Saturday, July 13, 2013

Folk Music - A dream that cannot happen.

The first thing I noticed when reading several lists of folk songs is that I never thought of many of these songs as folk songs. I just knew that I liked them, and that they were popular. Another thing I noticed is that many of them had the same message. But, today they play to two different audiences while receiving the same response. That is, they bring like minded people together that never realize that people on the other side of the fence are singing the same songs.

I started thinking about folk music last night while at an open mic event at Money Plays, a local bar and restaurant here in Las Vegas. It was just the atmosphere that reminded me of what I had seen on television back in the late '50's and early '60's. Where I grew up in western rural Oklahoma we did not have anything close to a beatnick cafe. But, I remember watching scenes of men and women (now I realize that many of them were college kids, and their professors) dress in weird clothes, wearing funny hats, and the men sporting goatee's, sitting around in smoke filled "beatnick cafes", spouting poetry and singing songs. I don't know about back then, but the only smoke you will see in those cafes today do not come from Marlboro's.

This morning, as I type these words (I forgot how to write.) the television behind me is playing a documentary about Pete Seeger. The documentary seems to be trying desperately to point out the fact that Pete Seeger was never a communist. I will make no judgement on whether Pete Seeger is a communist. I will simply say that his songs brought together people that wanted to make the world a better place. The problem with that, as I see it, is that many of those people seemed/seem (back then and today) to think that all they had to do was/is pass laws, or sit in large groups and think about making something happen, and it will happen.

Well, it won't. If you think the racial issue will disappear simply because you think it should you are wrong. As long as there are people who make their living solely off of the racial issue there will be racism. If you think that evil people won't still be shooting good people because you helped pass a law that takes guns away from good people you are wrong. Turn on a television news story this very minute, and you will learn that someone who just shot someone else should never have had access to a gun, but they did have access simply because all of the guns you are trying to destroy cannot be destroyed. And, If you think the war against terrorism is over because some idiot in Washinton, D.C. says it's over you are wrong. Quik, turn the television on. They are currently doing a news story on some terrorist bombing in some city somewhere on this planet. Your dream did not happen. It was/is a good dream, but as long as there are humans on this planet your dream will not happen on this planet. So, ain't it time for you to join the real world, live in the world as it is today, and be a part of the solution based on common sense instead of your touchy-feeling mind set.

.The 100 Essential Folk Songs

1."This Land Is Your Land" - Woody Guthrie
2."Blowin' in the Wind" - Bob Dylan
3."City of New Orleans" - Steve Goodman
4."If I Had a Hammer" - Pete Seeger
5."Where Have All the Flowers Gone" - The Kingston Trio
6."Early Morning Rain" - Gordon Lightfoot
7."Suzanne" - Leonard Cohen
8."We Shall Overcome" - Pete Seeger
9."Four Strong Winds" - Ian and Sylvia
10. "Last Thing on My Mind" - Tom Paxton
11. "The Circle Game" - Joni Mitchell
12. "Tom Dooley" - The Kingston Trio (Trad)
13. "Both Sides Now" - Joni Mitchell
14. "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" - Sandy Denny
15. "Goodnight Irene" - The Weavers (Trad)
16. "Universal Soldier" - Buffy Sainte-Marie
17. "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" - Bob Dylan
18. "Diamonds and Rust" - Joan Baez
19. "Sounds of Silence" - Simon & Garfunkel
20. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" - Gordon Lightfoot
21. "Alice's Restaurant" - Arlo Guthrie
22. "Turn, Turn, Turn!" - The Byrds (Pete Seeger)
23. "Puff the Magic Dragon" - Peter, Paul and Mary
24. "Thirsty Boots" - Eric Anderson
25. "There But for Fortune" - Phil Ochs
26. "Across the Great Divide" - Kate Wolf
27. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" - The Band (Robbie Robertson)
28. "The Dutchman" - Steve Goodman
29. "Matty Groves" - Fairport Convention (Trad)
30. "Pastures of Plenty" - Woody Guthrie
31. "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" - Gordon Lightfoot
32. "Ramblin' Boy" - Tom Paxton
33. "Hello in There" - John Prine
34. "The Mary Ellen Carter" - Stan Rogers
35. "Scarborough Fair" - Martin Carthy (Trad)
36. "Freight Train" - Elizabeth Cotton
37. "Like a Rolling Stone" - Bob Dylan
38. "Paradise" - John Prine
39. "Northwest Passage" - Stan Rogers
40. "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" - Eric Bogle
41. "Changes" - Phil Ochs
42. "Streets of London" - Ralph McTell
43. "Gentle on My Mind" - John Hartford
44. "Barbara Allen" - Shirley Collins (Trad)
45. "Little Boxes" - Malvina Reynolds
46. "The Water Is Wide" - Traditional
47. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" - Bill Monroe
48. "No Regrets" - Tom Rush
49. "Amazing Grace" - Odetta (Trad)
50. "Catch the Wind" - Donovan
51. "If I Were a Carpenter" - Tim Hardin
52. "Big Yellow Taxi" - Joni Mitchell
53. "House of the Rising Sun" - Doc & Richard Watson (Trad)
54. "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" - The Weavers
55. "Tangled Up in Blue" - Bob Dylan
56. "The Boxer" - Simon and Garfunkel
57. "Someday Soon" - Ian and Sylvia
58. "Miles" - Peter, Paul and Mary
59. "Masters of War" - Bob Dylan
60. "Wildwood Flower" - Carter Family
61. "Can the Circle Be Unbroken" - Carter Family
62. "Can't Help but Wonder Where I'm Bound" - Tom Paxton
63. "Teach Your Children" - Crosby, Stills Nash & Young
64. "Deportee" - Woody Guthrie
65. "Tecumseh Valley" - Townes Van Zandt
66. "Mr. Bojangles" - Jerry Jeff Walker
67. "Cold Missouri Waters" - James Keeleghan
68. "The Crucifixion" - Phil Ochs
69. "Angel from Montgomery" - John Prine
70. "Christmas in the Trenches" - John McCutcheon
71. "John Henry" - Traditional
72. "Pack Up Your Sorrows" - Richard and Mimi Farina
73. "Dirty Old Town" - Ewan MacColl
74. "Caledonia" - Dougie MacLean
75. "Gentle Arms of Eden" - Dave Carter
76. "My Back Pages" - Bob Dylan
77. "Arrow" - Cheryl Wheeler
78. "Hallelujah" - Leonard Cohen
79. "Eve of Destruction" - Barry McGuire
80. "Man of Constant Sorrow" - Ralph Stanley (Trad)
81. "Shady Grove" - Traditional
82. "Pancho and Lefty" - Townes Van Zandt
83. "Old Man" - Neil Young
84. "Mr. Tambourine Man" - Bob Dylan
85. "American Tune" - Paul Simon
86. "At Seventeen" - Janis Ian
87. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - Simon & Garfunkel
88. "Road" - Nick Drake
89. "Tam Lin" - Fairport Convention (Trad)
90. "Ashokan Farewell" - Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
91. "Desolation Row" - Bob Dylan
92. "Love Is Our Cross to Bear" - John Gorka
93. "Hobo's Lullaby" - Woody Guthrie
94. "Urge for Going" - Tom Rush
95. "Return of the Grievous Angel" - Gram Parsons
96. "Chilly Winds" - The Kingston Trio
97. "Fountain of Sorrow" - Jackson Browne
98. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" - Bob Dylan
99. "Our Town" - Iris Dement
100. "Leaving on a Jet Plane" - John Denver

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