Music history question
I have a question for all the ethnomusicology geeks out there: When did it become unusual for English-speaking male singers to use first-person-female lyrics? You know, songs like Danny Boy, which explicitly designate the singer as female. I'm not talking about any abstract or obscure kind of gendering. The naive reading of Danny Boy is just that it's a song about a woman who's addressing a man who's going off to war.
These days, male singers seem more likely to tweak first-person-female lyrics in order to make the narrator of the song male. Unless of course they're going for a self-consciously traditional/archaic vibe, e.g., contemporary artists who record Danny Boy. Maybe female singers are also more likely to "translate" when they cover first-person-male lyrics, e.g., Janis Joplin making Bobby male in her cover of Me and Bobby McGee.
Maybe there is no trend. I'll defer to people with data.
I ask because I was surprised to hear a very Bob Dylan singing from a first-person-female perspective in part one of Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home. (I forget which song.) Dylan obviously wasn't trying to make a statement about gender. He was probably just doing something that was still commonplace in the folk/pop tradition of the time.