Mudcat Café message #3887213 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3887213
Posted By: Jim Carroll
07-Nov-17 - 03:58 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
2Thanks for posting that, Tim."
Thanks indeed Tim - interesting indeed
It calls into question Steve's claim that his percentage refers only to the material collected by Sharp et al - it goes back far beyond that to suggest that all our folk songs originated in print
Interestingly, the article does not include the claim made on a previous thread that Child was coming around to revising his view on broadside "dunghills" - a pretty essential piece of information for those wishing to prove that the folk didn't make folk songs, I would have thought!
As Steve says, Child did rely on broadsides as a source, but he had the good grace to attribute those songs as "popular" - of the people

It cannot be repeated enough that our knowledge of folk song does not precede the beginning of the twentieth century, so anything before that has to be based on speculation and common sense based on what little we do know

It seems beyond reason to attribute our folk songs to Urban based bad writers of doggerel who would have had to be skilled in folklore, social history and rural practices to create the love songs, work songs, sea and soldiers songs dealing with hardships brought about by the enclosures, the devastating effects of the Industrial Revolution on ordinary lives, the effects of transportation, impressment..... and the vast panorama covered by folk composition
Bad writers are bad writers, nothing more

I was disturbed recently to discover that "Street Ballads in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and North America: The Interface between Print and Oral Traditions ed. by David Atkinson, Steve Roud" makes the same claims for Irish songs
This flies in the face of everything we have learned about Irish song making over the last forty years

As long as I have been involved in folksong that have been a little bang o brothers setting out to claim that the "folk" were incapable of having made the ballads
Now that disease has spread to our folk songs
Let's hope it dies as quick a death as previous such claims
Jim Carroll