Tag Archives: Folk music

today’s holiday: Winnipeg Folk Festival

Winnipeg Folk Festival

The largest event of its kind in North America, the Winnipeg Folk Festival is a music festival featuring bluegrass, gospel, jazz, Cajun, swing, Celtic, and other performers from Canada and around the world. There are concerts, jam sessions, a juried handicrafts village, children’s performances, and folk dancing. Held at Birds Hill Park, about 19 miles northeast of Winnipeg, the festival was started in 1974 by Mitch Podolak, a veteran in the folk music field. Although it lasts for five days, it also operates on a year-round basis as a folklore and music center. More… Discuss

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Twelve Variations “Ah, vous dirai-je, maman” (Piano Solo): make music part of your life series

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Twelve Variations “Ah, vous dirai-je, maman” (Piano Solo)

Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”, K. 265/300e, is a piano composition by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composed when he was around 25 years old (1781 or 1782). This piece consists of twelve variations on the French folk song “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman”. The French melody first appeared in 1761, and has been used for many children’s songs, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” and the “Alphabet Song“.

thoday’s holiday: Maidens’ Fair on Mount Gaina

Maidens’ Fair on Mount Gaina

The Maidens’ Fair is a major folk festival held at Mount Gaina in Transylvania, Romania. It was originally a marriage fair, where young men came to choose their future wives, but is now an opportunity for people to display their talents in handicrafts, costume making, singing, and dancing. Thousands of people gather for the events of the fair, which include dance competitions and concerts by folk bands and singers. Other aspects of the festival are feasts and bonfires, and the chanting of satirical verses during certain folk dances. More…


Published on Dec 5, 2012

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: V.A.Mozart – 12 Variations on a French folk song ”Ah, Vous dirai-je, Maman” .

V.A.Mozart – 12 Variations on a French folk songAh, Vous dirai-je, Maman” .
Composed during 1781-1782 K.265, in C-Dur
This theme is widely known as a children’s song ( such as ”Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, ”Alphabet Song” and others).
Performed by Anastasia Kaminskagia during a piano recital in Athens on 26th of January 2013.
The lyrics ( French and English) are the following:

Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman
Ce qui cause mon tourment?
Papa veut que je raisonne
Comme une grande personne
Moi je dis que les bonbons
Valent mieux que la raison.

Ah! Shall I tell you, Mommy
What is tormenitg me?
Daddy wants me to reason
Like a grown-up person
Me, I say that sweets
Are worth more than reasoning.

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Doină de jale – Ciocârlia / Sad Song – The Lark

“Doină de jale – Ciocârlia” performed by Gheorghe Zamfir at panflute (“nai”). Adapted from a Romanian traditional folk song.


Bob Dylan – Maggie’s Farm (Newport, 1965): Happy October 15, 2011!

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
No, I aint gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I wake up in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin’ me insane
It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.

I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
No, I aint gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
Well, he hands you a nickel
He hands you a dime
He asks you with a grin
If you’re havin’ a good time
Then he fines you every time you slam the door
I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother more.

I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
No, I aint gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks
His bedroom window
It is made out of bricks
The National Guard stands around his door
Ah, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more.

I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more
Well, when she talks to all the servants
About man and God and law
Everybody says
She’s the brains behind pa
She’s sixty-eight, but she says she’s twenty-four
I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more.

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
I aint gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They say sing while you slave and I just get bored
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_dylan/maggies_farm.htm

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_dylan/#share

The lyrics of the song follow a straightforward blues structure, with the opening line of each verse (“I ain’t gonna work…”) sung twice, then reiterated at the end of the verse. The third to fifth lines of each verse elaborate on and explain the sentiment expressed in the verse’s opening/closing lines.

“Maggie’s Farm” is frequently interpreted as Dylan‘s declaration of independence from the protest folk movement.[1] Punning on Silas McGee’s Farm, where he had performed “Only a Pawn in Their Game” at a civil rights protest in 1963 (featured in the film Dont Look Back), Maggie’s Farm recasts Dylan as the pawn and the folk music scene as the oppressor. The middle stanzas ridicule various types in the folk scene, the promoter who tries to control your art (fining you when you slam the door), the paranoid militant (whose window is bricked over), and the condescending activist who is more uptight than she claims (“She’s 68 but she says she’s 54”). The first and last stanzas detail how Dylan feels strait-jacketed by the expectations of the folk scene (“It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor” and “they say sing while you slave”), needing room to express his “head full of ideas,” and complains that, even though he tries his best to be just like he is, “everybody wants you to be just like them”.

The song, essentially a protest song against protest folk, represents Dylan’s transition from a folk singer who sought authenticity in traditional song-forms and activist politics to an innovative stylist whose self-exploration made him a cultural muse for a generation. (See “Like a Rolling Stone” and influence on The Beatles, etc.)

On the other hand, this biographical context provides only one of many lenses through which to interpret the text. While some may see “Maggie’s Farm” as a repudiation of the protest-song tradition associated with folk music, it can also (ironically) be seen as itself a deeply political protest song. We are told, for example, that the “National Guard” stands around the farm door, and that Maggie’s mother talks of “Man and God and Law.” The “farm” that Dylan sings of can in this case easily represent racism, state oppression and capitalist exploitation.

In fact this theme of capitalist exploitation came to be seen by some as the major theme of the song. In this interpretation, Maggie’s Farm is the military industrial complex, and Dylan is singing for the youth of his time, urging them to reject society.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie%27s_Farm)

Transylvanian Folklore: Dumitru Farcas – Colo-n muntii Tebei

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Some of the most beautiful folk songs are now made available to the world, due to the internet, You-Tube, and so many music lovers, people who may be all around the world, but keep in their hearts, like the spot light from a lighthouse, or like the candle in the window sill, the memory larger then themselves, that of their ancestors. They hear the first sounds they grew into and out of,  like everything else learned again to apreciate the more they are amiss…But never lost.