Mudcat Café message #2984232 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131826   Message #2984232
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Sep-10 - 07:05 PM
Thread Name: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
"these were individuals with a little talent and enterprising enough to spot a niche in the market."
Writing song with a working knowledge of folklore, the vernacular, slang ad argot, working terms and accurately describing practices - give us a break Steve - some "little talent".
Our children on the streets made up songs from a young age - did they all of a sudden lose interest and throw in the towel.
Soldiers serving abroad scratched verses on the walls - and have done since they patrolled Hadrian's Wall.
I have given you the example of an area rich in traditional song, but also producing a body of dozens (that we have come across - more like hundreds) of local pieces dealing with things that made them laugh and cry and worry and get angry.....
Non-literate Travellers produced songs on a regular basis right up to the middle of the 1970s (and may well still be doing it).
What makes these particular people unique?
If bothy workers can produce a sizeable body of songs in their own language reflecting their own work experiences - why can't seamen working in very similar conditions do the same?
I have no doubt that some written songs were taken up and re-made, but to suggest that we owe our tradition to a body of, in your own words possessing "little talent" - sorry Steve, ludicrous is the word that springs to mind.
And what am I to make of the broadside trade as it was reported to us by somebody who was involved in it?
And no, 'school' is not inappropriate and inaccurate. The similarity of composition, the use of commonplaces, incremental repetition, similar rhyming patterns, phrasing, and other poetic techniques... and all the things that inspire people to say "I can't define it but I know it when I hear it", suggests a school of poetry (and music) by composers all singing from the same hymn sheet - or songs that have been made, smoothed off, rounded out, adapted... by people sharing common backgrounds and experiences, drawing from their every-day experiences and using their own natural mode of expression to comment on those experiences. They are as distinctive as 'expressionism' or 'cubism' or 'modernism' - certainly not the work of a scattered group of buisnessmen earning a crust for themselves.
If you have definite proof that 'the folk' didn't make their own folk songs - please produce it.
Jim Carroll