FOLK SONG & TRADITIONAL MUSIC

QUOTATIONS ( 1961-1970 )



"English folk balladry, and particularly folk-carol singing,
suffered an enormous setback from
the period of Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth."

John Jacob Niles, ( "The Ballad Book", 1961 )



"The freedom songs are playing a strong and vital role in our struggle.
These songs give the people new courage and a sense of unity.
I think they keep alive a faith, a radiant hope in the future,
particularly in our most trying hours."

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, leader of the freedom movement ( 1962 )



"The first white men to settle Australia were London pickpockets,
Irish rick-burners, and poachers from the Midlands,
already the inheritors of a long tradition of folk-music."

J.S. Manifold, ( "The Penguin Australian Song Book", 1962 )



"Every newspaper headline is a potential song,
and it is the role of an effective songwriter,
to pick out the material that has the interest, significance
and sometimes humor adaptable to music."

Phil Ochs, American singer, songwriter ( "Broadside", 1962 )



"Of the stylistic peculiarities of the folksong perhaps the most striking
are those connected with its oral tradition.
The folksong is known by heart and is spread by word of mouth."

Eva Ruff, University of Melbourne ( 1962 )



"Much genuine folk expression of our time
has come through the medium of rock and roll,
and we venture the thought that
Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and Tommy Tucker
have created an identification with this generation
that new folk singers can duplicate."

Irwin Silber, Editor Sing Out! ( 1964 )



"In origin the folk hero (whether Lord Ellender or John Henry,
Matty Groves or Jesse James, Mary Hamilton or Omie Wise)
was equally an "outsider", "loner" or pattern-breaker.
If he is now familiair, this is the result of his ascent
into our popular mythology, that firmament of uncommon
people which enshrines the atypical hero."

Maynard Solomon, (Liner notes to: Buffy Sainte-Marie: "it's my way", 1964 )



"I should again like to express my debt en masse
to the people who create it; to my brothers,
Mike and Pete, who proved to me that city singers really can
contribute to folk music; most of all, to Ewan MacColl,
who helped me to crystallize a singing style
and, most important, showed me who 'the folk' really are."

Peggy Seeger, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist ( 1964 )



"Changing conditions destroy the 'folk memory'
far more surely and decisively than time itself."

A. Calwell, Leader of the Australian Labor Party ( 1965 )



"The Folk Song Revival at the turn of the century
was mainly the work of Musicians and Educationalists and,
of course, at the time the piano was the instrument of the day."

Peter Kennedy, folksong collector ( "Marrow Bones", 1965 )



"[Céili bands make] a rhytmic but meaningless noise
with as much relation to music
as the buzzing of a bluebottle in an upturned jamjar."

Seán Ó Riada, musician ( about 1965 )



"Irish ballad writing enshrines a whole history within itself."

James N. Healy, ballad collector ( "Old Irish street Ballads", 1966 )



"To sing is to love and to affirm, to fly and soar,
to coast into the hearts of the people who listen,
to tell them that life is to live, that love is there,
that nothing is a promise, but that beauty exists,
and must be hunted for and found."

Joan Baez, folk singer ( "Daybreak",1966 )



"To the purist, an important feature of the folk ballad is
that it should be transmitted oraly,
and from one generation to another.
But, even if such a situation still generally obtained,
most of the ballads [...] are to recent in composition
to have been subject to this."

Charles Causley ( "Modern Folk Ballads",1966 )



"The folk boom has come and gone like a plague.
As the scene came to its inevitable shift,
some resigned and officially became salesman
others became ethnic defenders of Mother Earth tradition
even though there were no attackers."

Phil Ochs, American folk singer ( 1966 )



"Donkey and horse both have four legs
and may pull carts but they are not the same beast;
nor are the compositions of a Dylan
or a Donovan folk songs by any workable definition."

Albert Lancaster (Bert) Lloyd, ethnomusicologist and writer
( "Folk Song in England", 1967 )



"We sing ballads and folk songs - we have no real interest in pop music.
We just want to sing the songs we like."

Ronnie Drew, Dubliner ( 1967 )



"In the folk songs of any period,
behind the recitals of lost love and violent death,
of hanged robbers and sweethearts pressed to sea,
of the beauty of a country spring and the hardness of country labour,
of transported poachers and colliers on strike,
something more is to be heard: the longing for a better life."

Albert Lancaster (Bert) Lloyd, ethnomusicologist and writer
( "Folk Song in England", 1967 )



"[We sang] the most obscure folksongs we could find.
The more obscure they were, the more people liked them."

David Ackles, singer-songwriter ( "Beat Instrumental", November 1968 )



"... real folk cannot be commercialised,
and it, therefore, can't be killed."

Luke Kelly, Dubliner ( 1969 )



"Folk songs have always been composed
to commemorate real life situations."

John Cohen, (liner notes, New Lost City Ramblers: "Modern Times", 1969 )



"The folk boom, as we knew it,
has long since passed its peak."

Mick Quinn, Manager Dubliners ( 1969 )



"All the folk songs have reached a very pure form by now
- a kind of sorting the wheat from the chaff."

Simon Nicol of Fairport Convention ( interview "Disc & Music Echo", 1969 )



"If the guitar is to be a weapon in our struggle,
if it is to shoot like a gun in our fight,
then the man behind it must be an authentic revolutionary."

Victor Jara, Chilean singer and songwriter ( about 1970 )



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