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Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice

ella_tall 15 Aug 06 - 05:54 PM
bobad 15 Aug 06 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,harvey andrews 15 Aug 06 - 06:32 PM
Susanne (skw) 15 Aug 06 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,Gerry 15 Aug 06 - 09:57 PM
Ernest 16 Aug 06 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,harvey andrews 16 Aug 06 - 06:20 AM
bfdk 16 Aug 06 - 10:52 AM
Scoville 16 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Aug 06 - 11:06 AM
Scoville 16 Aug 06 - 11:14 AM
ella_tall 16 Aug 06 - 06:29 PM
Ernest 17 Aug 06 - 05:02 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 17 Aug 06 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Jim 17 Aug 06 - 10:28 AM
sian, west wales 17 Aug 06 - 10:38 AM
Scoville 17 Aug 06 - 10:58 AM
ella_tall 17 Aug 06 - 02:48 PM
Peace 17 Aug 06 - 03:02 PM
ella_tall 17 Aug 06 - 03:23 PM
Ernest 17 Aug 06 - 03:29 PM
nutty 17 Aug 06 - 04:24 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 06 - 04:41 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 06 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Jim McLean 17 Aug 06 - 05:33 PM
GUEST 17 Aug 06 - 08:08 PM
G-String 27 Aug 06 - 08:48 AM
ella_tall 27 Aug 06 - 10:54 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 27 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM
open mike 27 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 27 Aug 06 - 12:57 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 27 Aug 06 - 01:06 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 27 Aug 06 - 01:07 PM
Bert 27 Aug 06 - 04:38 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 27 Aug 06 - 07:17 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 27 Aug 06 - 10:29 PM
bluemountainbluebird 28 Aug 06 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 29 Aug 06 - 12:04 AM
Cats 29 Aug 06 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,Randbone 29 Aug 06 - 10:44 AM
ella_tall 29 Aug 06 - 04:22 PM
oggie 29 Aug 06 - 04:25 PM
ella_tall 30 Aug 06 - 04:10 PM
Crane Driver 30 Aug 06 - 06:28 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: ella_tall
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 05:54 PM

Morning all. I'm a week away from handing in my masters dissertation on the future of folk music in the UK (and yes, I've left it reeeaaally late). I'm currently discussing how modern folk music lyrics have reflected the social and political issues of the time - and I found a good old locally-written folk song in an old 60s fanzine.

However, it seems that modern folk is obsessed with the old, because I'm having problems finding a folk song written about today, and not yesterday. So, two things:

1. What are your thoughts on the above dilemma, and
2. Can anyone provide the lyrics to a modern folk song (written by anyone you choose - even (especially) yourself) that actually features issues facing us, today?

There, I've laid down the gauntlet. Please, please, someone pick it up.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OTHER VOICE (Bruce Murdoch)
From: bobad
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 06:00 PM

The Other Voice

I seek the voice of honesty,
Tell me where you are tonight;
Seven children killed today,
Who never should have gone to play,
Fathers hold their tears at bay,
A mother's son is on his way,
In Arlington they'll dig the grave,
And Mr Bush has this to say:
"We're here to set things right!"
I seek the voice of honesty tonight.

I seek the voice of honesty,
Tell me where you are tonight;
Neo-cons make cauldrons roil,
They light the fires and watch them boil,
Mr Bush sends troops to toil,
To kill, to die on foreign soil,
In a phony war, the perfect foil,
For friends of his who want the oil:
"We're here to set things right!"
I seek the voice of honesty tonight.

I seek the voice of honesty,
Tell me where you are tonight;
Machines of death take to the sky,
Civilians have no place to hide,
From weapons held by either side,
The sunset brings tears to my eye,
In words so crass, so smug, so snide,
Mr Bush with the age-old lie:
"We're here to set things right!"
I seek the voice of honesty tonight.

I seek the voice of honesty,
Tell me where you are tonight;
The television screens so clear,
Put lots of spin on what we hear,
With platitudes we hold so dear,
Truth really never does appear,
George Orwell got it right I fear,
And Mr Bush can't hide the sneer:
"We're here to set things right!"
I seek the voice of honesty tonight.

Bruce Murdoch
July 12-14, 2006


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOMEONE'S TRYING TO KILL ME
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 06:32 PM

SOMEONE'S TRYING TO KILL ME

Someone's trying to kill me
It's 1943
Germans are bombing my city
And mother is holding me
Someone's trying to kill me
I'm just a babe in arms
Crying for fear of the sirens
Sounding out their alarms

Someone's trying to kill me
Its 1962
Russians are smuggling missiles
To Cuba and Europe too
Someone's trying to kill me
A student of history
Expecting a flash and a thunder
To soon put an end to me

    All of our lives it's someone
    Someone we'll never see
    Someone who's out their somewhere
    Who doesn't know you or me

Someone's trying to kill me
It's 1974
Irish are bombing my city
And nobody knows what for
Someone's trying to kill me
Is it fate that I just turned down
A friend's invitation to join him
At "The Mulberry Bush" in town

    All of our lives it's someone
    Someone we never see
    Someone who's out their somewhere
    Who doesn't know you or me

Someone's trying to kill me
The year's two thousand and one
I'm in New York City
And World War Three's begun
Someone's trying to kill me
I ran when the towers fell
Now I'm trying to phone my family
In the dust of a living hell

Someone's trying to kill me
Its two thousand and five
I've just got out of the London Tube
And somehow I'm still alive
Someone's trying to kill me
Using a bomb or a gun
Wont "someone", answer my question
What is it I've done?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 08:22 PM

Try Any Mick'll Do by Brian McNeill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 09:57 PM

There are plenty of people writing and/or singing topical songs. Check out Alistair Hulett, Peter Hicks, Dick Gaughan, George Papavgeris, Roy Bailey, ....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Ernest
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:20 AM

and the Sands Family


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 06:20 AM

Yes, I do know the difference between their and there. Don't know what happened their. THERE!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: bfdk
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 10:52 AM

Colcannon (the Australian Colcannon with John Munro) have a song called "Really So Hard" on their CD Dolphin Bay. It's about the need to apologize to the aboriginals for the hardships they were put through in the early days of colonization. Don't have the CD with me, as I'm on holiday, so I won't be hung for it if my memory isn't up to standard, but I think John Munro wrote the song and that it's fairly recent, possibly from around 2000.

Seek, and ye shall find.. And I don't need a memory replacement just yet :-) I was right.

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Scoville
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM

Steve Earle (I don't want to get into an argument about musical style; he's about as folk as anyone in terms of social concerns) has several songs about/against the prison system and the death penalty, including:

The Truth
Ellis Unit One
Over Yonder


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:06 AM

Show of Hands.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Scoville
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:14 AM

Oh, sorry--I forgot part 1.

I don't think modern folk is obsessed with the past at all, but I also think that what qualifies topically as modern folk isn't always what people are looking for stylistically when they seek out "folk". Case in point, Steve Earle is extremely outspoken on social and political issues but stylistically is more rock & country.

I don't know if that's the general trend or not, though, or if my views are skewed because of region and/or personal taste. Texas has a lot of very strong folk/country/varying-degrees-of-rock musicians who don't mince words when it comes social and political commentary. Not all of them are Texans (I think Earle is based in Tennessee, and people like Fred Eaglesmith, etc. are also pretty popular), but we like them anyway. I sort of have to slip them into folk because they are clearly not mainstream country or rock and, in general, don't appeal to the same audience.

If you mean folk in the more common stylistic sense, then I'm really not sure because the people that I tend to think of as better fitting into this genre (Nanci Griffith, Patti Griffin [sp?], various UK artists), appeal to mes less so I'm not that familiar with them and cannot speak about the content of their repertoires.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: ella_tall
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 06:29 PM

Hey,

A big thanks to everyone who's replied so far. It has just struck me that this forum seems to be mostly used by Americans and Canadians - so I'm sorry for bothering you with questions about the current state of the UK folk scene! However, it's all still relevant. My main problem is right now that I can't find any academic critique of the UK folk scene and where it's heading (if anywhere). I'd really appreciate any good links and / or your opinions if you know much about it.

Everything I come across on the net just seems to deal with music reviews or instrument making or 'what's on' guides, and nobody seems to be taking a step back and asking serious questions. So: thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Ernest
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 05:02 AM

ella: there are lots of people from the UK here - you probably will get their replies in time...

BTW you got 1 input from denmark (bdfk) and 2 from germany (susanne and me). Susanne, Gerry retired and I mentioned artists from the UK.

Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 09:29 AM

I don't have the lyrics at hand, but "Coal Tatoo" by Billy Ed Wheeler is a very genuine-sounding song that might meet the conditions you have set.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUST IN CASE (Todd Snider)
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 10:28 AM

Here's a love song for the 21st century by Todd Snider:

            Just In Case

You oughta know by now this love of mine is real
Honey words just can't describe the way I feel
And even though we just met
I'm so glad the date is set
And years from now I would bet
We'd be together still?

But just in case
Just in case
This morning I went by my lawyer's place
I didn't think you would mind
Here honey sign this dotted line
What's yours is yours
And what is mine will always be mine
Just in case

Well you know I can't love you enough
But I also can't afford to lose half of my stuff
There's no doubt in my mind
These ties that we're about to bind
Will hold us both together any time it gets too tough

But just in case
Just in case
This morning I went by my lawyer's place
I didn't think you would mind
Here Dumplin' sign this dotted line
What's yours is yours
And what is mine will always be mine
Just in case

-Todd Snider


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Subject: Lyr Add: MEIBION GLYNDWR
From: sian, west wales
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 10:38 AM

I work by my own ideas re: 'what is folk' and, to me, a folk song *might* be composed by a known person but it isn't folk until it becomes part of a popular community based repertoire. Until then, it's just singer-songwriter stuff. And, as I said, that's my personal yardstick so I'm not going to argue the toss.

The song that, although no longer topical, is still being sung goes to the tune of Camptown Races:

Pwy yw'r Heddlu methu'u dal?
Meibion, Meibion,
Pwy yw'r Heddlu methu'u dal?
Meibion Glyndwr.

Meibion Glyndwr! Meibion Glyndwr!
Pwy yw'r Heddlu methu'u dal?
Meibion Glyndwr.

trans:
Who are the Police failing to catch?
Meibion Glyndwr.
etc.

Meibion Glyndwr being the identity assumed by those who were busy burning holiday cottages in rural Welsh communities in the 1970s/1980s. This song surfaced in late night pub sessions in NW Wales in the 1980s.

You did say UK. I'm assuming that if you meant 'English' you would have said 'English'.

There are a lot of political-edged singer-songwriter / accoustic songs in the Welsh language that would probably fit your parameters. I like "Meibion" because it just sort of appeared ... and so was very 'folk'.

sian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Scoville
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 10:58 AM

"Coal Tattoo" is a great son. Actually, I would think there could be a lot of mining songs that would qualify. Plus, mining conditions are an ongoing issue so there are newer songs about that than there might be about some other topics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: ella_tall
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 02:48 PM

Thanks - yes, I meant to include the whole of the British Isles.

Looking back at my first question, I don't think I was very succinct: I suppose what I'm really angling at (apart from trying to get modern song lyrics - thanks for your response so far on this) is:

I wasn't even a twinkle in my mother's eye back in the 60s and 70s... however, I notice that most popular folk songwriting (American and UK) that made it into the UK charts was based on political and social issues of the day (people trying to effect change).

However, looking at the new wave of modern folk that's made it into the charts, like Seth Lakeman / Eliza Carthy / Kate Rusby / Cerys Matthews, most of what they write seems to focus on personal relationships rather than British political (or even global political) issues. Does this mean it's not folk, or does it reflect the commercialisation of folk, or does it mean that folk's now obsessed with an irrelevant past, or does it mean something else?

So, really, I was also sort of hoping to start a wider debate on this strange new direction that British folk music seems to be taking. What do you all think?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Peace
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 03:02 PM

ella,

I think you have to look beyond what is played on the radio and telly. There are many fine and topical songwriters who do NOT receive airplay BECAUSE their material is topical; that is, disk jockeys (or whatever they're called now) fear repercussions from the station's management/board of directors. You might look at the material from Billy Bragg who DOES get airplay, Steve Knightley in the UK, Bruce Cockburn (in Canada) who addresses environmental issues. There are lots. But there are problems also. In the words of an old '60s song

"But if I really say it
The radio won't play it"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: ella_tall
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 03:23 PM

Interesting, and I agree to an extent that people are afraid of politically explosive writing. However, I've recently done placements with radio production companies in the UK, and worked on popular music shows (my masters is in radio journalism). I picked up on the fact that most heavy metal songs played on the Radio 1 Rock Show are heavily topical and often strongly anti-establishment or are addressing enviromental isses (System of a Down ['folk metal', according to wikipedia], Rage Against The Machine, for example). Then there's Coldplay, and the Kaiser Chiefs, and a number of pop / soft rock bands that deal with political issues.

I know that there are people out there writing topical folk material, but for some reason they aren't the people making it into widestream popular culture. I'm not entirely convinced that that's down to fear of airplay-based repercussion for political bias, especially since most folk artists in the charts right now have got there because (in part) of a lot of airplay from the Beeb.

Do you think it's all a scam, or that young new-wave folk artists think they have to dumb down to make it big? I think that if responsibility lies anywhere, it's with MTV culture and record companies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Ernest
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 03:29 PM

ella, here are some thoughts (without any specific order):

Political/Protest songs have always been just a part of folk music. There always have been those as well as love songs, working songs, drinking songs, ballads (with or without historical content - which is sometimes disguising political content of the latter day. Also one can question if the past is really irrelevant -it might contain the roots for modern conflicts), funny songs, childrens songs, dance tunes etc.

I don`t know too much about the people you mentioned but the aforementioned Sands Family - esp. Tommy Sands - and Brian McNeil still do write political songs. As do others. Or musicians who are not folk-musicians. Protest is not limited to folk and pop/rock reaches bigger audiences nowadays.

Maybe audiences became tired of it. Political songs have a much shorter decay time than love songs etc.. People are much more sceptic than they have been before when it comes to political statements. Also Society has changed quite a bit, bonds to organisations like political parties, trade unions etc. became weaker.

Best wishes
Ernest


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Subject: Lyr Add: PEACE IN OUR TIME
From: nutty
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 04:24 PM

The difference between the popular music scene and the filk scene is the amount of money that is invested in an artist and the return expected on that investment.

The whole popular music scene is so driven.

I just thank God that Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman and Sharon Osbourne (X Factor)have not been able to do similar things to the folk music industry. Here we have 'real' performers who do what they do for love more than money and who have served a long apprenticeship before making it to the top.

For the past 10 years I have run a small winter weekend for singers and have been overwhelmed by the festival performers who have just wanted to come along and take part - not as booked artists (they had to pay to come) - but just for the love of the genre.

If you are interested ... I wrote the following song when Iraq was invaded.

Peace in our time

Peace in our time
The politicians said
But since that time
How many millions dead
And when the bombs fall from the sky
And when we hear the bullets fly
How often will we hear the cry
For peace in our time


Peace in our time
That's what the children heard
Peace in our time
And they believed the words
Yet nations still prepare for war
Breaking God and Nature's law
How many more will die before
There's peace in our time


Peace in our time
That's the dream to hold
Peace in our time
Before we grow old
An end to all hostility
So everyone on Earth is free
To live their lives in harmony
With peace in our time.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WAY DOWN THE ROAD (Craig Johnson)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 04:41 PM

WAY DOWN THE ROAD
(Craig Johnson)

Back in the year of '33
We were still down in Tennessee,
Gettin' by took all your time,
Way down the road.

The word went out in '41
Uncle Sam's gotta get the big job done,
We hired out at Willow Run,
Way down the road.

Chorus:
Blow your whistle, up through the pines,
Out across the mountains and the Clinchfield Line,
Blow for better times,
Way down the road.

Well we come from the mountains and the damp coal mines,
Started in to working on Henry's line,
Eight hours steady and overtime,
Way down the road.

The city folks didn't want us 'round,
Moved us out to the edge of town,
Salt box houses on the bulldozed ground,
Way down the road.

Chorus

We were strong backs bending in the welder's light,
Rivet guns pounding on a windy night,
A rich man's war, a poor man's fight,
Way down the road.

Punch in, punch out, make your time,
Hurry with the turret boys, you're getting behind,
The bombers roared low in the blacked-out skies,
Way down the road.

Chorus

You try to pay the rent man, you try to save a buck,
Patching up the tyres on a wore-out truck,
City folks pass and holler "Hey Kentuck",
Way down the road.

You say you'll move back south when the war gears down,
Your dreams die easy when your check comes round,
Caught between the mountains and a factory town,
Way down the road.

Chorus

Now he plant's closed down, the gates are closed,
New cars rust in the rain and snow,
Let me sleep where the gum-stick laurel grows,
Way down the road.

You can bury me down in Tennessee,
'He lived for a dollar' - let my tombstone read
"He died unknown in a strange country,
Way down the road".

Chorus (x 2)


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Subject: Lyr Add: YUBA CITY (Saul Broudy, Utah Phillips)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 04:56 PM

almost anything by Bruce "Utah" Phillips

"Yuba City
I came into Yuba as soon as I read
Of all of those twenty-five hobos found dead,
I came in to find out if one of the slain
Could have answered to my brother's name.
It might be your brother, I just couldn't say,
We hire lots of floaters who work by the day;
Now I see his photo they might be the same,
But I never did ask him his name.

Chorus: If I had a list and if I only knew,
I'd write down their names and sing them to you,
And when I got done, I'd sing them again,
So you'd all know each one had a name.

He had a room and ran out on the rent,
Hired on a crew, I don't know where he went,
If I knew his boss, I might make a claim,
But I never did write down his name.

He stopped for a drink every now and again,
Didn't look no different than hundreds of men;
You know these old bums, they all look the same,
No reason to ask him his name.

It might have been Shorty, a feller I knew,
We bunked in the empties when the season was through.
You know, I been thinking, it sure is a shame
I never did ask him his name.

We always abandon the old for the new,
And second-hand people get thrown away, too;
I know it won't help, but still it explains
Why no one remembers their names."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: GUEST,Jim McLean
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 05:33 PM

Ella,
From the late fifties throughout the sixties there was a wealth of political songs from Scotland. There was a great outpouring of material reagarding the returning of the Stone of Scone, liberated fron Westminster Abbey. Pete Seegar paid for the production of Ding, Dong, Dollar, a recording on Folkways of Scottish Republican and anti-Polaris songs. The contribution to the CND movement was immense.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 08:08 PM

Ella Tall I think the folk scene as represented by clubs and writers in the 60's was liberal and political, socially concerned, active and radical. The scene today as represented by the artists you name (and I am re-acting to their names before people come on posting others)is conservative and non-political, concerned with personal issues and relationships, non-active and certainly not radical. It has no fire in its belly but it does have a degree and it can play and sing very well. it also has its business plan and is proving successful with a generation that feels itself marginalised and not interested in trying to achieve what the 60's generation failed to achieve politically and socially. There are many who post on here who will be offended by this analysis but I was around then and I'm around now and I can see and hear the difference.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: G-String
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 08:48 AM

Take a look at some of Ralph McTell's songs!
For example:
Bentley & Craig
(written before Derek was pardoned - he now sings a different final verse in live shows).

Others might include "Lost boys" (hooliganism, sort of), Song for Martin" (drugs), "Claudia" (racism), "Red sky at night" (the Foot & Mouth outbreak, and it's effect on farmers), "the islands" (pollution)...many, many more.

Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: ella_tall
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 10:54 AM

Thank you all for your input, it's been really useful. I managed to hand in my dissertation on time, which was a great relief to all. If anyone wants to have a gander, PM me - it's highly subjective and mostly inaccurate, but it's not going to be marked by anyone who knows anything whatsoever about folk music, so I'm not stressing out too much.

Thanks again


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Subject: Lyr Add: I CAN'T AFFORD MY GASOLINE (D A Tocci)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM

Hmmm. Didn't see this thread before. I know this is here at the Mudcat, but I can't locate it right now.

I CAN'T AFFORD MY GASOLINE
by Dominic A. Tocci

Sick of gas prices going up? So are we. This song takes a satirical look at the situation before the time comes when we can't afford our gasoline. How 'bout those hybrid cars, eh?

You can get tune and lyrics from this site: http://toccionline.kizash.com/films/1001/178/

I got out of bed this morning,
Got in my car and turned the key,
Then I called outta work and I went back to bed,
Because the needle was on "E."

I can't afford my gasoline.
The prices have become obscene.
They're up five cents a day. Who has that kind of green?
I can't afford my gasoline.


I've got a friend who bought a Hummer, (Humvee, yeah.)
One of those gigantic trucks, (He don't give a... darn.)
But he can't drive since he maxed out his credit cards, (Tough for him.)
Because his mileage really sucks. (Six whole miles.)

He can't afford his gasoline.
The prices have become obscene.
Too bad he had to buy that gas-guzzling machine.
He can't afford his gasoline.


Who are the people making money (Stack them chips.)
While the rest of us are hurtin'? (Choose gas or food.)
Big oil companies, their shareholders, and friends (Scratch my back.)
Go ask those guys at Haliburton. (I'll scratch yours.)

We can't afford our gasoline.
The prices have become obscene.
Unleaded regular, forget about supreme.
We can't afford our gasoline.


We can't afford our gasoline.
The prices have become obscene.
You'll get screwed at the pump, so bring your Vaseline.
We can't afford our gasoline.


"That hybrid car doesn't seem so queer after all...."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: open mike
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 12:47 PM

Tom Paxton is quoted by John McCutcheon as saying that some of the songs which contain topics from current events may be only relevant when those events are in the news....the term used to describe these songs is
"short shelf life" songs.

some songs which include information about news items
do become universal and appeal for a longer time..
"Small Circle of Friends" is a song about a woman
who was murdered as several people looked on, but
no one was able to stop the crime or report it..
this song, although inspired by one event, has
a timelessness about it as well.

Correct me if i am wrong here, but "circle" is by
Phil Ochs if i remember correctly...of course that
was from back in the 60's and we all know......


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Subject: Lyr Add: CARROT JUICE IS MURDER
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 12:57 PM

Another one is this from the Arrogant Worms

CARROT JUICE IS MURDER
ARTIST: Arrogant Worms

 
Listen up, brothers and sisters
Come hear my desperate tale
I speak of our friends of nature
Trapped in the dirt like a jail
 
Vegetables live in oppression
Served on our tables each night
This killing of veggies is madness
I say we take up the fight
 
Salads are only for murderers
Cole slaw's a fascist regime
Don't think that they don't have feelings
Just 'cause a radish can't scream
 
{Refrain}
I've heard the screams of the vegetables, scream scream scream
Watching their skins being peeled, having their insides revealed
Grated and steamed with no mercy, burning off calories
How do you think that feels, bet it hurts really bad
Carrot juice constitutes murder, and that's a real crime
Greenhouses prisons for slaves, let my vegetables grow
It's time to stop all this gardening, it's dirty as hell
Let's call a spade a spade, it's a spade it's a spade it's a spade
 
I saw a man eating celery
So I beat him black and blue
If he ever touches a sprout again
I'll bite him clean in two
 
I'm a political prisoner
Trapped in a windowless cage
'Cause I stopped the slaughter of turnips
By killing five men in a rage
 
I told the judge when he sentenced me
"This is my finest hour
I'll kill those farmers again
Just to save one more cauliflower" {Refrain}
 
How low as people do we dare to stoop
Making young broccolis bleed in the soup
Untie your beans, uncage your tomatoes
Set potted plants free, don't mash that potato, ah
 
I've heard the screams of the vegetables scream scream scream
Watching their skins being peeled; fates in the stir fry are sealed
Grated and steamed with no mercy, you fat gourmet scum
How do you think that feels leave them out in the fields
Carrot juice constitutes murder; V8's genocide
Greenhouses prisons for slaves; yes your compost's a grave
It's time to stop all this gardening; take up macrame
Let's call a spade a spade; it's a spade it's a spade it's a spade


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Subject: Lyr Add: WINTER SHANTY (Jim Stewart)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 01:06 PM

WINTER SHANTY
Words: Jim Stewart SOCAN
Music: Traditional

 
 
 
 
When I was a little boy,
so my mother told me. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

If you lick a frozen pipe,
your tongue is bound to hold thee. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

 
Chorus
Way, haul away. We'll all haul together. Shovel!
Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.
Way, haul away. We'll pray for better weather. Shovel!
Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

 
I ain't got a 4-wheel drive.
I ain't got no snow blower. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

So winter is a pain in the back,
and sometimes even lower. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

 
I can't get to Florida.
I'm financially unable. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

Besides, I have a relationship
with a set of booster cables. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

 
I once loved a Yankee girl,
but now we're separated. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

'Cause all she knew was Fahrenheit,
and I was metricated. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

 
I just dug my driveway out.
Those snowdrifts I was slingin'. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.

Then the bastard plough came round,
and blocked the whole damn thing in. Shovel!
-- Way, haul away. We'll haul away snow.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 01:07 PM

So there are a few modern folk songs. I could give you tons from people local like Dave Stone, Vince Morash and many others.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Bert
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 04:38 PM

Here's a few of mine

I haven't got the sound clips working yet.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: TURN IT AROUND (Eileen McGann)
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 07:17 PM

I have always thought of Ralph McTells Streets Of London as a modern folk song. LOL Well I would have to say stuff by Gordon lightfoot or Stan Rogers comes closest now. There are a lot of great folk artists in Canada, some well known (Dave Stone and Vince Morash I have met and like very much) as George Seto mentioned above; some not so well known but composing some awesome folk music.Eileen McGann is one of my favourite Canadians.

ARTIST: Eileen McGann
TITLE: Turn It Around
Lyrics and Chords


[Capo 4]

Cold night in December
In a shelter on the Bloor Street line
Ice on the windows
Ice in his bones, no warmth, no wine
Plastic, magic
Wishing wand on the frozen ground
See the sparkle catch his eye now
Oh, as he turns it around

/ G D / C D / G D / C D / Em Bm / C D / G D / C D G - /

{Refrain}
Turn it around, turn it around
See the silver stars fall from a blue, blue sky
Are you wishing in hope or do you wish you could die
Or do you wish you could turn it around
{Repeat}

/ D CG / D GC / D GEm / D G / :

Cold night in December
In an earlier time, another place
Warmth all around him
A fireplace glows on a young boy's face
Nose to the window
Snowflakes dance in the street lamp's glare
See the sparkle catch his eye now
Oh, can you see it in there

{Refrain}

Cold night in December
And a young man drifts through falling snow
Warmth shines from windows
But it don't shine on him, he's got someplace to go
Lights in the bar room
Glitter down on an empty glass
See the sparkle catch his eye now
Oh, did it find you at last?

{Refrain}

Cold night in December
In a shelter on the Bloor Street line
Ice on the windows
Ice in his bones, no warmth, no wine
Snowflakes and rainfall
Mingle on the icy ground
See them sparkle in his blue, blue eyes
Oh, as he turns it around

{Refrain}

Are you wishing in hope or do you wish you could die
Or do you wish you could turn it around

/ D GEm / D G /


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Subject: Lyr Add: SEEDS OF PEACE (Mark Erelli)
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 27 Aug 06 - 10:29 PM

SEEDS OF PEACE by Mark Erelli

The American flag is tied to a fence on an overpass
With a homemade sign written in red, white and blue
It reads "Welcome Home Jason Miller, Private First Class"
And I don't even know him but I'm grateful for any good news

What's become of my country torn by contradiction
The spirit of freedom propped up by a culture of fear
Where it's unpatriotic to protest or even to question
Have we learned nothing from history or the last couple years

(Chorus)
And the rain pours down
On the fallow ground
And the fruited plain as barren as the sand
Is it not within our will
How long must we wait until
The seeds of peace find purchase in this land

He stood on the deck and he said we'd accomplished our mission
He twisted the facts 'til he knew it would pass for the truth
Vengeance can fill any fool with conviction
But he can't wash the blood of the fallen from his cowboy boots

(Chorus)

I will not be shamed into silence by partisan thunder
I won't fall in line and march to the drums on the wind
How many more daughters and sons will we see plowed under
How much longer must we wait 'til the harvest comes in

(Chorus)
When the sun shines down
On this hallowed ground
And the fruited plain so bountiful and grand
Is it not within our will
How long must we wait until
The seeds of peace find purchase in this land

Will the seeds of peace find purchase in this land?


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Subject: Lyr Add: WASTELAND OF THE FREE (Iris Dement)
From: bluemountainbluebird
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 07:09 PM

Iris Dement is one of the few folk (style) singer songwriters who writes about very modern (and unfortunately traditionally unresolved) problems like these:


Artist: Iris Dement
Song: WASTELAND OF THE FREE
Album: The Way I Should
[" The Way I Should " CD]

Living in the wasteland of the free...

We got preachers dealing in politics and diamond mines
and their speech is growing increasingly unkind
They say they are Christ's disciples
but they don't look like Jesus to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got politicians running races on corporate cash
Now don't tell me they don't turn around and kiss them peoples' ass
You may call me old-fashioned
but that don't fit my picture of a true democracy
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got CEO's making two hundred times the workers' pay
but they'll fight like hell against raising the minimum wage
and If you don't like it, mister, they'll ship your job
to some third-world country 'cross the sea
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Living in the wasteland of the free
where the poor have now become the enemy
Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

We got little kids with guns fighting inner city wars
So what do we do, we put these little kids behind prison doors
and we call ourselves the advanced civilization
that sounds like crap to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got high-school kids running 'round in Calvin Klein and Guess
who cannot pass a sixth-grade reading test
but if you ask them, they can tell you
the name of every crotch on MTV
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We kill for oil, then we throw a party when we win
Some guy refuses to fight, and we call that the sin
but he's standing up for what he believes in
and that seems pretty damned American to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Living in the wasteland of the free
where the poor have now become the enemy
Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

While we sit gloating in our greatness
justice is sinking to the bottom of the sea
Living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free


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Subject: Lyr Add: TURN THE BOAT AROUND (Bob Clayton)
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 12:04 AM

TURN THE BOAT AROUND
[To: Yellow Rose of Texas]

Our leader landed on the deck dressed in his soldier suit,
A banner hanging over him, he looked so bloody cute.
But San Diego could be seen, right there in the background,
So the order soon was given, "Turn the boat around."

CHORUS: It's time to turn the boat around; that's what the people say.
The course our leader's setting is exactly the wrong way.
The compass reads "disaster," you've run us hard aground,
It's time to fire the skipper, and then turn the boat around.

He claimed that he'd found danger right there in white and black,
And the cause of all that danger was in far-away Iraq.
Weapons, terror, poison gas, nuke-u-lar missiles, too,
All waiting, primed and ready to target me and you. CHORUS

So off we went, a-shooting, and soon had 'em on the run,
With bought-and-paid-for press along, to show us all the fun.
We never found those weapons, the poison gas and such,
And the folks whose land we shot to hell don't like us very much. CHORUS

Now, here at home, his policies are tilted toward the rich,
With big tax cuts and deficits, the good old bait-and-switch.
He loves the super-rich and puts the dollars in their fist,
As for the poor, there's still the war, so they can just enlist. CHORUS

This is the "ship of state," not another "photo op,"
And when it gets to going, it's damn-all hard to stop.
But if we can turn a carrier to try to fool the press,
Then we can turn the country 'round, and get out of this mess. CHORUS

Copyright ?2003 Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Cats
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 05:24 AM

Jon Heslop - His songs are definitley about today and he's not afraid to let his politics show... just look at The Last Fisherman. Old Soldiers, a song he wrote for the 1984 coal strike was actually played as one of the pits returned with full union banners flying!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: GUEST,Randbone
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 10:44 AM

I enjoyed the thoughts of Art Thieme, a folksinger from Chicago, on what constitutes this thing we call a "folk song". I've pasted his own words here,

THE JOB OF A FOLKSINGER

The main job of a folksinger, I've always felt, is to explore the past. After skimming the scum of the present off the top of the historical pond, folksingers mine the depths for artifacts that were lost – some long ago and some more recently. They find, clean up, polish and sometimes enhance the overlooked found pieces of music and/or poetry so they can be shown to people here and now in a way that allows those modern people to feel some of the emotions experienced by those that lived, loved, worked, fought and then died in that whole other time and place.

The extent to which the one calling themselves a folksinger does that, determines whether that person is, or is not, a folksinger.

Modern singer-songwriters stand here and now and look at today's personal dramatic situations and traumas. They also look, artistically and insightfully, into the future for their inspiration, and then they speculate about how what we are doing might enhance or detract from those days to come. Some of today's songwriters will become legends --- famous and infamous --- rich or poor. But most, from where I sit, will not become folksingers.

Only when their presented music is a result of looking and studying about how people of the past turned their lives into art that chronicled that life, can the songs they uncovered be real folksongs. It is all about the timeline! In the future, what is made now may become a folksong.---Then someone from that future, someone who understands the rules (yes, the rules) finds the appropriate artifacts that you or I might've thought little of ---and maybe tossed by the wayside. That gem. when re-examined, could exhibit real, possibly ironic meaning for the folks of that new reality.—   If it is presented in a way that shows the connection between what is said in the lyric, maybe between the lines, older folklore artifacts can be instantly updated. --- A line like, "Here is a song from the last depression" --- automatically makes an old song as possibly a way to see current hard times---or wars—or disasters – from the Johnstown flood to 9/11. Then, when that person who knows what to look for brings it forth, it is and ought to be called an actual folksong---and that individual is an actual   folksinger.

I jumped out of bed tonight because these thoughts that have always seemed true to me for a long time were keeping me awake. I needed to phrase them in a way that wasn't full of angry emotion because I was responding to some vitriolic troll on some Internet forum. ---- Maybe now I can get some sleep.

Yes, I've spent years trying to say this the right way. I do hope it means something true to you. But this is what it comes down to---in a nutshell---to me. It is just the way I see it—and some of why I see it that way---for what it's worth.. I mean no offense to anyone.   I always considered myself a folksinger about 60% of the time—maybe a little more I hope. If Barry Bonds, with or without steroids, had batted as well, he would've hit 600. Not too bad! -----------------Art Thieme



©2005 Art Thieme

You can e-mail Art at folkart@ivnet.com, he'd love to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: ella_tall
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:22 PM

Oh wow, that's a fantastic quote! I really wish I'd had that before I handed in the bloody thing. I'm going to have to check out more from Art Theime, he sounds like a solid guy. What an enormous shame it's all been handed in.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: oggie
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:25 PM

All of this begs the eternal question, 'What is a folksong?'

I'm an ageing folkie but one of the more recent additions to my repertoire is System of a Down's 'Soldierside. Great song, strong tune, I play it on a squeeze-box, is it folk? Does it matter?

All the best

oggie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: ella_tall
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 04:10 PM

I am sooooo glad that someone agrees with me on the whole "System of a Down is folk" thing! At last! I actually listed them in my CD bibliography as being one of my "Miscellaneous" folk influences.

What about Rage Against The Machine? I think they count as well. I suppose it depends whether you define 'folk' by musical genre or by ideology.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A modern folk song of your choice
From: Crane Driver
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 06:28 PM

You have to separate surface from substance - I think that's what Art is saying in his more artistic way. I write songs in a traditional idiom and based superficially in events of the past - but the strongest ones are those that resonate with today's concerns as well. As has been said many times before, those who don't know their history are condemmned to repeat it.

For example, I wrote a song called 'Cobre Days' which is on the surface about an incident from 1876, when a ship from Cuba brought yellow fever to my home town of Swansea and killed a lot of people. The ship was brought into dock by the Cobre Mining Company against the advice of the port medical officer for financial reasons. The Cobre Mining Co was eventually absorbed into Rio Tinto ("Tainted River" - perfect name for their environmental approach) - and the song is really about corporate greed and big business putting profit ahead of safety - hardly an irrelevant concern today. But superficially it looks like a song about a long-forgotten historical incident. That's the style I'm comfortable with - I would find it hard to write about a modern incident with the same 'message'.

Does that mean I'm 'stuck in the past'?

Andrew


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