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Favorite Folk Tunes
Posted: 11 December 2012 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]
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What are some of everyone’s favorite folk tunes? I have a couple of professional reasons for asking - but also just out of curiosity. There are a whole lot of great tunes out there that tend to become lost to the short term pop-culture machine.

By folk tunes, I mean songs that people remember for generations, and not just for the recordings - songs that non-musician people would actually sing for some reason besides modern karaoke. Admittedly, the definition is a bit vague, but in general, the older the better. In particular, I’d love to see references to tunes old enough to be guaranteed to be in the public domain: pre-1918 or so. Whether or not the public domain should be limited to being that fat back is, of course, a whole different conversation.

Some of my favorites are:

Amazing Grace
Stille Stille Stille
Silent Night
Ode de Joy
Ein Prosit
America The Beautiful
Going Home

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Posted: 11 December 2012 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The only folk songs I know are Czech, so no point of listing them here. BTW, so is “Going Home,” although we only know it in its original Dvořák’s version. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, when I found out they turned it into a song in America. Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony is one of my favourites.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 12:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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There’s a problem as to the definition of “folk song”.  If they were from anonymous authors and had been sung for the last one to two hundred years, that limits them.  On the other hand, there were musicians who wrote what I consider great folk songs.  Two who come to mind immediately are Woody Guthrie and Hoyt Axton.  I’ll come up with a list and post it tomorrow.

Occam

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Posted: 12 December 2012 12:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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George - 11 December 2012 07:06 PM

The only folk songs I know are Czech, so no point of listing them here. BTW, so is “Going Home,” although we only know it in its original Dvořák’s version. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, when I found out they turned it into a song in America. Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony is one of my favourites.

They don’t have to be American. Czech songs would be great!

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Posted: 12 December 2012 12:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam. - 12 December 2012 12:00 AM

There’s a problem as to the definition of “folk song”.  If they were from anonymous authors and had been sung for the last one to two hundred years, that limits them.  On the other hand, there were musicians who wrote what I consider great folk songs.  Two who come to mind immediately are Woody Guthrie and Hoyt Axton.  I’ll come up with a list and post it tomorrow.

Occam

In the U.S. during the 60s and 70s, a tradition seemed to develop with writing tunes in older styles and calling it ‘folk music’. Fine, whatever. That’s not really what I’m looking for, although a folk tune becomes part of folk culture whether or not the original composer is known, and sometimes very quickly after inception.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I vote for House of the Rising Sun. I read a fascinating book about the song a couple of years ago. It’s roots apparently lie in a Medieval British pub song, but it did not become widely known until Alan Lomax recorded 16-year-old Georgia Turner signing it in the Kentucky hills. Lomax was working for the Library of Congress at the time and released the recording in 1941. Earlier recordings exist, but this is the one that gained traction.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Okay, HERE is one. My favourite.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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George - 12 December 2012 08:42 AM

Okay, HERE is one. My favourite.

Thanks! That’s purrrrrty.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 12 December 2012 10:19 AM
George - 12 December 2012 08:42 AM

Okay, HERE is one. My favourite.

Thanks! That’s purrrrrty.

Glad you liked it. We sing it together with my brother and my sister almost every time we get together—I sing the second voice. It never fails to give me an instant adrenaline rush.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYeXvG2ptwk

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Posted: 13 December 2012 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I like this one from Norway very much.
It is a genuin Folk Tune but arranged
in the style of Jan Gabarek.

Venelite sang by

Agnes Buen Garnås

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Posted: 13 December 2012 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Enya is one of my favorite singers and she does perform folk songs, often in Gaelic. This is my favotite carol and is one of the oldest songs recorded originally dated to the 12th Century and maybe older to the 8th but in another form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPHh3nMMu-I

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 15 December 2012 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Enya does May it be very good but Hayley Westenra even better
but May it be maybe is still commercial and not Folk Tune.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Enya does May it be very good but Hayley Westenra even better
but May it be maybe is still commercial and not Folk Tune.

I’ve always been a big Enya fan and yes they’re using some of her songs for commercials, if that’s what you mean. I do like Enya’s version of Emanuel and some researchers say the music at least dates to the 8th Century. BTW, glad you didn’t leave.

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 December 2012 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 13 December 2012 03:01 PM

Enya is one of my favorite singers and she does perform folk songs, often in Gaelic. This is my favotite carol and is one of the oldest songs recorded originally dated to the 12th Century and maybe older to the 8th but in another form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPHh3nMMu-I

 

Cap’t Jack

Not my favorite tune, but a good interpretation. I wish she had coughed up the money to use an actual choir in the studio instead of synth voice vowels for this recording.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Not my favorite tune, but a good interpretation. I wish she had coughed up the money to use an actual choir in the studio instead of synth voice vowels for this recording.

 

That would have been a great addition to the song but vocables are part of her music signature. Personally I like the sound. It’s ethereal. I guess that’s the new age in me.

 

Cap’t Jack

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