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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Sue Allan New Book: Folk Song in England (2094* d) RE: New Book: Folk Song in England 03 Nov 17

I think you are making too much of the 'rural workers v broadside hacks' argument Jim, and so getting hot under the collar about it quite unnecessarily. It is not the straight dichotomy you are making out, but rather a fluid situation and a two-way street: songs were re-cycled in both directions, with broadside printers picking up on songs sung in the countryside by singers in pubs and so on and towns and printing them to circulate more widely, for profit, and country people learning songs from ballad singers who bought their supply of ballad sheets from the printers or stationers, and sang them at country fairs and market - and would also have picked up on other songs being sung to relay to the printers. Obviously the ballad singers and sellers tried to sell their sheets to whoever would buy, but some may just have listened. In rural Cumberland and Westmorland small printers in market towns were churning out broadsheets and chapbooks, and buying in from the larger urban printers. So it does seem to me that the situation is not black and white but very many shades of grey.

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