Mudcat Café message #3893535 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3893535
Posted By: Jim Carroll
12-Dec-17 - 09:52 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Will do so later Richard, but I suggest that, if you have it, work your way through the published Sharp/Karpeles collection - plenty of examples there
Harry Cox once sang Betsy the Serving Maid to Alan Lomax and spat out at the end of it, "and that's what they used to think about us" - he found the song convincing
He went into a long diatribe about the seizure of public land when he sand Van Diemen's Land.
Has anybody ever worked out why broadside hacks should take up the cudgels on behalf of criminal poachers or cases of social misalliance?
Damned if I can work it out - they would have to have been social reformers
He same with complaints about seagoing conditions.
If you read Hugill's 'Sailortown' he presents areas frequented by silors ashore as no-go areas, yet we have all these 'landlubber-made' songs    (supposedly) about sailors seducing well-heeled townswomen and getting the better of boardinghouse-keepers, publicans and tradesmen - marvelous examples of "one for our side!"
Why should townies write songs in praise of people who were generally mistrusted and feared?
The same es for the garrison towns where militaery men were regarded the same by the civvies (except in wartime, when they became expendable heroes)
A simple test Richard, just see how a traditional song 'fits the mouth' and is still easy to relate to centuries after it was composed and compare it to the general output of the broadside hacks
Chalk and cheese for me
Jim Carroll