Mudcat Café message #3944918 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3944918
Posted By: Jim Carroll
19-Aug-18 - 08:31 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
We have been discussing this book before you arrived and we have continued to discuss its implications since
What you appear to want is for us to pay homage to what I believe to be an excellent but basically flawed book

I shouldn't have reactad to Richard's request as shaply as I did - for which, I apologise
I heve become tired of the lack of response to this question, despite the fact that people apparently regard my opinions important enough to try to trip me up on other issues
I have also become tired of being accused of lying, distorting and insulting by people who have been less that onest and polite themselves
I believe that this whole debate boils to two basic issues
1. Who made our folk songs, what part did the 'folk' play in their making and what are the historical implications of the songs we have up to now described as "folk songs"
2. Is it acceptable to ignore over a century convention of accepting outr folk songs as unique by lumping in the products of commercial song making

The implications of this latter is, if the answer is yes, then we still have a living tradition and everything that is sung at a Karaoke session should have a Roud number.

Richard (sorry again) - this is my point again

>Let's face it - none of us know who made the folk songs - the evidence simply doesn't exist
At no time has Seve ever been able to produce one of our standard folk songs that he can prove to have originated in print - he has admitted that
So we are faced with two alternatives
On the one hand we have a bunch of bad urban poets working under extreme pressure to satisfy an urban market - despite claims, there is little evidence of how they composed, where they got their information and why they chose the subjects they did and dealt with them in the sympathetic, knowledgeable way they did

On the other you have a section of the population, largely non-literate (recreational reading didn't kick in till the latter half of the 19th century in the towns and in the countryside, very few working people could read fluently until the 1880s (less than one third
They lived in poorly lit, cramped homes and worked extremely long hours, sso the opportunity of learning from the printed word was minimal
Ireland has proved beyond doubt that people not only could make songs by the hundreds but it became a necessity to do so in order to describe what was happening to them
Also, the oral tradition has shown that the singers were capable of taking a song and remaking it into version after version to suit their on backgrounds and circumstances
If people were able to do this, it is far more likely that they made folk songs than the hacks did."