Mudcat Café message #3942894 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3942894
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
10-Aug-18 - 09:14 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England

You may be right. Thanks.

I wasn't sure if Jim was trying to state that the 'weaver poets' were not very used to writing things down, and that deviations from standard English in their work reflected this rather than dialect. This was what he put:

"an attempt to phonetically reproduce the words by people unfamiliar with putting pen to paper ... "

This suggests that the writers had some grasp of how to represent things 'phonetically', which seems to refer to pronunciation, which is one aspect of dialect, yet Jim is saying he did not feel that the poems were like dialect. The examples of writers he gives confused me more. But maybe Jim himself can clarify this.

I agree with you about the introduction to the piece on the Exeter web site, and also with their comment about the variety of dialects in the poem that follows.

I think I can get a feel for Laycock, though you have to read it through a couple of times, and some of his dialect words are somewhat familiar to me eg 'yead' for 'head', but I feel he uses a lot more of the letter h than was probably pronounced. His biography says he learned a 'free-flowing' hand at school, and he was involved in literary circles all his life. I am thinking he would have been bi-dialectical. And not a drinker it would appear.



I agree that poets never exist in a vacuum and will be influenced by one or more of the styles around at the time. That, I think, is partly what enables people like Roud to date 'traditional' songs to specific periods. Thanks for the additional examples of the same sort of 19th century thing. Very little dialect in these examples, though.

It would appear that Laycock's poems sometimes appeared as broadsheets. He needed the money. I just found one online, price 1d, printed in Blackpool, where, like many Lancashire folk before him, he retired. So maybe he isn't the best choice of contrast between 'good' stuff and the product of 'hacks'.

There is a lot of stuff about Laycock here:

He seems to have been an interesting chap.