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Thread: Musicians Fight to Keep Politics Out of Folk

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    Musicians Fight to Keep Politics Out of Folk

    Yet more hypocracy!

    What about Ewan McColl, Roy Bailey and numourous other leftists? Who complained when Chumbwamaba played the Cambridge Folk Festival?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8191094.stm

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    Interesting...

    I've always wondered 'how come' so many folkies were anti-nationalist (not quite 'ard enough to be 'antifa', but no less sincere). I didn't know about Ewan McColl or Bailey etc. But I more or less assume they're all at it. Boden I know had an 'smash the BNP' sticker. Then there's the notorious Billy Bragg (someone definately high up my shit list...). Interesting to see that 'roots' singer is in on it too, since I've seen that song posted so many times on nationalistic websites (personally I can't stand it, it's so cheesy it causes me physical pain to watch).

    the following quote sums it all up:
    "Music has been a very powerful political tool, usually for the left," she says. "What concerns me is that the BNP could do the same thing from a far-right perspective."
    I bet they weren't complaining when it was serving as a tool for the left... (as it still does)

    I can only guess, it's a reaction against attracting such attention in the first place (although that doesn't explain the Billy Braggs of this world...). But why sing songs about the love of 'England' etc, and deliberately set out to keep alive a musical tradition for the love of it's tradition, despite it being a rather fringe interest, and yet lend such ardent support to the destruction of the folk itself? ie: without the folk, what's the point of folk music? it just doesn't make any sense

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    That same thing happens all the time in America. Different political parties use different pop and rock songs for their campaigns, and then the artist gets mad. When you think about it, what do they have to get mad about, as their music is getting free promotion!

    The British artist that are complaining probably got the idea from American artists Jackson Browne or Bon-Jovi.

    During August 2008, Browne sued John McCain, the Ohio Republican Party, and the Republican National Committee for using his 1977 hit, "Running on Empty", in an attack advertisement against Barack Obama without his permission.[11] In July 2009, the matter was settled under an undisclosed financial agreement with an apology from the McCain campaign and other parties.[12]

    During August 2008, he appeared on the ALMA Awards in a taped interview honoring Trailblazer Award recipient and long time friend, Linda Ronstadt.

    Retrieved From:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson...ning_political
    (Oct. 15) - Here we go again. Rock group Bon Jovi have joined an ever-expanding roster of music artists annoyed with the political process, namely the unauthorized use of their songs by campaigns they don't even support.


    Jon Bon Jovi isn't happy that his country-tinged hit "Who Says You Can't Go Home" has been played this week during rallies headlined by Sen. John McCain's running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin. The singer, a vocal and financial supporter of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential bid, issued a statement to TMZ:
    Retrieved From:http://www.popeater.com/ On Thu Oct 16th, 2008

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    For me, it does not matter a jot what the ‘Musicians’ think!

    Music and lyrics are all about interpretation, if the music and the words ‘fit’ then so be it! Look how the works of Shakespeare have been reformed and remodelled over the years, constantly analysing and re-analysing, they can mean many things to many people on many levels, and so it is with music!

    Some songs, regardless of original intent are universal for many people, just look at ‘Lilly Marlene’ who would have thought that that would have been a British soldiers favourite during WW2!

    If the likes of Steve Knightly and others write songs and lyrics which depict areas of social concern that the right identifies with, then it’s futile for them to whine about it after the event.

    Interpretation, thats the name of the game!


    hodekin
    Deep in the forest, shaded by the leaves of the Greenwood Tree.

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    Maybe someone should tell these musicians who probably will join "Folk against Fascism" that it is the very same sort of politics which they claim not to want: a not at all 'inclusive' witchhunt against a certain group of people.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

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    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    Maybe someone should tell these musicians who probably will join "Folk against Fascism" that it is the very same sort of politics which they claim not to want: a not at all 'inclusive' witchhunt against a certain group of people.
    That's a pretty common occurrence, for radicals to protest against other "so called" radicals.

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    Proper folk music is always political in some sense, because good and proper folk music is always socially critical to some extent. It's been an instrument of expressing criticism and concerns in an aesthetic way for a while - for the left-wing as much as for the right-wing.

    Quite frankly, folk music is on a musical scale something that people are going to relate to to some extent - it has the rhythm, instruments, structure, etc. of the folk memories, it is sort of written into the blood ... look at the rising popularity of Folk Metal amongst youngsters, I doubt this is a coincidence.

    Either way, I am disappointed to some extent in what Knightley said. I could agree with him to some extent if it was mainly about keeping politics out of music. There is no immediate need to link patriotism to any political ideology, he could see his stride to promote English heritage as an unpolitical one altogether, such sentiment would have to be accepted, as it wouldn't be directly destructive.

    But that default line he is putting forward about music being inclusive and all that usual "neurotic profiling" bull--- well, then don't call your song "Roots" because Black people aren't going to find they have the same roots. Don't call your song "Country Life" because they don't know old countryside traditions and living either. It will strike a chord mainly with proud English - and if the BNP are amongst those cherishing their otherwise unpolitical music - who is he to fuss about, he's put his message forward in his music, it's for other people to read into it in a way he may like or not.

    I don't think putting "Folk Against Fascism" on your discs is going to change much - the lyrics are still there and freely interpretable, and people are going to relate to it no matter what. If there's a song about heritage, the BNP are bound to be using it towards their ends, regardless of what they put on. I could actually give you a long list of artists cherished equally by the left-wing and the right-wing.

    Anyway - It's just a floskel. It doesn't make their music any less great, it is still deeply meaningful and it will mean a lot to any proud Englishman no matter what; it will actually still mean a lot to anyone whose country is undergoing a similar rapid loss of tradition, notably any Germanic. But it certainly makes them as people less integral, because it classes them amongst the ranks of sorry apologetics --- they could just have shut up about it, or at least been awfully sarcastic about it, which would have been a more English way than this awfully zeitgeisty whining.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    I always wonder if some of the lefty lipservice done by Roots or Folk musicians is real or indeed just a lipservice.

    I mean, how can you seek somehow 'spiritual' connections to your roots, culture, heritage etc without caring about mass immigration and cultural alienation?

    Even if you're not going to become a right-wing radicalist, at some point you must realise that these things will ultimately destroy what you hold dear the most. It is just a matter of consequence to come to the conclusion.

    But maybe many are afraid of that. The witchhunt at anything only smelling like you could love your own culture and heritage more than another leads to systematic career destruction, and for an artist this is something to fear. And each day anew the media brainwashs the people to not even think about such emotions, because this would automatically equal you to genocide designers and evil nazis.

    The inner inhibition created by that is strong and probably takes a long time for some people to overcome and for them to allow the realisation happen.

    At least, as long as they engage in this genre and are honest with that, there is hope that this one day will happen.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

    my signature

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    What dont the lefty folk musicians understand about the quality of something specific being from somewhere specific, by specific people at a specific time.

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