Troubadours of Rock, Poetry in Song Lyrics, and Rock Music Appreciation
We examine the trajectory of 20th-century troubadours from Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez to Sheryl Crow, Sting, and Tori Amos and help students interpret and better appreciate some of their potent and poetic lyrics.
“In the United States, today’s troubadours can trace their lineage back to Woody Guthrie [see ‘When the Land Blew Away,” The Grapes of Wrath and the American Dream, NEXUS], probably America’s best known and most influential guitar bard of this century. Guthrie, who wrote This Land is Your Land and other strong, simple ballads, inspired such artists as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and his own son Arlo Guthrie, all of whom figured in the folk-music movement of the 1950s and 60s.”
“In their turn, Dylan and his contemporaries have influenced five decades of popular music. Though the overwhelming majority of contemporary artists still sing of love and loss, political and moral issues now make up a significant portion of the subject matter in popular songs. So does slice-of-life storytelling, a genre that romanticizes not the medieval ideals of purity, godliness, chaste love and knightly derring-do, but the kind of gritty reality found on the city streets and in the relationships of ordinary people.”[for more see “Troubadours of Rock,” The Lion in Winter and the Middle Ages, NEXUS]
Sheryl Crow – Leaving Las Vegas