Mudcat Café message #3895150 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3895150
Posted By: Jim Carroll
21-Dec-17 - 11:15 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Somebody must value them, even if they are doggerel dunghills as you claim!"
Meant to respond to this Steve
You may write this on a sheet of paper, wrap it around a brick and throw it through my window, if the fancy takes you but it doesn't alter one iota the fact that they are the doggerel dunghills Child described that Child described
Remind me of how many copies of The Birdie Song or Viva Espana were sold
Broadsides have their own value as 'Curiosities of Street Literature' as does the Tabloid Press - a gauge of the times as seen through the eyes of a hack
I spent years trawling the collections for singing material and found little; the Critics plundered what was available for their themed albums and found some, but criously, the ones they used soon disappeared from their repertoires because, like all pop songs, they were one dimensional and came with a shelf-life.
I have one in my repertoire which I have sung for half a century and which still pleases me because I worked hard on it to remove the sharp corners and the clumsy verse and a good friend put an excellent tune to it - I'm referring to 'The Ranter Parson and the Cunning Farmer's Wife'
There was enough in the original Madden broadside to suggest it might once have been part of the two-way traffic between tradition and broadside - country humour is very different that that of the big city.
I find it significant that the one collectd by Vaughan Williams in East Anglia is the only oral tradition version.
The broadside writers were poor poets the folk poets were not - they wrote (and sang) as they spoke
"it is not for want of many of us trying, "
I'm fully aware of that Vic, and those of you who still carry the banner have my deepest respect
It was the lack of respect for the songs and the failure to apply standards that killed the scene, not the lack of effort and enthusiasm of the work-horses.
I'm delighted that people like Pete and Paul Wilson are taking up the challenge, especially in areas with such a rich history, but we all need to get our act together and singing from the same hymn-sheet if we are going to get anywhere.
Thisrty odd years ago Irish music appeared to have no future and was referred to as 'diddly-di music' - now youngsters with skills challenging those of the greats are flooding onto the scene
The fact that a small number of people got together and built a foundation based on the older styles and music for what was a rapidly disappearing culture, has guaranteed a future of at least two generations for Irish traditional music
Tee youngsters can take the music wherever they wish (and they do) but there is now a home base to return to to remind them what it's all about
Jim Carroll