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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Richard Mellish New Book: Folk Song in England (2094* d) RE: New Book: Folk Song in England 17 Aug 18

> For instance many of the Child ballads show no or little evidence of ever having been in oral tradition.

>Utter nonsense

Jim, are you really claiming that all (or nearly all) the Child ballads spent some time in oral tradition? Some of them are as unsingable as a lot of the broadsides that you complain about.

I am getting increasingly frustrated by your arguing vociferously against statements that no-one has actually made and avoiding answering some very specific questions that have been asked.

We accept that Walter Pardon distinguished different sorts of songs in his repertoire, though his words that you have quoted seem to focus mainly on whether a given song was old or not so old rather than where it originated. But you have been asked to explain where some of them (whichever of them you choose) show evidence of having been written by the people whose lives they deal with, rather than by the "hacks" or whatever we call them for whom making songs was their livelihood or a substantial part of it. Can you provide that evidence?

N.B We are not disputing that ordinary people could and did write songs. What we are asking you for is evidence of who wrote the songs that were collected and that the traditional singers sang. If it's clear to you who wrote them you should be able to explain it.

While I'm about it (having been off the Mudcat for a few days):

> Walter was very different in that he was a source singer who had retained the songs from his own family and became something of a celebrity in the 60s as there weren't many source singers left who had a reasonable repertoire.

> I find this incredibly derogatory

How on earth is it derogatory to point out how unusual and important Walter Pardon was as a singer?

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