Mudcat Café message #3944780 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944780
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
18-Aug-18 - 11:22 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
I previously commented that Walter Pardon's 'Cupid the Ploughboy' did not do anything for me. I have listened to it again, and it still doesn't. In fact, bits of it are wince-inducing.

I also previously stated that Pardon believed that his grandfather had learned his songs from broadsheets.

I was not of course setting myself up as a Walter Pardon expert: I was merely quoting from the MUSTRAD web site. There is an article by Yates and Stradling.

Jim has stated that no broadsheets were found in Walter's house, perhaps using this fact against the broadsheet origins view. I do not think that what was or was not found in Walter's house is relevant.

The grandfather in question was a maternal grandfather, Thomas Cook Gee, who played clarinet, and is said to have had lots of written song material. According to the MUSTRAD articles, Walter said:

"My grandfather got the songs from broadsheets, apparently; that's how they were brought round, so they always told me. He could read music, you see; that was unusual. "

Further on in the pieces, Watler is quoted as saying this:

"My uncle Billy, he said he remembered when a man-o'-war sunk off Ireland and someone composed a song about it, and two men come along here with one of those broadsheets and sung the song over to my grandfather. I don't know if he bought it, but I was told the words and music was ruled on it, and they charged a penny. That was how they got them into the villages. I asked Uncle Billy how it was that my grandfather managed to learn a hundred, 'cause that was very seldom he went out of the village - perhaps one day in the year to Norwich, or occasionally to North Walsham, and he said that was how they got round: by broadsheets."

It was Walter's mother's brother, Billy Gee (1863 - 1942), who is supposed to have taught Walter most of his songs. Billy is said to have spent a lot of time with Walter during the hard times of the 1930s.

However, as the same website says: "Walter said that he'd learned particular songs from various family members - but accounts differ dependent upon who he was talking to and when."