I have the greatest of soft spots for folk songs–whether they be written by people like Woody Guthrie, or Joan Baez, Kev Carmody. What I appreciate most is the plain honesty that is found in songs written by these people, whether it is Guthrie’s commentary on the dust bowl, Baez evocation of historical icons, or Carmody’s ability to highlight hypocrisy within his homeland of Australia. In their words there really is no mysticism but plain and simple truth. Furthermore the words are said in plain English (or French or whichever native language the folksong is sung), so that even a child can grasp the concept.
This video that I have included is a excerpted cover of one of my favorite folk songs, which also has a history as a song of protest, Alfred Hayes’ “Joe Hill.” My original introduction to this song was through the activist, playwright, Harlem Renaissance Man, Paul Robeson.
In covering this song, which I first heard sung by Robeson, I am hoping that one day I too will write something that will transcend my lifetime. Until that day occurs, I’ll just keep on playing my guitar, writing as though my life depended on it and singing with my ❤ and soul connected to states of integrity.