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In the Pacific Northwest from the days of the fur trade to the present, people have used songs to express and share their reactions to events. That the story told through song is so full and varied indicates a rich heritage in a land not generally recognized as having an English song tradition.
Broadly speaking the songs can be called "folk songs," a name which may be given to newer and authored songs if the writer's primary intent is social and communicative rather than commercial. Included are reworked or "parodied" songs and topical songs using traditional or popular tunes.