Posted in Of Writingly

Folk Song – A Poem

Guitar (Courtesy: Pixabay)

I’ll put my dreams in a box
Seal it up good, use a sturdy lock
I’ll bid my dreams fare thee well
‘Cause they were all talking with nothing to sell.

They told me to grow up
Before I grow old
They told me to save up
Before I spent my soul.

But I ain’t much for saving
For living without a-loving
But that’s only brought troubling
‘Cause hard luck’s harder to find than hard loving.

Repeat Chorus

They told me to man up
Before I beg
They told me to ‘fess up
Before I trip

But, I ain’t gonna fall for scared talk
Preparing to fall before I could walk

Fear’s my mistress
As I cheat on my Loving wife
At the end of the day, my dreams are all that’s left behind.

Repeat Chorus


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

26 thoughts on “Folk Song – A Poem

    1. Wow, that’s a huge compliment! I’ve just been trying to get more interested in folk as that’s not what I’m drawn to. I usually gravitate towards artifice, but I’m sure I have a heart somewhere!

      1. As a died in the wool folkie, I think it gets a bad rap, for so much music is folk in origin. More than one classical composer has liberally borrowed from folk melodies, and to me, there is something deep down in all of us that is drawn to some element of it. But that might be a post for another time!

      2. I know it is sacrilegious for me to have admitted it to you, especially when it’s so much part of your identity. If you get the opportunity, try to listen to Bengali folk music if you can. Some of it is Celtic-inspired, so shouldn’t be too difficult to connect with. Why I bring this up is because I’ve lately realised I’m the only person I know who isn’t a folkie. Folk doesn’t get a bad rap at all, at least not in our culture where it’s on par with classical. But it requires an earthiness and sincerity I find myself unable of giving. You can’t approach it technically, you have to feel it. I’m sorry if that makes me sound too much like a zombie!

      3. No not like a zombie at all! I’ve noticed here that some people will make fun of something folky that (think like some old style fiddle playing), and invariably they will mimic what they have seen others doing-thumbs looped in the belt loops of their jeans, and doing a passing attempt at a two-step. But, even though they are passing fun, I think deep down the music actually has reached them, and they feel the need to move along. That’s our sort of folk music at least! I’m curious about the Bengali folk. Can you give me a name or two to explore?

      4. You’ve put me on a bit of a spot here. My lack of precise knowledge, coupled by the cultural pressure I feel if I get it wrong, makes me think I better consult an expert before I let you know! I like a more rock/pop take on the genre, obviously, but there’s an authentic form called ‘Baul’ music which is very affecting, though I couldn’t name an artist. I’ve told you about Tagore before, who was inspired by Celtic music. His version of “Auld Lang Syne” is widely known here, and IMO, has better lyrics in Bengali. Bengali people in general are very poetic, emotive people, but I feel I come short of it!

      5. I would disagree about your assessment about yourself, but no worries on the precise names. I have heard some Baul music before, but my problem is I get everything about India so muddled up. I might mention something Indian I know only to be told…nah, that’s North Indian, or thats Carnatic. Obviously it goes without saying that I am fully aware of the size and amount of different cultures within the country, but I have yet to be able to differentiate, so I run the risk of mildly offending my friends be they from Chennai, Mumbai, Assam, or wherever else! Someday I’ll get it right!

      6. [I had to edit some of this comment out because it was a little problematic, but I hope it still makes sense.]

        Honestly, I’m just impressed by your knowledge, Robert. I understand geography is also important to you, but I think you’ve done enough if you’ve connected with the music. I published a poem earlier this week (about my hair) which might explain where I’m coming from better. You’re under no obligation to read it, of course.

      7. Well thank you. I mean you can understand a lot about a place by learning the culture-the literature, art, music all have subtle nuances that identify it with a particular place. For example, if I am listening to something I know to be African music and hear a kora (a type of harp instrument) I know it is almost certainly from that corner of West Africa, and not from Kenya lets say. In Ireland there are certain fiddle and accordion styles that you can pick up over time, and say that’s Donegal style fiddling. But with India, I want to actually know more, but I just don’t know where to start. When I had access to figuring this out I wasn’t paying attention! I did actually read your hair post, but I have been a little frenetic in my personal life these days. Nothing too serious, but just a lot on my mind. I’m going to re-read it when I have a moment and try to leave you a comment on it when I can absorb what I have read πŸ™‚

      8. No pressure. I feel like, because I’ve lived through it, I cannot approach it more methodically like I’ve done with other music. I can do it with books and films, but not music. I did study Indian Classical for a few years, but it’s not the sort of thing you can take that sort of an approach with. I need to work things out psychologically before I finally dive into it properly as a listener. I could easily find out books and documentaries for you on the subject, but I hope it doesn’t sound patronizing when I say best place to start is Bollywood. It really has the creme de la creme from all over the country and with a bit more context, you’ll know what’s from where.

      9. I can understand that. Tell you what, we have a few Bollywood compilations at home. My wife went through a phase where she really loved it. I’ll look at the notes and see if I can find more in depth info to set me on the right track! Thanks.

      10. Yes! I’m actually hoping to be more educated soon. Or better feeling. Learning a bit about Hank Sr., apart from the few I already knew, and really interested in delving into Phil Ochs, who is just the sort of person and artist I tend to like!

      11. Lol, I doubt I’ll ever go deep. Like Dylan or Lennon for that matter, I’m a bit suspicious of these things. “Love me, I’m a Liberal” however, is the kind of thing I like lyrically.

      12. I understand. Dipping your toes in the water…I’ve written about him once on mine, but you might consider Bruce Cockburn’s music at some point. Not strictly folk, but a greatly underrated singer and lyricist.

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