Mudcat Café message #3663044 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #155519   Message #3663044
Posted By: GUEST,gutcher
23-Sep-14 - 01:00 PM
Thread Name: Ballads not included in Child
Subject: RE: Ballads not included in Child
On the subject of oral tradition. My own experience may enlighten some. During a discussion in an educated company I mentioned that my grandfather always stated that some people would walk 50 miles in a day, this was received with incredulity and derision by these folk,
However a few weeks later when reading a biography of Thomas Carlyle I found he stated that just prior to the advent of the railway system the longest walk he completed in one day was 54 miles, from Muirkirk in Ayrshire to the town of Dumfries.
Having just finished reading an NMS book entitled "From Kelso To Kalamazoo" the memoirs of George Taylor I find that Mr Taylor often walked 50 miles to Edinburgh in 14 hrs. and on one occasion he was accompanied by a sister taking the roughly the same time.
The ootby herd folk were the elite of the agricultural workers often owning a part of the sheep stock, this along with their own horses, dairy cows, pigs, hens and ducks made them in a lot of cases
independant of a monetary wage, this was evident in our own family by the fact my Grandfather always had his pony and trap and when in 1944 my two youngest uncles came of age to drive he became a car owner a thing almost unknown in that era for working folk.
My own formative years were unencumbered by outside alien cultures a fact for which I am eternally grateful.
As regards my Grandfathers generation and and those prior generations they, although literate, had a great store of oral stories and songs, the only drawback being, something which people nowadays find hard to comprehend, the isolation and difficulty of obtaining the books then on the market which along with there cost I would imagine made for a very small library in many cases.