Mudcat Café message #3937114 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3937114
Posted By: Brian Peters
13-Jul-18 - 08:30 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Ten years later we thought it was a good laugh to sing "While Shepherds Attached to the tune of 'On Ilkley Moor". One of that generation of adults on the coach told us that it was 'traditional'."

And, like most children, I found it highly amusing to sing the 'washed their socks' version of 'Shepherds' - I don't remember ever seeing that in a book either

"I don't see how, as a social practice, it was that much different from comming back from market singing songs that included things that were hits of the day in the pleasure gardens or on broadsheet."

Technically, it isn't. Football chants, children's playground rhymes, and back-of-the-bus choruses (does anyone still sing on the back seat of the bus?) all include elements you could probably call 'traditional'. The difference is that, where singing was once a vital part of everyday life across large swathes of the wider community, it is now limited to a few special situations.

"If an interest is in songs in oral tradition why not call it that?"

For years many of us preferred the term 'traditional' to 'folk'. Steve Roud himself said at the book launch that, having felt the same way for years, he now felt ready to reclaim 'folk'.