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What did you do in the war, Ewan?

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GUEST,Winger 14 Dec 09 - 12:23 PM
matt milton 14 Dec 09 - 12:30 PM
matt milton 14 Dec 09 - 12:38 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 09 - 12:45 PM
matt milton 14 Dec 09 - 12:57 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Dec 09 - 01:48 PM
Brian Peters 14 Dec 09 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,Winger 14 Dec 09 - 02:30 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Dec 09 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Lighter 14 Dec 09 - 03:00 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Dec 09 - 03:01 PM
GUEST 14 Dec 09 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,matt milton 14 Dec 09 - 03:25 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 09 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,matt milton 14 Dec 09 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Winger 14 Dec 09 - 03:49 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Dec 09 - 03:55 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Dec 09 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Winger 14 Dec 09 - 08:50 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Dec 09 - 03:55 AM
Bryn Pugh 15 Dec 09 - 05:07 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Dec 09 - 05:13 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 15 Dec 09 - 05:44 AM
matt milton 15 Dec 09 - 05:47 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Dec 09 - 06:35 AM
Folkiedave 15 Dec 09 - 07:30 AM
matt milton 15 Dec 09 - 07:51 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Dec 09 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 Dec 09 - 08:50 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Dec 09 - 09:30 AM
Les from Hull 15 Dec 09 - 10:00 AM
Dave Hanson 15 Dec 09 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Billy Verde 15 Dec 09 - 11:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Dec 09 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Winger 15 Dec 09 - 01:55 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Dec 09 - 02:23 PM
Dave Hanson 15 Dec 09 - 02:31 PM
Dave Hanson 16 Dec 09 - 04:13 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Dec 09 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,guest 16 Dec 09 - 05:14 AM
Bryn Pugh 16 Dec 09 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Dec 09 - 05:20 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Dec 09 - 05:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Dec 09 - 05:49 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Dec 09 - 06:03 AM
Folkiedave 16 Dec 09 - 06:10 AM
Dave Sutherland 16 Dec 09 - 06:19 AM
Millindale 16 Dec 09 - 06:44 AM
Bryn Pugh 16 Dec 09 - 06:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:23 PM

"If you are objecting to my putting them up on the grounds of their accuracy - sorry, not my problem - I supplied what I had; that's what the article said. Surely your not suggesting I shouldn't have put them up - are you?"

Seems that you are now disassociating yourself from these "facts", Jim. If you're going to post such claims you can at least quote from reliable sources. As yet, I have not found any accounts which corraborate your claims,


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: matt milton
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:30 PM

I just read the Harker book having previously known absolutely nothing about MacColl other than his music. I'd been listening to his albums on and off over the last year - there's a lot of them available to hear on Spotify and a lot to download on emusic.

He led a fascinating life. But what was most interesting for me was how much my mental image of his personality, as revealed in his music, corresponded with descriptions of what he was like as a person.

In case you hadn't guessed from that, I'm not really a fan of his singing style - it's too affected for me, and there' something a little pompous and doctrinaire about it. I thought so the first time I ever heard it, long before I knew anything at all about him.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: matt milton
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:38 PM

At the same time, I like his taste in songs, and the musical arrangements of some of the Seeger/MacColl albums are extraordinary. The London Broadsides albums in particular, I would say. Just listen to 'King Lear And His Daughters'. Absolutely beautiful tune. I think he always sounded best singing in an English accent (for me, his Scots accent is too 'Dawnuld where's ye troosers')

There's also something quite charming about his early albums. He sounds unusually relaxed on Two Way Trip, an early duo album with Seeger. The atmosphere is quite loved-up actually.

And on his 50s album with Isla Cameron, the lo-fi recording quality and perhaps Cameron's own delivery conspire to soften things.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:45 PM

He wrote & sang a song about the building of Blyth Power Station, there's a clip of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5xwK6dNhtw

And therein lies my problem; phoney folk songs put into the voices of the working classes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: matt milton
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:57 PM

Don't overlook the fact that his parents were low-income working class (even if he himself didn't do very much work himself before his political activism, theatre and music).

I'm not a fan of his own songs either. My favourite MacColl recordings are:

Still I Love Him (1958) with Isla Cameron

Broadside Ballads, vols 1 and 2 (1962)

Two Way Trip (1961) with Peggy Seeger

and of course the Radio Ballads.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM

"Seems that you are now disassociating yourself from these "facts","
I've given you my source as I remember it - what's this about, what point are you trying to make?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 01:48 PM

===Don't overlook the fact that his parents were low-income working class===

In turn, Matt, don't you overlook the fact that they were both also Scots; so denouncing his Scots accent as a bit 'Dawnald whaur's yr troosers' is nonsense — he was brought up, tho in Salford where he acquired the local accent from his peers, in a house where the Scots accent was the norm. Anyhow, Andy Stewart, the best-known singer of DWYT, was a born&bred Scot also, so there was nothing phoney about his accent either — even if there might have been about the song.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 01:53 PM

"And therein lies my problem; phoney folk songs put into the voices of the working classes."

Seems to me that one of his principal talents as a songwriter (apart from all those superb tunes) lay in being able to utilize the spoken words of working people and turning them into songs that were far truer to those people than most other 'contemporary' songs from the folk revival.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 02:30 PM

Jim, it was you who threw this "fact" into a discussion regarding a request for the lyrics of a song. I'm asking where I can find verification of this "fact".

There's no shortage of contemporary accounts of Nelson's funeral but none that I can find mentions anyone spitting on his coffin. I've even corresponded with some people who have considerable knowledge of this period in history and they have never heard of this claim.

I feel that on a forum such as Mudcat spurious historical claims need to be challenged lest they be cited in future as "facts".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 02:56 PM

These threads are usually started to show what an unpleasant bastard MacColl was - perhaps we can look at a selection from this thread - all by the OP.
I could be wrong (been known to happen), but this lot, without even bothering to visit any of the related threads, reads to me as being small minded, mean spirited, vitriolic, axe grinding and, particularly as it is aimed at somebody who has now been dead for over twenty years, disturbingly obsessional, .
If MacColl had made anything resembling one of these statements about another singer, perhaps there might be some grounds for the mythology that emerges whenever his name is mentioned; but as he didn't go in for that type of vitriol against his fellow performers..... who does it suggest is the unpleasant bastard I wonder?

"One of the best would have him going in bearded disguise, wearing calipers, so as to avoid both conscription and facing the indignities suffered by more genuine COs."

"Is it true that having heard Ewan's Freeborn Man of the Travelling People a bunch of travellers camped up on Ewan's land only to have him phone the police and order a summary eviction?"

" Like the folk club organiser weary with MacColl's prima-donna attitude who scrawled ARSEHOLE on the back of the chair set aside for the star turn, knowing our hero's affectation of turning the chair around to sit with the back facing the audience."

"where Bert and Jimmy were giving the miners a concert of their own folk music. "

"One of my favourite ever ballad singers, I last saw him at The Bridge in Newcastle and was bored to death by his execrable self-penned polemics about South Africa."

"Methinks at times the myth Jimmy Miller created in Ewan MacColl grazes as an all-too Holy Cow on the grave of Traditional Folk Song, much less its so-called revival. The legend endures along with his effected mannerisms - it was, after all, Ewan who copped the hand-over-the-ear pose from Arabic muezzin along with that faux-melismatic style which has become de-riguer ever since, despite his dictatorial insistence that we somehow sing our own. If this was truly the case few in the revival, Ewan included, would have dared sing a note!"

"I was bitching about Ewan MacColl's so-called politics on the letters page of Folk Roots when he was still alive."

", the gist of which was for the well-healed middle-class folk fraternity to resist the urge to romantise the real-life struggles of the working classes for the furtherance of their soppy art and stick to what they actually know about. Reducing the complexities of working-class culture to convenient socialist polemic by way of protest song is paternalist political nannying of the worst order."

"Talentless arsehole just about sums up Ewan MacColl; a pedlar of spurious, the bogus and the faux - so, as a figurehead of the so-called revival, he'll do just nicely. The real mountain? The man was barely a molehill. Still, nice to know that you're keeping the faith so devoutly, old man!"

"the Cult of the Divine MacColl"

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:00 PM

Concerning Nelson's funeral: I agree that the reference needs to be nailed down.

However, even if the booing and spitting really happened, the fact remains that Nelson was regarded as a hero by most every English person who had the opportunity to express an opinion in print. (Yeah, I know....) Even Hugill's version of "Boney" extols him, or at least the victory at Trafalgar.

Lloyd wrote a secular "hymn" to the man.

(And now let the brawl begin.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:01 PM

Winger
Sorry - cross-posted.
"I'm asking where I can find verification of this "fact"."
Are you saying it isn't in 'Spokesmen For Liberty'? Thirty years since I read it so I could be wrong, but I think it was also included in one of Charles Parker's 'Long March of Everyman' programmes or 'The British Seaman'.
I'll look it up when I have time - but it will have to wait until we're back from Kerry at the week-end - sorry.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:24 PM

"In turn, Matt, don't you overlook the fact that they were both also Scots; so denouncing his Scots accent as a bit 'Dawnald whaur's yr troosers' is nonsense — he was brought up, tho in Salford where he acquired the local accent from his peers, in a house where the Scots accent was the norm. Anyhow, Andy Stewart, the best-known singer of DWYT, was a born&bred Scot also, so there was nothing phoney about his accent either — even if there might have been about the song"

Yes, I know that. That's why I've always found it so surprising that his accent sounds so, well, foreign. To my ears, it simply doesn't sound like a native Scots speaker; it sounds like someone doing a foreign accent.

If you listen to Archie Fisher or Hamish Henderson or Alex Campbell then listen to MacColl you really notice it. MacColl "scottisizes" his hard 'Os' into 'As' in a kind of pedantic way - eg wrong as 'wrang', long as 'lang' - but really flatly. Just not the way a native Scots speaker does. Notice how carefully and tactfully the Hamish Henderson quotation above is worded, with its caveat about never quite losing his Lancastrian accent. When you compare him singing in an English accent with him singing in a Scots... the former is effortless, the latter is actually very very laboured and laid on with a trowel.

Fact is, MacColl wasn't a good mimic. When you hear him trying to do a Paul Robeson or trying to do a Woody Guthrie on some American songs, it really shows.

(These were quite early songs to be fair - I imagine he'd have been fairy embarassed by them in later years. He was a young(ish) man then, and more importantly was living in an age when he simply wouldn't have been exposed to the wealth of recordings he'd have had only 10 years later)

Sorry, I don't want to fall squarely on the side of the Ewan MacColl naysayers. I think he was a complicated man, whose music and books have introduced me to some great songs. The music of his that I like, I like very much indeed.

But the question of accents was a big, significant part of who he was, how he saw himself and, now that he's no longer with us and now we've only got his words and music to go on, how I hear him.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:25 PM

at home in my cookieless flat (above is me)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:29 PM

You forgot my favourite one, old man - from my second post:

A tale is told of a drunk Elvis fan getting wind that the writer of one of his favourite Elvis songs was singing downstairs in the pub he was drinking in, so down he went and started heckling MacColl to sing Love Me Tender, which he did, in the style of Elvis. Then he went on to sing First Time much to the drunk's delight.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:34 PM

yes, well that's a side of the man you don't often get to hear about and which I'm sure there was more of than got reported - good natured, good humoured.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:49 PM

Lighter,

My beef is not with how we view Nelson 200 years after the event but rather the invention of "facts" to suit an ideology.

If Jim's claims are down to a misunderstanding of the facts rather than a genuine attempt to re-write history it may be that someone misread Dorothy Constance Bayliff Peel's account in The Stream of Time: Social and Domestic Life in England, 1805-1861, when the coffin of Lord Castlereagh was spat upon. This account follows a couple of pages about Nelson. Could it be that in his rush to (in Jim's words) kick Nelson's corpse someone didn't bother to realize read the book thoroughly?

Alas, this effort to prove that a Workers' Republic existed below decks on HMS Victory is merely junk history.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 03:55 PM

It appears that Nelson's governorship of Naples was an unfortunate period/incident in his life; & that he is still execrated there. My authority is admittedly a work of fiction, Barry Unsworth's 'Losing Nelson' [1999], but Unsworth is one of those writers who do proper scholarly research for historical novels.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 04:57 PM

Sorry Winger, really no time to go into this but I am not confusing it with Castlereaigh's funeral, nor am I with the report of crowd disturbances as reported in 'The Lady' Magazine, (also reported in on of the Nelson biographies).
You don't say if it appears in Spokesmen For Liberty - I no longer have my copy. Nor do you comment on the relevance to the o.p's necrophobia on this thread.
In the end, you may take or leave MacColl as you wish; I have described him as I knew him, which bore no resemblence to SO'P's biliously spiteful image. I can also judge him by his work, the songs (his own and those he breathed new life into), the collecting work, the research on singing, his spending ten years of his life working with new singers, and his willingness to pass on what he had and knew to anybody who asked.
I've shown you MacColl's, S'Op, now you show us yours.
Beats the shit out of Ralph Harris, Ewan Whose Army and all the other small minded, mean spirited, vitriolic, axe grinding necrophobia hands down as far as I'm concerned.
I know of old that it is a waste of time asking S.O'P to substantiate any of his claims - where there are any claims - he doesn't go there.
So make up your own mind - this is just another shit hill, as usual.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 08:50 PM

Jim, I've no idea if your claim appears in "Spokesmen For Liberty". I didn't make the claim and certainly no other historic sources that I can find suggests it ever happened.

I'm neither pro or con Nelson and I believe that history is better served when it is researched dispassionately and not with a view to confirming some ideological slant (much like a good folk song scholar approaches song collecting, Jim.

As to O'P - I think you're fuel to his fire, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 03:55 AM

Winger
"I didn't make the claim"
I did - read my posts. Iwas sure it was there that I read it but find tha I no longer have my copy.
No ideological slant whatever - I really don't do that - just a piece of information I've carried for 3 or 4 decades.
We once discussed it with Walter Pardon, who was a Nelson enthusiast and he had never heard of it, but he did say that he believed Nelson was not popular with his men prior to Trafalgar.
As I say, I'll do my best when we come back from Kerry.
Thanks for your SO'P warning - like the barber's cat - all wind and pee.
He has been honest enough to tell us in the past that he doedn't believe in research so.....
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 05:07 AM

Hi, Jim -

Told you it'd be another marathon, didn't I ?

The thought occurred to me that it is a pity Ewan is no longer here to defend himself. Then, having known him as you did (although not as closely), the further thought occurred that he wouldn't be arsed.

Kind regards, Bryn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 05:13 AM

No, Bryn, he probably wouldn't be arsed. But would that be thru insouciance or thru arrogance? I simply ask. [I knew him a bit too; like you, not as well as Jim — but I did know him at least on one occasion to be astonishingly, unjustly arrogant — which was why I refreshed this thread to tie it in with the ongoing 'great but crabby' thread. [My post of 30 Aug 09 1237AM & subsequent exchanges with Jim et al apply.]


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 05:44 AM

At the end of the movie "A Touch of Evil" the character played by Marlene Dietrich says of the (deceased) character played by Orson Welles . "What does it matter what you say about people after they are dead? He was some kind of a man."

So was Jimmy Ewan MacColl Miller, and perhaps the time has come to let him rest in peace for a while. Yes, he was a human being, and like the rest of us he had his flaws and failings. And because he was a figure of some historical significance, it is right that these flaws and failings are properly documented. But why keep dwelling on them so obsessively?

We are only here on this earth for a very short time, and we have to spend a great deal of that time on the everyday necessities of bodily life. That leaves little enough room in our lives for things of the mind and the spirit. Why waste so many of those precious moments wrangling over MacColl's misdeeds when we could be engaging with his ideas or listening to his music?

You may disagree with some of his political positions. (I do.) You may criticise some of the artistic choices he made. (I do.) But how many of us have produced anything of comparable stature to the Radio Ballads? (I certainly haven't. Have any other posters to this thread done so? I think not.)

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 05:47 AM

A lot of musicians are very arrogant and, if their biographies (and autobiographies) are to be believed, quite unpleasant people. A lot of people whose art I really like - Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, the Beatles, Sun Ra, the Rolling Stones, William Burroughs - don't come across as very nice - not people you'd want to spend time with.

But why I think Ewan MacColl always generates so much comment is that you can actually hear some of that hectoring quality in some of his singing. (Not all the time.) And also because everything was on display - if he hadn't been so interested in proselytising and theorising, habits he picked up from political activism, nobody would have known about it.

Then again, if he hadn't been so interested in proselytising and theorising, he wouldn't have done half the things he did.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 06:35 AM

Can I refer everyone back to what I wrote in my second post?

No corpse kicking around here... - I'm genuinely interested in MacColl: the man, the myth, the legend as it were. I find the Humanity of Celebrity endlessly fascinating and certainly worthy of celebration - the more idiosyncratic the better.

And that's the sum of it, pretty much - hence the folklore pre-fix. Fact is, Ewan MacColl inspired legends - but it seems The Elders of the Holy Church of Saint Ewan the Divine see any deviance from Eternal Cringing Deference as a Heresy punishable by death.

Hell, one of my musical heroes is Mark E. Smith who could give MacColl a run for his money with respect of personal mythology and - er - reputation. Must be something in the Salford water supply.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 07:30 AM

I booked Ewan and Peggy a couple of times and found them thoroughly professional.

Just like Mark E. Smith


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 07:51 AM

You booked Mark E. Smith several times and found him to be thoroughly professional??


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for that MES link there, Folkiedave - cheered me up no end.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 08:50 AM

"Fact is, Ewan MacColl inspired legends - but it seems The Elders of the Holy Church of Saint Ewan the Divine see any deviance from Eternal Cringing Deference as a Heresy punishable by death."

I've told you a million, billion times not to exaggerate, SO'P!!

The fact is any mention of MacColl's name inspires kneejerk outpourings of bile - which divert attention away from his (very considerable) achievements. As he had a great influence on me when I was younger - and as I believe that that influence was completely benign, positive and constructive I will continue to defend his reputation. It's got nothing to do with "Cringing Deference" and everything to do with a sense of justice and fair play.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 09:30 AM

But this about the stories, Shimrod - the myths, the yarns, the rumours, the legends, the lies, the gossip, the false praise, the worthiness, the miracles, the hearsay, the (gulp!) folklore - all of which serve to enhance his reputation, such as it is amongst the MacColl faithful who are presently heating up pokers with savage intent in the direction of my lower of the common human orifi. I might not have known or admired MacColl, but I know and admire many MacColl fans - they're the ones who can spot that my Child #7 & #32 are sourced from the Riverside recordings, as one charming & fine singer once did in Chorlton two years ago. I do not begrudge these people their cherished memories, but the MacColl Mythos is so much bigger than that, and worthy, I thought, of a thread. Whether the stories are true or not DOES NOT MATTER - the fact is these are stories that have been told, and retold; they are part of an Oral Tradition of Storytelling and are very deserving of our interest and attention. That is why I started this thread - because the image of Ewan MacColl disguising himself as crippled beggarman to dodge conscription was just too perfect a folkloric archetype to ignore. I did not expect the Spanish Inquisition.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 10:00 AM

On the subject of Nelson: The very long article in the Naval Chronicle at the time does not mention the coffin spitting incident. As the coffin was escorted (by the River Fencibles and other troops) throughout it doesn't seem at all likely. Nelson was well-loved by most sailors and there are many reports of sailors in tears at the news of his death. I can't see the point of repeating a rumour that you may have read about some time ago, Jim. It doesn't help your case.

Nelson wasn't Governor of Naples. But he was shagging the wife of the British Envoy to the Court of Naples, Emma Hamilton the ex-prostitute wife of Sir William Hamilton. This shameful menage a trois led to Nelson hanging around in port rather than being out looking for the enemy. Most 'polite society' in Naples refused to invite the couple (or triple!) to their parties. Nelson had been created Duke of Bronte by the King of Naples (properly 'the Two Sicilies' ) in 1799.

I am not particularly a Nelson supporter. Like many great military leaders he was a shameful self-publicist, and his was probably his insistence on wearing as many medals and orders as possible on his uniform that marked him out for the bullet that caused his death.


Anyway - back to arguing about MacColl.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 11:00 AM

Good man SO'P, never miss an opportunity to slag off a dead man who can't answer back.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Billy Verde
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 11:04 AM

"I did not expect the Spanish Inquisition."

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Send in the nuns!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 12:44 PM

Good man SO'P, never miss an opportunity to slag off a dead man who can't answer back.

You can actually read can't you, Dave?? If so, read my last post.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 01:55 PM

Again, Jim, I'm not interested in Nelson's popularity ratings – just the historical inaccuracy of the "spitting on his coffin" claim.

Having discovered four years ago that an ancestor had been at Trafalgar I have been trying to find out how the poor bugger found himself there, in the course of which I have come into contact with a number of people who have been very generous with their knowledge of Nelson, Trafalgar and early 19th Century life in general.

One thing I have learned is the enormity of the crap that has been written giving gloss to the Nelson-Trafalgar period. Less so – but no less harmful – is the baseless crap written by those who wish to portray Jack Tar as the advance guard of a workers' revolution.

Walter Pardon was right – after Nelson's failed attack on Boulogne there was a wave of discontent centred on a belief that Nelson had acted recklessly and squandered many lives. However, always aware of his image, Nelson managed to ride out any lingering doubt about his abilities as a naval commander.

The discontent surrounding his funeral was aimed largely at the organizers and those who hogged the limelight at the expense of the Tars.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 02:23 PM

Re my reference above to Nelson as Governor of Naples, contradicted by Les from Jull at 10.00AM — he made himself so by right of conquest. As well as on account of his affaire with Lady Hamilton in Naples, he made himself hated by sailing into the city in 1799 and de·facto taking over the government by force of arms. A revolution had just been put down, and amnesty promised by the restored government to the Revolutionaries. But Nelson, fearing these had been acting under French influence, arrested them, declared the amnesty promised by their government null, and conveyed them by the boatload to his own flagship. There they were court-martialled and summarily hanged at the yard-arm, the body of their revered ringleader, one Admiral Caracciolo, being flung immediately overboard. It was this high-handed action of setting at naught an amnesty previously granted by the legitimate government on regaining control, followed by such unjust and irreverent atrocities, which has made Nelson's name hated and despised in Naples, as far as I can gather to this very day. The Hamilton business was merely an aggravation to the already-felt hatred. {Reference: Naples in 1799 by C A D Giglioli}


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 02:31 PM

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, bring out.............. the comfy chair.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 04:13 AM

SO'P I read your first post and the thread title, what exactly was the purpose of it ? it seemed to me it was for no other reason than to have a go at Ewan MacColl.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 04:34 AM

Again - read my post of 15 Dec 09 - 09:30 AM.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 05:14 AM

This could have been quite an interesting discussion but it was very quickly ruined by the usual Mudcat vitriol.

Jim Carroll - you may not be aware but you do come across as a particularly nasty piece of work.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 05:14 AM

Just as a matter of interest, Sean - sorry ! Sweeney O Pibroch - did you ever meet Ewan, or Peggy, or ever speak with them ?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 05:20 AM

To me Jim Carroll comes across as someone who doesn't suffer fools gladly - and as our whole culture seems to have slid into an abyss populated almost entirely by fools, that's fine by me!

Although he's probably fighting a losing battle ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 05:28 AM

GUEST.guest - just out of interest, in what way do you think Jim or his posts in any way objectionable? He write coherently, intelligently and to the purpose, in praise and defence of one who was obviously his dear friend, and who is under attack. In what way, pray, does this make him appear 'a nasty piece of work'? I am genuinely puzzled by such a reaction on your part. FWIW, I have never to my recollection met Jim Carroll, tho we have exchanged many opinions on this forum & once or twice by PM or correspondence — sometimes in agreement, more often, is my impression, not; but I hope with at least reasonable affability and courtesy — something which seems peculiarly lacking in your post. But I do think something needs to be said to protect him from what is imo an unwarranted attack of this sort.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 05:49 AM

did you ever meet Ewan, or Peggy, or ever speak with them

What does this have do with anything, Bryn? This is about collecting folklore, not the people behind it, who, by their courting of celebrity status, become the very cause of legend. For the record, as I've stated elsewhere, I saw them but the once as far as I recall, at The Bridge Hotel in Newcastle at some point in the early/mid 1980s. At the time I was enamoured of EM via the Riverside Ballads and was utterly dismayed that the set consisted of execrable self-penned songs about the then-situation South Africa. To my mind, music is political by default, the South African struggle was well accounted for in the revolutionary music of radical exiles such as Dudu Pukwana, Chris MacGregor, Johnny Mbizo Dyani, Shimmy Radise, Abdullah Ibrahim etc etc without having EM hike his meagre talents to the cause, however so noble his intentions. Though even there I might question it, for there was an exotic trendiness to the struggle against Apartheid to the radical middle-classes, especially the folkies amongst them, many of whom were all-too-keen to rush out and buy Graceland as I recall! I find protest songs are as impotent as they are irrelevant, and seek in music a far deeper human cause than political ideology, which is what I've always found in Traditional Song & Balladry whatever the political opinions of the singer - be it Ewan MacColl or Peter Bellamy.   

To me Jim Carroll comes across as someone who doesn't suffer fools gladly - and as our whole culture seems to have slid into an abyss populated almost entirely by fools, that's fine by me!

And so our dear Shimrod wins The Order of the Brown Nose by a several good country miles! Well done there, Shimrod - & at least it saves Jim the trouble of wiping his arse - or is he still in nappies? I lose track at times, I really do!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 06:03 AM

defence of one who was obviously his dear friend, and who is under attack.

No one is under attack here; and Jim is a tad loose with his insults. I'd say Guest's impressions are very reasonable.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 06:10 AM

without having EM hike his meagre talents

I reckon you are letting your prejudices show there a little. As far as I am aware whatever differences they had with him as a person and I acknowledge that one or two who knew him did, few people would regard MacColl's talents as meagre. I am with George Bernard Shaw on this one.

Remember before the Radio Ballads "ordinary" people were hardly ever allowed to appear on radio. Now of course it is commonplace and the BBC are doing four programmes about traditional carols starting next Monday in "radio ballad" style, and nowadays ordinarly people talking on radio is regarded as normal.

the South African struggle was well accounted for in the revolutionary music of radical exiles such as Dudu Pukwana, Chris MacGregor, Johnny Mbizo Dyani, Shimmy Radise, Abdullah Ibrahim etc etc

I know they escaped from S. Africa to play music. I am not sure what is so revolutionary about their particular music. Would you be kind enugh to explain?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 06:19 AM

Ewan MacColl was writing about the situation in South Africa a long, long time before the eighties, Graceland etc. Would you rather that he sang "Six Dukes Went a'Fishing" or "The Bonny Earl o'Moray" - both of those were as fiercly political pieces in their day as anything that MacColl wrote?
Also I too have never met Jim Carroll but from his posts he obviously knows his stuff and he is sad the way that folk music in some quarters is now being presented. Therefore I too reject Guest guest's assumptions.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Millindale
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 06:44 AM

'wearing calipers, so as to avoid both conscription and facing the indignities suffered by more genuine COs'#

Except of course he didn't avoid conscription.

'the South African struggle was well accounted for in the revolutionary music of radical exiles such as Dudu Pukwana, Chris MacGregor, Johnny Mbizo Dyani, Shimmy Radise, Abdullah Ibrahim etc'
What anti-apartheid message was being put across in the jazz played by those mentioned above?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 06:54 AM

Thank you for confirming that which I had already thought, Sean.

You "saw" Ewan, and perhaps Peggy, at a single gig, and from that you have formulated your contempt for them as people.

Which, contrary to that which I perceive to have been your intention, has not so much calumniated them either as people, songwriters, interpreters of songs traditional and other, political activists ; but shown your arguments up for

any paucity they might have borne..

In other words, IMO you have squandered any credibility which you might have had.

T'ra.


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