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11 votes
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Who is Johanna in this Joan Baez song - The Winds of the Old Days

Bob Dylan wrote a song called "Visions of Johanna" in 1965. Joan Baez was at the concert the first time he performed the song publicly and believed the lyrics referred to her. Presumably she is ...
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9 votes
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What's the difference between Bluegrass and Country?

Bluegrass is a sub-genre of Country Music with characteristics that differentiate it from mainstream Country: The instrumentation is purely 'string band' based: Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle and ...
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7 votes

Meaning of "Blowing in the Wind"?

I think the interpretation of these lyrics is still somewhat open and that's partly why people like this song so much. I think they can be taken in the context of the time period, the 60s. Using this ...
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  • 449
7 votes

Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" origin

These are two different songs, although a lot of the elements (key, scale, harmonies, melodies) are quite similar in places. Led Zeppelin's song was originally titled "Driving to Kashmir", ...
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  • 6,767
7 votes

Origin and meaning of "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby"

This is a Black American folk song, originating in the slavery era. At that time, it was dangerous for enslaved people to speak openly about their concerns, so many songs of the era have hidden or ...
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7 votes

Other than the electric guitar, which plucked chordophones (guitar-like instruments) originated in the United States?

Surely the Banjo. Used in various forms in folk, bluegrass, trad jazz/dixieland. Even in some pop tunes (in the US and around the world). And it even found a place in traditional Irish folk music. ...
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6 votes
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Name of Irish-like Christmas song?

That's the old English carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," one of my own personal favorites. This is a bluegrass version. It more commonly sounds faintly medieval, probably because of being written ...
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6 votes

Other than the electric guitar, which plucked chordophones (guitar-like instruments) originated in the United States?

There's the lap steel guitar, developed in about 1935 in Los Angeles by a steel guitar player named George Beauchamp from the Hawaiian steel guitar. This evolved into the modern Pedal Steel Guitar. ...
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5 votes

"I Riden Så" (Ye Ride So Carefully) Interpretation

It's sung by fictive observers, the story teller so you will. Silibrand is just the father's name and he finds his daughter going into the woods to give birth. So he helps her laying his cloak on the ...
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  • 51
5 votes
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Are "Londonderry Air", "Danny Boy", and "You Raise Me Up" the same song?

The "Londonderry Air" is very old melody from the County of Londonderry in Ireland. It was first published in 1855 by the Society for the Preservation and Publication of the Melodies of Ireland in ...
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4 votes
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How the celtic music were evolved? What is the true meaning of 'Celtic'?

The history of the various peoples known as "Celts" is long and scholars are not in total agreement about all of it. Today the nations known as 'Celtic' have a living Celtic language spoken in some of ...
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4 votes

Origin and meaning of "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby"

This is a song that seems to have originated among slaves in the southern US and has has been passed on orally from generation to generation by people who might not even have been able to write, so ...
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4 votes

Where can I read information about the English folk song "Monday Morning"?

I believe it is the same song as Peter Paul and Mary's Monday Morning from their 1965 recording "A song will rise". The discogs entry for the single gives arranger rather than composer ...
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3 votes
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The inspiration behind the song: What Have They Done To My Song, Ma

Singer-songwriter Melanie Safka was a 70s folksinger with a quirky, offbeat sensibility. She was most famous for her gospel-influenced Woodstock tribute "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" and her ...
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3 votes

"I Riden Så" (Ye Ride So Carefully) Interpretation

To me it sounds like Silibrand's daughter fled her marriage. Women would have ordinarily given birth at their husbands' homes, but she returned to her father's home at her peril. Also, her gold rings ...
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  • 31
3 votes
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What is the meaning of this line in Loch Lomond?

"Greeting" is Scots for crying, so the woeful will cease their crying... Example link explaining
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3 votes
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What's the origin of the phrase "Rise Up Singing"?

As far as I know, that specific phrase does indeed originate with "Summertime." It's a peculiarity of lullabies that they are intended to comfort infants, and yet many of them deal with dark and ...
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3 votes

What does characterize "dirty" folk?

"Dirty folk" does not seem to be a term in wide or common use. The "dirty blues", however, is an old and well-established subgenre of the blues. It is called "dirty" because it has "dirty" words and/...
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3 votes

What Do The Lyrics Of "O Shenandoah" Refer to?

The primary source (the songwriter) is unavailable so we must rely for our understanding of the on the most authoritative references we have access to. The U.S. Library of Congress (LOC) conjects ...
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3 votes
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Japanese Folk Song "Sunayama"

北原白秋(Kitahara Hakushu) received an invitation to a concert of children's song from an elementary school in Niigata prefecture in June 1922. He receiveed a big welcome there from the children and he ...
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3 votes

Who is Johanna in this Joan Baez song - The Winds of the Old Days

a plaintive remenisence about Joan's love for Bob Dylan about what they experienced together in the 60's. Obviously a human with great heart and soul. She depicts the poignant feelings that come ...
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3 votes
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What's the difference between Cuban Son and Mexican Son?

Some Similarities Both Cuban Son (CS) and Mexican Son (MS) share roots in Spain's Flamenco and Andalusian Folk Music, and in many of Africa's various music traditions, all of them brought from the ...
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  • 4,282
3 votes

Other than the electric guitar, which plucked chordophones (guitar-like instruments) originated in the United States?

The bass guitar was developed by Leo Fender in America. Riffing off of that, Ernie Ball(working in California) based the acoustic bass guitar off of the Mexican guitarron. The Appalachian dulcimer, ...
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3 votes

Other than the electric guitar, which plucked chordophones (guitar-like instruments) originated in the United States?

Guitar-type instruments The archtop mandolin is an entirely American innovation. The bowl-back and flat-back versions were European, but the archtop was invented in the US by Orville Gibson. ...
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  • 131
3 votes
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Is Santiano's "Mädchen von Haithabu" intentionally very similar to Tha Mi Sgith?

The Santiago song and the Sweeney piece are based on the same original melody, but that's not "Tha Mi Sgith" which is very different. The Sweeney piece is titled "Star of the County Down" which would ...
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2 votes

Japanese Folk Song "Sunayama"

According to the Japanese Wikipedia article, it was composed in 1922 by Shinpei Nakayama. I hope this helps at least a little.
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2 votes
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Russian folk song sung in the movie Russkies?

I got a fast answer by posting to the Russian Language Stack Exchange as suggested by Angst. The Romanized name of the song is "Shalandy polnye kefali" ("Scows Full of Mullet") by Mark Bernes. The ...
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  • 51
2 votes

Sponge Cake in "True Blue" by John Williamson

"Sponge cake" could well be an allusion to small, significant commodities that which can be mass produced and discarded like a Lamingtons. The words "sponge cake", here could have a similar meaning to ...
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2 votes

Where does the 5th line in Wild Mountan Thyme go?

Chris' answer notwithstanding, there's an additional 'oddness' to that song... You can think of the song as having two 'choruses' - one in the verse & another in the chorus itself. I think I'd ...
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  • 7,088
2 votes

Australian or NZ bands like Mountain Goats, Neutral Milk Hotel, etc.?

I can suggest : Cloud Control, an indie rock band from the Blue Mountains (Australia). Georgia Fair, a folk rock band from Sydney. Boy & Bear, folk rock band from Sydney. Check this playlist for ...
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