Mudcat Café message #3937938 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3937938
Posted By: Jim Carroll
17-Jul-18 - 11:42 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."
We have indeed Steve - ane we oft know where
You came up with 'schools of broadside hacks, hacks who had worked the land or gone to sea, hacks who had searched newspapers for background information.... a whole list of excuses rather than admit that they might just have got their songs from visiting countrymen, which was not only possible but highly likely.
You also claimed the term "hack" did not mean "bad poet"
All this sounds to me like hastily grabbed excuses rather than researched information
of course a large number of our folk songs contain insider information, trade tems referenced to tools and equipment, farm practices - right through to customs, superstitions and even social practices
On these latter, the songs take a stance on things like arranged marriages in order to climb the social ladder
The further back you go, the more specialised the knowledge gets, especially on the subject of folklore.   
I've pointed this out before, but here goes again - if you read books like Hugill's 'Sailortown' you are presented with a hated, feared and mistrusted group of workers who lived in virtual ghettos while they are ashore, yet the songs treat them as sympathetic and their exploits in doing down the Townies as victories - they only become sympathetic figures in wartime.
The same with the Navvies - described in Terry Coleman's work on the subject threatening invading armies - a million miles from your 'Bold English Navvy

Look - I have shown over and over again that he Irish rural workers have produced many hundreds of songs describing their lives and aspirations, around here especially, but, as it transpires, throughout Ireland
What is so different about the rural English or Scots workers that they had to go out and but descriptions rather than make songs up about them themselves?
Steve claimed it was because the Brits were too busy earning a living
I suggest you look at the conditions that gave rise to the richest body of Irish song - Famine, forced Emigration, mass evictions, land wars, a war of independence, Civil war, then permanent immigration right up to the present day... all the subject of many, many songs
And the Brits had to pay somebody to do it for them - I don't think so somehow.
We don't know who made the songs - we probably never shall
All we can go on is logic and what little information we have.
From day one I have accepted that singers supplemented their home-made repertoires with marketed songs - we all have done so up to now
What new information has been provided to make us change our minds and why did the old researchers get it so wrong - especially those who were around while the broadside presses were still rolling?

Steve G once accused me in a fir of pique of having an 'agenda'
I can see no greater evidence of an agenda than a significant number of singers and enthusiasts grabbing the suggestion that the folk mde hardly any of their songs so readily and being soi keen to prove that fact
Sorry - unless that is justified we will continue to go around in circles
As far as my experience is concerned, working people were natural songmakes with both the desire and ability to make their own songs - if they were capable of doing so the overwhelming evidence suggests that they did - why wouldn't they?

"Jim i keep asking a definition please"
And I keep telling you that I already have one, thank you very much
If you want a new one, go to it and make your own - you have my blessing
Jim Carroll