Mudcat Café message #3944762 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944762
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
18-Aug-18 - 09:21 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
As I understand it Steve Gardam has made two reasonable claims:

1 In respect of the Child Ballads, there is little or no evidence that a substantial proportion of these were in or became part of an oral tradition. As I understand it, the point is also made that the songs collected by Child were taken from written sources, including manuscript (ie hand-written) versions.

2 A large proportion of songs claimed as 'folk' by Victorian and Edwardian collectors can be traced back to broadsheet versions, where, on the basis of stylistic and other features, they appear to have originated.

I don't find these arguments confusing or contradictory. And nor do I find them refuted by what Jim Carroll has said, or by his anecdotes about the distinctions made by some of his informants.

Mr Gardam sometimes writes as 'Dungbeetle' and on the basis of some of his pieces on the MUSTRAD site (eg Dungheap No 26) I am happy that he is a serious scholar of such matters. I feel it is a shame that inappropriate adjectives such as 'stupid' have been used to describe Mr Gardam.