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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Karen H M Belden. Ballads and Songs-Unfortunate Rake (47) RE: H M Belden. Ballads and Songs-Unfortunate Rake 26 Jun 18


I think I agree with you and understand. It has taken me a long time to get my head around the fact that the 'experts' to whom one is referred might not have got it right.

When I started out on this, I was pointed in the direction of A L Lloyd as a source by people who regarded him as a reliable authority. I have learned so much just by looking into just one song, and I don't even sing or play it, only a re-written version of St James' Infirmary (which then got 'collected' by somebody or other, as evidence of popular culture, much to our amusement - and enjoyment!)

My folk knowledge is at the banging on the table at the right moment in Wild Rover level.

As you may have gathered, I have got interested in who said what about this song when. It's like a story, a fascinating one, in itself! The earliest I found alluding to TUR were Philips Barry, and the early Kidson EFSS piece, though there have been others. Barry seems to have influenced a line going down to Lloyd, as you can see by tracing references backwards.

I think that what you might call, broadly, 'ideological', or maybe 'cultural' factors influence interpretations. For example, I would bet that Barry had Irish ancestors. I think this is key because why would Irish people want to proudly claim to have originated a song about syphilis? The answer as Barry more or less says is that it has become an important part of US culture, and he wants to show that the Irish have contributed to that.

Thank you for your contributions.

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