Me to a friend

My mind has been running on this one for a long time, and now I find I must approach you with my thoughts. The autumn wind, the breeze in the fall, it seemed to exert a powerful influence over every folk singer in the world. It seemed to set them all to driftin’, wanderin’, cutting loose from all ties that had recently been established to seek something else in the distance and in the future. Let me ask you something. The spring rains? Did they tell folk singers to register for summer courses? The first deep snowfall? Was that a sign you needed to get a job? These are just locked down thoughts. Otherwise, I fear you would take me more seriously than they might deserve. Well, got to be a wanderin’. But not really.

My friend to me

Was a time that folksingers were all “Hey Nonny Nonny”, “Jolly Rumbelow” and courtly ballads… the singers were either boosters of the agrarian life or singing tradesmen argung for the particular merits of one’s occupation. Everything was nicely settled and folks voted the straight party ticket. Then, around the time of one of the Jameses – when Popery and famine stalked the land – ordinary entertainments began to pale and people were seized with discontent. The grass appeared to be just that much greener a few counties over and harps were being replaced by the much more portable (and tune-able) lute. Communal singing around open fires morphed into a kind of star system. People demanded personal appearances and the travelling musician became the thing to be. It was the Irish – of course – that started all the rot.