For those not familiar with folk music, it might be easy to assume that today’s folk scene is entirely comprised of ancient dances and story ballads. Men and women in weird costumes jigging to the jolly sounds of fiddles and tin whistles… or the minstrel in the corner strumming a guitar and singing about the trials and tribulations of Tam Lin — right?
Well, yes… in part.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that stuff. (Maybe not the weird costumes.) But most contemporary folk musicians write their own songs and music. The need to tell stories and comment on social and political issues has not dwindled with time, and rare is the serious musician who performs entirely covers! They might embrace the traditional tunes and keep a few on their set list, but they’re certainly here to convey their own words, from the heart, to the audience.
The ‘clip’ below is from one of my favourites, UK songwriter Martha Tilston.
According to You Tube: A song inspired by people gathered down Wall Street, asking peacefully where does the money flow from, and who does it go to. The only true futures market is our children, and the planet they live on.