Mudcat Café message #3937930 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3937930
Posted By: Steve Gardham
17-Jul-18 - 10:39 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
We have been over and over this numerous times before, Jim.

Okay, but this might be the last time as some of us are becoming very exasperated at being asked to repeat things over and over again.

>>>>>'You might start with explaining how so many bad songmakers made so many good songs'.<<<<<<

As others have already pointed out here we are talking about hundreds of thousands of songs of widely varying quality. Not all of the songs produced were of bad quality, just the same as the commercial productions of today. The very small percentage that were appealing in some way to ordinary people went into oral tradition and survived, in towns and in rural areas. 'Bonny Bunch of Roses O' is an excellent song is it not?


>>>>>'why?'<<<<< To feed their families and keep the wolf from the door. It is very likely they came from a variety of backgrounds, some ex-seamen, some from rural areas, some born in the areas they lived in. Their literacy would have also varied greatly, some well read, some barely literate but with a knack of turning a verse.


>>>>>'outsiders'<<<<<< I write songs about our local heritage, whaling songs, fishing industry, local waterways. I have never worked in any of these industries. I was a teacher for 40 years, but I can turn a verse and put a good tune to them. Some of these people read newspapers, some read books, some sat in the pub and picked up their info there. Very few folksongs need any 'insider' knowledge to write them, particularly rural songs. The majority of rural songs are idealistic romantic pieces that have come from theatrical productions like the penny operas.

>>>>>>'desk in Seven Dials'<<<<<< Well, that may be the picture you conjure up, but mine is more likely a pub in 7 Dials.