Mikeen McCarthy... and many others, talking about their songs and music and the importance it had in their lives and those of the generations before them.
Am I going to drop all this for someone who can't tell his folk arse from his elbow and can't even come up with a half decent definition other that "I'll call anything I wish folk music" - don't think so really Al - would you, in my position?
It seems that today's revival has changed from a group so enthusiasts who found a music and dedicated themselves to it, into a bunch of ego-tripping self-servers who have kicked their way onto the scene like a bunch of Punks kicking their way into a dance.
That is what your attitude exudes - not for me - I'll stick with what I know.
It is arrogance like yours that emptied the clubs, not folk music.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bert
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 03:50 AM

It is arrogance like yours that emptied the clubs...

I don't really think so Jim.

Folk music has always been pretty much a minority activity. And the fashion comes and goes. People of one generation like this and another like that. What we loved in our youth becomes an old farts activity later. When I started Square dancing in the Fifties we were all young people, now if you go to a Square Dance they are all old people like me.

There are many reasons I stopped square dancing, mainly, they didn't keep up with the times socially.

I haven't been to the nearest folk club here, I met a few of the people and they seemed to be a bunch of old fuddy duddies. Perhaps I really belong among them and just don't want to admit it.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 04:39 AM

"Folk music has always been pretty much a minority activity"
Yes - it was Bert - but there was a fairly steady rise and fall throughout te period of its existence.
We had our own magazines - catering for different tastes and levels of interest and we had differing types of clubs - all pretty well co-existing.
For me, the point of departure was marked by an article in Folk Review entitled 'Crap Begets Crap', ostensibly about noisy audiences, but developing into a general analysis of what was happening in the clubs.
Shortly after this, the decline accelerated - people seemed to decide they weren't going to leave their firesides for the lucky-dips that the clubs had become.
I was reduced from the choice of over a dozen clubs in the Greater London Area down to the two dependables where I knew I could find what I wanted.
One of them was still running when I left the U.K. in 1998 - I think it finally popped its clogs last year due to the ill health of one of the organisers.
Over the period I was going to the clubs I managed to hear the best of British and American performers, MacColl Seeger, Seamus Ennis, Paddy Tunney, Bobby Casey, The Stewarts, Walter Pardon, Sam Larner, Harry Cox. Jeannie Robertson, Joe Heaney, Brendan McGlinchey.... (managed to record some of the evenings) good times listening to people who would think they'd landed on Mars if they turned up on spec at some of the folk clubs today
All this was replaced by the arrogance so perfectly displayed by Al and his newbies, who couldn't find their folk arses with both hands.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 05:25 AM

My experience of folk and folk clubs started in the late 60's.
At the start there was one club in Plymouth, after a personality clash a second club opened to cater for sympathisers of the alternative side.
In the years following that it progressed to a club on every night of the week.
None of the clubs had a strict one sort of folk policy,a bias yes, but all were tolerant of other sorts of folk.
The attendees were largly late teen early twenties, and single.
Many of them subsequently married and became parents,the raising of their offspring stopped their attendance at the clubs,the youngsters who followed had different interests and didn't come to clubs and so the numbers of clubs declined.
Jim may have lost his interest in clubs because he couldn't find the
things which interested him,to say that was the main reason for the decline is a generalisation.
The world moved on for many reasons,the paradise you remember in the past was hell for others.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 05:47 AM

"It is arrogance like yours that emptied the clubs, not folk music." when i first started going to folk clubs in 1966, they were a broad church encompassing international folk music including bluegrass and blues and traditional music from the British Isles., and contemporary songs written by people of differing nationalities.
Firstly, some clubs are not empty, secondly to make a statement like the one above is a massive over simplification, and a typical example of whats wrong with internet discussion forums and a classic piece of flaming and trolling.
in 1966 there were badly run clubs there were also well run clubs, there were clubs that struggled and clubs that thrived, there are a number of clubs that have been in existence for over 50 years, and one that recently closed having run for approx 50 years[ lewes vic and tina smith] but not because it was empty.
jim, when will you stop spouting half truths and then presenting them as facts, we all respect your efforts at song collection,but your statement this time is imo ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 06:08 AM

Derrick
"paradise you remember in the past was hell for others."
As is the case with every other type of music.
It should be allowed to stand and fall by its own merits - nothing wrong with that.
With the folk revival as I knew if, not just as an audience member but as a singer, club organiser and activist and later, a researcher and collector, it had a minority (of what - pop - classical - jazz?) following which continued to attract audiences util it's, in my opinion, premature demise.   
Right up to MacColl's last illness he and Peggy were performing to capacity audiences.
The fact those the audiences didn't compare in number to say a pop concert, was always totally immaterial - we had our audiences and continued to draw in new people - never as many as we wanted, but enough.
Our policy was still capable of producing overflow audiences every now and again.
Even if that had not been the case, a change of policy to draw in more would have been pointless - we were in it for a particular type of music and we tried to put bums on seats for that type of music.
Quite honestly, as none of those people sharing Al's unfathomable attitude to what kind of music other than "mine" is concerned, I have no idea of what he is talking about when he talks about "folk".
Much of the music I have heard that now passes for "folk" is very like some Chinese food, tasty enough at the time but unmemorable - belch and you're hungry again.
Genuine folk at least has a provenance and some sort of pedigree.
I've always believed that the best way to plan your future is to understand your past - that goes for music as much as anything else.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 07:15 AM

Musket
You couldn't afford me Snail, don't fret me old love.

I think we probably could if we thought you were worth it.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 08:17 AM

"Genuine folk at least has a provenance and some sort of pedigree.
I've always believed that the best way to plan your future is to understand your past - that goes for music as much as anything else."
often but not always, for example some football songs[ which fall under the 1954 defintion of folk song], are genuine folk, but they often are not very good, for example the wheel barrow song[ sung by notts county fans , it has a provenance , [on top of old smokey], but it[ the wheelbarrow song] is a genuine folk song but a crap one., football crowd songs are folk songs, but do not have folk a pedigree or folkprovenace [youll never walk alone]         
talking a bout arrogance, MacColl was someone who came into that category, excellent song writer and performer that he was, an example of his arrogance was the occasion that he stopped Lisa Turner in mid song to remind her publicly of the singers club, song policy, the correct thing was to have had a quiet word privately.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 08:49 AM

Jim, it may surprise you that I agree with much of what you believe folk song to be and its cultural roots and importance.
My difficulty is with you stating a belief as a fact, as you have in several posts over time,that folk clubs declined because they stopped presenting what you believe folk to be,therefore every one else stoppped going for the same reason.
A belief is not a fact,it is what you think is the answer.
Some may have stopped for the same reasons as you did, many stopped for completely different ones.
The work you did in the past catered for the people who were interested in the subject at the time.
There are still people interested today,just fewer of them.
Those who have a deep passion for a subject always find those who don't strange.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 08:52 AM

most people know me as a humble troubadour - one who has worked in the interstices of pop music, country music, country and Irish, folk - whatever i could do to entertain the audience.
all the arrogance seems to me to be on your part -claiming to be the folk music of England. however i have enough respect for you not to insult you.

understanding you past is all very well - but music in performance is very much in the present. and if can't give them what they want, they DO cut up rough - the kind of people who live where folk songs come from.
play and sing - all shook up and the room will start dancing joining in with oough! like Elvis - any room , anywhere in England. what have you got to put up against that. a few gypsies in the arse end of nowhere, the memory of a few old folk - most of whom sound like they can't remember the words or tunes of songs that in folk song collections.

incidentally Idid spend a month earlier this year trying to write an English language version of Una Bhan inspired by Joe Heaney's version. Those ofyou that can be bothered will find my efforts on Soundcloud.

another thing you forget Jim - i was a great fan of MacColl/SEEGER. i saw them play plenty of half empty places - nearly all the places with a heavy trad bias NTMC in Nottingham AND THE Grey Cock in Brum. They greatly benefited from playing places that booked entertainers like Capstick an Brimstone - places like Tony Savages club in Barwell.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 10:06 AM

I do try to keep up Jim but it isn't easy when you simultaneously present two incompatible points of view.

On one hand you say that folk clubs should do what it says on the tin and present folk music which has a clear unequivocal definition. On the other hand, you say that songs written using traditional forms or in the "folk idiom" are perfectly acceptable in most folk clubs. "I've been advocating for the composition and proliferation of such songs throughout the time I've been involved in music". But what is the definition of "such songs"? You constantly avoid giving one which is fair enough, it is an impossible task. The judgement of what is acceptable is entirely subjective. Your opinion is as valid as mine or Musket's or Big Al's. In other words, according to you, anything goes.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 11:46 AM

"On one hand you say that folk clubs should do what it says on the tin and present folk music"
I have never had a problem with clubs which present traditional songs and singers and also those who use the idiom of traditional songs to create new ones - I have never argued otherwise.
However, when I discuss, lecture, write about folk song, I always try to make a distinction between the older songs and the newer ones, for exactly the reasons I have laid out here.
My real problem has always been with the clubs and the performers who have used the term 'folk' to promote songs that aren't and have no relation to the genuine object.
My arguments on 'what is genuine folk' are to do with my interests as a researcher - my gripe with the clubs is with those who have wasted my and many other people's time in searching for something that they are not offering in any shape or form.
You want examples of what I mean - try some of MacColls and Seeger's,   compositions (not all), or Pete Smith's, or Matt Armour's, or Ed Pickford's, or Helen Fullarton's, or Graem Miles's, or Jerry Springs's, or Don Lange's or Dick Snell's, Eric Bogles, or Miles Wooton's, Con 'Fada O'Driscoll's, or Adam McNaughton's, or Sean Mone's or Fintan Vallely's or Tim Lyons', or Brian O'Rourk's, or Gordon McCulloch's, or Enoch Kent's, or Hazel Dickson's, or Colin Meadows's, or Donniell Kennedy's or Jack Warshaw's..... all have produced songs in the traditional idiom which have given me enjoyment at one time or another - even tried my had at some myself, given the opportunity.   
Derrick
I can only speak for my own experiences and those of people I know, who exited the scene as I did for the same reasons many of whom I am still on contact with through our still mutual interest in folk song.
It really isn't as if I'm taking about a small handful of clubs in a few English backwaters - my direct experience has been with clubs in three major English cities, and those I have worked with cover a good section of the British Isles through personal contact.
I've often been accused - usually by Bryan, of being out-of-touch with what has happening now because of our move to Ireland - even if I had never been in contact, the internet has been indication enough of the prevailing situation - no place to hide nowadays.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 12:01 PM

Snail. Are you trying to get into my Y fronts perchance? Saying my opinion is valid.

Most unnerving.

Jim.. Jim.. Jim..   You say you stopped going to folk clubs when they became places for people strutting their stuff. Sounds like the folk progression to me..

Peggy Seeger's new album is available from today. Amazon, iTunes and stockists have it. Search under "folk."


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 12:09 PM

I once did "Farewell my dearest dear" to its original tune ("Frankin has fled away"), which is in 6/4. It went down about as well as you'd expect - nobody had heard it before or recognised it, not even the hardened 30- and 40-year folkies. Another time, I did the full five-verse Pleasant and Delightful (you can find it on the Yorkshire Garland site); with the extra verse (and some re-ordering) it makes much more narrative sense than the version people usually do, but of course the usual version is what everyone expects.

The point is that there are folk songs and then there are folk club songs - the songs people have been doing in folk clubs for thirty years or more. Some of them are traditional, some are in traditional idioms, some are in the post-Dylan 'folk' style, and some are just songs that people have been doing in folk clubs for a while. (I don't think there's anything at all traditional about Farewell to the Gold, for example, but I doubt there's a folk club or festival in Britain where it wouldn't go down well.)

So if somebody writes a new song that's a bit like Farewell to the Gold - or a bit like Fire and Rain - they're writing songs that would be welcome at a folk club or festival. On the other hand, somebody bringing out a traditional song that hasn't been performed in public in recent years can't count on a welcome in any folk setting.

But that's not just the way the world is. That's what's wrong with the (folk) world.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 12:19 PM

PS I know the 1954 definition is a lost cause - nobody is going to stop shelving Laura Marling or the Mumfords under 'folk'. But I do think it would be interesting to hear another definition - really, any other definition, other than the purely ostensive definition which says that "folk" is "what people call folk". (Which is no definition at all. After all, "cats" are "what people call cats"; they're also definable as small furry quadrupeds distantly related to lions and tigers.)

James Yorkston has said on several occasions that his albums of original material aren't folk (because they're not traditional). When Graham Coxon made an acoustic album, the press called it 'folk'; he said not ("They're not 200 years old, any of these songs, are they?"). Are they wrong, and if so why?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 12:21 PM

sometimes the new song has to take its time, but it gets picked up and sung, examples of this in ireland are.. fiddlers green and song for ireland and caledonia, all songs written by english or scottish people, but songs that mean something to people outside the uk folk revival and are assumed to be tradtional.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 12:59 PM

> After all, "cats" are "what people call cats"; they're also definable as small furry quadrupeds distantly related to lions and tigers.

Very true, Phil Edwards. But here's the maddening catch. The word "cat" (and thousands like it) developed naturally to denote an objective reality that no one in his right mind could deny. There *really are* animals whose characteristics you very sketchily suggest, and *really are* in cases like this means "is universal agreement about the distinct existence of."

Now for a little game. If a "cat" is a '50s jazz type, is he or isn't he a "cat"? "Well," I hope you're saying, "obviously not, wiseguy! He's a chap!" Then why call him a cat? If he isn't a cat, what is and how do I know the difference?

Then you repeat your definition of a quadrupedal cat. Fair enough, but how do I know, *out of context,* when a "cat" is an animal and when it's a man?

If context is essential to understanding even a seemingly obvious and well-defined word like "cat" when it's used, how much more essential is it when "folksong" is used?

Unlike "cat," "folksong" *even in context* has no clear-cut, universally accepted, fairly indisputable meaning. The word was coined to convey a particular but rather hazy definition. Since that time so long ago, the intended definition has been enhanced, clarified, expanded, redefined, etc., etc., until not even experts are quite sure what it means to other people, including other experts.

Instead of a word like "cat," think of a word like "democracy" or "novel." You know what you mean when you use it (or do you really?), but can you count on your reader or listener to know what you mean.

I can say, "This is a cat," and get agreement from everyone except a few ingeniously contentious or very crazy people. But I can't get anything like that consensus if I say "Both Sides Now" is - or is not - a folksong.

Was East Germany a democracy? Some seemed to think so. Is the UK or the USA? Some have denied it. If there's disagreement in a given instance, you have to stipulate what you mean, or you talk at cross purposes.

And there's no easy way around it.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 01:04 PM

I can't get anything like that consensus if I say "Both Sides Now" is - or is not - a folksong.

Which is why it's handy to have a definition that we can refer back to, even if not everyone agrees on it. It would be even better if we had two different definitions to compare against each other, as we do in the case of 'democracy'.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 02:28 PM

Exactly. And we have many definitions of "folksong," some of which we can even "refer back to." If we feel like it. (Clearly not everyone does, or wants to concur once they do.)

Which helps explain why this thread keeps going.

There's insufficient agreement on any stipulated definition, and many people plump for their own.

There's also the question of whether a specific song fits (or can be pummeled into fitting) whichever definition we (currently) insist upon.

To repeat: "folksong" in natural, non-stipulative use is a handy but very vague term. Are rap lyrics "poetry"? Maybe yes, maybe no.

The point in any case is to discuss the nature of the beast without insisting on the precise category you want to file it under.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 03:00 PM

"And we have many definitions of "folksong," some of which we can even "refer back to.""
Peraps someone could put up half a dozen along with their precedence and whether they have any consensus to back them up, or so and see how they measure up?
People keep referring to other definitions but there is an ongoing reluctance to produce them.
One thing nobody can claim about '54 is that it doesn't come wit a pedigree, world wide support and masses of documentation to back it up.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM

it also carries with it a world of middle class condescension and dismissal of working class musicians.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 04:12 PM

"world wide support", Jim.. fantasizing again, world wide support ha ha.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 06:34 PM

Musket
Snail. Are you trying to get into my Y fronts perchance?

BLEUUURRGH!

Saying my opinion is valid.

Musket, have you no idea what "irony" is?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bert
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 06:54 PM

The movers and shakers of the folk world in 1954 were often collectors themselves some decades previously. It should come as no surprise therefore, that the 1954 definition, pretty much defines only what they themselves had collected.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 06:56 PM

a tinnie made of another substance...?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 07:33 PM

And we have many definitions of "folksong," some of which we can even "refer back to."

Do we? I only know of one definition of "folksong" - one definition and a lot of people objecting to it, but without proposing any alternative.

The thing about definitions is that they define - they draw a line. And that line may not go where you want it to. If we start from the assumption that folk = traditional = "1954 definition", there's room for real debate about whether an individual song fits the definition - be it Sally Wheatley, the Grand Conversation on Napoleon or Sir Patrick Spens. But it doesn't stop anyone singing songs that aren't traditional - why would it?

I think a lot of people bring value-based baggage to this argument - as if to say, I love folk music, I love these songs, therefore these songs must be folk songs; or, I'm a folkie, I sing to folk audiences, therefore everything I sing must be folk. I think this urge to define 'folk' more and more widely is understandable, but it needs to be resisted. My own starting-point is that there is a lot of traditional music which I love as dearly as any other music I know - and there are a lot of 'folk club songs' which leave me completely cold. I was a regular floor singer at a folk club for several years before I discovered traditional songs - the folk club repertoire just got in the way. Define 'folk' to include traditional songs and Dylan and Richard Thompson and Roy Harper and songs by rivals, followers and imitators of Dylan and Richard Thompson and Roy Harper and whatever else anyone brings along on the night, and some very rare and distinctive jewels get lost among a lot of other stuff which is more widely available, lower quality or both.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 07:54 PM

Well, for starters, the 1200-page _Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend_ (rev. ed. 1972) offers this:

"Folk song comprises the poetry and music of groups whose literature is perpetuated not by writing and print, but through oral tradition."

This seems to imply that folksongs are peculiar to people who are entirely or at least functionally illiterate.

In a complex post-medieval society, how do we know that's true? It becomes "true" only if we're willing to accept it. Are we?

When literacy was extremely rare, there were many songs like that. But how many are there now? Or a hundred years ago, or three hundred? How can we know in a population of millions whether most singers of a particular song can barely read or write? And why exactly is that criterion so important?

I'm not ridiculing the definition, just suggesting that it may not work for everyone. And if it and others don't work for *nearly* everyone interested in "folksong," we're back at Square One.

The same reference work, by the way, gives no less than twenty definitions of "folklore" by various authorities. (The article on folksong was, interestingly, written by just one authority, George Herzog.)

Bert's point about collectors being influenced by their own tastes in creating a definition is correct. Which means even a consensus definition will have very fuzzy edges, allowing the question, "But is it *really* a folksong?"

Those of us who prefer a fairly narrow definition (whatever it might be) are derided as wet-blanket "pedants" and "folk police" by everybody else. And we deride them in turn for being crudely "uninformed" and "undiscerning."

The label, if you ask me, is usually of less interest than the song and how it fits (or doesn't fit) into folk or popular or refined culture.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 08:26 PM

Reaching higher on the shelf, I find the following in the 800-page _American Folklore: An Encyclopedia_ (1996):

"Folksong: Traditional sung verse that exhibits characteristics shared by other kinds of folklore."

But "folklore," since its coinage in 1846, "has acquired several new connotations and faces competition from such terms as 'folklife,' 'expressive culture,' 'traditional culture,' 'verbal arts,' and 'vernacular culture.'"

Seems to me that just "expressive culture," "vernacular culture" and "verbal arts," taken together, should cover everything from Eskimo walrus chants through tall tales to "The Leggo Movie."

Thus a folksong, according to some scholars, is almost any song that shares unspecified characteristics with any of the above; or all of them, if you're clever enough to find a common denominator.

And I did say "scholars," not "downloaders of mp3s."


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 08:33 PM

Finally: Is "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" a folksong? I can hardly believe that most of its singers have been or are functionally illiterate.

What about "Hinky Dinky Parlez-Vous"? Ditto.

"Home on the Range"?

"Sir Patrick Spens"?

(I don't think there's any doubt about traditional Eskimo hunting chants.)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 09:02 PM

Jim Carroll
I have never had a problem with clubs which present traditional songs and singers and also those who use the idiom of traditional songs to create new ones - I have never argued otherwise.

I came into this thread (apart form a little gentle taking the piss out of Musket) when you said "Walk into a folk club and you your probably be told "Piss off, we don't need a definition"". Why would they say that when you don't seem to be offering any sort of definition? Unless, of course, your definition is "Any sort of music that Jim Carroll approves of.". What do you want it to say on the tin?

However, when I discuss, lecture, write about folk song, I always try to make a distinction between the older songs and the newer ones, for exactly the reasons I have laid out here.

No problem with that. It strikes me as exactly the sort of usage the Sao Paulo conference had in mind when they came up with their definition. I'm sure it never occurred to them that they were dictating the booking policies of folk clubs in the years to come or defining the meaning of a word in the English language.

My real problem has always been with the clubs and the performers who have used the term 'folk' to promote songs that aren't and have no relation to the genuine object.

So don't go to them. I don't.

You want examples of what I mean

No, I don't. Anybody could produce a list. Mine might overlap a bit with yours. So might Musket's or Big Al's for all I know. They are all subjective. None of them carry any authority. Once you move away from "1954 or nothing" then you have no control. Anything goes.

I've often been accused - usually by Bryan, of being out-of-touch with what has happening now because of our move to Ireland

Correct. I get seriously pissed off when you hurl abuse at a folk scene that you clearly know little about. When you and your chums couldn't compete with the singer/songwriters and the stand up comedians you "exited the scene". A lot of others didn't. More have come in since. Now all you can do is sit there on the west coast of Ireland and winge about what a mess the current organisers are making of it. It was on your watch that things went tits up not mine.

the internet has been indication enough of the prevailing situation

Wonderful. It must be true, I read it on the internet. The trouble is, you are very selective in your reading. You seize on every crumb, no matter how obscure or dubious, if it supports your case while brushing aside anything that doesn't fit your prejudices.

Some of us back here in the UK are working bloody hard to support exactly the sort of music you want. If you've got nothing positive to offer then go away and leave us alone. Pester the council about the litter in Miltown Malbay High Street or something.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 09:05 PM

Having read this thread and others like it, and having attempted to follow the convoluted logic of various and sundry people putting forth their reasons, excuses, prejudices, and quotes from presumably knowledgeable sources (??), it seems pretty obvious that the definition of folk music is essentially the same as someone's oft quoted definition of pornography: "I can't explain it, but I know it when I see it."

Let's cut to the chase here:

If you like a song, go ahead and sing the bloody thing!!.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 03:29 AM

"Any sort of music that Jim Carroll approves of."
On the contrary Bryan - I have said from the very beginning that until a better one comes along, I am happy to accept the definition arrived at in 1954, flawed as it may be.
It was a summation of the work that had been carried out from the end of 19th century and was arrived at at the time when the B.B.C. were involved in their mopping-up campaign which shortly after led to the beginning of the English folk song revival.
One of the key song collections which played a major part in that revival, The Penguin Book of English Folk Song and its sister publications in Canada, Australia, America and elsewhere, were '54 based in their construction, and seminal works such as Folk Song in England used it as a guide - this was the first time I encountered it.
Since then, it has remained the central influence in all research - discussed, criticised, but never rejected and replaced by a workable alternative.
I was quite excited when Dave Harker published his Fakesong' - I thought we were going to get either a serious look at '54 in view to bringing it up to date or a workable replacement, instead we got a smug debunking of all that had gone before - little more than a hit-list of early collectors and researchers.
You say I haven't given a definition other than my own - you are either totally illiterate or are indulging in porkies.
You have my definition - if you can't understand it, get someone to explain it to you - it's simple enough - but don't tell me it's mine only.
As for the clubs - I and many like me, came into the clubs, liked what we heard and became inspired to become more involved in the music we recognised as folk music - it gave us the best of both worlds.
It also provided a platform for the few remaining source singers and musicians still around.
It democratised music and song for us and allowed us to be participants in our own culture, a healthy club scene gave folk song a future - I don't believe this to be any longer the case (we can't all nip down to Lewes when we feel like it as you once suggested.
I have pointed out on numerous occasions the benefits reaped here in Ireland by knowing the music you are involved in and articulating your understanding of it to the point of having it widely accepted and supported - still in the process of happening here, but at least it can be said without contradiction that it will survive for at least another two generations in its own right.
The list of songwriters I gave you are not down to subjectivity, by the way, they are those who have, consciously or unconsciously, drawn on traditional forms to make new songs - their compositions all show evidence of this fact.
"The trouble is, you are very selective in your reading."
You haven't the slightest idea what I read and draw from the internet you arrogant little pratt, how dare you make such an assumption.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 03:52 AM

Sorry Lighter - didn't want to confuse issues in one big posting.
Nothing you put up provides an alternative definition, though it does raise a number of important points, particularly about literacy.
That songs are orally composed and transmitted in no way implies an i;;iterate population - far from it.
The fact that literacy has played a major part in the transmission of folk songs is now becoming more recognised, but exactly what part that has been has yet to be fully understood.
All the other points you raise refer to definitions of folk song, lore, vernacular, etc., as being the culture of society as a whole, not a self-interested section of a dwindling number of folk clubs - it is the former that changes the language and our understanding of it, not the latter.
And your consensually agreed alternative definition is......?
"If you like a song, go ahead and sing the bloody thing!!."
Don't thing anybody disagrees with this Don - no need to shout
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 04:04 AM

Lighter - all you've done there is produce a variant on the 1954 definition and then say you don't agree with that either! Rather than reel off definitions you don't agree with, how about one you do agree with? Or are you opposed to defining 'folk music' in any way at all?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 04:58 AM

Phil. I like your folk club song idea. Most pertinent. Out of interest, the bit about cats has a club perspective too. Remember Kevin from Doncaster who referred to his audience as "cats" before launching into another Paul Simon (folk) song?

Mind you, I am going back to the early '80s there, when folk was folk and no bugger got hung up over it.

Snail. Brilliant! Irony has to be doubled over in order to be hilarious. Dozy sod.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 05:08 AM

You remember when Ewan used to sing Tam Linn, Jim - about a protean monster that changed shape....that's folk music.

You and I may not like all the changes - but things change.

You admit literacy has changed things. But oh so many things. Ease of access to good quality instruments. technology. ease of access to foreign influence, ease of travel, social mobility.....

There is something intangible, undefinable and worthwhile. It sprang from the folk clubs of the fifties and sixties. so many of us call it folk.
I don't why it causes you such anger.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 05:09 AM

"You haven't the slightest idea what I read and draw from the internet you arrogant little pratt, how dare you make such an assumption."Jim Carroll.
The level of debate reaches a new low,
Jim, why do you have to insult people who disagree with you.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 05:43 AM

"It sprang from the folk clubs of the fifties and sixties"
No it didn't Al - it capitalised on what was happening in the folk clubs by using them as a platform for a music that had little to do with what was going on, and eventually kicked folk music off that platform in many clubs.
"You admit literacy has changed things."
I don't admit it - it has been a recognised fact from day one of Britain's interest in folk song and was fully recognised by all who wrote about it - I did say it wasn't straightforward, but you choose to ignore that.
What are those changes and what is the new definition they have brought about?
As Phil has so succinctly put it - "how about one you do agree with? Or are you opposed to defining 'folk music' in any way at all?"
"why do you have to insult people who disagree with you"
I don't - I respond to dishonest and distortion badly - nothing more.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:33 AM

So we want a new definition then?

The issue as I see it is that folk clubs and festivals have become a platform for singer/songwriters, many of whom write great songs and are excellent performers, but my personal opinion is that many modern songs should not be regarded as 'folk' merely because they are accompanied by an acoustic guitar. That's not to belittle those songs in any way, as many of them have a real value and have their place. Our OP alluded to this by pointing out that he would regard some of the songs he's written as 'acoustic pop'

We also cannot allow our traditions to stagnate and die, so there must be scope to maintain and develop that tradition.

So how about this as a new definition:

Folk music is the music of the people and of communities.

Traditional folk songs and tunes are those songs or tunes from antiquity that have been passed down by an oral tradition or circulated at the time of writing via broadsheets and similar methods.

Modern folk songs and tunes are those songs or tunes that are influenced by and respect the tradition of their country or area of origin.

Collectively, both can be known as 'folk music'


There you have it, the 2014 definition.

John


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:57 AM

> And your consensually agreed alternative definition is......?

That's the point: though most (though obviously not all)stress oral tradition and variation, there is none.

What I posted are just two *very* inconsistent definitions from expert sources - professional folklorists and/or musicologists/ anthropologists in each case. If the 1954 def. is still somehow "better" (and why would it be?), it isn't because the definers were any more accomplished - so far as I can tell.

Folk clubs are a special case. They've developed historically in a way that leads older people like Jim to reasonably expect a certain kind of song. Others simply don't care about the exceptions. I agree that a "folk club" should concentrate on "folk music," but if some day most of the people involved come to think of rock and rap as "folk music," and that's how their tastes run, you get a new kind of club and need a broader - or, much better, an additional - definition of "folksong." Demanding that they listen to reason won't bring back the past, especially if they won't understand the reasons.

People don't want theory: they want music.

"Folksong" is not a clearly applied, indispensible scientific term like "proton." Our understanding of protons may constantly be improving, but physicists agree on the basic meaning of "proton." All else is details.

There's a big difference here. No professional insists that electrons are really protons, or that some protons aren't protons at all. Reality *forces* a consensus, because without it, experiments and textbooks would become meaningless and discussions dissolve in chaos. That could spell disaster.

But when discussions about a largely subjective label like "folksong" become meaningless and dissolve in chaos, as they tend to, the sole real-world consequences are eye-rolling and a spike in blood pressure.

If it's songs we're interested in, not lists, we'll focus on the songs and not how and why someone else wants to label them.

Meanwhile, nobody seems ready to prescribe once and for all why any of the songs I listed (and there are so many, many more in line) are or are not folksongs, just according to definitions already on this thread. To do so might inadvertently give us some new insights into the songs, but we'd be no closer to agreement on what "makes" a folksong.

A single rigorous, imposed definition of a hazy and disputed concept is neither necessary nor possible. In other words, not worth doing.

Except for people who get a kick out of it, people even more pedantic than I am.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:59 AM

Not bad, John. Now try to create a consensus.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 09:32 AM

That'll be fun to try..

Too many freaks, not enough circuses.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 10:17 AM

Lighter and Musket,
no-one said it would be easy, but if we go with this at least we've got a basis for disagreement over the next 60 years ;)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 10:47 AM

"Juke Box Jury" - remember that ???

The format is ideal and needs to be resurrected..

"FOLK BOX JURY"

A panel of top folk pickers* [one must be a sexy dolly bird - it's tradition]
listen to a song and vote "FOLK" or "NOT FOLK" !!!

..easy as that...



[*top folk pickers* - and here lies the only innate flaw in this plan -
who selects this team of argumentative over-opinionated old buggers!!!???]


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 11:15 AM

"there is none."
Yes there is and you have it.
There is a general recognition that the '54 is in need of a revisit, but in general, it is the one that has served since it was devised 60 years go.
The points you raised may be "very" inconsistent in your mind but it only takes a few hours discussion with singers who were a part of a living tradition to realise that they are not particularly problematical.
What happens in today's folk clubs is somewhat irrelevant nowadays - there is certainly no consensus of what constitutes folk music, there is probably no interest in the subject any more.
Many club organisers use the term as a catch-all to put on what they wish to - if challenged they might put up some sort of argument such as the tiresome 'talking horse 'adage' to justify their disinterest, but that is as far as it goes.
Usually it's the somewhat irresponsible argument that the prospective punter has no right to expect anything whatever from a club, no matter what it calls itself.      
Clubs have become little more than convenient hat-pegs to hang whatever puts bums on seats.
"There you have it, the 2014 definition."
Not until you have general agreement you don't - tapping it out on your keyboard in the privacy of your own home doesn't make definitions - agreement and usage does.
Try telling some of the people here that they what they write and sing has to be influenced by and respect "the tradition of their country or area of origin" - we've already has Al's "tail wagging the dog" hissy fit.
Most of your other points are covered by '54 anyway, but you continue to miss the point.
Although folk songs tended to follow certain patterns in their creation, how they were made and how they sounded had nothing to do with them being 'folk'.
Up to comparatively recently, children were making songs from the current hit parade, or from television ads - nothing to do with "their country or their area of origin".
Travellers were re-making Country and Western songs to sing about horse fairs, or deals, or life on the road - nothing much to do with "country or area of origin" there either.   
'Folk' isn't a form or style, it''s a method of creation, general acceptance, recognition of ownership, passing on, recreation, ownership again..... and so ad infinitum.
It is when a song is absorbed into this process to one degree or another by communities as a whole, that they become folksongs - and this is very much a case of "Don't call us, we'll call you" - the decision of whether a song is 'folk' is not our decision to make.
Personally, I don't believe the mechanism that once made folk songs
still exists outside the travelling communities, though I would very much like to be proved wrong on this one.
What you propose regarding modern folk songs and tunes might well describe songs created in the folk idiom but they still remain separate entities from the real thing - and you really are going to get up the noses of Al and hiss buddies by suggesting that new songs have to follow old patterns.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 11:48 AM

Jim, if you read what I actually said, you will see very clearly that I was not suggesting that ALL new songs have to follow a prescribed pattern.

With all due respect, it really is you that don't understand, 'Folk' is just a word coined to describe a particular type and style of music in the same way as jazz, pop, rock etc etc!

'Folk' is the word used to describe the STYLE of the music of the indigenous population, as in African folk music, Russian folk music etc, the word itself has nothing to do with the 'process' you are so hung up on.

Once you grasp this very simple concept, accepting that there can be and already are new 'folk' songs will become much easier for you!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 12:27 PM

> the STYLE of the music of the indigenous population

Heh heh. How many styles does that give us in the USA - or even in   Britain and Ireland?

Teenagers are pretty indigenous.

And how much of the indigenous population? Dixieland has been around for a hundred years, beloved by a fair number, though perhaps a minority. Is it "folk music"? Were the blues "folk music" when hardly anyone knew of them? Maybe now they are. Or some of them. Or not.

Does it make complete sense (or any or none?) to lump these things together, plus Lord Randall, Edward, and "Old Chisholm Trail"? I begin to weary ....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 01:01 PM

Ok. Time to re-genre my iTunes.

Smoke on the water -Deep Purple, that's a folk song.

Scarborough Fair - Martin Carthy, not any longer it isn't.

Hurry up Harry -Sham 69, possible? Of the people and all that.

Too drunk to fuck - Dead Kennedys, the song isn't, the band are though by definition.

198,567 to go...


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 01:13 PM

Jim Carroll
The list of songwriters I gave you are not down to subjectivity, by the way, they are those who have, consciously or unconsciously, drawn on traditional forms to make new songs - their compositions all show evidence of this fact.
(Nothing Jim said before this line in his post was remotely relevant to the question I am trying to get him to answer.)

An excellent list, Jim. One I know personally, several I greatly admire and some I've never heard of but I'll trust your judgement. None of the songs they have written fit the 1954 definition. Their presence on the list is entirely subjective. It's your list. You chose who to put on it. As I said, I realise a definition is impossible but this list gets me no nearer an objective criterion . How can I tell whether the works of Brian Bedford, Roger Bryant, Jon Heslop, Mike O'Connor, Graham Moore, Mick Ryan, Lennon and McCartney, Sandra Kerr, Buddy Holly, Frankie Armstrong, Bob Dylan, Gordon Sumner... fit in with "what it says on the tin" for a folk club?

You haven't the slightest idea what I read and draw from the internet you arrogant little pratt, how dare you make such an assumption.

Ya gorra larf. I was going by what you post on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 01:23 PM

The fact that literacy has played a major part in the transmission of folk songs is now becoming more recognised, but exactly what part that has been has yet to be fully understood.

and then

"You admit literacy has changed things."
I don't admit it - it has been a recognised fact from day one of Britain's interest in folk song and was fully recognised by all who wrote about it - I did say it wasn't straightforward, but you choose to ignore that.

you don't make it easy Jim.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 01:25 PM

"I't, it really is you that don't understand,'Folk' is just a word coined to describe a particular type and style of music in the same way as jazz, pop, rock etc etc! "
And what you don't understand is it isn't any such thing
It is a word coined to describe the origins of a song, story, custom tune, dance belief.... and a whole number of other related disciplines that have undergone a certain process - style, type or form have nothing whatever to do with the term - totally with Lighter on this one.
By the way -I'm not sure where you think the acoustic guitar fits into all of this, by and large, the British and Irish traditions were unaccompanied - the guitar was a very handy revival tool introduced into the revival by modern folkies to perform folk songs - tried hard myself but could never get the hang of it so I got my mate to do it for me when AND IF I needed it.
Spain maybe, not Norfolk.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 03:02 PM

Jim, the origins of the term 'folk' to describe a STYLE of music has it's roots in the word folklaw and IS just a word used to describe music that originates from the tradition of whatever country it is applied to.

What would be really helpful, if you are going to reply to a post is to read it (and perhaps give it some thought) before you reply! You will see that I said that just because something is accompanied by and acoustic guitar it does not necessarily make it 'Folk' as many seem to think, that's where the guitar fits in the context of my post, but either your response was a knee jerk reaction, you did not bother to read and think about it, or you simply feel you have to disagree! Only you know which!

As has been said before, if we all believed the same as you then folk, however you care to define it will die, and we might as well all give up now! However, I'm pleased to say that pe


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 03:50 PM

folk is a word like gay, the meaning has shifted since 1954, in common parlance at least.

isn't that the problem? Ewan and his pals inadvertently stumbled over a magic formula? the top room of Victorian pub, English beer, a bohemian atmosphere, entertainment of an intelligent adult nature, the ancient skills of singing folksongs and telling stories rediscovered.
The folk club.....the genie was out of the bottle.

The folk took over the folk clubs. Folk clubs with real folks. We hijacked his great idea, and used it for our own ends. I'm not sorry. It was great!

I loved guitars before folk clubs.. I was a Roy Rogers/Gene Autry fan. The only thing that's really worked out in my life. Some days I can get my guitar in tune.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 04:22 PM

> folk, however you care to define it will die,

Well, with the passage of time (a long time, one hopes) all but one or two of the songs we're arguing about will have been utterly forgotten except by a few antiquarians who will categorize them any way they want. (Perhaps merely as "old songs.")

Otherwise, if a definition becomes thoroughly outmoded and falls into disuse, all that really "dies" is the categorization. The songs outlive it - if people want them to.

To be perfectly serious, cultural style is certainly a factor in the sorts of songs most all of us would agree are truly "folk": traditional titles like "The Bitter Withy" and "The Bonnie Bunch of Roses." Any definition that would exclude pieces like those would probably be laughed out of court. (But consider George Herzog's very narrow definition - mentioned yesterday - which was vetted and approved by folklore scholars.)

What is not so clear is whether a certain style (or any other single factor) should be *insisted on* when thoughtfully applying the "folk" label.

The good thing is that we largely agree on what is indubitably a folksong. We disagree wildly, though, about how to classify questionable cases (according to our preferred definition), and these cases always seem to exist in great numbers.

Categorizing should be a tool, not an obsession. If it suggests further avenues of consideration, it's done its job.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 04:43 PM

i don't think they will die out. you see they contain valuable stuff. look how Bob Dylan wrote them all anew! musicians and poets will always steal the good bits. the useable bits.

its a bit like these women , who say - you're using me ! you're using me!

its when you start thinking there is some virtue in being useless - that's when it will be in trouble.

even the current crop of approved folkies with their ghastly festival slots and programmes on BBC4, and arts council commissions - at least they use it for their own ends.

folksong has so much intrinsic worth and quality that it won't die out.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 04:45 PM

As usually occurs in a group discussion a great deal of smoke and friction is generated because of the conflation of multiple definitions around a single phoneme or word. "Folk" has multiple definitions, of which a few are:

1. A musical category of songs and tunes that have been handed down through time orally or through personal modeling. Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission according to Saint Fifty-Four. (His close friends just call him Nineteen).

2. A set of agreements and cultural attributed associated with folk music.

3. A class of non-urban people romantically considered as the backbone of a nation, often used as a pretense for war or other political dodges.

4. A category of musical products such as records or CDs usually involving artists playing acoustic instruments and pretending to be from the class in Definition 3.

5. Musical compositions that try to sound as if they come from the people in Definition 3, by invoking simplistic or romantic sentiments, minimal vocabulary , a bent for melodrama, and weak discrimination as a key plot component in farce or romantic comedy.

It should be immediately clear that if you have one definition in mind, your assertions will sound quite off to a person who has another definition in mind.

A modern singer-songwriter who writes a really great and genuine-sounding "folk" song (e.g., Darcy Farrell, circa 1970) is only doing so under definition 5, and not under definition 1.

A


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 05:06 PM

If folk is dying, why are most of the albums I bought this year by performers young enough to be my kids?*

Conversely, how would they react to an old codger telling them their art isn't folk?

I think "folk off" gains in impact what it loses in wit.


*That said, Musket's album of the year to date? Acoustic Classics by Richard Thompson


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 05:54 PM

"If folk is dying, why are most of the albums I bought this year by performers young enough to be my kids?*"

hmmm.. young commercially astute 'folk' performers...???

Begs question, to what extent are 6th form performing arts courses pushing 'folk' as a viable 'genre'
for talented teen singers to break into the lower echelons of the music business...
...first rung on the ladder and all that...

What with Techno Dance Pop and R&B markets being well over saturated.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 06:07 PM

I first played in a folk club at 16.

Fuck you, blue eyes.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 06:16 PM

I first played in a rock band at 15
at my cousin's engagement party,
she was 13 or 14..
he was in his mid 20s.............
but that was the semi-rural west country for you...

Now there's subject matter enough for a brand new folk song.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 06:44 PM

punkfolkrocker: hmmm.. young commercially astute 'folk' performers...???

I suspect Musket doesn't mean albums by "commercially astute" coat-tail-hangers such as the Mumfords, but by young people like Gilmore/Roberts or the Carrivick Sisters who whilst being excellent musicians are very unlikely to break into mainstream commerciality. I may be wrong here, and putting words into his mouth, but certainly those and other talented artistes who are unlikely ever to become household names form the majority of "folky" albums *I've* bought in the last year.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 06:49 PM

I thought this would be an interestig thread to follow, being as how I do dabble in folk songs. But unfortunately I find it laced with the same acid tones and venom as so many of our other threads, where the simple courtesies of dialogue are abandoned for uncivil invective, insult, and arrogant assertion.

What would it take to move the nasty off the 'Cat in favor of a more fundamental human affinity and respect for civil exchange?

A


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 06:50 PM

..and how did you know the colour of my eyes...?? nah, that's gotta be a lucky guess.

Anyway, I'm not even sure if there is a trad folk club, anywhere near our town and colleges anymore ??
The main college does have an excellent reputation for music and performance arts.
Until recently there were local council funded festivals at parks and venues
for the students to take their first big steps in public.
The usual mix of punk/metal bands, and acoustic singer/songwriters

Now maybe just a couple of cafes and wine bars provide encouragement
for the more determined acoustic singer/songwriters?

Maybe for that reason I think the one remaining small guitar shop
probably sells more beginners acoustics than electrics.
I admit I'm a bit out of touch the last 2 or 3 years,
but I don't remember ever hearing a young acoustic kid perform
a 'trad folk song' at any of the local promotional gigs and events for teen student gigs
I attended since I moved back to this area 15 years ago.
[and I was involved in an active network of community music projects - dating back to the 1980s
- while the local councils could afford them]


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:35 PM

Sorry, but?

I have sung in concert halls, coffeehouses, on television, occasionally at hospitals and retirement homes, at folk festivals, at song circles, at dozens of house concerts, and at open mikes. And maybe thousands of "hootenannies" (a few, public multi-performer concerts, but mostly unstructured "free-for-alls" in somebody's living room).   At one event, I sang to an audience of 6,000. (With that many people in an outdoor venue, applause is a bit eerie?it sounds like surf.)

The vast majority of the songs I sing are folk songs, certified and ordained by people such as the Lomaxes, Child, Sharp, Sandberg, and other collectors. I do sing a few songs, such as two poems that friends of mine have set to music, and the occasional song like "Copper Kettle," written by Ed Beddow for a "folk opera."

I have never performed in a "folk club." And from what I read here, I don't think I ever want to.

NO ONE is going to tell me what I can and cannot sing.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:36 PM

It seems to me that nobody's got a definition they're happy with, apart from the 1954 definition (folk = traditional = oral transmission). This is understandable: nobody wants to define 'folk' to exclude traditional songs, but there isn't a definition in the world which will include Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy and also include an open-mic cover version of Fire and Rain.

I'll ask the question another way: what would actually change if we all woke up tomorrow morning with the 1954 definition permanently engraved in our brains? Would it stop anyone from playing the songs they want to play or listening to the kind of music they want to listen to?

My main singaround calls itself "mostly but not exclusively traditional"; no F-word there, no change required. I sometimes go to a Folk Club whose website announces that "a mix of young singer-songwriters and life-hardened old timers play all kinds of music" (which, in my experience, is about right). They'd probably have to call themselves an Acoustic Club instead. But nothing would actually change - the same people would go and play the same music, some of it (but not much of it) traditional.

All you singer-songwriters and sub-Thompson plankbashers: if, all of a sudden, you couldn't refer to your songs as 'folk', what would it actually cost you?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 07:45 PM

Don - no one ever tells anyone what they can and cannot sing. It's a complete red herring. I was at a folk club the other night whose MC told me in fairly stern terms, at the start of the night, that they were very much on the traditional side of things. Two hours later I'd heard Rose of Allendale, Farewell to the Gold, a couple of Kiplings and several original songs.

I started a thread a few years back asking for first-hand experiences of the "Folk Police" - i.e. organisers telling a performer that they shouldn't sing song X, because it wasn't Genuine Folk. I think one person came up with a story that fitted; mostly the only prohibition anyone could remember was of incompetence - and that was pretty rare.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 08:04 PM

The last time I took a chance on an informal night out advertised as 'FOLK'
was getting on 6 - 10 years ago.

A great atmospheric old fashioned pub in Clevedon selling Thatchers Trad on tap.
The mrs and me were on a day out for our wedding anniversary,
had already spent the late afternoon in that pub,
when we noticed the poster for "Folk Night Tonight"

So we agreed, ok, we'll not bother with the last bus,
it's our anniversary, we'll treat ourselves to a very expensive taxi home after pub closing time.

Big mistake... there was one solitary hippy looking fiddler
who played a couple of pretty decent trad tunes to a completely indifferent smarmy looking clique,
before they elbowed him out the way to sing Beatles songs for the rest of the night,
strumming away a few basic beginners chords on their immaculate shiny high price tag acoustic guitars..

Sod that... the taxi home cost a fortune !!!

I'll stick to my 1970s Folk Rock CDs and whatever new stuff mudcatters suggest on youtube.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 08:23 PM

> there isn't a definition in the world which will include Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy and also include an open-mic cover version of Fire and Rain.

Well, there *is* that pesky definition from the enormous "American Folklore: An Encyclopedia" suggesting that "folksongs" share common ground with "folklore," which is then defined as "verbal arts" or "vernacular culture" or "expressive culture."

Both "Lovely Nancy" and an amateur try at "Fire and Rain" would seem to fit easily into "expressive culture," at the very least. "Vernacular" too.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 08:27 PM

> there isn't a definition in the world which will include Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy and also include an open-mic cover version of Fire and Rain.

Well, there *is* that pesky definition from the enormous "American Folklore: An Encyclopedia" suggesting that "folksongs" share common ground with "folklore," which is then defined as "verbal arts" or "vernacular culture" or "expressive culture."

Both "Lovely Nancy" and an amateur try at "Fire and Rain" would seem to fit easily into "expressive culture," at the very least. "Vernacular" too.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Sep 14 - 08:28 PM

Thanks, Phil, that's good to hear. Parts of this thread were beginning to sound as if one flew to the U. K., customs stopped you at Heathrow and excised unacceptable songs from your song list.

The only times I've ever had anyone object to what I sing and the way I perform was a guy who was passing through Seattle from Berkeley, one of the Berkeley Ethnic Purists (this was before Bob Dylan, but he was doing the same thing: roughening the sound of his voice and trying to sound like he'd just rode into town on the turnip truck).

The first thing he objected to was my guitar?a nylon-string classic. "REAL folk singers use steel-string guitars!" he informed me (where does it say that in the Bible?) And he was contemptuous of the fact that I didn't screw around with my voice, I just sang the best I could. Most really good singers of folk songs do just that.

In fact, a very good voice teacher I took some lesson from (really BIG no! no!!) told me to keep my throat relaxed, support my voice with the diaphragm, and sing openly. That way, it should last me all my life?and so far, so good!

By the way, voice lessons don't make you sound like an opera singer. Many aspiring Pavorottis and Renťe Flemings wish it were that easy!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Teribus
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 02:36 AM

1: "It only seems to be folk where the looters have taken over the shop."

Could not agree more, evidenced by - "To say it isn't folk according to some, the likes of Mumford & Son are doing quite nicely thank you out of what millions of people recognise as folk... We lemmings can't all be wrong eh? - It's the looters that think and tell others that they are folk - having listened to them "Folk" was a convenient "label" for their 100% commercial output.

2: "Music is relief from the world around you, not a process of achieving your aims."

Tell that to Simon Cowell.

3: Jim Carroll - Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:59 AM

Excellent post agree with every word of it (Hope that hasn't been too much of a shock to your system)

4: "the midAtlantic adenoidal with a guitar has nearly disappeared!"

Not in Scotland he hasn't.

5: "We have two of the finest traditional music archives in Europe, if not the world (look up the Traditional Irish Music Archive).
Many thousands of youngsters are taking up the music and playing it in traditional styles or experimenting with it - room for all.
This has fed into the tourist industry, bringing thousands to Ireland to listen to, play and learn about (unadulterated) Traditional music each year.
This really hasn't been achieved by faffing around with definitions to please some of the people all of the time, but by someone saying "this is what we are and this is what we are about".
Song has some way to go yet to make up lost ground, but it seems to be getting there slowly.
Our collection has been taken up by our County Library and is due to go on line in the nest couple of months to cater for all tastes, singers, listeners, researchers, cultural and oral historians.... whoever.
We passed on a copy of our work to an authoritative singer friend in the North recently - his comment - "every County should have one".
With a bit of luck......"


And I bet very few if any of those songs or tunes would ever have been created with a view to them being "commercial".

6: ""The folk song revival has and will survive most things, but it won't last five minutes if if falls into the hands of people who don't actually like folk song, and that's the way it's heading"." - Ewan MacColl

Thanks again - 100% correct and in that bit about it being in "the hands of people who don't actually like folk song" - is where and why most "Folk Clubs" are failing - most are now havens for 50s, 60s and 70s failed wannabe "pop stars" who see a "Folk Club" as their last gasp chance to perform.

7: "My biggest difficulty is that the term 'folk' has become so debased as to be meaningless. It has ceased to become a useful label to help discover a particular type of music. When buying music meant ten minutes thumbing through the folk section of a record store that wasn't a problem, but now buying music means browsing through tens of thousands of albums on-line, and the term is used so broadly (especially by iTunes) that very little of what is there is the type of music I am seeking." - Howard Jones

Precisely!! The above illustrates perfectly how the "looters" have taken over the shop.

8: "I attended a regular club and I helped to run another - no problem with either - it gave me exactly what it said on the label.
I made a point of visiting as many other clubs as I could to keep me in touch with what was happening.
Gradually, I stopped going to the latter when they began to be used as dumping grounds for singers who had nothing to do with folk song and just took advantage of the democracy of the folk scene to strut their stuff.
Night after night I left half way through the evening, not having heard a folk song.
I have no idea what kind of music you like or play Al, and quite honestly, I don't care too much - as your arrogant attitude towards the music I know to be folk from half a century of listening and working in the genre, suggests a total disinterest for and ignorance of that music and the people who follow it - it is exactly that attitude that emptied the clubs."


Perfectly put.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 03:37 AM

"What would be really helpful, if you are going to reply to a post is to read it"
You wrote
"'Folk' is the word used to describe the STYLE of the music of the indigenous population,"
It is not - it is a word to describe where and how that music came about - it has nothing whatever to do with the style -
Styles of folk singing vary from place to place, as do the structure of the songs in various parts of the British Isles and America.
The word "folk" has nothing whatever to do with style.
It would be helpful if you knew what you were talking about and stopped trying to give the impression that you do.
Likewise Al
"Ewan and his pals inadvertently stumbled over a magic formula? the top room of Victorian pub, English beer"
Where on earth did this come from?
MacColl came from a poor working class family of Scots singers and grew up in a household in Northern England where singing was a regular activity.
He was first encountered singing "rare Scots ballads and songs and songs in Scots Gaelic to a cinema queue in in Glasgow in the Hungry Thirties"   
Lloyd spent some time in the Australian Outback and on whaling ships, where he claimed he first encountered folk songs.
The main influence on both of them came from Alan Lomax who, with his father, cut his teeth in the penitentiaries of Texas, recording songs from poor blacks on the chain gangs.
The basis of MacColl's and Lloyd's early repertoires were the songs recorded by the B.B.C. teams that travelled the length and breadth of Britain taking songs from farm labourers, mill workers, miners, deep-sea fishermen, quarrymen....
To them it was 'a workers' music' - that was their inspiration and that was the reason they put so much effort into populaising it.
"Folk clubs with real folks"
What the hell does that mean
When I came onto the scene in Liverpool in the early sixties the clubs were full of dockers, labourers, manual workers, tradesmen with some university students.... a mix of "real" people all listening to and singing the songs that had been given to us, largely by the B.B.C. collectors - got from "real people"
What the hell makes the self-penned, navel-gazing introspection , or the regurgitated or imitated pop songs that pass for 'folk-song' any more "real" than that?
You mentioned Bob Dylan - at least he has now had the balls to admit that he was conning us and that what he was writing was gibberish that even he didn't understand the meaning of - sure, he borrowed from folksong, and managed to make it anodyne and meaningless (sure, he wrote a couple of good songs in the process, but there were many, many more a hundred times better than he ever was).
If someone turns up at a club nowadays and sings Schubert songs, it would become acceptable TO THE CLUBS to describe it as 'folk'.
Folk music from the "real" people has lost an extremely important platform and this has, as far as I am concerned, drawn a large question mark over its future where this has happened.
I wish we could get away from this idea that anybody wishes to stop people singing any type of song they wish - it really is a misrepresentation of all of these arguments.
The term 'folk', as far as I am concerned, is a means to discuss a specific type of music - little more.
It used to be the means in which new people were drawn in to join us in our interest, as listeners, as performers and maybe much more than that - as far as the clubs are concerned, that is no longer the case - the term 'folk' WITHIN THE CLUBS has become meaningless and now just describe music.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 04:13 AM

Don't worry Don. The folk police doesn't live in The UK anyway...

To the many who go out at night for a pint and to enjoy themselves, it's a folk song because they sing it or hear it in a folk club.

Quite right.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:20 AM

Bit beneath you to resort to the old 'folk police' bit
The real fascists of these argument are those who resort to such garbage in order to suppress or avoid real argument.
You want to to prove me wrong - do so with arguments and not shit like 'I'll call my songs what I want'.
As for 'it doesn't matter because he does't live in England' - I thought Keith was on holiday?
Tsk, tsk - a sad disappointment
" they sing it or hear it in a folk club."
Infantile at it gets - I first hard Pete Seeger at The Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool - classical music, no doubt
Last Year I watched some of Ireland's finest traditional singers and musicians in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin - all performing plays, no doubt.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:48 AM

classical music - maybe theres some sort of folk process going. Ralph McTell had a go at a guitar version of The Trout, and ascribed it to Mendelson - give a while, it will be traditional.

' I first hard Pete Seeger at The Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool - classical music, no doubt
Last Year I watched some of Ireland's finest traditional singers and musicians in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin - all performing plays, no doubt.'

You're looking for definition, and legally binding concepts, and blueprints where none exist. folk is more evanescent than that. nowadays its being written by call centre workers, teachers, salesmen, computer programmers, students, nurses - whatever people work at nowadays. their voice is no less valid than fishermen, farmers, gypsies - their lives no less full of struggle and heartbreak.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:48 AM

'"What would be really helpful, if you are going to reply to a post is to read it"
You wrote
"'Folk' is the word used to describe the STYLE of the music of the indigenous population,"
It is not - it is a word to describe where and how that music came about - it has nothing whatever to do with the style -
Styles of folk singing vary from place to place, as do the structure of the songs in various parts of the British Isles and America.
The word "folk" has nothing whatever to do with style.'

There you are you see Jim, further evidence that you're not bothering to read, or do not want to understand. If you actually read what I've posted you'll see an clear acknowledgement that style varies from place to place, I actually used the example of different countries, so maybe that made it too difficult for you!

Interestingly, you missed my point when I mentioned acoustic guitars, and then you said: 'What the hell makes the self-penned, navel-gazing introspection , or the regurgitated or imitated pop songs that pass for 'folk-song' any more "real" than that?' Seems like you might be agreeing with me on that one, although perhaps I made the point in a nicer way, pointing out that those songs may not be 'folk' in my eyes, but still very much have a place and a value!

So I'm still a little confused as to whether you simply don't understand, or don't WANT to understand, although I suspect it's the latter!

So, just to recap, 'Folk' IS the word used to describe the STYLE of the music of the indigenous population," (and just to spell it out simply, that could be the indigenous population of a small geographical area or a country) thus it is quite possible to have new or modern folk music if it follows and respects that style (or tradition, if you prefer)

I do find it strange that having worked tirelessly to protect and preserve that tradition, you now appear so insular that you seem to want that tradition to stagnate and die. The ONLY significant difference for this purpose between people writing songs in that style now, and the unknown authors who wrote songs 2 centurys back is precisely that we live in a different age, and therefore know who's written those songs today! Fortunately for us there are enough people writing songs and music in whatever their traditional style is for traditions to be both preserved and developed, and developing a tradition is surely only what you call the 'folk process'!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:53 AM

'You're looking for definition, and legally binding concepts, and blueprints where none exist. folk is more evanescent than that. nowadays its being written by call centre workers, teachers, salesmen, computer programmers, students, nurses - whatever people work at nowadays. their voice is no less valid than fishermen, farmers, gypsies - their lives no less full of struggle and heartbreak.'

Nicely put Al, exactly what I was alluding to in my last paragraph above :)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:56 AM

Back in the 1970s it was either 'Trad Folk' or 'Contemporary Folk'..

Add electric instruments and amps into the mix and it became 'Folk Rock'....

Middle of the road laid back acoustic music with hints of folk,
augmented with bass guitar & drums was 'Soft Rock'

What was difficult about that, we knew more or less exactly what to expect within those categories...

If a 14 year old school kid watching 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' on telly,
reading 'NME', 'Sounds', and 'Melody Maker'
and rummaging through 'Topic' LPs in the town library
could understand those rule of thumb classifications
of 40 years ago..

how come it's such a big problem now !!!???


By those criteria, that's even how we eventually regarded a fair proportion
of newly written punk rock songs
to be considered on the fringes of 'Contemporary Folk'.........


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 06:26 AM

"If you actually read what I've posted you'll see an clear acknowledgement that style varies from place to place"
And if you read what I wrote it has nothing to do with style - how can it if it "varies from place to place?"
If style is a defining factor it would remain the same - a song from Chipping Sodbury would sound like one from Ulan Bator.
English songs tend to be narrative in style, Scots the same,
Native Irish songs are mainly descriptive, though Anglo-Irish songs remain with the narrative influence.
Irish language songs are invariably non-narrative - the classic ones are sections of Irish language stories
The denfintion refers to who the songs belonging to 'the folk' (a specific group outlined by early researchers like Laurence Gomme - see, The Village Community with special reference to the origin and form of its survivals in Britain - 1890) - it has always been believed that the songs actually originated with 'the folk' (Steve Gardham has challenges this and claims the majority originated on the Broadside presses - I disagree - it remains unproven one way or the other and almost certainly always shall be)
The fact remains that we received our folk repertoire from 'the folk' - mainly the rural working classes, merchant seamen and Travellers, with a few from industrial workers like the textile industries and miners - that is the origin of the term folk in relation to our songs, music, dance and stories.
"You're looking for definition, and legally binding concepts"
Stop using loaded terms Al - I'm looking for no such thing, but while we're on legality - 'folk song and music' lies in the public domain - how do you think Tom Paxton or Bob Dylan or John Lennon or whoever's songs are performed a folk clubs and "become folk songs" by your non-defintion, would react if you told than w didn't have to ask permission or pay royalties to record their compositions?
Jim Carroll

This is as good a simplified definition of folk song as you are likely to come across - it refers to the revival performers as borrowing from folk, not being part of it.

FROM THE OXFORD ENGLISH REFERENCE DICTIONARY.
FOLK MUSIC n. instrumental or vocal music of traditional origin transmitted orally from generation to generation, whose authorship is often unknown. Folk music tends to have a relatively simple structure and melody, and to use portable instruments such as guitar, violin, harmonica, accordion, and bagpipes. Folk music is often monophonic, consisting of simple unaccompanied tunes although vocal polyphony is common in southern and eastern Europe. While some regions of Europe (e.g. Bulgaria, Romania, the Basque Country, Macedonia, etc.) there has been an uninterrupted there has been a living tradition of folk music, concern began to be felt in the late 19th in Britain and elsewhere that the folk tradition would be lost. Pioneering collectors and revivers of folk music include Cecil Sharp and Percy Grainger in Britain, DvorŠk in Bohemia and Moravia and KodŠly in Transylvania. During the Depression years in in the U.S. Woodie Guthrie revived interest in the form with his political protest songs: he had a strong influence on later figures such as Bob Dylan, who later performed traditional folk material and also wrote new songs in a folk style. In Britain in the 1960s and 1970s groups like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span explored and expanded the form; electronic and other less traditional instruments began to be used, giving rise to a style known as folk rock.
Recently much attention has been given to folk music from other cultures (see World Music)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM

The root cause of the difficulty is that 'folk' can refer both to style and to describe where and how that music came about. These meanings are incompatible, but they are both correct uses of the word. That is how language works, like it or not.

In common usage I'm afraid the second interpretation has all but vanished. To the 'man in the street', but also to non-specialist music journalists, broadcasters and retailers 'folk' describes a particular style of music which helps people to mentally pigeon-hole it more easily, and to look in the appropriate section of the record store. Other terms are used the same way and with equal lack of precision - most orchestral music is not strictly speaking 'classical', but that is a convenient catch-all term which is generally understood.

You would expect that a specialist folk music forum would be more comfortable with the more specialist usage, but apparently not.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM

Can't see the word 'borrowed' in there Jim, what it does do is talk about a 'form' and that dreadful word 'style' two words that could, in the context of the paragraph be interchangeable.

What it actually says is that there are new songs in that 'form' or 'style', and here they are as part of the definition of 'Folk Music'

Precisely what I've been saying, and you've been denying all along!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 07:27 AM

Actually Jim, I wasn't referring to you. I was referring to the myriad American folk song compilations and the forwards telling us what folk is and isn't.

Stop getting touchy.

A punk band I was in played an upbeat version of Jug of Punch. Thin Lizzy's excellent Whiskey in the Jar, Led Zeppelin's Gallows Pole... It would be churlish to refer them to be anything but rock. No bugger I know would call them folk.

You see, music is an abstraction. No more. No less. So I am right, Jim is right, Al is Al and I recall hearing Kris Kristofferson introducing Me and Bobby McGee. He said "If it sounds like country, I guess it must be a country song."


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM

"Stop getting touchy"
Just because you go through life believing everybody is getting at you, it doesn't mean that they're not.
"Can't see the word 'borrowed' in there Jim,"
Covered elsewhere but here goes again, "explored and expanded the form" which is a reference to how it was performed, not what it is - style, not definition.
Not even Steeleye's best friends could claim that they performed'folk songs' in a traditional style, yet their origins remained 'folk'.
"man in the street"
The "man in the street" seldom, if ever refers to folk music as anything at all - one of our great failings.
When he does, it is usually on the basis of misinformation generated by a disinterested media which has also failed to gain public interest for folk music in any shape or form - one of my favourite T.V. programmes is Q.I., which spends an hour at a time bursting such bubbles of inaccuracy.
The nearest the general public en-mass came to folk song is probably via Sharp's Folk Songs For Schools, and later, snippets doled out by such performers as Hall and MacGregor on popular early evening news discussion programmes (names escape me) - both of these were far closer to the real thing than anything else that captured the public interest in any depth.
Those of us involved tend not to go to the man in the street for our information and the meaningless black-hole that the term seems to have plunged into means it will probably be a long time before we get an opportunity (in the U.K. at least.
I wholeheartedly agree with your last sentence.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 09:18 AM

The definition is serviceable, Jim, but even Oxford waffles and wobbles.

Mention of Dylan, Fairport, and Steeleye muddies the waters, since if the writer didn't think they were, or could be regarded in some way as "folk musicians," he wouldn't have mentioned them. In fact, it blurs the issue almost to the point of this thread.

We all know what a "traditional song collected by Cecil Sharp" will probably be like, but we can no longer know what a "folksong sung by X" will be like.

Howard's comparison to the use of "classical" music is right on the money.

In some contexts narrow application may be useful, but not in others.

BTW, the assertion that "Woodie" [sic] Guthrie above all others was responsible for revived American interest during the Depression makes me wonder what superficial whippersnapper wrote this article.What about Carl Sandburg? What about the Lomaxes (who discovered and promoted both Guthrie and Lead Belly)? Indeed, before the '50s revival gradually made their names famous, both Guthrie and Lead Belly were rather obscure musicians.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 09:46 AM

The 1954 definition well describes the kind of song most valued and sought after by collectors.

The encyclopedia definitions describe how the word is used by more recent scholars.

For better or worse, it subsumes the 1954 kind of song.

And the current popular definition subsumes the others in a kind of notional slurry - much the same substance one often encounters in the criticism of art, music, and literature.

It seems inevitable.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 10:37 AM

I used to collect songs myself you know..

Mainly from Martin Carthy albums.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM

If I were a fan of medieval church music, I would want to take every opportunity to hear medieval church music, meet other enthusiasts, find out about examples of medieval church music that I didn't know, learn to play medieval church music, perhaps even put on my own performances.

Folk's no different. If you're into traditional music, you're really into it, and you want to go to places where you can hear (and sing) more of it.

But what I wouldn't do, if I were a fan of medieval church music, is write new pieces, announce that they were medieval church music and insist on playing them to the exclusion of the originals - even at a medieval church music club.

Apparently folk is different. Why?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 11:10 AM

Because riding on the success of various celebrity singers the entertainment industry discovered in the 1960s, that they could make $$$$$ by marketing new compositions as "folksongs."

Probably some of the uninformed writers and singers really believed their new stuff was "folk," because the forms and sentiments were (at least in the beginning) simple and, well, wholesome. Either that, or the new songs were "protest songs," and Guthrie's compositions and Seeger's performances had led to the idea that "protest" was a hallmark of "folksong."

Had there been a commercial boom in medieval music, with vast profits for all, we'd be getting "brand-new medieval songs" right now, and the label "medieval" would be in dispute.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 11:14 AM

Because medieval church music has the word medieval in it, which constrains the genre by history. Folk is a very generic term. Dictionaries, music publishers, singers and just about every adult on the planet have their own idea of what they call folk.

I can't see Apple and Amazon giving a fuck somehow if calling something folk sells it and those buying it are content that they asked for folk and got what they consider folk.

Folk is half a term. Traditional, contemporary, traditional rock, easy chuffing listening if you want!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 11:29 AM

Ok, I've just knocked this together...

Punkfolkrocker's very serious Mission Statement © [2014]:

"To perform Traditional Folk songs with respect and empathy
using vintage mid 20th Century electronic instruments and amplification technology;
as if, in earlier centuries in an alternative dimension and timeline,
this technology, and not acoustic instruments,
had been commonplace
at the moments these songs were originally created and perfomed in public."

I've no intention or talent for writing any new songs.
Just want to re-do my favourite old ones from the 1970s Folk Rock repertoire
in a way I'd like to hear them out of curiosity....

[..hmm.. what if Marc Bolan and Gary Numan shared a few pints
and headed down the studio together with a copy of the Cecil Sharp Songbook ...????]

Now say if I actually got off my fat arse and did this,
would any resulting CD potentially be a contender for BBC Folk Album of the year
if it didn't turn out too shite ???.
Would I risk having to reveal my true 3D life identity to stand out in the televised spotlight
to collect my award, a kiss & a hug from Scarlett Johansson, and a cheque for one million quid..

Would I or the CD actually be 'FOLK' ?????

In reality, If I ever do any of this I'll just slap it up on the internet, to await any praise or hostility...
and I would certainly hesitate to call myself a 'folk singer';
even though my singing voice is sufficiently amateurishly rough and untutored...


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 12:42 PM

Idoubt very much whether lennon, paul Simon or Dylan get paid for performances of their material in folk clubs. those songs belong to the people now. okay on a big concert or televised event - there will be a prs form. but frankly if you're not one of the big boys you usually end up getting nowt. that's the reality in it. most contemporary songwriters make nowt -its a real grassroots artform. if they play it onlocal radio - they spell it out to you - they are doing you the favour -expect no money!

if you still went to folk clubs you'd know that.

When the ace footballer Rummenigge quit Bayern for Inter Milan, the terraces chose my song with some insulting words added to express themselves on the subject. When the folks sing your songs, generally you don't get paid. but its great!

Ask Wizz Jones - Bruce Sringsteen performed his song When I leave Berlin to a huge audience at the Brandenburg Gate when the wall came down.....massive applause, thousands of hits on youtube! but its not on record officially, so Wizz got sod all.

you seem to think we're all breadheads. in fact, denied the respectability of being allowed to call ourselves folksingers by the very real folk police and middle class establishment. We have been idealists on a scale MacColl could never imagine.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 01:01 PM

I wish Jim Carroll would stick to collecting songs from sources he approves of and stop insulting other members of mudcat by calling them arrogant little twats.
its people like Jim Carroll that put me off going to The Singers Club, Bob Davenport for all his faults was a preferable alterntive.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Stanron
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 01:01 PM

More laughs over the definition of 'Folk music'.

Whatever the definition is today has to be different from the definition conceived by the middle and upper class collectors of the 19th and early 20th century. They were amazed and impressed that a culture which was to them quite foreign, the working class, had music of merit. Music that was not, and could not be theirs until they claimed it for themselves by labelling it 'Folk Music'.

The people who originated, and had so far carried, this material didn't think of it as folk music. It was just music they heared, liked and sometimes learned and sang. Very much in the same way as callow youths in the sixties heared, liked and sometimes learned and sang songs by Bob Dylan, Elvis Presly or indeed by Jimmy Miller.

Is it altogether too ironic that the music banned by the Folk Police, if they ever really existed, was learned by the same process as used by the originators of the genre while the purists were doing something completely different.

Maybe Paul Simon wannabes were folk singers after all.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 02:41 PM

"how the word is used by more recent scholars."
How is that - so far you have mentioned literacy?
"And the current popular definition "
What is the current popular definition - so far nothing?
The vast majority of scholars work from the material defined by '54 - do you have an alternative definition from anywhere?
"Mention of Dylan, Fairport, and Steeleye muddies the waters, since if the writer didn't think they were, or could be regarded in some way as "folk musicians," he wouldn't have mentioned them."
Can't follow the logic of that at all Lighter - he certainly didn't describe them as 'folk'
He mentions Bartok Kodaly and Grainger as well - no sign of them being
folk' either - just that they borrowed from the form.
I'm sure if he'd have believed any of them to have been folk he would have said so.
"makes me wonder what superficial whippersnapper wrote this article"
Sandburg's 'Songbag' was published in 1927 with harmonisations, musical settings and accompaniments (got a copy here in front of me)- It were not intended for the solo singer - rather, the songs were aimed at the 'polite' musically literate classes, pretty much as Sharp had intended originally.   
The American revival was floated on Roosevelt's New Deal project of collecting the songs of the people during the Depression - Guthrie was very much a part of the revival that came out of that.
"The people who originated, and had so far carried, this material didn't think of it as folk music"
Some did - Walter Pardon filled tape after tape explaining the differences between what he referred to as "the old folk songs" and carefully explaining the difference between those and all the other types of song in his repertoire - music hall, Victorian parlour ballads, early pop songs
When he wrote down his family repertoire in notebooks they fell into categories.
Every sinle singer we questioned over thirty years had their own particular name for the songs we describe as 'folk' - every one.
They also claimed them as their own in ne way or another 'Traveller' or 'Norfolk' or 'West Clare'... all identified with their own communities, no matter where they in fact originated from.
The 'unconscious traditional songbird' is an urban myth.
"I doubt very much whether lennon, paul Simon or Dylan get paid for performances of their material in folk club"
Any folk club that pays performing Rights royalties to the P.R.S. or I.M.R.O. jackals, indirectly pays the composers (the famous ones, of course - they take the largest and first slice of the cake)
Folk song falls into the public domain category - the onlt readson P.R.S. can claim anything from a club night ot a session is "just in case anything that isn't in the public domain is included in the evening".
Having an anything goes policy and including pop and other non-folk material in folk song nights has damaged struggling clubs because of this.
"those songs belong to the people now"
You have to be joking Al - try telling their agents that.
"I wish Jim Carroll would stick to collecting songs from sources he approves of and stop insulting other members of mudcat "
And I wish you'd stop trying to gain attention by saying nothing whatever on the subject under discussion.
If you don't have anything to say on 'new folk songs' butt out and leave it to those who do.
If I have hurt anybody's feelings here, they are quite capable of letting me know it without your help.
Kindly mind your own business.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 03:50 PM

>"how the word is used by more recent scholars."
How is that - so far you have mentioned literacy?
"And the current popular definition "
What is the current popular definition - so far nothing?

Uh-oh. It's starting. Please re-read my posts carefully. Those "more recent scholars" tend to be very broadly inclusive.

Maybe it's because they have nothing to contribute to the study of traditional music, and so they cast their nets ever wider to justify their degrees in folklore. Who knows?

And the "current popular definition" is "the meaning most ordinary people associate with it." As others have made very clear, that includes traditional song, current imitations of traditional song, and anything else thought to resemble either in substance or style.

I don't like it, but I have to accept it.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 04:07 PM

It isn't correct to say the term 'folk music' wasn't coined to describe a style, it was coined to describe its origins and how it was disseminated. It has since come to mean a style, but on the whole this really means American/British Isles/Australian music. Only a specialist would label, for example, Arabic or Japanese traditional music as 'folk'.   

I sympathise entirely with what Jim Carroll is trying to say, but that particular horse has bolted, at least so far as the general public is concerned. However this is supposed to be a specialist forum for people with a particular interest in folk music, however you define it, and I feel it is a pity that we can't agree to use the language in a more precise way.

I find it ironic that it is when the word is used in its broadest sense, when it should be most inclusive, it turns out to be most divisive. On the one hand, Jim complains that a club where no traditional songs are performed shouldn't call itself a 'folk' club, on the other hand Al gives the impression that he feels he is only let into the folk clubs on sufferance and is not given the respect he feels he deserves because what he performs is not traditional folk.

My own experience is that I don't think I've ever been in a folk club which was exclusively traditional or exclusively modern (although in the 70s some clubs did label themselves as 'contemporary folk', which should be clear enough to warn off those of Jim's persuasion). Most clubs I found struck a balance between the two.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bert
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 04:22 PM

...
There is a general recognition that the '54 is in need of a revisit, but in general, it is the one that has served since it was devised 60 years go...

Not really, It was mostly accepted by the EFDSS, with little recognition in England outside of that organization. Unfortunately the EFDSS's reputation for authenticity, was somewhat tarnished by their handling of American Square Dancing.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 04:43 PM

It is my business because i earn my living singing folk songs, i have made several comments about what new folk songs are and how they appear to be accepted by the uk folk revival, please pay attention, jim,
you on the other hand have insulted someone by calling them an arrogant little twat., this seems to be a regular practice of yours to insult someone who disagrees with you.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:00 PM

i am a full member of PRS. I have sang my songs in folk clubs for forty years. i have never received a penny for the performances. as far as i know. neither has anyone else. i bet paul simon etc hasn't either. radio shows....a different matter. needless to say , not stuck up bloody English folk radio.

Walter Pardon, Sam Larner, Cecilia Costello....no doubt important people. but don't we count for anything.

Frankly folk music of this country is not this thing you think it is. it is much bigger. many of us have thrown our lives at trying to make it happen. too many have perished in the attempt.

The senseless abuse of modern folksingers has diminished a movement that could have brought greater fame and distinction to the music you claim to admire.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:29 PM

Don Firth
I have never performed in a "folk club." And from what I read here, I don't think I ever want to.

Thanks, Don, for illustrating why I keep challenging people who keep slagging off folk clubs. Jim Carroll seems to regard them with particular contempt. despite the fact that, on his own admission, he gets most of his ifnformation from the internet. He rarely actually goes to a UK folk club. Phil is right, nobody will ever tell you what you can or cannot sing. Nobody will ever start spouting definitions at you. At our club we lead by example. Someone might have to sit through a lot of Child Ballads before getting their chance to do The Birdy Song.

I really think you would enjoy a UK folk club. If you're ever over, drop in.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:31 PM

Jim seems to think that folk song depends on what comments walter pardon made when he differentiated between certain songs, never mind big bill broonzy or pete seeger, it all starts and finishes with walter pardon. to paraphrase the famous jazz trombone number "what did ory say" what did walter say.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:34 PM

Mudcat describes itself as a forum for folk and bluegrass music, without ever defining those terms.

Mudcatters are self-selected as aficionados of what they consider to be those musical genres. Few would remain if their interests were not being addressed.

Over five years ago someone started a thread called "Singers and songs which stunned me." It asked Mudcatters to name the most moving songs they knew.

Fewer than half the titles mentioned wound up being traditional. Most were singer-songwriter efforts. And even the trad songs were generally specified as particular performances by prominent artists with elaborate musical backup.

So even among dedicated "folkies," trad songs in trad style take a back seat, at least as their real favorites.

Which I imagine they consider to be "folksongs" like the others.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Stanron
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:38 PM

Why this insistance on separating 'Folk Songs' and 'Composed Songs'. All songs were composed at one time or another. The fact that the composer is forgotten is less important than the fact that the song is remembered.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:50 PM

I'm fairly happy with what the 1954 definition is trying to define. What I am more concerned about is what is considered acceptable in a "folk" club. Jim Carroll says -

I attended a regular club and I helped to run another - no problem with either - it gave me exactly what it said on the label.

Please tell me, what exactly does it say on the label?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 05:56 PM

If you don't have anything to say on 'new folk songs' butt out and leave it to those who do.
If I have hurt anybody's feelings here, they are quite capable of letting me know it without your help.
Kindly mind your own business.



Interesting statement Jim, I thought 'new folk songs' didn't exist!


Still looking for anything in the definition you quoted that says 'borrowed' by the way ;)


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 06:06 PM

I believe that the distinction arose in the late nineteenth century, when it was widely assumed that true ballads and "folksongs" were not composed by individuals but by a "singing and dancing throng."

It was based on the naive view that the word "ballad" originally referred to dancing, as well as on the hifalutin assumption that really good songs just couldn't have been composed by just one illiterate.

And all true folksongs were thought to have been created by the illiterate. It was a view encouraged by Victorian Romanticism, which in its most foolish form held that rural life and simple, rural people were the embodiment of virtue and natural inspiration.

Except for chanteys and such, that view - "folksong" versus "author song" - was pretty much exploded by the late '30s.

I'm not sure that anyone here is trying to bring it back.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 07:43 PM

Something we haven't really touched on so far is just how limited an audience there is (as in, little or none) for exclusively traditional songs, at least in Britain. I used to go to folk clubs where I'd hear a lot of Dylan, Hank Williams and Richard Thompson, a lot of new songs in the style of Dylan, Hank Williams and Richard Thompson, and a few traditional songs, mostly Irish rather than English. As I've got more into traditional songs myself I've gravitated towards singarounds, often with people who have been singing traditional songs for 30 years or more. No Dylan, no Hank and very little Richard Thompson - but I do hear a lot of MacColl, Tawney and Rosselson, not to mention new songs in the style of MacColl, Tawney and Rosselson. The proportion of traditional song is much higher: in the folk clubs I know the split is something like 10/50/40 trad/contemporary/new, vs 50/40/10 in the singarounds I go to. But the all-traditional (or even 90% traditional) singaround is a myth, sadly perhaps.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 08:08 PM

"...just how limited an audience there is (as in, little or none) for exclusively traditional songs..."

There's the problem, no? Performers who do strictly, exclusively, trad material will have a hard time getting gigs. Therefore, if you want an audience, it makes sense to mix it up a bit and include more recent material, and perhaps more modern arrangements. There are a lot of good songs around that fit the bill, whether for a solo performer or a band.

IMO, all this squabbling about whether they can be called "folk" is silly. People DO call them that, for better or worse. It's pointless trying to push the river. 1954 was a loooong time ago.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 08:49 PM

I think actually what work there is seems to be very heavily trad biassed. its certainly the way to go for young musicians. plus I think the trad thing seems to work over in America. They seem to regard anyone with a dadgad guitar and a rural English accent as something exotic, a bit like we do - with Mississippi blues singers.

And you never ever see any contemporary type acts at the top of the bill at festivals - apart from cambridge I suppose.

I don't resent that. That's their bailliewick, and fair enough.

What I resent is being told on a daily basis, that I have no relevance to folk music.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 09:57 PM

Big Al -- the evidence on YouTube proves, to me at least, that you certainly are a folk singer. Your renditions of Raglan Road, Peggy Gordon, and Arthur McBride give you solid cred, and the fact that you play them in a (sort of) Mississippi folk-blues style makes them interesting and original arrangements. Just the thing that's needed to keep them out of the museums, and plenty relevant to folk music.

On my last trip to Ireland, I hooked up with Jim Carroll and his lovely wife, and we had a very enlightening conversation. I refrained from giving them one of my CDs, realizing it would not be to their liking. But it's a broad world out there, and the purpose and power of music is to give people pleasure. So we don't all like the same things, but what of it? That fact does not diminish the worth of any of our musical endeavors.

Sod the naysayers, eh?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 14 - 10:26 PM

I love and sing a lot of trad material - but mainly at home Michael Its not what I do well. Guys like John Kelly and Brian Peters are the mutts nuts when it comes to performing trad stuff. Dave Fletcher of course as well. I love it -probably as much as Jim. But its not me. Its not what I've got to say.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 12:05 AM

GEts teejus, dont it? I mean the constant resorting to ad hominem remarks as a means of carrying one's points. It doesn't work.

There are perrenial themes that have appeared in the history of English-language folk music over centuries, and when they appear in modern context they MAY imbue tje modern song with the color of a folk song.

Here's an interesting contrast and compare: Leader of the Pack and Darcy Farrell both reflect time honored themes that are found through centuries of folk music; but Darcy Farrell passes as a pseudo-"folk song" and Leader of the Pack, for all its Romeo and Juliet like overtones, does not.

Why is this?

A


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 12:16 AM

(Sorry to cherry pick a couple points here; I have followed most of the thread, but not necessarily blow-by-blow.)

Perhaps it has been said already, but I understand the label "folk," in several of its uses, as a label to disambiguate (generally, mind you?not too specifically) by making clear what something is NOT rather than what it is.

There were certain assumed meanings (connotative) of what one meant, in the historical and cultural contexts in which meanings of "folk" were produced, of the unqualified terms "music" and "song." People identified something that was different, in some way(s), from other musical phenomena, labeled it, and then tried to enumerate or pick out the qualities of this exceptional music/song phenomenon that could said to be defining traits. By that point, you've created an abstraction. The abstraction is handy?but only in those contexts where the distinction is meaningful.

Both "academic" and "popular" users/audiences have enumerated the defining traits, but in different ways. The "popular" selection of traits is less formal or less conscious, whereas the "academic" selection has tried, at times, to be explicit. Yet both, again, are perspectives that function only in relation to other musical phenomena in their usual world of experience and discourse.

The 1954 definition, as I read it, comes out of the folk-song ideas (articulated several decades earlier) of the Cecil Sharp variety of song-collectors. It was formulated in relation to *English* [so-called] folk-song. and as such had value in making a distinction within that context. It seemed to work with some other European and Euro-American music-cultures, too. By "work" I mean it served as a reliable way of conveying to others, within a similar "world," that one was making a familiar distinction.

As one moves into different cultural spheres and different historical eras, that use of "folk" becomes less useful. It retained its usefulness, defined as such (1954) for several decades within its *limited* musical world. Many people used it beyond those limits and believe this was wrong; we can look at their work and critique this, or else show that their ideas were less insightful than they might of been had they become attuned to other music-cultures rather than applying assumptions from their own music-cuture to them.

Again, the 1954 usage retains validity, today, in its limited context. I am comfortable with Jim's use of "folk" (1954) in the context that he uses it. Indeed, I find it quite convenient to be able to engage Jim, in that context, and to have "folk" used to distinguish something.

It is an incorrect belief that “scholars" generally prefer to use "folk" in that way (1954). They may use it, as a matter of practicality, within that limited context, in which case they are in pretty safe territory - and even are being smart to do so and not overcomplicate. When they presume to do it outside that context they are making an error that in *this* era is barely acceptable. They show themselves as not really scholars at all. (I am judging the people of recent decades, not people of the early 20th century.) Please let us dispense, once again, with this caricature of "academics" who rigidly attach themselves to definitions that are impractical, do not attempt to capture reality, etc. These are not scholars, but rather scholars who suck.

I have done much work on music in Northern India/Pakistan. There, there is a discourse that includes the label "folk." Surprise! It doesn't mean the 1954 thing and it doesn't mean the "folk club" thing. It has developed in its own way, out of antiquarian European uses of "folk," to serve to make a distinction that is wanted in that particular cultural context. 1954 definition is useless because there is no explicit notion - not that I have discovered at least - of "the folk process." Of course, "music" changes over time; it's not an object. Duh! That is the case of music everywhere. But whereas in the 1954 Folk culture that idea of "the folk process" is viewed as quite special and quite lovely, in the Indian context it is undesirable. Many would prefer to think a song has gone unchanged. They would not celebrate the process of change, but rather try to reproduce the past form faithfully. Furthermore, essentially *all* music is learned aurally, without print mediation, and that includes so-called "classical" music. The label "folk" includes music that is both "simple" and "complex," and both that which is performed by "amateurs" and "professionals." The most essential trait of "folk" music in this context is that it is regional - it is particular to people of specific geographic-linguistic areas (similar to the "national music" definition of "volk" in early European use).

Now I know there are some that will have the urge to say that the Indians are wrong. They're using "folk" wrong! Some will believe, rather arrogantly I think, that they are capable of identifying the "folk" music in North India according to a 1954-style definition. But real scholars, in this day in age, do not do this. Instead, one works with both insider and outsider categories. Even when it comes to outsider categorization, it is not wise to use the non-neutral, baggage laden term "folk" if all you really want to say is that, for example, the custom is oral-transmission. Because now you're not just chatting with your buddies. You're not promoting to an audience that you can rather ethnocentrically but safely assume will mostly share your world view. You're trying to be clear and precise and without unwanted connotations. And "folk" is not the word to do that.

I can only define "folk" similarly to how one defines "unicorn," e.g. "A mythical being that some people think/thought runs around in the forest, etc." This doesn't prevent me from reading a story with a unicorn in it and understanding the story. I can see illustrations of unicorn and make the connection and, if asked, point and say, "That is a [picture of a] unicorn." I need to be able to do that to function in the cultural world in which the idea of unicorns exists. But I don't go around living my life expecting to run into a unicorn. It's a familiar conceptual thing, not a familiar real thing.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 01:14 AM

OK Al -- noted. I'm just saying that whoever accuses you of having "no relevance to folk music" is wrong. Because when you do it, you do it in an appealing way. Which is what is needed to keep people interested.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 02:28 AM

"Your renditions of Raglan Road, Peggy Gordon, and Arthur McBride give you solid cred, and the fact that you play them in a (sort of) Mississippi folk-blues style makes them interesting and original arrangements. Just the thing that's needed to keep them out of the museums, and plenty relevant to folk music." - michaelr re: Big Al

Raglan Road a relatively "new song" which for all its exposure is not a "folk song" {A 1946 poem by Patrick Kavanagh put to an old tune published by Edward Walsh in 1847}, compared to Peggy Gordon and Arthur McBride which are both traditional "folk songs".

The performance of Raglan Road played "in a (sort of) Mississippi folk-blues style" illustrates perfectly that the "the mid-Atlantic adenoidal rendition with guitar accompaniment" is very much alive and flourishing. It is a great pity that there are so few "natural" singing voices about these days, I can never understand why singers feel that they "must" put on an accent to perform a song.

As for such arrangements being required "to keep them out of the museums" it might be remembered that "sung, unaccompanied" both Peggy Gordon and Arthur McBride have been around and have been sung for over 190 years without ever having been consigned to any museum. With regard to the "new song" of the three, just Luke Kelly singing Raglan Road unaccompanied would guarantee that song's impact and popularity and would have any singer take it up and add it to his repertoire and carry it forward.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 04:05 AM

Raglan road uses a tradtional tune there was a previous composed song , that existed before raglan road An Irish-language song with this name (FŠinne Geal an Lae) was published by Edward Walsh (1805-1850) in 1847 in Irish Popular Songs, and later translated into English as The Dawning of the Day, The tune is often regarded as traditional.
finally the 1954 definition is not accepted world wide, but seems to be accepted by a small amount of western countries particularly england and the efdss


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 04:10 AM

"the meaning most ordinary people associate with it."
ost ordinary people don't associate anything with it - ignorance based on misinformation does not constitute a definition.
You mentioned "more recent scholars" - as far as I can see, there are very few scholars, certainly in the British Isles - can't speak for the U.S. any more, though at one time I had enormous respect for what was happening in America.
The people I know working on research still use '54 as a base for what they do.
If anybody asked where they could find a comprehensive list of folk songs to introduce themselves to the genre, I would have no hesitation in recommending the Roud Index, which seems to have it covered fairly comprehensively.
Anthologies like Voice of the People (haven't heard the latest few) would be another recommendation - still stands, very much '54 based.
I was always hoping someone would reissue the Caedmon/Topic ten volume series, 'Folk Songs of Britain' with full instead of edited versions of the songs - America once intended to issue a sister-series with U.S. singers, but never got round to it.
I would advise anybody who wanted to learn about folk songs at its best to get hold of the School of Scottish Studies series - magnificent.
All these, and the virtually the entire traditional output of Topic Records are evidence of the influence of '54 - it has not been a definition for academics.
This was the stuff we cut our teeth on and helped the revival survive as long as it did.
At one time I would have said, go to a few folk clubs and you will emerge with some sort of an indication - that is no longer the case.
"traditional song, current imitations of traditional song, and anything else thought to resemble either in substance or style."
I don't really have any great problem with the first two as a rough guide, (though I baulk a bit about "imitating" anything, using forms and techniques to create new songs yes - imitation no).
I think tehe last bit far too vague to be of any practical whatever "thought to resemble" - by whom and based on what?
If a non-involved D.J. describes 'First Time Ever' sung by Roberta Flack as a folk song, does it then fall within the definition?
That way lies madness - but to a degree, that is exactly what has happened within the club scene - whatever someone wants to call a folk song becomes one.
Can I get one thing clear
I don't go around pointing to '54 or any other definition and demand that this is how we should define fok song - I don't believe anybody does or ever has done.
It was an attempt to make of sense of a half century's work on songs of a specific origin - nothing more.
It helped as a guide to generate an interest in those songs, both for research purposes and for entertainment - in my case, it was a welcome get-out from crap like 'I'm a Pink Toothbrush, You're a Blue Toothbrush' - we could make our own music without being fed the pap that the Music Industry doled out.
If somebody asks me what folk songs are I point to the songs, not the definition.
I'm fairly specific in what I point to and what I write and talk about not because I like them, but because I believe them to be important - they really do carry a whole lot of baggage which goes beyond their entertainment value - I've just spent a year finding and ploutering around some of that baggage for the first time.
I'm no longer involved in folk clubs - Ireland doesn't have an extensive club scene, but I would to see others get the same amount of pleasure and inspiration from folk song that I got from them.
I believe that that can only happen by realising the uniqueness of folk song and capitaling on that uniqueness.
It really has done wonders for the future of music in Ireland.
"i am a full member of PRS. I have sang my songs in folk clubs for forty years. i have never received a penny for the performances"
Which s the point I made Al - the money taken from folk clubs in the form of P.P,S payments goes straight in to the bank accounts of Mick Jagger and the like - a great boost for folk song (but then again - you would count these as folk, so it's going to a good home - after all - it's the people's music now.
"Interesting statement Jim, I thought 'new folk songs' didn't exist!"
I pointed out that I believed nothing of the sort and have given several examples of ones we have collected from Travellers - but that aside - that is the title of this thread and should be what is under discussion - not what any contributor should or should not say on it
I was trying to put paid to yet another effort to use this as part of an on-going vendetta.
"Still looking for anything in the definition you quoted that says 'borrowed' by the way"
You have been given it - you have chosen to ignore it so I'm not going to bother putting it up again.
"Please tell me, what exactly does it say on the label?"
Sorry Bryan - not particularly well articulated on my part - the two clubs I mentioned were 'The Singers Club' and 'Court Sessions' both of which I helped to run and sang at (for a short time in the case of the Singers)
What I should have said was, I knew that the type of music I was going to hear corresponded to what I thought folk song sounded like, neither were 'purist' clubs and both encouraged the making and performing of new songs.
It is the fact that this is no longer the case in many clubs I find objectionable.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 05:08 AM

It doesn't all go in Mick Jagger's bank account you know.

Keef gets a cut too....

Come to think of it, the pittance I get is mainly for rock music but a very very small slice is for folk songs. I intend to cut and paste Jim's reasoning into my next tax return. If it's music of the people, I don't have to pay tax on it....

(An aside. Mysongbook.de seems to have two of my songs listed as traditional, which is somewhat flattering. It also appears Iain Mackintosh used to sing them, which I certainly didn't know and if he were still around, I would write and say how honoured I am. They are folk songs on a different level. I'm happy for them to become "traditional.")


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 05:16 AM

no idea at all how PRS works. it always seems weird that contemporary classical composers get paid for one recital - whereas i never get paid for ages filling in on general programmes - don't think i ever get played on folk programmes. mike harding played me once. john peel too - i am told.

otherwise - the only money comes from my 1983 German hit, and its 1986 unsuccessful follow up. oh yeh and a song in the country arplay charts - buster the line dancing dog..


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 05:30 AM

I have no idea how it works either. My little bit is mainly as a writer with others having them on their albums. Although a couple of old punk albums I get performer dibs on have been selling on downloads lately, which is nice.

The whole subject in my case is less than two grand in recent years.... Its a good job I'm a dirty rotten stinking capitalist away from music. Nothing better than singing a song about eating the rich in a folk club, then loading my Lowden into the jag what?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 06:30 AM

Off to sunny Galway for the day
Can I just point out that MacColl deliberately chose the name 'The Singers Club' to make it clear that they catered for non-folk material as well - I assume 'Ballads and Blues' was chosen for a similar reason.
"I intend to cut and paste Jim's reasoning into my next tax return."
Good luck with that one!!
Jim Carroll
P.S. Muskie - are you aware that your name in being taken in vain by our B.N.P. visitor on the non-music section of this forum?
Hope you've got you thunderbolts ready to strike him dead!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 06:35 AM

At one time I would have said, {To those who wanted to learn about folk songs} go to a few folk clubs and you will emerge with some sort of an indication - that is no longer the case.

Sadly very true, what they are more likely to get will be bad versions of "hit" songs by The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and The Beatles, played as "sing-alongs" where apart from certain parts no beggar knows the song well enough to sing the thing all the way through - might make for an entertaining enough night for some but it sure isn't "Folk", and shouldn't pretend that it is.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM

Yeah Jim. I have noticed. Still, tribute bands can be flattering, even if they sing out of tune and can't play their instruments.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 08:09 AM

> Many would prefer to think a song has gone unchanged. They would not celebrate the process of change, but rather try to reproduce the past form faithfully.

An extremely important point.

I think most English-speaking people feel the same way. If you could hear it just once, would you rather hear "Jailhouse Rock" as originally recorded by Elvis, a faithful cover version, or Joe & Jane Zilch's   based on lyrics they didn't fully understand or remember, and played on classical guitar.

I admit, Joe & Jane might be very interesting, even entertaining, but most everyone would answer "Elvis." His version - which includes him as vocalist - is the authentic version.

The "folk process" that fascinates many of us bores and confuses far more. The same is true of analytic geometry (which has important practical applications). It depends on one's interests.

I guarantee you that far less than than 1% Americans have ever heard of the "folk process" and would not be very interested in it if they had. They have nothing to do with people on this thread, however, or what may interest us.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 08:41 AM

> It's a familiar conceptual thing, not a familiar real thing.

Not exactly. Unlike unicorns, 1954-style songs *do* exist.

The point is that there's little true consensus about how many of their identifying features must be present in a song to mark it as "folk." And for transcultural studies, Gibb raises the very pertinent point that the 1954 def. may not make any sense.   

And the waters have been muddied further by the transatlantic, intentional, and intellectually unscrupulous (surprise!) commercial marketing of other songs as "folksongs." And the popular perception - furthered in America by the very influential schoolbook "The Fireside Book of Folk Songs" around 1950 - that national songs like "The Star Spangled Banner," "God Save the Queen," and the Soviet version of "Meadowlands" are *also* "folksongs.

So besides a manageable complex of expert interpretations of and adjustments to the '54 specialist def, we also have a competing and universally familar *second* definition that's only tangentially related to the original.

Copmpare the popular use of "virus" to mean "any disease-causing micro-organism, including a bacterium."

It drives microbiologists crazy! Viruses and bacteria are far more different biologically than cats and dogs. Or cats and snakes.

"Virus" (like "proton") designates something whose misidentification by experts could lead to serious real-world consequences. But if an expert "mislabels" a "folksong," nothing much happens. What's more, as I mentioned yesterday, it's to the advantage of some scholars (or "scholars," Gibb might put it) to stretch the category even further in the direction of their choice, because it gives them something new to write about. (It also makes them look like bold innovators to
other "scholars" ("So 'Yes, We Have No Bananas!!' is really a folksong! I never thought of that! Care for tenure?").

That encourages semantic change even at the top. That's what we see in the various definitions, interpretations, and perceived permutations of the word "folksong."

And that, as they say, is life in the swamp. The label, as I cannot repeat too often, is far less important than what we have to say about the song.

If I can show that "Yes, We Have No Bananas!!" has some unnoticed relationship to "Barbara Allen" (joke) how much does it matter how I label them? That would *not* be true if I were a specialist talking about protons or viruses.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 10:35 AM

Musket said, Let's call it folk
And I said, Okey doke!
And as for Jim
Don't tell him
Don't bother the poor old bloke!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 10:56 AM

"Folk is half a term. Traditional, contemporary, traditional rock, easy chuffing listening if you want!"

Folk Disco seems to have been a bit of a non starter.... shame really...

Shirley and Dolly Collins or The Silly Sisters LP produced by Nile Rodgers - I'd have bought that !!!

Has Grace Jones gone folk yet..????


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 10:59 AM

Al, you should immediately register that with PRS


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 04 Sep 14 - 12:43 PM

I want my 50% if he does.. We will buy Jim a pint from it, honest!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 03:11 AM

"Folk Disco seems to have been a bit of a non starter.... shame really..."
Matter of opinion whether its a shame but I'm not surprised it's gone - neither had anything to offer to the other.
Regarding the urban myth that 'the folk' (after whom folksong got its name), this, from an interview with American singer Jean Richie, who collected from the older generation of singers in Ireland in the 1950s
It's from our note to a Clare version of Barbara Allen.
Jim Carroll
   
"Bronson gives around two hundred versions, and ethnomusicologist Charles Seeger edited an LP record containing thirty American recordings. The enduring popularity of the ballad among country singers and a revealing insight into how it was viewed by them, was amply illustrated in an interview with American traditional singer Jean Ritchie who spoke about her work collecting folk songs in Ireland, Scotland and England in the early nineteen fifties.
She says;
"I used the song Barbara Allen as a collecting tool because everybody knew it. When I would ask people to sing me some of their old songs they would sometimes sing 'Does Your Mother Come From Ireland', or something about shamrocks.   But if I asked if they knew 'Barbara Allen', immediately they knew exactly what kind of song I was talking about and they would bring out beautiful old things that matched mine; and were variants of the songs that I knew in Kentucky.   It was like coming home"."


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 04:10 AM

barbara allen, pepys described as a scotch song, but what did he know?scotch song is as accurate than horse song.
good point however, jim, they all understood what was being sought, why not call them barbara allen type songs instead of folk songs.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 04:21 AM

Quite possible, of course, in fairness to old Sam Pepys, that Mrs Knipp, on the occasion Pepys described of 2 Jan 1666, sang a Scottish version and announced it as a "Scotch song".

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 04:49 AM

According to Wiki, she was probably one of Pepys' mistresses.'When they wrote notes to each other, Pepys signed himself "Dapper Dickey," while Knep [aka Knipp] was "Barbary Allen" (that popular song was an item in her musical repertory)'.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 06:54 AM

> But if I asked if they knew 'Barbara Allen', immediately they knew exactly what kind of song I was talking about.

Because the words "Barbara Allen" have a clearly identifiable reference for everyone: you know the song or you don't. And you have an opinion about what songs are "like it."

The word "folk," however, has no such clear reference.

It is useful - for specialists - to prescribe one. But prescribed meanings that carry no consequences for misuse are impossible to enforce.

One consequence, in this case, might be ridicule from professional
folklorists. But as we've seen, not even they agree on what they want to talk about when they want to talk about folksongs.

A very small group, on the other hand, like the folksong societies, can certainly enforce their specific usage on members - but the general public will continue to ignore them, just as it ignores the microbiologists.

The technical definitions of "virus" and "folksong" (to the extent that the latter has one) are just too obscure and complex for the average uninformed and uninterested person to care about.

And everyone around them is using the words just as they do.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 08:38 AM

lets go down to the Barbara Allen club, sounds a bit darby and joan, OR The Barbara Ann club?,that sounds like a beach boy tribute night.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 08:53 AM

makes me want to re-write Barbara Allen with a jolly singaround chorus and a happy ending.

if that's how we recognise the buggers, we've got them cornered!

folksongs only hope is to remain elusive. confound all these academics and professionally serious types - escape down the pub lads!

really its like an overgrown garden - the horticulturists come along with their horrid secateurs and cut off the bits they don't approve of. but thank god they haven't a selective weed killer for everything!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM

"The word "folk," however, has no such clear reference."
Yest it does, in fact it articulates in an analytically way what the older generations of songs grew up with.
Not every singer knew Barbara Allen otherwise we would have thousands rather than the couple of hundred versions we have of it.
They recognised it as a type rather than an individual song - this happened to us over and over again while collecting.
Mary Delaney, a blind Travelling woman, gave us somewhere over a hundred songs - she probably knew twice that many.
She referred to them as "My daddy's songs" that his how she defined them.
Her father gave us less than half-a-dozen.
Walter Pardon referred to his hundred or so folk songs as 'folk songs' another definition
Kerry Traveller, Mikeen McCarthy, called them 'Fireside Songs' and set them apart from his pop and C.& W. songs and his Victorian Parlour ballads - another definition.
Some singers referred to them as 'Come All Ye's', or 'Sean Nůs', or 'local', or 'family'..... all definitions which distinguished them from other types.
It seems the modern folkie revival is the only group who have problems getting their heads around this practice - an example of education not necessarily bringing wisdom perhaps.
As far a the 'old Scotch ballad, Barbara Allen' - there is a certain smugness in dismissing Pepys statement out-of-hand.
Despite the fact that he made it his reference to it nearly four centuries ago, we are really no nearer to knowing its origins than he was.
There is no reason on earth why the song shouldn't have originated in Scotland in spite of the highly speculative 'Villiers' theory.
The song was certainly popular there, as it was throughout the English speaking world.
Would be fascinated if the knockers had a better idea of its origins than the rest of us.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 09:54 AM

Jim Carroll
Sorry Bryan - not particularly well articulated on my part - the two clubs I mentioned were 'The Singers Club' and 'Court Sessions' both of which I helped to run and sang at (for a short time in the case of the Singers)
What I should have said was, I knew that the type of music I was going to hear corresponded to what I thought folk song sounded like, neither were 'purist' clubs and both encouraged the making and performing of new songs.


Well, that's knocked the wind out of my sails. You seem to have conceded everything I've been saying.

It is the fact that this is no longer the case in many clubs I find objectionable.

But you hardly ever go to folk clubs. What grounds do you have for saying that?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 11:51 AM

Those academics who have done the groundwork tell us that any song referred to as 'Scotch' by the London theatre goers in the 17thc meant anything that was sung in any dialect from further north than Watford, and that included anything written in London that used such a dialect.

I would guess this description applied to the 'Sir John Graeme' variant in vague theatrical Scots, although the Reading/Scarlet version has earlier provenance in print. I would say to me it's pretty obvious that one is a pastiche of the other but I wouldn't like to guess which came first. In the 18thc there was a lot of Scottifying of earlier London pieces, just as at other times there was a lot of anglicising of Scots material.

Whatever, 'Barbara Allen' has been in constant popular print for nearly 4 centuries. This just adds a perspective to the fact that it is the most collected ballad from oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 01:27 PM

"As far a the 'old Scotch ballad, Barbara Allen' - there is a certain smugness in dismissing Pepys statement out-of-hand"
I find it rather smug for you to have to keep referring back to traditional singers that you have collected from for the definition of a folk song, it is not just smug but self important, what you are in fact doing is making your definition exclusive, and excluding all the folk who sang but did not sing songs of the barbara allen type, for example you are excluding songs sung on football terraces, which under the precious 1954 definition become folk songs.
it is perfectly reasonable for Jean Ritchie to have made this statement to guide her in collecting certain songs, it is not reasonable for anyone to then suggest this is the only definition of a folk song.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 01:30 PM

"It is the fact that this is no longer the case in many clubs I find objectionable.

But you hardly ever go to folk clubs. What grounds do you have for saying that?" jim has no grounds at all,he is talking horse shit aka horsemusic, it is not convincing for anyone to pontificate about folk clubs if they rarely visit them.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 02:11 PM

"But you hardly ever go to folk clubs. What grounds do you have for saying that?"
I stopped going to clubs around 14 years ago - by which time the rot had well and truly set in
I maintained my contact with people whose opinions I respect - many of whom I've worked with in the past who confirm what I believe - some have actually packed up altogether and you might be surprised at some who have said they are hanging in by their fingernails.
The dozen or so clubs I have visited since we moved have been further confirmation of my impression.   
Arguments such as these are enough to convince me that many of the clubs bear no relation to the music I came to know as 'folk'.
If nothing else, the inanities that pour forth from one professional 'folksinger' on this forum convince me that some club performances should carry a health warning
I really have said this on numerous occasions - you don't accept it - tough!.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 02:31 PM

"If nothing else, the inanities that pour forth from one professional 'folksinger' on this forum convince me that some club performances should carry a health warning"
another inane comment from jim carroll, what does anything anyone has to say on this forum have anything to do with folk club performance, it is ridiculous as me making a judgement on jim carrolls' folk song collecting based on his statements on this forum.
Jim, you are in a hole stop digging.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 02:34 PM

pack it in the pair of you...

you both obviously need more Glam Rock and Disco in your lives....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 03:10 PM

By the way Bryan
At he risk of nipping the start of a beautiful friendship in the bud
"You seem to have conceded everything I've been saying"
I have conceded nothing.
I have never at any time promoted a'folk-only' club.
Since day one of my involvement I have sung and have enjoyed newly composed songs written using folk forms.
When I joined the Critics group I was plunged into songwriting workshops run bt Ewan and Peggy - tried my hand at sever of my own, but didn't have what it takes.
I admit, I was taken anback when I first heard Ewan express the opinion that, "without new songs the revival would be little more than a museum" - but it didn't take me too long to change my mind at that one.
My objection has been from the beginning and remains, that club after club I stopped going to no longer presented anything resembling folk song.
It was summed up perfectly for me one time when we had booked Walter Pardon for The Singers and Pat rang around several clubs in the South East area to see if she couldn't get him a couple more to make the trip worth his while.
On spec, she rang one and asked did they want to book him.
The nice lady on the other end said she had never heard of him and cou[ld Pat explain what Walter did.
Pat explained who he was, told her of his experience at clubs and the half dozen solo albums he had made.
"Sorry", came the reply, "we only book folk singers".
Nuff sed.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM

"My objection has been from the beginning and remains, that club after club I stopped going to no longer presented anything resembling folk song.
It was summed up perfectly for me one time when we had booked Walter Pardon for The Singers and Pat rang around several clubs in the South East area to see if she couldn't get him a couple more to make the trip worth his while.
On spec, she rang one and asked did they want to book him.
The nice lady on the other end said she had never heard of him and cou[ld Pat explain what Walter did.
Pat explained who he was, told her of his experience at clubs and the half dozen solo albums he had made.
"Sorry", came the reply, "we only book folk singers".
Nuff sed.
Jim Carroll"
jim you are generalising from one particular incident.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 06:12 PM

Jim. If a rot set in 14 years ago, how come the rest of us enjoy putting our coats on and ignoring Knobenders or MasterChef?

People enjoy folk music. So sad that you don't. Especially after all the work you put into it. But you know what ? Those you dismiss are those taking it to the next generations.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 06:29 PM

so someone wouldn't give Walter Pardon a gig. someone hadn't heard of him. didn't like the cut of his gib....

welcome to the world of entertainment. as a savvy old drummer once said to me - if you can't handle rejection. you can't handle this job. it eighty per cent of the job.

traddies seem to get a fairly easy ride to me considering their uncompromising views on style and presentation.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 06:49 PM

Al. Stop it.

I'll end up having to buy you a pint when visiting relatives in Dorset if you are not careful.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,Carl Ellis (VT Yank)
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 10:41 PM

Well yes, it was an interesting thread. I have learned from it that if I ever feel an inclination to use the f**k word in connection with anything I intend to sing I had better go wash out my own mouth with soap, and on returning mention merely that I have a kinda song-tune thingie I'd like to try. But don't let me spoil the fun you're all having.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 10:58 PM

... as an educated and cultured Englishman who enjoys using the F word from morning till bedtime...

I am bemused,
why would anyone make up an internet name just to post once on mudcat to moan about the word 'Fuck' ???

Think about it Carl Ellis (VT Yank), you may be a bit odd....???


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 04:36 AM

People enjoy folk music. So sad that you don't. Especially after all the work you put into it. But you know what ? Those you dismiss are those taking it to the next generations.

Not really. I used to enjoy going to my local folk club - I was a regular performer there for several years, doing cover versions, my own songs & the odd traditional number. I went off it in a big way when three things happened:

a) I heard a lot of traditional songs
b) I realised I liked them
c) I realised that traditional songs were the one thing you very rarely heard at that folk club

I go back every so often & I can confirm that the club's thriving. But you're about as likely to hear a traditional song - any traditional song - as a song by Donovan. Traditional songs aren't going to get to the next generation that way.

In my case there's a happy ending - I've found other venues where you can hear traditional songs half the time or even more. But giving up on folk clubs is totally understandable to me, and it's certainly got nothing to do with giving up on folk music.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 05:23 AM

as there seems to be a lot of controversy about what is folksong, perhaps it would be best if you gave us a list of the songs you consider to be a folksong and we we will promise to put one or two in if we see you in the audience.

whether you like it or not, the tradition is changing. my instrumental influences were the blues project guys - van ronk, koerner etc; stefan grossman; derek brimstone; paul downes; wizz jones; mctell. stylistically if not substantially -everything I do is folk -it not rock or blues or jazz -its folk.

I can't change the march of history for you, but I promise to try and accommodate you.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 05:54 AM

Folk clubs play folk music.

It does what it says on the tin.

There is a nudge towards a style that echoes traditional music, and many of us get huge enjoyment out of putting our stamp on traditional songs. I mentioned in either this or the other nonsense thread on the same subject that Imagined Village took this to new heights in my opinion. All that got was Jim Carroll dismissing Martin Carthy, so not sure where to take this discussion really.

"It was the first of May, a righteous holiday"

Go for it Ben!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 08:06 AM

> whether you like it or not, the tradition is changing. my instrumental influences were the blues project guys - van ronk, koerner etc; stefan grossman; derek brimstone; paul downes; wizz jones; mctell. stylistically if not substantially -everything I do is folk -it not rock or blues or jazz -its folk.

People who want to think of their favorite music as "folk," regardless, won't be influenced by any discussion here. They'll call it "folk," and their friends will agree.

Life is full of ambiguities.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM

It isn't what they are calling folk. The issue is when they say what isn't folk....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 09:16 AM

"the tradition is changing. my instrumental influences were the blues project guys"
You are talking to peoples tastes changing - not the music which has been documented as folk.
I can like all the people you mention and still like the music I know to be as folk - in that way I can use the term to cater for all my different aspects of interest of the genre.
"They'll call it "folk," and their friends will agree."
Fine - they can call it 'butty music' if they like but it anin't a butty if it hasn't got butter on it.
You wanted a definition - you have '54 and yo have the Oxford Dictionary one
So far you've come up with "people will call it whatever they wish"
Doesn't mean a damn thing and it helps to confuse rather than to bring people to a specified type of music and help people enjoy and understand it for what it is and what it signifies.
I've described what has happened here in Ireland by deciding what you mean and going for it - I am aware what has happened to folk music in Britain
I'll stick with what I know, thanks all the same.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 09:30 AM

> "people will call it whatever they wish" Doesn't mean a damn thing.

In fact it means plenty. It means that current scholars disagree with each other about what they mean by "folksong," just as some scholars   disagree with the musicians.

You too, Jim, can use the word in ways that seem most appropriate, and most of the time I'll be inclined to agree with you.

But it's pointless to expect and demand that others, from John and Jane Zilch to the academics we've mentioned, will suddenly reverse course and take a more discriminating view. They don't want to. They don't feel a need to (just the opposite, really). They won't.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 10:35 AM

On another thread, we are discussing Anais Mitchell and her rather wonderful versions of a few Child ballads. Out of curiosity, I looked at my iTunes listing for the album and it said Country and Western.....

Quite.

As Apple have rather litigious lawyers, I'd rather not support Jim if its all the same to you!


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM

Jim Carroll
I have conceded nothing.
I have never at any time promoted a'folk-only' club.


You have, for a long time, said that folk clubs should do "what it says on the tin" modified, in this thread, to "exactly what it said on the label". In this thread, you have said "Walk into a folk club and you your probably be told "Piss off, we don't need a definition". When challenged, you produced a list of names that you considered acceptable outside the 1954 definition but denied that it was subjective. Then you turned round and said "I knew that the type of music I was going to hear corresponded to what I thought folk song sounded like". That would work pretty well as an illustration of the meaning of subjective. "What Jim Carroll thinks folk song sounds like" is very unlikely to be written on the tin or label of any folk club. OK, if your name is on the list of organisers, it's there by implication. Equally, if Musket's name (whatever it is) was on the list that would imply that it was whatever he thought folk song sounded like. Your voice carries no more authority than anyone else's.

You say "the two clubs I mentioned were 'The Singers Club' and 'Court Sessions' both of which I helped to run" confirming what said I said the other day "It was on your watch that things went tits up not mine.

Pat rang around several clubs in the South East area
she rang one and asked did they want to book him
Nuff sed.


No, nothing said at all. I seem to remember you saying a while ago that, after Walter had decided that he wasn't going to perform any more, you got pestered by organisers to try and persuade him to do a booking at their clubs. Likewise, over twenty years ago. On your watch. Nothing to do with what is happening now.
I bet Al Whittle has been turned down far more times than Walter Pardon.

I maintained my contact with people whose opinions I respect

Circular argument Jim. You only respect people who share your opinions.

I stopped going to clubs around 14 years ago - by which time the rot had well and truly set in

I have been going to folk clubs for forty years, quite often more than once a week. I'll be going to the one I help organise in a few hours time. On our publicity it says -

Our interest is mainly (but not exclusively) in British traditional music and song and contemporary folk music/song derived from the tradition.

We have booked numerous people within that range over the years including several members of the Critics Group. I presume these people get sufficient bookings elsewhere to make it worthwhile them continuing.

I really have said this on numerous occasions - you don't accept it - tough!.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 10:46 AM

> contemporary folk music/song derived from the tradition

Not to dispute your tastes, but "derived from the tradition" is a lot like Hollywood's "based on actual events," which often implies minimal resemblance to what really happened.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 10:49 AM

In any case, the re-enacted events, like the newly written songs, are still imitations - good, bad, or indifferent.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 10:51 AM

Stop dragging me into it snail.. You are confusing me on the basis I largely agree with you.

Here's a good one. I love using a carbon fibre acoustic guitar, (Rainsong) when playing acoustic and especially folk clubs. A few months ago, someone said in an email to the folk club organiser after I had been to their club that carbon fibre guitars have no place in folk clubs and only traditional wooden guitars should be tolerated!

He forwarded it to me. What he must have thought of "Senile Skifflers" a song taking the piss out of folk club musicians, written by my old partner in crime Mitch, I shudder to think! It got a good laugh at the time, which is the main thing I suppose.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 11:20 AM

Not to dispute your tastes, but "derived from the tradition" is a lot like Hollywood's "based on actual events," which often implies minimal resemblance to what really happened.

We don't know much about folk music but we know what we like. (Actually, some of us know quite a lot about folk music.)

In any case, the re-enacted events, like the newly written songs, are still imitations - good, bad, or indifferent.

Um? Er? Yes. And your point is?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 11:24 AM

Musket
Stop dragging me into it snail.. You are confusing me on the basis I largely agree with you.

That's TheSnail to you Musketman. Anyway, what's the problem? I was citing you as someone whose opinion was just as valid as Jim's.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 11:56 AM

That's The Right Reverend Prof Sir Musket VD&Bar to you...

The problem is, I largely agree with your previous post. That is unnerving and causing me to question myself....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 11:58 AM

I suppose the alternative would be supporting Jim's cosy restrained definition of something with no definable boundaries..




Ok. You win.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 12:26 PM

The Right Reverend Prof Sir Musket VD&Bar

Shouldn't that be Emeritus now that you've given up your visitor's chair?

That is unnerving and causing me to question myself....

Excellent. Now, if we can just get Jim to do the same...


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 12:46 PM

"Excellent. Now, if we can just get Jim to do the same..."
Perhaps some straightforward responses rather than snideswipes Bryan
We can all be right by not answering arguments
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 01:11 PM

Ok try again. Lord Musket of the tap room.

Will that do you?

Any references to reality were purely accidental. Insisting on The in your title is somewhat pretentious for that matter.

We booked a caller for a ceilidh last year for a family do. The band was a scratch band of mates but we needed a caller. Her card gave her title as (her name) M.E.F.D.S.S.

Wonderful.

To be fair, she was rather good, but unnerved the band by stating the tempo she needed by number.....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 01:32 PM

Jim Carroll
Perhaps some straightforward responses rather than snideswipes Bryan
We can all be right by not answering arguments


Indeed so, Jim. Bearing that in mind, perhaps you would take the trouble to read and respond to my post of 06 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM.
While you are at it, you could take a look at my post of 02 Sep 14 - 01:13 PM which you also ignored.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 01:35 PM

"In fact it means plenty. It means that current scholars disagree with each other about what they mean by "folksong,"
How do you get from "people" to "scholars Lighter - or is that another term you have redefined?
Bryan
"exactly what it said on the label" - the clubs I referred to when i used that term were The Singers Club and Court sessions - neither of which use 'folk' in their title, but presented folk and folk based songs - that is what I meant and to suggest otherwise is totally disingenuous.
I have never advocated a purist club, I have never supported such a narrow idea, I think I only ever experienced one some time in the sixties.
You know damn well I am talking about clubs who adopt the title folk as a flag of convenience and provide nothing of the sort
But if you wish to score by claiming this as a concession, please feel free to do so - always happy to help the needy.
""It was on your watch that things went tits up not mine."
Not true - The Singers Club ceased after I was no longer anything other than a member due to other pressures - Court Sessins continued until lat year - about fourteen years after we moved to Ireland.
"I have been going to folk clubs for forty years, quite often more than once a week. "
Well done you -- about the same time I was involved - and your point it....?
"Pat rang around several clubs in the South East area
she rang one and asked did they want to book him
Nuff sed."
Didn't you miss a bit out?
What I actually wrote was:
"Pat rang around several clubs in the South East area to see if she couldn't get him a couple more to make the trip worth his while.
On spec, she rang one and asked did they want to book him.
The nice lady on the other end said she had never heard of him and cou[ld Pat explain what Walter did.
Pat explained who he was, told her of his experience at clubs and the half dozen solo albums he had made.
"Sorry", came the reply, "we only book folk singers".
Nuff sed."

At no time have I used the term pestered to my recollection ``- we continued to get some calls after he retired from the clubs but not that many.
Pat wasn't Walter's agent - she got him extra bookings when he visited us - if he wanted them.
The few calls we continued to get were from those regulars who had booked him before
The example I gave was of one that is being argued here - a folk club that didn't know its folk arse from its elbow.
"You only respect people who share your opinions."
I assume that its the 'Royal You' - I certainly respect many people I disagree with - I just don't agree with them, that's all.
What exactly is your point here Bryan - that the folk revival is booming and I'm making it all up - that people who have no interest in folk music yet call their clubs 'folk' are figments of my imagination.
Are all the people who take part in these forums and say their experiences the same as mine lying.
Are those who agree with that conclusion yet defend the situation by saying nobody wants to listen to the old stuff anymore because its had its day figments of my imagination?
Can British folk song both in performance or as a research topic look forward to a glowing future - or any future at all when those of our generation snuff it (without hopping on a train to Lewes, that is?).
There was little sign of that being the case fourteen years ago - even less now.
There certainly wan't much sign of it when I spent a week in London earlier this year - but happy to five it another go.
Off to Oxford next month to do some research work on two radio programmes on Ewan - any suggestions of what to look out for (general question - haven't got time to head for Sussex)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 01:35 PM

"tap room"!? Come off it. Never get you out of the VIP lounge these days.

TheSnail isn't my title, it's my identity.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 03:18 PM

>Um? Er? Yes. And your point is?

That wax fruit is not the same as real fruit, that a singer-songwriter "folksong" isn't much like a 1954-def "folksong," and that those who still observe the semantic distinction are not the dimwits you seem to think they are.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 03:30 PM

Jim, the folklore encyclopedias I quoted earlier are written by and for scholars. If they can't or won't agree, how can you expect musicians to agree?

One can "correct" the usage of a few people who accept one's authority, but one can't "correct" the usage of millions who couldn't care less.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 04:23 PM

Yes, but the VIP lounge is applicable because I am, in the words of Billy Connoly, windswept and interesting.

Any road, if I am to gain topics for folk songs, it does pay to cohort with the proletariat occasionally.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 08:14 PM

'one can't "correct" the usage of millions who couldn't care less'

as Tony Hancock said, if this was an election, you'd have lost your deposit...


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 04:41 AM

As a scholar, I don't accept the word "folk." The capitalized "Folk" I'm cool with, but the lower-case "folk" I reject.

Big-F "Folk" is a label that means different things to different people. (duh) As with other labels that attempt to group music, for some purpose, its meanings are not only multiple but also necessarily fuzzy. It is useful, when true precision is not important, when you are speaking/interacting with other people who likely share the same rough sense of the kind of stuff you're talking about (and not talking about). For example, to say Mudcat is a place to discuss Folk music is perfectly acceptable. Being in English language gives me the first clue as to what sort of "Folk" is under discussion. Then, seeing the sort of discussion, including the musical items that figure in, completes the picture.

Use of little-f "folk," carries with it, to me, the belief on the part of the user that the term has a more precise and constant meaning - that it is somehow technical or scientific. At the very least I think this "folk" is nonsense. At the most, it carries ideological baggage that is distasteful, and it is too ethnocentric in its concept to have validity for the way I think about music - in its broad historical and cultural and biological (human) dimensions.

OMG that's so twentieth century. ? Phrenology, anyone?

I don't find there is anything I need to describe as "folk", in a scholarly context, that I can't describe with a more precise and/or neutral way. If it's amateurs performing, I say that. If it's oral transmission that is important, I say that. If there are certain stylistic features - specific textures, timbres, harmonies, intonation, instruments used, etc - I just say what those are.

I have published a good amount of scholarship on dances of the Punjab region. These are dances typically performed by a group of people moving in a circle to the rhythms of a drum. You'll hear Punjabi people -in urban, Westernized contexts - wanting to call them "Punjabi traditional folk dances". One reason why they do that is because the words "traditional" and "folk" have a certain "ring" to them. What they are saying, indirectly, is that they value things called "traditional" (as opposed to its supposed opposite, "modern"). They think there is something essential better, more pure, etc about "traditional," and just thinking about these dances that way gives them a little buzz. Same goes with "folk." But not only is the "traditional folk" part redundant, it's also superfluous. These are the "Punjabi" dances. There are no Punjabi "classical" dances or Punjabi "pop" dances or anything else. The dance belong to the Punjabi region, hence "Punjabi dances" - that's all I need to call them.

Similarly, when others use "folk" as if it were a scholarly term, I suspect it is something they *like* to say because it gives them a little buzz?tickles a little romantic spot. At the least, it carries an expression of *valuation*. I think in good scholarship, however, there is no room for such valuation. We need to strive for neutral terms.

That romance was there through the days of Karpelles to Lomax. I get the sense it really delighted them to be writing things talking about "folk" stuff. We're past those days now. That bubble has burst. Scholars can't position themselves as valuing "folk" stuff as opposed to "popular" or "classical", etc.

I think those definitions in the encyclopedias that Lighter quoted are nonsensical. There is some kind of Emperor-wears-no-clothes lip-service going on. The scholars that produce those are/were in a world where they are forced to deal with that terminology because someone has put it on the table but they haven't grown the balls to take it off. There's too much attachment to it. And there are too many institutions in place - archives of "folk" stuff and departments of "folk" whatever - to pull the plug. The thing is, these institutions, etc can carry on as long as people are thinking "Folk" (and finessing that as they go) and not full of themselves; as long as people are not drawing the conclusion that because there is a "Folk Archive" then the little-f "folk" is the operative conceptual framework.

It may sound harsh that I say it's nonsense when scholars use (little-f) "folk", but that doesn't mean I reject these scholars' work. I just think we are past that. Old folks can keep on what they did in the past, I suppose - no biggie. But they risk sounding parochial to the newer generations of scholars. Hence, the very active (professionally) and younger scholars - in which I include myself - can't afford to do it if we're to be considered very seriously.

I really don't - sincerely I don't - have a major beef with the (older?) scholars who use "folk" a lot. But I want to make it clear that "1954" concept of "folk" is not a standard thing among scholars of today. To summarize: scholars today are receptive to the many ways performers and audiences conceptualize what they (performers and audiences) call "Folk," and in their own work, seek more precision and terms that reflect the latest and best (not 1950s) ideas.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 04:51 AM

If I recall from the adverts, a scholar is someone who drinks Scholl lager?

I'm a bit of a scholar myself as it happens, but not lager piss. I having my annual sojourn to Southwold at present and the house is less than 200 yds from the Adnams brewery.

There are lots of words beginning with F and one is coming to me right now....


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 05:51 AM

" If they can't or won't agree, how can you expect musicians to agree?"
They can't agree on detail - part of research of an subject.
Nothing to do with definition, which remains as it was until it is replaced.
Any replacement, if it it to be comprehensible and workable needs to be backed up with researched information - you have that with '54.
I've just re-visited the Funk and Wagnall Dictionary of folklore with the intention of putting it up here.
There are seventeen, double columned pages of it, covering many aspects of the genre including how song relate to other aspects of folklore and how English-language songs compare to those of other cultures.
Nowhere does it contradict the basic premises set out in the '54 definition, which is quite interesting in itself as it was published in 1949.
What you are talking about when you refer to other definitions (which you still haven't provided) is the misuse of the term, not a re-definition.
You have referred, quite interestingly, to physics - you dont stop the-man-in-the-street for information on the subject - why should you do so for folk song?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 07:01 AM

> scholars today are receptive to the many ways performers and audiences conceptualize what they (performers and audiences) call "Folk," and in their own work, seek more precision and terms that reflect the latest and best (not 1950s) ideas.

And at the same time non-scholars are using the word in whatever way suits them. There is simply more than one usage, and like many thousands of others that we live with, the most inclusive is far more so than the most narrow.   

These are obvious points.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 07:45 AM

Lighter
That wax fruit is not the same as real fruit, that a singer-songwriter "folksong" isn't much like a 1954-def "folksong," and that those who still observe the semantic distinction are not the dimwits you seem to think they are.

Sorry Lighter, you've lost me completely. I can't see for the life of me how this relates to anything I've said.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM

it does pay to cohort with the proletariat occasionally.

Presumably you don't wash for a couple of days to blend in.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 07:48 AM

Jim Carroll
"exactly what it said on the label" - the clubs I referred to when i used that term were The Singers Club and Court sessions - neither of which use 'folk' in their title, but presented folk and folk based songs - that is what I meant and to suggest otherwise is totally disingenuous.

I must apologise Jim. I had misunderstood. From the jusxtaposition of the semtences, I thought you were saying that the rot had set in at those two clubs. Terribly sorry about that.

Got to do some practice of my own before a band practice. I'll be back on the case later.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 07:53 AM

"scholars today are receptive to the many ways performers and audiences conceptualize what they (performers and audiences) call "Folk,"
Then we need to know how they have incorporated their receptiveness into a new definition - so far nothing.
"And at the same time non-scholars are using the word in whatever way suits them"
My pont exactly - nothing to do with the music itself - rather a justification of taking over a name and a venue to provide a platform and an audience for something entirely different.
Not only has this endangered the future and the proliferation of folk song proper, but it led to 'folk' being a meaningless term with no tangible definition outside the established one
Even this has become extremely difficult to discuss rationally and calmly thanks to a heavy gang of 'folk police' telling those of us who wish to that we shouldn't be - "troll" has just been added to the invective on one of the other threads - "finger-in-ear" and "purist" - (not forgetting "folk police" of course) being old and hackneyed long-standing ones.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 07:54 AM

jim carroll, by his own admission rarely visits folk clubs, so it follows he knows little about what is being sung in folk clubs, he has also displayed his ignorance about col tom parker, he is frequently handing out compliments such as calling other members "arrogant little prats"
he also stated that the 1954 defintion was accepted world wide, another fallacy, it appears to be accepted by the EFDSS AND SOME ENGLISH SONG SCHOLARS,that is not world wide.
what makes a new song a folk song? in my opinion it becomes a folk song when it is sung by people who have little awareness of the uk folk revival or the songs origins but conclude it is traditional ,examples fiddlers green , song for ireland, caledonia, diry old town, shoals of herring , englands motorway, the coves of rossbrin, fields of athenry. the fact that these new songs are folk songs does not mean that they will all be sung in folk clubs, in fact while folk songs are frequently sung in folk clubs , the real test in my opinion is their acceptance outside the uk folk revival, which by its nature tends to be exclusive.
this exclusivity seems to be what jim carroll wants, he wants folk clubs to do what it says on the tin , yet he nor anyone else can define what should be on the tin, jim seems to want songs such as barbara allen and the songs from walter pardon repertoire that walter gave more importance to.
his attitude is exclusivity, folk clubs should put on what jim carroll considers to be folk music[ which he has yet to define]at the same time he claims he is not purist because he approves of some new songs, but it is my opinion that which Jim wants in folk clubs the sort of new songs that MacColl wrote or songs of social comment, he wants to exclude other new songs that presumably he does not like or that do not fall into this category, basically Jim Carroll considers folk music to be new social comment songs, and songs of the ilk of barbara allen, that is what he wants when he goes to folk clubs, but is that what everybody else wants, does jim carroll define blues as folk song does he define songs such as coalminers daughter or my little nicotine girl or dark as a dungeon as folk song, these songs are relatively new songs


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:09 AM

I knew there was something I was doing wrong the.

Perhaps the shell suit and those trainers that obviously cost less than £100 were letting me down? If I don't wash for a while, perhaps eventually I could leave a slime trail in my wake?

Where I live, the poor people wash too you know. Every Sunday morning they have a bath apparently. Even in the winter when they don't sweat as much.

Hang on, what were we discussing again? Snaily sidetracked me.

Oh yes. New songs and can they be folk songs.

Yes

Basically.

When written by a folk singer

zzzzz


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:22 AM

"When written by a folk singer"
THIS ONE MAYBE?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:25 AM

Too many posters on the enormous number of threads on this topic adopt too exclusive an either/or approach. There are surely many songs which are indubitably folk songs [Barbara Allen seems to have become the exemplar of choice on here]; others which clearly are not [from Schubert lieder to the latest manifestations of the ephemeral pop market]: (these, it will be appreciated, are taxonomic rather than qualitative observations).

But there is surely a wide borderline in which occur songs which some will define or accept as folk, others not. The exact parameters of this boundary, as these threads demonstrate, may be disputed. But surely nobody would deny its existence.

Similarly with clubs. Some will adopt strict policies admitting only songs from well within the folk side of the boundary; others will be more flexible as to which they will admit from within this wide, not entirely defined border. And a few may be what I often heard Peter Bellamy denounce as "that's not a not folk club, it's an anything club".   

I would suggest that those songs within this pretty wide boundary most worthy of being included in the category suggested by the thread title will be the work of performers well-versed in the tradition, who will continue to sing traditional songs alongside, and as well as, their own compositions within the idiom. In an entry I contributed on The Folk Revival to The Cambridge Guide To Literature In English (ed Ian Ousby, CUP 1988), I wrote, "Many singers steeped in traditional song, such as Ewan MacColl, Cyril Tawney, Peter Bellamy, Bob Pegg and Peter Coe, were successful in creating new songs convincingly in the traditional idiom which the revival had brought to a wider audience". This was not meant as an exclusive list; and there are obviously names to be added since then; but I will stand by that even 26 years later as a fair exemplary list of producers of the sort of songs which constitute the subject of this thread.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:26 AM

Jim,

"scholars today are receptive to the many ways performers and audiences conceptualize what they (performers and audiences) call "Folk,"

Then we need to know how they have incorporated their receptiveness into a new definition - so far nothing.


Why on earth would the scholars make a new definition? I just said that in my opinion the use of "folk" as if it were a scholarly term is nonsense, has no functional value, and in my observation is not used (i.e. with the pretense of meaning something universal) outside parochial, stuck-in-the-past circles.

They are receptive to non-scholarly meanings of "Folk" because 1) these do not threaten to be confounded with a precise / scientific meaning?because there isn't one. Even "1954" is non-scholarly - even if it was considered so in the past.
2) the trend is to respect the ideas of people you're studying, and, in the appropriately designated contexts, use the most efficacious language when in dialogue.

Like I said in the example before, when someone in India tells me something is "folk music," I don't say "Oh no, you're wrong - that isn't folk because of xyz". I try to determine what ABC makes them call it that. Then I can have conversations with them and we can use "folk" to communicate on the same page. But in my own research/writing, I don't confuse the broad audience by calling that thing "folk" (nor do I say, again, that it's not). I might say that the people FGH customarily refer to this as "folk," but more importantly I describe it in neutral terms.

You don't have to go as "far off" as India to apply this. It's all about being descriptive rather than prescriptive.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:57 AM

> Even "1954" is non-scholarly - even if it was considered so in the past.

Must disagree here. It was and is scholarly because it was created by conscientious scholars who found it useful. What's more, it described a kind of song that clearly exists, even if only in certain cultures under certain conditions.

Like most nomenclature outside of the hard sciences, however, it was not air-tight, flexible, or universally applicable. How could it be? Nor could the definers expect that commercialism would soon encourage *all* nonspecialists (and some specialists) to adopt broader definitions of what was, in 1954, a comparatively recondite term.

Another twist, as M suggests, is that for a great many fans (and Mudcat has its fair share), "folksong" has become a qualitative term.

Some people *want* their favorite songs to be called "folksongs." God knows why, but they do. It means a song in some fashion resembles a 1954-style "folksong" besides appealing to them in a personally significant way. And it's clearly not an aria or something "elite," which is usually not at all to their tastes.

Their usage is their privilege, even if some of us find it annoying.

I encounter so many annoyances each day that this rarely bothers me, and mainly when there's real ambiguity. And as Gibb says, in serious discussion those occasions can be, and are, easily - and profitably - avoided.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 01:02 PM

With you on this one, Jon, though I like Gibb's wider approach. I find myself, even when discussing with other enthusiasts, more and more inclined to use qualifiers to describe what type of folk song I'm talking about.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 02:41 PM

> qualifiers

Exactly, Steve. And they're especially useful in off-the-cuff discussions when we can't frame what we want to say as carefully as would be necessary in print.

Another elementary point: nothing prevents one from concentrating their interest either on 1954-style songs or on current rap lyrics if that's the brand of "folksong" they prefer.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 03:46 PM

A lot of people sing it and mess with the words. What else?


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Sep 14 - 09:14 PM

I was sitting on the quay this afternoon at Weymouth listening to a group of shanty men give a really nice concert. I couldn't help thinking about all this doom and gloom about English trad folk in the clubs.

I don't remember all these shanty crews in the old days. thats a comparatively recent development that surely gives the lie to all these dire pronouncements . you should get another informant about English folk clubs Jim.

After the shanty men - there was a group called Kadia, a young trio doing mainly trad material. there are a lot of young people getting involved nowadays.

i think what attracts them is that instantly they do trad - they become part of something big. in comparison the singer / songwriter is very isolated and adrift in a very competitive field.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 03:17 AM

"I find myself, even when discussing with other enthusiasts, more and more inclined to use qualifiers to describe what type of folk song I'm talking about."
I have to say, I find all this more than a little bizarre.
I've sort of come around to the idea that I have to check first before I head out to a venue which called itself 'folk' to make sure I would find the music I was looking for after driving miles in the pissing rain on a cold winter's night.
Now it appears I'm going to have to apply this to the research side of my interests.
I don't get to the Folk Song Forum meetings due to the distance, but on a number of occasions we've considered doing the trip with one of them in mind and incorporating it with a few days break in the U.K. - never quite managed up to now.
It seems we might have had a lucky escape and we could have found ourselves sitting through hours of discussions on Bluegrass, Jazz, 1950s pop songs, Hip-Hop, Rap, Country and Western.... and a whole host of other genres that don't interest me in the slightest, or if at all, certainly not enough to persuade me to travel a few hundred miles to participate in.
Same with the Roud Folk song Index.
Whenever anybody has asked about British folk song I have guided them to Steve's index and told them that they would find a fairly comprehensive referenced list of songs and where they are to be found.
Now, it seems, it would be dishonest of me to do this - that his list is far from comprehensive, or is misnamed and only deals with a certain, unspecified type of folk song.
To be complete, he would have had to include - what - The Hank Williams song book, The Best of the Fifties, Max Miller's Little Ditties, Songs From the Victorian Parlours, Elvis's Greatest Hits......?
I couldn't begin to define to newcomers what I mean by 'folk' because a definition no longer exists - the old one is invalid and until you and your mates have arrived at a new one, nothing has been put up to replace it.
C'mon lads, what on earth are we talking about here?
We have a bunch of songs coming from a definable and fairly well-established source and going through a fairly logical process.
We have chosen, up to now, to agree to define them as folk songs and have spent a great deal of our lives (some of us) in trying to understand them, and pass on what we found to others so they can finish the job.
All a waste of time, apparently - we've been pissing in the wind.
Personally, I find all this as disturbing as I find the efforts of some people to remove the credit for the making of our folk songs from the people I have always believed made them - the rural working people, the soldiers, sailors, miners and mill workers... of the past, and place that honour (or 90% plus of it), at the door of notoriously bad poets (hacks), the vast majority of whose outpourings are unsingable.
Sorry - until someone comes up with a half-thought-out, workable alternative that we can all agree upon and is based on genuine research which incorporates that done in the past, I think I'm happy to stick with the old definition, as much in need of repair as it might be.
"songwriter is very isolated and adrift in a very competitive field."
My heart bleeds Al!
Fervently hope that younger singers are flocking to the scene just as much as I hope that 'the folk' are still making and re-processing songs (and there are still as many clubs around as there were a dozen or so years ago)
Little sign of any of it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 03:31 AM

The beauty of the young performers you watched Al, is that they have never heard of any 1954 bullshit. They, like most of us over the years have seen the beauty contained in ancient tunes and words.

Why take a puppy apart to see why it is cute? I have no time for and dismiss out of hand those who want their anorak hobby inflicted on those of us with a love for the music. Right now, the folk style is having a resurgence that guarantees its future a while longer. The younger bands playing festivals, releasing albums and doing the medium theatre, arts centre circuit are a joy.

I roar with laughter when sad old codgers think that just because sitting in a circle with books, playing three chord Fields of Athenry has no appeal to people, that it means folk is dying.

No. It is far more alive than at any time since the '70s.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 04:04 AM

" who want their anorak hobby inflicted on those of us with a love for the music. "
If it wasn't for the anoraks who got up off their arse because they thought the music was worth the effort - you wouldn't have any folk songs to sing and would have had to rely on the songs that the P.R.S. allowed to slip though their net.
Give us a break Muskie and stop 'Folk Policing' those of us whose interests extend beyond self- obsessed navel-gazing.
You'd be scrambling on your high horse with the rest of them if we started up on 'snigger-snogwriters' and 'armpit singers'
Why not try a bit of live-and-let-live - it's us who are supposed to be the 'folk fascists'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 04:33 AM

some of us with a love for the music get up off our arses and organise festivals and events.instead of insulting other members and continually moaning.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Musket
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 04:35 AM

Your rather eccentric view of two stone columns, one with yourself and your collection, and the other with PRS do you no favours.

Most of your heroes used PRS to protect their commercial interest. Most folk singers at club level sing songs, regardless of the status of them. Your collecting and cataloguing is an achievement, one nobody here underestimates, but translating that into ownership of words invites ridicule Jim, it really does.

In the meantime, folk music is enjoying a huge revival. I doubt a single performer under the age of 50 has heard of, nor would find relevant, any piece of paper written in 1954, except in the historical journey of the genre sense. I hadn't heard of it except in passing myself till I found Mudcat. Yet by then, I had been "involved" for thirty odd years!

I'm a snogwriter by the way. Lots of my songs involve "sporting and playing" or frustration at not doing so, as it were... I can do armpit farts too.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 04:55 AM

"In the meantime, folk music is enjoying a huge revival. I doubt a single performer under the age of 50 has heard of, nor would find relevant, any piece of paper written in 1954, except in the historical journey of the genre sense. I hadn't heard of it except in passing myself till I found Mudcat. Yet by then, I had been "involved" for thirty odd years!"
more or less my experience.


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Subject: RE: What makes a new song a folk song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 05:14 AM

MGM:

Similarly with clubs. Some will adopt strict policies admitting only songs from well within the folk side of the boundary; others will be more flexible as to which they will admit from within this wide, not entirely defined border. And a few may be what I often heard Peter Bellamy denounce as "that's not a not folk club, it's an anything club".   


How Purist Is Your Club? The Rose Scale

How many of these songs would be acceptable in your club? (If you don't run a club, how many of these songs would you be willing to hear on a regular basis before you wanted to stop going?)

0. None of the below; none of them are genuine traditional songs.
1. Rosebud in June
2. Blood-Red Roses
3. Rose of Allendale
4. Little Yellow Roses
5. Rose in April (Kate Rusby)
6. English Rose (Paul Weller)
7. Roses of Picardy
8. "Roses of Chorlton Green, a song I wrote this afternoon"
9. All of the above and more; anything and everything is acceptable in any folk club I go to.

Explanatory notes
1. An old show tune. (A very old show tune, admittedly.)
2. A lesser-known Bertsong; Lloyd seems to have got hold of a shanty called 'Bunch of Roses' and made it a bit more dramatic.
3. An old parlour song (with a known author) which was adopted by Revival singers (Corries, Nic Jones et al).
4. A song recorded by Adam Faith(!) and written by Trevor Peacock(!!) which escaped into the wild to the extent of being adopted by Forest Schools Camps; subsequently recorded by Fay Hield, Jon Boden et al.
5. A contemporary song which is trying to sound traditional.
6. A contemporary song which uses phrases like 'seven seas' and is accompanied on an acoustic guitar.
7. A 20th-century music-hall number recorded by Perry Como, Old Blue Eyes et al. (Al was a busy lad.)
8. I have not written a song called "Roses of Chorlton Green". (I have written a few songs, just none with roses in the title.)

I'll be honest, I would like to go to a club that stopped at 2. - one whose regulars were so purist that they'd point out that Blood-Red Roses is one of Bert's, and drum their fingers & cough if somebody did Rose of Allendale. My trad repertoire is what matters to me as a singer, and I'd welcome the chance to dig into it and develop it. In reality, though, I've never known a club that didn't go as far as 4. or 5., and most of them in my experience go right to 8. They're are PB's 'anything clubs', in other words, and by and large they celebrate it - perhaps taking the view that the 'folk' quality resides in the amateurism, the lack of amplification, the participation, or just about anything other than the actual material.

This also answers Lighter's point:

nothing prevents one from concentrating their interest either on 1954-style songs or on current rap lyrics if that's the brand of "folksong" they prefer.

And nothing prevents me from going to any folk club and doing a set consisting entirely of songs that have verifiably been modified during oral transmission; when I first got the trad bug I assumed that was what I would do. But then you go to a club where everyone's doing pop songs or new material, making you feel like an archaelogy lecturer who's crashed a coffee morning; or a club where traditional songs are de rigueur the first time round, after which everyone relaxes and does whatever they feel like (which usually isn't traditional); or a club where half the material's traditional, but it's the other half that gets the big applause... and it wears you down. The clubs don't actually stop anyone being a traditional purist, but they don't encourage it, either. I wish there were more clubs that would.


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