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folk song

a song originating among the people of a country or area, passed by oral tradition from one singer or generation to the next, often existing in several versions, and marked generally by simple, modal melody and stanzaic, narrative verse.
a song of similar character written by a known composer.
Origin of folk song
First recorded in 1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for folk song
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The riddles of Samson also come under the head of folk song.

    The Complete Club Book for Women Caroline French Benton
  • So we see that a frottola is practically a folk song artistically treated.

    Some Forerunners of Italian Opera

    William James Henderson
  • Of these the folk song, and the troubadour lyrics had some musical figure, out of which a clear form might have been developed.

    Some Forerunners of Italian Opera

    William James Henderson
  • One may say, virtually, that in fitting words to these tunes, he reproduced in English the rhythms of Irish folk song.

    Thomas Moore Stephen Gwynn
  • Singing any well-known hymn-tune, or simple melody of the folk song type, using the Sol-fa names of the notes.

    Music As A Language Ethel Home
  • The melodies delighted him, and when the singer began a folk song which Greta had taught him, Erik began to sing with her.

    Little Erik of Sweden Madeline Brandeis
  • It was only an old Christmas carol, the music that of a German folk song, but dear to generations of Christmas singers everywhere.

    On Christmas Day In The Evening Grace Louise Smith Richmond
British Dictionary definitions for folk song

folk song

a song of which the music and text have been handed down by oral tradition among the common people
a modern song which employs or reflects the folk idiom
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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