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How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)

Peter T. 22 Aug 97 - 12:49 PM
Peter T. 22 Aug 97 - 12:56 PM
LaMarca 22 Aug 97 - 02:10 PM
Bill D 22 Aug 97 - 03:10 PM
Peter T. 22 Aug 97 - 03:47 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 22 Aug 97 - 04:45 PM
Claire K. 22 Aug 97 - 05:10 PM
Alison 23 Aug 97 - 12:13 AM
Henrik 23 Aug 97 - 02:45 AM
Alice 23 Aug 97 - 11:22 PM
Bert 25 Aug 97 - 09:01 AM
Justin 25 Aug 97 - 09:48 AM
Jon W. 25 Aug 97 - 10:32 AM
Wolfgang (Hell) 25 Aug 97 - 10:57 AM
Bert 25 Aug 97 - 11:14 AM
Bert 25 Aug 97 - 11:17 AM
Jon W. 25 Aug 97 - 11:24 AM
Allan Samuels 25 Aug 97 - 03:01 PM
Bert 25 Aug 97 - 03:40 PM
Alice 26 Aug 97 - 01:11 AM
Bo 26 Aug 97 - 05:12 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 26 Aug 97 - 12:50 PM
Peter T. 26 Aug 97 - 02:17 PM
Bert 26 Aug 97 - 03:21 PM
Bert 26 Aug 97 - 03:27 PM
Alice 26 Aug 97 - 04:40 PM
Bill D 26 Aug 97 - 04:59 PM
Charlie Baum 27 Aug 97 - 12:11 AM
rechal 27 Aug 97 - 01:56 AM
Alan of Australia 27 Aug 97 - 09:58 AM
Bert 27 Aug 97 - 10:03 AM
Peter T. 27 Aug 97 - 10:11 AM
Alan of Australia 27 Aug 97 - 10:28 AM
Allan Samuels 27 Aug 97 - 07:05 PM
Bert 02 Sep 97 - 12:53 PM
Laoise 09 Sep 97 - 07:40 AM
Shula 09 Sep 97 - 07:44 AM
alison 15 Oct 98 - 12:09 AM
Zorro 15 Oct 98 - 01:00 AM
BSeed 15 Oct 98 - 01:33 AM
The Shambles 15 Oct 98 - 06:01 AM
AndyG 15 Oct 98 - 06:34 AM
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Frank in the swamps 15 Oct 98 - 07:27 AM
Art Thieme 15 Oct 98 - 10:40 AM
Art Thieme 15 Oct 98 - 11:16 AM
The Shambles 15 Oct 98 - 11:35 AM
The Shambles 15 Oct 98 - 01:42 PM
Jerry Friedman 15 Oct 98 - 06:47 PM
Alan of Australia 15 Oct 98 - 10:35 PM
Anon (but alive) 15 Oct 98 - 11:21 PM
Les B 16 Oct 98 - 01:53 AM
Peter T. 16 Oct 98 - 10:37 AM
Ian HP 18 Oct 98 - 02:09 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 18 Oct 98 - 09:46 PM
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Jennifer 19 Oct 98 - 05:47 AM
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Mo 20 Oct 98 - 02:01 PM
Bob Landry 20 Oct 98 - 05:39 PM
Jennifer 21 Oct 98 - 01:39 AM
Alan of Australia 21 Oct 98 - 07:25 AM
Jennifer Burdoo 21 Oct 98 - 08:26 AM
Peter T. 21 Oct 98 - 12:06 PM
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Subject: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 12:49 PM

Inspired by the "How To Sing the Blues" thread, herewith a first draft of:

HOW TO CREATE A FOLKSONG

1. All folksongs begin with the phrase: ?I asked my love to take a walk?

2. The walk should be:

a. Down by the riverside
b. Past the prison
c. Into the valley
d. Over the sea and far away.

It should not be:

a. To the store for a loaf of bread
b. To Wallmart
c. Along the Champs-Elysee, Park Avenue, or Pennsylvania Avenue
d. On rollerblades.

3. The conversation along the way should be about:

a. Your racehorse
b. The perfidious British
c. The revelation that you are her/his longlost brother/husband/blacksmith/Lord
d. The inevitable baby
e. Murder


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 12:56 PM

4. Places to be mentioned include:

a. Botany Bay
b. The Mountains of ????
c. A Land called Honalee
d. Carrickfergus
e. The valley
f. The fair
g. All of the above in reverse order, Botany Bay always coming last.

5. All folk songs repeat the same words in each verse, but move them around until one person is killed or the ghost appears. If the ghost appears, it repeats the original verses and the process begins all over again. This is known as revenge.

6. The chorus of all folk songs is half of the words of the verse moved around some more, and with the addition of some poignant nonsense syllables, all in a minor key. No new information is provided.

7. References to work in folk songs should include:

a. Hammers (visionary or steam)
b. Railroad trains, preferably on the same track hurtling towards each other
c. Lots of whales
d. Sowing, reaping, harvesting, babies dropped in furrows, etc.

8. Job categories allowed in folk songs include:

a. Circus work
b. Lighthouse keeping
c. Mourning
d. Gypsying (especially kidnapping)
e. Blowing up British buildings.

9. References to work in folk songs should avoid the following job categories:

a. Insurance
b. Work for any government agency except prisons
c. Re-insurance
d. Insurance

10. Words that can be sprinkled at random over folk songs:

gather, farewell, thee, dead, twa, alas, true love, bonnie, dagger, do Lord.


and so on.... Any additions? Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: LaMarca
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 02:10 PM

These apply mostly to ballads:

11. True loves are always either:

    a) Missing (gone for seven years)
    b) Dead (see Necrophilia element)
    c) In disguise
    d) Your brother/sister (either known or unknown)
    e) False (off chasing/married to another)
If it's a happy ending, it's a very rare folksong...

12. If your true love is dead, you must:

    a) Long to kiss his/her dead lips or other portions of the anatomy (The Tradition of Necrophilia)
    b) Never love again
    c) Have done her in yourself after spending all night diggin' of her grave
    d) Have done him in yourself because he done you wrong

13. If you are a sailor, and you meet a fair young lady, you will:

    a) Wind up with no money and no clothes, wearing a dress (the Transvestite Element)
    b) Get laid after pulling her string
    c) Acquire a painful and unpleasant social disease
    d) Get shot after she dresses in men's clothing and finds you've been false (see 11-e, 12-d and Transvestite Element)

14. If you are a young lady, and you meet a sailor, you will:

    a) Turn him down because he's dirty
    b) Turn him down because you don't recognize him (see 11-c and 12-b)
    c) Change your mind when you find out he's got money (see 13-a)
    d) Change your mind after experiencing his sexual prowess (see 13-b)
    e) Dress up in man's clothing (the Transvestite Element, yet again)

More as I think of them...This is fun!


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 03:10 PM

15.and LOTS of metaphors!! Refering to various actions, body parts, etc., should be as circumspect as possible. Birds,flowers,alcoholic beverages,(blud red wine, etc)... may be freely substituted for lips, breasts etc.
And for Male Parts...anything is ok as long as it is longer than it is wide.

16. Women who are NOT active heroines in the song may be given away as prizes to men who achieve some goal...such as killing villians, saving ships, etc.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 03:47 PM

To keep to the numbering:

17. You are a bona fide folk singer if:

a) you have nine different guitar capos, including a semi-automatic flipoff
b) your first name is one syllable long, or at most is two syllables that end in a vowel, e.g. Doc, Pete, Woody, Joan, Judy
c) you learned the song on a porch, preferably one with a sofa with the insides sprung out
d) you refuse to make an anatomical pun about ?The Londonderry Air?
e) you have ?This X fights Y? inscribed somewhere on your instrument, e.g. ?this E string fights sexism?.
f) you have a dog named after a colour.

You are not a bona fide folk singer if:

a) you play the Hammond Organ
b) your first name is Brittany (unless you are a boy)
c) your last name is Rockefeller or Windsor
d) you learned the song from your chauffeur or housekeeper, unless her name is Elizabeth Cotten
e) you have a sticker on your guitar that reads: ?Baby On Board?
e) you have a cat (whether it comes back or not) or goldfish (see Entry under whales). You can have a horse as long as you race it in England or France.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 04:45 PM

You forgot references to greenwoods, milk-white steeds and lily-white breasts, and angry fathers refusing to let their daughters consort with sailor/ploughboy/gypsy. Folk-song fathers tend to be very stern about these matters, and prone to swift and violent action when provoked, going so far as to exile or even burn their troublesome child. Very rarely do they come round to the daughter's point of view, unless Jack The Tarry Sailor of course returns home with "gold and silver plenty", in which case their view of matters changes quite dramatically.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Claire K.
Date: 22 Aug 97 - 05:10 PM

Continuing the above message...

Or, in the case of Willie o' Winsbury, you're so handsome that your beloved's father the King says that if he were a woman *he'd* sleep with you, and gives you, a mere stable boy, both permission to marry his long-pregnant daughter *and* the keys to his kingdom.

Claire K.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alison
Date: 23 Aug 97 - 12:13 AM

Hi

Can we add a 1b, to the effect that if the song does not start with 1a "I asked my love to take a walk", it has to start with ,

1b "As I went out on a .......... morning."

Thanks

Slainte

Alison


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Henrik
Date: 23 Aug 97 - 02:45 AM

Alison - you beat me to it! A variation (1c) is "As I came in by (obscure Irish/Scottish/English town)..."

Still, I think we have overlooked one thing:

18. If the song is Irish, it should generally include a reference to whiskey.

19. If the song actually IS about drinking, well then the hero must be given a choice between: a) whiskey b) his beloved

If it is to end happily, then he chooses a).

Regards,

Henrik


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 23 Aug 97 - 11:22 PM

20.There has to be at least one bird in the song.

a. a nightengale waking you
b. a soaring turtle dove
c. a swan in the evening on the lake
d. a blackbird (metaphor for Bonny Prince Charley)
e. esp. if Irish, a thrush, linnet, or wren
f. a lark in the tree
g. a cuckoo with a message (from your false lover)
h. a cock crowing to wake you from your fantasy

Alice


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 09:01 AM

And three out of every four verses have to be sung in gaelic.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Justin
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 09:48 AM

If you're a good looking, young woman, and you've got a name like "Shawn" or one that can be shortened to something like, "Bar" or "Dar", then you can ignore all of the above rules and write something like, "My boyfriend was acting like a real putz so I made myself a cup of coffee, but then, when I went to bed, I had a hell of a time falling asleep," and practically everyone between 16 and 26 years old will come to hear you sing it.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jon W.
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 10:32 AM

My father, who liked to listen to Mexican music whenever we were within transmitter range of the border, used to say that the Mexicans couldn't write a song without using the word "corazon" (heart). Well I say the Irish can't write a song without using the word "morning."

So:

18) the walk you take should be:
a. Just as the day is a dawnin'
b. One fine morning, all in the month of June
c. When the sun she rises, early in the morning
d. One May morning, all in the month of June.

19) If you mention the name of a month in your song, it must be one of:
a. May b. June

20) Otherwise, to denote the time of year you must use a holiday ending in "mas":
a. Martinmas
b. Michaelmas
c. Christmas


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Wolfgang (Hell)
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 10:57 AM

20) or d. sunday mass


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 11:14 AM

Jon,
Re 19. For songs of great drama The month December can be used occasinally.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 11:17 AM

For those of us who consider themselves working class, a gray mare can be substituted for the milk-white steed


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jon W.
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 11:24 AM

Bert: true, it's hard to freeze to death in May and June


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Allan Samuels
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 03:01 PM

This is just wonderful, and EVERY post has been right on the money (except the ones with generalizations).

I would like to offer additional beginings: 1C. Date beginings-- The year was eighteen and (pick 2 digits) 39 49 53 91 work well, avoid ending in seven In March,(Name Month), The fourteenth (2 sylable date) Day -- Salutation -- Brave boys, Fair Maids, Young men etc. In winter months omit "in" -- nothing happened in January.

1D. Who the singer is- I am just a poor boy, I am a weary traveler, I'm a a lumberjack etc. My name it is John Wilson, My tale I'll tell to you, (will not take long, I swear is true) 1E. What he's been doing-- I've been wandering, working whaling, etc. all occupations must be manual, exhausting and lead to poverty.

Keep it going brave boys!

Allan


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 25 Aug 97 - 03:40 PM

" all occupations must be manual, exhausting and lead to poverty. " with the exception of moonshining


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 01:11 AM

All occupations except for that of the "high born gentleman", the "lord" or "master" who has just lost his Lady-oh to the Gypsie-oh.

Alice


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bo
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 05:12 AM

Along those lines, Money, in a man, leads to general wimpyness and inability to keep a woman happy or satisfied. All heroes are poor because thats how you satisfy a woman.

2 big exceptions:

a) The last verse of a song, where money, wealth, power etc are good because the characters are generally sick of being in a folk song anyway.

b) If you are a woman, money is almost always good because it helps you afford those poor, heroic, satisfying types with a heart of gold.

Women with money are especially good if the song is about drinking as they represent the tipplers retirement plan.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 12:50 PM

Maybe we should post folksongs we think are archtypical and see which one hits the mark most often. Of the top of my head I think Jack The Tarry Sailor, along the lines of the previous posts.

It begins "As I walked out one May morning/By the seaside as I was a wandering/'Twas there I saw a pretty maid all with her father talking" (ever notice how folksongs always use "all with" in this sense; you never hear people talk like this outside of folksong lyrics). The father is upset that she is in love with a sailor; wants her to drop sailor; Jack then shows up fresh from sea with "five hundred bright guineas" which he drops into his true love's apron; old father has a remarkable change in attitude towards Jack; Jack and true love get married; song ends with Jack enjoining us to "drink boys drink and pass the grog about / For tonight we shall be merry.".


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 02:17 PM

I also agree with all the above (I have been away and also fighting with the cookie monster) -- certainly morning has to be something one can walk out in -- what use is a folk song without dew? And it surely must be in the 18's. And occupationally challenged. A friend notes that there must also be a glen -- though no one is quite sure what constitutes a glen. The same friend notes that this could all be useful as an FSAT - Folk singers aptitude test, so that if you got into the highest percentile, you could be assured of friends and poverty forever. Sounds fair -- sharpen your pencils. Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 03:21 PM

Peter,
You can have the Morning Dew, I'll stick to the MountainDew myself.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 03:27 PM

BTW it is the Mountain Dew of folk song fame that I mean, Not the "Sody Pop"


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 04:40 PM

There have to be riddles in the lyrics, such as strawberries growing in the sea or roses growing on an apple tree, to illustrate the contrariness of life and love.

Alice


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Aug 97 - 04:59 PM

Death, dismemberment, and wholesale slaughter are not only permitted in folk songs, but are really required for proper 'tone' in some...as long as they are not merely gratuitous...
....i.e., they must have a 'reasonable' justification ...such as getting rid of pregnant girlfriends (or unwanted babies) or recovering your horse, or setting an example for those who disagree with you! High standards, I know, but important.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 12:11 AM

The colors orange, silver and purple are to be avoided, UNLESS the song is so traditional that rhyme is unimportant.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: rechal
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 01:56 AM

Chartreuse is out of the question, I suppose?

Also, I'm curious about that season denoted as "all in the month of May." What if the fair maid's promenades extend through the month of the May to overlap into June?

Reminds me of the Seinfeld bit about "all nude" shows. What else would there be?


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 09:58 AM

G'day,
Here is my attempt at following your instructions. Don't know if it works though - we seem to end up with a song that wanders aimlessly from verse to verse and goes nowhere, apparently providing no logical reason for people's actions.

On the other hand, maybe that means the instructions do work after all.

When the first white settlers sailed into Botany Bay in 1788 Kurnell was the place they landed. I doubt if many people were transported to Botany Bay because the settlement very quickly moved up the coast to Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). This entire area is now surrounded by suburban Sydney where I live.

Obviously May is winter here and a coolibah grove is more likely than an ash grove. Scans better in this song too.


A DUMMY'S FOLK SONG

As I walked out on a May morning
On a cold, grey winter's day
At length I came to far Kurnell
On the shores of Botany Bay.

    With a down derry derry derry down

And as I wandered down the road
An Irish girl I spied
I am your long lost love said I
But she knew not that I lied.

Oh Willie, dearest Willie she said
My father ordered you slain
When he discovered I was with child -
And with you I had once lain.

Now you must be my lover's ghost
Come back to haunt me so
And I will kiss your clay cold lips
But with you I cannot go.

I am no ghost and if you've a child
A lover I ne'er was to thee
But if you'll consent I'll walk with you
My racehorse for to see.

Kind sir you are too bold said she
To speek so freely to me
For you only wish to remain as free
As a lark up in a tree.

How many ships sail in the forest said I
I've wondered all my life
If you can tell me this I said
I'll take you for my wife.

I cannot be your wife she said
For I fear Britannia's huns
And by the uniform you wear
I see that you are one.

I drew my dagger from my cloak
And slew my own true love
And now she sleeps beneath the green turf
Down by the coolibah grove.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 10:03 AM

Nice one Alan.

Rechal, talking of "All Nude" shows, I saw a sign on a bar once that advertized "Live Dancers"

TTFN, Bert.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 10:11 AM

Dear Alan, beautifully gruesome, perhaps it should have a slight ghostly continuation (being the Aussie edition of FSFD) involving something like:

"And her voice may be heard...."

Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 10:28 AM

Peter,
Thanks for the idea - the verse writes itself:

Key change, tune change (to Waltzing Matilda), heaps of reverb:

And her ghost may be heard in the grove where her body's laid
Here lies a maid by a soldier betrayed.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Allan Samuels
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 07:05 PM

To Alan of Australia. Bravo!! Laughed til i Hurt.

My own singing (you've already achieved "versions") has the last line-- In the glen by the coolibah grove. Simillarly in the coda --in the glen where her bodie's laid.

Thanks for the wonderful words-- they make perfect sense to me.

Allan (a penniless itinerant dentist, in fair Blue Bell town, and I've been a-drillin')


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bert
Date: 02 Sep 97 - 12:53 PM

This reminds me of that party game "consequences" where everyone writes the first line of a story on a piece of paper, folds it over so that it doesn't show and then passes it on to the next person.

The story always follows the form...

1st. line. He meets her
2nd. line. who he meets
3rd. line. where they met
4th. line. He said to he....
5th. line She said to him....
6th. line. and the consequence was.....


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Laoise
Date: 09 Sep 97 - 07:40 AM

I would like to enter a couple more "should do's" for writing folk songs for Dummies.

Someone always has to travel to seek his/her love, first East and then West, and if that fails they've got to go North and South Between. What a palava! A magnetic compass would have been a very useful instrument in olden times.

A more obvious technique is useful to bear in mind in case you really can't think of a daecent chorus. In these situations it is obligitory to mumble nonsensical things like "Fol de roll, de tiddili nando nido" or "with my tiddle do riddle do rum ti tum" and change them variously throughout the song to make it as original as possible.

Alan, "Folk song for the Intellectually Challenged" was so beautiful I had tears in my eyes. How could he kill her so cruelly? It was inspired, truely the work of a folk genius. All you have to do now is wait thirty years or so...

Tog gabh beag e (Take it easy)

Laoise.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Shula
Date: 09 Sep 97 - 07:44 AM

Laoise, check your messages.

Shula


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: alison
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 12:09 AM

Hi,

someone mentioned this in the songwriting thread so I thought I'd bring it back to the top again..

It's a goodie.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Zorro
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 01:00 AM

Has anyone been in touch with David Alan Coe??


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: BSeed
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 01:33 AM

Alan, if she were quick, she could have answered his riddle: all of them...if it's early enough in the century, all ships were made of wood, no? --seed


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 06:01 AM

Thank you Alison for digging this thread up. I have enjoyed it a lot.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: AndyG
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 06:34 AM

Muffled titter...

We appear to be missing the rules for "recruitment".
Which seem to be:-
21a)
i) If you're female you enlist as a drummer or cabin-boy (Transvestite Element @13a)
ii) you get a happy ending and marry an officer (who admires drummers or cabin boys !)
iii) unless you enlist to follow your soldier/sailor -boy
21b)
i) If you're male you're pressed and usually lose bits when encountering a cannon-ball
ii) unless you're Irish, when you outsmart the recruiting party and don't go
iii) or Victorian, when you become a hero and return safely home.

AndyG

I'd missed this thread, jolly silly it is too.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From:
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 07:15 AM

You could also add that vegetation, if specifically mentioned,other than as a perch for the bird, must be unusual i.e. apples growing on an ivy tree, roses changing colour from red to white when placed on a grave etc.

If inland, water must always be either :a) wide and deep, or b)fast flowing to sweep the body away.

If the sailor is to have the required sexual prowess he must be a rating, not an officer, otherwise the rule about lords and general wimpyness apply.

If the sailor is leaving his own true love it must be for a good length of time, like twenty five years. Two weeks in Bognor won't do. Naturally, the true love must remain true during this time, unless of course the sailor returns early, when it is mandatory that he catches her with another man or is told she is gone to be wed to another. The true love then ceases to play this role and instead becomes The False Jade.

This is brilliant fun! Mo


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 07:27 AM

Let me get this straight (sort of), if I wanna be a folksong hero....

...I have to go out one morning, dressed in womans array (the transvestite thing) in search of my true love who has gone off for a soldier (don't ask). He/She will ask She/He/Me a few obscure riddles (don't tell) and whichever one of us is not pregnant will have to kill the other. Said victim can be knifed or thrown in the waters deep (don't inhale) but has to be buried in the cold, cold clay. Talk about your Larks in the morning!

Now this can take place in some obscure village or Kansas City, but in Kansas City you substitute shooting for drowning. It has to be in May or June or bleak December,but in either case I wind up in the Frankfurt jail and tonight I'm goin' on a spree, 'cause tomorrow I'm gonna be hanged. Thanks a lot you bunch of lowdown, dirty dogs (Hey! folksong rules, I wanted to call you high class yip yaps). You know, I think I'll just forego my dreams of being commemorated in folksong, and continue my hard, laborious, menial career of skinnin' gators down by the cypress grove.

Frank down by the green swamp sidey O.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 10:40 AM

Don't think anyone mentioned starting with:

COME ALL YE BOLD...
COME ALL YOU BOLD...


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 11:16 AM

The guy is always gone for 7 years but when he gets home she doesn't recognize him because he's become a seal. Finally, he shows her his half of a golden ring that they' cut in half before he left to swim half way 'round the damn world to a place near Detroit called SOUL SCARY. He had grabbed the ring when they were once riding on a merry-go-round in Coney Island when they had been there singin' and drinkin' and visiting with Jack & Woody & Billy Faier & Frank Hamilton and Guy Carawan and a baby named Arlo. (No proper name for a kid I'm thinking.) The seal shows her his and she shows him hers. (THE RING--you guys have filthy minds.)He takes their kid for a swim and her new guy is a harpooner for a country that STILL hunts whales and he kills them both while being harrassed by a boat from Greenpeace! Says he thought they were whales but she thinks something's fishy about that. The harpooner is attacked by a dog named Blue and he kills the dog by cutting off it's tail. A week later the ghost of the dog shows up and the harpooner and the gal take the ghost to a liquor store---'cause that's where they retail spirits!!

Art


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 11:35 AM

I think we have to move with the times a bit now. It should be- COME ALL YE BOLD


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 01:42 PM

I need help on the same lines as these on how to write a country song.

See the thread- How to write a country song-TIPS PLEASE.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 06:47 PM

LOL the second time around!


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 10:35 PM

G'day,
I've always had a problem with the idea of half a ring. Wouldn't it fall off?? Or did they slice it the other way? If so with what, a laser cutter? Actually the practise seems to have been so common they probably had patented ring cutters. The vendors would have done a roaring trade with sailor boys.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Anon (but alive)
Date: 15 Oct 98 - 11:21 PM

In 1907, after collecting and studying about 1500 folk songs, Cecil Sharp wrote a book entitled 'English Folksongs: Some Conclusions'. The first conclusion: A folk song is always anonymous.

If you can read that last paragraph, you aren't dead and forgotten, so as far as creating a folk song goes, you can't get there from here.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Les B
Date: 16 Oct 98 - 01:53 AM

And don't forget the animals with all their amazing deeds and needs: a. If it's a dog, it's gonna die and you'll need a golden chain to lower it down with b. If it's a swan, as soon as you shoot it it's gonna turn into your girlfriend. c. If it's a horse it will be re-e-al fast or too slow, and you're going to let it swill wine. d. If it's a parrot, you're going to have to bribe it not to tell your mother/father/ or keeper of the chastity belt where you've been.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 Oct 98 - 10:37 AM

And if the swan survives being shot, the girlfriend has a broken wing, or her left side is full of feathers. And if it is a raven, there are three of them, watching and waiting; and if it is a fish, it either has a ring in its mouth or it turns into a golden girl; and if it is a robin, it weeps; and if it is a whale, it is followed by the blighted lover in lessons 1-50 of this book.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Ian HP
Date: 18 Oct 98 - 02:09 PM

Alan, your song shows real genius. Wonderful! I don't know if you had a tune in mind, but I find it goes well to 'Searching For Lambs'. I may even try it out. Regards . . .


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 18 Oct 98 - 09:46 PM

It always amazes me how sweethearts fail to recognize their sailor lovers when they return home from sea, usually loaded with gold. I sometimes run into people I haven't seen in twenty years and still recognize them.

This thread also got me thinking -- what happened to Shula?


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Oct 98 - 11:24 PM

Check out the title song on a strange LP by some F.N. called THAT'S THE TICKET (Folk Legacy Records).

It's a strange little hairball of a broken-token song I regurgitated one night after too much Laphraoig.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 19 Oct 98 - 03:08 AM

Hi again, alison, it was me who mentioned this old thread in the folksong writing thread. Thanks for bringing it back to the top. I've been in Denver for three days and unable to get to the Mudcat... seems like forever.

Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jennifer
Date: 19 Oct 98 - 05:47 AM

After reading this list and nearly dying of laughter I was inspired to write this song. It combines whaling, murder, whiskey, and of course rebellion into one happy little tune -- all the cliches I could find in the list. So sorry for inflicting this on you, I just want to post it before the creative urge leaves me. Tried to follow the rules here -- I think a new one should be that all placenames have to end with '-O'. Another thing I've noticed -- and tried to use here -- is that rhyming is -never- perfect in an Irish song. Anyone else noticed this?

Jennifer

The Whiskey, the Girl, and the Rebel

My name is O'Reilly, I'm a sailor of yore
I've sailed for the whales from the far western shore
'Twas on May thirty in nineteen sixteen
I joined the bold rebels with their whiskey so keen

My dearest love Sally said "Do not ye go,"
"To the wilds and the mountains of Ireland-O"
"But I must go," I cried, "for my captain so lean"
"Has fled to the rebels, with their whiskey so keen."

My Captain I'd met him in Botany Bay
I found him while wanderin', on a cold wintry day
He cried, "I want a sailor for to hunt on the main"
He signed me and fed me with whiskey so keen

So long years I've traveled now, far on the seas
Beaten and bitten, by the cat and the fleas
So I've gone to Dublin, where me love Sally Breen
Cannot hold me back from the whiskey so keen

Sally cried, "Willie, I pray ye, don't go,"
'Tis treason and murder, tae hell ye will go,"
I said, "You are a Briton and I'm Irish Free,"
"I'll slay you and drink of the whiskey so keen."

She cried, "Dearest Willie don't murder me dead,"
A raven it came to me shoulder in dread.
She gazed at the raven as I drew my knife keen
"I'll come back to haunt you, o'er your whiskey so keen."

Well, Sally was right and her ghost came for me
Wi' blood on her fingers, her breast and her knees
And her ghost's sad screaming, the moans and the keens
It drove me to drinkin' the whiskey so keen

I fled to the mountains, the eyries so high
And fought 'gainst the British for proud liberty
I've killed me some Tommies, but was captured in green
And now I will die without whiskey so keen

And now as I stand here, o'er gallows so high
And wait for to hang, twixt the earth and the sky
Well, I wish I'd listened, tae Sally o' Breen,
For ne'er more will I sip from the whiskey so keen.

I hope this comes out OK and readable. Don't think it was too bad for a Yiddish-American.

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 19 Oct 98 - 11:07 PM

Jennifer,

Nicely done. So typical it sounds like you collected it.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 20 Oct 98 - 11:17 AM

I tried to re-read the thread to add something new. (Good one, Jennifer.) We haven't covered all the confusion/conflict that relates to families:

a).Lovers needing permission to marry from fathers/mothers, (when denied, double suicide)

b).Brothers and sisters meeting without recognizing each other, usually in the context that the brother is abusing or murdering the sister.

c).Paternity questions abound.... intermarriage to the confusion of realtionship (I'm my own grandpa type of deal) and infanticide/suicide because of incest, or rocking of the cradle when the baby is not his own.

d).Mother's long suffering hope that the son will return and when he gets there, she died 5 minutes earlier. He has to watch her coffin be buried and live in guilt the rest of his drunken days (the ungrateful jerk).

e).A daughter goes astray and hangs out in the tavern getting syphilis until on her death bed she repents and calls for mom and dad to come and get her body and bury it with roses.

f).A son asks his father to tell the REAL story of the family past and it turns out that either he is not really their son, (and is a foundling prince or magical something or other) or that the family once had a great disgrace or persecution that now requires the son to defend family honor.

There is more, but I have to get back to work.

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 20 Oct 98 - 11:26 AM

oooops, the unknown brother/sisters, etc, meeting, was covered in the very first thread. alice


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Oct 98 - 12:05 PM

I have always wondered what happens if you show your half of the ring, and the other person shows the other half of the amulet hung around their neck. Does this count? Is this a basis for a stable relationship?


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Mo
Date: 20 Oct 98 - 02:01 PM

Or would it just be a case of "you show me yours and I'll show you mine"! Cheers, Mo


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bob Landry
Date: 20 Oct 98 - 05:39 PM

Thought about writing some lyrics using this comprehensive guide but, as I read, saw more creativity than I could ever muster.

Jennifer, use the tune Sweet Betsy From Pike, add the words "Sing too rali oorali oorali ay." and you've got yourself a hit.

What a thread ... love it.

Bob


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jennifer
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 01:39 AM

Roger:
You're right. I wrote the song tongue-in-cheek, but it almost works as a real one. Wonder if this means folksingers really -did- have a system! Just figured that my song goes pretty well to Behan's "Patriot Game." According to the database, this tune is also called, "One Morning in May." :) So, new rule:

Any 'traditional' tune may be used if and only if it is named for one of the attributes in the remainder of this list.

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 07:25 AM

G'day,
Ian HP, Searching for Lambs does work, the tune I had in mind was The Bold Fisherman, only because the song starts with "As I walked out one May morning. The song is in the DT, if you click the link I've given you'll get the DT tune, a rough approximation to the tune I know.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jennifer Burdoo
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 08:26 AM

Anyone here ever listened to Tom Lehrer? This is his cliche'd version of an Irish folksong, including some things we already have in our list. I include some of the liner notes to explain his reasoning. Hope they look ok as I've typed in a ton of linebreaks.

Jennifer

...
At any rate, for this elite I have here an ancient Irish ballad, which was written a few years ago, and which is replete with all the accoutrements of this art form. In particular, it has a sort of idiotic refrain, in this case rickety-tickety-tin you'll notice cropping up from time to time, running through, I might add, interminable verses - The large number of verses being a feature expressly designed to please the true devotees of the folk song who seem to find singing fifty verses of On Top Of Old Smokey is twice as enjoyable as singing twenty-five.

This type of song also has what is known technically in music as a modal tune, which means - for the benefit of any layman who may have wandered in this evening - that I play a wrong note every now and then, I think I might add...

This song though does differ strikingly from the genuine folk ballad in that in this song the words which are supposed to rhyme - actually do.

About a maid I'll sing a song,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
About a maid I'll sing a song,
Who didn't have her fam'ly long.
Not only did she do them wrong,
She did ev'ryone of them in, them in,
She did ev'ryone of them in.

One morning in a fit of pique,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
One morning in a fit of pique,
She drowned her father in the creek.
The water tasted bad for a week,
And we had to make do with gin, with gin,
We had to make do with gin.

Her mother she could never stand,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
Her mother she could never stand,
And so a cyanide soup she planned.
The mother died with the spoon in her hand,
And her face in a hideous grin, a grin,
Her face in a hideous grin.

She set her sister's hair on fire,
a-Rickety-tickety-tin,
She set her sister's hair on fire,
And as the smoke and flame rose high'r,
Danced around the funeral pyre,
Playin' a violin, -olin,
Playin' a violin.

She weighted her brother down with stones,
a-Rickety-tickety-tin,
She weighted her brother down with stones,
And sent him off to Davy Jones.
All they ever found were some bones,
And occasional pieces of skin, of skin,
Occasional pieces of skin.

One day when she had nothing to do,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
One day when she had nothing to do,
She cut her baby brother in two,
And served him up as an Irish stew,
And invited the neighbors in, -bors in,
Invited the neighbors in.

And when at last the police came by,
Sing rickety-tickety-tin,
And when at last the police came by,
Her little pranks she did not deny.
To do so she would have had to lie,
And lying, she knew, was a sin, a sin,
Lying, she knew, was a sin.

My tragic tale I won't prolong,
Rickety-tickety-tin,
My tragic tale I won't prolong,
And if you do not enjoy my song,
You've yourselves to blame if it's too long,
You should never have let me begin, begin,
You should never have let me begin.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 12:06 PM

Tom Lehrer - the best. And let us not forget his characterization of folk music -- "In folk music there is a fine line between the rustic and the crummy".


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 03:40 PM

And the obligatory, "The reason most folk songs are so bad is that they werre written by the people."

Most of Lehrer's brilliant songs, including "The Folk Song Army", are in the database.

Dibs on the wrong-broken-theme! ("Dibs" is folk for "copyright".) Unless Peter T. wants it, since he mentioned it first. Unless it's already the Thieme of "That's the Ticket". Unless anyone else wants it, since there's no intellectual property around here. (And not necessarily for lack of property.)


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 12:05 AM

refresh and laugh til the tears roll down! Great threads never die!


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Bonedaddy
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 02:03 AM

Hey, what about hair? You know...my love had/has raven hair or hair as red as fire or how bout the whole "flowing" thing and what about"mane"and tangled,toussled,falling ore her breast/bossom/beating heart, soft as silken thread, and lets not forget........GOLDEN!!!!!!!!! hair thing? I mean, if your going to stab a loved one in the heart down by the river on a summers eve after the train wreck, but before finding out she's actually your sister, at least describe her hair!


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 03:43 AM

... and then she can tear her hair! Also, shoe should have milk-white hands, which she can wring at the same time. It's not often I tear my own hair (other people's is more fun), but I've never managed to do it while wringing my hands (or when holding bricks, but that's another story!).

Steve


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 03:45 AM

Oh, and feet should be tender or pretty little. Except for Clementine, of course, and her song's been written already.

Steve


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 04:27 AM

How about the pregnant pause after a heavy sigh which swells her bosom like a ship being tossed about on the sea of wretchedness; a sigh full of longing or giving up or giving in.

Moving on from the sigh, there's the bated breath,or the heaving which writhes about in the fog of the early mornng dew or the late night fog of Londontown, filling up every crevice, revealing nothing until the passion of the moment is rent by a scream of terror/anger/murder.

As for the hair, don't forget to have him clutch those golden tresses as her lifeblood slips away, or while he bends her back, exposing her virginal white neck, as he watches a thin line of blood stain as her life ebbs slowing away, victim of his oh so sharp knife; or, having her take out her locket, open it up and fondle the small strand of his hair she keeps next to her bosom while she pines away for her sailor-O!


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 06:12 AM

Better not go out in a fog that fills every crevice if your bosom's swelling!

And bravely shone her bosom fair ... I've never seen a shining bosom, although I've had my glasses steamed up once or twice. How come that never happens in folk songs?

Sorry to go on about bosoms so much. I'm a leg man, actually.

Steve


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: SueH
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 07:16 AM

Well, Steve, in that case I think you have to concentrate on the girl seeking her sailor lover, disguised as a cabin boy.

This gives you opportunity to insert lines about tight breeches into every verse.....

I'm glad you refreshed this thread, katlaughing. It's hysterical - & I think I missed it first time around.

Sue


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 08:04 AM

"Men are always of two types: stevedore or troubadors" (P.G. Wodehouse, allegedly) might apply to FS.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 08:44 AM

What if the sailor prefers her as a cabin boy?

Stevedor


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: SueH
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 09:54 AM

Well, he could just like tight breeches too.....

Could her name be Bob?

Sue


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 10:53 AM

Are we getting back to swelling bosoms here?


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 11:19 AM

Well, the sex of those 'handsome cabin boys' who don't become pregnant from eating biscuits (never did figure that one out) is usually 'exposed' so to speak when something disastrous happens to cause undressing, and a swelling bosom inevitably pops out.

Go look at: FOR THE LOVE OF WILLY (WILLY-O)


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 11:33 AM

Have we covered all the types of cross dressing in order to find the true love? (Oh, a livery I'll wear and I'll comb back my hair, - In velvet so green I will appear, - And it's then I will repair to the Curragh of Kildare, - For it's there I'll find tidings of my dear.)

alice


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 11:35 AM

In the following song scenario, the CAPITALIZED words are generally classic folkie idioms and motifs that should be in a possible folksong.-----

How about a song concerning:

1) Waking up in the morning at 1:00 PM & being so out of it from almost O.D.ING on COCAINE the night before that...

2) ...because of your ADDICTION TO CAFFEINE you must head to the COFFEEHOUSE for an ESPRESSO.

3) JOAN, with the LONG BLACK HAIR and the very revealing textured bodystocking is there and you ask her if it was as good for her last night as it was for you? (You share a cigarette.)

3) She says that SHE IS PREGNANT and needs $5,000.00 to go to the BACK ALLEY for an ABORTION from the unlicensed barber back there who gives those and other sexual favors---not unlike Monica in the back seat of your MG that time in FRISCO after the JAM SESSION in that SMOKEY DIVE of a bar that had those great ITALIAN SAUSAGE SANDWICHES. You tell her, "Hey, this is 1961 and abortions only cost ten dollars." She tells you she knows all that but that you never did pay her for last night!

4) You tell her that you have a GIG that very night on WELLS STREET (this is Chicago) and you'll have the BREAD for her by 4:00 A.M. and, LIKE, MAN, I DIG and things are COOL.

5) She MAKES THE SCENE at four in the A.M. but she never knew that this was a TWO "O'CLOCK"--"IRISH" BAR. (Get it? IRISH bar?--O'CLOCK?) I had SPLIT THE SCENE at 2:00 A.M..

6) By 3:00 A.M. I had JUMPED A FREIGHT for ANYWHERE in the WEST and by 7:00 A.M. that very morning (this was the WABASH CANNONBALL and could do WARP 12)I was in NEEDLES, CALIFORNIA with a NEW WIFE and 13 children (BAD LUCK), all named SILO or MOON TUNA or some f.....g silly name like that. (Wouldn't wanna swear---after all, this is a family show!)

7) By the following Thursday I had had 6 other kids by 5 other "WIVES?" and had written over A THOUSAND SONGS about how COOL it was to be totally IRRESPONSIBLE even though several of those CHICKS had committed SUICIDE since I left them and they ran out of BREAD ($) & couldn't buy any food or pay the rent.

8) But hell, I'M A POET--A SINGER/SONGWRITER and I don't ever sweat the small stuff. I even sang a TRADITIONAL SONG once.

9) 28 of those kids died of a disease I passed on to them in their LEVIS (jeans) before they got to be old enough to DRINK.

10) The rest died from ALCOHOLISM for which they were called up before the HOUSE UN-ALCOHOLISM ACTIVITIES COMMMITTEE (those ims are all the same anyhow) where they were effectively harassed for the last ten years of their lives to the extent that those last years were destroyed by some dumb Special Prosecutor hand-picked by the FASCIST president.

11) That president was impeached and tossed out of office by a Congress that had it in for him ever since the last president from their party had LOST THE CIVIL WAR---over 130 years ago. (Very uncivil if you ask me.)

14) That president (the one who was tossed out) gave his MISTRESS, formerly an intern at the White House, (You didn't think she'd really left the picture, did you?) a rather expensive Cuban "CIGAR" that Fidel Castro had sent him, supposedly with hopes of changing U.S. attiudes toward that island nation and to ensure SOLIDARITY FOREVER. That same girl married our FOLKSINGER later and gave him that CIGAR (it always looked to him like half of it had been put in something wet.) Our folksinger later left yet ANOTHER "WIFE" and gone to fight in the SPANISH CIVIL WAR where he learned and wrote at least a million new SONGS.

15) IN SPAIN he had his ARM BLOWN OFF when an exploding CIGAR his "girlfriend" had given him simply ripped his arm from his body (it was a FAREWELL TO ARMS!!) and tore up his lips pretty bad too. Before he left for Spain he gave the same gal HALF OF A GOLDEN RING to remember him by. He'd been smoking that cigar when he should've been fighting in the BATTLE OF GANDEZA. The arm fell into the EBRO RIVER where it was lost and never found.

16) HIS HAlF OF THE RING was, unexplainably, supposedly on the ring finger of that hand.

17) SEVEN YEARS LATER he came home and, since he was now 95 years old, SHE COULDN'T RECOGNIZE HIM. The explosion (which some had thought was a MINE EXPLOSION) also blew off his DO-NE-AMMA-WHANG-A-DOODLE-DOO-ME-AMMA-DAY.

18) Yes, that is why she couldn't recognize him---because he'd lost his DNAWADDMAD. It wasn't because he had lost his half of the RING. (To this very day they always check ones "DNA" (as it's called) to see if residual bodily residues came from a certain guy. And the common term for that mass of seed is referred to as "blowing your "WAD"! And getting various venereal diseases will make you "MAD"! All those are from the big anagram. In actuality the ring had fallen off long before because anybody with half a brain would know that HALF A RING would never stay on your stupid finger. --- And a PAP TEST was, of course, to find out who the father of your kid was!

19) Years after this famous SINGER-SONGWRITER had joined the HEAVENLY CHORUS, this FAIR YOUNG DAMSEL wrote the quintessential folksong called (get ready!)

---"WHY DO YOU BOBBIT YOUR HAIR GIRLS" !!!!!

20) And she died very rich and so did their son, Silo, from royalties from all his recently composed (?)folksongs---whatever the hell those should more properly be called.

21) Indeed, SILO lived to a ripe old age and was never touched by his fathers disease. Some even will say, in an unguarded moment, that he never did look anything like his father...??!! I guess we'll never really know the truth---whatever that is!

Some day I'll write this song, but for now...

Love,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 11:49 AM

BRAVO!! ART STRIKES AGAIN WITH BRILLIANCY!!!


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: SueH
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 11:52 AM

Ah, Steve, you're obviously not a Blackadder fan. (and if you've seen it, that gentle hint will tell you what I'm talking about. If not, believe me, it would take too long to explain, except to say that there's a girl dressed up as a cabin boy, she saysd she's called Bob but she's actually Kate.......)

Sorry, with the exception of a couple of people, I'm never sure which side of the Atlantic I'm addressing.

Sue


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Shimbo
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 12:18 PM

Absolutely fascinating! What imaginations you people have! With apologies to my fellow Australians who have already submitted, I suggest the following rules (which can, of course, be added to) for Oz folk songs.

1. A swaggie, two coolibahs, Ned Kelly, several peelers (preferably dead), and heaps of gunplay are mandatory.

2. Sheep should be mentioned, unless you're Tasmanian. I am, so I can make that comment. (For the non-Aussie contributors, many unsavoury jokes are made about Tasmanians and sheep.)

3. The lyrics should be set to a lilting melody (such as The Dead March from Saul), and should be sung on key occasionally.

4. And let's not forget some Aussie slang. It should be hard to understand unless you lived before the depression, and should not be understood at all by anyone under 30 years old. Things like whaling (nothing to do with marine creatures), johnny cakes, lambing down, ryebuck shearers, etc.

I'll leave it there, because it's early morning, and I have a folk practice session later today.

Lest you think I'm running Aussie folk down, I hasten to assure you I sing Aussie songs with great delight ... and I even understand some of them!

Congrats on your effort, Alan of Aus. I'll try and match it later this weekend, if I can muster the energy, and locate the Muse.

Oh, b*gg*r it, I'll try a quickie now:

Say Alan man and did you plan that song that you just writ A bit more work, a chorus too, and you'll have quite a hit CDs, tapes, and vinyl discs will fill your purse with loot But what about a johnny cake and coolibahs to boot. The Lachlan River you have missed, and lambing down as well, Addition of Ned Kelly, and swaggies would be swell A ryebuck shearer, dead police, smoking bushranger's guns Maggie May and Gundagai, it gives a man the ... (time for me to leave)


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: SueH
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 12:30 PM

Don't forget if you have sheep, you have to have shearing too!

And a sheep station

and a river

and grog

and, and and....

Sue


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: SueH
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 12:31 PM

sorry, Joe, forgot the line breaks in my haste.

Sue


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 12:35 PM

Here in Wyoming, if you have sheep, there has to be a very lonely sheepherder. After all, I am sure Wyoming has the market on the slogan, "Wyoming...where men are men and sheep are nervous!"

kat


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: SueH
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 01:27 PM

No, no, I'm sure that's Wales....

Sue


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 01:56 PM

umm... Art, shouldn't that be a PAPPY test?


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 11:37 PM

Kat,

You can't pull the wool over my...

I was almost too sheepish to say that. And what would the Master Of The Sheepfold be if he was also really good at putting bait on fishing hooks? Yep, you get a gold star on your forehead skin.

Art


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Shimbo
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 10:15 AM

Sorry, folks, I'm learning on the run. Now I have worked out that I need to use html, I'll try my "quickie" again. Should be a little easier to follow this time.

Say Alan man and did you plan that song that you just writ
A bit more work, a chorus too, and you'll have quite a hit
CDs, tapes, and vinyl discs will fill your purse with loot
But what about a johnny cake and coolibahs to boot.
The Lachlan River you have missed, and lambing down as well,
Addition of Ned Kelly, and swaggies would be swell.
A ryebuck shearer, dead police, smoking bushrangers' guns
Maggie May and Gundagai, it gives a man the ... (time for me to leave)


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 08:23 PM

I do believe my broken token parody called "That's The Ticket" is in the data base...

Art


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 17 May 00 - 04:52 PM

I enjoy this one so much I thought I'd bring it back for the rest the forum.

T.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhránplayerwhodoesn'tknowanybet
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 12:26 AM

To those who forbade certain colors etc., simply on the basis that they would be hard to rhyme, I must remind you of the ultimate folk poetic license that says Everything rhymes with -O attached to the last word!

Missed this thread twice! Glad to have the opportunity to get in on it!

Rich


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Alice
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 12:36 AM

I love this old thread. A real Mudcat classic.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:30 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:19 PM

Of course when you reverse a folksong,

Th Redcoats are victorious,

Johny Todd finds his true love has remained faithfull,

and

Theres a void in the sea bed, 40 miles off Aberdeen.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 01:26 AM

refish


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 01:18 PM

If you're a she, and shootin' your two-timin' lover, you need x-ray vision accurately to shoot him right through that hardwood door!

A cowboy song is required to include a bronc that can't be rode, and/or a cowboy who can't be throwed.   And then one of them is rode or throwed or somethin'.   (Thank you, Lonesome George Gobel.)

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: Gareth
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 07:05 PM

This deserves refrhing !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: JenBurdoo
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 12:11 AM

Refreshing because I just thought up a new one and I need suggestions for a tune. Hope that's ok. It uses the Broken Token, Leaving-a-Girl-Pregnant, Moonshiner, Soldier-Going-To-War and Tragic Death tropes.

The Tavern Keeper's Daughter

T'was on a bare December day,
A maiden last saw her love
He marched away to Portugal gay
And left her nought but a glove

"Take this," he said, "to remember me by,
"And the other I'll keep for you.
"Pray for me in your mountain home high,
"And dinnae be sae blue."

She watched from the top of yonder hill
As his ship sailed o'er the sea
But soon she felt a sudden chill
As she looked over the quay.

Her apron was tight, and the strings hung low
Her face it was pale and wan
As she thought on the last night with her beau,
'Fore he went off to battle the Don

Her lover was a moonshiner,
They drank of the whiskey so gay
Out of his still, upon the hill
And rolled in his plaide they lay

"We cannot marry," he said to her,
"For your parents hate my brew
"They'll not have a lad compete with their own,
"So I'll have to be leaving you."

When nine long months had passed and gone,
She was full of grief and woe
For still within her the pain came on
And her parents slighted her so

She cried for her love, said "I do complain,
"He'll return for me, oh, never,
"I'll not see his plaide again
"In cold or sunny weather."

Another year was passed and gone
Her laddie returned from afar
He drew out his glove and advanced to find
Her grave behind the bar

Upon the cross hung the glove she'd worn,
O'er his lass and her infant arrayed
He hung up his glove, and to keep them both warm,
He left his folded plaide.


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Subject: RE: How to Create a Folksong (FS for Dummies)
From: GUEST,raccoon
Date: 27 Mar 16 - 11:54 PM

katlaughing posts:  "Wyoming...where men are men and sheep are nervous!"

_______________

West Coast long-haul truckers c1970s, "Montana mountain beaver"


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