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songs that are sneered at

Andy7 23 Oct 18 - 04:50 PM
Gordon Jackson 23 Oct 18 - 05:41 PM
DMcG 23 Oct 18 - 05:43 PM
Brakn 23 Oct 18 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,DTM 23 Oct 18 - 09:40 PM
r.padgett 24 Oct 18 - 02:33 AM
GUEST,henryp 24 Oct 18 - 03:36 AM
BobL 24 Oct 18 - 03:38 AM
GUEST,mg 24 Oct 18 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Jerry 24 Oct 18 - 03:55 AM
Will Fly 24 Oct 18 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,Observer 24 Oct 18 - 06:17 AM
Johnny J 24 Oct 18 - 07:45 AM
clueless don 24 Oct 18 - 08:01 AM
Doug Chadwick 24 Oct 18 - 08:57 AM
John MacKenzie 24 Oct 18 - 08:59 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Oct 18 - 09:03 AM
r.padgett 24 Oct 18 - 09:04 AM
Cool Beans 24 Oct 18 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Knockroe 24 Oct 18 - 09:13 AM
Elmore 24 Oct 18 - 09:32 AM
Cappuccino 24 Oct 18 - 10:52 AM
meself 24 Oct 18 - 12:54 PM
Shug Hanlan 24 Oct 18 - 01:18 PM
Joe Offer 24 Oct 18 - 01:38 PM
Long Firm Freddie 24 Oct 18 - 02:35 PM
robomatic 24 Oct 18 - 04:16 PM
robomatic 24 Oct 18 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Anne Lister sans cookie 24 Oct 18 - 05:13 PM
CupOfTea 24 Oct 18 - 05:57 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Oct 18 - 06:29 PM
Helen 24 Oct 18 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,DTM 24 Oct 18 - 08:01 PM
Joe_F 24 Oct 18 - 09:20 PM
Ged Fox 25 Oct 18 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Jerry 25 Oct 18 - 04:06 AM
Ged Fox 25 Oct 18 - 04:35 AM
GUEST 25 Oct 18 - 04:47 AM
Richard Mellish 25 Oct 18 - 05:52 AM
Jack Campin 25 Oct 18 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Knockroe 25 Oct 18 - 07:33 AM
DMcG 25 Oct 18 - 07:58 AM
Johnny J 25 Oct 18 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Modette 25 Oct 18 - 12:32 PM
John MacKenzie 25 Oct 18 - 02:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 18 - 03:13 PM
Mo the caller 25 Oct 18 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 25 Oct 18 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Jim P 25 Oct 18 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Jerry 26 Oct 18 - 03:15 AM
BobL 26 Oct 18 - 03:22 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 26 Oct 18 - 07:18 AM
clueless don 26 Oct 18 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Guest 26 Oct 18 - 12:21 PM
John MacKenzie 26 Oct 18 - 02:00 PM
Tattie Bogle 26 Oct 18 - 07:48 PM
Tattie Bogle 26 Oct 18 - 07:49 PM
Gallus Moll 27 Oct 18 - 04:13 AM
Mo the caller 27 Oct 18 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Jerry 27 Oct 18 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,DTM 27 Oct 18 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,DTM 27 Oct 18 - 08:35 AM
Mooh 27 Oct 18 - 10:08 AM
Cool Beans 27 Oct 18 - 12:53 PM
Helen 27 Oct 18 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,MikeOfNorthumbria (sans cookie) 27 Oct 18 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 27 Oct 18 - 03:21 PM
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Subject: songs that are sneered at
From: Andy7
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 04:50 PM

Why is it that some songs are sneered at?

I like to sing an eclectic mix: traditional folk songs, chorus songs, popular songs from various periods, songs from shows, country/bluegrass songs, etc. This is only, I hasten to add, at clubs where a wide variety of songs and styles is performed and welcomed, not at traditional folk music events!

Now, there are 3 songs in particular that I've performed, where I've noticed various members of the audience sneering, grinning, shaking their heads, etc. (although others have enjoyed them, I know). And this terrible trio is:

Distant Drums (Jim Reeves)
Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley)
Feed the Birds (from Mary Poppins)

I wonder what it is that people hate about hearing these songs? They're all very good songs in their own right, even if you don't rate the original performers/contexts!

Okay, I'll admit that none of them is the 'height of cool', haha! But then neither are many songs that are sung at clubs.

So ... what is it about some songs that causes them to be sneered at?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 05:41 PM

Well, when I was at school we had an alternative, somewhat olfactorial,   version of Distant Drums ...


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 05:43 PM

About five years ago I was at a singaround full of long in the tooth folkies like me, and a lad of perhaps 15 was there. When it got round to him he was clearly nervous, saying he hadn't sung in public before but if it was ok he would try 'The Leaving of Liverpool'. We all said that would be fine, though you could see in people's eyes an expression of "that was sung to death in the 60s"..

… At which point we all discovered we couldn't remember it any more.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Brakn
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 06:15 PM

"songs that are sneered at" be prepared for a long thread.
FFS Not that song again. That song's way too common, popular.
That's not folk. That's too folkie. etc etc


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 09:40 PM

Great song as they were, my heart sinks whenever I hear some punter sing "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" or "No Man's Land".


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: r.padgett
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 02:33 AM

The Sweet Nightingale

Ray


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 03:36 AM

Puff the Magic Dragon - too sweet and sentimental.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: BobL
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 03:38 AM

"Pleasant and Delightful" - in the 1980s even the parodies got done to death.

I wonder though how long it will be before "Old Bazaar in Cairo" gets blacklisted as being culturally insensitive?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 03:46 AM

today while the blossoms still cling to the vine
dona dona dona
Jamaica farewell


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 03:55 AM

Have you tried singing Aura Lee, rather than Love Me Tender, which is the traditional song it is lifted from? Your audience reaction might be different.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 04:11 AM

There's a song that's very popular in clubs around my way in Sussex, about the farmer - how he eats his own ham, pork and lamb, and treats everybody to drink, and is generally a self-contented fellow. Good tune, and very singable.

Trouble is, every time I hear this romanticised tosh, I think of the great East Anglian emigration of the early-mid 19th century - 30,000+ agricultural workers pressurised to ship out to Canada and Australia to save the cost of the Poor Law. And if you want a more modern take on the generosity of the farmer, read "Akenfield",

As for the Eric Bogle songs and "Hanging on the old barbed wire", don't get me started...


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 06:17 AM

Cannot see for the life of me why anyone would sneer or roll eyes at "Leaving of Liverpool" great song with a real ("True") story behind it.

Built in 1853 the David Crockett did from 1860 to 1874 sail under the command of a "hard-over" driving Master called Burgess who pushed his crew so hard that they mutinied San Francisco. Burgess was lost overboard in a gale off the Rio de la Plata in 1874 on the return voyage from San Francisco to Liverpool with a cargo of wheat. The Mate John Anderson assumed command of the vessel for the remainder of the voyage and was subsequently confirmed in position as Master of the vessel.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Johnny J
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 07:45 AM

I try not to sneer at any song although some are obviously "over sung".

At the more commercial end, you get the likes of "Wagon Wheel", "Galway Girl" sung ad nauseum at sessions and on. Good songs in their own right if only they had been left to the OCMS and Steve Earle themselves.

However, what irritates me even more are those parodies of over sung sung songs. If they really hate them so much, why not just ignore them? Also, if they must insist on composing daft nonsensical ditties, then they should try to be original at least!


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: clueless don
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 08:01 AM

Thank you for the links, Andy7 - I had never heard (or even heard of) "Distant Drums". It reminded me a bit of "The Ballad of the Green Berets". and a bit of "The Last Farewell".

Don


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 08:57 AM

....... some are obviously "over sung".

If I never hear "Ride On" again, it will be too soon.

DC


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 08:59 AM

Fine of £5 levied for singing Wild Rover ?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 09:03 AM

That should be £100 John, and don't even mention ' The Lightning Express '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: r.padgett
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 09:04 AM

There's a song that's very popular in clubs around my way in Sussex, about the farmer - how he eats his own ham, pork and lamb, and treats everybody to drink, and is generally a self-contented fellow. Good tune, and very singable.

Farmer's Toast or Jolly Farmer has had some recent posts as to source etc on here (mudcat)

Ray


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Cool Beans
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 09:05 AM

They're all good songs but have been sung so frequently that some of us are sick of them. "Wagon Wheel" has been performed to death in the U.S. but people still want to sing it and sing along with it. Familiar songs are like comfort food. Sing what you to sing, forget about being cool.
   The one thing I can't stand, though, is the song that goes on forever. probably another thread, so I won't start.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Knockroe
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 09:13 AM

€10K levy for Fields of Athenry


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Elmore
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 09:32 AM

Kumbaya.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Cappuccino
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 10:52 AM

Elmore, I recorded a reggae version of Kumbaya once - works perfectly!


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: meself
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 12:54 PM

Just an observation - I'm not sneering, honest - but: ever notice how often people apparently just read the thread title and post whatever pops into their head, without reading at least the initial post to find out what the thread is supposed to be about?

And, no, I don't have anything useful to add, thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Shug Hanlan
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 01:18 PM

Any song with speaking in it makes me sneer. The plane crash classic "Ebony Eyes" by The Everley Brothers is probably the worst culprit. Nobody can say the lines "They may have run into some turbulent weather" and keep a straight face.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 01:38 PM

"Love Me Tender" was mentioned in the first post, and Jerry suggested "Aura Lee" (source of the tune) later on. I often sing the two in medley, and that works very well.
I don't recall Ebony Eyes. I think it fits in well with all those corny "dead teenager songs" of the 1950s and 1960s.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 02:35 PM

There's a suggestion on Youtube that the melody for Aura Lee/Love Me Tender came from Franz Liszt's Liebestraum:

Liebestraum

LFF


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: robomatic
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 04:16 PM

Wasn't there a scene in an early Mike Myers' film Wayne's World where he is trying out a guitar in a music store and he is just picking out the first chords when the salesman coughs and points to a big sign on the wall "NO 'Stairway to Heaven'"?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: robomatic
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 04:18 PM

Forgive me for double posting but another vagrant memory hit me. I remember reading a short story where either through accidental coincidence or fiendish manipulation a sing-a-thon at an Irish pub goes into near riot when it turns out that each singer is performing "Danny Boy". A scenario I have no trouble imagining.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Anne Lister sans cookie
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 05:13 PM

Every singing workshop I've ever led has always included someone who wants to sing "Summertime". I try not to roll my eyes or show the singer that it's not an original choice, as I'm trying to build up their confidence, but it's difficult. I suppose my take on the question is not so much why we sneer at some songs but more why do we choose to perform what we do? Especially if it's an oldie. No reason why any songs should be off the list - however, if lots of people do choose to sing songs that are such popular choices, the question remains - what makes them such popular choices?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: CupOfTea
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 05:57 PM

I try not to sneer, but have been guilty of rolling my eyes at some choices, for the reason often given above: overexposure. Then you top overexposure with folks who make a mess of it, and I'm likely to cringe, and or/leave the room.

Then you get situations where a particular song is someone's party piece & you KNOW they're going to do it, no matter what else goes on, and worse when it's a particularly long one. I love hearing how the folks couldn't remember the words to one they'd been snarky about - the too-oft-repeated effect CAN wear off after a goodly number of years.

I remember in a previous thread about this when I got taken to task when I named "Danny Boy" as one of those "I don't want to hear it again" songs. My associations are drunks singing it badly, hers, deeply precious memories. How one perceives the songs depends so much on what history it has in your circles of folks who sing. I was surprised to hear that "Kilkelly" is one of those sneered at songs in many places - it's not so well known where I live & sing, and it has a deep personal resonance for me (letters to/from Ireland).

Trying to explain to band members while we're building up a repertoire why I do NOT want to do some of the traditional Irish bar band singalong things, comes down to a combination of TOO much familiarity and knowledge that there are LOTS of OTHER songs out there to sing. So if we're singing a folk standard (Leaving of Liverpool & Jamaica Farewell both in our repertoire) it has to be one that has a particular resonance for one of us. We've fought over Fields of Athenry - I heard it 6 times in one weekend at an Irish fest, band members had hardly heard it at all & thought it was a fine song to sing.

I think the same old song every time from the same old parties is laziness - wanting to sing without an interest in something new, something varied, something folk processed. Or possibly too strong an imprint of ONE version of a song. I have ADORED hearing half dozen different versions of a ballad, and been stopped cold in my tracks by someone saying "that's NOT the way Joan Baez sings it!" When it's an old song from a young person, I say give then all the encouragement you can muster, as they'e taking an active interest.

Joanne In Cleveland
ps. Was forced to sing "Danny Boy' as a "reward" for winning 2nd in a singing contest that was CALLED the Danny Boy contest at an Irish fest this summer. All I could think about -as I read the words - Was Robbie O'Connell singing "You can't be Irish, You can't be Irish, you don't Sing Danny Boy..."


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 06:29 PM

Back to those Eric Bogle songs: depends how they are sung: done well they are fine, but that's probably less that 20% of the attempts you hear.
Danny Boy: I much prefer the different words to the same tune: In Derry Vale.
Wild Mountain Thyme: gets overdone, and annoys me when they leave out the 4h verse.
Wild Rover; the fines system at Middle bar Singers has been lifted as of several years ago: one poor guy had been there all week, never singing, then was cajoled into singing on the last day: "only one songs I know" - you got it - WR!!
"Fields of Athenry" - now this really did rattle/shock me: I sang it in a FOLK session in Scotland and 3 people first gave me the long hard stare, then a nod to each other, then walked out: and this in a FOLK session. Why? They were Rangers supporters and this song is associated now with Celtic football club, their big rivals. Sectarianism and bigotry has absolutely no place in folk music!


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Helen
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 07:56 PM

LFF, I've never noticed a similarity between Liebestraum and Aura Lee/Love Me Tender, but now you mention it the notes of the melody and chord progress are probably similar if you change the note lengths here and there. My inner mental jury is still out on that one. I'll have to think about it for a while.

Someone once told me that on a trip to Ireland they went into a pub where there was a music session happening and the musicians started playing songs like I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen, on the assumption that my friend was a "tourist". When my friend began to request the old trad tunes, the musicians went back to the real music.

I have an abiding distaste for songs like Barbara Ellen - only based on the repetitiveness of the melody lines. It can probably be sung well, but the melody drives me nuts.

For some reason, the Eric Bogle songs don't annoy me. I don't hear others sing them often, but when they do the Oz folkies tend to sing them from the heart, because the content relates closely to Oz experiences. I also have fond memories of seeing Eric Bogle perform those songs.

Helen

I have to walk out of the room when some of the "bush poets" recite their poetry with that sing-song non-melodic melody, "dah-'dah-dah 'DA [upward inflection], dah-dah-dah duh [downward inflection]..." ad nauseum with not variation based on the actual thoughts or feelings being expressed in the words. For me, it is like when I have had some sort of weird infection and wake up in the middle of the night and can't quite get back into full consciousness, watching the world spin around.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 08:01 PM

I've never been a fan of power ballads however, I think "My Heart Will Go On" gets singled out for some unwarranted stick. As 'power ballads' go, it's probably one of the better ones, IMO. (Still don't like them though).


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 09:20 PM

I have never understood the notion of a song being "done to death". Perhaps if I went to as many sings as some of you folks do, I would experience your fatigue, but I suspect then I would quit some of them for other kinds of entertainment. As it is, I find that if a group is singing a song I am very familiar with, I look around, and often see by their faces that some of the people there have seldom or never heard it before, and I vicariously enjoy their fresh acquaintance.

As to sneering, if I am actually insulted by a song, I can take refuge in browsing in my collection, or going to the kitchen or the bathroom, or looking at somebody pretty. That happens, typically, if in my judgment the person who wrote the words has paid no attention to what they mean.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Ged Fox
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 04:03 AM

"Sectarianism and bigotry has absolutely no place in folk music!" Quite right, but that doesn't stop me sneering at Jacobite songs.
For me, it's "Will ye no' come back again!" not "Will ye no' come back again?".


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 04:06 AM

Surely it all depends on your audience - regular attendees appreciate hearing new or less familiar material, but occasional attendees like to hear things they know, even though their knowledge of music is limited by their wider interests. There is no crime in that, even if it does make your heart sink at times. There are some venues and events where people will demand to hear things like The Wild Rover, Streets of London, Dirty Old Town, Fields of Athenry, Duelling Banjos, etc if they hear you play something that reminds them of such stuff. Then there are other events where you might get lynched, or at least sneered at, for daring to play any hackneyed material. I prefer to give an audience what they want, rather than compel them to endure your latest self penned dirge that has little resonance for them, and that will mean swallowing your pride some times.

Sneering surely is a form of snobbery, provoked by our over familiarity with a song, when as someone says above, aficionados know there are much better and more important songs out there that deserve to be aired. However, can inverted snobbery be just as irritating, which is prevalent in some singarounds where people seem to go to great lengths to find and deliver some long lost or obscure song? It’s a very important part of the Folk process of course to keep old or forgotten songs alive, and I admire their dedication and respect for this non-commercial end of the spectrum. However, there is often a good reason why such a song has become forgotten and obscure, and that may be that it had very limited appeal or resonance, or despite its important message or historical artifice it just had an uninspiring melody and lyric. No doubt there was another thread on this sometime......


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Ged Fox
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 04:35 AM

"some singarounds where people seem to go to great lengths to find and deliver some long lost or obscure song"

Where are these singarounds? I feel very lonely sometimes as the only habitual obscurantist in my neck of the woods.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 04:47 AM

There was a fellow named Arthur Black who had a program called Basic Black on Canadian radio, and one day he played 16 different recordings of Danny Boy. I don't remember why.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 05:52 AM

My dislike for The Wild Rover is specific to the version most often sung, with the thump-thump-thump-thump. Different versions are fine, but very seldom heard.

I have a general dislike for a song being presented as a "chorus song", as if the chorus is its raison d'être. It's worse when the singer starts by singing the chorus twice to make sure that we know it and/or circles their hand in the air at the end to demand yet another repetition.

I detest Fields of Athenry not only because I have heard it far too often (though, thank heavens, not recently) but because it purports to come from the time of the Famine but clearly doesn't; and because of the assertion that nothing matters when you're free. Sorry, but if it came to the choice wouldn't most of us prefer to be fed than to be free? Haven't people sometimes got themselves arrested for the sake of a night in a cell and some food?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 07:15 AM

"Love Me Tender" is the only one of the three songs Andy7 mentioned that I've heard of. I've never heard it except off an Elvis record and wouldn't have any problem at all with somebody doing it in a singaround.

I have never yet seen an Irish tourist in an Edinburgh pub make a request that wasn't something the whole room cringed at. (It's nearly always "Fields of Athenry").


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Knockroe
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 07:33 AM

Glasgow Celtic, Liverpool & Munster rugby supporters etc use Fields of Athenry to gee their teams up at matches ! What's that about ? Only time I ever remember Fields of Athenry being relevant in a sporting context was when Tipperary hurlers beat Galway in All Ireland Hurling final 2001. I sang the line "it's so lonely round the fields of Athenry" at various times during my celebrations in pub. Almost always crowd around me joined in .... As Athenry is a great hurling area it actually meant something.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: DMcG
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 07:58 AM


I have a general dislike for a song being presented as a "chorus song", as if the chorus is its raison d'être.


I have made this introduction before: "This is one of those songs where the verses are only here to keep the choruses apart."

A jest, but some songs do seem like that.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Johnny J
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 11:43 AM

"I have never yet seen an Irish tourist in an Edinburgh pub make a request that wasn't something the whole room cringed at. (It's nearly always "Fields of Athenry") "

Your average Scottish punter would probably shout for "Flower of Scotland" or some other such shecht.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 12:32 PM

Re. 'Streets of London'

Raw Sex

Big Train

When I lived for a brief while in London there was a busker near Aldwych tube who seemed to sing nothing else.

My personal bugbear is this load of schlock.

Song for Ireland


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 02:34 PM

I loathe the Fields of Athenry, apart from the sad adoption by Celtic fans, it's a maudlin song, and Pete St John has written many many better songs.
I fell in love with The Band Played Waltzing Matilda when I first heard it sung at Chichester Folk club, by a lovely lady called Georgina. Then it seemed that everybody was singing it, so I gave up doing it. Now I am singing it again, as it's not so ubiquitous now. I still struggle to get through the lines, "The armless the legless, the blind the insane", they give me a lump in my throat that's hard to sing around.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 03:13 PM

how would you like to be The Spinners?

Their whole output was sneered at by traddies and contemporary alike for about thirty five years continuously.

And their sin....they wore silly polo shirts, didn't tune their guitars in DADGAD, promoted themselves vigorously - like they teach you in Folk Music 101 nowadays, looked to performing folk music to make a living; never sang anything that wasn't comprehensible....


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Mo the caller
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 03:18 PM

"From: GUEST,Jerry - PM
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 04:06 AM

Surely it all depends on your audience - regular attendees appreciate hearing new or less familiar material, but occasional attendees like to hear things they know, even though their knowledge of music is limited by their wider interests. "
And the same session / sing can be both on different evenings depending who is playing, singing, propping up the bar.
On one boxing Day afternoon wat Audlem we had a good time playing to the gallery, a week later the pub was quiet and people were trying out new material, passing round bits of manuscript and enjoying ourselves that way. And at that mixed session the done-to-death songs a great way to learn to play by ear.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 03:20 PM

I find that groan worthy songs of forty years ago in clubs are well received these days. Saves you learning new songs....


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 25 Oct 18 - 09:13 PM

Being a regular shanty singer, the ones that get to me are Drunken Sailor and (shudder!) Mary Ellen Carter. I have heard that song done badly more often than any 10 others. Anyway, after a friend of mine complained about having to do Wild Rover once too many, and it being close to St. Patrick's day, I wrote the following:

NEVER, NO MORE! (Parody version of Wild Rover)
By Jim Partridge

I’ve sung Irish music for many’s the year
Must have drunk up a ton of that awful green beer.
And now every March, when I take the floor,
Some asshole in back yells, “Wild Rover No More!”

But it’s no, nay never
No, Nay never no more
Will I sing the Wild Rover
No Never No More

I’ll sing Peggy Gordon and the Black Velvet Band
And Maid in a Garret is ever so grand
I love to sing standards, though some they may bore
I’ll even sing Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

(chorus)

I’ll go back home to Fresno, confess what I’ve done
Ask my parents to take in their folk singing son
My dad owns a a bar there, it’s called The Savoy
And if he requests it, I’ll sing Danny Boy

(chorus)


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 03:15 AM

You can’t please all the people all the time of course; if you have a mixed audience of keen and casual punters, then all you can do is try and mix familiar and unfamiliar material if you want to retain their attention. It’s the same with Folk dances; novice dancers enjoy doing simple and overworked dances like Virginia Reel, but experienced dancers want to do things like Levi Jackson Rag or Playford dances. If you are there to entertain, you either give people what they want, rather than what you think they need, or you play to an empty hall.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: BobL
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 03:22 AM

Something that bugs me is when somebody sings a version of a song as arranged by a particular artiste or band in their own distinctive style. For example Steeleye Span's "John Barleycorn". Nothing wrong with the song, the arrangement or the band, but in this case it comes over as if the singer doesn't know the original song, or is incapable of doing their own arrangement, and is just parroting the record.

Not that I haven't learned stuff from records myself.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 07:18 AM

Joleen?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: clueless don
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 08:06 AM

GUEST,Anne Lister sans cookie - Do you mean Summertime from Porgy and Bess? or do you mean this ?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 12:21 PM

"Glasgow Celtic, Liverpool & Munster rugby supporters etc use Fields of Athenry to gee their teams up at matches ! What's that about ?"

Well, I can't speak for the other two, but we Liverpool fans sing our own words (The Fields of Anfield Road) to the tune of The Fields of Athenry - not the song itself!


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 02:00 PM

I believe the impetus for FOA being adopted by Glasgow Celtic, was a team member singing it a some "do" or other.
I did rather like the Glasgow Rangers little song in response though. To the tune of Sloop John B. "The famine's over, why don't you go home" ??


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 07:48 PM

Now that reminds me of a heckler at a Christy Moore concert I went to: kept shouting "What about the potato famine, Christy?" After this had happened 2 or 3 times, Christy says, "Well, what about the potato famine then?" Heard no more from the heckler.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 07:49 PM

Oops, maybe that should have been on the heckling thread!


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 04:13 AM

Way back when 'The Bonnie Banks o'Loch Lomond' was considered groan-worthy....until Runrig! Fair opened everyones' eyes; it is not the fault of the song, but how it is sung?


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 06:42 AM

Jerry mentioned dances. Even experienced dancers vary in how much novelty they want in an evening. And a dance can be done to death too - in the 80s it was Levi Jackson or K&E at every dance. Now K&E is new to many, 'not done that for ages' to others. I like a dance (or a chorus song) that I can relax and enjoy, dance, rather than think too hard all the time, as well as something with an interesting new figure or combination. So whoever I'm calling for I try to give a mix of old & new, easy and testing (though the programme itself will vary widely depending on the dancers).


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 07:54 AM

Yes, quite so, Mo. Levi Jackson was a poor example on reflection, wasn’t it? I meant one of those dances that is actually hard to call and explain to a non-regular Dance crowd..


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 08:34 AM

"Way back when 'The Bonnie Banks o'Loch Lomond' was considered groan-worthy....until Runrig! Fair opened everyones' eyes; it is not the fault of the song, but how it is sung?" - Gallus Moll (3 posts up)

I loved Runrig's version however,
1) it's been done to death and is fast becoming cringeworthy as a result
2) upbeat versions are divorced from the sentiment of the song lyrics. If you know what the words relate to then "Loch Lomond" is in actual fact a lament and should be sung as one. FWIW, I absolutely loathe the line "the wee bidies sing" (boak).


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 08:35 AM

Oops! "birdies"


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Mooh
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 10:08 AM

I've noticed that Danny Boy is sometimes better received as an uptempo swing rhythm instrumental. In any event, that's how my fiddle/guitar and concertina/guitar duos prefer to play it.

I wouldn't say I sneer at any kind of music except perhaps screamo and rap, but I don't enjoy Fields Of Anthenry very much, it's right up there with Billy Don't Be A Hero and Colour My World. The inanity of some modern country lyrics bore me to tears but I don't find the music offensive.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Cool Beans
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 12:53 PM

If anyone from Great Britain were to come over to the U.S. and sing "Fields of Athenry" it would be well-received. The song is virtually unknown here. One person's cliche is another person's discovery.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: Helen
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 02:56 PM

Fields of Athenry has been on our session group list for over 40 years. We used to do it a lot, because we had a singer/guitarist who could sing & play the phone book and make people sit up and listen.

It's still on our list and the fiddle player has revived it a bit lately, with him playing fiddle for some of it and then singing it while we play along.

I get why the Brits are over it, but as Cool Beans said, over here it's just a good tune which we can sing along to.

In fact, on St Pat's Day this year, we decided to go and busk not far from one of the local pubs which draws a huge crowd every year and puts on an Irish band for the day. We played and sang FOA, and when we finished, we heard the band start playing it. The band was standing in the doorway and they gave us a smile & a wave as they played it.


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,MikeOfNorthumbria (sans cookie)
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 02:59 PM

‘One person's cliche is another person's discovery.’

Cool Beans, I agree entirely with your sentiments.

And here’s another thing.   Half a century ago, an older and wiser colleague said to me: “Wherever you want to take your students, you have to start from where they are.” That piece of advice has since proved very helpful - in classrooms, and in folk clubs.

My experience has been that for every listener who wants to hear something new and challenging, there are usually half a dozen who would prefer something familiar and reassuring.   If you want to persuade an audience to like - or even tolerate - the unfamiliar, then it helps to introduce them to it gradually. And if capturing the crowd’s attention with a song that they know and like provokes sneers from the sophisticated, then let them sneer.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: songs that are sneered at
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 27 Oct 18 - 03:21 PM

I think it depends on where you are too. We have a two venue evening and the early session is really a floor spot session where maybe less common things are sung. The later session is really in the pub and what gets played is affected by the audience too and many of the songs mentioned are the ones that folks keep asking for.

We often have tourists in and I have found that Irish tourists seem to be inclined to ask you to sing Irish songs or at least songs sung by Irish bands. I've not noticed other folks asking us to sing songs from their homeland. Just seems to be a thing! Anyway one week there was a large table of Irish in and we thought we'd throw one in before they asked - so we did Athenry - and they all got up and walked out in what appeared to be a huff leaving drinks half empty on the table!! I don't think it was because we were that bad! Must have been the wrong side of the sectarian divide thing for that song!

I actually really like Bogle's songs but I too get a bit fed up with them at this time of the year. There are so many war songs that you'd think folk would thing of something else! We had one guy about this time of the year several years ago who must have been practicing Matilda all week. Anyway someone else about three turns before him sung it first - but it didn't stop the guy doing it again anyway! And it dragged relentlessly on and on......


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