Mudcat Café message #3894207 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3894207
Posted By: GUEST
15-Dec-17 - 06:12 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Jim Carrol described Samuel Laycock as an "English worker dialect poet"

His father was a handloom weaver. Samuuel came into the world when "Trade wur slack". He learned to read and write in part at Sunday school (though he did have a short time at day school). At nine years old he began work in a woollen mill at two shillings a week, working six in the morning until eight in the evening with brief breaks for meals. At eleven he got work as a power-loom weaver, and (says a biographer) his first effort at rhyming was written on a "cop ticket" and was addressed to a fellow operative.

Wind the clock on the the Cotton Famine when he began to write his Famine Songs. His biograper says "week by week they were published in the local papers and large numbers were issued as broad-sheet balads. Many of these were learnt by heart and sung by lads and lasses in the streets of the town"

Later he moved away from factory work, with mixed success.

So was he a "worker poet" and if so was he also a "broadside hack". Was he, like Ammon Wrigley before him, an exception and if so what is the evidence for that? Simply that there are not many similar accounts? Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Was he an exception only in that he was succesful enough to be published and if so, is he no longer one of 'the folk'?