Mudcat Café message #3886417 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3886417
Posted By: Jim Carroll
02-Nov-17 - 12:48 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"once a song has entered a local or national repertoire. "
Which can be said of any song (back to the Birdie song or the Welsh miner arias)
"Roud is an absolute stickler for evidence"
Not really - his statement that so many songs probably originated on broadsides is totally unqualified
I believe the evidence - ie - that working people did create their own songs - makes this unlikely
The broadside poets were notoriously bad songmakers so why make such a claim
If Bothy workers made their own songs and miners like Tommy Armstrong and Joe Corrie were rattling them off - not to mention the textile workers in Lancashire, the weaver poets of Scotland, Agricultural workers in Norfolk... et al, why should they not have made the folk songs?
Steve is writing in the 21st century - in the 19th century there wa no question that rural workers made the folksongs - Child dismissed the hacks as dunghills when the broadside trade was thriving.
What new evidence has emerged to prove the mid-nineteenth century writers didn't know what they were talking about?
None, as far as I can see.
WE don't know who wrote the folksongs so we are left to use our common sense based on what little information we have.
From your own words "Steve Roud once said to me a traditional folk song is a song sung by a folk singer. What a folk singer sings is traditional songs."
Joking or not, that is a circular statement - you need to define one before you can attribute anything to the other.
Maybe he was joking, but there are far too many people arguing this to ignore it.
Irish people produced songs which were sucked into local traditions immediately in their hundreds - why not English working people
An examination of the songs themselves imply far too great a familiarity with the subject matter and the use of vernacular, folklore, etc to be the work of outsiders.
Steve Gardham one suggested that English working people were far too bust earning a living to make songs - where did they get the time to adapt them and, more to the point, why bother when they were capable of making them themselves
As long as folksong scholarship has existed there have always been those ready to claim that folk songs are too good for the fool to have made - which leads us back to the old preobem - nobody ever bothered to consult them to find what they were capable of
Jim Carroll