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What a sight to see! - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Mar. 17th, 2009

06:32 pm - What a sight to see!

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Y'know all those '50s novelty songs about flying saucers and spacemen, like "Purple People Eater" and "Little Space Girl"?

Do they count as filks?

Comments:

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From:vakkotaur
Date:March 18th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
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My first reaction was no, but it bothered me. I'm leaning toward yes though I'm not certain. I recall a panel at Penguicon a few years ago where Frank Hayes talked about filk (and folk) some. He said that one objection to some stuff was the use of amplification and such. He explained that it wasn't a choice and is a rather artificial distinction. Many, if not all, filkers (and folkers?) would have used an amp. had they been able to afford it at the time. It wasn't so much that it was "pure" but that it was limited or constrained. So if something happens to also be widely commercially successful, why shouldn't it be considered filk?
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From:jugularjaguar
Date:March 18th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)

Just plain no

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Filks I have always seen, least the good ones have pretty much taken existing songs and rewritten them into something else.

Those songs are original as far as I know.

Thanks again for Furry Fiesta setting me up for the night. We have to go back to the Dallas just to eat again.
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From:vakkotaur
Date:March 18th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Just plain no

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Filk is more "fannish folk" or even just "fannish music" than parody. Many filks are parodies, but being a parody isn't necessary. For example, Frank Hayes' classic filk, Never Set the Cat on Fire doesn't seem to be a parody of any tune, but it's own thing.
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From:orv
Date:March 18th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)

Re: Just plain no

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And re-using folk tunes is a long tradition anyway...many hymns do it, most famously "What Child Is This?"
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From:vakkotaur
Date:March 18th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Just plain no

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Bah, "...its own..."
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From:ceruleanst
Date:March 18th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
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The question can be reduced to this: Were the people who wrote them fans of science fiction?
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 18th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
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Well, they might have been fans of cheesy '50s sci-fi flicks...
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From:rikchik
Date:March 18th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
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I've always felt that Queen's "'39" is filk, which definitely passes this test. Not sure about the other ones.
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From:orv
Date:March 18th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
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It's a good question. My gut reaction is that a filk is, almost by definition, a subculture or counter-culture sort of thing. So a pop hit can't be a filk, or at least wouldn't normally be referred to as one. But that's a very subjective thing.
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