Folk songs refer to the songs that don’t follow any fixed or sophisticated rules and styles of classical or modern music. These are the songs of rural people. Folk songs depict the joys and sorrows of their daily life, their views on life, festivals and culture, rivers. These songs also manifest the emotional aspects of humans and their love life and separation. Folk songs, in general, pass down people to people, region to region, generation to generations orally. Folk songs are all about easy language, local dialects, and simple tunes. Late Abbas Uddin Ahmed said in a speech at an international folk music festival:
“Because all village people are simple, because they think simply, because their songs are simple, because their subject matter is simple, they talk of their simple joys and sorrows; and because people, the tune, the subject matter is simple- all the folk songs of the world are alike.”
Folk songs, usually, are sung with traditional musical instruments like tabla, ektara, dotora, etc. But now, many folk songs are being modernized with the arrival of new communication technologies and digital media. “Paligiti,” “Bahtiali,” “Bhawaya,” “Jari-sari,” “Gambhira,” “Lalongiti,” “Palagaon” are some types of folk songs. Some folk songs are only distinctive to one religious community-Hindus or Muslims while some cross these religious boundaries, some songs to men, other to women, while others are for everyone irrespective of caste, race, gender, region, religion. Bangladesh is a land of music. We have a rich heritage of folk songs. Lalon Fakir, Sha Abdul Karim, Rabindranath Dutta, Hasan Raja, Abbas Uddin are the legends of folk music.