Mudcat Café message #3879457 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3879457
Posted By: GUEST,matt milton
30-Sep-17 - 10:01 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Steve: "Matt, what WORDS do you want to get to grips with? Perhaps the rest of us here can help."

I capitalised the word WORDS simply because there seems to plenty of writing and scholarship about the definition of a folk song; who sang them; who collected them; who published them; how they were disseminated etc etc. But very little discussion about what's in the songs themselves. The stories, the themes, the imagery, the similes and metaphors, the narrative tricks, the filmic elements, the structure, the switches in perspective of the teller, the tropes ("come all ye", "as I went out..."), the repetition etc etc. I find this a little bizarre, because it's this stuff that makes me want to sing a song, and I'm sure that's the case for most singers. Yet it seems it's not what writers interested in folk song want to write about.

Of course, maybe now everyone will recommend me loads of books about precisely this that I simply didn't know exist! Any embarassment about revealing my ignorance will have been worth it, though.