Mudcat Café message #3944905 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944905
Posted By: Richard Mellish
19-Aug-18 - 07:17 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
This thread remains very active yet makes minimal progress. There is much repetition in different words or even the same words. There is much criticism of others' opinions and, sadly, some personal criticism. None of that gets us any further.

Jim
> None of you are answering my questions yet you keep piling up yours

Please remind us of what specific questions you have asked and not had answered.

As for "piling up" ours; we have repeated one that we really would like you to answer, please nicely.

Fact: we know the authors of a few songs for certain.

Fact: we don't know and probably never will know for certain the authors of most of them.

However, on the basis of internal evidence of style and phraseology some of us believe that the bulk of them (N.B. most, not all) were made by broadside writers (or writers for the stage, the glee clubs and the pleasure gardens). That is not to say that bad poets made good songs. Poets of all sorts made songs of all sorts, most of which deservedly died while some (not always good according to our present-day aesthetics) survived to be collected.

Meanwhile on the basis of internal evidence of first-hand knowledge of the lives of the people that they deal with, Jim believes that a lot of songs were made by those people.

We have asked Jim to expand on that, picking some songs that he believes show such knowledge.

Apropos Child changing or not changing his mind:
Steve
> I'd say including a very large amount of these 'dunghill' pieces was tantamount to changing his mind, wouldn't you?
Jim
> Nope - I certainly wouldn't
He included everything bad and good and didn't let his own prejudices get in the way

He certainly included a much higher proportion of poor quality stuff as time went on. And he never did say much about his criteria for inclusion or exclusion. His statement cited by Steve, (Dover) Volume 5, p182, is as near as we get and does imply that he was deliberately being more inclusive towards the end than he had been earlier.