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Folk music – folk songs – are a part of
history. They have always been important not only to the individuals who
made and perpetuated them, but to the community of people all over the
world. They are about incidents, people, times, places, and feelings that
we all share (regardless of how we express them). It is known that most
people who are true classicists (like Spike is) also appreciate and enjoy
folk music – even bluegrass. Everybody likes to tap their feet and sing a
I made charts for all these songs because I love them, and we enjoy
playing and singing them. We are not professional musicians, and receive
no money for our musical endeavors.
I assume that those who enjoy this site and use this collection of charts
are doing it for purposes of individual pleasure and/or scholarship.
With regard to the huge collection of “miscellaneous folk songs,” in cases
where I knew the composer, it is so noted. Where I do not know, of course
there is no such notation. If one of the songs I have in my collection is
yours, please so inform me, so I can give proper credit, or remove the
If any words or chords need correction, please so inform me.
In this collection, there are several folksongs that show no chords. That
is only because I don’t have them and thus far, have been unable to find
them. There are some songs for which I don’t even know the melodies.
Here’s what to do:
if you have a favorite melody or a favorite chord progression, even some
riffs and “hot licks,” use that stuff on a song that you don’t recognize.
Who cares? It will be fun! Folk songs evolve in just that fashion. There
are probably 100 different melodies, with definite harmonies and chord
progressions, for the song that we know as “Scarborough Fair.” They are
all lovely. If you don’t know a melody, devise it yourself – it might even
be better than the “standard” melody (if there is one).
Many of these songs have a narrative appended near the top of the song.
These songs are from Roger McGuinn's Folk Den, and the narrative is his.
Shalom, from Spike the Grate.