Mudcat Café message #3893945 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3893945
Posted By: Jim Carroll
14-Dec-17 - 08:48 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
THese poets represented a small number that managed to capture public attention - the same prevailed in Ireland when poets like Tómas Hayes published poems (referred to as "songs") which had largely been styled on local singing styles), two of which passed into the local styles (see 'Farewell to Miltown Malbay' and 'Nora Daly' on the Clare County Library, Carroll/Mackenzie website)
Along with Hayes's compositions there were hundreds of anonymous songs which passed into the local tradition and survived into the mid 20th century (see above website; The Bobbed Hair, The Leon, Mac and Shanahan (2 songs) The West Clare Railway, Dudley Lee the Blackleg, Thew Rineen Ambush..... and many others
This appears to describe what was happening all over Ireland
All these are still regarded as 'traditional' locally and archived as such by the local cultural group.
They would have been ignored by Sharp and his colleagues or maybe not even sung as the word "old" did not apply to what was being asked for.
We know that hundreds of songs were being made during the Reform and Chartist campaign; the political newspapers ran a 'Sam Henry' like column gathering them in
It is inconceivable that this wasn't also the case during the Luddite, Swing, Rebeccaite, Merthyr disturbances, but to sing them publicly would be to run the risk of imprisonment or transportation.
John Holloway's Oxford Book of Local verse indicates that song-making was common throughout England.
There is no reason to believe that our poaching songs and others involving transportation were not local responses to the most extreme examples of public land seizures that were taking place in the 19th century.
The Clearances in Scotland produced their own repertoire of songs, composers like Maire Ruadh were known, but many songs remained anonymous
The point of all is that, far from having to rely on private enterprise for songs, humanity seems to have been natural songmakers with a need to record their experiences and feelings in verse.
My favourite summing up was given to a 95 year old small-farmer a few years ago, when he told us, "in those days, if a man farted in church, somebody made a song about it" (worth repeating as often as it is needed as far as I'm concerned.
Jim Carroll