There was a brief time in America between the beatniks and the hippies, and that was the time of the folkies. The Sixties was a time of cultural change, and among the precursors of the change was the new interest in folk music. Actually, to say that the interest in folk music was new would be disingenuous; what we now call folk music used to be known as… music. It chronicled the thoughts of the day, and some of those songs are still around, although their meanings have generally fallen into don’t-know-don’t-careville. Por ejemplo, it’s commonly understood that song we all sang, “Roses, roses, pocket full of posies, all fall down,” was about dying from the Black Plague in London in 1665. As recently as the 1920’s and ‘30’s, we had the folk music that came out of the deep South and the Okie Dust Bowl migration of the 30’s, and some of that turned into jazz, blues and rock. Before the new jongleurs*
like Bob Dylan showed up in the early Sixties, folk music was mostly songs from the past, although the irony must have been noted that at one time, those songs had been written, they’d been topical. Sure, songs about romances sweet and tragic were always topical, but we’ve been singing about the erosion of London Bridge since at least
the Sixteenth Century. Still do, yo.