Mudcat Café message #2284587 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98509   Message #2284587
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Mar-08 - 03:37 PM
Thread Name: Folk Process - is it dead?
Subject: RE: Folk Process - is it dead?
"Sam Larner, Harry Cox, Walter Pardon are noble savages from an alien, and now extinct, culture."
Walter Pardon put the death of the tradition in his area a couple of years before the outbreak of WW2 (have it on record); Sam stopped singing publicly around the same time till he was found by Philip Donellan, and it was exclusively the revival that gave Harry Cox his audience.
We can date the death of the singing tradition among Travellers to within 18 months, somewhere between summer 1973 and Easter 1975 when portable televisions ended the singing session.
In West Clare, where the singing tradition lasted longer than in Britain, the singing took place almost entirely at house dances, many of which disappeared following the dancehalls act in the 1940s, when all dances were taxed (about the same time the priests helped to break them up 'because of the risk of immorality').
Not to say that there weren't singers who still remembered the songs, but virtually all the ones we recorded hadn't sung since their youth.
No, I don't regard the songs as museum pieces; I'd guess I've put as much time as anybody on this forum organsing and singing at clubs (when they were still presenting folk songs). I am saying the continuum was broken with the death of the song tradition (music is in a different position Dave - at least in Ireland).
We came in as outsiders, formed the clubs, and for a time did a good job at it. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way we dropped the ball.
No - I didn't abandon the community in favour of the tradition - the tradition was part of the community until they went elsewhere for their diversion.
Didn't explain why the piece you quoted should be considered a folk song.
Jim Carroll