Mudcat Café message #3938205 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3938205
Posted By: Jim Carroll
19-Jul-18 - 04:11 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
" pleased he was to be told that Shoals of Herring had been collected from a Irish traveller and by which time it had become Shores of Erin"
He was pretty proud of that fact - the 'Shores of Erin' came from a reference in a book 'Folklore of the Sea' by American researcher Horace Beck
Unfortunately, by the time the songs began to circulate the tradition was more or less gone so the remained just repeated (often misremembered' and never seriously remade
We recorded 'Freeborn Man' in fragmentary form from numerous Travellers, but their tradition bombed (in Britain, somewhere between the middle of 1973 to Easter 1975) when they all got portable teles
Thannks to set-ups like Pavee Point and Limerick Uni's World Music Department the Irish Traveller traditions seem to be making a comeback - (hopefully)

My memories of Charlie were fond ones, even though we only met him briefly
He took us in, found us somewhere to stop for the few days we were in Budapest, introduced us to Vargas (who unaccountably acquired the nickname 'Herman the German') and guided us through beautiful Budapest
He and Vargas took us to meet one of Bela Bartok's very old traditional singers - we sat in her home and swapped songs for an afternoon
I remember Sandra asking her (through a translator) if she knew "the one about the woman who murdered her two babies" - she sang us a haunting Hungarian 'Cruel Mother'
My last memory of Charlie was of one deceptively cloudy afternoon when the gang of us (including 'Herman') lay beside the roof swimming pool of our rather posh hotel discussing folk song
I misjudged the weather and ended up with severe sunstroke, so the rest of them had to carry me down the stairs to my room
Good memories
Ewan and Peg recorded army songs from Charlie - they must be housed in Ruskin with the rest of their archive

"It applies to that material, as stated several times above, which was collected and published in the period c1890-WWII"
You should have made that clear from day one instead of adapting it only when you were challenged
Had you said so at the beginning we might never have got to this stage
Your contemptuous remark came following the Song Carriers, which covered the entire traditional repertoire and included material that never went into print - waulking songs that were improvised on the spot, lilting and diddling, laments made by Irish immigrants
Your sweeping dismissal of MacColl's summing up was extremely misleading and irresponsible
If you had said your 'number crunching' was based on a moribund tradition you would have met with no opposition from me
Of course a dying tradition is going to be dominated by songs from outside - that is part of what killed it off
Now this argument has developed to the stage where not only has the suggestion that 'the folk' made their own songs been cast into doubt (even welcomed), but the whole history of folk song scholarship had become a target for dismissal and mistrust
Not something folk song needs in Britain right now