One of the big reasons I write fantasy is so that I have an outlet for my love of everything culture.
Lately, I’ve been on a big folk song kick.
With regards to writing, folk songs are a great way to build a world. These tunes become part of a people’s way to look at themselves and their land. Listen to the ones below and note what the people see as important. Nature? Dreams coming true? Love? A sense of homecoming and belonging? Exploring folk music is a truly pleasant way to spend the afternoon and it might bring your fantasy world to life in ways you never imagined.
Caledonia (Scotland) by Dougie McLean
Vor í Vaglaskogi (Iceland) by Kaleo (video at the very bottom of this post) *It’s in Icelandic so I’ll give you the gist. As far as I’ve heard, it’s about woman who dreams of her husband during springtime in a forest. She believes he is dead, but then she sees him alive, and her dream comes true. If you’re Icelandic and have a better explanation, don’t hold back!!
Shining Moon (Thailand) by Sound of China Guzheng *You can find school groups singing this online. Beautiful lyrics.
Si Maritau Rosa (Sicily) *The Italian lyrics talk about blooming almond trees, birds chirping, and a beautiful girl who wants to marry. She says none of the handsome boys look her way. There are a few versions of this though.
Sakura “Cherry Blossoms” (Japan)
I hope you enjoy! 🙂