Friday, November 7, 2008

Writers Guild Office Boy 1970 (vii)

The folk song lyrics to love songs and protest songs, along with original folk song melodies, burst out easily for me during the 1970s. Living alone in relative creative isolation and without a television set in my cheap pad, I could pretty much turn my stream of consciousness and feelings into a set of poetic lyrics; and then match the words and my feelings to some melodic chord progressions which enabled me to sing the lyrics as a folk song—after spending a few hours experimenting with different chord progressions—whenever I wanted to. Rarely did I ever experience any writer’s block during the 1970s; and my aesthetic distance from nearly all the people who inspired my love songs or protest folk songs at that time seemed to also make the folk songwriting process as easy for me as it had been for Woody Guthrie during the 1930s and 1940s—when he was under 40.

My general idea in late 1970 was to attempt to generate anti-imperialist revolutionary political and revolutionary feminist consciousness among 1970s youth by writing folk songs in the Guthrie-Ochs-Early Dylan tradition that expressed the revolutionary anti-imperialist and revolutionary feminist consciousness that I had acquired during the 1960s.

What this meant, specifically, was that I would try to reflect the revolutionary politics of the New Left Movement of the late 1960s in my protest folk songs, in the same way Dylan had reflected the left-liberal politics of the early New Left Movement of the 1960s in his early 1960s protest songs. In addition, I would also attempt to write folk songs from a male feminist perspective that portrayed women in a non-sexist way (unlike most of the pre-1970 U.S. popular corporate music industry and traditional folk songs had done); and which reflected an admiration, a love and a sexual preference for liberated women who were revolutionary feminists, politically and socially conscious, intellectual, non-traditional, anti-imperialist fighters against male supremacy, racism and classism and for women’s liberation. My hope was that once I had written these revolutionary protest folk songs and male feminist love songs, they would get recorded and help shift mass youth consciousness in a more revolutionary direction in the 1970s, in the same way Dylan’s early 1960s songs and Ochs’ songs had helped radicalize youth more in the early 1960s.