Mudcat Café message #3944769 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944769
Posted By: Richard Mellish
18-Aug-18 - 09:39 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
I said
"Jim, are you really claiming that all (or nearly all) the Child ballads spent some time in oral tradition? "
Jim replied
"I see no reason not to claim that a fair number of them did Richard, do you have any evidence to the contrary?".
"Please don't put words in my mouth - I never said "nearly all" - some ballads disappeared anyway, but the majority of them survived in one form or another"

You said that Steve's statement "many of the Child ballads show no or little evidence of ever having been in oral tradition" was "utter nonsense". That implies that, in your opinion, only few were never in oral tradition, i.e. that nearly all were in oral tradition.

Some were widely collected. Some were found in tradition very rarely. Some may well have been sung, and passed from one singer to another, but missed getting collected. But a significant number look as if no-one would ever have sung them.

The Child canon is very diverse. Child himself has been quoted in this thread as having a very low opinion of some of the ballads that he felt he had to include.