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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jim Carroll Are racist, but traditional, songs OK? (319* d) RE: Are racist, but traditional, songs OK? 03 Jun 20


I was associated with EFDSS for a long time not just as a member, but with working with the Librarians and movers and shakers
People like Malcolm Taylor and the Matthews and Barbara Newly became friends - they were very much Internationalists and realised the value of contributions from other nations, but as an organisation, I occasionally found it extremely WASP
It was summed up for me personally on a visit to the Herga Club when we tried to sell copies of our Irish Traveller tape, issued by The VWM Library 'Early in the Month of Spring' (the fore-runner to the present 'From Puck to Appleby' and we were firmly told by an organiser "We're an English Club"
My side of the revival was very much Internationalist, mainly because the clubs were '50 Shades of Left' - the revival owed its existence to Lefties like the WMA, Alan Bush, Bert Lloyd and MacColl and Seeger - multiculturalist all - calypsoist Fitszroy Coleman was a star of one of the first clubs
Bert's magnificent radio programmes, Songs of the People, Voice of the Gods, The Lament, Folk Song Virtuoso... internationalised the understanding of folk song for may of us
He brought The London Bangali singers and musicians 'The Batish Family' to The Singers Club - wonderful South Indian singer, Kali Des Gupta was a regular there
All this and much, much more could have been carried out by EFDSS - it wasn't - it would have been so ***** easy then - London was made up of international communities - West Indian, Greek, Turkish, various European and Asian peoples who had come to Britain and brought their voices and instruments with them
When Pat and I got the collecting bug we approached EFDSS with a proposal to set up a collecting team to comb London for it's music (originally mooted by 'The Critics Group') - we'd even devised a name 'Exiles'
The suggestion fell on deaf ears - they were all too busy waving hankies and shaking bells - they weren't even that interested in song
We approached Topic and they agreed - only if we would plan, organise and lead it
We had just dipped out to into recording Travellers and in Ireland and Norfolk - we didn't have the contacts - it became an opportunity missed
I think now Jean Jenkins at Hornimans or Lucy Duran in the (then) British Institute of Recorded Sound might have gone along but we had never met them and had no track record   
EFDSS could have boosted it's image by taking such a step - an opportunity missed by them too

We noticed on our annual visits to Ireland during 'The Troubles' what a tremendous unifying influence music has on multi-denominational and international groups - something like that is now being cried out for to drag Britain out of the racist shit-hole Britain has become thanks to opportunist politicians
Jim


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