Murdered Ballads – The Hijacking of Traditional Folk Music by The Left

“Let us pause in life’s pleasures, and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears
Oh, hard times come again no more.”

When Stephen Foster published this American ballad in New York City in 1854, it swiftly grew in popularity. Today, it is known as one of the most popular American folk songs ever composed, and the same can be said of nearly all of the ballads written by Foster. It has been recorded, rehashed, and revamped a thousand times over from a thousand different singer-songwriters. At the time it was first released, Americans from every corner of the country and of every political persuasion, and even some in Britain, where the song also received national attention, adored the song. There was little, if any inspiration drawn from political doctrine of the times.

“Life’s pleasures” was not a generalised metaphor for economic equality, nor were the “sorrows of the poor” exclusive to some ailing, disenfranchised ethnic minority. The “song that will linger” was not a rallying cry for some radicalised concept of class struggle, and the “hard times” were not begging to be remedied with vague, maniacal notions of equality.

Indeed, the song came from a very honest place, devoid of any corrosive narrative. Traditional music, in its purest form, always has. For when left to his own device and within his own tribe, man, in his rawest form, gravitates towards all of the values, traditions, myths, and wisdom that embody that tribe. For us in the Anglosphere, our traditional music has its roots in the British Isles, and these songs all tell the story of our tribe.

From the dimly lit taverns of old Lancashire to the Highlands of Scotland, from the ancient forests of the Adirondacks to the high lonesome back country of Appalachia, our songs remain with us generation after generation; we need only look for them; they have never left us.

Whether they rang from the old rustic hooleys of southern Ireland or from the modernday bluegrass jams and old-time music festivals all over the American South, these tunes and melodies have, in some ways changed, but their roots are ever firm, for the one thing that remains constant about these songs are their colourful impassivity. There exists in them no agenda, only the tale to be told to all willing to lend an ear. The reason for this is obvious – the people who sang these songs actually lived them. They ate, slept, and breathed the very essence of these songs, and never felt the need to boast this universal truth, it was just life.

These songs were sang at a time when the aim for celebrity in music was non-existent because music was an every day part of the tribe, and it could be heard every day, at any given time, whether from a poorly tuned fiddle or from the mouth of the crooning commoner toiling away on the farm. The music told the story of our people’s existence. There was no crowd to agitate, no collective body to rile up. This is doubtless why all types of music exist in their purest forms when the people who perform it are aware of its actual context, and that is precisely because they are born into it and actually live it.

It cannot be learned, it must be inherited.

Oh, I wish I had someone to love me,
Someone to call me her own.
Oh, I wish I had someone to live with,
Cause I’m tired of living alone.

Oh please, meet me tonight in the moonlight,
Meet me tonight all alone,
For I have a story to tell you–
A story that’s never been told.

I’ll be carried to a new jail tomorrow,
Leaving my poor darling alone,
With the cold prison bars all around me
And my head on a pillow of stone.

Now I have a grand ship on the ocean,
All mounted with silver and gold,
And before my poor darling would suffer,
That ship would be anchored and sold.

Now if I had the wings of an angel,
O’er these prison walls I’d fly,
And I’d fly to the arms of my darling,
And there I’d be willing to die.

This particular ballad, “Wings of an Angel”, can be traced back to at least 17th century England. The song was sang by thousands over countless generations, and those who sang it would have experienced the same emotions as those who heard it. Those who sang were not the messengers, and those who listened were not followers. This is precisely the organic ingredient that makes traditional folk music what it is. In all its traditional glory, it belongs to both the singer and the listener, and its words deal only in the abstract, in the realm of Tradition.

Through song, we are given the knowledge of the value of song; it needn’t be explained, only felt.

After the Great Depression, which crushed the spirits of all Western peoples, the essence of these songs succumbed to heavy politicisation from hardline leftists, mostly radicalised academics, who took advantage of the collective emotional vulnerability of desperate and impoverished whites. Folkies like Peete Seeger and Joan Baez, both raised in upper middle-class families with staunch revolutionary and egalitarian principles (Seeger was raised by Stalinists and Baez by Quaker pacifists) perpetuated this and used their celebrity to further their own personal agendas, which, in Seeger’s case, took the form of open support for communism. Seeger, it should always be remembered, was, in 1955, summoned before Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He was sentenced to one year in prison for refusing to list the names of violent communist agitators whom he knew personally.

For Seeger, folk music was a means to an end. The transcendent beauty of traditional music was unimportant. In his eyes, it was a tool, a weapon to be placed into the collective consciousness of the downtrodden and oppressed. Of course, as most left-wing artists and performers always are, Seeger was anything but oppressed, having been born into a family of privilege, and having never experienced the miseries of the poor he so often boasted as championing.

But Seeger was only the beginning, as others, in time, took the cue and followed. The seeds at this time already planted, the folk revival of the 1960s came at the height of the Cold War era, and a whole new generation of young and impressionable singersongwriters were easy targets for Marxist agitators in the West, namely in the Anglosphere.

In the U.S., there was Phil Ochs Joan Baez, and the Weavers, while across the pond in Britain there was A.L. Lloyd, Ewan MacColl, and Ireland’s Luke Kelly, who, before joining the Dubliners, made a name for himself in the London folk scene of the late 1950s and early ’60s, and, just like his aforementioned contemporaries, was a devout and open communist.

There can be no dispute that these young balladeers didn’t possess an immense talent for immortalising the traditional song, but, as one might expect, they were quite selective in which songs they chose for such endeavours, and, indeed, quite protective of the narrative they wanted to convey. I can’t even begin to count how many numerous renditions there are from this era of “Joe Hill” and the hypnotic pro-union ballad, “Which Side Are You On?” As for their own original songs, they didn’t shy away from the message they intended to spread.

Their treasured adage, “folk music is the people’s music” was hardly inclusive of those who didn’t tow the “people’s” line. Phil Ochs makes this clear in his song, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”.

For I’ve killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying, I saw many more dying

But I ain’t marching anymore
It’s always the old to lead us to the war
It’s always the young to fall
Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes, I even killed my brothers
And so many others

But I ain’t marching anymore

For the first time ever, folk music was now looked upon as a vehicle for an ugly revolution, cheapened, made earthly, and reduced to a social tool. Their claim was that these songs, this music, our music, was for everyone, ready-made and easily available, like a microwaveable TV dinner.

Of course, that narrative quickly shifted when it came to black folk music, which these universalist boomers also performed for the obvious reason of gaining acceptance from blacks. Now, delta blues, jug band, and black gospel were styles that must be preserved, as long as they were done so within the confines of the white leftist narrative, which meant that they, the “special” whites, the “good” whites, the “enlightened” whites, were the chosen icons who truly understood the black man’s plight, and therefore had every right to perform versions of their cultural ballads.

Suddenly, the black slave ballad, “Follow the Drinking Gourd” was also everybody’s song; people’s music. “Cotton Fields”, a historic ballad which told of the hardships of the black slavery experience, was now also “people’s” music, and studio-polished folk/rock acts like Credence Clearwater Revival didn’t hesitate to popularise the song, bastardising it for blacks and embarrassing future generations of whites in the process.

When I was a little bitty baby
My mama would rock me in the cradle
In them old cotton fields back home
It was down in Louisiana
Just a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields back home

It may sound a little funny
But you didn’t make very much money
In them old cotton fields back home
It may sound a little funny
But you didn’t make very much money
In them old cotton fields back home

Oh when those cotton balls get rotten
You can’t pick you very much cotton
In them old cotton fields back home

People’s music, indeed.

By the time the Vietnam War was already in full swing, traditional Anglocentric folk music had already become a cheap parody of itself, especially in the U.S. Bob Dylan had already gone electric just a few years prior at the Newport Folk Festival, Pete Seeger was an aging hack, and the campus activists had all graduated university and were replaced with the drug-addled burnouts of Woodstock. But Seeger, Baez, and the like continued on with their careers, maintaining a more underground presence similar to the one they began with. But this hideous legacy lived on, so much, in fact, that the entire genre of traditional folk became totally synonymous with all things “left”.

Everyone remembers the anti-war songs of the Vietnam era, like Country Joe MacDonald’s “Fixin’ to Die Rag” and P.F. Slogan’s “Eve of Destruction”, popularised by Barry Maguire. To most in our generation, these songs are instantly recalled the moment the very topic of the general feel of Vietnam War era or the 1960s is brought up. We all grew up learning about the counter-culture in history class, and most of us have seen countless documentaries about hippies, the protests, and the “free love” era. We, at one point, naturally believed what we were told, that this was the way most young people of the time felt, that it was the spirit of the times, but we now know this to be a terrible lie.

The truth is that, in most working-class communities, especially in the inner cities, in an age when white flight had not yet happened and our cities were still mostly white, the hippies were, for the most part, rejected and their values shunned. Anti-war agitators were confined mostly to the university towns and in the more affluent suburbs. Like Seeger, the hippies were neither poor nor downtrodden. They were middle to upper middle-class, and, because of their social status, they were able to avoid the dreaded draft and were afforded the convenience of mocking and criticising the very people who made their condition possible. Because of this, they were also able to gain positions of power once they entered adulthood.

Of course, in reading a contemporary history book about the period, one would never know this. The baby boomers, who would go on to run the country and replace the leaders who fought hard to keep communism and its wretched influence out of our respective nations, revised this history and lied to us. Through music, they were able to achieve this on a mass level for future generations to carry on the false legacy that they so cunningly designed.

A people’s identity is always safeguarded in traditional song. Whether it relays the tales of loss of life or of love, there are literally thousands of songs that tell of hardship, pain, suffering, and toil. They tell our fears, our pains, our anxieties, and our triumphs, and they are ours, and ours alone; they are not inclusive and they are not for sale. They are
not “people’s” music, they are our people’s music. They are our complete story, and they are not to be twisted and altered to fit a destructive narrative which takes us away from that story. Traditional music, much like faith, deals in meaning, not instruction. This is what makes traditional music and the energy it produces so transcendent. It doesn’t seek to change, or to win over, but rather, it seeks out what already is, what once was. It is familial, ancestral. It speaks only the language of the dead, not the petty fantasies of the living.

If, then, this is how we define our music that serves as the soundtrack for our traditions and our stories, we must redefine the nature of our approach within the context of that soundtrack, and, in doing so, what we are really doing is reviving the true nature of our past. We must remember that, as whimsical as it may sound, it cannot be denied that traditional folk music, our traditional folk music, must be preserved as the sacred vehicle through which we confirm our existence and convey our collective desires.


richard bird

Awesome article Paddy, and very well expressed. Communism is the blight of all mankind. If permitted, it will destroy us, and the only people left will be the mongrel servants of the tribal elite. It must be resisted with all our might.


The culture that came out of the anti-war movement followed the M.O. of the bolshevik revolution. Leftists/Jews capitalized on popular discontent (in Russia, against WW1, in America, against Vietnam) and catapulted off this to push unpopular ideas and policies (like the “Civil Rights movement” , that disproportionately adversely effected the lives and physical safety of poor whites, and ultimately hurt blacks as well).

The protest song movement did address some real issues, which served as the dog food that carried the poison pellet. But like the saying goes, the leftist wants to destroy everything, even what’s good, while the conservatives want to conserve everything, even injustice.


The hijacking of traditional folk music by the left was the work of the Jews and their media. Anyway, country music still exists, and it’s a kind of folk music that appeals to the conservatives.

I like folk music from most European countries. But I disagree with the idea that it should never have a political agenda. In the traditional European society, there used to be all kinds of songs for all kinds of different occasions. Not all of it was of good artistic quality. I’m sure that anti-English lyrics were used at the time of the American independence war, for example.

Today, we urgently need to write a few educational anti-ZOG songs. You just take a folk song or pop song that already exists, and you change the lyrics. It can also be sung at WN meetings (if you are fascinated by the transcendent beauty of traditional music, you may have to cover your ears).

Патрицк Цорцоран

I wasn’t implying that folk music should never have a political agenda, what I was trying to say was that the Left’s hijacking of traditional folk presented a false reality that said music should ONLY be a tool for what they viewed as social change and nothing else.

This is very much how the Left see everything in the realm of art. It is the same with their horrid brand of film, theatre, and degenerate visual art.

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