Mudcat Café message #3874458 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3874458
Posted By: GUEST,matt milton
31-Aug-17 - 07:28 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Re Bert Lloyd, I'm absolutely certain Steve wasn't motivated to write his book by Bert's fairy tales. There can't be many people left on the scene who don't take anything Bert wrote with a pinch of salt. This is not Bert bashing time. He was wonderfully gifted and left us a wealth of well-crafted material."

On that note, I do think it's a shame that it has the identical title as Bert Lloyd's book. I've no doubt that Steve wasn't motivated to write his book by Bert's book – to write a big book like that, your prime motivation will be overwhelming love for your subject – but giving it the same title will inevitably make it seem like it is 'Bert bashing'.

It's been many years since I read Bert's Folk Song in England, but I don't remember it being as naive as some as the adumbrations/caricatures described in this thread. I remember a strain of romanticism, sometimes a quite unpalatable one (when it came to dealings with women and sex, in particular). But for the most part I remember it being an inspirational, magical, poetical book. I enjoyed Bert's book for very similar reasons that I enjoyed Ciaron Carson's 'Last Night Fun'.

More importantly, I don't remember the speculative parts of it being presented as anything other than speculation. Perhaps this is a false memory: perhaps if I were to re-read it now I would indeed find that Bert Lloyd presents it all as unequivocal FACT and incontrovertible scholarship. But I doubt it; it wasn't that sort of book. I think criticisms of Bert Lloyd's writing are often unfair, because they seem to be criticising it for what is is NOT, rather than what it IS.

I'm looking forward to reading the Roud book - I've read about 20 pages – but I'm expecting it to be satisfying in a very different way.