Mudcat Café message #3944303 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944303
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
16-Aug-18 - 06:28 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
I have several times tried to post links to some of the work on Walter Pardon that is available on line, but each time the post disappears.

So I'll just suggest that people look at the MUSTRAD pages on Walter Pardon, which are very interesting. They include transcripts of interviews and lists of recordings.

They explain that according to Walter Pardon himself most of the songs he sang came from his grandfather's broadsheets. Pardon learned his songs from an uncle who learned them from Pardon's uncle. Pardon could not later find these broadsheets, only a manuscript version of one song.

The MUSTRAD pages also allow us to trace three union songs sung by Pardon to a printed collected of such songs which his uncle owned.

If we discount fragments, it appears that Walter sang 182 songs.

If we accept whatever definition of 'folk' Pardon was working with when he and Jim drew up a list of Pardon songs that were not folk, and subtract the three from the book of union songs, that would leave about 139 that might be 'folk songs'. But of course this method is flawed. So many dodgy variables.

On Roud's definition, however, even the ones from broadsides would count as folk as they appear to have reached Pardon by a process of oral transmission over two generations, grandfather to uncle, uncle to Pardon.

Pardon was taken up by the folk revivalists, and even filmed, and I agree with the comments that he must have found the process strange.

Personally I find that when people start swearing in what appears to be a bad-tempered manner, or to post in red letters, I switch off ('Pardon' the electrical metaphor) and lose interest in what they have to say. Not my sort of red letter day. It just makes me tend to sympathise with whoever woulnd them up.