Mudcat Café message #3935518 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3935518
Posted By: Steve Gardham
05-Jul-18 - 02:32 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Just for clarity as the water seems to be constantly being muddied, and misquoting me seems to have become a regular pastime for some: The corpus I have constantly commented on is that body of traditional song collected and published in England between 1890 and 1940.

FACT: My own researches demonstrate that 89% of the songs in that corpus first appeared in some form of urban commercial enterprise (eg., street literature, musical theatre, glee clubs, coal cellars, sheet music).

MY OPINION: Approximately 95% of that corpus originated in that way.

I also have plenty of evidence that a relatively small percentage of broadside ballads was taken from oral tradition.

I have also given examples of songs from the corpus that very likely originated in rural oral tradition but this is a very small percentage of the corpus.

This has been my stance for at least the last decade and is based on 50 years of detailed research. It has not changed one iota in that period and remains the same now.