"Be Pagan Once Again": Folk Music, Heritage, and Socio-sacred Networks in Contemporary American Paganism

Authors

  • Christopher Chase Michigan State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v8i2.146

Abstract

Religious music serves to co-create and carry strategies of theology, authen¬ticity, and behavior. This article examines the history of folk music and folk ideology in creating and maintaining such strategies. I examine several prominent examples of American folk music and Pagan music, articulating their shared historical and theological relationships. Focusing on national¬ism, feminism, and populism, I also argue that an ideology of the common ritual year is a prominent shared theme between American folk music and contemporary Paganism. While underscoring the need for greater attention to this area, the article concludes that the legitimization processes at work are similar to other American heritage musics and aspects of American cultural politics.

References

Ahlstrom, Sydney. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974.

Albanese, Catherine. Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Anonymous. “Great Pagan/Celtic Music.” iMix. Apple Computer iTunes Music Store. Accessed online 8 November 2005.

The Armstrong Family. The Wheel of the Year: Thirty Years with the Armstrong Family. Flying Fish Records Compact Disc, FF70594, 1992.

Blackmore’s Night. “The Times they are A-Changin’.” Ameno, Vol. 1 WM Czech Republic, 2001.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Be Pagan Once Again.” Be Pagan Once Again. Association for Consciousness Exploration, Compact Disc, no catalog number, 1972. Reissued 2003.

Boyd, Joe. Introduction to brochure notes for Fairport Convention, Liege and Lief. Island Records Remastered Series, IMCD 291, 2002 Reissue.

Buchan, David. “Ballads of Otherworld Beings.” In The Good People: New Fairylore Essays, edited by Peter Narvaez. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1991.

Clifton, Chas S., and Graham Harvey, eds. The Paganism Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Coil. “Christmas is Now Drawing Near at Hand.” Winter Solstice: North. Eskaton 019, Compact Disc, 1999

Dobkin, Alix. “Her Precious Love.” Lavender Jane Loves Women. Women’s Wax Works, LP Record, 1973. Reissued on Compact Disc as Living with Lavender Jane. Ladyslipper Music, WWWA001, 1997.

Double Helix. “Harvest Horn.” Falcons of the Wood. Ollamh Publishing Inc., Compact Disc, no catalog number, 2002.

Ellison, Rev. Robert Lee (Skip). “The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove.” In ADF: A Cycle of Druid Rituals. East Syracuse, NY: Dragon’s Keep Publishing, 2003.

Fellowship of the Spiral Path. “Liturgy for Lady Liberty Songsheet.” Original document in author’s possession.

Filene, Benjamin. Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 2000.

Fuller, Robert C. Spiritual but not Religious: Understanding Unchurched America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Hugin the Bard. A Bard’s Book of Pagan Songs. St Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2001.

Hutton, Ronald. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Khrysso, Carole Eagleheart, Rev. John Gilmore, Rev. Mary Grigolia, and Nancy Vedder-Schults. Singing the Promise: A CUUPS Benefit Concert. Covenant of Universalist Unitarian Pagans Inc., Compact Disc, no catalog number, 1998.

Lloyd, A.L. Introduction to the brochure notes for The Watersons, Frost and Fire: A Calendar of Ritual and Magical Songs. Topic Records Compact Disc TSCD462, reissued 1995. Originally released as LP 12T136, 1965.

Magliocco, Sabina. Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 2004.

Marini, Stephen A. Sacred Song in America: Religion, Music, and Public Culture. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

McNally, Michael D. Ojibwe Singers: Hymns, Grief, and a Native Culture in Motion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Nelson, Victoria. The Secret Lives of Puppets. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2001.

Schmidt, Leigh Eric. Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Sha, Zitkala. “Why I am a Pagan.” Atlantic Monthly 90.542 (December 1902): 801-803.

Slobin, Mark. Fiddler on the Move: Exploring The Klezmer World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Strangways, A.H. Fox, and Maud Karpeles. Cecil Sharp. London: Oxford University Press, 1933.

Stowe, David. How Sweet the Sound: Music in the Spiritual Lives of Americans. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Strmiska, Michael. “The Music of the Past in Modern Baltic Paganism.” Nova Religio 8.3 (March 2005): 39-58.

Williams, Ralph Vaughan. National Music and Other Essays. Cambridge: Oxford University Press. 1987.

Published

2007-03-09

How to Cite

Chase, C. (2007). "Be Pagan Once Again": Folk Music, Heritage, and Socio-sacred Networks in Contemporary American Paganism. Pomegranate, 8(2), 146-160. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v8i2.146

Issue

Section

Articles