What is folk music? It is all in the eye of the beholder. Folk music as a concept as expanded in recent times. Some people now consider Beatles music to be "folk music". In my day, and now I sound really ancient, Beatles music was "cutting edge". Yes, I was around to see their first performance on the Ed Sullivan show, a show I considered moldy, as a teenager, but which I was routinely subjected to on Sunday nights, preceded by Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights. Anyhow, to stay on topic, Beatles tunes have shown up in an anthology of folk music.

Most people would consider the tunes of Bill Staines to be folk music, even though they have been (fairly) recently written. His song, "Redbird's Wing" speaks to my soul, and I even designed and made a landscape quilt, based on the lyrics. His music is classic.

Globally, every country has its own folklore tradition. These would be songs that are familiar to the core population, that could be sung without a music score and everyone would know the words. In the dance tradition, I think we have to look to fiddle tunes for contra dancing as part of the broader definition of "folk music".

Folk music records the struggles of the common people and gives them a voice. It is the music of the weaver of the 19th century, it is the music of the migrant farm laborer, it is the music of the men who built the railroads, it is the music of us all.