Mudcat Café message #3937849 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3937849
Posted By: Jim Carroll
17-Jul-18 - 03:14 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Really? I was using your own words verbatim!"
I'm talking about the subject as a whole Steve, and I am not just referring to you

I was just skipping to a few books I haven't opened for years - I was staggered at the amount of excellent work I have either absorbed into my own ideas or had altogether forgotten
One of the most interesting (and earliest) is Francis Gummere's 'The Popular Ballad' (1907)
It's not an easy book (the author recommends that "Gentle readers should begin their reading with the second chapter") and it is certainly dated in places, but it throbs with excellent information and opinions.
The book is based on the idea that folk balladry was a creation of 'the common people' - totally distinct from literary creations
I had forgotten that this idea originated in the 1500s in the writings of the philosopher Montaigne -1533-1592
I said earlier that the first reports of traditional singing were by 'The Venerable Bede - c673 to 735; (must get the spelling right this time), when he described cattlemen passing a harp around and improvising lewd songs
Wedderburn's 'Complaynt of Scotland describes the song of 'the frog and the mouse' being sung by unlettered shepherds in 1549
If traditional singing and song-making has been around for so long, where did it go - what happened to all that talent and creativity?
Before we throw out the idea that the folk created their own songs, that question needs to be answered

ďA man must eat before he can think" Marx
There's me thinking Charlie used to take sandwiches into the British Library Dick?
Must remember your advice (belch!!)

I apologise (again) for my occasional outbursts of irritation.
I think that all here regard this subject as important and not particularly easy to deal with
These ideas are new to most of us and we're not particularly skilled debaters or writers (speaking only for me, of course)
I feel an anodyne discussion would be selling the subject short - doesn't mean we shouldn't be polite to each other and tolerant of views we don't agree with
I always avoided pubs with signs saying "no politics, no football, no religion", no matter how good the beer - Liverpool was full of them, not without good reason
I've got a tremendous amount out of this discussion so far - I hope others have
Your indulgence on the occasional lapse would be very much appreciated (by me, at least)