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Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs

SINSULL 11 Apr 06 - 09:14 AM
harmony 11 Apr 06 - 07:30 AM
Dave Hanson 11 Apr 06 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,J Munro 11 Apr 06 - 05:52 AM
CapriUni 01 Aug 05 - 04:38 PM
Le Scaramouche 01 Aug 05 - 01:15 PM
Le Scaramouche 01 Aug 05 - 12:40 PM
treewind 01 Aug 05 - 12:30 PM
Bob Bolton 31 Jul 05 - 09:47 PM
Alice 28 Jul 05 - 08:06 PM
Le Scaramouche 28 Jul 05 - 04:17 PM
CapriUni 28 Jul 05 - 04:08 PM
MissouriMud 28 Jul 05 - 03:35 PM
Alice 28 Jul 05 - 02:42 PM
Le Scaramouche 28 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM
CapriUni 28 Jul 05 - 02:10 PM
Le Scaramouche 28 Jul 05 - 12:46 PM
Azizi 27 Jul 05 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,Geoffw27 27 Jul 05 - 05:46 PM
CapriUni 27 Jul 05 - 01:58 PM
Le Scaramouche 27 Jul 05 - 09:51 AM
Snuffy 27 Jul 05 - 09:10 AM
Alice 27 Jul 05 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 27 Jul 05 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 27 Jul 05 - 08:26 AM
Snuffy 27 Jul 05 - 08:18 AM
Georgiansilver 27 Jul 05 - 04:38 AM
CapriUni 26 Jul 05 - 11:07 AM
Le Scaramouche 26 Jul 05 - 06:11 AM
CapriUni 25 Jul 05 - 06:36 PM
Le Scaramouche 25 Jul 05 - 06:13 PM
redhorse 25 Jul 05 - 05:58 PM
CapriUni 25 Jul 05 - 05:21 PM
greg stephens 25 Jul 05 - 01:46 PM
CapriUni 25 Jul 05 - 10:59 AM
Snuffy 25 Jul 05 - 08:56 AM
Micca 25 Jul 05 - 02:27 AM
Bob Bolton 24 Jul 05 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jul 05 - 09:09 PM
Bob Bolton 24 Jul 05 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Jul 05 - 12:04 AM
Bill D 23 Jul 05 - 05:39 PM
greg stephens 23 Jul 05 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Betsy 23 Jul 05 - 07:29 AM
Georgiansilver 23 Jul 05 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Auldtimer 23 Jul 05 - 05:27 AM
Bill D 22 Jul 05 - 05:45 PM
Le Scaramouche 22 Jul 05 - 02:10 PM
GUEST 22 Jul 05 - 02:06 PM
Charmion 22 Jul 05 - 02:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 09:14 AM

"sounds poo" = twee?


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: harmony
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 07:30 AM

I would say, anything by woodie guthrie. He just can't sing, can't play guitar AT ALL, and really just sounds poo.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 07:28 AM

Naff = tasteless but popular.

Twee = sugary sweet sick inducing.

eric


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,J Munro
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 05:52 AM

The word 'Naff' comes from a type of 1950&60s English Gay Slang, called Polari/Palare. Populare with arty, theatre types. From this slang we get words like 'cottaging', 'camp' and 'naff', which stands for 'NOT AVAILABLE FOR FUCKING'.

See http://www.chris-d.net/polari/ for more...


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 04:38 PM

I think the American "cutesy" is a good approximation, which I understand to be more pejorative than just "cute".

You're right. Babies and bunnies are cute... Babies dressed in bunny pajamas are cutesy ;)


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 01:15 PM

Oh, but I think the worst I've heard is that Nick Cave faux-murder ballad thingy that he duetted with Kylie Minogue on. Mind's not made up as to wether or not it's naff or just yucky.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 12:40 PM

Twee seems to be an excess of cutseyism.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: treewind
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 12:30 PM

OK, I'll try:
Naff: tacky, substandard, vulgar
Twee: I think the American "cutesy" is a good approximation, which I understand to be more pejorative than just "cute".

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 09:47 PM

G'day CapriUni & La Scaramouche,

Kitsch is neither Yiddish, nor American, in origin. It is really English / German ... it's the German approximation of the English word sketch - as in the amateur "sketches" that an upper-class Englishman, taking the 18th century "Grand Tour" was expected to bring back with him, in his Tour Journal, to prove he had imbibed some "Culture" ... the 18th century equivalent to the 20th century "Slide Show" ... or the 21st c. "Blog"!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Alice
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 08:06 PM

So am I right about the Lennon Sisters and polyester leisure suits?


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 04:17 PM

Yiddish is a Jewish dialect drawn from German. So easily both.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 04:08 PM

I thought Kitsch was Yiddish, Sacramouche, but when I looked it up, my dictionary said it was German... other definitions say it's from the German for "trash"... means something without taste, but which pretends to have value...


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: MissouriMud
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 03:35 PM

And if the Lennon Sisters were wearing polyester leisure suits - they'd be both?


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Alice
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 02:42 PM

So, if I'm understanding it right, the Lennon Sisters are twee. Polyester leisure suites are naff.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 02:13 PM

Kitsch is close to twee, but not quite the same.
Surely kitsch is Yiddish?
Anyway that sentence isn't really true.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 02:10 PM

I'm beginning to think that the closest American term for Naff and Twee (particularly "naff") is the American term "kitsch".

Would the following sentance be fairly accurate?

Twee is always naff, but naff is not always twee.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 12:46 PM

Naff - tacky rubbish.
Twee - overly cutesy.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 09:18 PM

Like CapriUni, I thought "when I first saw the tite of this thread, I thought it stood for something like: "Natioanl Association of Folk Festivals," and that a discussion of the kinds of songs that get awarded prizes in contests."

Thanks for those definitions of "twee" and "naff"-I had never heard those words before.

I'm still not sure I "get it".

Would I be far off base to say that these words are gradations of "tacky" as in without any fashion sense???

There is an African American adjective "fly" one definition of which means "being up to date with the lastest [street] fashion. Maybe this is a modern form of being "hip" fashion wise..

Are "twee" and "naff" the opposite of these terms?


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Geoffw27
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 05:46 PM

From the Freesearch dictionary - http://www.freesearch.co.uk/dictionary/

twee;
adjective MAINLY UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING

artificially attractive or too perfect:

"The village has escaped all modern developments, yet without becoming twee or 'preserved'."

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 01:58 PM

Speaking of acronyms, when I first saw the tite of this thread, I thought it stood for something like: "Natioanl Association of Folk Festivals," and that a discussion of the kinds of songs that get awarded prizes in contests.

Now, it may be that naff songs do indeed get the most prizes, but that's the risk you run when you put words in all caps.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 09:51 AM

Polari, as someone explained to me, is a sort of gay lingo, coming from theatre folk. It was the basis of an enormously popular radio show in the 60s called Round the Horne, where using Polari they could say one thing and mean the other.
Naff is tasteless, pointless idiocy.
Sailor suits are twee.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 09:10 AM

Polari gives the original meaning of naff in the gay community; in mainstream use both naff and twee are terms of disapproval of certain tastes or fashions.

Twee is excessively precious, over-refined, lacking substance. A toilet-roll cover made to look like a Dresden shepherdess is twee. The Kingston Trio would maybe now be regarded as twee by many.

Naff on the other hand describes people to whom the concept of tastefulness is totally foreign. "Trailer trash" fashions are naff, as are those of 1970s glam-rock


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Alice
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 08:50 AM

I need more definition/example of what twee and naff mean.... and polari. Words absolutely never spoken in Montana.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 08:49 AM

sorry snuffy, crossed posts

nick


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 08:26 AM

Sorry Mike Georgiansilver, try Googling "polari", and you will find more than you want to know about naffs acronymical origin, which goes back many years before Norman Stanley Fletcher (1973).

It may be coincidence, but shortly before the first Porridge scripts, Norris McWhirter had founded the unfortunately named right-wing group National Association for Freedom, which was hastily changed to the Freedom Association when (I assume)someone pointed out that the acronym Naff was already taken.

In Porridge "naff" was used as a clean swearword, but not in the polari sense of bad as in this thread.

nick


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 08:18 AM

I'm with Redhorse on this one: in Porridge naff was not used in this sense as an adjective - it was merely a substitute for other words that wouldn't pass the censor, as in "Naff off" or "Sweet naff all"

Same word, came from two different places and has two completely different meanings. Plenty of other examples in English


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 04:38 AM

Sorry Redhorse but Naff was introduced into our language in a series on UKTV called Porridge...First used by Ronnie Barker in his role as a prisoner called "Norman Stanley Fletcher".
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 11:07 AM

Scaramouche -- well, maybe sentiment isn't a strong prerequisite, necessarily (unless we're talking twee), but I figure any time you have to qualify a song discussion with "... if it were done properly," you've got a strong candidate. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 06:11 AM

Oh, yes, I see.
Still don't agree that Waltzing Mathilda is particularly sentimental though.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 06:36 PM

Well, that's kind of what I meant, Scaramouche. It becomes naff by people singing it without understanding the context, as a popular clap along, sing-along song...


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 06:13 PM

Waltzing Mathilda isn't really that sentimental. It's a hard song about a hard man.
Mind you, all these songs done properly convey very powerful emotions.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: redhorse
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 05:58 PM

naff {or naph) is from polari {parlari?): camp theatre-speak, introduced to an unsuspecting world by Julian and his friend Sandy

nick


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 05:21 PM

... Been thinking about this...

Question: Would it be fair to say that any sentimental song, that is strongly identified in the public consciousness of being "That [Nationality] song" should be considered naff, if for no other reason than being overplayed, and sung, without generating any actual thought?

If so, than I nominate: "The Ash Grove" (Wales) "Loch Lommand" (Scotland), "Waltzing Matilda" (Australia), and "Oh, Sussanna!" (America)


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 01:46 PM

Snuffy: I'm not convinced that sun-dried tomatoes are twee. I think they are more New Labour.
If you used sun-dried tomatoes to make one of those sticky-out pictures of a bunch of poppies, and then mounted it in a glass frame in your loo, that would be pretty twee, though.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: CapriUni
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 10:59 AM

I agree about "Puff the Magic Dragon," That's one of my "pet peeve" songs (no dragon with any sense of self worth would allow himself to be called "Puff!").

And I'm glad to find that not everybody is enamoured of Bob Dylan. My mother eventually banned Dylan albums as Christmas presents in our house, because after a day of listening to them, we'd all be snapping each others' heads off.

And thanks for the vocabulary lesson... I'd always thought "Naff" meant something closer to nerdy, with a touch of loopy.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 08:56 AM

Sun-dried tomatoes are twee: MacDonalds are naff


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Micca
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 02:27 AM

Princess Annes use of the phrase "Naff off" was a quote from the ,then, popular TV show "Porridge" in which Ronnie Barker, as Fletcher the wiley imprisoned crook, used it as an expletive extensively.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:33 PM

G'day again leeneia,

Well, my reference to the opinion in my Concise Oxford was a bit reserved. Until I see the citations in the full OED, it's all supposition - and it's a basic principle to mistrust derivations supported only by contemporary stories. I've certainly had other thoughts on the origins of that word ... but the full citations in the 20+ volume 'on historic principles' ... i.e., supported by documented citations would be the only real decider. I can't afford the cost or the space ... and the CD is still disproportinately expensive.

That said, I note that the English have had prominent persons with the name surname Tweedy (or, more commonly Tweedie) ... and not, apparently, mocked them for it. They are different from Americans.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:09 PM

Re: the Oxford lot agree that "twee" first appears as a 'childish mispronunciation of sweet'.

Well, I don't think so. I read a lot, and I have noticed more than once that the English seem to find the dw combination worth mocking. Find a character (usually American) with a name like Dwight or Dwayne, and you have usually found a fool. Over here, we used to have a cartoon character named Mr. Tweedy, who was always the butt of a joke.

Can you imagine a movie hero with a name like Tweedy? No.

I think it takes a fairly sophosticated person to note this prejudice against these sounds and forge a new and successful word like "twee."


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 03:52 AM

G'day Bill D, leeneia, et al,

I think greg's examples are good illustrations.

Derivations are not all that useful. I suffer from too much Latin [not much] - just enough to recognise that words go off and mean something quite different to their original Latin (... Greek ... French ... whatever ...) roots - and I can't do a thing about that.

However, the Oxford lot agree that "twee" first appears as a 'childish mispronunciation of sweet'. I think that still underpins the current usage of "twee". They are not so sure about "naff" ... but I've always suspected it's an English 'cant' variant of 'naïf'. Princess Anne's cited usage is a bit of a red herring - just an opportunistic grab for a sufficiently suggestive alternative for what the gentlemen of the press would have understood by her utterance!

BTW: GUEST,Betsy - I suspect that the Green grow the Rashes, O! sung by the American Expeditionary Force in Mexico was a far raunchier one ... probably Burns's song of that name, which you might find in The Merry Muse of Caledonia. There were a lot of displaced Scots in the low pay, easy entry jobs of America.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 12:04 AM

Here is a link to some Precious Moments figurines. Would they be twee or naff?

http://www.google.com/search?as_q=Precious+Moments+image&num=10&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=&safe=images

I'm pretty sure the answer is "twee."

greg stephens, I believe you have the right approach. Tweeness and naffity are best explained by example.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 05:39 PM

yes, greg...a bit..*grin*. Now my pedantic mind will go looking for something other than "ostensive definition": synonyms or explications preferred. But thank you for the examples...I will contemplate them..

"An ostensive definition conveys the meaning of a term by pointing out examples of what is defined by it. This type of definition is often used where the term is difficult to define verbally, either because the words will not be understood (as with children and new speakers of a language) or because of the nature of the term (such as colors or sensations)...Ostensive definition tends to be imprecise, and not as useful when one does not already know the general nature of the term being defined; it assumes the questioner has sufficient knowledge to recognize the type of information being given."


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:31 AM

The distinction between twee and naff is quite subtle, for those who dont use the words regularly.
I have been to the occasional "Family Fun Day"(UK term, I dont know what that would be called in America).Face-painters and people making animals by twisting balloons are naff, but not necessarily twee. If there are little children doing Irish dancing in costumes with shamrocks or Celtic patterns sown on by their mothers, to a recording of a ceili band: that is twee. If there are teenage children in "modern" clothes doing Riverdance-style Irish dancing, to music involving reels played on top of a heavy dance beat, than that is naff.
    The song "Puff the Magic Dragon" is 100% twee and 100% naff.
Is that a bit clearer?


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 07:29 AM

" Green grow the rushes O " may be naff to some - but the song spawned the name for the English whites who taught this song to the locals in the new Americas - Gringos . So you've got a load of Mexican votes for this song as being the most naff.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 05:33 AM

I reckon 'Green grow the rushes O' was the 'Agadu' of its day and was probably thought of as pretty naff by a lot of people....Its popularity carried on as Agadu did and does....Both naff IMO


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 05:27 AM

If it's "good" examples of Danny Boy your after then two of the very best are, Eva Cassidy's version from her "Imagine" album and Tommy Fleming's epic rendition from De Dannan's "Hibernian Rhapsody". I first heard "Naff" from a newspaper report. Appearantly Princess Ann, (who endearingly takes after her da, "Phill the Greek")told some bothersom reporters and photographers at some public sporting event to "...naff off..". The word has since slipped into common parlance allong the lines of , duff, crap, mince, below required, expected and implied quality..... Mostly it's not the songs that are naff, more the "singers" and the arrangements that are the problem.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 05:45 PM

I agree totally with greg stephens that the original examples are NOT usually thought of as 'folk songs'....

and I also feel as several others do...'naff' and 'twee' are not exactly clear, descriptive concepts to everyone...if you can't translate your slang into English, you shouldn't be using it in public.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 02:10 PM

Paul Robeson has a powerful rendition of Danny Boy and Christy Moore's is interesting.
I nominate Barrett's Privateers for naff.


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 02:06 PM

What the #$$k is NAFF?


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Subject: RE: Most Successful (NAFF) Folk Songs
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jul 05 - 02:04 PM

One singer's sweet is another singer's twee.

I like Green Grow the Rushes, but then, unlike my parents many years ago, I don't have little kids who insist on singing it over and over again in the back of the car. I don't know why my Dad didn't drive us all into a bridge abutment before we reached puberty.

Danny Boy? IMHO, the only non-nauseating performance of that on record is by Nana Mouskouri, who sings as emotionally as a mechanical canary.

My nominees for ultimate naff-ness are The Dutchman (in the Singer-Songwriter category) and Michael, Row The Boat Ashore (in the Trad category).


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