Mudcat Café message #3941027 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3941027
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
02-Aug-18 - 06:05 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
When I said self-contradictory I was thinking that Child's view of ballads as expressing some classless society contradicted his plainly expressed view that it was obvious that they were not written by lower orders but by the higher orders.

He wrote in the same article

"From what has been said it may be seen or inferred that the popular ballad is not originally the product or property of the lower orders of the people. Nothing is more obvious than that many of the ballads of the now most refined nations had their origin in that class whose acts and fortunes they depict - the upper class - though the growth of civilisation has driven them from the memory of the highly polished and instructed and has left them as an exclusive possession to the uneducated"

By "the most refined nations" Child seems to mean mostly Western Europe. This seems a tad ethnocentric. He comments, for example, that the 'Servians' have not outlived the original ballad society.