Mudcat Café message #3893652 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3893652
Posted By: Jim Carroll
13-Dec-17 - 04:07 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
The fact that English worker dialect poets like Ridley, Samuel Lackock, "Joseph Skipsey, John Axon and Samuel Bamford could continue to create the masterpieces they did without caricaturing their class as the broadside products did is proof enough that working people possessed the same ability and desire to represent their lives as the Irish working people did by producing locally made songs in their thousands right up[ to the death of the tradition - certainly not the exception.
The case was the same for England.

"In the Victorian period, galvanized by the Chartist movement from the 1830s to the 1850s, working-class poets increasingly identified their literary work with working-class politics. As scholar Peter Scheckner points out, "Chartist poems were read every week by hundreds of thousands of active Chartist workers and supporters throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; the ideas and commitment behind these works were translated month by month into political action." The Chartist movement is represented in the exhibit by the work of Gerald Massey and Ebenezer Jones, both of whom also worked for the Chartist press."

Not all these songs were good and not all of them passed into an oral tradition, but they were produced out of a desire to have a voice and not for money, as the broadsides were.
Nor were they as universally bad as the broadsides were.
It is totally artificial to exclude what was happening in Ireland
Sharp and his collegues were carrying out what amounts to 'a study in a dying culture' when working people were moving rapidly from being active participants in their culture to being passive recipients.
What was happening in Ireland represented a healthy creative folk culture right up to at least the mid 1940s
I have no argument with Roud in general, but I find the almost single-handed attempt to re-define folk song breathtakingly arrogant and to use that definition to dismiss the beliefs of those whose work we owe our undertang to out of hand, without qualifying that disimissal (unless you accept Steve Gradham's "romantic nonsense" and adequate qualification) even moreso
Jim Carrol
Jim Carroll