Evidence That There Is Still a Place for Satiric Political Folk Songs


Yesterday, my wife and I drove to Columbus, Ohio, for the annual Dublin Irish Festival held in the suburb at the northwest corner of the I-270 beltway around the Columbus metro area. It is a festival that lives up to its advertising, with all sorts of great Celtic music and great food (Irish and otherwise)—as well as all sorts of other attractions from Irish-themed arts and crafts to dog shows.

One of the musical headliners at this year’s festival was the prolific songwriter and acclaimed guitarist Richard Thompson. After first coming to international attention with the Scottish folk group Fairport Convention, Thompson performed for more than a decade as a duo with his wife Linda until they became professionally as well as personally estranged. Thompson’s songs have been recorded by dozens of well-known artists—from David Gilmour and Elvis Costello to R.E.M. and David Byrne, from Bonnie Raitt to Nanci Griffith…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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