Mudcat Café message #3898001 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3898001
Posted By: Lighter
07-Jan-18 - 08:17 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
In regard to songs such as the "Coal-Owner," allow me to repeat what I posted last month, which no one has responded to:

Hmmm. I find no Roud number for "The Coal-owner and the Pitman's Wife."

If the song never entered "tradition" before it was unearthed in 1951, was it a folk song? Is it now? Do we know if, in its day, it was ever sung as a song rather than merely recited as a poem? How many singers must there be before a song can be considered "traditional"?

Doesn't tradition imply some degree of popularity?

"Searching for Lambs" and "The Outlandish Knight," however, are well and widely attested as songs, with numerous folk variations.

So, if "tradition" is a criterion, what (other than wishful thinking) places "The Coal-owner" in the same category ("folk song" or "traditional song") as the other two?

Not being contentious. Just thinking aloud....

(To "wishful thinking," I would now add "personal appeal.")