THE YEARS FOLLOWING World War II to the present constitute a new and separate chapter in the history of American folk song. There has been an intense and widespread revival of interest in the traditional song heritage; new songs, some of them rivaling the finest creations of the past, have been born out of the agonies and struggles of our modern age.
Full treatment of the contemporary folk song movement would clearly require a book in itself. The most that can be done here is to give some general impressions as to what is going on, and to indicate the relationship between current song and that of the past.
A great deal of our traditional song had its roots in the life and experience of an America that was predominantly rural. All this has changed. Folk song in twentieth century United States has migrated to the metropolis; it has taken root in the cities. In the period following World War II, it has become emphatically urban. College campus "hoots," North End or Greenwich Village coffee houses, folk festivals, nation-wide TV and jukebox coverage, all testify to this fact. Folk song has become an important feature in the contemporary American scene.