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Curse of Poguery

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Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 09 Aug 97 - 03:36 AM
09 Aug 97 - 01:53 PM
Earl 09 Aug 97 - 03:14 PM
John Nolan 09 Aug 97 - 03:15 PM
Earl 09 Aug 97 - 03:18 PM
Helen 12 Aug 97 - 08:09 PM
Alice 12 Aug 97 - 09:51 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netom.ca 14 Aug 97 - 02:18 AM
Henrik 14 Aug 97 - 02:18 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Aug 97 - 11:38 PM
Laoise, Belfast 15 Aug 97 - 04:43 AM
Earl 15 Aug 97 - 09:29 AM
Tim 15 Aug 97 - 10:58 AM
Bert Hansell 15 Aug 97 - 11:42 AM
dick greenhaus 15 Aug 97 - 02:15 PM
Earl 16 Aug 97 - 12:24 AM
Laoise, Belfast 18 Aug 97 - 05:02 AM
Earl 18 Aug 97 - 08:23 AM
Bill D ..extree@erols.com 18 Aug 97 - 08:51 AM
Bert Hansell 18 Aug 97 - 09:18 AM
Earl 18 Aug 97 - 10:10 AM
LaMarca 18 Aug 97 - 10:15 AM
Bill D 18 Aug 97 - 03:15 PM
Earl 18 Aug 97 - 04:38 PM
Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.nm.us 18 Aug 97 - 04:41 PM
Bill D 18 Aug 97 - 04:57 PM
Earl 18 Aug 97 - 05:52 PM
sharoh 18 Aug 97 - 06:23 PM
Laoise, Belfast 19 Aug 97 - 09:15 AM
Earl 19 Aug 97 - 10:00 AM
Jon W. 19 Aug 97 - 01:23 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 19 Aug 97 - 06:28 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 19 Aug 97 - 09:00 PM
Earl 19 Aug 97 - 11:25 PM
CyberCelt 20 Aug 97 - 01:12 AM
Laoise, Belfast 20 Aug 97 - 06:43 AM
Earl 20 Aug 97 - 08:47 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 20 Aug 97 - 09:07 AM
LaMarca 20 Aug 97 - 10:06 AM
Laoise, Belfast 20 Aug 97 - 11:30 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 20 Aug 97 - 07:57 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 20 Aug 97 - 08:24 PM
Laoise, Belfast 21 Aug 97 - 05:04 AM
Bert Hansell 21 Aug 97 - 09:25 AM
Martin Ryan 03 Sep 97 - 11:08 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 03 Sep 97 - 04:20 PM
Helen 04 Sep 97 - 05:30 AM
Martin Ryan 04 Sep 97 - 06:01 AM
Earl 04 Sep 97 - 12:32 PM
Bert 04 Sep 97 - 03:29 PM
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Subject: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 03:36 AM

Let me say at the outset that I have all of the Pogues CD's and tapes, which I like very much.

My complaint is with inferior singers, Less-Than-Pogues, who do everything in a pseudo-Pogues style. Tonight I heard a band who used to be quite interesting ten years ago, but who now sing every folk song as if it was done by a bad version of the Pogues. Every song is uptempo and yelled, not sung.

I complained to the lead singer that the song (not technically a folk song) "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" should be sung slowly and mournfully, and not shouted truculently. It is, after all, a very sad song.

He said that today's young audience wants a Pogue-style sound to their folk and that is why he doesn't sing now like he did ten years ago. I pointed out that Tommy Makem's version should be a guide, and he said that Tommy Makem and Eric Vogel and "all those old time guys" don't know how to sing to today's crowd.

Am I alone in bemoaning the evil influence that the Pogues have had on bar bands? This is certainly not the only "Celtic" band that I have heard sing in the pseudo-Pogue fashion.


Lots of Pogues Lyrics at http://www.pogues.com/

(Look under "Discography")


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From:
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 01:53 PM

I bought my Pogues album mainly for the "Fairy Tale of New York" song. Happy sigh. What a wonderous piece.

It's taken me a long time

Regarding bar bands, all I can say is dance music -- what I think of as most of the Pogues material -- is dance music. You'd have to be an idiot to want to dance to the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. If some group simply can't think of lyrics, they've chosen a crazy song to liven up for dance. I'm not into dance, so I haven't noticed what you're talking about. Now I have noticed a tendancy around town to emphasise instrumentals over vocals...but that's another story.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 03:14 PM

I have to agree with both of you. The energy and intensity of the Pogues' style never conflicts with the words they sing. "Fairy Tale of New York" is a perfect example. They choose (and write) their material to fit the style. Singing "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" Pogues style is just plain silly.

I think there is a distinction between singers who sing "songs" as opposed to singers who just sing "words." If you're singing a song, you feel the meaning of the lyrics and the appropriate style comes naturally. If you're just singing words, the style and the energy (or lack thereof) dosn't really matter. The Pogues sing songs, the average bar band, of any genre, sings words.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: John Nolan
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 03:15 PM

Sid Vicious recorded "I Did It My Way," strange people pogoed to it, and yet the song survived. False Pogues before ye? This too, will pass.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 09 Aug 97 - 03:18 PM

Too bad about that song surviving, though.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Helen
Date: 12 Aug 97 - 08:09 PM

I think that Earl has it worked out. The reason I think that the Sex Pistols could make "I did it my way" work, as well as their other stuff, is that they had a vision or a social message and their music was the vehicle for that. The Sinatra song was pure farce, which is different to Pogue-a-likes parroting a style that they don't seem to understand at all.

The Pogues have a vision of how their music can be, and why they are doing it. There will always be poor imitators who can't understand why they don't get rich & famous on what they see as exactly the same "formula".

Helen


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Alice
Date: 12 Aug 97 - 09:51 PM

Earl, interesting point you make regarding style and energy being appropriate to what a singer is singing. If all it is is "words" then "it doesn't matter". But, when a singer is sensitive to the song, the appropriate nuances will form themselves around the words and notes. My voice teacher is a classical opera singer, but what I have learned from her in technique includes when to use a chest voice and when to use a head voice; when to lift different muscles in the face to change the color of the voice. At the Irish session I go to, I wouldn't sing a drinking song or a sea chanty the same as a lullaby or love song. The shouting of adolescence (like two year olds) is part of the rebellion and anger that the age needs to express. As people move through different stages of life, they change in their manner of expression. Alice


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netom.ca
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 02:18 AM

In fact the Pogues did do a version of And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. I don't particularly mind their version of it, although it is certainly not the best version. What I don't like is bar bands trying to do their version of it.

Shane McGowan's voice often worked on songs that you wouldn't think it should work on, just like Louis Armstrong's voice could work on subtle love songs in spite of sounding like tobacco and whiskey. "Broad Majestic Shannon" is a lovely song even though McGowan sounds like he's drunk.

My problem, I say again, is with the imitators. They own a few Pogues CD's and then they think that every song should be uptempo and shouted angrily and punctuated with screams.

Incidently, speaking of the subject matter of And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, why is it that those from Oz only make movies or sing songs about battles they've lost? Surely they fared as well as any of the Allies in the two world wars.Here in Canada we like to dwell upon Juneau Beach, not Dieppe. But this I suppose is a another thread to be discussed elsewhere . . .


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Henrik
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 02:18 PM

The McCalmans recorded a song called "Who put the mush?" some years ago - it's a song that asks why so many folk songs contain nonsense like "mush-aring-dama", "whack-fol-de-da" etc. One of the lines goes

"Who put The Pogues in The Irish Rover?"

- a not-so-serious-but-still-not-altogether-off-target comment about The Pogues: They're a great band, but they are not _THE_ folk band (actually they're probably not even a "pure" folk band - whatever that is :-).

Regards,

Henrik


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 11:38 PM

While I think that "Poguery" is a nice term, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that ANY popular group sets its mark on how followers sing the songs. This definitely includes the Clancy Brothers, The Weavers, The Kingston Trio and Steeleye Span (and the Copper Family, for that matter).


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Laoise, Belfast
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 04:43 AM

I definately enjoy listening to the Pogues on CD/tape but I refuse to enter or frequent a bar if I hear a poor imitation of the Pogues in progress (and this goes for any poor imitation singers or groups eg Oasis).

Music is a business and punters are the patrons. If bad imitators attract bums on seats then bad imitators is what you get. I refuse to give my vote to people with little or no imagination who give up their own identity to copy someone else FOR MONEY. I have better ways of spending my money.

Humourous imitators are, however, much more interesting - the example of the Sex Pistols would fall into this category. This reminds me of a female Jazz Pianist/Singer who entertained a Jazz club in London for 3 hours imitating famous Jazz solos - reproducing the sound of the various instrument using only her voice! It was incredible. She also sang like Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday - even Louis Armstrong, and every song she did had a touch of magic through clever use of satirism. She had talent, most imitators don't.

So join with me and only pay to see artists who are making an attempt at originality.

Slan, Laoise.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 09:29 AM

I have to agree with dick greenhaus that the problem goes beyond mere poguery. When people like Eric Clapton or the Grateful Dead or other rock acts record traditional songs their imitators don't even know it. If the song becomes a hit the rock version becomes the standard eg. "Scarborough Fair", "John Barleycorn", "Motherless Child." While it's sometimes fun to hear reworked folk songs on the car radio , I think it does more harm than good.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 10:58 AM

Singers need to interpret songs as they see fit. Anything else and they are no longer singers, just mimics (which is fine, and entertaining, but still something different.)

The problem with the latest trend in Irish pubs, which this thread claims is manifested by bands playing songs up-tempo and Pogueish, is that pub owners have decided that their customers are more interested in banging their hands on the tables than in the music itself. This is the live music component of the "dumbing down of America." I believe the pub owners are trying to recreate the atmosphere of St. Pat's day, when you have a large contingent of patrons who are not Irish folk music fans. Then you start to get bands who do everything uptempo and you lose so much of the music.

I think that is why a lot of Irish bands, mine included, are moving away from pub gigs and towards festivals and special events -- to audiences who are specifically there to hear Irish music -- rather than the increasingly indifferent pub crowds. As a hobby band, we have no problems with it. I pity the full-time entertainers who feel pressure, expressed or not, to change their style to suit popular taste and marketability. The music loses when that happens.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 11:42 AM

Earl,

---"I think it does more harm than good"--- I can't say that I agree with you.

In the Fifties in England, Lonnie Donnegan did dozens of reworked folk songs which became hit pop songs.

In doing so he introduced a whole generation of teenagers to folk music.
I know he got some flack over here from certain traditionalists but overall it was a great benefit to folk music.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Aug 97 - 02:15 PM

Harm is a funny idea--I've always considered that a living tradition in farm terms. You heave manure against the barn wall, and some of it sticks. The stuff that sticks becomes folk. And you may have to wait a while to see if it really stuck.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 16 Aug 97 - 12:24 AM

I didn't mean to imply that folk music for the masses is harmful. I just think it's discouraging to see performers who will do traditional songs only if they have already been done by established pop performers. It would be great if there were someone in pop music today who loves folk songs as much as Lonnie Donnegan.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Laoise, Belfast
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 05:02 AM

I have a different viewpoint from Earl, dick greenhaus and Bert. Folk tunes are, by their nature, very versatile and you could get away with playing them in many different styles without losing the sense or the feel of the song. What I'm saying is that the nature of folk songs is that they are adaptable. In a way I think its apt that they do get re-vamped to entice another generation of listeners because, after all we're talking about music for the people.

The key to the success of the more famous 'Folk Songs Revisited' (in my opinion) is that they are done with a lot of thought, a great deal of talent and most importantly, originality. The performers bring part of themselves and their influences to the song, changing it but without destroying it. Examples that come to mind are 'Scarborough Fair' by S&G and 'Whiskey in the Jar' by Thin Lizzy.

I also like to hear incorporation of folk ideas into modern tunes. It is these sorts of combinations that lead, inevitably, to new and dynamic styles and forms of music. We have to look forward as well as back.

Laoise.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 08:23 AM

'Whiskey in the Jar' would probably survive anything but 'Scarborough Fair' is ruined for at least two generations. No serious folk performer would play it today. Paul Simon has zero commitment to British music, he's out plundering world music and that was two continents ago.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Bill D ..extree@erols.com
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 08:51 AM

I was working as a cabinet maker a few years ago, when 'Scarborough Fair' came over the pop station on the shop speakers...I was startled, never having heard that version..I asked the young ones in the shop what THAT song was doing on THAT station. "Oh, that's very popular" they said. And then they flat refused to believe me when I told them how old the original was...until I brought in a book and proved it! It was weird...I was upset that one more song had been 'messed with', and the kids were uncomfortable that they had been caught listening to anything with that much history!

(ummm...for what it's worth, I had never heard of the Pogues until this thread!!!)


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 09:18 AM

Bill,
Thanks for saying...
(ummm...for what it's worth, I had never heard of the Pogues until this thread!!!)

I thought I was the only one, but I didn't like to say so.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 10:10 AM

For those unfamiliar with the Pogues; they combine Celtic styles with punk sensibilities. I know that probably sounds appalling but it is really very exciting music and a good example of a living tradition.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: LaMarca
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 10:15 AM

The main problem with pub music is that the primary goal of a bar/pub owner is to sell booze; after all, that's how they make a profit. A bar owner, therefore, is going to book the kind of music that will attract the largest number of heavily drinking patrons possible. In my errant youth, I used to hang out at The Dubliner, a downtown DC bar. On Sunday afternoons, a fairly quiet time, barwise, the local band Celtic Thunder did a regular gig. A bunch of the local adult ceili dancers (mostly non-Irish Americans who learned the dances late in life because it's a great form of social dancing) would go every Sunday and dance when the band was playing. The management hated us - we got in the way of the waitresses and we didn't drink more than a pint apiece...

Most of the local "Irish" bars, therefore, book Clancy Brothers wannabes who'll sing the rowdy chorus songs that involve drunken hand gestures or pounding of beer mugs on the tables, or Pogues wannabes who'll attract the younger, heavier drinking crowds. It's been very hard to find a bar where you can maintain a folkie Open Mike (especially one where traditional folk is welcome, rather than songer/singwriters) or traditional Irish session, because we aren't alcoholic enough...


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 03:15 PM

Earl...one time on the Wash DC mall, on the 4th of July, they allowed a 'punk rock' stage...I stopped by for a few minutes and actually watched guys with spiked hair diving off of speakers onto their heads and smashing guitars...it was, as you say..."really very exciting music and a good example of a living tradition."....and I found it appalling, no matter WHICH musical tradition they used as their base....*shrug* "De gustibus non disputandum"

(Hey, Bert..we share good luck in what we miss, huh?)


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 04:38 PM

Bill, Your point is well taken, not all living traditions are folk. The Pogues are not really punk in that sense, though. I think they are (and probably should remain) in a class by themselves. You might like them but maybe not. I like Celtic music in general but find the Chieftains excruciatingly boring. To each his own.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.cc.nm.us
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 04:41 PM

Earl's comment about "Scarborough Fair" puzzles me. I think Simon and Garfunkel's version is quite beautiful, and it has by no means ruined the (any) original version for me. And why should he have to have a commitment to British music? (The part about plundering world music might be an interesting topic for a separate thread, but I don't see the relevance.)

As for "messing with it", as Bill D. calls it--to me it's all part of folk life's rich pageant.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 04:57 PM

I will have to admit that as 'messing' goes, that was about the least objectionable I have seen...it WAS a nice version..I was mostly sad because there was so little awareness of history or that there even HAD been an original....


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 05:52 PM

I seem to be taking two contradictory points of view in this thread so let me summarize: If I were goint to sing a British ballad I would have to dig deeper than 'Scarborough Fair' but I reserve the right to do it any damn way I want. However, if I sold a million copies I would deserve your criticism. I would apologize.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: sharoh
Date: 18 Aug 97 - 06:23 PM

never had heard of the Pogues. maybe I haven't missed too much?


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Laoise, Belfast
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 09:15 AM

Just to qualify my point about Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair. Their version was indeed, beautifully sung and produced and has become a timeless classic, but it didn't do any favours to folk music. It was the original and modernised (bastardised if you like) style in which they recorded it made it appeal to a wide audience. Unfortunately, the popularity of this song diminished its appeal to folk musicians who, themselves want to sound original.

Earl, the only times I've heard singers or bands cover Whiskey in the Jar, they have done it in the style of Thin Lizzy. Among session musicians and singers it is rarely performed and is more or less a 'dead' song even though most of these people are big Thin Lizzy fans. Perhaps its a case of familiarity breeds contempt.

Simon & Garfunkel didn't ruin the song simply because they neglected to state the songs origins or refused to contribute towards the British Folk genre, but because it became a household tune which everybody knows and is therefore no longer exclusive to folk musicians/lovers. Singing this song is guaranteed, however, to get a non-folk crowd going, back to the bums on seats argument again.

Laoise.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 10:00 AM

Laoise,

Thank you for stating so articulately why 'Scarborough Fair' was not helpful to folk music. It's not just that everybody knows it (normally a plus in folk music) but that it has become a pop tune, no different in people's minds than say 'Mrs. Robinson' from the same movie.

I guess you're right about 'Whiskey in the Jar' too. I was thinking of it more as a campfire song. It was probably a bit overexposed event before Thin Lizzy.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Jon W.
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 01:23 PM

I guess one positive thing about pop musicians doing traditional material is that they expose some potential folk fans to it. For example, I got into listening to traditional blues because I saw the names "McTell" and "Robert Johnson" on the Allman Bros'. version of Statesboro Blues and Creams' version of Crossroads. It sparked my curiosity enough to go hunt down the originals (eventually).

I've never heard the Pogues stuff and from the descriptions here I probably will avoid them. But if my 15-year-old bass playing friend suddenly gets interested in them, I would certainly encourage him to listen carefully to the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 06:28 PM

No, the Pogues are very good indeed. I just don't like bad bar bands, and almost all bad Celtic bar bands, trying to imitate them, and that particular sound taking over the bar scene to the exclusion of others. For one thing the inferiors aren't as tight or amusing as the Pogues, and for another they snarl in the wrong places.

The Pogues are a lot of fun although they haven't been nearly as good since Shane McGowan was tossed out. He hasn't been very good without them. I don't think I would call them "punk" in any sense except for their angry attitude and ugly mugs. But in their prime they were well worth seeing live.

At the same place where I saw this band, incidently, a folk society (which brought in this band) was trying open mikes. They could get next to no-one and those who they did get weren't singing folk. ( And they wouldn't let me sing "A Little Piece of Wang" or "Lady Masery" acappello) They then tried an old guy with a banjo who played Celtic and Southern US. About five people showed up. They are going to try a traditional Celtic band the next time but I don't think that they will have much more success.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 09:00 PM

And I should have mentioned that these things mentioned above (ie rockers doing folk) can work the other way. Lick The Tins did "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You", and a lovely version it was IMHO.

Can't say that their version of "Hey Joe" worked for me though . . .


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 19 Aug 97 - 11:25 PM

Interestinly, "Hey Joe" started out as a modern folk song before Hendrix recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: CyberCelt
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 01:12 AM

Ahhhhh....i do feel such sorrow for those who have never heard of let alone listened to the pogues. I would heartily recommend that you all go and indulge in a c.d or two.

Lets face it music is in the ear of the beholder no matter who may deem it " a bad imitation" sure it may not be proper or traditional but if the music works for somebody then who are we to say otherwise.

Music is to be enjoyed !!!


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Laoise, Belfast
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 06:43 AM

Yet another voice to recommend the Pogues. Don't let the word 'punk' put you off. You should hear Shane singing 'And the band played Waltzing Matilda'. If you don't feel a tear or two come into your eye, you're made of stone. Other songs which they did and which I love are 'A pair of Brown Eyes' and 'Navigator' and the Scottish Folk song 'For me Name is Jock Stewart' which is sung by a Woman (can't remember her name, but lovely raw voice).

That's a good word for the Pogues - raw, unpolished but golden underneath. (Maybe I should take a job as a music critic, they all talk like that!)

The Pogues, to me, have brought Irish / Celtic music into a new era keeping the spirit of the music alive in their songs and arrangments. Unfortunately the bad imitators have destroyed the freshness and the raw qualities of their style, making it seem like dull, heavy lead.

Tcifidh me thu,(see ya)

Laoise.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 08:47 AM

I'm sorry I used the "p" word to describe the Pogues. I was thinking of "their angry attitude and ugly mugs" and not their talent or musical style.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 09:07 AM

Was it Christie McCall? My Cd is out on loan but I think the song was "A Man You Don't Meet Every Day".

I have to say that I find their version of And The Band Played Walzting Matilda too snarly, if I can coin a word. To me the song is more quiet resignation to an unjust fate, but maybe I'm too influenced by the older versions. Certainly, the audience seemed to like the snarly version.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: LaMarca
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 10:06 AM

I was an impressionable teenager when "Scarborough Fair" came out, and I loved it; I thought it was a beautiful song, and still do. However, my attitude toward Paul Simon changed for the worse when I found out he ripped off Martin Carthy's guitar arrangement for it and gave him no credit. Dear Paul went to England and stayed in a folkie group house as a guest, hanging out with Carthy, Davey Graham and other performers of the English folk revival, and used some of their repertoire in his own compositions/recordings. He credited Davey Graham for "Angie", but never gave a nod to Carthy. While the ballad and tune are traditional, Carthy's arrangement was not; it was his own composition. Give a listen to his early '60s recording of it; I think it's on his second album, re-released on CD by Topic.

As for folk-rock arrangements of trad. or folk songs, I think they can be great. I discovered the existance of Child ballads when I heard Fairport Convention's "Liege and Leaf" in college and fell in love with "Matty Groves" and "Tam Lin". The bulk of a rock audience who listens to bands like Fairport, the Oyster Band or The Pogues won't know and won't care that the material is folk-derived, but there will always be a small segment of the audience who becomes hooked by the content or tunes of the songs and will want to learn more about the traditional stuff. It's another way of keeping the music alive.

The problem it creates, though, is that concert promoters and club owners cater to the majority audience, and won't book the more traditional forms of the same music because the audience is smaller. So musicians that want to play or sing in the traditional style have a rough time making a living at it. I don't have a solution for this. Are the rock versions of traditional songs keeping the music alive by making it commercially available, so that urban kids who don't have a family oral tradition for this kind of music learn it exists, or are they killing traditional music by wiping out performers who might give the same kind of exposure to the old-time styles if they could get gigs? I don't think that a Margaret MacArthur or Peter Bellamy or New Lost City Ramblers would ever reach the same number of people as a stadium rock concert by The Pogues, but as someone who likes both styles, I kinda wish there was room in this world for both kinds of performers to exist and make their own music in their own way and still earn a living at it...


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Laoise, Belfast
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 11:30 AM

Thanx Tim, yes it was Christie McCall and you're right - they gave that song the title " A man you don't meet every day". I have it in a book under "For my Name is Jock Stewart". Sorry for confusing you.

I hate over-analysing songs but the way I see it, the 'snarl' that you're talking about reflects the kind of anger and despondency that somebody would harbour when the world no longer cares to remember the sacrifices he/she made. I think its apt, but having not heard any other version of the song (I admit!) I shall reserve judgement.

LaMarca, there are some wonderful rock versions of folk ballads. Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span do wonderful 70's style interpretations of ancient folk songs. Fortunately, their music, nowadays at least, is confined to more folk orientated crowds. In the 70's they appealed to a wider audience but their arrangements don't seem to have tainted the songs as other popular bands have done.

Laoise.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 07:57 PM

Laoise, you should listen to Tommy Makem's version of And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. ( Mind you, I don't think Tommy Makem would do a good version of "Bottle of Smoke".)

I think much of the Pogues could be catagorized as Manic Celtic, rather than punk-Celtic.

As to the other discussion in this thread, it was Bob Dylan who got me listening to folk music. I had his later stuff (late as in his 70's stuff) and such, and so went and purchased his first albums. I much prefered them as the songs actually made sense (as opposed to his later obscure poetry). The liner notes got me interested to hear Woody Guthrie. Then I started to listen to Celtic (as in eastern Canadian Celtic) folk music. At the same time I hung around with Acadians who were always playing their traditional music (there was a big revival at the time) and so got hooked.

My parents always preferred jazz (which I also like) but they were greatly pleased when I started playing folk music rather than Houses of the Holy. I am also pleased to state that I have converted many a hard rocker in my time . . .


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 08:24 PM

This is all relative, of course. I would rather be subjected to three hours of bad pseudo-Pogues butchering the song book than to five minutes of rap. I tell teenagers that no good can come of this violent ranting. There are no rap love songs, as there was never a love song written with the word "whore" in it . . .

BTW, an interesting evening awaits me soon. Great Big Sea has for some strange reason been booked to play at a local bar that specializes in the loudest punk and the ugliest hip-hop available. I don't think they know what they are getting themselves into but it should make for an amusing evening.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Laoise, Belfast
Date: 21 Aug 97 - 05:04 AM

Tim,

I was brought up on Jazz myself. When I hit the "rebellious phase" 16/17, I listened to lots of heavy rock stuff from the 70's - including Led Zeppelin who are my favourite all time rock band. I was never much into the mainstream pop music. I started playing acoustic rock after listening to Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading and Bob Dylan in my late teens. Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention came next and then, when I moved to Ireland I got hooked on the Bothy Band, Altan and a whole load of other brilliant traditional Irish Groups. Although I love singing and listening to Folk songs there's nothing to beat a wild and tempestous reel set.

I'm not a fan of rap myself, but you should hear, if you ever get the chance, the Irish Trad group from Dublin - Kila. They do sort of reggae/rap chants in the Irish language. Has to be heard.

The Irish trad group (I think they're from the States) Sanachie, have recorded a mad rap song with a strong Nationalist bias i.e. pro Sinn Fein. At the end of the Belfast Festival last week it was played all night, over and over, on the local festival radio station. The psychiatric wards reported a huge increase in patients the following day!

Laoise.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 21 Aug 97 - 09:25 AM

Talking of Rap. Let's start a new thread.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 11:08 AM

An aside. At least two of the pogues songs (Fairy Tale of New York and one about a barmaid?) are now being sung regularly, unaccompanied, street-singer style in traditional singing cirles in Ireland. And why not? They're both good songs which fit well with that style of singing.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 03 Sep 97 - 04:20 PM

Sally MacLennan?


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Helen
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 05:30 AM

Talking of rap - Tim Jacques says that there are no rap love songs - what about theLuca Bloom's classic song, I Need Love, which was actually written by L.L. Cool J. or someone like that. What a beautiful song that is, especially overlaid with the Irish music.

I don't dismiss rap so easily. There is some powerful stuff out there, particularly the social commentary on violence, and social conditions. There is also some terrible sexist s**t, and I can't relate to that at all.

I've said this before in various discussion forums (fora, for the pedantic linguists) that rap to me is as much folk as folk is, because my definition of folk is "music of the people", so a lot of rock, pop, & world music comes under the same broad banner for me.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 06:01 AM

Tim

Yes

Regards


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Earl
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 12:32 PM

Helen,
I agree, partially, that rap is a folk music. It came directly from the streets. When it started it was truely homemade music but driven by beat rather than melody.

However, the billion dollar rap industry is not folk. I'm cynical enough to believe that in 1997 the rap industry uses focus groups and professional writers just like any other pop format. If lyrics are violent and sexist it is because Sony thinks that will sell CDs.

If a lot of people buy a musical style it may be "music of the people" but its pop not folk. If people are playing or singing a musical style in their homes or neighborhoods, that's folk.


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Subject: RE: Curse of Poguery
From: Bert
Date: 04 Sep 97 - 03:29 PM

I did try to start a Rap thread. I'll pop it to the top again.


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