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GUEST,Pseudonymous Folklore: Travellers contribution to folk song (38) RE: Folklore: Travellers contribution to folk song 13 Nov 19

I am interested in the claim made by Carroll and Mackenzie to the effect that certain Travellers had an 'innate' knowledge relating to folk song. "We have found what appears to be an innate feeling, an understanding about the songs which has no bearing on intellectual ability or learning"

It reminded me of sentiments like 'Blacks have an innate sense of rhythm'.

As it is important to see that claim in its context, here is a link to the whole lecture.

Claims are also made regarding the 'instinctive' knowledge of Travellers. This quasi-biological stuff is to use a favourite word of Carrolls' 'disturbing'. It would be one thing to assert that there was some cultural knowledge and understanding of the origins of songs; to use language like 'innate' and 'instinctive' seems less appropriate.

The bit that caught my attention is spoken by Pat Mackenzie about 45 minutes in.

I note in passing that it contains a 'funny' story about domestic abuse. This links to Nick Down's points above. I'm guessing it wasn't an issue high up on the hard left agenda of the folk revivalists.

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