Mudcat Café message #2984138 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131826   Message #2984138
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Sep-10 - 04:12 PM
Thread Name: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
"here are some more songs that have been found in broadsides/broadsheets"
Cap'n - you said 'originated' on broadsides - I said that there is no proof where they originated. I am not arguing that singers didn't learn songs from broadsides or other forms of print, just saying that they did not originate there.
"the vast majority were written specifically by hacks to be sold in the streets,"
Steve, we've argued this in the past and no doubt will continue to do so in the future; but I say again - there is not one iota of proof that any song in the tradition was made by a broadside seller.
Apart from anything else, the existance of a school of poets (that's what they would have to be to produce a cohesive body of songs) with an expert grasp of the vernacuar, trade terms, folklore, place names, and all the things that went into the making of our songs and ballads, and manage to remain anonymous, is unlikely enough to be ludicrous.
As GG said, we recorded a Traveller who, with his mother, sold ballads on the streets of Kerry in the 30s and 40s.
We asked him if he made or knew anybody who had made songs tpecifically to sell on the sheets - his infinitely wise repy - "why should we? There were enough songs going around at the time without us having to go to all that trouble".
You appear to have conceded that bothy workers were more than capable of composing songs, then why not rural workers elsewhere, or sailors, mill workers.... or any community of people with expereinces in common?
Man is by nature a poetic beast driven to record their experiences in songs and poems. We must have recorded dozens of local songs here in West Clare on every subject under the sun, politics, work, emigration, new inventions, drinking.... all anonymous and all made during the lifetimes of the singers we got them from.
Walter Pardon gave us songs made for the newly re-formed Agricultural Workers Union, Travellers made songs about their experiences.... If they were capable of making songs, why on earth should they contract the work out?
Hi Ruairidh;
Sorry - my mistake, I was confusing your Aunt with another Jessie, (MacDonald) who sang a version of Robin Hood and the Tanner - apologies.
Jim Carroll