Most of the time, we get to the folk songs that are in our Essential Elements for guitar books, and I think, “There is no way the kids are going to like this song”, so many times I gravitate to the more rock oriented tunes. This year though while learning to play G and D7 chords, I thought why not throw in, “Pay Me My Money Down.” The kids absolutely love it!!! I get them singing and playing at the same time, and they absolutely adore the song. Why?! I think it’s all about how your song is presented. I have the kids sing it while playing as a kind of call and response and we just have a lot of FUN while we play it. Now do they sound good while they sing it??….not yet. But they’re learning the skills on the guitar that I want them to learn and having fun while doing it. Don’t count out the folk song.
Today I was on youtube and stubbled across The Boss performing the same song. A simple folk song turns into a wild party that gets the entire audience almost more excited than if he were singing “Born in the USA.”
Hail to the folk song….I think Kodaly says it best;
“To write a folk song is as much beyond the bounds of possibility as to write a proverb. Just as proverbs condense centuries of popular wisdom and observation, so, in traditional songs, the emotions of centuries are immortalized in a form polished to perfection.”