Mudcat Café message #3886663 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3886663
Posted By: Jim Carroll
03-Nov-17 - 08:51 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
I think there must be 2 Walter Pardons from Knapton, Norfolk, Jim.
I am not going to enter into debate about any contradictions there might be with walter only to say that we have him on tape rejecting the idea of broadsides being a part of the family reprtoire
I have the recordings Tim is referring to with Dallas.
This is what Walter told us about the situation his grandfather and family was in -

"?I think he swore at the old man. Anyone who answered back, you see, that was instant dismissal in them days then, this would be, I should think, in the early 1850s or even 1840s. He was given instant dismissal and no-one would employ him. My grandfather and his three sisters, he had to keep them and their mother. He?d got no money so he went to Yarmouth and went to sea, like Sam Larner did, you know, this trawling. My grandfather and his sisters and the mother had to go into Gimmingham Workhouse while he was away at sea, ?cause no-one would employ him. There?s a man told me that when his mother was a little girl, they all come past the house crying to think they had to go in the workhouse; she cried to see them cry. But father said my grandfather told him he liked it in the workhouse, it was warm and he was fed. Well, they?d have starved, workhouse or starve, so they went in there until he could come home with some money?.

"I've been studying broadsides and other forms of commercial music from previous centuries for about 40 years now, Jim"
And you have yet to produce one definite song they you can prove originated on a broadside
Pushing paper around a desk proves nothing Steve - as nobody ever got around to asking traditional singers about their songs, we have no information who made them
You have yet to address the fact that the output of the broadside hacks indicates that they were incapable of doing so
You seem to have abandoned your original argument that "hacks" meant something other than bad poets.
We were talking to and recording traditional singers for thirty years and we can prove categorically that from the middle of the nineteenth century, rural workers were prolific song-makers fully capable of making our folk songs - far more than the purveyors of bad verse that Cjild and his contemporaries wrote off as "dunghill" writers
"and so getting hot under the collar about it quite unnecessarily."
I'm afraid I can't agree Sue (I'm not getting hot under the collard, by the way - I was when my conclusion based on thirty years of work with traditional singers was dismissed as "romantic nonsense", but that passed when I found he was had no real evidence to back up what he said and put forward arguments like "English workers were too busy to make songs" - or that the large repertoire of locally composed songs were "the scribblings of retired people"....
Whether the people who have, up to now been credited with making folksongs, did make them is a pretty fundamental question - as far as I am concerned, such an important claim needs to be either proved or admitted to be no more than a theory without evidence
Steve has vacillated so much that it is difficult to keep up -
First it was "all folksongs" (based on centuries of repertoire covered by 'The Song Carriers - which is what prompted his "romantic nonsense" comment, then it went to only that collected at the beginning of the 20th century
I'm not quite sure where we are now
If Steve is right, we are back to the Phillips Barry dismissive comment that 'The folk' were incapable of composition and could only repeat what they hears
"Popular tradition, however, does not mean popular origin.....the ballad.... has sunk to the level of the folk which has the keeping of folklore. To put it in a single phrase, memory not invention is the function of the folk".
Taking the credit of making its songs from an entire class of people and putting it into that hands of notoriously bad writers is, as far as I am concerned, a serious business and needs to be proven beyond doubt
If working people were capable of making songs, logic tells me they probably made the folk songs - they were far to good and knowledgeable of their subject matter to be the work of shoddy Urban writers (they were the ones Roud described)
Jim Carroll