I think what makes the Byrds stand up all these years is the basis in folk music. Folk music, being a timeless art form, is the foundation of the Byrds. We were all from a folk background. We considered ourselves folk singers even when we strapped on electric instruments and dabbled in different things.
So much was so easy. Glamour was second nature. It was just making folk see what they wanted to see. Fooling folk was as simple as singing. Tricking folk and telling lies, it was like breathing. But this? Convincing someone of the truth that they were too twisted to see? How could you even begin?
Folk songs are evasive-the truth about life, and life is more or less a lie, but then again that's exactly the way we want it to be. We wouldn't be comfortable with it any other way. A folk song has over a thousand faces and you must meet them all if you want to play this stuff. A folk song might vary in meaning and it might not appear the same from one moment to the next. It depends on who's playing and who's listening.
Most people's intuitions are drowned out by folk sayings. We have a moment of real feeling or insight, and then we come up with a folk saying that captures the insight in a kind of wash. The intuition may be real and ripe, fresh with possibilities, but the folk saying is guaranteed to be a cliche, stale and self-contained.
I remember the first time I was booked into a jazz club. I was scared to death. I'm not a jazz artist. So I got to the club and spotted this big poster saying, 'Richie Havens, folk jazz artist.' Then I'd go to a rock club and I'm billed as a 'folk rock performer' and in the blues clubs I'd be a 'folk blues entertainer.'
My music doesn't really sound like punk music, it's acoustic. And it doesn't really sound like folk music 'cause I'm thrashing too hard and emoting a little too much for the sort of introspective, respectful, sort-of folk genre thing. I'm really into punk and folk as music that comes out of communities and is very genuine and very immediate and not commercial.
Gods, I love this place, " Locke said, drumming his fingers against his thighs. "Sometimes I think this whole city was put here simply because the gods must adore crime. Pickpockets rob the common folk, merchants rob anyone they can dupe, Capa Barsavi robs the robbers and the common folk, the lesser nobles rob nearly everyone, and Duke Nicovante occasionally runs off with his army and robs the shit out of Tal Verarr or Jerem, not to mention what he does to his own nobles and his common folk.
I think that anything is a form of folk music. That's just me being glib, but the thing I like the best about humans, and there are not many other things besides this, is that humans make culture. If you're an artist, a big part of folk is noticing what other people are doing and incorporating it and changing it - the way that songs warp and change over time.
Now any person who plays an acoustic guitar standing up on stage with a microphone is a folk singer. Some grandmother with a baby in her arms singing a 500-year-old song, well, she's not a folk singer, she's not on stage with a guitar and a microphone. No, she's just an old grandmother singing an old song. The term "folk singer" has gotten warped.
Repeat after me, there are the living and the dead, there are day-folk and night-folk, there are ghouls and mist-walkers, there are high hunters and the Hounds of God. Also, there are solitary types." "What are you?" asked Bod. "I," she said sternly, "am Miss Lupescu." "And what is Silas?" She hesitated. Then she said, "He is a solitary type.
Life, as a part, is interwoven with the life of the whole, not only present, but past and future, for while men come and go the folk lives on, continuous, eternal, providing its members perform their duty to it. Thus, in identifying himself with his folk man prolongs himself through the multiplicity of his ancestors and his descendants, and thereby attains immortality.
Songwriters I've always been drawn to are people who deal with something of depth in the lyric writing. ...I've always been influenced by the folk song, the storytelling tradition in folk music. And so for years I wrote mostly story songs. I still do that, but as I've gone on, it's gotten a little more personal. I used to write mostly in the third person. I write a little more in the first person now.
A library cannot be made all at once, any more than a house or a nation or a tree; they must all take time to grow, and so must a library. I wouldn't even know what books to go and ask for. I dare say, if I were to try, I couldn't at a moment's notice tell you the names of more than two score of books at the outside. Folk must make acquaintance among books as they would among living folk.
A professional entertainer who allows himself to become known as a singer of folk songs is bound to have trouble with his conscience provided, of course, that he possesses one. As a performing artist, he will pride himself on timing and other techniques designed to keep the audience in his control [...] his respect for genuine folklore reminds him that these changes, and these techniques, may give the audience a false picture of folk music.
History and the task of the future no longer signify the struggle of class against class or the conflict between one church dogma and another, but the settlement between blood and blood, race and race, Folk and Folk. And that means: the struggle of spiritual values against each other.
Why, you'll be 'changed, m'dear. We'll just swap you for a human child who'll make a good servant to the Band. Half Humans never work out 'mongst the Folk. No, never do." "But-I'm half Folk too... What if I never work out 'mongst the humans?" "Aye, you're neither one thing nor yet quite t'other. Pity, but there 'tis.
Eloise Jarvis McGraw
I was only a folk singer for about two years... By that time, it wasn't really folk music anymore. It was some new American phenomenon. Later, they called it singer/songwriters. Or art songs, which I liked best. Some people get nervous about that word. Art. They think it's a pretentious word from the giddyap. To me, ... the word art has never lost its vitality.
Like vampires and extremely rich people, black folk can sense one another. Use your Spidey Sense (Blacky Sense?). Use your blackdar to inspect the workplace for signs of Other Negroes. They may be working security for the building. They may be in administrative support. They may be among the associate pool, or they may even be in upper management. Black folk can be anywhere. After all, you're here. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make as The Black Employee is to assume you are the only one.
Baratunde R. Thurston