Go Folk Yourself

Can’t seem to get these folk singers out of my head.  One of the things that I find so powerful about these songs is how profound they are in their simplicity.  A lot of these recordings are just a dude singing with an acoustic guitar, but it is such a full sound.  It’s so raw, so personal.  But also so melodic.  The most chilling song on the ILD soundtrack is “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me”.  This song is pretty morose, even for a folk song.  Here’s what I think is going on.  The guy in the song committed a crime out of desperation, being that he was so goddamn hungry.  He’s getting hung for his crime, and he tries to comfort himself by saying he’s been all around the world, when in fact he’s never really left home.  He’s not scared of dying, but he is terrified of being dead…  This song is also credited to “traditional,” but this version was recorded by Dave Van Ronk, the folk singer who was the inspiration for the movie Inside Llewin Davis.

 

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