The chief contribution made by white men of the Americas to the folk songs of the world ——- the cowboy songs of Texas and the West ——- are rhythmed to the walk, the trot, and the gallop of horses.— J. Frank Dobie
Eye-opening Folk Songs quotations
All music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song.
But in my imagination this whole thing developed and I started mixing up old folk songs with the Beatles beat and taking them down to Greenwich Village and playing them for the people there.
If songs were lines in a conversation, the situation would be fine . . .
Why are black folks singing Amazing Grace which is a song about a white slaver's conversion?
What I'm doing is basically the same as Bob Dylan did with folk songs and Woody Guthrie songs, the same as folk music's always done. I'm not going to sing about ploughing, but I'll write a song that sounds like it should be about ploughing.
If it was never new and it never gets old, then it's a folk song
I always knew Gordon Lightfoot was a really great songwriter, but his stuff even sounds better and better all the time. It's just so really good to me. It's just like that's what should be in a dictionary, you know, next to a really good contempory folk song, is a Gordon Lightfoot song.
A folk song is what's wrong and how to fix it or it could be who's hungry and where their mouth is or who's out of work and where the job is or who's broke and where the money is or who's carrying a gun and where the peace is.
Rock ’n roll is really swing with a modern name.
It began on the levees and plantations, took in folk songs, and features blues and rhythm. It's the rhythm that gets to the kids – they're starved of music they can dance to, after all those years of crooners.
I think folk music helps reinforce your sense of history.
An old song makes you think of times gone by.
You've got to go down the road you naturally go down, and for me it was pop, folk country, just feel-good music. I suppose most of my songs are very up-tempo.
I have no reason to sit home and write songs all day without going out and playing for the folks. And I have no reason to go play for the folks unless I'm writing new songs so they can sort of feed off one another. And I just try to do the best I can.
People were saying that Southern folk song was dead, that the land that had produced American jazz, the blues, the spirituals, the mountain ballads and the work songs had gone sterile.
I grew up around music. My father was a professional musician. We used to have a trailer house that we travelled in. I've always loved music. Started out loving to sing to the standards and songs of the early 50s, then that interest shifted to rock and roll, Motown, folk.
If you want to understand a nation, look at its dances and listen to its folk songs - don't pay any attention to its politicians.
It seems to me that the American popular song, growing out of American folk music, is the basis of the American musical theater… it is quite legitimate to use the form of the popular song and gradually fill it out with new musical content.
That folk music led to learning to play, and making things up led to what turns out to be the most lucrative part of the music business - writing, because you get paid every time that song gets played.
Every week, Dennis Day sang an old Irish folk song.
And next day in the fields, I'd be singing that song if I was working in the fields.
I think more people in the mainstream, folks like Nancy Wilson and Luther Vandross, they have openly expressed their love for God, and when mainstream artists start expressing their love for God openly in their concerts and including gospel songs in their concert, and, you know, people started embracing it.
Be serious. Folk songs are serious. That's what Pete Seeger told me. 'Arlo, I only wanna tell you one thing. Folk songs are serious.' And I said, 'Right.'
People thought me a bit strange at first;
a blond haired, blue-eyed Norwegian who sang Mexican folk songs, but I used it to my advantage and got a job. And so the music became my ticket to education.
I knew Bobby Dylan back in the days when he lived in the village.
He used to come and see me and sing songs for me, saying they ought to go into my next collected book on American folk music.
There are no bridges in folk songs because the peasants died building them.
The only thing contrived is the production - you can over-produce to the point you kill a good idea, you can under-produce so that the song's amazing but you'll have folks at a radio station saying they won't play it, so there's this balance, and it has to be true.
We enjoyed the fact that we were called to the folk festivals and we got to know Joan Baez, Dylan. We were singing strictly gospel, but then after we started hearing songs that they would sing, we saw that those songs were very fitting for us because they were singing the truth, and truth is gospel.
If you told the truth, that was all well and good and if you told the un-truth, well, that's still well and good. Folk songs had taught me that.
My father being in the movie business, I thought being an actor would be great.
But when I started singing to people in coffeehouses, you know, singing folk music and then, later, singing songs that I started to write myself, I felt more than an affinity for it.
At the same time all this was happening, there was a folk song revival movement goingon, so the commercial music industry was actually changed by the Civil Rights Movement.
My older brother was involved in the folk movement.
We would gather every weekend in Washington Park. The folk songs were so important to my reality.
Coming, as I do, from mountain folk on one side and sea followers on the other, there are few old songs of the hills or the sea with which I am not familiar.
I wanted to write songs which I think is a different thing.
I wanted to write music that is informed by folk music. The chord progressions are obvious references.
All the folks I play with come from jazz backgrounds or at least appreciate spontaneity within the parameters of a pop song.
We had various kinds of tape-recorded concerts and popular music.
But by the end of the flight what we listened to most was Russian folk songs. We also had recordings of nature sounds: thunder, rain, the singing of birds. We switched them on most frequently of all, and we never grew tired of them. It was as if they returned us to Earth.
I play a couple basic folks songs and break them down.
I did that on a six string. I can't recall all the songs on it. There's some finger picking on it.