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Beatles and Folk music

DigiTrad:
LET IT BE


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Betsy 10 Apr 04 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,Russ 10 Apr 04 - 10:54 AM
The Villan 10 Apr 04 - 10:56 AM
Les from Hull 10 Apr 04 - 01:36 PM
Strollin' Johnny 10 Apr 04 - 03:36 PM
The Villan 10 Apr 04 - 04:56 PM
Ed. 10 Apr 04 - 05:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Apr 04 - 05:45 PM
Lanfranc 10 Apr 04 - 07:19 PM
Bill D 10 Apr 04 - 07:19 PM
Once Famous 10 Apr 04 - 07:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Apr 04 - 08:06 PM
Art Thieme 10 Apr 04 - 09:47 PM
Midchuck 10 Apr 04 - 10:56 PM
Dave Hanson 11 Apr 04 - 04:05 AM
Gurney 11 Apr 04 - 04:47 AM
Les from Hull 11 Apr 04 - 08:35 AM
RichM 11 Apr 04 - 08:52 AM
RichM 11 Apr 04 - 08:53 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 11 Apr 04 - 09:16 AM
Leadfingers 11 Apr 04 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Cecil Blunt 11 Apr 04 - 09:42 AM
Bill D 11 Apr 04 - 10:16 AM
Art Thieme 11 Apr 04 - 11:17 AM
Les from Hull 11 Apr 04 - 11:34 AM
Once Famous 11 Apr 04 - 12:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Apr 04 - 05:47 PM
Once Famous 11 Apr 04 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Crystal 11 Apr 04 - 06:39 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 04 - 06:45 PM
harvey andrews 11 Apr 04 - 07:26 PM
Once Famous 11 Apr 04 - 08:16 PM
Strollin' Johnny 12 Apr 04 - 03:54 AM
Betsy 12 Apr 04 - 09:38 AM
GUEST 12 Apr 04 - 09:41 AM
Big Mick 12 Apr 04 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Crystal 12 Apr 04 - 12:32 PM
Art Thieme 12 Apr 04 - 01:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 04 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Pat Cooksey. 12 Apr 04 - 07:30 PM
Art Thieme 12 Apr 04 - 07:37 PM
Brakn 12 Apr 04 - 08:03 PM
Brakn 12 Apr 04 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 12 Apr 04 - 08:34 PM
Dave Hanson 12 Apr 04 - 09:37 PM
George Papavgeris 13 Apr 04 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,Captain Swing 13 Apr 04 - 11:34 AM
IanC 13 Apr 04 - 12:18 PM
Betsy 13 Apr 04 - 12:58 PM
George Papavgeris 13 Apr 04 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,van 13 Apr 04 - 01:29 PM
Betsy 13 Apr 04 - 03:41 PM
George Papavgeris 13 Apr 04 - 04:14 PM
Betsy 13 Apr 04 - 04:38 PM
George Papavgeris 13 Apr 04 - 04:55 PM
Betsy 13 Apr 04 - 05:02 PM
Ed. 13 Apr 04 - 05:14 PM
Dave Hanson 14 Apr 04 - 01:16 AM
GUEST 11 Feb 05 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 11 Feb 05 - 06:32 PM
PoppaGator 11 Feb 05 - 06:34 PM
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alinact 12 Feb 05 - 03:55 AM
John P 12 Feb 05 - 08:26 AM
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GUEST,Sidewinder 12 Feb 05 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 17 Feb 05 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Poppa by-the-back-door Gator 17 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,upon reconsideration, PoppaG 17 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 18 Feb 05 - 03:51 AM
TheBigPinkLad 18 Feb 05 - 12:43 PM
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IanC 21 Feb 05 - 05:34 AM
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GUEST 21 Feb 05 - 06:31 AM
PoppaGator 21 Feb 05 - 11:05 AM
Bill D 21 Feb 05 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 22 Feb 05 - 11:48 AM
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TheBigPinkLad 22 Feb 05 - 06:47 PM
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Brakn 24 Feb 05 - 10:40 AM
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Subject: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 10:32 AM

If, and only if, we can accept that Folk clubs have evolved into Acoustic music clubs-normally with their roots in traditional music is there a case for accepting that Beatles music being played(acoustically)in your club. After all the music has been around for more than 40 years now - sh*t is it THAT long some might say !!
Would it be welcome or is it a definite No-No ?
(For non-musicians - please be aware the songs are easy on the ear, but people like myself find some / most of these songs can be very difficult to play.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 10:54 AM

Mostly we do traditional music, but part of the evening is an "anything goes" session which is exactly what it says. We've been doing it for years and the idea has always been to let people express their current musical interests without constraints. For me it is always fun to hear what people are up to musically. I've heard everything from Misty to Suzie Snowflake.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 10:56 AM

Norwegian Wood, Let It Be, Eleanor Rigby, Here Comes The Sun, Youve Got To hide Your Love Away and a very topical one :-) When I'm 64, are the ones that spring to mind.

Why not, I would accept that. My fear is that unless you are really good, you may finish up second best and do more harm than good. I think whatever anybody thinks about the Beatles, they are a hard act to copy.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Les from Hull
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 01:36 PM

A couple of years ago one of our local clubs ((White Horse) Nellies in Beverley) had the great idea for a singers night - ONLY Beatles songs. It was a great opportunity for regular floor singers to do something different. Maggie and I had great fun doing 'I saw her standing there' in unaccompanied two-part harmony in a sort of fake Watersons style as well as other stuff. So you don't have to try to be Beatles copies - as Villan says you'll be second best, or even Pete Best.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 03:36 PM

Yes, categorically yes.

Many years from now, when we are all dust, one or two of their songs will be introduced in folk clubs as 'Traditional, from the Twentieth Century'.

Bet that statement draws forth howls of protest.

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 04:56 PM

Howl howl howl


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Ed.
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 05:35 PM

one or two of their songs will be introduced in folk clubs as 'Traditional, from the Twentieth Century'.

That isn't going to happen. Unless some fiendish terrorist comes up with a mind control drug, performers will be aware that they're singing Beatles songs.

Sing whatever you enjoy singing. The (so called) source singers didn't fret. They just got on with singing...


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 05:45 PM

Unless some fiendish terrorist comes up with a mind control drug, performers will be aware that they're singing Beatles songs.

What difference would that awareness make? "Here is a traditional song from the 20th Century, which was originally written by a singing group that was popular at the time, known as 'the Beatles' "

It's all skiffle anyway.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Lanfranc
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 07:19 PM

I have a vivid memory of Paul McNeill performing "I've Just Seen a Face" at the Troubadour way back when the world was young. Initial (shocked?) silence was followed by almost total audience participation in the final chorus. What gave it added impact was that it came at the end of a mainly traditional set.

Hell, it's all folk music .....

Alan


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 07:19 PM

well, Woodie Guthrie songs have become 'accepted' in many folkish circles, and I assume that Beatles songs will be too, some day....but being 'accepted' and enjoyed does not change the fact that they are not real, old, genuine traditional *folk*...There will always be a need to distinguish the genré, no matter what is played & sung--just so we have a way to refer to the older type.

Be honest....even though Beatles songs are loved and interesting and popular, they ARE different! They have a different 'feel' from songs written before commercial recordings and pop charts.

What is allowed in a venue is a matter to be determined by the hosts, and there is no reason there can't be Beatles Nights...as well as "NO Beatles Nights". If people want to have a club or evening that is limited to "Druid Madrigals" or "Bluegrass Gospel", they aren't gonna want "Yellow Submarine" included...so why include it in an evening where a group wants to do "Barbry Allen" and "Go Tell Aunt Rhody"?

Once more...it is NOT about what are good songs, it is about accepting that there ARE different notions of what categories exist, and how to allow folks with narrower notions the freedom to wallow in their own little worlds at times..*grin*..If you wanta start a club or evening open to **anything acoustic**, fine...just be aware of what that entails and advertise it honestly!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Once Famous
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 07:57 PM

I believe that I have supported this arguement before.

Beatle music is folk music that originated in the mid 20th century.

All of the songs mentioned above, plus Yellow Submarine is a children's folk song are now folk songs that all folks know.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 08:06 PM

The songs will change. They already have - the thing about folkies singing the Beatles, they tend not to try to sound like the original, and they don't. Over the years that difference will grow, and the words people will sing will change too, because otherwise they won't match the language people use when they talk.

I suppose you'll get purists who will try to insist they have to be sung the way they were sung to start with, but nobody will take too much notice of that.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 09:47 PM

If I want to hear Beatles I put on one of their films or the Beatles Anthology---the videos and/or the CDs.

But when I want to hear folk music, I go to a folk festival or concert where I fully expect to hearmainly the real thing. If someone wants to do an evening concert of Bing Crosby songs or Edith Piaf songs or Perry Como songs or Beatle songs or even my favorite tenor John McCormack's songs etc. etc., they will most assuredly not have me and many of my friends in that audience for the rest of the festival.

Art


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Midchuck
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 10:56 PM

Herewith copy of my post to UMGF in a thread on the Everly Brothers, which may be relevant:

It has been explained thus:

All modern rock derives, to some extent, from the Beatles.

The Beatles often gave credit to the Everly Brothers as the source of their harmony sound.

Anyone who's ever heard the Louvin Brothers will notice how much the Everly Brothers' sound derived from them.

Ira Louvin is no longer with us, so it isn't right to pick on him.

Therefore: Charlie Louvin is the one responsible for modern rock music!


Peter.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 04:05 AM

I'll get my coat.
eric


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Gurney
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 04:47 AM

(Windows seized up just as I was going to post. Didn't know Bill Gates was a traddie!)

Let it be, let it be... They wrote good songs, and a lot of those songs are just out of my capability. Unfortunately.
I can't see any difference between their songs and those of Jim Croce, James Taylor, and other writers of songs about the human condition. But then, I like folk songs, you know, the songs that folks know and like. I just don't believe that you have to go to a folk club/festival to be folks.
Like Lanfranc, I've been there when someone performed L&McC songs to a 'Folk' audience. We all knew the chorus' AND the words.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Les from Hull
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 08:35 AM

Ah but the Louvin Brothers said that they learnt from the Delmore Brothers!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: RichM
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 08:52 AM

I admit I'm a shameless song slut.

If a song appeals to me, I sing it!

I like
Irish trad
beatles
broadway songs
appalachian trad
cape breton
quebec
cowboy
scottish ballads
singer-songwriter stuff, including my fave angsty depressive performer: Lynn Miles!
rocknroll, new and old
pop
hindu classical sitar stuff
bollywood dance scene music
Inuktituk throat singing
schaltzy american irish stuff
country pop
traditional bluegrass
jazz in its many flavors
modern bluegrass
modern folk, whatever that is

I like it all!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: RichM
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 08:53 AM

...and the LouvinDelmoreRighteousEverly Brothers too!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 09:16 AM

And Buddy Holly started off playing and singing like the Louvin Brothers (with Bob Montgomery)

r


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 09:29 AM

Dont forget that a lot of Victorian Parlour Ballads were picked up and remembered by 'The People' and preserved in the oral tradition
and their composers forgotten except by the music reading arty types.

I see no reason why the same thing shouldnt happen with 'Good' Pop
music over a number of years , despite the wealth of recorded music
on vinyl, tape , or disc.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Cecil Blunt
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 09:42 AM

"...composers forgotten except by the music reading arty types...."

And how exactly would music have been preserved prior to mechanical recordings if not by notation? All that cycling out on May mornings clearly means nothing to such inverted snobs.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 10:16 AM

Y'all just do what ya want...Art Thieme & I are going off to a concert together.

So many simply ignore my point. There IS a difference between the older music and the stuff since ...oh, the 1950s & 1960s or so...SOME of us want to be able to specialize in the older satuff...What shall we call it if you keep stuffing every thing that is remotely acoustic and has the vaguest of connections to it under the 'folk' label? Why can't YOU at least call modern singer-songwriter and Beatles music "folk derivative" or "pop acoustic" or something? **FOLK** meant something once, but it was co-opted. Then we tried saying explicitly *TRAD**...but now, you want to call Dylan and the Beatles trad.
   What IS a poor old purist snob to do? Hmmm? *grin*


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 11:17 AM

And Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Edith Piaf, John McCormack, Tiny Tim, Big Mabelle, Little Richard, Fats Waller, Moose Mahem, so many others, and, yes, the beatles were all "good" too------even great if you will.

But not folk.

Never were.

Never pretended to be.

Never wanted to be.

Just allow that these categories exist and like youth always has done, you are trying to push the envelope even before the older generation is dead and cannot answer you in this good forum.
If, after we are dead you manage to get a huge majority of people to agree with your assumptions you will still be way off the mark. I know that isn't democratic, but it is true. Just wait a bit more and those after you will possibly/probably return to the seriously considered and thought-full posings of those that did the first collecting. From deep within the soil on which you tread so willfully and unknowingly, I will chortle quietly.

I hope you read this then -- and hear me guffawing to myself beneath your feet. Yes, Max's spiritual children will still be making the last hundred years of this forum available.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Les from Hull
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 11:34 AM

Bill - as far as I am concerned trad is trad. To me that means somebody must've written this song but we don't know who. And then it got changed around a bit as people remembered it in different ways. If a song is not 'trad' then people here will tell you, rightly so as we should always point out who wrote a particular song.

There are a few songs that are 'almost trad', in that somebody wrote it and almost everyone doesn't know who. There's a current thread on 'Rocky Road to Dublin', a song I would have called 'trad', but know I know different.

But songs don't write themselves. It just that we forget who wrote them, and they come down through the oral tradition in different versions; somebody might change the tune, somebody might write an extra verse, somebody might mishear a word or two.

It's best not to get too tied down to labels. I know we need them if someone asks us 'what sort of songs do you sing?' But then we get into another discussion about 'what is folk music?' Don't go there!

I applaud your aim to specialise on traditional material. I love traditional music. But it's not the only music that I love. Because I use bouzouki or melodeon for accompaniment, and because both I and my partner Maggie love harmony singing, any song we do will be a bit different to any recorded version.

I'll sing owt, me!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Once Famous
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 12:11 PM

Art and others,

It's not that the Beatles were folk singers. They weren't. I don't think anyone is saying that. But their music has woven into the fabric of people's lives over generations. That makes them folk songs. Songs of a period and of a culture. Songs that are easily recognized and many words are known to. Comparing to Edith Piaf and Perry Como is really way out in left field. No one plays guitar and sings songs by the likes of them.

The real question is, is that tradionalism has no time cut-off and is strictly nothing more than a state of mind.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 05:47 PM

No one plays guitar and sings songs by the likes of them.
Edith Piaf is part of the French Chanson tradition, which involves people playing guitars and singing the songs in informal settings, and in which songs pass around by oral transmission as much as anything. And chansons even bob up every now and again in English speaking folk circles. It's a genre that sort of overlaps with folk music proper.

It's premature to talk about the Beatles as "folk". In time, who knows? The songs are already in our common memory, in the same way as music hall songs are, and like music hall songs, thye fit well into the folk scene. In time I imagine they'll be collected in different versions from people who have never heard of the Beatles, and they'll have changed along the way. By that time it might be appropriate to class them as folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Once Famous
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 05:59 PM

Yep, I would strongly assume that some of the Beatle songs are on their way. But specifically, what time frame throws the switch?

Certainly a song like This Land is Your Land was probably considered a true folk song years before the 40 or so years some Beatle music has been around. Did Guthrie and Dylan songs have to wait that long? In fact, did they wait any time at all?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 06:39 PM

The most popular of the songs which my mother, sister and myself sing in clubs is "There you Go" By Buddy Holly.
It takes allsorts.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 06:45 PM

The Beatles' melodies are catchy but their lyrics are generally fatuous, pandering to the teeny bopper taste loved by commercialism. I think it was Sammy Cahn who said that if he ate Alphabet soup he could shit better lyrics than the Beatles wrote.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: harvey andrews
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 07:26 PM

Guest Crystal...by "there you go" by Buddy Holly I take it you mean "it doesn't matter anymore" written by Paul Anka.
And there folks, you have, encapsulated, the beginning of the process that creates a folk song. It goes on and will go on.
The folks decide what folk songs are.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Once Famous
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 08:16 PM

Sammy Cahn was quite the jealous old fool for making that statement.
A good if not great songwriter, who's thunder was stolen and his heyday, past.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 03:54 AM

Les, McGrath, Martin, Harvey - all right on the mark. It's the 'best' songs that survive the years that become 'traditional'. We have no way of knowing the thousands (maybe millions??) of songs sung in other centuries which never made it through time, were composed, sung, forgotten - only the best ones survived into the 20th and 21st Centuries.

The blurring of precisely how certain songs came into being is already starting with 20th-century songs as Harvey pointed out with his reference to 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore', and as witnessed in the 'Fiddler's Green' thread. I wonder how many people can name the writer of, for instance, 'Tipperary'? (June Tabor fans may not enter this competition!) - a very small percentage I'll bet. The traditionalisation process is under way - and in a couple of hundred years, who knows..........................??

Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 09:38 AM

Ok - we've had a go so far .........
Now, as I started the Thread - I wanted to know how long it would take before some of you started to put their own time contraints and parameters on how long it takes for a song to become accepted in the Folk Club Scene.Whilst some of you have sought to defend Tradition - which I applaude , are you tying yours (and our) hands somewhat in dismissing the Beatles ( timewise )and telling them to wait for other conditions to arise before they evolve into Folk Music.Then I suppose you may say that we MUST accept "The Flower of Scotland " / Ewan McColls songs etc.,as a bone Fida Folk Songs although they were getting written at roughly the same time as the Beatles were writing their songs .
Doesn't it tell us about the genre that we support "Folk" Music??
in that, Folk Music has minority appeal and "Pop" has Popular appeal to the general populate and never the twain shall meet ?.
Two of my favourites are "She's leaving Home " and "In My Life" the former of which should be attempted by all us Singer guitarist to appreciate the difficulties in playing such a seemingly easy - song and tune.
Martin Gibson - Well said re:- Sam Cahn - surely he relented / repented somewhere along the way.I hope so .


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 09:41 AM

What pontificating horseshit, on either side, sign off and play yer feckin' guitars fer chrissakes!!!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 09:58 AM

I have always struggled with this whole argument. I love and respect Art, but I still don't quite get what, for him, constitutes folk. Art, does your view of it mean there will be no more folk songs? Since the age of computing, we will always know who wrote what. Does it mean that Seeger's "Where Have All The Flowers Gone", Guthrie's work, MacColl's work, et al, are not folk songs? Please get my context, as I am not being contentious. I just don't quite get the distinguishing factor. I have been around this place almost as long as anyone (With a few notable exceptions) and I just never understood the rigid definition.

To the original question, I believe that renditions can be done of some of these beautiful songs that are folk oriented, but as to if they will become part of the folk music collection ..... hell, I don't know. My head hurts .......

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 12:32 PM

:Guest Crystal...by "there you go" by Buddy Holly I take it you mean "it doesn't matter anymore" written by Paul Anka.

Possibly, I'm not sure who wrote it.
I first learnt it at school.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 01:33 PM

Mick,

I love ya and totally respect you. My answer to you, though, is simply: I don't know.

Art


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 06:38 PM

There's a big difference between "is it folk music?" and "is it acceptable in this folk club?" I suppose there are clubs where the answer to the second question is unequiivocally dependent on the answer to the first question being "Yes".. But not too many.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Pat Cooksey.
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:30 PM

Mick you have hit the nail on the head, I live in Germany but I
play many nights in front of a sould out audience, and I likr it.
The Beatles were and allways was the greateasts that ever was,
please forgive my speling, I am filled with Jamesaon, Slainti/


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:37 PM

Mick, my head is hurting too. I don't belong in this thread or any other thread discussing Beatles music. I enjoy a bunch of what they do, er, did. I have to hear everything they did and all that McCartney does now 'cause Carol has always been a fan and came to Chicago to see (if not hear) 'em twice. ---At White Sox Park and at the International Amphitheater --- right next to Upton Sinclair's Union Stock Yards---still aromatically THERE when they played 20 feet away. Sorry if I've bothered anyone. I suspect it comes down to the old adage "I know what I like". I'll leave it at that since when I say something isn't folk it upsets so many. Is what is !

For our 30th anniversary I bought Carol every Beatles video and CD I could find---and there were a ton of 'em. So it must be real love!!

Art


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Brakn
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 08:03 PM

Folk music? the beatles, everleys, iggy pop, zappa, wild man fischer, sex pistols, luke kelly and alex harvey.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Brakn
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 08:06 PM

Apologies for the last message........well hammered long weekend.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 08:34 PM

Does it matter? Given the current average age of folk performers (about 55 I would guess in the UK (add 5 years for East Yorkshire)). One would expect that folk music as we know it will disappear naturally, long before the Beatles' material leaves the popular consciousness.

Cheers - Captain Swing


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 09:37 PM

I don't think so Captain Swing, folk music has been doing OK for several hundred years already, no reason to think it won't carry on so.
eric


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 03:05 AM

Agreed eric. Also: In 20 years, when many of us will have ceased singing (and probably other functions reserved for the living also), the average age of the folk singers will simply drop to around 40, as the likes of Graham Pirt, Benji Kirkpatrick, Eliza Carthy, John Spiers, Jon Boden, John Thompson/Nicole Murray(Cloudstreet), Vicky Swann, Kate Rusby etc become "folk establishment" themselves.

It's just that there is a continuity break of about a generation or so, because there are comparatively few 30-50 year olds involved in folk today (in the UK). But as the older ones have continued past normal retirement age, the gap is bridged. And the music will go on.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 11:34 AM

I'm not so sure that folk music has done that well in England over the last hundred years. It had all but died out until it was revived by a small bunch of enthusiasts in the early part of the last century. The revival gained impetus in the fifties, sixties and early seventies. However, this revival was still carried by these enthusiasts as a hobby. Most of the songs and tunes performed in our folk clubs are unknown to the general public ( as are the various associated arts such different types of dance ). Very little of this stuff has been absorbed back into popular culture. In this sense the folk music revival has failed dismally and remains, on the whole, a rather obscure pastime with little relevance to most people.

Like it or not, the body of work produced by the Beatles is common currency across the ranges of age and class and does not seem to be diminshing in its influence. And while I agee that much of it is lyrically fatuous it is now an intrinsic element in society and in this sense is now part of the real folk music.

I say all this as a previously passionate folk fan and club organiser and Beatles fan also.

Cheers - Captain Swing


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: IanC
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 12:18 PM

George/Capt S.

I don't share the views of either of you ... it's a mistake to think that folk music (or whatever you want to call it) is just what can be seen. Nowadays, all people seem to see is high profile "performers" like Kate Ruby and Eliza Carthy. Previously, people didn't see anything at all, perhaps, so maybe it's better now. All I can say is I haven't seen Kate Rusby round at the Rose & Crown recently (though no doubt she'd be more than welcome if she did appear).

"Folk" song and music, though, was going on in pubs and other places up and down the country ... not just in pubs (like The Ship at Blaxhall) where the music making got recorded or by people like Sam Larner, Cyril Poacher and Harry Cox who people "discovered". There were "singsongs" every week during the 1950s and 1960s in the pub in my little village in Cambridgeshire. The people there knew nothing about "folk clubs" or "revivalists" and never had. Neither would they have ever thought of going to a folk club if anyone suggested it.

Thankfully, such events continue or restart, often unnoticed (thank God perhaps) by the "folkies". The Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Animals, Troggs etc. are sung and played in them just as the "classic" English pub music of the 1920s and 30s (and the 1950s) included pop music from less than 20 years before (seems like we're a bit historically conservative at the moment). This hasn't changed any ... Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp were busy ignoring the more modern pieces as being "of little value" when they "revived" traditional music and song in the 1890s and 1900s.

Actually, all the "revivals" there ever have been are sitting on the back of traditional (in the sense of traditional practices) singers and musicians. The idea that the "revivalists" in some way kept the tradition going is, to me, somehow laughable. I'm inclined to agree with James Hogg's mother who told Walter Scott, after she found out he'd written her songs down and published them, that he had fairly ruined the lot of them.

10 years ago, I started a "Folk Session" in a pub in our village. It's village-based, though we welcome anybody who comes (so long as we don't fail to notice them). Hardly anyone who goes there has ever been to a folk club and none of them regularly attend one. Most of us don't go to any other session (though I admit that I attend one other fairly regularly). Our repertoire is varied (and sometimes we forget it altogether), including a fair bit of traditional material and the (very occasional) self-penned number which we all know and join in with. I regret having described the session as "folk" really, but there it is.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 12:58 PM

Sympathies to Ian C with his last sentence above - but it sounds to me you know what you're doing , which reminds me of another situation that in the 60's there were 2 factions in the Folkclub those who proudly wore their EFDSS Badges and often wore shirts and ties / presentably dressed , and the others duffle coats / jeans type of thing.
The "Badges" definitely had an air of superiority over the rest of us but it never spolit our enjoyment of the weekly Folk nights.
Ian C seems combination of the good bits of the factions described , so , keep up the good work and enjoy yourselves.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 01:08 PM

IanC,
I agree with your point about folk not being just the "visible" (in the media) part, that is just the tip. I was referring to the "star" names in the sense of their having a following, which will hopefully get together in some sort of organised fashion (clubs?), at some sort of venue (anything goes here) to emulate their "idols". I should have explained better.

Will it happen as I predict? Er...dunno really, but I am basing my optimism on the existence of future "stars" for others to follow.

On the point that revivals happen on the back of traditional musicians: Mmm, not sure about that being always the case. In the US for example, much of the revival was led by non-traditional singers and songwriters. In the UK the pattern seems to be as you state. I am not sure that it always HAS to be so, but I think that the majority of the "star" names I mentioned above belong in the category of "traditional practices" musicians, so the chance is there...

The advent of the Internet, more than anything else, has sent thousands (millions?) of people searching their past, their history, cultures, exchanging knowledge etc. Nowadays we are all much more aware of the world and its traditional music. I think this renewed interest will still be there, and it will help the music carry on.

Commercialism might provide some nails for the coffin of the traditional "folk process". But we are seeing the breakdown of the old stranglehold by the record companies, as downloading of music opens the floodgates. (What that will do to copyright and future songwriting incentives is anybody's guess, of course; it may be that the professional songwriter has a limited lifespan now and we might end up going to the pre-commercial days of people writing their songs for the heck of it, just because they want to communicate that way). Whether or not songwriters and copyright become victims of the opening of the Internet Pandora's box, however, I think the music itself will thrive.

What I cannot predict at all is the format to which today's club-and-concert will mutate. I think many of us who have become fans of the participatory club format through the last 40 years are scared of their demise (and I count myself in that group). To counter that, I only have my belief that people are social animals and they will want to share their music with each other - despite all that commercialism and the media have been doing to drive us to passive entertainment (or perhaps as a reaction to that).

It may not be the "folk scene as we know it, Jim". I just wish I could hang around to find out...


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,van
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 01:29 PM

Although we might all be based in a folk blues tradition, or a folk or a blues tradition, don't we all have a go at whatever we can play? "It ain't horse music".


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 03:41 PM

Can anyone translate the last contribution ?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 04:14 PM

I think it was "whatever our main area of music individually, we all have a go at other things too, and it's all part of folk", addressing the main point of the thread (from which I strayed so far earlier!)


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 04:38 PM

El Greko I'm in your debt - but what's horse music ??


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 04:55 PM

Refers to the statement by XXX (Guthrie? Dylan? somebody in the US) that of course it's all "folk" music, because "nobody ever heard a horse sing" - a mildly facetious way of considering anything sung by ordinary "folk" to be folk music.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Betsy
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 05:02 PM

I always thought Mr.Ed wasn't such a bad chanter - it just shows doesn't it ?

Ta !!!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Ed.
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 05:14 PM

Hey, that's me you're talking about!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 01:16 AM

Neigh.
eric


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 05:52 PM

I believe that any strong melody can be played in any style.
You don't get much stronger melodies than those from the Beatles. How many of us started playing an instrument because we liked a tune and wanted to replicate it?
We've played many pub sessions and 'Norwegian Wood' on banjo,mandoline and 12 string always goes down well and is a great ice-breaker - as is ABBAS' 'Dancing Queen'

Again, ABBA= strong melodies - so how about "ABBA and folk music"

Simply, well-known good tunes played on acessible instruments gets folk playing.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:32 PM

It had to happen; mention "Beatles" in a thread and here comes the greatest "Beatlemaniac" of em' all to the bar. I first encountered Beatles music when I was very young in Pubs and Clubs and the old charabangs (coach trips to the seaside) where a line of a song would be thrown out and everybody, as if by magic, knew all the words and the tune and it would lift the spirits of every person there."She Loves You" "Hey Jude" "Help!" etc.etc.etc. All traditional folk songs to a boy who didn't know or care the whys? and wherefores? that seem to preoccupy so many "Musos" these days. Still I venture to the odd Hostelry from time to time and to this day I hear these songs being sung and peoples reactions are just the same as back in the day. The only difference is I know the whys? and wherefores? now.But "it doesn't really matter if I'm wrong, I'm right, where I belong, I'm right, where I belong.Silly people standing round, who disagree, and never win, and wonder why they don't get past my door".says it all really!

I rest my case.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:34 PM

A few weeks ago, our local folk/acoustic coffeehouse featured an evening with the Basin Street Shieks, a jug band that appears there regularly, recreating the entire Beatles "White Album," or, as they advertised their effort, the "Shite Album." (They even took a shot at "Revolution #9" ~ not terribly well done, but hilarious nevertheless.)

Although some of the songs were done quite nicely (especially the quieter acoustic pieces), others (including the hardest-rocking numbers) could only be "approximated," given the limits of the jug-band instrumentation. The evening as a whole was an exercise in humor and hubris, and appreciated as such.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:42 PM

But was it Folk PoppaGator, was it Folk music or just Beatle music or maybe both?

Regards

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: alinact
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 03:55 AM

For what it's worth (now THERE is a future folk song!), this is a quote from Tom Glazer in his book "A New Treasury Of Folk Songs" written in 1962.

"There are many definitions of a folk song; here is mine. I believe it is accurate and scientific in the sense that it attempts to describe an objective situation rather than subjective likes and dislikes. It is this: a folk song is almost any song which is liked by almost everybody in the country of its origin over a long period of time. This rules out: (1) songs which are or were popular for just a short time; (2) songs which may become folk songs but are not yet old enough and (3) songs which are liked by a minority of the population rather than a majority".

Why does this statement remind me of the Monty Python sketch "My name is Anne Elk and I have a theory".

Allan


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: John P
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 08:26 AM

I love the Beatles dearly, and consider them folk music in many non-musical ways. But if you can't hear the difference between an old traditional melody and a Beatles melody, you need to clean out your ears.

My impression of what Bill D and Art are getting at when they say that tradtional is different than modern composed music is that it sounds different. And they're right. And it doesn't mean the Beatles weren't great and didn't have a huge impact on the consciousness of a generation. It doesn't mean that in the sense of "folk music is the music the folk play" that they are not folk music -- but then so is heavy metal, rap, and baroque, so why have labels at all? And it doesn't mean folks shouldn't play Beatles music at folk clubs -- unless the folk club wants to have all traditional music, which really does sound different.

There are many modern songwriters who are (or were when they were alive) so immersed in traditional music that they managed to write music that sounds like traditional music. For this reason, some of their songs have been generally accepted by traditional music enthusiasts. It doesn't mean these songs really are traditional in a historic.musicoly sense. It just means they sound like folk music, so folks who want to hear an evening of folk music don't mind when they are included. It also doesn't mean that all recently written songs that are liked by a lot of folkies are folk music.

Its all about what it sounds like. I play music by the Beatles a lot, and sometimes even in folky settings, but I don't ever pretend that it's folk music. It just doesn't sound like folk music.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM

I should answer Sidewinder ("But was it Folk PoppaGator, was it Folk music or just Beatle music or maybe both?"), but I'm not sure what to say.

I suppose "maybe both" is the best answer I can come up with.

Reasons it was "folk": The Shieks' good-natured butchering of the "White Album" songs was certainly not anything at all like any pop/rock band's serious attempt to "cover" the same material, and the jug-band instrumentation made for a generally "folk-ish" sound. And, of course, the songs were all completely familiar to the "folk" in the audience.

Reasons it was NOT folk: recently composed pieces of known authorship, not "traditional" (and not ever written to seem traditional).

You decide.

I'm gradually maturing into the state where I can classify music more and more simply, trying to maintain only two categories: music-I-like and noise-I-dislike. Discussions involving other criteria are often interesting (and even worth the effort to participate), but ultimately trivial. The performance in question was definitely enjoyable, but for reasons quite different from the usual ~ it was very entertaining, but primarily as comedy rather than as music.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 01:48 PM

PoppaGator I have no problem with anyone who decides by their own volition that The Beatles are/are not Folk Music because it is a case of each to their own; as you surmised. I do however, have a problem with the pusilanimous three chord Kumbaya brigade that dismiss The Beatles music because it is, in effect, too difficult for them to get to grips with. I cannot play any Puccini pieces but I love his work and don't need to play it to admire it.How can anyone who professes a love of music not be enamoured and inspired by the genius of The Beatles. History will be kind to the Fab Four. But, it is doubtful in several hundred years whether Phil Ochs and Ewan McColl etc. will be anything more than far distant echoes from the past. Mere decades ago people raved about Jose Iturbe and Al Jolson etc. how often do you hear them mentioned these days.The Beatles are the most significant mass cultural UK export of the twentieth century and yet there are still those who deny their achievements. As John Lennon said "We set out to be the best fu**ing group on the planet" and by God, they did it with style and substance that will be debated for thousands of years to come.I, for one, absolutely love,respect, and admire them and I say; it is English Folk Music at its best and I am proud of it, and for me that's what counts.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 12:08 PM

Gosh I'm feisty when I get my dander up!

Forever Free.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Poppa by-the-back-door Gator
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM

Yo Sidewinder,

I wouldn't waste energy worrying about the tiny minority who find it necessary to denigrate the Beatles' achievements for any reason, whether it's their "failure" to meet the criteria for "folk music" or any other trifling hangup.

Jose Iturbe! Wow, is that ever an obscure reference! If I hadn't been watching the Old Movie Channel around the clock during my convalescence last year, I would have no idea who you were talking about. I saw him in some obscure late-40s romantic comedy, playing a Cuban concert pianist (which, I suppose, is exactly what he was in real life) secretly married to a young widowed American soprano with three nosy daughters.

I used to try to confine my musical tastes to genres in which I was able to play, but I just ain't that much of a player. I sure can listen, though, and enjoy all kinds of music. Well, not all kinds, but most kinds...


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,upon reconsideration, PoppaG
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 08:02 PM

Well, sure, the Beatles are not "traditional" folk music, at least not according to one well-established definition ~ obviously. If you define "folk music" according to one of the more inclusive defintions, on the other hand, they might well qualify.

Any artist will create works within the genre/style in which he/she performs. Someone who sings unaccompanied British ballads with unknown long-past origins will undoubtedly write songs that sound consistent with that tradition (if he indeed finds it meaningful to write any new music at all). Someone who plays trad-jazz clarinet will, if he composes anything, probably produce work that sounds 75-100 years old.

There is not "a" tradition, there are many many musical traditions, and each has its devotees.

I do have a problem with the school of thought that argues that their particular favorite style is somehow sacrosanct and inherently superior to others; this usually has something to do with a reverence for truly OLD material.

Some of us need to be reminded that NO ONE KNOWS WHAT ANY MUSIC SOUNDED LIKE PRIOR TO THE DAWN OF RECORDING TECHNOLOGY. Music is always performed in the present moment, and is always contemporary, the product of the living person(s) creating it out of (and into) thin air. Too often, folks who feel such a great reverence for a style of music that they believe has roots in the deep past are really just trying to perpetuate sounds that occurred early in the era of recording technology ~ in other words, the moment in time that they are trying to freeze really dates back no further than about 1925.

Hey, everyone is certainly entitled to like whatever they like, but let's please keep some perspective about this.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 03:51 AM

An interesting hypothosis PoppaGator I think I understand what you're saying ; everything comes from somewhere therefore it falls probably into several definable categories all derisive. My view on The Beatles is simply that they played music across the borders and between the lines. Some of it seemingly very original some of it with a cross pollination that is never too obvious and can be easily misconstrued. This was the ART of The Beatles they transcended carbon copy Rock and Roll and Show tunes, Folk and Blues, and delivered a canon of work that rates alongside Mozart and Beethoven.But is it classical? Maybe? Is it folk? Maybe? Is it wonderful? YES!!! I reiterate my original point that The Beatles are folk but not just folk and every time I enter a musical gathering and hear a Beatle song being played - it proves my point.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 12:43 PM

I think anything is fair game for the folk genre. If a song/tune/snippet is perpetuated by the living it meets my definition of folk, and unless someone can shew me a definitive definition ... well, mine is it ;o)

You can buy the sheet music and play exactly what the Beatles wrote or you can 'fiddle' with it. And if superannuation is a must in your definition I guess time will win that argument.

Someone said it's all to do with how it sounds. Naa, can't agree there. I think everyone would agree Waly Waly and The Black Velvet Band are folk songs but they're not very similar in sound.

My penno'th.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 02:03 PM

Let me backtrack and play "devil's advocate" against some of my previous arguments. Perhaps there is a meaningful difference between true "folk" music and all other genres, and it's this:

Real folk music is not conscious of itself as a potentially commercial commodity, but is produced for the enjoyment of a close local community, family and friends. Lots of stuff done in the past certainly met this criterion (and, for many of us, our own musical activity fits this defintion as well). But, as far as songs are concerned, almost any contemporary composition that we all know (from recordings widely heard and recognized on both sides of the Atlantic) falls short of this strict definition of "folk."

It's almost impossible, in the present age of communication, to be as purely naive as the anonymous authors of the old trad songs, but (probably precisely because of the pervasiveness of commerically recorded musical "product") there is an impulse and a movement to preserve music that sounds and feels like the communal music of the past.

For those who allow a looser definition of folk music, it seems inconsistent to accept some 20th/21st century compositions while turning one's nose up at others ~ assuming, of course, that all these pieces are being performed at an approprite volume level with acoustic (or mostly-acoustic) instruments.

In other words, if a venue's policy to to restrict performances to a truly traditional repertoire, then yes, it makes sense to rule out Beatles songs. But on the other hand, there is absolutely no reason (except prejudice and hypocrisy) to accept, say, Bert Jansch's "Anji" while excluding the Beatles' "Blackbird."


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Swave N. Deboner
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 01:42 AM

I caught a Wings concert in the late 70's, during which, Paul came out and sat on the edge of the stage with a 12 string. He played and sang, 'Yesterday', 'Blackbird', and 'I've Just Seen a Face' solo. That was pretty close to my concept of folk, and it was damn good.

SND


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,MikeofNorthumbria (no cookie)
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 06:48 PM

Hi PoppaGator,

Just for the record, Bert Jansch (and a few others) recorded "Angie" - but the original tune was composed by Davey Graham. Mind you, Davey built it on a descending bass line that's commonplace in Flamenco, and widely used in Blues and Jazz ... some version of it might even be lurking in one of the lesser-known works of J S Bach for all I know ...

For me, this ongoing confusion sums up the whole process. Rudyard Kipling once wrote something along the same lines-

"When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre
He'd heard men sing on land and sea,
An' what he thought 'e might require
'E went and took--the same as me!

The market-girls and fishermen
The shepherds and' the sailors too
They 'eard old songs turn up again
But kep' it quiet--same as you!

They knew 'e stole; 'e knew they knowed
They didn't tell, nor make a fuss
But winked at 'Omer down the road
An' 'e winked back--the same as us."

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 04:05 AM

I remember reading, a few years back, an article about the influence of "Norwegian Wood" on the folk movement (meaning musicians -of which several were quoted on their view of the song) in the 1960s and it was basically saying that it was the most important folk song written in the 60s and its influence more far reaching than any Dylan composition. I have been trying to find it so I could reproduce it here but as yet have been unsuccessful.However, I will persevere with my search. As I recall it analysed the song and its form and structure and hailed it as a "masterwork". I mention this because as folk enthusiasts you must have a view on this song yet no-one has mentioned it.This is by no means my favourite Beatle song (Top 20 maybe) but it does seem to be a folk song that started its own stream of influence that flows to this day. Any comments?

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: IanC
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 05:34 AM

Oddly enough, we sing Norwegian Wood, often unaccompanied, quite frequently in our sessions. It's very much a favourite with us all and has been for over 5 years. Fits in with my idea of folk (i.e. what people sing, not what they listen to).

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 05:55 AM

There will be no folkclubs a hundred years from now - there may not even be any human beings. The 21st century is going to be " the century from hell"!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:31 AM

ooohh - the post to end all threads!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 11:05 AM

Hard as it may be to agree on a definition for "folk music," it may be even more problematic to list the defining characteristics of "contemporary folk," for those who even admit that such a thing might exist. We customarily recognize some works of some contemporary songwriters as "folk," but not others. I think that in many cases, the distnction is not based on any musical and/lyrical aspects of the songs themselves, but on the reputations and customary stylistic approaches of the creators (i.e., whether they are established "folk" personalities or not).

Apparently, to some writers, some Beatles tunes (e.g., "Norwegian Wood," "Yesterday," etc.) qualify as "folksongs." Presumably, for some if not all of these "authorities," others ~ the hardest-rocking numbers, I suppose ~ do not.

I remember hearing some semi-pro local performers who were considered "folksingers" starting to add Beatles songs to their repertoires around the time that the "Rubber Soul" album came out. In retrospect, it's hard to say whether the songs themselves were more folk-like than earlier Beatles material, or if the phenomenon was just a sign of the times, when the dividing line between the "folk" and "rock" genres was fading.

If the criterion that distinguishes the "folk" songs as a subset of the Beatles entire ouvre is, as Sidewinder suggests, nothing more than easy playbility, the distinction is not very meaningful.

Mike, thanks for the heads-up about Davy Graham. I had some vague awareness that "Angie" was not originally Jansch's, although his version may be the best known, at least in the US. I had not encountered the spelling "Anji" until recently, here at Mudcat, and got the impression that it was correct (in contract to the more customary "Angie"). Are there perhaps recordings by different artists using the two different spellings?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 12:17 PM

so, the thread resurfaces....and I see at least ONE person has read and understood what Art & I are trying to say...

thank you, John Peekstock

BigPinkLad..I usually like & agree with 91.027% of your posts, but in this case you are glossing over the argument and missing the point.

Waly Waly and The Black Velvet Band are different sounds indeed...butthey are not 'totally' different, and they share several other characteristics which set them apart from much modern pop music....(topic, style, history, etc..etc..)

As to your little comments about 'my' definition *grin*....aren't definitions practically useless if everyone applies his own? You can apply any definition of label you care to for your own personal use, but in order to refer to things in a community, there needs to be some agreement and commonality.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:48 AM

PoppaGator I think you are missing my initial argument on why some folkies have an aversion to the songs of The Beatles. In an earlier posting I referred to "the three chord Kumbaya Brigade" who could never dream of playing a song like "Blackbird" or "Across The Universe" and so they shun it all.You say "easy playability" I say; I have heard probably hundreds of interpretations of "Norwegian Wood" yet I have never heard it done: as on "Rubber Soul". In the book "Revolution In The Head" by Ian McDonald it states the song is performed in E but without a capo and,as far as he can tell, without speeding up or slowing down the tape (as was practised at that time) and he and the experts are at a loss as to how the song is actually played by Lennon. I call it artistry and musicianship, and considering the lyric also, genius. A 1960s folk song that is far from "easily playable". I should know; I can get as close as damnit and I have had to play it in D for over twenty years as do most others and this is easier to play than "Blackbird" etc.Think again PoppaGator!

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:24 PM

Sorry ~ I didn't mean to characterize "Norwegian Wood" as "easily playable."

When I used that phrase "easily playable," I was trying to communicate that I understood you to have characterized the opinions of others in their acceptance of a given number as "folk music" as being based on their ability to comprehend and play the song. In other words, only stuff as simple as "Kumbaya" gets recognized as "true folk music" while other songs are excluded because of their perceived (or actual) complexity.

I probably assumed, somewhere along the line, that those who seem to shun the more complex pieces are those who would NOT accept "Norwegian Wood" as appropriate fare for their folk-music venues. However, looking back, I see that some writer was quoted as having accepted Norwegian Wood as "folk music." So I see where the misunderstanding came in.

"Real" folksongs, of course, don't exist in a single written-in-stone key ~ they can be transposed, via capo and/or rearrangement, and still remain the same song. Perhaps "faking" NW as closely as one can is folk music, while striving to duplicate the recorded arrangement is something else.

Here's hoping I haven't just made things more complicated and thus less understandable.

I never tried to play NW exactly like the record, but here's an observation off the top of my head:

Lennon may very likely have retuned his guitar to George's sitar, winding up two half-steps up (or perhaps approximately two steps higher than concert pitch, not exactly). Then, of course, he could have played the D-major chord shapes that everyone seems to hear in the piece, and it would come out in E (or "near-E").

(If I've gotten the whole thing ass-backwards, and the guitar is tuned down rather than up, the same principle should still apply.)


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:47 PM

As to your little comments about 'my' definition *grin*....aren't definitions practically useless if everyone applies his own? You can apply any definition of label you care to for your own personal use, but in order to refer to things in a community, there needs to be some agreement and commonality.

Precisely, Bill. My point is that there is no accepted definition so mine is as good as any other. I'm not sure I follow the other thing about my missing the point (... which I suppose means I'm missing the point -- you're right!)

Incidentally, (if the definition of 'pop' is as the abbreviation of 'popular') the Black Velvet Band was a UK No. 1 hit in the 60s.

Be careful, Bill -- agreeing with 91.027% of my posts makes you my biggest fan by a huge (huge!) margin. *grin*


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 10:21 AM

Thanks for the clarification PoppaGator it does seem we sometimes find it difficult to put into print "what we are actually trying to say" and I do mean we. I have tried several different tuning methods and capo placings.However, nothing really registers as the original article.I always think when people (including myself) play "Norwegian Wood" it is just "painting by numbers" and I like to think that the recording is a flourish of inspired genius that Lennon himself would struggle to recapture. I often wondered why they never even attempted to perform it "live" when they did an electrified "Yesterday" etc.It is (I think we all agree now?) a classic folk song even if it isn't traditional.Beatles folk agree anyway!

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 10:40 AM

Sorry ~ I didn't mean to characterize "Norwegian Wood" as "easily playable."

I'd appreciate some explanation as to why some Mudcatters think this song isn't (relatively) easy to play - It seems pretty straight forward to me


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Brakn
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 10:40 AM

Incidentally, (if the definition of 'pop' is as the abbreviation of 'popular') the Black Velvet Band was a UK No.15 hit in 67.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 02:22 PM

GUEST,Jim: What Sidewinder was saying ~ pretty clearly, as far as I can see ~ is that he found it near-impossible to exactly duplicate the way "Norwegian Wood" is played on the original recording. That is, it is apparently devilishly difficult to play the same notes on the guitar in the same key. (I can't say whether he has also been trying to duplicate the sitar part.)

I don't necessarily agree that it's important to play a song ~ especially a "folksong" ~ in its original key, or in any particular key, in order to claim you can play it. But, that's my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 11:08 AM

Why thanks for speaking up on my behalf PoppaGator you are obviously on my wavelength at times.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 12:14 PM

Fair comment PoppaGator - I've never really understood why anyone would try to duplicate exactly an original recording anyway. Surely it's better to put your own interpretation on it and create your own "signature". Often you can end up with something that sounds better anyway.
I'm puzzled that folks try to emulate, for example, Eva Cassidy's version of "Over the Rainbow" - OK, it's a great version, and the lady certainly had a nice guitar style, but it's not rocket science to come up with another variation that doesn't shout to everyone that you're just trying to copy the recording.
Just my 2 penceworth


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: RiGGy
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 12:31 PM

I would have never discovered the love of my life, ENGLISH FOLKSONG, if it had not been for the Beatles. The American fascination with their accents, cultural differences, and sophistication became open Anglophilia for many I hung with in the Village in the 60s. The timing of their entre' to the American Music scene coincided with puberty for me and I wanted girls to scream for me, too.
Their [ and The Stones, too ] obvious respect for, and borrowing from AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC, sent me on my particular search for musical roots, an obsession that draws me to lurk MudCat everyday. When the Incredible String Band came on the scene, they joined the Beatles to create my lust for the roots of English music. It was a short pleasant walk from there to the Topic Catalog and the rest of my life. Thank you Fab4. Riggy


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 05:59 PM

Well, I think when you're captivated by a particular artist's interpretation of a well-known song, it's valid and admirable to try to "copy" it ~ especially when the version in question is a departure from earlier, more familiar renditions. (e.g., Jimi's "Watchtower," Joe Cocker's "Little Help from My Friends," to cite a couple of very well-known rock/folk-rock examples).

The thing to keep in mind is that you CAN'T absolutely duplicate that other person, you can only be you. So, as you continue to practice and perform the song over and over, you will be adding your own wrinkles, unconsciously if not consciously.

Eventually, your version should develop and emerge, and it should have its own quality and appeal. Even if you're technically less sophisticated than the artist you're emulating, something about your performance will be unique, and therefore (if you have any musical talent at all) worthwhile.

Mention of Eva Cassidy's "Over the Rainbow" reminds me that I've recently been hearing another very original reinterpretation of the same song, sung and played on the ukelele by a male Hawaiian artist. Very nice, and very different. Anyone know what I'm talking about?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: C-flat
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 03:32 AM

PoppaGator, I think it's this guy.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 10:20 AM

Thanks to PoppaGator & C-Flat for the pointer to ISRAEL "IZ" KAMAKAWIWO` - I heard his version of Over the Rainbow a few months ago and the DJ didn't give any details (I wish DJ's these days would cut the crap & just do their jobs).

As to your comment PPG - "you CAN'T absolutely duplicate that other person, you can only be you" - it seems sad to me that some performers DO try to duplicate that other person, and that's just what stops them being themselves. Slavish "Tab-followers" do themselves an injustice by learning by numbers without developing their own style. Tab is OK in moderation, but there's a danger of dependency that may eventually require rehab.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 07:08 AM

Its really strange isn't it that as early as the 1960's some critics were saying The Beatles were the greatest songwriters since Schubert, and Paul MacCartney has dabbled with the classical world and had his work recorded by orchestras up and down the land. great jazz players like Josh Redman and Wes Montgomery have have had a bash at Beatles songs. every singer from Sinatra to Steve earle has loved a Beatles song enough to record it.

The question is do the fab four have the enough artisic validity to stand beside some old fart who's forgotten the words to the wild rover.

The question divides the nation......!

No wonder folk music is on its knees . the trouble is that some of our number have delusions of significance.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM

Beatles folk? Yes some of it is! Nuff said -The End.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:18 AM

Earlier this month, I went to a bouzouki workshop where the tutor demonstrated the virtues of the instrument by playing part of Norwegian Wood. Despite my preference for British trad material, I've added the song to my repertoire.

The Beatles, folk music? Does it matter? Will the resolution of this question affect the way a butterfly flaps its wing the other side of the globe?


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 09:35 AM

Mixing "Folk" with Beatles, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Bessie Smith or whoever else is what helps to keep the clubs alive


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:53 AM

well spotted Jim! wots wrong with being a purist...bleeding everything.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM

99


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 11:58 AM

Leadfingers, eat my shorts! 100.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 07:19 PM

Hey, who needs a Rickenbacker? My 9 year old daughter was swinging to Twist and Shout on the bouzouki. I reckon John would have loved one. The Troggs Wild Thing has not been spared and I won't get any satisfaction until I've tried something by the Rolling Stones. I just can't explain who might have influenced me.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 08:39 PM

We have reached a hiatus with this thread and I am pleased to say recent contributors of like mind have set this issue to rights.The outcome being; it's all folk after some time has elapsed and it translates to our repertoires and denying anything from pop music is an outmoded elitist approach that will see folk diminishing year on year and your good self sat alone performing your longstanding "traditional" set to an uninterested lone barman.Whereas I will be happily performing songs from "Rubber Soul" to an appreciative audience as always.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Beatles and Folk music
From: fiddler
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 03:31 AM

Just a thought

Was what we now call 'traditional folk' once the Popular muic of the day.

Same with Dancing - That was what they did then!

Fortunately neither is pickled in aspic and it cna still evolve and accept new facets keeping teh genre alive and kicking.

Andy


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