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Welcome to Filk Etymology, the Wiki

The Filk Etymology Wiki is a website to collect information about filk songs and the stories they tell. When you're listening to a filk song and think, "That's a cool story, I wonder where it comes from!", we want to be able to answer that question for you!

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What is this wiki for?

What's filk?

Filk is the folk music of the science fiction and fantasy community. You can read more about that at Kay Shapero's Filk Faq.

And what are we doing about it?

Many filk songs have connections to information outside the song itself, and it's interesting to know about them. This is a wiki where you can go to look up (or record) those connections. Here are some examples of the types of information the wiki is about:

  • A filk song may be about, for example, a particular fantasy book(1), or science fiction tv show(2), or NASA mission(3).
  • A filk song may be a re-write (or parody) of another song, filk, popular, or traditional.
  • A filk song may include in-jokes within the filk community, referencing other songs, well-known personalities in the community, or famous incidents.

What about posting lyrics?

Where posting lyrics does not conflict with the licensing on the lyrics or the author's wishes, this wiki encourages the posting of lyrics. Lyrics are useful information in their own right, and helpful in illustrating the connections the body of an article may point out.

See Filk Etymology Wiki:Lyrics Permissions for a description of possible lyrics statuses, and the appropriate action in each case.

If you do not have a good reason to believe it is acceptable to post the lyrics to a particular song, do not post the lyrics.

Quoting sparingly from a song to illustrate a claim is very different from posting the entire lyrics of a song, and is usually protected by Fair Use.

What's with the name "Filk Etymology"?

It's a joke :) The information on this wiki often contains information on the origin or backstory of the song, which is sort of like the etymology of a word. A "folk etymology" is a popularly held belief about the origin of a word or phrase (usually with the implication that it is wrong). But these are not folk etymologies, they are filk etymologies.

But I was just looking for the Etymology of the word "Filk"

Oh. Well, that's simple enough. It was a typo. A typo from the early 50's in Lee Jacobs's essay "The Influence of Science Fiction on Modern American Filk Music", if history can be believed. And, as Karen Anderson said "Rather than waste a phrase like 'filk song,' something must be created to which the name could be applied."

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