Mudcat Café message #3337887 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143708   Message #3337887
Posted By: GUEST,Lighter
13-Apr-12 - 04:08 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 2
I'm suspicious about "tracing songs back through the family" unless there's a contemporaneous record.

Only academic types pay much attention to just which forebear sang a song. If it's claimed to go back beyond grandma (assuming today's singer really learned it from her), and there's no documentary evidence (and there almost never is), it's pretty untrustworthy.

It's just too easy for people to assume that songs, stories, sayings, and so on are much older than they are.