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On his website, Roger McGuinn has quite a treasury of songs available for download for free on his website. He has been making a new song in his Folk Den Podcast and available for download from his website each month since November 1995. This is quite a treasure of over 170 songs.

This is what he wrote about why he decided to start this mission:

“In 1995 I was listening to a tribute to Woody Guthrie album on Smithsonian Folkways, and realized that I hadn’t heard much traditional music lately. There were no folk clubs, and even public radio wasn’t playing much traditional music. The singer songwriters were getting all the attention with their new songs. I decided to do something about the situation. My web site had been up for a few years and I had uploaded some music for free download, so it was easy for me to record and upload folk songs that way. I called the section of my site the Folk Den after a room in the Troubadour folk club in Hollywood where the Byrds had gotten together. I promised to upload a traditional song each month along with the lyrics, the chords and a brief description of the song’s origin.”

He explains why they are free for download and the license for them:

“My intention with the Folk Den is to spread the traditional songs, to make them available to the world and keep them alive. They are our heritage and were in danger of being lost in the noise of the commercial music business. The songs in the Folk Den are protected by the Creative Commons License which allows downloading and sharing but no commercial use. You can burn CDs of them and give them to your friends, but may not sell them.”
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