Just a little on the lessons of American folk music American Culture & Society Spring-Summer 2012 Glenn Scott
Folk music gives us . . . • The real stories of the people. • Hopes but more often hardships. • Much like enka. • Folk music was never for money as much as for expression: • Celebrate your life. • Share your struggles.
Beginnings • Immigrants brought their music styles. • African slaves • Scottish and Irish farmers • Many others • Old World music was adapted to fit new lives, new traditions. • American folk music is a mix! • Just like American people.
Key idea! • Americans were often on the move. • They didn’t stay in one village or farm. • Often they moved west. • They had a name for this: • Manifest destiny • Going west brought new adventures, new opportunities. • New land for farms, mines, ranches, towns, businesses.
We’ll listen to two songs • Stepstone by Woody Guthrie • Sung by Joel Rafael • City of New Orleans by Steve Goodman • Sung by Willie Nelson • On You Tube (see links), we can see Cheryl Crow joining Willie and also Steve Goodman singing his version.
Stepstone • From the Dust Bowl era. • People were ‘dirt poor.’ Great Depression • Farmers in parts of Oklahoma, North Texas, and surrounding areas lost their farms when rain didn’t come. Winds blew away the soil and made huge clouds of dust. • People had to leave – to move! • They packed cars with their belongings and drove west to California to pick fruit.
Woody Guthrie • Loved to sing about rambling. • Going somewhere new. • Meeting new people. • Joining their struggles to earn a living.
City of New Orleans • Was a train • On a route from Illinois south to Louisiana. • Past houses, farms and fields. • Trains had been important part of U.S. growth. • A train ride revealed real-life side of country. • By the middle of the 1900s, they were replaced by cars and trucks.
Now we move on The End