Folk music has held a sway over people for ages. Even though it is very different from the hip-rocking and swinging music of the day, folk has its own place in the hearts of its lovers. Yet most of the modern generation does not even know what this lovely soulful variety of music means. For anyone who dares call him or herself a music buff of any standard, it is absolutely essential to be aware of this extraordinary form of music.

One of the most underestimated, yet essential forms of music, folk music acts as a safety valve for the society. By giving an outlet to the feelings of the people, it perhaps avoids other possibly violent forms of dissent.

Some of this music deals with folk stories that have been handed down the generations, again by word of mouth. They may not even be found in books, yet recount in graphic detail the victories of the heroes of the age in which they originated. To the extent, that you may even call it ‘oral history’ of the sect to which the song belongs.

Another variety is one which pokes innocent, mildly sarcastic fun at the ironies of daily life. A favorite in most cultures are songs reflecting the relationships between son and mother-in-law, daughter-in-law and father-in-law or mother-in-law, poking at the intricacies of the delicate relations that go sour at the drop of a hat, and are the butt of most modern jokes as well.

Most folk music reflects the times in which it was composed. Thus you are sure to find music talking about slave culture, the civil war, the great depression, and so on. While you may not find it being played very often by your favorite disc jockey, songs like ‘We Shall Overcome’ are extremely popular otherwise, and reflect the struggle of life that is common to any age irrespective of the times in which they were composed. The songs reflect the eternal hope of the human race, that hardships shall not last and the world has much more to offer than the current set of struggles.

In recent times in American history, the depressing thirties gave rise to a number of contemporary folk songs. The songs pertaining to this period reflect the American psyche of the age, talking about workers struggle, child labor laws, and the eight-hour working day. The songs worked as a counter to the rough environment in which the workers found themselves, and hordes of them would gather around a fire or in community halls to sing songs that would give them hope.

Folk music is now commercially available in music stores, though you may have to ask around a bit as everyone may not be keeping it. A little more research, and you would definitely find folk music relating to your own community, and you can relate to it all the more. Play it on your car audio to perk up your spirits when you are feeling down. The extremely simple lyrics and tunes that are easy to hum along make them interesting companions that have the potential of making you feel lighter as well. Just about any music software will play the songs, and you can play whether you are in your car, or feeling down in your office after the boss just gave you a dressing down.

Do not think that folk music is only about struggles, however. A place where it touches everyday life is the very enchanting aspect of love. After a wonderful date with your beloved, you will be surprised how beautiful the lyrics sound, and how true they seem to your own happy situation! For that, of course, you have to fall in love first. The lucky ones that already are know what I am talking about – don’t you?

Author's Bio: 

The author loves making music. You can download music software and buy some studio equipment and set up a recording studio in your bedroom or garage.