Mudcat Café message #3944597 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944597
Posted By: Jim Carroll
17-Aug-18 - 09:14 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
"a full picture as opposed to a limited selective one that Jim Carroll objects to it."
I don't particularly want to ener into a debate with you, given your somewhat unacceptable attitude to traditional singers (despite this somewhat contradictory accusation "tend to belittle the tastes of our ancestors ") but if you are going to quote me, please do so correctly
It is not "my limited selective" definition
Up to the publication of Roud's book, it was more or less everbody's view
THere was no question of lumping together all popular songs that were sung by the people as folk songs - that is Steve Roud's "limited view, which has apparently struck a chord with those who want to believe that the folk didn't discriminate between their genres of song
The folk song revival in Britain ran for decades on a "limited view" of what was meant by the term "folk song", magazines were filled with it, record companies like Topic and Folkways issued recordings of it and we had over a centuries worth of researched literature to back up that choice

We have always had a definition, as flawed as it may have been - that definition was arrived at by an international group working in a specific field of song and music which they termed folk music
THat definition has acted as a rule of thumb right up to this year when a single researcher decided to abandon it and make up his own, apparently without consultation - that definition has been accepted by those here, apparently without being prepared to discuss it's implications
Roud hasn't adapted a definition - he has turned it on its head and lumped all popular songs together in to one incomprehensible, unworkable mass
He has made his own selection of what is a folk song - certainly ont all the songs the folk sang are in his index - how could they be?
On the other hand, why aren't they?
This is the great contradiction of Roud's definition - who decides what is a folk song and who doesn't
I don't see 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with a Roud Number - why - it has been sung widely since Liverpool fans adapted it as their anthem?
Can we look forward to 'The Birdie Song' or 'Viva Espana' being given one - again, if not, why not.
I read Bert Lloyd's book shortly after it was published and it inspired to lift the corner and look underneath - that inspiration has lasted me most of my life
Roud's book, as impressive as it is as a history of popular song, fills me with sense of deep despair and makes me glad I am no longer part of the English scene
Llod's book finished with the statement nobody appears to be prepared to face head-on

"If 'Little Boxes' and 'The Red Flag' are folk songs. we need a new term to describe 'The Outlandish Knight'. Searching for Lambs' and 'The Coal-owner and the Pitman's Wife'.
Jim Carroll