FOLK SONG & TRADITIONAL MUSIC

QUOTATIONS ( 1991-2000 )



"Written evidence concerning the early history
of singing in Scotland is very scarce."

Nicola Wood, Scottish writer ( 1991 )



"I think that the big change in music in the 1960s was that
people started to write about other things than boys and girls."

Tom Rapp, singer-songwriter ( "Ptolemaic Terrascope", 1993 )



"For most ageing folkies, like myself,
the 60's were a major musical turning-point"

John Loesberg, music teacher and song publisher ( 1993 )



"Folk songs have always been songs made by and for ordinary people.
Songs that tell stories and spread news..."

Roy Bailey, English folk singer ( 1994 )



"1968 [...] Folk roots had travelled to America
and in the guise of Blues, Rock n' Roll and Country,
came back across the Atlantic to be re-shaped and sent back again."

Chris Simpson, leader of Magna Carta ( 1994 )



"Since the introduction of wax cylinders and flat disc recording
in the early part of the century,
traditional Irish music has slowly but very surely
been moving further and further away from regional styles and repertoires
toward a kind of pot pourri standardisation."

Ruarai O Caomanach ( Alias Ron Kavana, 1994 )



"One of the criticisms of Cambridge in the early days
was what the working class was all about.
When traditionalists said that to me I would reply
that I'd never known an electrician who sang a sea-shanty
while he pulled a string through a hole."

Ken Woollard ( Organiser of the Cambridge Folk Festival between 1965 and 1993, 1994 )



"When we think of the topics in sailors' songs,
we most often think of women, drinking and shipwrecks but,
for sailors as well as folksingers, when a lot of time is spent far away--
home is a subject that frequently comes to mind."

Wiliam Pint & Felicia Dale, folksingers ( 1994 )



"... I guarantee our shows are at least 80% traditional music,
because that's not only what we do best but it's also the music we love."

Paddy Moloney , Uilleann piper , leader of the Chieftains ( 1995 )



"After all this time a lot of American music,
whether it's rock 'n roll or the Kingston Trio,
is at legitimately traditional as 'Auld Lang Syne'!"

Anonymus folkie ( interview at Beverley Folk Festival, 1995 )



"Folk music, to me, when I was about 16,
was rather twee, to be honest,
I came to love a lot of it,
but at that time I wasn't very impressed"

Bob Buckle ( interview, 1995 )



"The mythology concerning the ethnic roots and characteristics
of the Irish jig, the Scotch reel and the English hornpipe, just as much as
the stock joke about the Englishman, the Irishman and the Scotsman,
owes its origin to national stereotypes created in the theatre of elite society
during the eighteenth century and maintained in the music halls
and variety theatres of the nineteenth century."

Reg Hall, Irish music collector ( 1995 )



"Irish people are not afraid to express themselves
and song is one of the ways they do it."

Máire Brennan, Irish singer of Clannad ( VPRO-radio, 1996 )



"Some of the informal amateur structures within the folk scene
are at times one of its greatest strengths
but at other times one of its weaknesses."

Peter Heywood, editor ( "The Living Tradition", January 1996 )



"I would sing, even if I was alone on a desert island."

Maggie Holland, singer songwriter ( 1996 )



"There is a long history in Ireland of people
learning to play and having respect for music
and using music as part of their daily life."

Tony MacMahon, Irish accordion player ( VPRO-radio,1996 )



"Irish traditional music seems to reverberate or resonate wherever it goes
and it is certainly the most well preserved traditional music in Europe."

Bob Quinn, Irish writer ( VPRO-radio, 1996 )



"Folk music in North America started out
as the poetry of poor and working people,
expressing the encounters and emotions of their daily lives."

Si Kahn, song writer and folk performer ( Sing Out, Vol.41 #3, 1996 )



"Being oppressed by England for so many hundred of years,
people had to smile and laugh and sing and dance
in the face of hardship and that was there recreation.
That was what kept them laughing and kept them happy."

Mary Black, Irish singer ( VPRO-radio 1996 )



"Anybody holding a guitar gets called a folk musician"

Jean Ritchie, dulcimer player and song collector ( Sing Out, Vol.41 #3, 1996 )



"What is tradition? Traditon is yourself!"

Geraldine MacGowan, Irish singer ( 1996 )



"I think that a few notes eloquently put together can say a lot.
That's one of the things that the oldest early music
and the oldest folk melodies share."

Bruce Hutton, founding member of the Double Decker String Band ( 1996 )



"The tradition is an ongoing thing, the music of the people"

Sean Keane, Irish singer ( 1996 )



"Working with musicians coming from living, oral traditions
gives me a better perspective on how all music lives."

Scott Reiss, Founder and Artistic Director of 'Hesperus' ( 1996 )



"I think that one of the reasons roots music doesn't survive
very well in a modern context is because stylistically it's so fragile"

Bruce Molsky, traditional fiddle & banjo player ( 1996 )



"If you understand where the tradition comes from,
you can always go back, but you need to be rooted somewhere"

John McCusker, fiddle player ( Sing Out, Vol.41 #3, 1996 )



"I actually think,
folk songs are far more beautiful than Beethoven ever created."

Allan Taylor, Singer/songwriter ( 1997 )



"There was a time in Ireland when the local ballad-maker
provided the service of journalist as well as entertainer."

Bill Meek, music critic of the 'Irish Times' ( 1997)



"One of the great wonders in modern America is
the thriving Irish traditional music scene
which now extends all across the land
wherever Irish American communities exist."

Mick Moloney, folklorist and Irish traditional musician ( 1997 )



"The British folk revival is a weird enough beast in the first place,
tattering into life on the back of the frankly bonkers skiffle craze
which made a brief, bizarre, but nevertheless momentous imprint on
the year Nineteen Hundred and Fifty Seven."

Colin Irwin (liner notes to Robin & Barry Dransfield: "Up to now", 1997)



"The age of tango in Argentina is over,
it's not the way it used to be."

Alfredo Marucci, bandoneón player ( 1997 )



"The Scots are a musical nation,
and much given to singing and song-making.
It is entirely appropriate therefore that whiskey,
Scotland's best known contribution to humanity,
should be celebrated in song."

Robert Laing, Scottish singer ( "The Angels' share", 1997 )



"American Jews had long sought to identify themselves
as a religious, not an etnic, community
and so they were brought up with the mythe that
the East Europen Jews had 'no music of their own'."

Walter Zev Feldman ( 1997 )



"Folk music is what people sing,
it's not what people listen to, necessarily,
but what they take away and sing somewhere,
whether they're out having a drink, at a family gathering,
around a campfire - that's folk song."

Tony Barrand, American folk singer ( Sing Out, Vol.42 #3, 1997 )



"It was in the early 1970s when the young urban
'folk music new wave'
began drammatically to break through in Hungary."

Márta Sebestyén and Muzsikás ( "Morning Star", 1997 )



"If you push the boundaries of what is folk,
if you consider the folk scene as a springboard
and don't put yourself in some convenient box,
it gives you some latitude to play with all
the curves and angles of the music industry.
You just have to keep plugging away"

Connie Kaldor, Canadian Singer (Dirty Linen, October 1997)



"The 'folk music revival' began about 1955
in campuses clustered around the large urban centers
- San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston."

Jon Pancake, folk song collector ( 1998 )



"Bloody weird times, 1973.
And then there was the folk scene.
Little was weirder than that."

Colin Irwin ( 1998 )



"Classical musicians have long borrowed from folk music
and from at least the 1920s, from jazz...."

Arthur Marwick ( "The Sixties", 1998 )



"The reputation of Trinidad Carnival songs
as the peoples' newspaper is longstanding."

John H. Cowley ( "Introduction Roosevelt in Trinidad", 1998 )



"It was a man's world, and the world of
Irish traditional music was no exception.....
.... Things began to change in the 1960s and '70s with the rise of
the women's movement and continued immigration.
Women finally had a role outside the home,
and thankfully, they brought their instruments with them."

Kathleen Biggins, Host of a Thousand Welcoms, WFUV-FM ( 1998 )



"As Yoruba-influenced popular music from
Brasil, the Caribbean, and Latin New York
continues to win converts around the world,
it is important to recognize the roots
from which these newer styles have sprung."

Kenneth Bilby, muscicologist ( 1998 )



"Traditional singers are part of a continuing musical flow
coming up, in a way, like water bubbling up
out of a spring from deep in the ground.
Traditional music doesn't exist in the past. It is ongoing."

Jim Rooney, musician and producer ( Nashville, 1998 )



"The 1960's was a renaissance period for popular music.
The new generation of Post War kids
had begun discovering blues,
but was now also discovering
the rich legacy of American folk music."

Tom Vickers ( liner notes to "Folk Hits", 1998 )



"The term 'Folk/Rock' appears to have different meanings
in the UK and the US. American folk/rock means
The Byrds, The Lovin' Spoonful and The Mamas & Papas,
but British folk/rock has been dominated since its late Sixties inception
by two bands, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span."

John Tobler ( 1998 )



"The traveling folk of Scotland, England and Ireland
have long been renowned singers and musicians,
gathering musical treasures from every corner of the British Isles,
infusing them with their special personality, and often maintaining them
long after settled folk in the cities and towns had forgotten them."

Matthew Barton, musicologist ( New York, 1998 )



"Many composers have been inspired by folk music
and expressed their interests in timeless tradition in many different ways."

Misha Alperin, musician in the Moscow Art Trio ( July 1998 )



"In the early years of the 20th century,
the principal method of collecting folk songs
was using pen and paper."

Stella Washburn, (folkROOTS, August 1988 )



"The folk tradition has many streams,
work songs, protest songs, cowboy songs,
children's songs, and songs of the spirit,
all are part of the classic American music."

Tom Vickers ( liner notes to "Duets", 1998 )



"The living tradition is about keeping good songs alive
as well as creating new ones."

Jo Fraser/Freija, musician ( (folkROOTS, April 1999 )



"If we play on a folk club that only holds ten people
and they have really made an effort to make it as nice as possible
then I'll get a great night out of it."

John Wright, folk musician ( "The Living Tradition", august/september 1999 )



"The real folksinger sings where and whenever possible
and whatever takes the fancy."

Ian Olson ( 2000 )



top page top of this page

back Quotation Menu

home hand OLD FOLKS AT HOME PAGE

Last update of this page: