Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people. ― Prince

A Call for Folk Singers, Poets, Writers and Porch Talkers

America needs more jug bands. Banjos too. More fiddles. Harmonicas. Singers.

And we need people to write new, good songs. Nothing wrong with the old songs, but we sing those an awful lot. People don’t remember what they mean.

While we are at it, add in some storytellers. Real storytellers. Real poets. Not just the shouters and complainers.

Bring hope and truth (they aren’t exclusive). Bring joy. Bring fresh life to old stories. 

We need a few Hans Christian Andersens, some Aesops, a Charles Perrault or two — ones which never are heard on NPR and bankrolled by anyone East, West or Middle. We need them in parks and bedsides, porches and bars. They need names no one knows, without a slew of books or a university office. Yes, there can be poets without MFAs or Ivy League pedigrees. Be educated by any path possible.

And yet, everyone knows them, and everyone wants to listen.

We have better coffee and more places to buy it, but fewer coffeehouses. People have run to the cities to live because people have run to the cities to live, but they aren’t together. They are just in the same place, complaining and shouting, drinking coffee and not singing new songs.

Jugs bands are a start. Maybe someone with a guitar. Back when folk singers were authentic and not TikTok angels.

Or someone with a glass of lemonade to share while telling some old tale they just made up.

That would be all right, don’t you think?

Image: A woodcut from La vida del Ysopet on sus fabulas historiadas depicting a hunchbacked Aesop surrounded by events from the stories in Planudes’ version of his life.


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