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GUEST,jag New Book: Folk Song in England (2094* d) RE: New Book: Folk Song in England 10 Aug 18


I think I understand Jim to be saying that much of the material is not dialect but people trying to render the language as people spoke in the street and mill.

I used have a Lancashire accent (but fairly close to Saddleworth which was Yorkshire then). I had, and still have, great difficulty reading Laycock and getting any feel that it sounds as intended. I have no problem with the dialogue in the introduction to the poem from the Exeter database that I linked:

“Come Jim, sit down, and I’ll sing thee a song of my own composin’; th’ knows I’ve a good vice, and they told me last club neet, after I had sung ‘Spencer, the rover,’ that I had a bit o’ music in me, some said ‘there’s life i’th’ owd dog yet.’ I’ve made this song to th’ tune of ‘O Susannah,’ becose I thowt everybody ud know that. Join chorus, and give it bant.”

That is presumably intended to be how people spoke, with a few dialect words. The poem itself is mainly in standard English.

So I wonder if the dialect of the dialect poets was archaic even then.The mid 20th century dialect poet Harvey Kershaw seems to be somewhere in between and is fairly straight forward to read aloud with a Lancashire accent.

What do people make of "they told me last club neet, after I had sung ‘Spencer, the rover,’" ? I wonder when the mill social clubs, still going strong in the 1950s, started. (assuming it's not a modern spoof that has crept in...)


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