Mudcat Café message #3898604 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3898604
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Jan-18 - 01:41 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Those broadsides which really were unsingable probably didn't survive very long, and possibly were never intended to be more than briefly topical. "
The ones I am referring to are the ones considered representative enough to be published - we have the thre volumes of Ashton 17th, 18th and 19th, Ashton's 'Real Sailor Songs' Hindley's 'Curiosities of Street Literature',   2 volumes of Holloway and Black..... and I would guess (without counting) another thirty collections - from early Elizabethan to 19th century
I have scoured the Pepys set and spent a long time looking through Chethams and Central Library in Mancester
Musa Pedestris and Pills to Purge Melancholy would , I think count as broadsides
Hardly a singable song in the lot of them - or certainly not for anything to use in a feature evening and then forgotten
Sorry Howard, I really have tried with these.
I would be interested to hear on a collection that did contain a few singable songs
Don't forget, many of these sheets were bought and used for decoration, as described in Issac Walton's 'The Compleat Angler'
I can hardly imagine many of them ever having been sung for any length of time.
Even most of those that went into the tradition were in very much need of adaptation.
"But Jim, do you now acknowledge that we all do accept that some songs were written by the people whose affairs they deal with, and that we disagree only in our estimates of the proportions?"
Not really Howard, otherwise people might have ventured the suggestion that the rural population might just have made a little more than the single figure numbers of our folk songs Steve is suggesting they did
Where do you stand on this?
If working people were capable of of having made our folk songs, the subject matter, the social stance of the songs, the folklore and folk speech..... and a whole host of other things suggests strongly that they made the majority of them
One of the things we noticed while interviewing singers was how they sectioned off their songs from other genres, identified with them and claimed them a their own
It would take poetical geniuses (geneii?) to have produced some work
Comared with the depth of our folk songs the work of the hacks was as different as mass produced goods next to that of skilled craftsmen
The timelessness and distribution of many of the songs is proof of that, if any were needed
Feel free to tell me if I am overstating
Jim Carroll