What makes folk songs seem so timeless? The melodies and harmonies seem so simple as if anybody could have created them. Deceptively simple, as if the song always existed or was born from no particular skill at all. But if anybody could write a tune that could last through the ages, why doesn't every composer have a hit with each new song? Most composers never even see one of their songs have longevity. Why have the seemingly casually constructed folk songs endured through the ages? What is our connection to them and why are we drawn back to them over and over again? These are questions that may never be answered. Maybe, it is true that some music is timeless and has always existed and we are the ones who just uncover the wonderful gifts through song.
Just to illustrate this point, the first Children's Theater show I wrote was Stone Soup. The first cast had two 5 year old boys and seven girls under the age of 8. I basically wrote the show on the fly, tailoring it to the abilities and talents of that very young cast. The songs had to be very short, catchy and fall within an octave range. The main song "Stone Soup" needed to sound as if it had just come into being casually, and as if anyone could join in effortlessly.
So, if you are hankering for some homespun yarns and yummy fixin's, check out Stone Soup - A Tale of Cooperation for your next School or Children's Theater production.