Mudcat Café message #3939689 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3939689
Posted By: Brian Peters
26-Jul-18 - 03:30 PM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"Ah, that means that we can add the name of Peters to those of Lloyd, Carthy and Bellamy as those guilty of Traditional Song Reconstructivism"

Indeed you can, Vic, and of course I make no apology for it. Many of us in the field of traditional song performance have felt the need (like yourself, too) to do a bit of collation, plug a few gaps, write the odd line, find a new tune, etc., from time to time. With some of Child's ballads it would be impossible to sing a coherent version otherwise. I would never condemn Bert Lloyd for doing that, in fact in my first post on the 'Bertsongs' thread I mentioned a concoction of his that I was more than happy to perform even after being disabused of the idea that it was an old English song. He was extraordinarily good at tweaking his songs.

Regarding the use of concocted material to illustrate historical points, Steve Winick – a researcher in the Library of Congress who unpicked Lloyd’s emendations to The Recruited Collier and Reynardine - expressed the opinion that, by the time he wrote FSE, Lloyd had become more careful about his examples and omitted both of those songs from his analysis. Some of the more suspect stuff, according to Winick (I seem to remember that Malcolm Taylor at the VWML once told me something similar) had been published previously in ‘The Singing Englishman’ and ‘Come All Ye Bold Miners’, neither of which I have here to check. In FSE Lloyd did, however, print The Blackleg Miner – about which doubts have been expressed - and was also rather selective in the stanzas he published from The Weaver and the Factory Maid, another of his songs with a mysterious source.

What Pseudonymous has written about the flights of fancy in Lloyd’s FSE is quite true, but I must admit that – as always – when I came to thumb through it again just now I found it as entrancing as ever.