Mudcat Café message #3895175 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3895175
Posted By: Jim Carroll
21-Dec-17 - 01:04 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
“We have AGREED with you”
No you have not – you have gone around in circles, first thy were misjudges artists who were peorducing good songs (a constant theme with your claims that they must be good because so many people bought them) to a collaborative school of good ones, to hacks with enough time on their hands to research their songs in the newspapers, to seagoing and land-labouring hacks who had lived the conditions described in their songs, and now to “tainting the whole genre” presumably by my targeting a few bad ones
There is no consistency to your claims.
They were notoriously bad writers working under pressure to churn out their songs – and doesn’t their output show the conditions and the lack of skill
In comparison to the oral tradition, even in its dying years, it was conveyor belt work compared to the creations of craftspeople – or people just making songs on what was going on around them on a daily basis.
In order for deskbound townies to have produced our folksongs they would have had the imagination, writing skills and time displayed by Hardy, or Dickens or Melville, with the knowledge of a Wimberly, the psychological insight of a Freud and the knowledge of social history of Eystyn Evans or George Ewart Evans
The continuity of utterance of our folk songs, the uses of commonplaces and incremental repetition, et all, suggests a socially common source which would need a team of students working in unison to achieve – you have suggested that.
We’ve already discussed the familiarity and insider knowledge contained in our folk songs and got nowhere.
The “I know a folk song when I here one” definition is as reliable as any at one level to realise that hacks could not possible have made them
You need to approach and answer all these anomalies before yo can begin to make such claims as you have made.   
We have had an indication of a creative oral tradition totally independent of literary influences dating back one thousand two hundred years in these islands – what happened to it?
Why did Mrs Laidlaw do her conkers when Scott started writing her songs down if they came from print in the first place – was she as starry eyed naïve you claim Child and Maidment (and me) were to believe her songs came from her own people?
Child went to the Broadsides to dredge up every example of ballads he could – he chose them because of what they were – ballads, not because he believed they were good
He is to be admired for that – hope he wore protective clothing
Do I believe ‘Seventeen Come Sunday’ or ‘Banks of the Sweet Primroses’ came from the same school as the ‘Cat’s Meat Man’, or ‘Tarpauling Jacket’ or ‘Self Destruction of a Female by Throwing Herself of the Monument’?
I most certainly do not – why do you?
Jim Carroll