Mudcat Café message #2984113 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131826   Message #2984113
Posted By: Goose Gander
10-Sep-10 - 03:22 PM
Thread Name: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
"The FACT is that 95% of what exists in the likes of Sharp, Hammond, Gardiner, Kidson, Broadwood etc has its earliest manifestation on a printed sheet of paper sold in the streets."

True, but a piece of paper endures, while oral expression is emphemeral. I don't think we really know the degree to which broadside writers cribbed verses from singers they heard in pubs, alleys, etc. I know that Jim has recorded from travellers that singers sometimes recited songs to printers who then produced broadside-type sheets for sale.

Cap'n - It should be obvious that a traditional singer such as Texas Gadden - learning songs from friends and family in a cultural millieu where one does not have 5 million songs at the click of a mouse - is quite different from a revivalist who 'creates' his own body of work by picking and choosing from printed, recorded and electronic resources. To put it as simply as possible: anyone can become a revivalist simply by learning a few songs; a traditional singer in this day and age is a rare, and dwindling, breed. 'Howard McMinn' cloned from cuttings and sold in a nursery is not the same thing as wild manzanita growing in the hills of southern California.