folk music

So I’m writing a thing and I thought I would…

Hey guys hi. Forget what I said about posting on Monday. I mean, don’t forget it–you can always expect me on Monday, but maybe just expect me to pop up occasionally at other times as well. Does that make sense? I dinna ken.

Hey guys. How was your week? Mine was…mildly grueling? I started my first full time job, as an accountant, more or less, and I am exhausted. I must apologize to my dear fellow bloggers. I’m afraid I’ve neglected your posts somewhat in my busyness. I shall catch up this weekend, I promise. *hugs all round*

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. So I’m applying to this Catholic college, see, and there’s a scholarship for folk music…or to be specific, for a particular freshman who the head of the Folk Music Guild thinks will “promote communal folk singing among the student body” as well as be a good spearhead student for the Guild. Anyway. I’d like to get it, if I can. And so I’m trying to write an essay for it. And it’s harder than I thought it would be. So I wanted to do a little freewrite about why I love the stuff so much, as an attempt to brainstorm, and I thought I’d stick it here. So you people could understand the method to my madness (doubtful)…and y’know what I don’t have to explain myself to you guys. Here we go. Why I love folk music. I guess. Or something. I’m braindead, and that’s that.

Yeah. So guys I really love folk music.

*glassy eyed stare*

No, I love it, really, for a lot of reasons. Um…lemme see. So The Dead One really loved it, and that honestly started my love of it. He used to turn it on a lot when I was small and I have fond memories of that for sure. Mingulay Boat Song was his favorite. I’ll never know what version he liked. I don’t remember, and nobody else in the family does either, but I’ve since become very fond of the Longest Johns cover. He also loved On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand…and that one kinda maybe makes me cry a little bit still. (what am I doing I’m admitting weakness. I am a stonehearted villain who does not cry.) (no I’m not. guys I’m too tired for coherency right now. I was shuffling receipts and fighting with Excel all day–starting at 7 in the morning. Please don’t judge me.)

what were we saying.

Oh yeah. The Dead One really loved it. That’s not why I love it, per se, but I definitely think it contributed to my love for it.

I honestly just love the style of it. The musical style, that is. It’s really beautiful. My siblings and I sing folk music together sometimes, and that one time, for instance…when we all sat around in the basement late at night, with the lights off, drinking soda, and singing “Here’s a Health To the Company”…I don’t think I’m ever going to forget that. (and if you don’t know that one, I highly recommend it.) Or when we first started to figure out how to do harmonies together. There’s something just magical about harmony. And particularly harmony that you don’t learn from a book, but instead work out together, bit by tricky, rewarding bit.

I think it’s one of the same things that’s magical about folk music, honestly. The fact that…well…you don’t learn it from a book. Sure, you can. But folk music is designed to be learned from your friends, from your siblings, from your parents, while you all sit around and drink (usually not) root beer together, or while you’re working together. It’s designed for people who can’t sing that well, or for people who feel shy about singing alone. It’s designed for the little folks, who don’t have the musical training to be bards, perhaps, but who still want to tell stories.

It’s hard to explain it. But the case in point is that folk music is uniquely humble. It is not designed for pretenses, or for arrogance. The genre is for everyone, and it’s come-as-you-are. And in that it is uniquely Christian.

Not only that, but strangely, I find it…*thinks*…well, unlike modern music, it’s not an antidote to silence, because silence doesn’t need an antidote. It’s a complement to silence. It’s quiet. It’s meant to be sung softly, in wide open spaces, or in the deep watches of the night. It’s not just for times of entertainment and vanity. It’s meant to be sung in moments of pain and strife, through work and toil, through battle. It’s music. It’s not–not like the modern stuff–that’s really got no purpose but pleasure. It’s meant to teach you things, and to make you think, and to give you a boost on the way to Heaven.

And honestly, probably the most Christian thing about it is that it’s built for and by the little, the humble, and the poor. We all know God’s love of the poor and the small, and their humble reliance on him, at least in past days. Is it surprising, then, that their music reflects the particular blessing they receive from Heaven? It’s why I’ve got that particular beatitude on the homepage of my blog. And as far as the silence thing goes, and the peculiarly silent quality of folk music ‘in its natural habitat’…well, you all remember that bit in Ezekiel, I think it is, when God is in the whisper. Not the great loud noise of thunder, nor the sound of drums, or singing that reaches unprecedented highs and lows, nor in bass guitar that shakes the ground. God is in the silent splendor of the monk’s Gregorian chants, and the quiet voices of the little people, singing as they go about the work God has ordained for them.

So yeah. All that stuff put together is why I love folk music.

Does that make any sense…?

I don’t know. But here, here’s a great folk song. I didn’t embed anything in this post yet, and I’d say this one is the epitome of why I love the stuff so much.

So yeah. Help yourselves. And gang, you take care of yourselves, okay? Tell me how your week was…and do tell me if you got any sense out of this nonsense post. I think I got what I wanted out of it, which was a brainstorming session, but I’m curious if the ideas I brainstormed made any sense heh.

God bless you friends! See you on Monday!

9 replies on “So I’m writing a thing and I thought I would…”

I also now love folk music, mostly because of you (: I wish you could come to our poetry club wherein we sing much folk, but I know you will bring your intense love of folk music with you wherever you go (whether it be this college *squeals bc I love this college for you* or another) and the world will be made more beautiful by that love of yours.

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I think this was a very good post to have early on in this blog. Methinks it would be a good one to have linked in your bio/about/explanation page. I like the comparison to the whisper in Ezekiel, too – very fitting.

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Griiiiiiiiim this is BEAUTIFUL. I love it so much. It’s just. So beautiful. The whole thing about folk music being for the little guys. And how it’s a complement to silence. And how you’ve learned all that through your own experience with it. It’s beautiful.

Good luck with that essay! I can’t imagine anyone more fit to win the scholarship, my dear.

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Thank you!!!! I was pretty pleased with how the little brainstorm came out, ha. I’m so jolly glad you enjoyed it. I must admit that some of this brainstorming came originally from emails exchanged with my granny, so I must credit her influence for that. 😉 God bless you dearie! I’ll let you know how it turns out…


Grim, this is so lovely. I can absolutely understand and almost feel your love for folk music now. ❤

Figuring out harmonies with one's siblings–singing with one's siblings at all, really–is so wonderful. I still remember sitting out on the deck at sunset with my siblings right before I left for college, and we sang a whole bunch of songs we all knew, with harmonies and everything, and I totally got choked up. It was beautiful.

Folk music is humble, you're absolutely right. That's a really beautiful reflection.

Good luck with the job and the scholarship…if you can express what you've expressed here half so well in the essay, I think you will win their hearts. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

I’m so so glad. I did my best to put it into words. 🙂
Ahh that sounds amazing. Memories like that are really, really special. There’s something about singing together that really forges a bond, if that’s not too corny a way to say it. Yeah. I love it, haha. 😀
Deo Gratias!
Thanks! I’m hopeful it’ll turn out; I’ve gotten my application in and I ended up using certain more dignified chunks of text from this post, so hopefully it turned out as well haha
God bless you Sam!


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