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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Pseudonymous Review: Walter Pardon; Research (498* d) RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research 11 Nov 19

'Without encroaching on the other thread .. what has replaced Walter and his like on the folk scene is far less successful than..'

With respect, as I understand English vocabulary, this comment is, or, let's use hedges with politeness in mind, this comment may be 'encroaching' on this thread, not the other one. For it is that thread and not this one which has as its topic the current state of folk music in the UK.

I have just listened again to Pardon' Maid of Australia on Spotify. I found it as embarrassingly horrid as I did the first time I listened to it. It appears to me (and I know this is just my personal response)( to be a mixture of what is almost something approaching a male rape fantasy and colonial exoticism. Its date, who knows? Its language: some of it presumably deliberately anachronistic at the time of composition eg damsel.

Story: narrator, foreign to Australia, presumably a colonialist of some sort, snoops on a native Australian female bathing in the nude. He skin, he notes, is black. She trips on coming out of the water, he then saves her and (in what is presumably a 'baudy' pun) announces that he entered 'the bush of Australia'. Any explicit 'come on' on from this woman, whom even the persona of the song appears to be aware is just dressing and behaving according to the mores of her own culture, may be in the mind of the persona. But, like many a woman in such fantasies, she joins him in 'sporting' in the 'highest of glee'. He then left her.

I struggle to see why the compilers of this anthology chose to represent English folk song with this. I'm not convinced that he sings it even at the right pitch since it sounds like he is struggling to hit the lower notes. I do not believe for one moment that putting this sort of song on stage in the 21st century would solve the problems of the UK folk scene. It seems to me more likely that it illustrates some of the things that were wrong with the 2nd Revival.

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