Folk songs

POP MUSIC GENREFOLK SONGS  ∙  Soul R&B  ∙  Rock  ∙  Pop song  ∙  Rap & Hip-hop  ∙  World music  ∙



Folk is the expression of popular music in all regions and each era as performed without the aid of enhanced instruments and media. Style is as diverse as the underlying local cultures and music includes both traditional themes and compositions by identified authors. Folk songs by European and American singer-songwriters have always been an important part of the genre. When delivering a song that later becomes a success, a singer-songwriter is its creator and first performer but the subsequent life of his song is another story. He only produces a small part thereof and, as illustrated hereafter, he has no control over how others will fix it.


∙  1956  ∙  She moved through the fair  (Pete Segeer USA, orig. trad. Irish, first rec. 1936)

∙  1957  ∙  La foule  (Edith Piaf FR, orig. 'Que nadie sepa mi sufrir' 1936 Angel Cabral AR)

∙  1961  ∙  The lion sleeps tonight  (The Tokens USA, orig. 'Mbube' 1939 Solomon Linda ZA)

∙  1962  ∙  Sag mir wo die Blumen sind  (Marlene Dietrich DE, orig. 'Where have all the flowers gone' 1955 Pete Segeer USA)

∙  1964  ∙  House of the rising sun  (The Animals UK, orig. 'Rising sun blues' 1933 Clarence Ashley USA)

∙  1964  ∙  The sounds of silence (Simon & Garfunkel, USA) &  The sounds of silence (2015 Disturbed,  USA Heavy Metal)

∙  1965  ∙  Subterranean homesick blues  (Bob Dylan USA)

∙  1966  ∙  Hey Joe  (Jimi Hendrix USA, orig. 1962 Billy Roberts USA)

∙  1967  ∙  Suzanne  (Leonad Cohen Canada)

∙  1968  ∙  Those were the days  (Mary Hopkin UK, orig. 'The long road' 1926 Alexander Vertinsky USSR)

∙  1969  ∙  Streets of London  (Ralph McTell UK)

∙  1970  ∙  Without him  (Astrud Gilberto, Brazil, orig. 'Without her' 1967 Harry Nilsson USA)

∙  1971  ∙  Wild world (Cat Stevens UK, first release 1970 by Jimmy Cliff Jamaica, cover Chris Cornell & Cat Stevens  2016)


‘Freight Train’: a folk-song composed around 1910 by Elisabeth Cotten (1893-1987) and first recorded by the latter in 1956

Ce partenze dolorose, Lino Straulino, 2006 (‘There are painful departures’, trad. Carnia/Friuli, Italy)