I’ve always wanted to write a novelty song. It at least goes back to my early guitar playing days. Back then I remember coming up with a chord progression that sounded like a “real” song (I hadn’t done so previously – yeah that early). I had no lyrics for it so I just riffed over top in a Bob Dylan imitation, singing lyrics like “I wish they stopped the war in Vietnam, even though it stopped 15 years ago”.
Carrying on in that vein is my new song, Folk Off. It’s actually a Neil Young imitation I’m doing. I’ve done better Young imitations but this is the best I could do that fit this particular song. It had to be Neil Young because only he is close enough to folk and has had the proper “Folk off” moments in his career.
With that introduction you may see Folk Off at this link.
Here are the Lyrics:
When the man gets in your face with a tank,
At Kent State, in Ohio.
It becomes time for an old fashioned folk off,
The government loses because it can’t play folk.
A southern man didn’t like “Southern Man”,
So Skynyrd fought with a rock off.
But it was time for an old fashioned folk off,
Skynyrd they lose because they just play rock.
You think you have found a really distinct voice,
But America, the band, start to use it, too.
Then it’s time for an old fashioned folk off,
America loses because Neil had more hits.
When something gets, too much in your face,
Just remember the power of folk,
You can have an old fashioned folk off,
And you will win because you play folk.
Now, for full understanding of this many of you might need a history lesson or refresher. After the Kent State Massacre, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were very quick to release the song Ohio. The pro youth lyrics are here.
Neil Young was a solo act for the song, Southern Man. Amongst other lines it says “Don’t forget what your good book said.” Lynyrd Skynyrd was a southern rock band that tried to answer Neil in the song Sweet Home Alabama.
I’ve known the song Horse With No Name for many years. For most of those years I thought it was Neil Young singing. But no, it’s the band America singing- the whole song is by them. Others have been fooled similarly like me. It seemed weird for me, out of all the voices one might imitate for a serious song, why would you choose Neil Young’s voice? A weird result of the 60’s – 70’s rock scene.
And finally we have the power of folk. Many folk artists have highlighted causes and gotten attention where it was much needed. Thank you folk.