Mudcat Café message #3948047 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3948047
Posted By: GUEST,jag
04-Sep-18 - 11:36 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
Thanks for your comments Brian and Steve regarding the communal singing.

I was meaning 'no-one' saying much about communal singing (to that point) in this thread about a book covering 'what the folk sang'.

I am unclear about the extent to which the informal communal singing I have experienced while the second revival has been going on is a creation of the revivals (BBC singing for schools, Clancy Brothers records etc) and how much just a continuation of what had gone on before. If it had been going on before did it qualify as part of 'English Folk Song'?

The same might apply to harmony singing as it came to be heard in performance. As 'The Sandman' has pointed out some people sang in church choirs. When church attendance was almost universal in rural areas how often was the local 'song carrier' also a chorister and how many of the congregation could accomodate a hymn in the wrong key for them by singing an octave, or a fifth, or somehting that harmonised, for awkward notes.

I bought Roud's book because I was interested in the social history of song and I wasn't dissapointed.

I understand that collectors might be seeking out the remnants of a dying 'folk art' but the line between art and craft (including the craft of the broadside and stage-show writers) can be a fine one and very much in the eye of the observer.