Mudcat Café message #3940790 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3940790
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
01-Aug-18 - 06:48 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England

Thanks for your thoughts.

The bit where Child says he is following Grundtwig's advice not to leave out anything if there is a remote possibility it might contain relics of something better? But he says he has ignored this in more cases than he has followed it. Where he suppresses his 'disgust'?

He gives several reasons for rejecting it as 'genuine' but you have to guess what the underlying criteria are. He dislikes the hat lifting, perhaps because he regards this as a sign of relative modernity. He doesn't like the 'mint in the meadows', but I'm not sure why. It seems an unusual detail. Maybe he dislikes the omission of the definite article?

The song reads 'oddly' to me: the bit about the boy being still at school doesn't ring true. Especially if, as Child said, he regarded the ballads as being from pre-literate times!

But it doesn't really help with what I was thinking about, which was not so much whether a song was originally old or not, but how people concluded that different songs were in some sense 'the same'.

Child I know at one point in an encyclopaedia article said that songs were written by higher classes in a complex pre-literate but not 'primitive' society and got ruined when the lower classes got their hands on them. He seems to think this might be an example. He doesn't seem to have subscribed to a 'folk process' idea. Or have I got this wrong?

I don't find his introduction much help, except that he was trying to collect and focus on manuscripts, but I note the reference to the 'mother island'; this suggests to me a relatively narrow view of who Americans are. It would appear to exclude the Irish for example. (Not sure where the Welsh fit into this!) Was Child what they sometimes call a 'nativist', I wonder? Not trying to undermine his achievements, however.

This is probably a topic where it would take even more years than usual to get to grips.

I think Roud comments that there is already an 'industry' of Child scholarship!

Also, if the academics did start to debate it, then, without meaning any disrespect to academics, I can see that this might become an 'industry' in itself with different ideas and ideologies tangled up in things. So just getting to a shared methodology might not be practicable.

I can imagine that 'hybrids' would cause problems! Floating verses and so on.