Mudcat Café message #3897735 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3897735
Posted By: Jim Carroll
06-Jan-18 - 09:47 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Roud spends some time discussing the difficulty of defining 'folk song'"
There really hasn't been any difficulty defining folk songs until relatively recently when a number of clubs decided that they wished to move away from the traditional repertoire and include music hall, Victorian parlour ballads, pop songs from earlier years (which gradually got less and less early) and eventually anything they wished to call 'folk'
THe damage done to the club scene speaks for itself - those of us who had apprenticed ourselves to a specific type of song simply walked away from the scene and sought our songs elsewhere other than the clubs.
We have a large library of folk material - I could pull down one from a hundred or so collections and say - there - that's what I mean by folk song
The last large set we added to our collection was the 8 volume 'Greig Duncan Folk Song Collection'
Before the term 'folk' became the popular form af describing this specific type of song, ther were referred to as 'popular' - of the people - as in Child's 'English and Scottish Popular Ballads'
The term is an internationally accepted one - we have numerous examples of folk songs from other countries
What on earth is difficult about that?
These difficulties' have been wished into existence by a small number of researchers for god knows what reason.
We don't need a definition to enjoy any type of music - we enjoy it for what it is, but if we are going to understand it, we need to reach a consensus of what we are referring to - no consensus has been sought here, no referenda to decide whether the existing definition is no longer valid, what scholarship has taken place has been rejected by a few people who are now declaring they have an answer that has always been available and largely rejected.
Child worked on the broadsides and described them as he did, carefully discriminating between the jewels and the dung.
Sharp held the same opinion - both lived at the time when the broadside industry was still functioning; if our songs originated on the broadside presses they were in a far better position to have judged that we are.
The way past scolarship has been regarded is little short of disgraceful in my opinion - Child becomes an "elitist" incapable of sorting Art poetry from traditional ballads, Sharp is agenda driven.
The rest are regarded similarly
Here I have become an attention seeking politico liar
The ivory tower nature of accepting this change is clearly stated when I was told that if I disagreed with it I should write my own book - very reminiscent of a revival that resented all kinds of criticism, particularly that of its superstars
This behaviour sickens me
I am appalled at the readiness of people to refuse to discuss the implications of taking the credit from the people who have always been considered the creators of folk song and giving it to doggerel writers
I'll deal with the rest of your posing later
Jim Carroll