Monday, February 21, 2011

Folk Songs

I recall when Jonathan, and Ben after were in high school, being a little amused at their private Christian school's repeated stern warnings about the content of rock and other popular music. With me driving them to school, they were listening to folk music, especially Steeleye Span, and exposed constantly to themes of human sacrifice ("Tam Lin"), murder ("Edward," "Long Lankin," and "Lady Diamond"), rape ("Royal Forester"), abandonment (too many to list), infidelity (too many to list), drunkenness (too many to list), smoking ("Think On This"), witchcraft ("Alison Gross," and "King Henry"), grinding poverty, hideous disability, thievery, widowhood, forced labor and transportation, crows eating corpses, insanity, warfare, demons, shipwreck, and infanticide. And some very nice love songs and dance tunes.

Rockers and rappers are complete pikers when it comes to this stuff.

All in all, it may be one of the best parenting moves I ever made. Funny thing.

2 comments:

Texan99 said...

Love that Steeleye Span.

Gringo said...

I first heard the Child ballads from the albums of Joan Baez. The Child ballads certainly had their fair share of the devil, lust, adultery, murder, and hangings. Etc.

There was the contrast of Joan Baez's sweet voice singing about the devil, lust, adultery,murder, and hangings. The sound of such a sweet voice did not easily conjure up images of the devil, lust, adultery and murder, and hangings. Better to have a rough voice singing them, like Dave Van Ronk