Frequently Asked Questions
Can you send a 'better' midi file to me?|
A: The midi files are made from many different songbooks. Some include just a simple melody line, and some are full multi-instrument productions. Also, the more complex the midi file, the longer it took to create it.
The music in this archive is meant to be simple accompaniment - it is not meant to be an Internet Radio. If you truly wish a lusher arrangement, by all means track it down in a music store. There are many places on the Internet that sell music in cassette and CD form.
Also, the midi files were secured with permission. Therefore, if you want to use a midi, make sure you contact them. My permission only extends to the archive.
Can you send the music to "name song here"?
A: Mostly the answer is NO. This is because I get reference materials, extract the information, and send them back to the Library. If you seek the notes, I suggest you do the same. Every public library in the United States is hooked up to the Interlibrary Loan System. You simply fill out a form for a requested book(s), and wait. If you seek music to play, I suggest surfing to the many on-line music publishers, such as J.W. Pepper, Barenreiter, Hal Leonard, etc.
Why do you post (IRA, Nazi, Confederate, Irish Catholic, Irish Protestant, songs with the "n" word) songs?
A: It is my belief that songs are a reflection of the society in which the lyrics were created/adapted/modified. Ashamed of the past? Well, every nation is. Purging or making Foster's songs "politically correct" do him and society a great injustice. In the future, when the popular rock & roll songs of today become public domain, shall we purge them of references to sex, drugs, and violence? Hopefully, if you want to sing these songs, you will use some common sense and modify as YOU see fit. Check out the hymns, they did it all the time - be it about the Virgin Mary, baptism, or communion. Simply drop or modify the verse and move on. Amazing Grace was banned by churches in years past because of the concept of grace.
Let me further state that I am not a racist, but will never compromise myself to become "politically correct". The posting of songs is not meant to denigrade a race or religion. In the archive, there are songs that are the opposites for all the above groups. Funny thing about moron mail, they object to the inclusion of lyrics from the opposing viewpoint, but love the fact that they can find "their beloved songs". The ONLY song I have removed from the archive was "Die Fahne hoch", which was the calling card for the Nazis. (This song is banned in Germany and many of them sent letters asking for its removal). Great melody AND an old folksong, but changed lyrics to suit the political climate of Hitler. In it's place I put a parody lyric from just after WWII.
The bell-curve for Morons is about 1 in 800 letters received. It is you other 799 that keep me going.
Can you send me a zip file of the whole archive?
A: I always have to chuckle when I get this one. First off, it usually comes from an email@example.com user. Even if I were to zip the whole thing, I'd have to update it almost daily, and using a 56k modem, it would take you well over 4 hours to download. Second, my permission for the midi files only extends to the archive. It is not a right to re-distribute them at will. Third, the additional space requirements needed for the zip file would basically end the growth of the archive. Fourth, your ISP would probably reject such a large incoming file. Still want a zip file?
Who provides the midi files, and how do I contact them?
Each sequencer has a link to the copyright page. Their e-mail address and website links are provided. This is a good place to also let you know that when I receive permission to use their work, I do not use all their midi files, but rather a sampling. That encourages you to surf to their site and peruse their fine pages. If I used all their work, what would be the point of them maintaining a site?
Where do I find the lyrics to (put rock/folkie group's song here)?
A: Even the most cursory glance at the archive reveals that the material is basically pre-1922 songs. There are many, many archives that deal with today's music. By the way, this also applies to the "folkies" of the 1940-1965 range. Some exceptions exist, but not enough to justify tracking down the liner notes for an album from 1950.
How come you don't have an Italian (or Greek, or Spanish, or whatever) song index?
A: I am at the mercy of my reference materials. I suggest modeling a page on my index and let me know when it is finished and I'll link to you. It is more than enough work to keep up with the indexes I already have posted. (4Mb of unposted songs, and 21 songbooks sent by people throughout the world to wade through).
I can't hear the music. What's wrong?
A: As this one only comes from beginners, the best advice I can give is have someone who knows how to operate a computer set it up for you. The midi files are designed to work with the system software, be it on a PC or a Macintosh.
Can you post some "bawdy" songs?
A: See the third question, I get enough grief for those. By and large I try to avoid them. Some areas, like the war songs and the works of Robert Burns have a higher incidence of bawdy lyrics. Maybe in the future I will add more of the "salty" lyrics, but for now, it is more fun to deal with letters from the far-left and the far-right who wish that I would remove lyrics they object to.
Can you post a "what's new" or "recently added" page?
A: At long last, I found an ideal search engine that not only indexes my site, it provides a site map and a what's new page.