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Who will Keep the songs alive?

GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Jun 03 - 10:28 PM
Sorcha 22 Jun 03 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Jun 03 - 10:38 PM
hobbitwoman 22 Jun 03 - 11:31 PM
Bev and Jerry 23 Jun 03 - 01:03 AM
alanabit 23 Jun 03 - 02:57 AM
red max 23 Jun 03 - 05:26 AM
GUEST 23 Jun 03 - 06:18 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 23 Jun 03 - 06:22 AM
GUEST 23 Jun 03 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Vince 23 Jun 03 - 06:51 AM
Hrothgar 23 Jun 03 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Vince 23 Jun 03 - 07:06 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jun 03 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Vince 23 Jun 03 - 07:11 AM
GUEST 23 Jun 03 - 09:08 AM
alanabit 23 Jun 03 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Vince 23 Jun 03 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Lidy 23 Jun 03 - 10:48 AM
Maryrrf 23 Jun 03 - 10:52 AM
DMcG 23 Jun 03 - 10:52 AM
Schantieman 23 Jun 03 - 10:58 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 23 Jun 03 - 02:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jun 03 - 02:17 PM
Burke 23 Jun 03 - 05:31 PM
Rachel Babyfrog 23 Jun 03 - 05:46 PM
Willa 23 Jun 03 - 05:53 PM
dagenham doc 23 Jun 03 - 09:33 PM
dagenham doc 23 Jun 03 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Russ 23 Jun 03 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Gav Dav 24 Jun 03 - 05:40 AM
alanabit 24 Jun 03 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Traditional Music 24 Jun 03 - 07:56 AM
Barry Finn 24 Jun 03 - 08:55 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Jun 03 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 24 Jun 03 - 10:48 AM
GUEST 24 Jun 03 - 11:09 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 24 Jun 03 - 11:31 AM
IanC 24 Jun 03 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Lidy 24 Jun 03 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 24 Jun 03 - 07:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jun 03 - 07:39 PM
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Subject: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 10:28 PM

I'm a bit of a pessimist, and I don't think the human race will make it to 2100 BUT just in case we do " who will keep the folk songs alive". Here in the England people - including many politicians - get very upset if they feel we're having to give up parts of our English heritage because of some faceless European bureaucracy BUT nobody at the top seems interested in investing in our folksong heritage. That observation is only part of the problem of who will care for and hand on our most treasured songs. It may be different in the States but over here well ... the average age of people singing traditional songs is now probably over 50 , and the folkclub scene that gave voice to those songs is on its knees. 5 more years should see them down and out. Where will the songs live then? On cds gathering dust? In books being pulped at libraries? Will the colleges and univerities keep the folksong alive? In Scotland and Ireland mayb, but in England? And unless there's a dime to be made, record companies will be relucant to reissue classic recordings for future generations.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 10:32 PM

Our daughter, among others.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 10:38 PM

Maybe today but will her daughter keep them alive! How many people out there are singing a body of songs handed down to them from - say, their great-grandparents. Probably nobody in the big cities - for example.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: hobbitwoman
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 11:31 PM

I don't know... I realized tonight that I'm listening to songs I remember my dad and mom listening to when I was a kid...never thought that would happen. So maybe as the kids get older, they might find themselves listening to and appreciating a different kind of music. You know, when they get past the age where they have to be "cool" and can admit they like what they like.

Don't know if there's much hope for my son the metalhead, though...then again, you never know.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JIMMY McBRIDE (Bev and Jerry)
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 01:03 AM

JIMMY McBRIDE by Bev and Jerry


1. In Inishowen in north Donegal
   When you were a wee lad just starting to crawl
   You sat by the hearth where the peat fire burned
   Your folks sang the old songs and there you first learned

cho:

   One by one all your comrades have gone
   They've left you to finish your pint all alone
   All of the others have grown old and died
   Do you still sing the old songs now, Jimmy McBride

2. A few years later when you were a boy
   Singing the songs brought you comfort and joy
   You listened so eagerly, right from the start
   By the time you reached manhood you knew them by heart

3. Leaving the homestead you drifted along
   And there in your heart you took all the old songs
   Then you married Roisin and had babes of your own
   You sang them the old songs 'til they were full grown

4. By the time your children had grown up, you swore
   They would learn all the old songs as you did before
   But employment was meager you must understand
   They all had to settle in far distant lands

5. But still you went to O'Flaherty's pub
   To sing the old songs with the regular club
   As you stared at those faces so far past their prime
   It was plain to be seen that there wasn't much time


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 02:57 AM

I think I made this point on another thread, but I have never really encountered a "living tradition" of folk songs in England either. By that, I mean people singing songs passed onto them from their friends and family circles. When I did the Irish Pub circuit over here in Germany, I would often encounter a group of Irish guys sitting around after hours, drinking a pint and singing their songs. There would be songs hundreds of years old, sung alongside Waterboys and Van Morrison songs. Oddly enough, even a lot of English songs are better preserved in the Irish tradition than they are in the English. Irish guys sing them. English guys have often never even heard of them, or would be actually embarrassed to admit that they knew a folk song.
Probably the nearest thing I came to the oral tradition in England was during my indistiguished rugby playing career. Unfortunately, not a lot of those songs were suitable for singing to nice old ladies and children!
We should really hear from Greg Stephens on this subject, because he knows a great deal more about it than I do. However, I am beginning to ask myself whether it matters at all whether the English tradition survives or not. My own view is that it has essentially been dead for most of my life. The remnants of it have been absorbed into Irish, American and Canadian traditions - and there are still communities there which play folk music as part of a living culture.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: red max
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 05:26 AM

"Don't know if there's much hope for my son the metalhead, though...then again, you never know"

Well, I spent my teens and most of my twenties headbanging to AC/DC et al, but now I'm just as likely to listen to Roy Harris or John Kirkpatrick. I'm still in my early 30s, and will treasure English folk songs as long as I'm around


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 06:18 AM

Things move on. These things will die if you let them. As Cultures change, their cultural artifacts, including music and song, change too. I think this is a good thing, so long as we continue to make music -any kind of music - let some of it be consigned to the museums. We are obsessed with preserving the past, let things evolve organically. As long as I can access the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Sevens in recorded form, let things roll, I say.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 06:22 AM

I have confidence that future generations will find a way to play those old shiny round disks of their forebears, and every hundred years or so there will be a revival of interest in the old music, followed by a generation or two who couldn't care less, followed by a generation that is horrified by its parents lack of regard for the ancient music, followed by... etc.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 06:40 AM

Animaterra - I agree with you. The past is there to be plundered and re-used in modified form, we see and hear this all around us, in music, in art, in architecture, in literature. We live in an age where we value the past, perhaps overvalue it. We live in a tme where music over 250 years old - and I'm thinking of Bach, Handel, Mozart et al - is considered the pinnacle of Western civilisation, yet 50years after the deaths of the above mentioned, nobody performed their music. They went out of fashion. Times and attitudes change but as long as the past exists in some accesible form, written or recorded for example, we can always study it and raid it and use it for our own purposes. At present there is a lot cross-cultural plundering going on with "Folk"musicians and bands taking on board inluences from so-called World Music - music from cultures alien to their own. This is just another fashion in music. The search for novelty goes on.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 06:51 AM

I reckon you've got it about right Animaterra. Most of the current 'folk scene' probably grew out of the mid-sixties 'revival' tho people like Bert Jansch, Alex Campbell, Ian Campbell, Derrol Adams, Pete & Peggy Seeger, Derek Brimstone, Davy Graham, probably started earlier than that. Then there was all the american blues legends whose music is carried on down the ages in one form or another, pure blues, jazz rock, rythem & blues, etc........People like Eliza Carthy, Kate Rusby + bands like the Family Mahone will alway carry the tradition forwards. The festivals are doin quit well....and the clubs? Well they too(government laws allowing) will probably survive either as 'folk clubs' or just 'sessions'. Things go 'round in circles and....to quote the great Swarb/Thompson.....'It all comes 'round again'.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 07:04 AM

Pete Seeger was a "mid-Sixties revival" singer? You're having a lend of us.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 07:06 AM


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 07:11 AM

There's far more informal live music and chances to hear traditional music than there ever was when I was young.

There are two ways that music and singing survives and develops. One is through a process of handing it on, with continuity. And the other is through a cyclical process of death and revival. In urban societies the latter tends maybe to be more of the pattern, and as the world gets urbanised that tends to be truer in the rural places too.

Both processes probably tend to work on an alternating generations basis. But with people living linger, that doesn't actually prervent contuinuity.

Anyway, one way and another the human instinct of making music for ourselves is built into us, and will always break through sooner or later. We shouldn't allow oursleves to get hungup on the idea that fashion is important.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 07:11 AM

Woops, sorry trigger finger.

Err, no I was suggesting that Pete Seeger, Derrol Adams & others may have been around b4 the sixties folk revival in England but there influence spread over here. Alex Campbell was a great admirer of Derrol Adams. But then i could be totally wrong and i'm open to correction. p.s, what's 'you're having a lend of us' mean then??


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 09:08 AM

To risk being a bit controversial - does it really matter if the songs don't survive, so long as singing itself survives?

Songs are works of art - and there will always be new works being created, and its inevitable that the old will gradually disappear. There are new and equally beatiful songs being created all the time.

The further we move away from the rural-based way of life that many of the older trad songs are based on, the less sense those songs will make to new audiences. They won't evoke the same images & emotions that they do in us now. There will be other songs with different references, evoking new images & emotions - and I find that thought very exciting.

Songs communicate by common references, and the reference points on which they relies are bound to change over time, which will change the effect they have on the listener. We may be listening to a 200 year old song - but we are hearing it in a completely different context, so I'm not convinced it is qualitatively the same song as time goes past. I suspect songs have a natural lifespan - and its not that important to keep them alive other than as historical artefacts.

Singing is the thing that really lives on.

(ps. I still love singing the old trads though.....)


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 09:20 AM

I wish you would give yourself a name Guest, but I think your point is perfectly valid. Of course the context will change what the song means to the audience and the changing demography will always have a huge influence on which songs survive and which do not. There are songs which will survive anyway because they have a resonance which transcends their origins. I think Greensleeves could still be with us in two hundred years time as could Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes (which personally I think is a rotten song). However, these songs certainly still have the power to move people - although in some cases, I will admit to being baffled as to why!


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 09:21 AM

I think your last line in brackets says it all really......as people still love singing and listening to the 'old trads' then that music/song won't die and of course what is new now may eventually become one of those 'old trads'.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Lidy
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 10:48 AM

I'm 19 and I'm singing em, have just found the dusty corner of my local library where "traditional English verse and songs" dwell and am spending this long university summer with my musical friend trying to boost our repertoires and bend the tunes to our ears! What really freaks me out is the "tradition" attitude- it's not my fault that my parents liked rock n roll and my grandparents liked jazz, I happened upon folk through a Leeds garage rock band (it's a very long story!!), and just fell in love with it. I'll sing these songs to my kids, but they'll undoubtedly rebel and like dance music or something, it's a cycle I reckon. Just like literature and poetry, there'll always be people singing these songs and feeling stirred by hearing them!
Lidy


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 10:52 AM

I think the songs will be preserved, perhaps only by small select groups, but they will be. And don't give up on the younger generation. My son was sung to sleep every night with traditional songs when he was a baby. Then at the age of 10 he discovered heavy metal and went through a Metallica/Marilyn Manson/Megadeth etc. stage. Now he plays "progressive rock" but when I asked him if he'd do the guitar work on my CD he jumped at the chance and played beautifully. We even did some gigging together and his interest in traditional songs has revived. (Incidentally that CD is on the Mudcat Auction right now with all proceeds going to Mudcat - it only has a few more days to go - hint hint). It'll also be available in a week or so in the UK at http://www.tradmusic.com

There'll always be diehard folkies who will keep the music alive!


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 10:52 AM

I feel confident that there will always be Lidys around. The number will vary of course, but there will always be some.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Schantieman
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 10:58 AM

I discovered this folk music stuff in my late teens and have learned nearly all of my song (about 120) from other people singing them, from records etc., the radio and song books. I've picked up three from traditional sources - two from my father (who sang them in the army) and one from the school playground.

As long as the stuff is (a) recorded and (b) written down, people will rediscover it. Better still if people keep singing it - and the only way to do that is to get lots of people going to clubs & festivals. My daughter's seven and loves singing. What'll happen in a few years remains to be seen!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 02:01 PM

File this discussion under "History Keeps Repeating Itself" or "Isn't This Deja Vu All Over Again?"

Pessimists have been claiming for the past couple of centuries that traditional music and song are at death's door (if not already dead). Nevertheless, a fair few people still keep on singing the old songs and playing the old tunes.

My experience agrees with McGrath's - there seems to be a 30 year cycle of alternate neglect and revival operating here. During a brief lull in a very lively festival session last month, I noticed that nearly all the players actively involved looked to be either over 55 or under 25. Since then, several people to whom I've mentioned this have said that they've noticed a similar age distribution at other folk events.

Pity the lost generation in between - they don't realize how much they're missing.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 02:17 PM

GUEST there 23 Jun 03 - 09:08 AM - I wholly agree with alanabit in suggesting that whoever wrote that should adopt a name - what you wrote was good, and it's a shame to get confused with some of the other pillocks who sign in as nameless GUEST.

As GUEST implied, it's not so much the repertoire that matters, it's the process of people singing and making music actively, and the process of passing on songs. Few of the songs we sing are all that old - maybe a couple of centuries, very few older than the nineteenth century, even if in some cases they have roots going back further.

If we can imagine a world in which the songs and tunes were preserved and performed, but only in a professionalised or academic setting, and in a rigidly unchanging manner - I think that would be what I'd mean by the death of the folk music tradition.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Burke
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 05:31 PM

My impression is that the coining of the idea 'folk music' was reference to old music that was not popular any more. As long as it's been a concept apart from just 'what we sing' it's been seen as endangered.

I guess I'm glad it's death was & is feared. That's what gets the collectors out recording them so I can go listen to them at the Library of Congress or Max Hunter sites. With internet access more than ever before anyone can learn sort through & learn the old songs.

Folk may be less endangered than other forms. For most of it only one person is needed to sing & pass it along. Look at the average age of your local barbershop group. To keep that alive you need 4 to sing parts. Any choral music needs a conductor to select it, a competent choir to sing it, and some kind of audience. Hugely popular in the 18th & 19th centuries, many wonderful oratorios, masses, etc. are rarely if ever performed. Art music started ignoring its audience 100 years ago & is not particularly healthy.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Rachel Babyfrog
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 05:46 PM

I for one hope to continue the folk tradition as long as I am able to... at sixteen, hopefully that's a fair while ;) I've been teased for bringing the average age of the floor singers down... but that's just grand.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Willa
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 05:53 PM

Heard a young man at Beverley FF yesterday singing very traditional songs and using an Apple mac to create echoes and sounds for his accompaniment. So things change, yet remain the same.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: dagenham doc
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 09:33 PM

MikeofNorthumbria said... File this discussion under "History Keeps Repeating Itself".... and why not. My Dad sang,my grandad sang... and so do I...even some of their songs. We continue to talk and talk about this and it makes no odds. What we need to do is keep singing!!........ which of course we do.

Doc


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: dagenham doc
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 10:00 PM

To follow up...from another posting for the lyrics of "Any Old Iron" there is this remark...(I am surprised that these old music hall songs are lacking.).... They may well be and it seems that on the whole people have not been interested in them and yet there are a great deal of us who grew up listening to our parents sing these songs. Now I am more interested than ever in adding these songs to my repertoire and get a great kick out of singing an old music hall song which leads up to a chorus that everyone knows.That's what happens of course... everyone knows the chorus and it's a delight! My old dad died a couple of years ago at the grand age of 95 and I'm sure he would be well pleased to know that some of his songs are still being sung. I'm sure this will always happen with folk music.

Doc


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 10:25 PM

The traditional music I love is great music. I am never surprised when someone like Lidy discovers it and falls in love. I assume that it will continue to be discovered and rediscovered long after I'm gone.

It should actually be easier to rediscover because there is so much more recorded material and documentation available than when I was Lidy's age.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Gav Dav
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 05:40 AM

there's loads going on. community singing is important round me, on a load of different scales from carols in the pub at christmas to just singing with friends (often also in the pub, or at home). I learned songs from my dad and mum, from their friends and from my own friends. My grandad wasn't much of a singer but still has a good repertoire of stories/yarns which he shares with the rest of the younger family. Spent this weekend at the English country music weekend and there was plenty of evidence of people like Roger Hinchliffe who are part of an English tradition where songs have been passed down through families. Sheffield University are now doing a first degree in folk music, following on from the one at newcastle, and I understand there are others. both places are still in England, last time I checked. I'm 28 now, and have had friends of my own age who've been singing this stuff for at least the last ten years, there's a host of people younger than me doing it. I've heard at least half a dozen youngsters singing songs from "the voice of the people" CDs this year, so whether there's an unbroken fmaily link or not doesn't matter, people do care abotu traditional song and are doing it because they like it. There's plenty going on, at home and in pubs, or on commercial CDs and at festivals. Pessimism seems a bit of a waste of energy that could be spent enthusing and singing.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: alanabit
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 06:27 AM

I hope you are right Gav Dav and that things have moved on from when I lived in the UK. I also hope you join Mudcat, because you are welcome around here. I am just as glad to hear from Lidy and Rachel. You are cheering me up a bit!


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Traditional Music
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 07:56 AM

Reports of my death are much exaggerated, just as they were in the 18th Century, and the 19th, and the 20th.

Instead of bemoaning the death of community and traditional music, why'nt you just go out there and do some of it?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 08:55 AM

I 1st started following folk music during the 60's revival & haven't seen a noticeable amount of young & new blood since. Up untill recently. At Mystic a few weekends ago I watched/listened to an 11?yr old sing in the shanty session (a tuff one for anyone to sing in) & he did a great job & held his own in a packed room of well seasoned (nice way of saying old foggies) singers of sea music. He says he likes to sing shanties (he's working on enlarging his repertoire) & in his words "someone's gotta sing them or they'll be lost". Again at Mystic this yr the amount of young twenty somethings (& maybe older teens, can't tell the difference anymore) who could sing & dance as well as any was staggering. These young'en's had a session going on in the gazebo (at 2:00am) that had my socks rolling up & down like window shades. High energy & fast paced which I found to be like amazingly fresh. They were taking all sorts of songs (prison work songs, shanties, etc) & keeping them at a fast so pace that they could quick step to them, maybe not the traditional way of singing them but it was (for myself & them) way more fun watching/seeing hearing them than I'd witnessed in a long time. It was a pure joy for them & some of us older & slower foggies.

I probably only hit one (the same one) singing/instrumental session, maybe once every 4-6 weeks (Portsmouth NH) & there has been a huge influx of (again) twenty somethings singing & playing (not just listening) during the past yr or 2.

I'm in my 50's now & I guess I was part of younger folkies that the 60's revival bred. I can't belive the joy in seeing/hearing what seems to me, after all these yrs, the beginnings of another youth movement in folk music (granted they're running into the same political shit that helped to breed the last one).

I can't speak for outside of the New England area but from being at the Washington/Baltimore Getaway & the San Francisco shanty festival & sing I'd say that there is the beginnings of upsurge in the interest of folk music there too (hope it's a national/international movement & not just a fad). If any one doubts this look at the younger groups coming out of Ireland & the Canadian Maritimes during the the past 5 or so yrs, I see the trend starting here in New England too.

In the south eastern part of NH (Portsmouth) I'd have to say that a good bit of credit goes to Tom "Crud" Hall & some others who've been actively trying to expose folk music to the younger generation of this area. Maybe that's part of what it takes to keep this music alive, well & kicking, a bit more of active atempts to expose & envolve the younger ones. Hell if they want things a little faster or arranged a bit more suitable for their youthful blood & souls, IMHO that's great for them as well as us (us being the ones talking about a demise/death in folk music) but espically for the life love of the music itself .

Because of this thread I'm gonna keep a sharp weather eye opened when I'm at Old Songs this coming weekend & hope to see more of the same.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 09:54 AM

I have to echo Barry's thoughts. I was at the same session at witnessed that young man lead the group. There is hope for the future.

On a "professional" level, there are signs of life with a number of artists who are gracing the stages of clubs, coffehouses and festivals in the northeast.   Erica Smith, Rebecca Hall and Bethanny Yarrow have incorporated traditional music into their art. The Philly Folk Festival is filled with young people who love the music. Groups like Full Frontal Folk combine that Generation X attitude with traditional values. I understand there is a group in the UK called Witches of Elswick (I played a cut from a demo on my show this week) who sound lovely!

While folk music does not need "professional" support in order to survive, I do think that role models like the above help make the music "cool" again.   Lets face it, the reason many of us were turned on to the music was because it was non-conformist in many ways.

As Woody Guthrie said, folk music will always be around because there are lots of folks.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 10:48 AM

Classical music ( for want of a better term ) is kept alive by the colleges and music schools. The music of Bach would have died out years ago, but for the academics ( I include musician/academics here ). However, there is no equivalent body/bodies to sustain the life of folksongs. But there should be.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 11:09 AM

If the DT is passed on to each generation, there always will be interest in the music. The Internet itself has many sources of Folk music, and it indicates a healthy interest among younger people.
Live Long, and Prosper.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 11:31 AM

Tunesmith, there are plenty of bodies that are sustaining folk music in academic circles. It may not be as widespread as those who study classical music, but it exists.   Folk music is still part of everyday life.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: IanC
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 11:51 AM

I really don't understand why we keep having all these doom&gloom threads about folk music dying and who will keep it going etc. etc. etc.

Folk music is what people sing, and around me there's so much of it going on it makes your head spin. If you think it isn't where you are, maybe try looking a little harder in the places where folk music happens (in pubs, peoples' houses, churches and chapels, as well as in schools) instead of in clubs and concert halls where the activity depends on the whims of promoters or commercial interests.

If it REALLY isn't happening near you, perhaps you might think it worthwhile doing something yourself?

I could go to a different session every night of the week, should I choose to do so, as well as most Sunday lunchtimes. There are barn dances every week and sometimes 2 or 3 a week. All within half an hour's drive or less. And that's in Hertfordshire ... not normally though of as the capital of UK folk. The people are, as they always have been, an enormous mix of ages and types and it's them that will keep it going ... as they always have.

As for some kind of academic effort to keep folk music going ... POO.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Lidy
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 12:25 PM

Just to emphasise the point:
Cecil J Sharp in 1919 wrote:
"It may be thought that, owing to the late hour at which the interest in our folk music came to be aroused, it is but a shrunken harvest that has been garnered. But I do not think this is so. That the postponement has added very materially to the difficulties of the collector- by compelling him, for instance, to take downhis songs from aged and quavering throats instead of from young, fresh-voiced singers- is of course true enough..."
Look, nearly a century ago the folk singer was a dying breed. If it's lasted this long on its last legs, it looks like its last legs are invincible!!!
Now I'm off to Oxford to see John S and Jon B (and Jon B's brother, Tom B) squeezing and scrapin their stuff!!!
Wahey!


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 07:11 PM

Folk music and song isn't dying but the environment where it is heard is changing. Some clubs may decline different venues may flourish.

The loss of a generation has played merry hell with the economics of running folk events so there are more sessions and fewer clubs than when I first came onto the scene.

The important thing is that there is a route in so that people can discover what is there. I started going to folk clubs because Dylan was cool and the first performer I saw was Tony Rose. I have been hooked on traditional music ever since.


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Subject: RE: Who will Keep the songs alive?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 07:39 PM

"I guess I'm glad it's death was & is feared. That's what gets the collectors out recording them..."

I love that, burke. And I think it's as true today as it was a hundred years ago and more. Maybe it's important for us to fear that we're going to lose it if we're going to to value it properely and keep it.

Here is a link to a story Chesterton wrote called The Shop of Ghosts which is oddly relevant, though it's not about folk music as such. Here's the end of it:

"It hath ever been understood," said a burly man, who carried his head humorously and obstinately a little on one side (I think he was Ben Jonson) "It hath ever been understood, consule Jacobo, under our King James and her late Majesty, that such good and hearty customs were fallen sick, and like to pass from the world. This grey beard most surely was no lustier when I knew him than now."
And I also thought I heard a green-clad man, like Robin Hood, say in some mixed Norman French, "But I saw the man dying."
"I have felt like this a long time," said Father Christmas, in his feeble way again.
Mr. Charles Dickens suddenly leant across to him.
"Since when?" he asked. "Since you were born?"
"Yes," said the old man, and sank shaking into a chair. "I have been always dying."
Mr. Dickens took off his hat with a flourish like a man calling a mob to rise.
"I understand it now," he cried, "you will never die."


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