The canadian folk music is designed for performance usually by a single instrument, less often by a strictly circumscribed group of instruments. Moreover, it is purposive, it is designed as concomitant either to a voice, sometimes substituted for by a particular voice-like instrument, such as flute or pan-pipes, or to vigorous dancing. It is based on the elaborate interplay of instrumental voices; music that is designed to be listened to, not sung or danced to; slow and stately dance music; processional or martial music, these constitute court music, not folk music. Such music was, and is, scripted for the entertainment of the leisured, moneyed classes by professional musicians, not by ordinary people for their own enjoyment.
If a song has elaborative passages, of persons or of settings, then it is not a folk song; if it recounts in any detail the emotions of the singer or the persons about whom he is singing, then it is not a folksong. In the folk idiom, descriptions are brief and emotions described sparely. This will let the listener to enhance those descriptions or emotions from his or her own experiences. True folk songs are almost never exhortative and do not have any explicit message. Sometimes a moral may be haggard from the story in the last stanza. Folk songs are almost always implicitly, if not explicitly, dovish; usually they regret the bitter consequences of war; only rarely do they extol its glories.
Sadly, traditional folk music little heard nowadays to be understood by most Canadians.