Mudcat Café message #641130 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11295   Message #641130
Posted By: Nerd
03-Feb-02 - 12:54 AM
Thread Name: Child Ballads: Anyone recorded the lot?
Subject: RE: Child Ballads: Anyone recorded the lot?
Malcolm: thanks. The last time I discussed "Judas" with a folksong scholar was before Steve Roud had done the database! I had heard of the Mitsui article, and I was going to the U of Pennsylvania library tomorrow anyway, so I'll see if I can take a look at it.

Guest: well, the general idea would be to compose a tune, or set the ballad to an appropriate folk tune. Obviously, a record such as the one we've been imagining would be a folk revival product, so scholarly standards of absolute authenticity would not apply. Martin Carthy has already "revived" many tuneless ballads by composing new tunes or setting them to old ones, as have many other folksingers...Ray Fisher, Nic Jones, Jamie McMenamy, Frankie Armstrong and Andy Irvine spring to mind for me, but many other people do this and do it well.

The kind of record I imagine would thus use authentic tunes where possible, and new or refitted tunes where traditional tunes were not available. It would feature top performers as both singers and accompanists and draw from the folksong communities of the whole English-speaking world. In many cases, if an orally-collected version were not available, the ballads would have to be edited from Child's versions, and sensitive arrangers like the folks I mentioned above would be ideal for taking a crack at rewriting some. If I had a million bucks, I might sink it into this project! Anyone with a million bucks to spend on this, PM me :-)