After Visitors

It's always nice to have house guests in Kyoto. When you live and work here that's just what you do: live and work. But when you have guests, you too become a visitor. You share your guests' wonder at how different it is from 'home', and you see everything afresh. The latest contingent fully appreciated as many delights of Kyoto and Hiroshima as their short stay would allow and I felt again that I lived in a fantastic place that is eager, beautiful and inspiring. Their music was hungrily received by lots of local people, many of whom have expressed their hopes that those guys will all come back soon for more. Me too - good guests are a blessing aren't they? Their spirit and energy carries you onward long after their departure. ありがとうね


George with a ukulele said...

This is very interesting. I saw the recent documentary on UK TV about english sea shanties and noted that the composed song "The Shoals of Herring" was presented as a "folk song". I've encountered people who swear that the song is actually really called "The Shores of Erin". Many others don't know that it was written for a BBC "Radio Ballad" by Ewan McColl. It reminds me that Malcolm Taylor of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library told me that he had heard young girls singing in a south london school playground "That's the way (I like it)" as made famous by KC and The Sunshine Band. I had always thought that "Yellow Submarine" would "become" a folk song, but I now see that the ideal lyrical component for a song suitable for a skipping game is "That's the Way (A-Ha, A-Ha) I like It". Folk song? High Art? Commercialised Pop Music? Perhaps it all depends on the context and your point of view. Perhaps the choice of the people in the end is like democracy, like voting, like pop idol, a lowest common denominator choice which over time might reveal a noble truth. It bears thinking about at least. Do the Japanese students know something which I don't know? Will "I believe I can fly" become the folk song of 300 years from now? Will "nostalgia" become "tradition"? Will sugary pop become folk? Don't worry... Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London, I'll show you something that will make you change your mind!

FJG said...

Thanks for your comments George.
(George's comment pertains to http://lookingathouses.blogspot.com/2010/04/running-course-at-university.html)