Mudcat Café message #3894353 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3894353
Posted By: Jim Carroll
17-Dec-17 - 11:48 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
" I ask JC politely and earnestly to apologise for referring to us as 'deskbound academics'"
I apologise without hesitation to those who aren't deskbound academics who thought I was referring to them - I wasn't - just to those who are
Now maybe we could have an apology for the starry-eyed naivete bit

Child elitist as well as ignorant - gets better and better.
Child regarded the material he was assembling as having been originated from the people - hardly elitist
Now if he'd claimed it was produced by a music industry for money....!
""'m quite happy with the ones that share my view".(JC) Perhaps you could let us know who this includes."
I was thinking of Sharp, Chld and Maidment and just about every researcher before you drove your bulldozer through their beliefs

"His main connection with English folksong seems to have been Walter. Here's the proposition"
Oh dear - not this again
We certainly spent more time with Walter than most other singers, some time with the few left in Winterton, but we have met and talked to others down the years
Walter was far more intelligent than most people inside and outside the revival, I ever met - he had no problem in sorting out what was a folk song and what was not, and gave usw tapes full of his way of thinking
But apart from this I spent a total of nearly forty years as an active singer and listener, during which time I helped put together a large archive of traditional singers, largely Englis, both singing and, when availale, talking about their songs - these include quite a lot from Harry Cox and particularly Sam Larner, who the hated and ignorant MacColl bothered to record when others didn't give two ***** what traditional singers had to say.

Our work with singers in Ireland and among travellers, one with a recently departed tradition, the other with one that was still warm and pulsating, was one of opinion gathering.
We gathered enough from them to realise that there is no discernable difference between the two national singing practices - if you wanted to know how a living and healthy tradition worked, that's where you went to find out.

It is beyond me why Roud chose to leave out the thoughtful side of the revival - MacColl, Lloyd, Parker, George Deacon, Vic Gammon, Bob Thomson, Roy Palmer Rory Greig.... and many others were all part of the revival club scene and it shows in their input
The nearly ten years work put in by the Critics Group of analysing and discussing the songs and how they worked, for singers and for communities, is unrivalled - much still available in recorded form for those who learn to get over their necrophobia
They treated the songs like living entities to be relived and understood, not butterflies in a box

I have no intention in entering into another cul-de-sac where you try to prove something you have admitted you are unable to
I have a workable definition of folk song which doesn't include 'Put a Bit of Powder on it Father', I have been given no reason to move away from the basic points of the existing definition to include pop songs of the past, badly written broadsides that came off the presses stillborn, Music hall froth, Parlour Ballads, Pleasure Gardens.
I don't have the respect you seem to have for Charles Rice's songs and glees (which owe more to Handel than they do Folk), sung by middle class gentlemen as described clearly in Laurence SeSenelick's 'Tavern Singing in Early Victorian London' - interesting to those who follow that sort of thing but nothing to do with folk song 'The Songs of the People'.

My point remains - we don't know for certain who made our folk songs 'even though the 'Songs of the People' that has always been accepted, gives us a strong clue.
Tracing them back to printed sources and comparing them to the remains of a moribund tradition tells us nothing - equivalent to taking the pule of a corpse to assess its life achievements
Here's one for you - tell us how appallingly bad poets could have made such timeless gems (without the excuses this time)
Jim Carroll