Mudcat Café message #3939051 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3939051
Posted By: Steve Gardham
23-Jul-18 - 06:13 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Finished Gerould now. Yes, he is very careful to flag up opinions, and probably due to all of the controversy at that time, goes over the top in repeating that for some conclusions we just don't know, and will probably never know. I can find very little to disagree with and that's pretty good for someone writing nearly a century ago. In his chapter on broadsides he in several places acknowledges the great influence of print, but not having access to all of the great collections we have today, he quite rightly keeps this general and quite vague.

>>>>>>I'm wondering what if anything was lost or at least different when the Victorian/Edwardian collectors interacted with tradition bearers in the sober contexts they did.<<<<<<
Yes, not hearing some of the more meaty songs in their natural environment must have led to them missing an important part of the tradition. Although they would have avoided the more overt bawdry, not only did the collectors record some quite near the knuckle stuff, what is more remarkable is Sharp actually published it. 'English Folk Songs for Schools' edited by Sharp and Baring Gould contains sexual encounters and other stuff we wouldn't give to pupils today, some of it quite obvious.

Whereas there were ballads printed on slavery, often tear-jerker poetry, I can't think of anything that went into the tradition in Britain.