Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I have been interested in trying my hand at singing since watching through x factor/american idol again.

I despise contemorary music and its obsession with money and materialism so I cannot motivate myself to sing such bilge. I have enjoyed some women singing folk ballads (Joan Baez for eg) in the past but most are women singing about men and I would not feel congruent singing that.

So what are some good equivalents for male songs where it’s about love and the like from a male perspective?

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

And I am interested in non commercial ones. Not old langsyme type of stuff (just talking in terms of popularity). I tend to suddenly hate a song as soon as I know millions of people like it. Makes me feel like a sheep.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Or try a Burns song. This is one of the loveliest love songs in the (Scots) language, sung here ‘non-commercially’:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPhp94esH3w


Lyrics for all these readily available via google.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

It always sounds a bit "knee-jerkish" to not like something for no better reason than because a lot of other people do. At best it’s disrespectful.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Babes in The Wood
Lord Franklin
Jesse James
Derwentwater’s Farewell

Just for starters …

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Why don’t you do what at least some of the rest of us have done: dig around in out-the-way places until you find a song that grabs you, and learn it? That way, you may actually learn and be able to present a song that is new to much of your audience. This way, you’re just going to get songs that are already established and popular, which is apparently what you want to avoid … ? You’ve got this stupendous resource called the internet at your fingertips, which is far, far more than many of us had when we were starting out - why not use it to follow your own tastes, whims, and inclinations, and see what you come up with?

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Yes I have tremendous respect and admiration for Alan Lomax’s work which is pretty much what you are talking about.

Certainly a worthy goal but not an immediate solution.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Love the twa corbies.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

‘Joe Hill’ might be up your street, catchy and straightforward with a simple message. Or many others by Ewan MacColl if you want ‘man songs’.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Who’s talking about Alan Lomax’s work?

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

My favourite folkie "male song" ever is

"Dark eyed Molly" or "Her dear dark eyes" ..Archie Fisher from "The Man with a Rhyme" album.

Lots of versions on You Tube but I can’t find Archie himself which is a shame.

Here’s a decent enough version from the late Stan Rogers…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDRniN7SnY4

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I find it rather strange that some men are uncomfortable singing ‘women’s songs’. I’ve heard many an Irish song sung from a woman’s perspective sung by men, and vice versa. That doesn’t seem too common in modern genres at all. I like to think that the long history of Irish egalitarianism has something to do with it. No’one assumed a man was singing about a love interest for a man in the past, and today no’one would give a flying duck if a man sung about a man anyway.
If it’s a good song, don’t let outdated gender issues hold you back ffs.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

There are women around who get quite opinionated about men singing ‘women’s songs’. Especially if they think it is being done with inadequate understanding of their own perspective. That would be one reason for some men not wanting to do it.

The converse, and any other permuatation, may also apply.

People may not like it, but it’s what happens.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Women also like to change the words of "male songs" to make them more PC…

e.g. "Loving Hannah" becomes "And she is very intelligent and that’s the best of all" as oppose to "quite good looking".

Anyway, we should all be looking for "gender neutral" songs these days, I suppose. All good music shops should stock a range of such books just as John Lewis does with childrens’ clothes. ;-)

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Anyway, re "loving Hannah"…Mary Black did a brilliant version and without changing the words too.
And Why not?

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Ah but Mary Black is ‘quite good at singing’

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Thinking about Archie Fisher - how about his Ballad of Minnie Cooper? Written when his hobby was rally driving. The tune is Hot Asphalt.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Listen to some Paddy Tunney and some Len Graham

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

The Death of Queen Jane is a nice one, as is The Unquiet Grave.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

the highwayman by Andy Irvine is awesome XD
one of favorites

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Sacrosanct : regarded as sacred and inviolable : Stan Rogers
Why, oh why, was he mentioned here!

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I’m not sure from your post what your opinion of Stan is, Christmas Eve. Not sure if you are being ironic or not?

I had and do have a lot of respect for Stan’s music. However, the only reason I described Stan’s rendition of "Dark Eyed Molly" as "decent enough" is because I’ve long believed that Archie recorded the definitive version(Just my opinion) and nothing can beat it as far as I’m concerned. Stan’s version is, of course, very good in its own right.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Johnny Jay said-‘Women also like to change the words of "male songs" to make them more PC…’

That’s fair enough. Female artists had it tough enough in the past, we can’t blame them for changing up lyrics now and then.
If a guy wants to sing guy songs, fair enough. Just don’t avoid ‘lady’ songs too much as there are some really good ones out there.
Gender nuetral songs are good I guess but what is the reason for it? Don’t want people to think you’re gay or something? It’s 2017. People shouldn’t care what others think.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

The "gender neutral" comment was meant to be tongue in cheek. :-)
There’s a lot of talk about this in the media, social and otherwise, of late.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Is it acceptable to suggest that people don’t do things because others may find it offensive?

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I have the utmost respect for Stan Rogers, Johnny Jay. I was certainly not being ironic. I just didn’t want him falling into the wrong hands! All the best and thank you.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

"Female artists had it tough enough in the past, we can’t blame them for changing up lyrics now and then."

I wonder if you would care to elaborate on the relation between the idea of female artists having had it tough and their changing of lyrics. I’m not meaning to be contentious; I just don’t quite follow the line of thought.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Mostly male artists get their songs/tunes known, so there are more songs from the male perspective out there. Women getting their own songs to sing is hard enough, so singing well known songs that are mostly from a male perspective and changing them is sometimes the most women can do. I dunno, maybe I’m not making sense.
I’m a bit opinionated lately due to some sexist/homophobic idiots around in Oz.
Carry on!

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Okay, I getcha now.

There is a mitigating factor, though, which is that, at least in mainstream culture, it is far more acceptable for a woman to sing a song that is from a ‘male perspective’ than vice versa. Whether you want to or not, is another question. (Not trying to get into a tit-for-tat thing here; just thinking out loud).

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

That used to be one of my party pieces. One of the few songs I know all the way through. :-)

I believe it was Kevin Mitchell who brought this song to the attention of many singers on the UK scene. I’m not sure where he learned it. Another good version was by Tom Napper. One of the few songs he sung on the album with Alistair Russell who was the main vocalist.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

It’s nothing new. Gender questions (all of them) have been in literature, poems and songs for centuries.
It’s not always obvious, because art can be nuanced and subtle, but it is a significant aspect of tradition,
creative expression and interpretation.

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Surely not all songs are about sex?

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Who said they are about sex? Romance is usually the theme, or infidelity, or murder ballads.. Of course there are other songs that sing of rebellion or adventure, but they don’t really need to have a male or female perspective, because they are not singing about another person.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Yes, I should have said ‘gender’. What’s romance, by the way? I have heard of it.

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Forget romance. I’m just trying to figure out how infidelity and murder (in ballads) has nothing to do with sex.

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Alright you got me there, they are often connected.

Re: …some folk ballads for me… doesn’t matter about…

Now I get it! Traditional ballads cover all the bases… social justice and injustice, war and peace, love and hate, yin and yang, heaven and earth, young and old, truth and deception… the whole gamut. It’s all there, you just need to find what you need.

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Or best of all, write your own epic ballad with all of it in.

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I’ll get right on that, Gobby. First I need to spend time with my family .

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Is there any hope of steering this conversation back on track? I hope so. Let me try:

In Celtic music the singer is more of a Storyteller. You’re not telling something from your own experience, you’re telling a story that might happen to be in first person. With that understanding the gender pronouns in a song are irrelevant since it’s not yourself you’re talking about. Mick Moloney did and Amazing rendition of The Bantry Girl’s Lament in his early days, Maddy Prior did an amazing version of Adieu My Lovely Nancy.

If we’re talking about ballads in the true sense, that is, old narrative songs, as defined by Francis Child most of them are in the 3rd person unless they are quoting one of the characters involved in the song. One of the few exceptions is "The Whummill Bore," which is a fun song since it’s probably the only chance you’ll ever have in your life to sing the phrase "with me Glimpy Glimpy Glimpy Eedle, fa la la la lilly."

When you start singing songs just learn songs that you can relate to in one way or another, regardless of gender pronouns. That will help you emote better. After you’ve got some songs like that down expand your repertoire beyond those which relate to your personal experience. You’ll have a whole host of songs before you know it.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Interestiung insights^

The more trad songs I have been listening to the less I like them. I really don’t find them that moving at all so I think I will look elsewhere for emotive songs and stick to thee playin’ in this niche.

My whistle playing has been getting marginally better of late so I am ‘feeling’ it somewhat more; something I would like to think will only increase.

I am still open to more song suggestions though so I don’t want that to be a conclusive line under the matter as I would certainly like to find some stuff in the genre I like. I think sean nos singing is more moving don’t know if that is ladies only though? I think I heard some lads singing it in the past iirc.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Is there anything about trad music you like Arthur? You don’t like variations, people playing fast, traditional songs…why even bother with it at all?

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Arthur starts off the thread by stating he despises contemporary music and requests suggestions for good trad songs. We’ve all tried to help but now it seems he doesn’t care too much for trad songs either. It seems like a wasted couple of days and energy for the rest of us.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Arthur asked for some suggestions, presumably listened to them, and they helped him realise they were not for him. Was that a waste? I don’t know.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBndHNJoC0k

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Maybe not. I enjoyed watching these clips and hearing these songs again….. :-)

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I just have to say that the backing ‘noise’ in that last Luke Kelly clip was bloody awful!

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I honestly don’t know how you could NOT like trad songs. Of all folks genres Irish songs seem the most poetic to me, and because there’s an incredible variety of songs in the repertoire there’s something for everyone. Really, what’s not to like?

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

"Really, what’s not to like?" Come on Lonnie… Keep up! This is Arthur we are talking about. At least his threads are consistent.

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Re: Consistently inconsistent.

Gobby, I don’t know if you read everything I posted above but I have the original manuscript. In any case this thread is *officially*… history.

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

Ah, good point Gobby. Actually I’ve never posted in a discussion here before so I don’t actually know about this Arthur character- he does seem to be rather disagreeable and hard to please. I looked at his profile and saw that it has been suspended for two months, presumably due to certain remarks he made in this thread, so we won’t be hearing from him in this or any other conversation for a while.

Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

I hadn’t realised that he was suspended but he certainly broke the rules this time. Nonetheless I don’t want to talk about him behind his back, so no more from me on this thread except to say that it’s a pity, as I was enjoying it prior to it going off the rails

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Re: Names of some good folk ballads for men doesn’t matter about region

But then… Yes, Ben I read all your stuff. I followed this thread with great interest thanks.

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