Mudcat Café message #3945987 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3945987
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
24-Aug-18 - 07:46 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Thanks for the responses and suggestions for further listening. Thanks too for not being angry at my responses to Walter Pardon's interpretations, or accusing me of 'attacking him'.


There is a sense of humour in some of his delivery, I know, which is a good point (to me at any rate).

Something about the delivery reminds me of other early 20th century singing I have heard, perhaps some of the stuff my parents' generation might have heard in theatres and on the radio. The emphasis is so much on words, not music. If I remember aright, it has even been asserted that the music is not relevant, that only the words matter, and here again Roud is useful, though maybe there is room for a focus on singing styles, types of ornament (and Pardon does use some) and I don't recall much of this from Roud. I might come back with examples from specific Pardon songs? Or would that be too tedious?

What I am realising is that any 'topic' seems to come with different ideas and approaches and/or with something that almost looks like its own folklore. Two recent examples would be a) Annie of Finty's mill, with people making claims about statues of the character on the roof of Fyvie castle and stones in the church wall which turn out to be untrue in one case and 'Pictish' in another and b) the question of whether Pardon's songs came from broadsheets, with Pardon apparently on record as saying he believed they did to one collector, yet another collector hotly denying that Pardon said this.

I'm guessing shanties would have been rhythmical, the ones (or imitations) we were taught as kids were) but my understanding is that African American sources are now being claimed for many of these with arguments about them as well ..... :) As one prone to sea-sickness I tend to feel a bit quesy at the thought of shanties.

I'm not much of a singer, more of a musician, and I was quite shocked to read on a Mudcat thread that the music wasn't important. Roud points out that some tunes got associated with particular topics, this is obvious when you consider the death march, but I did not know about Lilibullero (can't spell it, sang it often at school, didn't understand a word of it).