Mudcat Café message #4004922 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166503   Message #4004922
Posted By: Jim Carroll
18-Aug-19 - 04:56 AM
Thread Name: Correct location for historical song?
Subject: RE: Correct location for historical song?
I often wonder if too much attention to detail acts against the song
Oir traditional songs tended to deal with details in passing rather than make an issue of them where they occurred - I believe this is because the song were made locally for the local consumption and it was unnecessary to repeat something everybody already knew
As outsiders, it is necessary to have some knowledge of what you are writing about but overemphasis of detail brands you as a 'blow-in' - an outsider
In my opinion, MacColl best songs were those he made using the actual words of his subjects - Shoals of Herring, Tenant Farmer, Shellback, Rambler FRom Clare....
Their reality came directly from 'the horse's mouth'
Sometimes it's necessary to explain things in your introduction (or notes)
A perennial favourite of mine is Pete' Smith's 'Clayton Aniline' - a song I still sing and thoroughly enjoy after over fifty year of singing
A couple of the terms would be gibberish if unexplained, but apart from these, the song is so well constructed that the listener can fill in the gaps in knowledge for themselves   
The devil is not always in the detail
Jim Carroll