Mudcat Café message #3852018 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161940   Message #3852018
Posted By: Jim Carroll
23-Apr-17 - 12:33 PM
Thread Name: Liam Clancy As A Ballad Singer
Subject: RE: Liam Clancy As A Ballad Singer
"meant ballad in the broadest possible sense"
You have that right
"ballads" in Ireland, particularly had an entirely different meaning to the commonly accepted one
Thw "Ballad Boom" in the sixties referred to what was happening at The Clanc0y's and other such concerts - as Billy Connolly described it, "four pullovers claiming to be "Wild Rovers".
I remember thinking all my birthdays had come at once when we saw the hundreds of signs on bars reading "Ballad evening tonight" - not a real ballad in sight.
To add to the confusion, "ballad sellers" (usually Travellers), plied their self-printed "ballads" (song sheets/broadsides) around the fairs and markets right up to the mid-fifties - a few had ballads on them, most didn't.
Liam Clancy's and Tommy Makem's mothers were both fine traditional singers recorded by the BBC in the 1950s
Sarah Makem once shocked a collector by telling him, "Our Tommy is a lovely lad, but he can't sing"
Jim Carroll