Showing posts with label pop ballads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pop ballads. Show all posts

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Folk Songs and Pop Tunes, ballads are ?

Folk songs may not grab you first time- but they get under your skin in a more subtle way and you never tire of them - unlike the simple pop tune. 

I'm always rather puzzled by the loosely defined definitions regarding songs or tunes between the genres. A song sung by a folk balladeer is a 'folk song' wheras a song sung by a pop star is a 'pop ballad.'
Folk singers and Dylan wrote and sang highly memorable 'folk ballads'. Some pop singers sing formulaic and forgettable 'ballads'. What is the difference though, after all I hear some dull folk songs as well as dull pop songs?  
The dictionary defines the Ballad as -  a narrative song with a recurrent refrain; a slow sentimental song, especially a pop song.
The folk song as - a song that has been handed down the generations; a modern song that reflects the folk idiom.

I was sitting at Prestwick airport and heard this truly awful whiny song. I asked my son who it was, he said that ridiculous Justin Beiber. I said that he reminded me of 'Donny Osmond' in the 70s and his soppy ballad 'They Call this Puppy Love'!   

Well that's the difference to me between the folk ballad and the 'soppy pop ballad'? That song by Beiber is a soppy shallow empty pop Ballad. By comparison Someone Like You by Adele is heart wrenching with it's honesty of emotion.    

Awful ballads? An example might be James Blunt's cheesy ballad song 'You Are Beautiful.'  It is so hackneyed and has those over-used tired old clichés and song formulas. My ears would feel ill on hearing this song and need to listen to some Dylan to feel better! 
Westlife ballads use those predictable key changes when the boys manage to rise up off their tall stools..... oh dear...

The soppy pop ballad is written to a formula and lacks emotional realness or any credibility. To me the difference is 'substance' and having something to say. Those unforgettable folk ballads offer new insights with imaginative and creative melodies and words. It is also in the music production.  
And sometimes 'cheesy' can be good too! 

The Best Songs
Occasionally a song comes along that transcend the personal as it has a universal emotion we can all recognise an share in. 
Good Examples - Let It Be, Imagine, Stand By Me, Here Comes The Sun, Case of You, Something, Islands in the Stream, Reason to Believe, Sound of Silence,

The Ballad of Hollis Brown 

Best Folk Songs
Westlin Winds
Outlaws and Dreamers
Both Sides the Tweed
Girl From the North Country
Vision of Joanna,
Who knows Where the Time Goes
The Blacksmith
Are you Going To Scarborough Fair