Mudcat Café message #3514250 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150417   Message #3514250
Posted By: Jim Carroll
12-May-13 - 12:54 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 5
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads: US Versions Part 5
The subject of literal links to traditional singing is far too complicated an issue to be dealt with as simplistically as it is here.
Some of our rarest ballad survivals in these islands have come from non-literate sources - Travellers, certainly true of both Scotland and Ireland where ballads like Lamkin, Maid and the Palmer, Young Hunting, Lady Margaret... have come from singers with no literary skills and no access to the printed word.
Even in the more literate communities printed songs were treated with either suspicion and/or deference, which influenced any changes made to them.
Because singers could read, didn't automatically mean they learned songs from print - as Mrs Laidlaw was once heard to remark.....!
"we're not all that different to them in many ways"
We're totally different - especially since we became passive recipients to our culture rather than creative participants.
When that happened in the traditional communities the songs all but totally disappeared.
Jim Carroll