I have been gathering folk songs for awhile now as I have slowly come to understand why learning folk songs of other nations should matter to us.
I just read the foreword of an old folk song book I picked up and I think this sums it up:
"If we, in America, are going to be good neighbors with the rest of the world, it is important that we come to know how people in other lands think and feel. The songs of a people reveal more truly than do anything else the spirit and mood of their daily lives... Some of them are very old and all of them have for generations been used to express the spirit of the people from whence they came.
"Because we are such a young nation we, in America, have not yet developed very much fine music of our own. If, however, all of the boys and girls are given an opportunity for training in music, in the course of time we too shall have a great American musical art."
The Arts are the great preservers of Truth through the generations. What will we be leaving behind from which generations to come will learn about our hearts?