Mudcat Café message #3936891 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3936891
Posted By: Brian Peters
12-Jul-18 - 11:13 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
I wrote: "The kind of stuff found in the Pepys and Roxburgh collections of broadsides from the late 17th century is indeed unsingable, at least by today's standards... 19th century broadsides, on the other hand, are much more concise, and often correspond very closely to texts collected in the field."

And Lighter repiled: "Maybe by period standards as well. Relatively few went into tradition (oral or otherwise), and it's likely that the vast majority were rarely (or never) sung at all - at least as printed. The same goes for the 19th century broadsides, no?"

Perhaps I should have expressed myself better. Of course I've seen scores of unsingable and generally merit-free broadsides from the 19th century. What I meant was that the C19 broadside versions of collected songs are often both singable and close to the texts as sung.

This doesn't necessarily bear on the issue of origins. However, I'll go back for a moment to my research on 'The Wild Rover', which I've already discussed far above:

Original, unsingable 13-verse C17 broadside is subject to a major edit, resulting in a much more singable 5-verse C19 broadside.