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GUEST,Pseudonymous Review: Walter Pardon; Research (498* d) RE: Review: Walter Pardon; Research 11 Nov 19


Hello ike Yates

1 You raise the question whether the debates on the Enthusiasms pages of Mustrad are relevant to the topic of this thread. The topic of this thread was 'Walter Pardon; Research'. In carrying out research on the subject of Walter Pardon, one encounters material relating to the way his work was marketed, and debates relating to this, much of which is on the Mustrad site. Therefore, they are, I would suggest, relevant.

The post about which you raise concerns did refer people back to the Mustrad site, and it did not claim to have any answers or take sides on any misunderstandings or disputes that took place. I do not think there needs to be any concern that people might get the wrong end of any stick by reading the quotations from it out of context.

The original post references the Mustrad site as a source on Pardon, and you may find it helpful to refer back to this original post (while bearing in mind that thanks to the helpful contributions of some posters, that post would be revised before re-posting). It might give you some idea of the thoughts I had after looking at Mustrad and elsewhere for thoughts about Pardon.

2 Reading the Mustrad site does leave one aware of a number of controversies and difficulties relating to how the man and his work are to be seen. An example explicitly acknowledged, possibly by Mike Yates, is precisely where Pardon learned particular songs, as he is said to have given different accounts to different researchers of where he learned a particular song. Other problems are outlined in a 2000 article by Roly Brown. http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/pardon1.htm

3 I made the point that it has been argued that the 'powder' set should not have been released as it did not show Pardon as a traditional singer. I wrote "There have been discussions also, for example, about whether 'Put a Bit of Powder on it' should have been released. I think it was argued that it did not show Pardon as a traditional singer. All this seems to be relatively factual."

Your response to this, in so far as I understand it is a) that nothing of the sort has ever been argued as nobody who knew anything about folk would advance such an argument and b) in some sense I am so ignorant myself that I do not know that traditional singers usually have wide repertoires and this contributes to me talking 'utter nonsense', such that you would expect better from a person on Mudcat.

You are perfectly entitled to your point of view, of course. It seems to me (having the benefit of knowing what I do and do not know) that you are wrong about my state of knowledge.

I confess that I do not share your optimistic view about the state of knowledge of Mudcatters. Morever, I find that some of them struggle to engage in a sensible discussion about the contested concepts and ideologies that underpin so much of their thinking! I don't claim to be perfect myself here, of course. But I make an effort!

But for me, in a discussion, it might have been more helpful if you had simply asked me for a reference, for the evidence I was drawing on. In case you would like to read one such discussion, I refer you to the Mudcat thread headed 'Does it Matter What Music is Called'?

That thread also demonstrates that much discussion about folk and traditional music is underpinned by contested concepts and ideologies. They are the topic of the entire threads!

4 Thank you for the information about being the sound engineer on the film. I've made a note of it, and apologise if you feel this should have been mentioned before but was not.

Mr Carroll's allegations that I have made racist comments are wholly inaccurate, an example of what punkfolkrocker refers to as taking things out of context and twisting them. I mentioned racist attitudes to travellers with disapproval.

Dave the Gnome

Wiki isn't always a good guide. On Roger Dixon's relationship to Walter, Roger himself explains it in the Edge TV film, reference already given. He goes back further than one generation to trace a link, but there may have been more than one link. In Shakespeare's day the word simply meant 'relative', so it can be used loosely. In may day, one called all sorts of people 'uncle' or 'aunty', friends of one's parents, maybe at some point Dixon did refer to Walter as his uncle? Who knows?

You may be right that a person might be known by two names, I think that the

By the way, I suspect Pardon had some Scottish ancestry: it appears that many Scots came to Norfolk because of their expertise in farming, and a male ancestor married a Scottish woman. But I'm not claiming this left a great imprint upon the family.

I'm assuming that the former farmhouse Pardon lived in was, as the film hints, called Parr Farm. I may be incorrect here. I know that Pardon himself said there had been smallholdings and they shared the barn. The book on Knapton I mention above says some 'farms' in Knapton were as small as 5 acres. It has some info on Parr Farm, saying, if I remember aright that Roger Dixons family were there, people called Dixon. I'll maybe check this.


The census gives the girls in Thomas Cook Gee and his wife Ruth's family as Elizabeth, Maria, Emily and Alice. (using 1871, 81 and 91). I cannot see an Edith. Ruth was born in Paston (nee Thirtle).




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