Mudcat Café message #1951337 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98509   Message #1951337
Posted By: GUEST,Shimrod
29-Jan-07 - 12:23 PM
Thread Name: Folk Process - is it dead?
Subject: RE: Folk Process - is it dead?
"The Folk Process - is it dead?"

I believe that Chairman Mao was once asked:

"What effect did the French Revolution have on the course of Human History?"

And he is said to have replied:

"I think it's too early to tell."

So, ask me the 'Folk Process' question, above, in another 100 years or so ...

Nevertheless, it's a good question, George.

A couple of random thoughts:

1. A few years ago, at a conference, I heard a paper by the scholar Chris Bearman. The paper was about the communities of singers that Sharp collected from in Somerset. In some areas of Somerset there were few singers, in others, like Langport or Hambridge, for example, there were many - little communities of singers ('nests of singing birds' - to use a favourite expression). I couldn't help thinking that these little communities were very like me and friends up here in North West England, in the early 21st Century: a group of people who love old songs, share them, sing to each other and encourage each other to dig up 'new' songs (ie. songs which may be old but which are new to the group).

2. I've said this numerous times (but I suspect that many people don't want to hear it!): A song doesn't have to be from an anonymous source in order to become traditional. Its not the source of the song that's important but the process it's been through ... silence! ... is anybody there?!