** Coronavirus Transmission **
** and Community Singing **
... lyrics and recordings to inspire you!
What songs should we sing? Just what is a "folk song"?
There's no better answer than Pete Seeger's:
"The important thing is: are they good songs? Do they sing well? Is the poetry so good you can't get it out of your head? Are the words true, and do they need saying? Does the music move you?"
If you like it, sing it. Songs from childhood and silly rounds; church hymns and gospel spirituals; Scouting and Woodcraft Folk songs; songs of peace and songs of patriotism; civil rights and labor movement anthems; work songs and sea chanteys; Oscar & Hammerstein and Gilbert & Sullivan; and of course, The Beatles: anything goes! You'll find people know a lot more songs than they realize. You'll find you know a lot more songs than you realize!
That said, certain types of songs do work better than others in this context:
Sometimes you might start a song and discover you don't remember all of it, but probably collectively you'll remind each other of the words. Just remember this is fun, not performance, laugh it off, and keep singing!
Adapt songs to fit your community:
Some of us have re-written old songs, or maybe just a line or a verse, to make them specific to our village (like Hey Rain (Montague) or our unofficial town song Bells Of Montague). You might find this is a fun way to increase your community's connection and engagement with a song.
You may also like an old song and want to introduce it to your community, but you're uncomfortable with a few words or phrases that just don't feel right in our century. Just leave those lines in the past and replace them with some new ones expressing what you want the song to say, and teach your improved version. Make the song yours, and make it better.
Here are some fantastic online (and free!) resources offering a wide variety of traditional songs for inspiration and learning:
First and foremost, you can't do better than:
Here are many other fantastic online collections:
And last but not least:
"I guess all songs is folk songs. I never heard no horse sing 'em." —Big Bill Boonzey