Mudcat Café message #131380 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14963   Message #131380
Posted By: Bruce O.
03-Nov-99 - 03:51 PM
Thread Name: Misheard words
Subject: RE: Misheard words
Misheard words and typographical errors have always been a plague. There is sa short article on the subject, ' Some Effects of Scribal and Typographical Error on Oral Transmission' by W. Edson Richmond in 'The Critics and the Ballad', 1961. He points out, for instance, that "The Lass of Occram" should have been "The Lass of Aughrim".

I've seen a lot of 17th century manuscripts, and some songs I tried to copy before I really knew how to read the handwriting. I'm still no expert, but I went back to some about 20 years later, and got rather different readings in many places. I was puzzled by the differrences in many texts between early manuscript copies and later copies published in songbooks and drolleries, until I discovered that the printed copies agreed better with my earlier transcripts. My conclusion was that the typesetters weren't very good at reading their manuscript copies either.