Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Folk Process

Pete Seeger often talks about "The Folk Process."

It's almost like plagarism, but it's not really.

It's more like bending the words of someone elses song to fit your voice or capture your mood or convey your point of view, whether it's an old Russian Lullaby like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," with the addition of Pete's line: "When Will They Ever Learn?" or your friend Bob's song in which you change the title a little bit and switch some words about (and I've got a "take one recording" but it's difficult for me to sing and play at the same time, so I won't torture you with it - yet).

Something like this:

Our Lady of Perpetual War
Shishka Bob (and Slider Tim’s Folk Processing)
C: 2008

Well he looked to the right, and he looked to the left
And he felt something funny as it pierced through his vest
And the bullet gave another of America’s best
To Our Lady of Perpetual War

He was just 23, with a wife and a kid
And he joined at 18, like a good young man did
And he bought all the bullshit from the cowards who hid
Behind Our Lady of Perpetual War

They cock and they crow and they make others pay
For their greedy decisions while they kneel down and pray
And seek absolution from an idol of clay
Our Lady of Perpetual War

Maybe someday we’ll know why the good die so young
Why a mother’s heart’s brok’n by a rocket or gun
Why the rich just get richer and the poor pay the sum
To Our Lady of Perpetual War

When you gas up your car instead of buying kid’s shoes
Think of Oil Man’s profits, know that his kid’s excused
From the high cost of living, from his body being used
By Our Lady of Perpetual War

You may think that I’m crazy, or politically naive
As I watch you deal with a card up your sleeve
It’s just that I refuse to bow at the knee
To Our Lady of Perpetual War

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