Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Are Folk Songs Important?

I love history! I always have and always will. It gives me the thrills! But nothing is as great as learning about your own history, that is to say, the history of your family. Sifting through pictures, digging up old notes and files, watching videos from the 50's... in my book, nothing quite compares. I think it is so sad that many young people nowadays don't seem to have an interest in their family genealogy. What a blessing to spend time with Grandparents, listening to stories and just savoring every story told!

Anyways, about folk songs (I have to have some kind of tie into music). I was just thinking about how folk songs play an important part of history. Now for a bit of background here. I didn't always care about folk music. I used to listen to Christian Contemporary and that was it. When God began changing my heart I began to think that other than hymns, there was nothing good to listen too. How wrong I was! As I became more familiar with different types of music I began to realize that there were many different things to listen to that still glorified God. Folk music was one of those types. Now, I know that not all folk music is great, I mentioned this lightly in "Whatsoever Things Are Pure-Part 2" (just in case you're interested). But, there are so many great folk songs out there. I have only just begun familiarizing myself with many of the wonderful folk songs there are out there. Why are these songs important though? These songs are important in that they preserve history and give us a glimpse into the lives of those that came before us. I think that singing folk songs, in a way, is just like looking through an old, old scrapbook or reading a story of someone from way back when. They tell us about people’s lives, their families, their beliefs, their cultures, the events that took place in their lives.

Tuesday, I had the privilege of getting to go through old pictures with one of my Grandmas. It was wonderful looking for certain relatives, hearing stories about her life and memories that she had of her Grandparents. I think the best treat of all was that she found two DVD's that had been burned for her that she had never watched. They were the videos that her parents had taken on their eight millimeter camera. They had no sound but whoever burned them had put them to music. I cannot describe how special it was watching the events of the lives of my Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and even Great-Great-Grandparents.

You have no idea how badly I want to write my own folk song about my family right now! I have plenty of stories just not I'm praying for an hour or so of poet, musical talent (mind you, the last time I tried this, half the song was fictitious because the true story didn't fit the rhyming words, and it still ended up being horribly un-poetic). If you are a poetic person, feel blessed right now.

So, my main point is that folk songs help us preserve history, and even if you usually listen to some other kind of music, do listen to folk music because there is so much rich history there that you don't want to miss out on!

In Christ,


Peter Bringe said...


I would also point out that folk music is important because it applies the 5th commandment (Honor your father and mother)to culture. It is taking music from past generations and making it present. Almost all music was folk until the youth craze of the 60s which demanded new cultures every 20 years (even classical composers based their stuff off of, and improved upon earlier composers).

-Peter Bringe
Deo Vindice

Anonymous said...


Many classical composers based their works off of the folk songs of their native lands. Dvorak and Bartok to name a few.
Our world has become so me-centered and now-centered that we don't even care about the past anymore.


Rebekah said...

Interesting post. =) Recently, we went down to my grandparents' house for several days. While there, my grandparents began telling stories of growing up, of their uncles and brothers fighting in WWII, the Vietnam War, and Korea, and so many other things. They have never spoken of their very early lives to me before. That was a very precious time. Hearing about my great-grandfather working in the mines, and taking my grandpa out squirrel hunting in the early morning before he went off to work, and all of the other things, was so cool.
Never forgetting our history is so very important

Sage said...

Dear kaila,
Thankyou so much for your information! I am doing a report on music from the 16th-18th centuries! This helped a lot!
I also think knowing your families history is important. Last year I did a biography on my grandmother for writing class! I found out so many things I didn't know about my family and that time period!
Thanks again!


Anthea Cabrestante said...

I like this article a lot. Thank you for your insights, Kaila! :)