Mudcat Café message #3874259 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3874259
Posted By: Jim Carroll
30-Aug-17 - 04:18 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"This is not Bert bashing time."
Then why do it Steve - whatever Bert's motives for working the way he did, I'm sure he didn't set out to write "fairy tales"
I only got 'Folk Song in England' when we returned home on Monday, so I haven't had time to start it yet, but I did look up some of the subjects I am familiar with - I was rather disturbed to read the inaccurate speculation on MacColl's name change and the tiresome revival gossip about his Scots 'reinvention'.
I was also disappointed to see no reference to 'The Song Carriers' surely the first and best intelligent attempt to discuss the British singing tradition intelligently - 14 half-hour programmes made in 1965 attempting to examine the singing styles of these islands seems a bit of an oversight to me - but that's me!
It seems to me that, while the serious side of the revival made a number of mistakes in how they presented the music they thought important enough to devote their lives to, their work is often severely misjudged because of the back-biting and petty rivalries that were part of the early revival.
This may be prejudging a book I have not yet read - we'll see!
Our own failure to get Walter Pardon's interviews out to a larger audience was underlined when I saw the only reference to him being his name on a list of other source singers that caught the wider attention of the folk scene.
One of the greatest holes in our knowledge of folk song is a total failure to ask our informants (in depth) what they thought about their songs
Walter had a great deal to say about what was and was not a folk song - and why - often in detail.
It's often struck me that discussing folk song without taking the view of our source singers into consideration is somewhat like putting a patient onto the operating table without asking them what's wrong with him/her
It's when I see people like Sharp and MacColl and Lloyd being pilloried for not getting it right first time around that I realise that folk song scholarship is still in its infancy as a serious art form study - pioneers make mistakes and their work needs to be regarded,font color=red>dispassionately and in full in context of their time and what they were setting out to achieve.
As it is, it is a virtual minefield to attempt to discuss MacColl (beyond the "Jimmy Miller - 'finger-in-ear stage), and as for "what is a folk song?".... !!!!
Unbelievable on a forum purporting to be devoted to folk song!
Can't wait to see how the authors have dealt with 'the broadside origin of folk song'
Jim Carroll
I wonder if anybody can throw any light on the reference to MacColl's name change to 'James Henry' as stated in F S in England?
I know his mother's name was 'Hendry' but I've never come across it and writings.