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Songs you thought were trad

GUEST,Vixen @ work 23 Nov 04 - 11:25 AM
Pete Jennings 23 Nov 04 - 11:32 AM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Vixen @ work 23 Nov 04 - 11:48 AM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 11:55 AM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,James 23 Nov 04 - 02:31 PM
PoppaGator 23 Nov 04 - 02:51 PM
Marion 23 Nov 04 - 02:57 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 23 Nov 04 - 03:01 PM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 03:12 PM
artbrooks 23 Nov 04 - 03:13 PM
Rasener 23 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Nov 04 - 03:27 PM
em gunyou halaas 23 Nov 04 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 23 Nov 04 - 03:42 PM
Crystal 23 Nov 04 - 04:01 PM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 04:04 PM
Wesley S 23 Nov 04 - 04:13 PM
MMario 23 Nov 04 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 23 Nov 04 - 04:25 PM
Jim McLean 23 Nov 04 - 05:09 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Nov 04 - 06:12 PM
Deckman 23 Nov 04 - 06:17 PM
Moonunit 23 Nov 04 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,David Ingerson without his cookie 23 Nov 04 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,sandra in sydney @ work (cos my computer is 23 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM
Blowzabella 23 Nov 04 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Nancy King at work 23 Nov 04 - 08:17 PM
andymac 23 Nov 04 - 09:00 PM
Ebbie 23 Nov 04 - 09:42 PM
Margret RoadKnight 23 Nov 04 - 09:44 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 23 Nov 04 - 11:48 PM
Deckman 24 Nov 04 - 12:14 AM
andymac 24 Nov 04 - 12:25 AM
Lonesome EJ 24 Nov 04 - 01:06 AM
Little Robyn 24 Nov 04 - 01:18 AM
Seamus Kennedy 24 Nov 04 - 04:30 AM
Crystal 24 Nov 04 - 06:34 AM
Dave Bryant 24 Nov 04 - 07:12 AM
Moses 24 Nov 04 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Mingulay 24 Nov 04 - 08:59 AM
Leadfingers 24 Nov 04 - 09:18 AM
Roger in Baltimore 24 Nov 04 - 09:28 AM
OldFolkie 24 Nov 04 - 09:35 AM
Splott Man 24 Nov 04 - 10:40 AM
BB 24 Nov 04 - 02:29 PM
PoppaGator 24 Nov 04 - 02:39 PM
Scoville 24 Nov 04 - 07:19 PM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Nov 04 - 07:31 PM
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Subject: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Vixen @ work
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:25 AM

This topic has come up before in a variety of threads. I thought it might be useful to see if we could compile a list in one place.

So, what songs did you think were oldies from the distant and/or undocumentable folk tradition that turned out to be recently composed?

Two that I know were mentioned in past threads:

Mairi's Wedding
Ook Pik

Red Clay Halo by Welch/Rawlings is the song that made me start the thread.
Roseville Fair and Ole Jack by Bill Staines are two more that come to mind.

V


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:32 AM

For years I thought Dancing at Whitsun was trad, till I read the credits on Individually and Collectively. Mind you, it does use the tune to The Week Before Easter !


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM

What do you consider "recent"? - after all, Mairi's wedding was composed in 1935.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Vixen @ work
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:48 AM

Good Question MMario--

I may be showing my age/youth here, but I consider anything later than 1900 to be "recent"...

Hadn't even really considered where the boundaries were on that...

V


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:55 AM

having grown up in a tourist area where "anything over 50 years old is 'antique'" was the rule of thumb I just wondered.

1900 sound like a good cut off though - as that DOES allow a couple generations from inception.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM

Nonesuch - not the tune, but the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,James
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 02:31 PM

Barrett's Privateers , edward as recorded by Steeleye Span, Cagdwith anthem


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 02:51 PM

"Long Black Veil"

"Patriot Game"


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Marion
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 02:57 PM

This reminds me of a debate I once had with a friend over "Four Strong Winds". She thought it was "a traditional folk song",and I thought it was "recently composed".

The interesting thing was, turns out that we both knew that it was from the 1960's - we just had very different concepts of what traditional and recent meant. She thought the 60's were ancient history, and I thought the 60's were just yesterday morning.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:01 PM

MMario, what lyrics do you have for, "Nonesuch?" Are there others besides mine?   Jean


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:12 PM

Jean - PM sent.

I'm ashamed to admit I don't know what lyrics you sing for "Nonesuch"


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:13 PM

Ashokton Farewell, which a lot of people still think is a Civil War-vintage song.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Rasener
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM

The biggest one in my mind that most people think is traditional, but was written in the late 1960's by John Conolly is Fiddlers Green.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:27 PM

Dark Isle Lament.

Heard Richard Grainger once tell the story about him going into a museum in the North East. They were playing his song 'The Whitby Whaler'. When he asked the curator what it was he was told it was a traditional song. He said he didn't know whether to be pleased or not!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: em gunyou halaas
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:33 PM

In This Heart Sinad O'Conner

Too bad. It's a beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 03:42 PM

The ladies go dancing at Whitsun uses the same tune as Week before Easter?

I can see there are similarities but the tunes I use don't even swap over very easily.

I've never really been all that worried about 'traditional' or recent - it is all just a matter of time. I have started reserching and including the author of the song or poem and tune in my song book - but for decades I really didn't care, if it was a good song I pinched it to sing myself.

It is only that people have become more interested in sources and have been asking me where my songs came from, and I hate to say 'I don't know'.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Crystal
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:01 PM

Don't Cry In Your Sleep and Mairis Wedding, I'm not sure why I always thought the first one was traditional, but I learnt Mairis Wedding from my mother (dosn't that sort of make it traditional now?)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:04 PM

That depends - I learned "gilligan's Island" at summer camp - does that make it traditional? or just popular?


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:13 PM

You are my sunshine


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:22 PM

yikes! 1940 for 'You are my sunshine"?!?!?! I would have said between 1890 and 1910!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 04:25 PM

Are tunes allowed? I thought the Shetland fiddle tune "Spootiskerry" was traditional until I learned it was composed in the 1950's by Ian Burns.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 05:09 PM

I wrote 'Don't Cry in your Sleep' in 1963.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:12 PM

I'm told that some think D'Arcy Farrow is


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:17 PM

Over here in the West coast of America, in the world of antique furniture, 100 years in the guide. In the world of "folk songs," and NO I don't want to get into THAT subject again, "anonymous" is my guiding line. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Moonunit
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:22 PM

Um... I thought Crazy Man Michael was Trad until I re-read the sleeve notes on Liege & Lief and noticed it was written by Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson. Oops.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,David Ingerson without his cookie
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 06:41 PM

I got "The Bricklayer's Sad Lamentation" (as he called it) from Seamus MacMathuna in 1982 and always assumed it was an old music hall song that had worked its way into the tradition.

Another is the Mingalay Boat Song.

David


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,sandra in sydney @ work (cos my computer is
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 07:21 PM

Sandra Kerr has a story on her latest(??) CD of being sent one of her songs when she was researching traditional songs! Of course, if I was at home I could go straight to the CD & give it's name & the name of the song.

sandra (whose bright, shiny new iMac is arriving Thurs - then I have to get back on line & learn how to use it)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Blowzabella
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 08:11 PM

Dave - I know the story about Richard and Whitby Whaler - the best bit came later - friends... he married that curator...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 08:17 PM

One that I would definitely have thought was traditional if I hadn't read the album notes is "Witch of the West-Mer-Lands," by Archie Fisher, done on his "Man With a Rhyme" album on Folk-Legacy (a SUPERB album, by the way). The song really has that old ballad feeling...

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: andymac
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 09:00 PM

John Macreadie told me the story recently of his song, "Doomsday in the Afternoon" being used in a play in Edinburgh about Travelling People where it was credited as Trad. When it was pointed out to them he at least got some free tickets to the play...
And.. I always thought (inversely) that Michelle Shocked had written "The L&N don't stop here" till I came across a version of it that credited it to "Trad, arranged J. Ritchie" and later still to another that said she'd written it. Now I don't know what to believe...

Andy


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 09:42 PM

John O'Dreams


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 09:44 PM

"Johnny Be Fair" (by Buffy Sainte-Marie)


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 11:48 PM

Andy, "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore is mine, words & music. It was published in my song collection, CELEBRATION OF LIFE, in 1963, with a later additional copyright date, 1971, when it was transferred to Geordie Music Pub. Co. from our original publishing co. When first written I used my pseudonym, 'Than Hall ('Than is the end syllable in my Grandpa's name, Johnathan). That's another story, probably already told in another old thread somewhere!   Jean


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 12:14 AM

I know I've told this story before, but perhaps this thread requires that I repeat it:

It was about 1965, in Berkeley, California. We were in the audience enjoying a concert by the late and great David Spence. He was a wonderful folksinger and story teller, being quite true to his heritage of Belfast, Ireland.

He sang "The Little Land," introducing it as a traditional song from the auld country. At the conclusion of the song, Malvena Reynolds stood up in the audience and announced that "I WROTE THAT SONG!"

Poor Dave. He was embarresed almost beyond words. He listened to her very repsectfully, appologized to her, and simply said that he truly thought it was an "traditional song."

That was a night to remember! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: andymac
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 12:25 AM

Jean,
Thanks for setting me straight on that. It's a fantastic song- for me it was the standout song on that great album of hers. I'll away now and chase up the original.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 01:06 AM

Merle Travis had a knack for writing songs that had that authentic older-than-dirt feel to them, like Dark as a Dungeon and I am a Pilgrim .There was a time I would have sworn both were traditional. Same with Jimmy Driftwood. Both Battle of New Orleans and Tennessee Stud have the feel of the 1800s to them.
And Robbie Robertson succeeded surprisingly well with The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Little Robyn
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 01:18 AM

Songs written/adapted by Sir Hugh Roberton for the Glasgow Orpheus choir, and published in Songs of the Isles -
Mingulay Boat song,
Tyree Love song,(Horee, Horo),
Air fa la la lo horo,
Joy of my heart,
Lewis Bridal song (Mairi's wedding),
Westering Home,
Glenlyon's Lament.
I don't have the book so what else is in it?
Lot's of threads on Mudcat.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 04:30 AM

The Road To Dunmore, by Robbie O'Connell.
I have recorded songs that I've listed on my recordings as "Trad," (I'm going back 35 years here, folks, before the Internet and Harry Fox online) and then found that they weren't "Trad," but written by someone very much alive.
Then, I've tracked them down and paid royalties, as is only fair.
So if there's someone whose song I've recorded and missed, please let me know.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Crystal
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 06:34 AM

>I wrote 'Don't Cry in your Sleep' in 1963.<

Well it is a fantastic song!!

I thought that the Mingulay boat song was traditional until I read this thread!


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:12 AM

"Bring us a Barrel" by Keith Marsden. In "Picking Sooty Blackberries" It's explained that when he first started singing it, Keith told people that he'd collected it from a traditional source. It was several years before he admitted that it was his own composition.

Many of the best songwriters produce songs which could easily be traditional. for example:

Dave Webber: "Bonnet & Shawl", "Watch & Chain" + many others
Bill Lowndes: "Old Fid", "The Sun and the Moon"
Stan Rogers: Barretts Privateers


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Moses
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:31 AM

I understand that a friend of Dave Webber came across a recording of "My Lady of Autumn" in the States that was attributed to "Traditional"


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: GUEST,Mingulay
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 08:59 AM

As I understand it, Mingulay Boat Song has its origins way back and was recontructed from the Gaelic to give us waht we know now.

Many of Les Sullivan's songs have been referred to as trad by those who have only heard them second hand and not known the true source, and as above posts indicate this is not unusual.

All I can say is, if something you wrote confuses people in this way then good on you. It proves you are doing something right. It has only ever happened to me once, I sang a song I had written in the Middle Bar and someone came up to me afterwards saying that it was a piece of Burns he had never heard before. My reply was (when the astonishment subsided) that the Rabbi only wrote it in spirit and not in fact. Nice moment though.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:18 AM

To the best of my knowledge Poverty Knock was originally introduced to his local folk club by the writer as a 'fragment' he remembered , and then more and more was 'remembered' so the song was at first thought to be Traditional !
And of course there is the lovely story of Dave Webber being told of by a local at Padstow for singing 'Their' old songs when he had just sung one of his own !


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:28 AM

Many people have told me they thought John Prine's "Paradise" was a traditional song. To echo another poster, I long thought the "Long Black Veil" was traditional.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: OldFolkie
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 09:35 AM

A friend of mine who originates from near Athenry in Ireland tells me that Fields of Athenry is fairly recent, not a trad as I thought it was over the many times that I have performed it in clubs...


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Splott Man
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 10:40 AM

Wild Mountain Thyme fooled me at first (Rod Stewart made the same mistake when he recorded it) as did anything by Cyril Tawney.
Rolling Home by John Tams is another.
I understand that some groups of fisherman consider Three Score and Ten to be their own.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: BB
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 02:29 PM

Hate to go there, but it depends what you mean by 'traditional'; i.e. can it just mean that traditionally a song is sung by a number of different people within certain communities? If so, then 'The Cadgwith Anthem', 'Three Score and Ten', 'Song of the Moor (Devon & Somerset Staghounds)', 'Cornish Lads' and a number of other songs are undoubtedly traditional, even if the original author is known, and such songs may well have been subject to the 'folk process' before they were totally accepted within those communities - see the 'Three Score and Ten' thread.

By the way, re Keith Marsden's 'Bring Us a Barrel', some years ago, the chorus of this appeared on an outside wall of a quite prominent pub in West London, with 'Old English Pub Song' as the accreditation! Sadly, it's no longer there.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 02:39 PM

Rather than a cutoff date (1900 or 1960 or whatever), might we differentiate between "trad" and "composed" songs based upon whether they were written to be recorded and sold to a mass audience?

If not based simply on whether or not the writer is known at all, regarless of how ancient or noon-commercial...

By the way, "You Are My Sunshine" was written by Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis, and was already quite popular before he sang it (incessantly) on the campaign trail; probably helped him a lot. Songwriting politicians are pretty rare, I would think.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: Scoville
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:19 PM

Lots of gray area potential here. I wouldn't consider "Redwing", "Dixie", "Old Zip Coon", "Wildwood Flower/Twine Mid the Ringlets", etc. traditional because they have known authors and were written by professionals as commercial "pop" music. On the other hand, they have endless variants, are rarely--these days, at any rate--learned from the original printed sources, and may or may not resemble any more what the composer intended. Of course, lots of even older songs, whether or not the authors are known (I think "Golden Vanity" et al. fit into this category), were also intended to be marketed, either in printed or oral form, to a mass audience. However, there are lots of "traditional" songs with known authors--the fiddle tune "Elzic's Farewell" comes to mind--that were not necessarily written by professional songwriters or intended to be printed/recorded and sold on a widespread basis. After all, I've known lots of musicians (from professional to strictly hobby) who composed tunes simply because they liked them.

Along with "Ookpik", "Ashokan Farewell", and "Rolling Home", a lot of people I know were mistaken about "Midnight on the Water" and "Aragon Mill". Of course, there are probably lots that I currently think are traditional about which I am STILL mistaken.


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Subject: RE: Songs you thought were trad
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 07:31 PM

'Trad' songs are those songs which we sing as part of our Singing Tradition.

'Folk' songs are those songs which the folk sing as part of their Singing Tradition.

'Rock' songs are those songs which Rocks sing as part of their Singing Tradition.

Didn't know Rocks could sing, Did Ya?!!!


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