Mudcat Café message #3944318 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944318
Posted By: Jim Carroll
16-Aug-18 - 07:44 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
REgarding Walter
Walter did have an eclectic record collection, most of the songs he new from them he remembered rather than learned - I aften astound Pat be singing my way though all the Buddy Holly, Connie Francis and Hank Williams songs that used to line my record racks
Mike Yates made the largest number of Waler's records and did his usual excellent job of doing so - they represented Walter's musical experiences perfectly
My 'By any other Name' article a was a response to an article by him on the Musical Traditions site - his title, 'The Other Music' sums up perfectly how Walter regarded his non-folk songs
I couldn't find it earlier but it should still be on the MT site - well worth reading.

We were given the sad job of clearing Walters house out after he died
He and his family were hoarders who seldom threw anything out - from dozens of blunt scythe blades, to the same number of old cut-throat razors going back two generations.
Nowhere did we come across old songbooks or broadsides
What we did inherit was two of his notebooks in which he systematically listed and wrote out the words of his family's "old folk" songs - fascinating and revealing
WE still have his old gramophone and some of his records on display in our home

Can I make something quite clear
Walter never worked to any "definition" - he instinctively knew what was what in the songs he knew and was outspoken in saying so - though he never argued with people about his opinions
He did occasionally tell us of visitors who came for his musicall/Victorian songs
We hae him on tape somewhere saying "I don't know what they want them old things for".
Walter and Pat and I never at any time "worked on a list" - we would never have done so had we been given the opportunity
If you asked him a question, the answer came poring out without hesitation.

For me, one of the most insightful things anybody has ever said about a song is, after he had sung 'Van Dieman's Land', he burst out, "That's a long old song, but it was a long old journey"
Walterw was a singer who wore his songs as he wore his favourite old clothes - they fitted him perfectly and were a part of his life.