Mudcat Café message #3879490 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3879490
Posted By: Jim Carroll
30-Sep-17 - 02:51 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"What a folk singer sings is traditional songs."
I'm disappointed that Steve subscribes to this superficial nonsense, particularly as it contradicts his own method of work - you don't find many 'Lily of Laguna's' with Roud numbers.
It's a little like saying that Wouldn't it be Luvvrly' becomes 'Opera' when Kiri Ti Kanawa sings it   
Those source singer we questioned all discriminated between the different types of song in their repertoire
Walter Pardon filled tape after tape explaining what was a folk song and what wasn't and then described the difference between Parlour Songs, Music Hall and early pop songs, even to the point of identifying the age of the tune by whether it finihed on the accordion with the bellow open or closed.
Blind Travelling woman, Mary Delaney knew around 150 traditional songs - she could have doubled that number with her C and W songs but she refused because she said that weren't the same as the old ones.
She referred to her traditional songs as "Me daddies songs" though her father only had around half da dozen - she was referring to a type rather than a source.
Traveller Mikeen McCarthy divides his repertoire into Street songs, Come-all ye's and fireside songs.
He saw pictures when he sang traditional songs, he didn't when he sang more modern ones
I'm convinced that much of the misinformation about how the older singers was dow to the fact that they were never, or only superficially asked what they thought of their songs
It also depended on the respective states of the oral tradition when the songs were first recorded.
I haven't had time to read Steve's book properly yet, but I hope he goes deeper into the subject than this - maybe over the next few weeks while I'm laid up acting as host to a new hip
Sorry if I've entered the forbidden territory of 'what is a folk song'., but there really is a difference between one and the other and if Walter, Mikeen, Mary, Tom Lenihan… and the old crowd know what it is, it's about time we did, or at least, were able to discuss"What a folk singer sings is traditional songs."
I'm disappointed that Steve subscribes to this superficial nonsense, particularly as it contradicts his own method of work - you don't find many 'Lily of Laguna's' with Roud numbers.
It's a little like saying that Wouldn't it be Luvvrly' becomes 'Opera' when Kiri Ti Kanawa sings it   
Those source singer we questioned all discriminated between the different types of song in their repertoire
Walter Pardon filled tape after tape explaining what was a folk song and what wasn't and then described the difference between Parlour Songs, Music Hall and early pop songs, even to the point of identifying the age of the tune by whether it finihed on the accordion with the bellow open or closed.
Blind Travelling woman, Mary Delaney knew around 150 traditional songs - she could have doubled that number with her C and W songs but she refused because she said that weren't the same as the old ones.
She referred to her traditional songs as "Me daddies songs" though her father only had around half da dozen - she was referring to a type rather than a source.
Traveller Mikeen McCarthy divides his repertoire into Street songs, Come-all ye's and fireside songs.
He saw pictures when he sang traditional songs, he didn't when he sang more modern ones
I'm convinced that much of the misinformation about how the older singers was dow to the fact that they were never, or only superficially asked what they thought of their songs
It also depended on the respective states of the oral tradition when the songs were first recorded.
I haven't had time to read Steve's book properly yet, but I hope he goes deeper into the subject than this - maybe over the next few weeks while I'm laid up acting as host to a new hip
Jim Carroll it without acrimony
"As the vast majority of the ballads we now call folk songs were shaped by those who wrote the broadsides"
Nonsense again Steve - you can't possibly know that
The ballads are finely constructed works of art relying lergely on well established vernacular and commonplaces - the broadsides were largely unsingable doggerel
Jim Carroll