Mudcat Café message #3894084 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3894084
Posted By: Jim Carroll
15-Dec-17 - 07:38 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Nevertheless it appears incontrovertible that a significant number of songs can be traced back to printed sources"
Thanks for that rational summing up Howard
The only point I disagree with is the one above
Unless you can prove without question that no oral versions existed before the printed ones, none can be confirmed to have originated on broadsides or elsewhere.
I have no problems that some probably did, it's the enormity of the claim I find impossible to accept
MacColl's Song Carriers statement started this argument between Steve and I:
"some of them undoubtedly were born on the broadside presses. Some have the marvellous perfection of stones shaped by the sea's movement. Others are as brash as a cup-final crowd. They were made by professional bards and by unknown poets at the plough-stilts and the handloom."
I have always accepted that without question, just as I have been aware of how many folk songs appeared on broadsides since my friend, Bob Thomson, first described his researches back in 1970
Steve Gardam swept MacColl's statement aside somewhat contemptuously as naivety, and here we are.
There really is not much room for discussion with an attitude that is as dismissive of the ideas of other people as that
I've always thought that the best way to understand the folksong enigma is by bringing all the information we have together along with all previous reseach and arriving at an educated guess based on the sum total.
What has happened here is a rejection of major previous research of the best of our scholars and an arbitrary redefinition
We are no longer discussing the mame music
RTim talks about "my view of Folk Music" - I have chosen to take the view argued by the shelf loads of researchers which stretch back to the 1850s to the present day.
We know that an orally composed tradition dates back as far as the 8th century when The venerable Bede described:
"cattlemen passing around a harp and singing 'vain and idle songs'."
Maybe the Rev was a 'starry-eyed romantic too!
Jim Carroll