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Here comes that bloody horse - again!

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MGM·Lion 05 Sep 14 - 03:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Sep 14 - 04:49 AM
Musket 05 Sep 14 - 05:25 AM
Roger the Skiffler 05 Sep 14 - 05:36 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Sep 14 - 05:44 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Sep 14 - 05:45 AM
Rain Dog 05 Sep 14 - 05:48 AM
GUEST, topsie 05 Sep 14 - 06:21 AM
Joe Offer 05 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM
Musket 05 Sep 14 - 07:10 AM
Jack Blandiver 05 Sep 14 - 07:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Sep 14 - 07:44 AM
GUEST 05 Sep 14 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 05 Sep 14 - 09:38 AM
Musket 05 Sep 14 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Rahere 05 Sep 14 - 01:46 PM
PHJim 05 Sep 14 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 05 Sep 14 - 11:24 PM
GUEST 06 Sep 14 - 02:18 AM
Mr Red 06 Sep 14 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Rahere 06 Sep 14 - 03:28 PM
Don Firth 06 Sep 14 - 09:05 PM
Bill D 06 Sep 14 - 10:26 PM
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Subject: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 03:43 AM

That bloody horse has come up again on a thread: you know - the one that nobody has heard singing...

OK — so who did say it first? Armstrong? or Broonzy? or someone else? Wikipedia seems to lean to Armstrong. But does it matter anyhow?   Bert Lloyd called it "a dreary axiom", regretting it had got such currency, when all it obviously was meant to be from the start was an off-the-cuff joke in response to a persistent interviewer or some such, insisting on the performer's music being overdefined.

I repeat: a joke!. If talking about the Sistine Ceiling, would anybody seriously say, "It's a marvellous piece of folk art, you know. I've never seen a horse painting a chapel ceiling"?

It would have been quite a good joke, at that; if only some idiots with axes to grind hadn't taken it (or pretended to take it!) as a serious comment on a genre, and gone on citing it ad nauseam to this very day, with that insufferable air of producing some sort of incontestable knockdown argument...

Or does anyone genuinely think the silly postulation really has any critical or taxonomic validity?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 04:49 AM

It's not a joke at all - it's flippant for sure, but only in the face of a particular conceit that Folk Music needs a definition at all; a description maybe, but never a definition.

The Horse Definition simply states that all music is human music and all humans are folks, unless of course some folks are more folk than others, which leaves with a weird taste in the mouth. This seems to be what Steve Roud suggested a while back on this very forum (I forget exactly where) when he said that the idiomatic folk song 'Shoals off Herring' became an actual folk song when it was sung by a bona-fide traditional singer (whatever the hell that might be), thus earning it the taxonomic chufty badge of a Roud Number.

All music is NOT Folk Music (heaven forfend) but all humans, without exception and with some considerable evidence, are folks. Music is what folks do; it's what folks have been doing for 50,000 years and more (how's that for an unbroken tradition?) and as long as there are folks in the universe there will be a plethora of diverse music idioms, including Folk Music I suppose, which is only idiomatically different from other musics despite the rather silly and ultimately patronising postulations of a Folk Orthodoxy whose wayward cultural concepts go hand in hand with their reactionary imperialistic tendencies despite their leftist leanings (present company excepted, of course).

The Horse Definition sums that all up with economy and elegance, and, perhaps ironically, says pretty much exactly what the 1954 Definition says too once we've clarified some of the creaky terminology. In fact, I'll personally buy a pint for the first person here who can show me one single musical idiom on Planet Earth which can't be said to be:

...the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the tradition are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives....

If you really want to approach an understanding of the nature of Old Traditional English Speaking Folk Song, treat it as an ethnomusicological study in relationship to the culture, genius and virtuosity of the working-class women and men who made it and sang it in its natural habitat. Describe it, lovingly, as the cultural treasure it most surely is; but above all have respect for its feral nature that no amount of taxidermy and taxonomy can ever hope to get a measure of. Listen to the old singers with reverence and wonder; start with Grainger's 1905 recording of Joseph Taylor singing Brigg Fair and ask not What is Folk? but rather What has folk become?


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Musket
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 05:25 AM

Wow.

1.0 to the horse methinks....

Still got eh kid?

In your case Michael, its more of taxidermy than taxonomy.




And stop reading my posts.....


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 05:36 AM

When I first heard it it was attributed was Satch, but then I was listening to more jazz than folk. I always took it for a throwaway remark and never attached any significance to it. Given Satchmo's legendary consumption of "mary jane" I'm surprised he never heard a horse sing!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 05:44 AM

I ain't never seen no horse post on the Mudcat.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 05:45 AM

' but there is a hell of a lot of horseshit here.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Rain Dog
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 05:48 AM

But you have seen a few of their deposits in various threads over the years.


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 06:21 AM

"I ain't never seen no horse post on the Mudcat."

Can you be sure? We had regular postings from a chimp, and if the horse didn't own up to being a horse ... who knows?


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM

Hoss! Hoss!


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Musket
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 07:10 AM

True Joe. A band I was in sang Poor Old 'Oss.

Where I come from it is 'oss, never hoss....


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 07:34 AM

It's horse in this neck of the woods; we still sing The Owld Grye Song (Poor Old Horse) from the singing of Jim Eldon who has it about right I'd say, though I must confess I grow wary of singing The Old Songs these days in case anyone suspects me of somehow endeavouring to Keep the Tradition Alive, which I most assuredly am not. I am no reanimator; the horse is dead. Instead, I look at them as museum relics, like the Shabti dolls in the MCR museum; I look at them as a means to seek an understanding of continuity but when it comes to Keeping Tradition Alive I prefer to improvise on my synthesisers, though habit often has me singing along, and when I do it's invariably an Old Folk Song! Then there'll be someone accusing me of singing it in a non-traditional way with non-traditional instruments despite our part in a Cosmic Process that begins with The Big Bang and of which our authenticity is assured by dint of us being here at all. Who needs folklore when you've got memetics?

As Oor Wullie says, Ye canna win!

The Sheep Stealer (AKA The Brisk Lad, Roud 1667) : 2.1.14


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 07:44 AM

I thought when I read the title that it might be the horse you rode in on.

Carry on!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 07:49 AM

Best song about a horse - stick with it, you'll be rewarded:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4OuYsD0PDg


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 09:38 AM

Surely you meant to link to this one


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Musket
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 09:48 AM

All together now!

"It's been lonely in the saddle
Since my horse died."


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 01:46 PM

Twa Corbies always left me wondering what happened to his horse...perhaps it became Tom Pierce' Grey Mare, so now one of the Ghost Riders.
Mind you, it was probably shipped off to horspital, and is now languishing in the back of a ward somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: PHJim
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 07:59 PM

I was probably the person who posted the "horse" comment that MGM Lion talked about in the original post. My purpose for posting it, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, as part of a list of several other equally useless definitions of "Folk Music" was to illustrate the futility of trying to define this genre of music. I first became aware of "folk" as a type of music in the late fifties and used the "horse definition" in a speech on folk music fifty some odd years ago in grade 10 (attributing it to Big Bill Broonzy).

The first time I was exposed to the "What is a folk song?" debate was in the early sixties in Sing Out! magazine and at local coffee houses and hootenannies. It is a futile, never-ending debate that has gone on far too long and certainly won't be decided on The Mudcat Café.

I did not mean to indicate that the horse definition was accurate. My favourite definition is "a four letter word that begins with F and ends with K and if you say it they won't play your music on the radio," but I don't claim it as the definitive definition either.


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Sep 14 - 11:24 PM

if this aint 'folk' eff all else is...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCXvGR4IP3s


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 02:18 AM

Didn't Mr Ed ever sing??


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 02:54 AM

Mr Red does.

Now I bet one of these is gonna post any time now


Catherine the Great's Horse
Crazyhorse
darkhorse
Dead Horse
Fiddleronthehorse
Halfhorse
horse
ironhorse
Kentucky_Racehorse
LadyHorseWriter
litehorse
littlehorse
lucyhorse
montanahorseshoer
Ravenhorse
redhorse
Rockin' Horse
seahorse
spotted-horse
TheHorse'sMouth


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 03:28 PM

And there I was thinking it was Fiddler on the Hoof.


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 09:05 PM

I think it was Seeger who said it he'd heard it from Broonzy. But what does it matter? Whoever said it, it was a flippant one-off, probably geared to get some half-wit out of his face.

And then picked up and passed on by other half-wits--and song-writing opportunists trying to claim undue credit for their own scribblings.

Is the aria "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's opera Turandot, sung by any number of operatic tenors, including Luciano Pavarotti, a folk song?

Well--I've never heard it sung by a horse!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Here comes that bloody horse - again!
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Sep 14 - 10:26 PM

Yup, Don... and why, then, don't we advertise concerts by simply putting up a sign that says "MUSIC TONIGHT"?

I could go on and type a 4 paragraph treatise on logic about the categories that are excluded by noting they are 'not' done by horses, but 73.651% would miss the point and the 26.349% would debate using something from Jack Blandiver's reasoning.

We NEED words to make distinctions. 'Folk' was once useful... now 'traditional' is vaguely useful. In order to note certain kinds of concerts these days, it would take a couple of paragraphs to clarify it.


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