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Right Wing Folksongs

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Dr John 07 Jan 99 - 04:26 PM
SteveF 07 Jan 99 - 05:06 PM
dick greenhaus 07 Jan 99 - 05:28 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Jan 99 - 06:22 PM
Liam's Brother 07 Jan 99 - 06:45 PM
Pete Peterson 07 Jan 99 - 06:50 PM
Mike Billo 07 Jan 99 - 07:05 PM
rich r 07 Jan 99 - 07:25 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jan 99 - 07:56 PM
Chet W. 07 Jan 99 - 07:59 PM
Allan S. 07 Jan 99 - 08:30 PM
Allan S. 07 Jan 99 - 08:35 PM
Art Thieme 07 Jan 99 - 08:43 PM
Pete M 07 Jan 99 - 09:31 PM
Barry Finn 07 Jan 99 - 09:36 PM
dick greenhaus 07 Jan 99 - 10:36 PM
Charlie Baum 07 Jan 99 - 10:51 PM
Sir 07 Jan 99 - 10:56 PM
John Hindsill 07 Jan 99 - 11:21 PM
Bill Cameron 08 Jan 99 - 10:35 AM
Mo 08 Jan 99 - 11:14 AM
Bill D 08 Jan 99 - 11:16 AM
Gene 08 Jan 99 - 11:57 AM
Allan S, 08 Jan 99 - 01:12 PM
Bert 08 Jan 99 - 01:41 PM
hank 08 Jan 99 - 04:08 PM
johnm 08 Jan 99 - 07:58 PM
John Hindsill 08 Jan 99 - 10:43 PM
Don Meixner 08 Jan 99 - 11:51 PM
rick fielding 09 Jan 99 - 12:07 AM
John Hindsill 09 Jan 99 - 09:03 AM
Allan. S 09 Jan 99 - 11:30 AM
Joe Offer 10 Jan 99 - 04:01 AM
The Shambles 10 Jan 99 - 10:43 AM
dick greenhaus 10 Jan 99 - 10:45 AM
John Hindsill 10 Jan 99 - 01:27 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 10 Jan 99 - 04:15 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 10 Jan 99 - 04:26 PM
Jon Bartlett 11 Jan 99 - 01:31 AM
Joe Offer 11 Jan 99 - 02:07 AM
Frank in the swamps 11 Jan 99 - 05:36 AM
The Shambles 11 Jan 99 - 12:37 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Jan 99 - 12:44 PM
The Shambles 11 Jan 99 - 07:58 PM
dick greenhaus 12 Jan 99 - 12:16 AM
Margarita 12 Jan 99 - 01:46 PM
toadfrog 17 Apr 01 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,AKRick 17 Apr 01 - 03:44 AM
LR Mole 17 Apr 01 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Arne Langsetmo 17 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM
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Subject: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Dr John
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 04:26 PM

Please note: this is not a political thing and I don't want to know any BUT why are there no right wing folk songs? Would the people with a right wing bias listen to bougeois chamber music and the like? Does a song by a merchant bank with lots of money, a big car, a grand house etc not work? Are folk songs basically protest songs and these people have nothing to protest about? (I suppose Mull of Kintyre would be such a song if it had the merit to pass into the folk tradition) After all many of the "folk" I know whom you would think would create the wonderful songs we know as folk music have horrible right wing views. (sort of Alf Garnett)Or is because the intellectual collectors of folk songs with left wing tendencies supressed either deliberately or unconciously such music? No one I've spoken to can answer this. Thrown open to you out there!


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: SteveF
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 05:06 PM

No right wing folk songs!? I think the problem clearly is that we each have a different idea of what is 'left' and what is 'right.' Too many anti-right folk associate conservatism only with excessives of wealth, militarism, bigotry or other repugnant ideals.

If that is your idea of right-wing thought, just tell us so, and we will find you the songs. No flaming.

Or if you will accept that conservatism is the support of more modest virtues such as family values, patriotism, high moral standards, etc. -- again, just let us know -- and we will overwhelm you with our list of song titles.

-- SteveF

P.S. - An appeal to all posters who enter this thread: Let's stick to music; no speech-making!


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 05:28 PM

I strongly suspect that the paucity of right-wing (read conservative) folksongs is less due to the political leanings of the folk than the leanings of those who collect the songs


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 06:22 PM

Hey, Dick:

Don't you have a copy of that old Boss's Songbook from the early 60s? Some of those would be fun to post.

Fleming Brown recorded "Flag of Blue, White and Red" on his Folk-Legacy album (now only as a "custom" cassette, I fear) - strong "right-to-work" song from the coal fields of southern Illinois. He claimed to have collected it from someone who preferred to remain anon, but I've always suspected that he wrote it. No proof, though.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 06:45 PM

My recollection is that in the early 1960s there were guys who looked like The Kingston Trio or Limelighters who had a more conservative repetoire. I can't remember the names because I wasn't interested.

You do hear expressions of ambition or middle class desire in traditional song, of course, e.g. in "The Girl I Left Behind" there are these lines...

The first time I left Ireland, for Scotland I was bound
And sailing up to Glasgow we viewed that pleasant town
Where trade and money were plentiful and the girls to me proved kind
But me heart beat sore for Erin's shore and the girl I left behind.

The Fisher Family LP on Topic had on it a song about the stock market or, properly, the South Sea bubble... interesting, I think, and a GREAT melody.

Perhaps well-to-do people want others to play music for them. I used to sing with a guy who played pipes. Some time later it was said to me that he had become "Malcolm Forbes personal piper." One day I was at a European-American Chamber of Commerce talk by one of the Forbes brothers (not Steve, but the one who's Publisher of American History magazine). This Forbes was a fairly warm speaker so, at the recption which followed, I thought I'd ask about my friend of old.

"I believe we have a friend in common," I said to him and gave the piper's name. "Oh, yes, he used to do some work for us," said Forbes, letting me know that (despite all their Scots hype) pipers were still employees in the Forbes Castle.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 06:50 PM

I remember from an old Sing Out when the question came up that Pete Seeger quoted the Fleming Brown song which Sandy has alluded to-- but the prizewinner was by the Rinehart Brothers on the 100% label (private label) which was "The Old Firey Cross" (to the tune of The Old Rugged Cross) and on the other side somthing to the tune of Casey Jones which went The Ku Klux Klan's gonna have a big parade The Ku Klux Klan-- or know the reason why The Ku Klux Klan's gonna have a big parade Won't you please tip your hat when the flag goes by Seems to date from the 1920s. That's about as right wing as I can imagine Pete


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Mike Billo
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 07:05 PM

I believe the guys that Liam's Brother are refering to were the Goldwaters(named for conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater) who made one album "Folk Songs for Conservatives". As far as the scarcity of conservative views in Folk Music, there are overwhelmingly conservative points of view voiced in commercial Country & Western music which is the direct descendant of various folk musics.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: rich r
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 07:25 PM

I may regret saying this in public, but I have that album by the "Goldwaters", not that I've listened to it in over 30 years and not that it would be wrong if I had listened to it and I don't recall actually buying it, but somehow acquired it.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 07:56 PM

While their music may not have been "traditional," there were a number of fresh-scrubbed acts in the 1960's that called themselved "folk" were were certainly not left-wingers. "Up With People" is the first that comes to mind, and I think it's safe to say the new Christy Minstrels fit right in there.
I suppose if you're thinking of protest songs, then you're right in thinking that there are very few right-wing protest songs. There are certainly many patriotic songs that could be considered part of the folk tradition - are they right-wing? There are many songs that praise family tradtions and values - is THAT right-wing? There are songs of hate, and I like to think they die before they become part of the folk tradition - but I hope that's not what you mean by right-wing.
I think there's plenty of music here in our database that would be quite satisfying to people who call themselves political conservatives.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Chet W.
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 07:59 PM

You know what IS lost here in America?; it's the art of the civil argument. Whenever I visit other countries (which is usually the Czech Republic, but occasionally elsewhere) I see people in social situations discussing, sometimes with much vigor, politics (oh my god), religion, philosophy, how to raise children, etc, etc. Sometimes the discussions turn into loud arguments, but the thing is that it never even enters the mind that the participants will not be friends at the end of the evening. It's tragic that here we cannot do this. We have to agree not to make speeches, no "flaming", and it seems clear that those who disagree are not going to end up being friends. Bring up any of the above topics in a social situation and you will be considered at the very least in bad taste, or (as the polite among us have taken to doing in this forum), you will be ignored. It really is too bad.

Had a great time over there on my Christmas trip by the way. I get to play with the best dixieland jazz band in Prague (of which there are many). Did miss lurking on the Mudcat, even though I don't say much anymore.

Wishing everyone a great year, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan S.
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 08:30 PM

What about Okie from Muskokie. Some where I have a copy of the Bosses Songbook I will have to learn some of them just to crush a few stones of the ones who only think of music to be used for a political cause. Hell just enjoy it. "You can shove the workers up your ass I've got the foremans job at last."


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan S.
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 08:35 PM

I just remembered What about the song popular at the time of WW1 that had the line "Dont be like the cur in the story, Dont bite the hand that is feeding you" Does any one remember the name of it?


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 08:43 PM

Sandy, Fleming did own up to having written "Flag of Blue, White And Red"...A man's got a right to earn his bread...

And it was a good song with a valid point of view--a point of view that has taken root and grown in recent years. Just ask the Air Traffic Controllers Union.

There's nothing like flush times to turn good Democrats (and union folk) into Republicans who take credit for their luck with the stock market like a lottery winner who says his smarts caused him to pick the winning number.

Art


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Pete M
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 09:31 PM

I'll second that Chet. I've also had many heated arguments in the pub in the UK about politics etc which ended with us buying each other another pint, but its not "done" in NZ. One of the reasons I like this forum is that we can discuss these topics.

As to Dr. John's question I'm not sure I agree with Dick, I would not have thought that the great collectors / archivists: Child, Broadwood, Baring-Gould, Sharpe etc would have regarded themselves as left wing, or be so regarded. I would suspect that the most originators of folk songs were either working class or in the case of broadsheet ballads, writting for that market.

Steve F, I am of course defining "right wing" in the context of the class struggle, "morality" is a debased term since its capture by the self styled "moral majority", "christian" etc political groupings; likwise patriotism. I've no idea what is meant by "family values", presumably a US term?

Unfortunately, as Art has pointed out, self interest, or the cult of the individual (me first) is promoted constantly by the US led media, and the dominance of mass entertainment has led to a profliferation of omphalistic songs in this vein which is marketed by the perpetrators as folk.

Like Dr John I am none the less interested in the existence of any right wing folk songs.

Pete M

PS I wouldn't mention commercial C&W and folk in the same breath!


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 09:36 PM

Would the song "Bold (Senator) McCarthy" fit in here? Barry


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 10:36 PM

Well, (in some sort of order) Sandy- We do have several songs from the Bosses' Songbook in the DT, and will have more in the future. Also some from the U of Chi's Person's Songbook (ca 1949).

Leaving out Child, who really wasn't a collector, most of the great collectors had a definite leftish bent, getting more pronounced as we progressed from Sharp thru Lomaxes and Seegers. I've been conucting a quiet campaign to seek out traditional songs from the "wrong" side---Irish Orange songs, American Tory songs, anti-union songs---with but moderate success, though I've seen references to them. There are a lot of splinter group songs from the 20's through the 60's attacking Communists, usually from the standpoint of Socialists, Trotskyites and other left-wing non-conformists.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 10:51 PM

I remember hearing a conservative protest-song singer played on Robert Sherman's WQXR show "Woody's Children" circa 1970. My frayed memory recalls the name "Tom Hall." He sang a song called "Singing the Blues About the New York Times," attacking that newspaper's allegedly consistently liberal bent.

Does anyone else remember this singer? Do I have his name right? Does anyone actually have his recording(s)?

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Sir
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 10:56 PM

Terms of Right or Left, Liberal or Conservative seem to change sides at times. A communist sympathizer in the US is considered a left winger but the same person would be discribed as a conservative by the media if they are from the former Soviet Union. There are other examples of how the terms "Conservative, Moderate and Liberal" or even "Radical" change by the viewpoint of the one speaking.

If a conservative then is one who draws from a traditional basis would any folk song reflecting a sentimental point of view (home, family relationships, friendship etc...) be considered a conservative folksongs.

My friends on the left side of the aisle, please don't think I've just called you a bad name - one should enjoy the spectrum of music and thought without being hung up on labels!


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 11:21 PM

I am a conservative who has been listening to and collecting folk music for nigh these 40 years...I started in the womb, yeah...and agree it is hard to find so-called conservative folk songs, patriotic songs notwithstanding. Afterall, a folk song is by definition a song written by the 'common folk' or working its way over time into people's consciousness. While it is understandable the the people would sing the praises of labor martyrs, or social injustice, or an eventful occurance, it is less likely they would sing the praises of a CEO or a police raid or such. Well maybe some folkie out there would write a paean to the stock market reaching new heights, nayh.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 10:35 AM

Disclaimer: I'm an unrepentant socialist...

As has already been pointed out, conservative folk-songs are known as country music--and tend to enjoy much more wide-spread popularity (and readio play) than yer basic left-of-center singer-songwriter stuff. It has a lot to do with "formatting"--I would argue that the country and MOR music industry are a great deal more censorious than the folk music world. Remember the fuss a few years ago when Garth Brooks released a song called "We Shall Be Free" that seemed to imply, in a single line, support for gay rights? The only reason it was released at all was that, as the number one country megastar in the world, Garth had the clout to do so (just one of various ways he's tried to influence the industry). It was the first of his songs in a long time that not only _didn't_ make number one, it didn't even make the top ten. Probably because it didn't get played by many key country stations, and didn't get "heavy rotation" on most others, unlike his red, white and blue stuff.

I am not using "conservative" as a pejorative term, since there are of course many wonderful songs that don't express anything but conventional sentiments. But in much of the mainstream music industry, there are lines over which you do not step...

There is, however, considerable evidence that its not that conservative songs don't exist, but that us folksingers don't care to sing them. (It seems you have to go back about two centuries, to the Jacobite rebellion in particular, to get away from that "left-right" thing. Few people in their right minds would argue that "Bonnie Prince Charlie" was worth the blood shed on his behalf (the ever-quotable Dick Gaughan has said "he was about as much use to Scotland as a dose of cholera") but we don't really need to take sides on the merits of the cause, it's clear that the Jacobites had better songs, so we sing them. )

Regarding the alleged biases of collectors--well the songs they got would be reflective of where they went looking for them, wouldn't they? The late Peter Bellamy was interested in this topic, and studied it by bypassing collectors altogether and analysing the repertoires of three very traditional English singers: Harry Cox, Sam Larner and the Copper family, who "collected themselves" (they have a family songbook they started in 1922). Note that these are all southern English rural singers, not a strongly unionized area. Anyway he classified 210 songs as either "content with one's lot" --'here's a health to our masters', "neutral" or "critical of the status quo". Of the latter songs he found exactly three, one of which was "Hard Times of Old England".

Course, if you analysed the repertoire of Aunt Molly Jackson, or Ian Robb for that matter, you'd get a different story. There are all kinds of "folk" out there, and if they have one thing in common, it's that they sing what they want to sing, (unless censored) and its one thing to say "you can't sing that song here"--this is common--but quite a different thing to say to someone "you _must_ sing such and such a song in your repertoire to show balanced viewpoints". Screw that, we are who we are.

The naturally short shelf-life of political, topical songs is of course a factor that results in the disappearance of most explicitly left- or right-wing songs shortly after their creation.

"Corporate Folk Songs"? Remember the little red book, "Songs of the IWW", with lots of Joe Hill and like that? I recently saw an unintentionally hilarious imitation of it called "Songs of the IBM". It was very clearly a 1930's PR exercise in the sincerest form of flattery. as the layout and format was the same as the Wobbly book, but of course blue instead of red. The "songs" themselves consisted of purple paeans (sp?) of praise to the top level IBM executives of the time, arranged in strict hierarchical order from the chairman on down...which pretty much illustrates why these never became folk songs. Who the hell would want to sing them?

Oh dear, I've gone on far too long... soapbox is getting slippery. Bill


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Mo
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 11:14 AM

How about the fact that folk songs are traditionally "of the people" - and therefore are more inclined to reflect the views of the 93 per cent who possess only 16 per cent of the wealth (a quick mental inversion of 7:84 there - the name once taken by a fine Scottish theatre company). I know this is no place for speechifying so I won't, but claiming that "family values, patriotism, and high moral standards"(Steve F) are the preserve of the right wing is a view I can't go along with I'm afraid. It just ain't so - well, not in the UK anyway. Cheers, Mo


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 11:16 AM

I also suspect that this subject is a bit like finding 'requited' love songs--those who HAVE love are too busy to write and sing. One has to consider where the impulse to compose and create comes from: 'conservatism' and 'right-wing' very often describes those who are very much involved in setting limits on others, or preserving privileges for certain groups.(yes, I know that is far too simplistic) So, when I see people who define themselves as conservative, they usually appear(at least to me) to be people who either do not 'make music' or adhere to strict limits in what they DO sing..(patriotic songs, church music of certain types..etc). Of course there are exceptions...I am just arguing that from the beginning, music has often been a way to express one's personality and ideals...and the creating, singing, collecting and preserving of folk songs simply tends to be weighted toward those aspects of life which involve the liberalish, left-wingish aspects of the human condition.

(there's probably 2 or 3 PhD theses here if one had the time & inclination...I think I'll go sing something instead)


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Gene
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 11:57 AM

RE:Allan S. post..
...song popular at the time of WW1
that had the line
"Dont be like the cur in the story,
Dont bite the hand that is feeding you"
Does any one remember the name of it?

Gene Autry sang that in one of his early movies
I have it somewhere...have to look...
Believe the last part is the title...
Don't Bite The Hand That's Feeding You..


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan S,
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 01:12 PM

Thanks Gene. I will try to find it Allan


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Bert
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 01:41 PM

...why are there no right wing folk songs?

Perhaps because they didn't get banned.
The only one that comes immediately to mind is "Here's a health unto His Majesty"

I agree with Mo though, about "family values, patriotism, and high moral standards".

There was no one more patriotic than Woody Guthrie, and folkies are patriotic enough as a group that "This land is your Land" has become the folk National Anthem.

Of course us lefties don't confuse patriotism with blind allegiance to any particular government's military activities.
Also, family values and high moral standards consist of more than just going to church.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: hank
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 04:08 PM

I think part of the problem is there are extreem left-wing songs, so you think the concervatives must have extreem songs too. Only problem is extreem is a bit contray to definition.

Exactly what conservative stands for is up for debate. For that matter so is liberalism. If you find two people who agree with each other on everything you will have shown me at least one fool, perhaps two. With that in mind I'll try to add a few things: conservatives believe that you can and should make yourself better. They belive that only you are standing in the way of your ability to afford a million dollar house. (most also don't want a million dollor house, and would agree that a large house doens't bring happiness) Therefore conservatives belive that you should use your abilities to make your life as good as it can be. concervatives belive that liberals stand for doing whatever you want, and if your too lazy to work you should be paid to stay in bed all day. Note that concervatives are not against helping those who are unable to work, they just belive that there are very few such people. Concervatives want a goverment for protection byond thier ability to protect themselves. They see liberals as wanting protection from things they could very well deal with themselves.

The above is how I see concervatives in the US, as others have pointed out in other countries they stand for very different things. Also note the "they see" up there. reality is in the eye of the beholder.

As for why there are no songs, most concervatives belive in doing something not singing about it. In their eyes, a liberal would write a song about needing more blood doners (a netural topic I hope) while they accually sit in that chair and take the needle every 3 months. Of course the liberal will take the needle too, but liberals would write a song about it.

You decide how much of the above is true.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: johnm
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 07:58 PM

Go find any old Red Army record and most of those songs would have been conservative reactionary pieces that would have gotten anyone singing them shot in the USSR before WW11 when Stalin needed to call on Russian patriotism to defeat Hitler. They are still "conservative" songs today when Russians are trying to get back to their preCommunist heritage. In a similar but slightly different vein, does anyone sing any Confederate songs, except in a very defensive way. And yet they are part and parcel of Americana. Political protest songs move easily to "folk songs" not for any reason having anything to do with the music, but more with the politics. Write a song about Bill Gates being persecuted by the DoJ


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 10:43 PM

To Allan S.--Re: Cur in that story

Heard that song this past Saturday on a tribute to Gene Autry on a local, L.A., public radio station...at least I think that's where I heard it. If I am home between 5&7 of the PM tomorrow, I'll call in and try to find out what CD it is on. By the way, I searched on All-music Guide to tray to find the title, but nothing seemed right in the Gene Autry collections.

Dang, I haven't done this much research since college-- what a boon a PC would have been way back then!


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Don Meixner
Date: 08 Jan 99 - 11:51 PM

I don't believe that traditional songs care one bit about politics left or right. Only peole who write songs seem to care. I know many musicians in my area who sing folkmusic and are very conservative politically. The topical purpose of a song is what may be political. I loved Phil Ochs songs and so did my Dad. Dad was a republican through and through but he found an honesty in Phils lyrics. "Power and Glory" and "Freedom Calling" were songs he enjoyed. As a member of the WWII generation he felt an understanding for the song "Celia". Dad was at odds with Viet Nam and was damn glad that with four sons none of us had to go. He would have supported our choices which ever they were however. He thought "The Draft Dodger Rag" was a hoot. I remember a song called "Chinese Christians" that was definately anti- communist sung by a fellow I haven't heard since. "The Ballad of Rodger Young" was certainly a bit jingoistic but it told a true story in a folkstyle. Many old songs we identify as traditional were in their day political. "The Rigs of the Time" and "Parcel of Rogues" are clearly topical but so many years out of context we don't know where their politics really lay. And except for the history of such things which I enjoy I don't really care what way they are. I just sing em.

Don


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: rick fielding
Date: 09 Jan 99 - 12:07 AM

Anyone ever hear of a chap named Hollinder (or something like that). I was playing a festival in New England a few years back and saw him sitting with a guitar in front of his trailer in the parking lot. I asked someone who he was and they reacted somewhat negatively, so my curiosity was definitely piqued. I spoke to him for a few minutes and he talked me into buying a record album. I didn't listen to it for several weeks but when I did I was surprised to find out it contained a number of stridently pro-Vietnam songs, written in a contemporary folk style. Although I was very familiar with groups like "Up With People", and The "New Christy Minstrels" I'd never encountered a solo folk singer writing and singing right wing songs. Can't think he got much work!


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill
Date: 09 Jan 99 - 09:03 AM

For Allan S. again: Woke up this morning (that sounds like the start or an Ian & Sylvia song) and the first line ...and maybe the title...of the song came to me, "BE TRUE TO YOUR UNCLE SAMMY" If not the first line, it is in there somewhere. Could this possibly be by George M. Cohan?


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Allan. S
Date: 09 Jan 99 - 11:30 AM

Hi John Be glad you woke up this morning If youre on top of the grass youre ahead of the game {grin} I have a copy of "who wrote that song and tried to look it up the only one I could find was "Be true to your School" Close but no cigar. Perhalps I could find a Gene Autry fan club??? Is there a book of WW 1 songs?? other Ideas?? By the way along this thread I heard the following definitions Conservitive= One who accepts the world as it is. Liberal= One who wants to change the world as he thinks it should become. If you want to e-mail me alsch@worldnet.att.net if you find anything on that song. THanx Allan


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 04:01 AM

Well, click here to get to an "Uncle Sammy" song, but not the right one. Good collection of WWI songs, though. I checked ASCAP and BMI, and didn't find "Be True To Your Uncle Sammy"
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 10:43 AM

Again it depends on your point of view. Was it true that Ronald Reagan thought that Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The USA' was a song that he could support?


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 10:45 AM

I've been thinking about this topic for a while. Most (certainly not all, but most) of the "left wing" folk songs that are generally ttthought of date back to the era between WWI and WWII. During that period, group singing was popular--I remember "follow the bouncing ball" singalongs at the neighborhood movie houses between features--and the organized left-wing groups, from the IWW to the Communist Party made use of this by having topical songs composed. They weren't the only ones, though. Many companies (I recall IBM, GE and Fuller Brush) had songbooks for their employees, which preached their obviously right-wing sentiments, usually as parodies of well-known songs: "There's a place in my heart that no other can fill, for a company that's fair and can boast of good will...", to the tune of Mother Machree.
Similarly, colleges, high schools and even elementary schools had songs praising these establishments. And if we're discussing "folksong" that expresses right-wing (read conservative) sentiment, there's the vast body of hymns and gospel songs.
Earlier, during the Civil War, say, there were songs ardently espousing both sides; the same thing occured in the American Reolutionary War.....
I guess my thesis is that folks sing all sorts of stuff, while collectors do a great deal of filtering. Sharp and bBaring-Gould undoubtedly collected a vast amount of bawdy material, but deleted or bowdlerized it in their published collections; just about every collector (with the blessed exception of Randolph) simply refused to collect songs that the fols sang that the collector didn't consider "folk" and most of the other collectors in the 30's to 50's had a strong leaning towards the political left, and collected accordingly.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: John Hindsill
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 01:27 PM

To Joe Offer & Allan S:

I probably had the title wrong when I suggested it might be "Be True to Your Uncle Sammy". I have heard the song (whatever the name) several times over the years, most recently 8 nights ago; I was trying to reconstruct it. I was somewhat thrown off by Allan S. referring to it as a WWI song, my own first thought was WWII. Gene (see newer thread 'bite the hand...') likely has it right. If Johnny Bond wrote the song, it would be WWII. I've searched several music webs but couldn't find it, and am too lazy to download Gene's reference. By the way, if I were to now guess the title, I would go with "If You Don't Love Your Uncle Sammy"


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 04:15 PM

Lots of right wing C & W songs. I personally don't like the terms right and left wing. They are outdated, and our opinions don't come in packages. The right wing C & W songs to which I refer might more accurately be called reactionary songs, songs which either support the status quo or long for some past that never existed. Of course, if you like the status quo or prefered the past, then these songs would accurately reflect your sentiments.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 04:26 PM

Actually, I suppose "Steepleford Town" can be considered a right wing folk song, since it speaks well of the fox hunting gentry. And The Methody Parson and The Ranter, because they make fun of religious dissenters as sex-minded, thieving, hypocrites.

I suspect there must have been English folk songs mocking the Puritans, as after the antics of the Puritans under Cromwell (abolishing Christmas, stabling horses in the cathedrals, showing extreme religious intolerance) that could well be expected. I seem to recall that the words to the dance, Cuckolds All In A Row (aka Cuckolds All Awry), mock Londoners as cuckolds. (London supported Parliament over the king.) Charles II loved dancing to that tune and he may have had the lyrics in mind.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 01:31 AM

Who was it said that Conservatives think the world is dog against dog, but Liberals think it's exactly the opposite?

My own distinction between "us guys" and "them guys" is whether you go along with the old Anarchist (Emma Goldman?)line, "As long as one person is in prison, I am not free". Traditionally, wasn't the distinction was between whether you thought humanity was basically bad (or sinful) or basically good (and thus redeemable), Liberals being this side of the line and Tories the t'other?

Protest songs, by definition surely, oppose those in power, and since the Left has never been "in power" in the west (though there's been several pinkish parties in government), we know of no rightist protest songs. IMHO: Jon the offsider


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 02:07 AM

Well, one way or another, good songs survive. I think every group has plenty of good, old songs that are treasured because of their ability to provide inspiration.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 05:36 AM

Just a hypothesis... Folks who are comfortable with the status quo will enjoy songs of love, praise, humor, heroes, etc. Those who are getting stiffed are going to sing protest songs. There may be an inherent bias toward song subject matter among different economic groups. Who would bother to sing...

My government is good,

My job is real fine,

I'm payed lots of money,

Play golf most of the time.

A documentary from back in the 70's called "California Riech" about a bunch on screwball kkk types had an interesting scene, these idiot losers were standing in the yard, one had a guitar and they sang a very jaunty, pleasant little tune with the following absurd lyrics...

WARNING!! OFFENSIVE MATERIAL!!!

America for the white,

Africa for the black,

Send them apes back to the trees,

Ship those niggers back.

Let the bells of freedom ring,

The white man's day is near,

No more nigger civil rights,

No more nigger queers.

America for the whites, Repeat. It was a very classic Anglo-American folksong type, the melody could be generic "rallying song".

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 12:37 PM

Frank

I'm glad we didn't ban that one, it might have been a hit.

But what do you do with songs like that, once thet exist, you can't un-invent the wheel can you?


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 12:44 PM

What you do is what folk have always done: sing the ones you like, ignore the ones you don't


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 07:58 PM

Dick

Do you still collect them?

And then ignore them?


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 12:16 AM

Shambles- Yep. The DT contains loads of material that I personally dislike, detest and/or am bored silly with. But it was never intended to be a collection of what I like; just a compilation of what people are singing.

"Folk", remember, is NOT a synonym for "good".


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: Margarita
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 01:46 PM

It would seem that the answer to your question lies in being able to define CONSERVATIVE.

If you define liberal as anti-war, then I would think that PATRIOTIC BOASTS of any country would be considered more along conservative lines, as they tend to tout successes at battle in war. N'est ce pas?

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: toadfrog
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 01:10 AM

The Europeans have some rousing right-wing songs. Like Cara el sol, Cadet Roussel[sp?], and Wir sind das Heer vom Hakenkreutz.

Maybe it's just as well we Americans don't have so many songs like that. But see Maryland, My Maryland.

Hey! Now I think of it, I'll bet there are 37 Jacobite songs on the DT. That's pretty right-wing. I'll bet there are 37 Jacobite songs on the DT. That's pretty right-wing. Fashionably right-wing, but right-wing nonetheless.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,AKRick
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 03:44 AM

The terms right-wing and left-wing (or liberal and conservative) are practically useless. Todays corporate-fed conservatives piously pose as the heirs of the founding fathers, without realizing that Jefferson and Madison (the architechs) considered "the monied incorporations" the greatest threat to democracy. Today's govt. "liberals" are just as indebted to their corporate benefactors. Richard Nixon, a "conservative" who expanded the welfare state, was closer to the spirit of the "radical" Thomas Paine (who advocated a "senior security" fund) than Bill Clinton, a "liberal" who went out of his way to "end welfare as we know it". Power, whether political, economic, cultural, etc., moves down and up more than right and left. Folk music has long been the voice of those without power. It has been, for the most part, handed down thru the generations by the those who felt the oppression of aristocracy, southern 'Jim Crow' culture, or whatever thumb is lived under. It only seems leftist by today's blurred definitions. Whether it's Woodie Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, or Rage Against the Machine, these folk (until I hear a horse sing) artists that sing about these topics are only shining a light on the injustices power can wield. As for those in power, they can always hire a Haydn, John Phillip Sousa, or material(re: corporate)girl to write their music.


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: LR Mole
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 09:24 AM

Interesting and extrordinarilly civil thread. I believe one reason that the U.S. tends toward classing "folk music" with the downtrodden, have-not,hostile-to-establishment types is the chilling effect of McCarthyism, which keeps cropping up like Sauron. When writers, actors, and singers can be barred from making a fair living because of political views (even those they had in their youth), songs can become the only voice of the voiceless ones. Anger, both inner-and outer-directed, gets in the way of reasonable discourse. (And of course, long ago it was the lord who hired the minstrel, and told him when to go away.)


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Subject: RE: Right Wing Folksongs
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 02:29 PM

Re: Songs of the IBM.

IBM actually had a company song, and in the early days of the PeeCee, they had a program that would teach all the loyal employees the song, with a bouncing ball to lead them through it. . . .

Never learned it myself; I wasn't there for long enough.

FWIW on the definitions of liberalism versus conservatism, I got this definition:

"Capitalism is the system in which man exploits his fellow man. Under communism, it's the other way around. . . ."

Cheers,

-- Arne Langsetmo


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