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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Ian cookieless Guardian calls Ani DiFranco folk singer (208* d) RE: Guardian calls Ani DiFranco folk singer 19 Oct 07

Tom, just to say I appreciate all the time and effort that's gone into responding to these posts in such a measured way, for taking my points, sincerely meant, and for responding in a likewise sincere manner. And Declan, I too wish that folks whose only intention is to inflame, well, just wouldn't.

I see what you mean about origins, Tom. I am always fascinated to read of - and investigate myself (i.e. seek out what others have variously written and compare - I am no folk scholar) - the origins of a song or tune. In that respect I can completely see your point about locality and song evolution. But I just don't think that, as you seem to suggest, local origins were ever hermetically sealed, but highly porous - just as they are today, in fact. And I also don't think that we can easily - or at all - make an altogether clear distinction between broadsides and the oral tradition. They merge and mix, just like all of life does. I won't go into reasons why I think this, as others have already made those points above. But just to cite one example, the most ubiquitous traditional song of all, Barbara Allen: scholars still cannot decide if its origins are Scottish or English, for all its hundreds of local variants.

My reference to Ewan MacColl was from his radio series, The Song Carriers, which I have on CD. And yes, I am positive he said words to the effect that I mentioned (criticising traditional gypsy singers for not being, in his eyes, traditional enough). If you like, I could dig it out and make a direct quote.

Again, that's for taking the time.

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