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What did you do in the war, Ewan?

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M.Ted 31 Aug 09 - 02:02 AM
MGM·Lion 31 Aug 09 - 05:05 AM
Terry McDonald 31 Aug 09 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Hotenanny 31 Aug 09 - 07:07 AM
The Sandman 31 Aug 09 - 10:25 AM
M.Ted 31 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM
The Sandman 31 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM
Jamming With Ollie Beak (inactive) 31 Aug 09 - 12:51 PM
Paul Burke 31 Aug 09 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 02 Sep 09 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Winger 02 Sep 09 - 12:14 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Sep 09 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 02 Sep 09 - 01:04 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Dec 09 - 12:40 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Dec 09 - 01:20 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Dec 09 - 01:40 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Dec 09 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Suibhne (Astray) 13 Dec 09 - 01:59 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Dec 09 - 02:04 PM
Acorn4 13 Dec 09 - 02:26 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Dec 09 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Winger 13 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Dec 09 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 Dec 09 - 05:03 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Dec 09 - 05:16 PM
Bill D 13 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM
Bill D 13 Dec 09 - 05:34 PM
Rowan 13 Dec 09 - 06:00 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Dec 09 - 06:00 PM
The Sandman 13 Dec 09 - 06:10 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Dec 09 - 06:12 PM
Joe_F 13 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM
Joe_F 13 Dec 09 - 06:35 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Dec 09 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 13 Dec 09 - 07:41 PM
Acorn4 13 Dec 09 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Winger 13 Dec 09 - 07:57 PM
Charley Noble 13 Dec 09 - 10:25 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 09 - 04:16 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Dec 09 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Dec 09 - 06:27 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 09 - 07:35 AM
Noreen 14 Dec 09 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,999 14 Dec 09 - 09:18 AM
Vin2 14 Dec 09 - 10:34 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Dec 09 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Lighter 14 Dec 09 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Dec 09 - 11:38 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Dec 09 - 12:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 02:02 AM

Are John Brunner and John Brune one in the same? They seem to have some traits in common--


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 05:05 AM

Absolutely not. The name of John Brune rings a slight bell, but don't think he is someone I ever met. John Brunner, on other hand, one of my closest friends for nearly 40 years.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 05:36 AM

John Brune is credited as having done the layout for the first edition of 'Marrowbones.'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Hotenanny
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 07:07 AM

Jim

I believe I can answer for the Ballads & Blues having attended regularly over 6-7 years. There was never a rule about material to be performed. The variety of performers and music and song was what made it so interesting for me.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 10:25 AM

no they are not the same,this has been dealt with before.
john brune was a collector he also published a BOOK called The Roving Songster.
John Brunner was amongst other things a SciFi writer,he was also involved in running a folk club at South Petherton.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 11:35 AM

With due respect, this has all been dealt with before.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 12:44 PM

sorry M.TED,did not intend to not show you due respect,please accept my apologies.
I will try to be more respectful next time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jamming With Ollie Beak (inactive)
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 12:51 PM

"John Brunner was amongst other things a SciFi writer,he was also involved in running a folk club at South Petherton"
- Good Soldier Schweik
this is the one REALLY interesting thing about this whole thread, having read most of Brunner's work.
Thanks Good Soldier Schweik!

Charlotte Olivia Robertson (Ms)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 02:35 PM

The word in Salford back in the day was that Ewan McColl personally arranged the defective repair to the steam brake on 48188 just so he'd have something to write about. The land he owned was of course Kinder Scout, the Duke was merely his agent on the spot. In fact, Ewan McColl was not Ewan McColl at all, but another folksinger of the same name. His mannerism of putting his hand over his ear was to be better able to hear the orders relayed from the Kremlin on a tiny implanted radio. The beard he got secondhand from Cuba.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 05:20 AM

Yes, I'm interested in the "John Snow" meeting .... do tell please?
Derek


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:14 PM

I'd be interested in learning about that too, Derek but I'm afraid we might be told to "Read the book if you genuinely don't know."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:50 PM

Some small info on the debate at The John Snow here: The John Snow debate (2nd para) in the guest posting from Jim Caroll. Perhaps when he returns he can give you more information.

There is also a cassette recording listed in Ewan and Peggy's material at Ruskin. Perhaps a transcript exists.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 01:04 PM

Thanks Mick. I remember Jim and Pat telling me of this debate some years ago, and the outcome. I think they might have made the tape recording.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 12:40 PM

r


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM

To explain, I have refreshed this thread purely in relation to the 'great but crabby artists' ongoing thread, both of which adjectives it seems to me apply here. My particular purpose, as I have said on that thread also, was to draw attention to my post above of 30 Aug 09 12.37AM, & subsequent exchanges, especially with Jim Carroll, about the particular "crabby" incident described there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 01:20 PM

Sorry Mike - won't be able to join in the fun for too long - off to Clonakilty on Tuesday and Im sure the 'grave-dancing will stretch far beyond that.
Elucidate please
Happy to fill in the details on the John Snow fiasco if you want, but maybe you were around, or the attempted sabotage of the S=Travellers Radio Ballad
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 01:40 PM

Jim - It is the incident with John Brunner's supposed rudeness to Harry Cox, which never occurred but Ewan made a big production # of, which it seems to me qualifies him for the 'great but crabby' label. You will find it all above on posts of 30 Aug, when you had actually requested some justification for someone's having described EMacC as 'a bastard' & at your request I furnished an example.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 01:59 PM

I was off the scene from my marriage & leaving London for CAMBRIDGE WHEN MY WIFE WON HER MATURE STATE SCHOLARSHIP ABOUT 1960 [sorry, not shouting, bad typing], till I got jobs reviewing theatre & folk for Times, Gdn, Folk Review &c towards end of 60s; so the John Snow stuff &c passed me by.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Suibhne (Astray)
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 01:59 PM

Hardly grave-dancing, old man - I was bitching about Ewan MacColl's so-called politics on the letters page of Folk Roots when he was still alive. Alas I no longer have a copy of the appropriate number but this was back around 1987 or so - I signed myself Ralph Harris (as a private joke between myself and a certain Dancing Jim Wetherspoon) and the FR letter's editor gave it the heading Ewan Whose Army? which I thought was rather neat. I referenced the present thread on Lucy Wright's recent Miners' Strike thread which meantioned Ewan MacColl's Daddy, What Did You Do in the Strike?, the somewhat divisively propagandist title of which I parodied here.

I still stand by what I wrote 20+ years back in the letters page of Folk Roots, 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.

So there.

Sweeney O'Pibroch, WCAP&FOXC&CLTTF (Working-Class Anarchist, Pissed & Full of Xmas Cheer & Contentedly Listening to The Fall)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 02:04 PM

... and let me please say again that I have NOT refreshed this thread for any 'grave-dancing' purposes, but purely in relation to the 'great crabby artists' thread, for which I would way EMacC qualifies in ♠♠♠!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Acorn4
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 02:26 PM

I had a Ewan McColl moment when I was involved with CND in the 70s.

We'de arranged a fundraiser at which he and Peggy were the guests which was on at Leicester University. The CND people were great folk, but when it came to organisational skills the words "piss up" and "brewery" spring to mind.

I agreed to act as compere, assuming that all the arrangements had been made. I introduced them and they walked on stage and Ewan then said that he wanted the curtains drawn behind them. It was a Sunday and I had no idea how the curtains worked. I had to walk off the stage and go in search of a caretaker, leaving the couple on the stage and the audience waiting. After about 10 minutes I found a "Jobsworth" caretaker who let me have one of those pole things with a hook on the end, and I had to walk across the stage with the apparatus across my shoulder and finally managed to work out how to draw the curtains.

I learned at that point that EM was perhaps not renowned for his sense of humour although only having this brief encounter I'm aware that I may be doing him an injustice.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 03:38 PM

Mike,
As I said, I'm not going to be able to hang around on this thread, but here goes.
My problem with the 'crabby' bit was that in the twenty-odd years I knew Ewan I never experienced it myself and never really witnessed it. While I know that there were 'moments' in the Critics Group, again, I wasn't there and I have never come across them on the 200-odd tapes of recoded meetings I have on the shelves behind me. Maybe he'd mellowed by the time I first got to know him in 1967/8.
Contentious - hmmmm. He had strong opinions and wasn't backward in expressing them, which, for me, was a welcome relief to the sycophantic syrup that were a condition of membership of the mainstream revival in those days, and now, on occasion.
Personally I always found him good company, extremely generous with his time, knowledge, and his and Peggy's hospitality in throwing their home open to enable access to their large library and sound archive - I never came across that anywhere else in the revival, but there you go - maybe I'm too easily pleased.
He was hyper-sensitive about some things - attacks on traditional singers being one of these at one stage, and he lacked the people skills not to realise that when somebody came to him at the Singers Club and asked him what he thought of their singing, what they were really asking him was "Didn't you think my song was the greatest thing since sliced bread?", and sending them away with the anseer they didn't really want to hear.
He also fell down by refusing to be a name-dropper and folk 'Luvvie' and, after the 'Travelling People' and 'John Snow' incidents he cut himself off from a large part of the revival and concentrated all his work on The Critics Group. When I gave a talk on The Group at his symposium, this was my main criticism of the work the group did, the point I made being that his approach had made enemies out of potential friends. Conversations I had later gave me the impression that he'd taken my point - he certainly wasn't 'crabby' about it.
In the end, I really don't care one way or the other what people think about Ewan - my memories are my memories and nothing is going to change that.
I don't have any great objection to threads like this; I'm grateful for the chance to share my experiences and to argue the toss when I know something to be blatently unfair and inaccurate. The problem I do have is when they get in the way of discussing the work we did with him in the Critics Group which, I believe was unique and could make a difference to what goes on in the clubs today.
It can get a little tiresome when some talentless arsehole insists on digging up the corpse to give it yet another kicking 20-odd years after the funeral, but you can see these coming a mile away. they are usually peppered with phrases like "MacColl's so-called politics" and "middle-class folk fraternity" and "....romantise the real-life struggles of the working classes for the furtherance of their soppy art" - hark; is that the first cuckoo of December I hear???
I'm more than happy to discuss any aspect of Ewan and his work, but it would be nice to get over the shit heap and start tackling the real mountain.
I hope to start a discussion on teaching singing once the 'pah humbug' season is over, maybe then we'll get rid of army records and name changes and 'finger-in-ear' and being born in Salford, and all the other crap that gets in the way of what really matters, the singing and enjoyment of songs and making an effort to make it possible for the next generation to get the same pleasure we did - you never know, "Stranger things have happened at sea" (as my mother used to say).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM

Enough of the corpse kicking stuff Jim. There's no one more guilty of it than you.

Remember the Common British Tars (Trafalgar) thread earlier this year? It began as a request for the words of a particular song, into which you suddenly interjected:

"There is a contemporary account of Nelson's funeral which describes how the coffin was booed and spat at by sailors lining the funeral rout who had fought in the Battle of Trafalgar. They were protesting on behalf of those who died without acknowledgment."

No one was discussing the merit of Nelson's character at that point (pro or con) but you couldn't resist an unsubstantiated punt at the 200-yeard-old corpse of 'is Lordship.

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander" (as my mother used to say).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 04:38 PM

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!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 05:03 PM

"Talentless arsehole just about sums up Ewan MacColl;"

It most certainly does not!! You have absolutely no basis for such a slur, SO'P. If you didn't like his singing or his songs you're entitled to that opinion - but, by no stretch of the imagination, could he be described as talentless. To employ such a description sounds to me like extreme and irrational prejudice. Just to provide some perspective, I didn't particularly enjoy the work of your hero, Peter Bellamy and found some of it a bit irritating - but that's my personal preference and I would never dishonour his memory by describing him as "talentless" ... or an "arsehole" for that matter!

For the record I found Ewan's work, particularly his interpretation of traditional songs and ballads, inspirational, and, more's the pity, since he died there's been no-one to replace him.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 05:16 PM

"Talentless arsehole just about sums up Ewan MacColl"

Blimey SO'P..

Well for my sins. I confess I don't really have any interest in *any* singers, either so-called source or revival, beyond the songs themselves. Ffs, these were just men & women like you & me. No sacred stuff here: just dessicated memories, which song scavengers harvest.

So from now on, I see myself as a 'Scavenger Singer'.
And as Crow has been my adopted online totem, I'm going to undergo absorbtion of her in best DMC fashion & fully embody my alter-ego.. Or something.

Ouch, that pinched! Caw Caw...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM

from an American who only met Ewan once...(and Peggy several times).. and found them helpful & delightful in that brief encounter: I will say that, the insights of those who knew the people & saw & heard them in many contexts help us understand complex personalities better.
Obviously, Ewan was quite a complex individual and could, like many of us, show different aspects of himself at different times.

Having read Mudcat since its beginnings, I am in awe of the information available in its many thousands of threads, and I always hope that more folks who have relevant knowledge of history (both 'folk' and otherwise) will share it, with as little contentiousness as possible.. *smile*

(and I MUST add my good fortune to possess an LP signed BY Ewan MacColl saying "Thanks to Bill for guidance!")
..
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(even if it WAS only leading him & Peggy thru the streets to a venue... ☺)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 05:34 PM

"...with as little contentiousness as possible"

I see I am already too late.... *sigh*,,,Suibhne O'Piobaireachd exemplifies an attitude I hate to see, even though I have come to expect it when certain topics arise.

...... ah well...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Rowan
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 06:00 PM

Perhaps the pastime of cutting down tall poppies, regarded as a quintessentially Oz habit, was one we inherited from the same Blighty ancestors whose descendants produced our current posters to this thread (none of whom I've yet met but whose postings I respect).

My own experiences of Ewan, Peggy and Peter Bellamy (in both England and Oz for the first two and Oz-only for the last-mentioned) were all positive, although I have plenty of more intimate evidence about other friends that has required me to accept the notion most of us are not unflawed. "Recognise the flaws and properly celebrate the achievements" seems to have a lot going for it.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 06:00 PM

The talentless arsehole bit was lifted from JC's previous post (a phrase he used against me) & slotted in place with respect of my general tenor regarding the matter of the Cult of the Divine MacColl that still holds such evident sway. I used to have great respect for EM as a singer of trad. ballads - but I tried to listen to some the other week & turned off after two minutes. Great thing is though, there are no absolutes, only opinions.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 06:10 PM

yes,John Brunner was involved and used to attend South Petherton folk club,I am not sure if he helped to run South Petherton folk Festival,
after I guested at the Folk Club I stayed at the house of Mr Dev Deverill,who was part of a good harmony group.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 06:12 PM

"Cult of the Divine MacColl that still holds such evident sway."

Eh, well I'm a perverse lass always - and only actually heard some stuff of McColls recordings on YouTube a couple days ago (yes, I was *that* enthusiastic about revival singers!) but I thought it was jolly good...

So, there you go, some chap singing, and I thought "Hmm, that's quite good, that."

Fucking right exciting this folk shite, innit?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM

Eaten up by vulgar curiosity, I actually bought _Class Act_ and read the apposite chapters. For the benefit of those who can't be bothered, here are some dates:

23 Aug 39: Hitler-Stalin pact
01 Sep


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 06:35 PM

Sorry -- hit the wrong key (don't even know which one).

23 Aug 39: Hitler-Stalin pact
01 Sep 39: Britain enters war
24 Jul 40: E.M. conscripted
18 Dec 40: E.M. declared a deserter
22 Jun 41: Germany invades USSR
08 May 45: War in Europe ends
16 Dec 46: E.M. arrested
ca 11 Feb 47: Court martial canceled on medical grounds
26 Feb 47: Moved to hospital
10 Apr 47: Released

He deserted, then, while the war was still an imperialist war according to the USSR, and then found himself in a permanently embarrassing situation when it suddenly became a war against fascism. Such things happen. My main wonderment is why the authorities treated him so gently. I could make up an amusing story, but so could you.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:34 PM

Guest Winger:
"Enough of the corpse kicking stuff Jim. There's no one more guilty of it than you."
You really can't tell the difference between passing on a piece of factual information on a historical figure who died a couple of centuries ago and somebody who breaks out in a cold sweat when the name of as singer who died 20 years ago is mentioned - oh dear!
You want to hear what I have to say about Napoleon - and as for that bastard Oliver Cromwell.........!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:41 PM

It's worth bearing in mind that if it hadn't been for MacColl (and Lloyd and Lomax) there wouldn't have been a post-war revival in the UK.

Listening to the newly re-issued Riverside recordings of MacColl singing ballads (Topic TSCD576D, 2009) I am struck by how accomplished his interpretation of them was even as early as 1956. When you consider that he had spent the previous decades fully engaged in his theatre work, that only a handful of traditional singers were still singing ballads at that point and many of his contemporaries, like Hugh McDiarmid, were openly contemptuous of his interest in folk song these performances are a remarkable achievement. I don't subscribe to a "Cult of the Divine MacColl" (that's just silly sarcasm) but I do consider him to have been the greatest singer I ever heard and he did give me an insight into the nature of Folk Song and what makes it special. He also introduced me to the British ballad repertoire and hearing him sing many of those ballads, on various stages and on record, has left me with some wonderful memories. I wouldn't have missed those performances for the world.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Acorn4
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:46 PM

We can enjoy Beethoven without necessarily knowing anything about his life.

Can't we similarly enjoy EM? The man and his music are surely different issues?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Winger
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:57 PM

Eh, factual information, Jim? Exactly where can we find those facts?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 10:25 PM

I've also been reading Ben Harker's biog Class Act and find it full of interesting details and overbearing opinion. But maybe that because I disagree with his opinions.

Here in the States we generally judge MacColl from his recordings and the occasional concert, when he and Peggy were permitted to enter this country. I certainly had a great appreciate for the work that he and A. L. Lloyd did. And I found him amazingly responsive to several inquiries I directed to him with regard to songs composed in the Unity Theatre days.

It's hard for me to believe that the critics in this thread of MacColl are motivated by anything more than envy or frustration, or hatred for anyone who was a long term Communist. There are some here in the States who have similar feelings about Pete Seeger and I disagree with them as well.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 04:16 AM

It's worth bearing in mind that if it hadn't been for MacColl (and Lloyd and Lomax) there wouldn't have been a post-war revival in the UK.

We can but dream, Shimrod! We can but dream...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 04:24 AM

Winger:
"Exactly where can we find those facts?"
They came from a collection of contemporary newspaper articles and essays called (I think) 'Spokesmen For Liberty', edited by Jack Lindsay
some time in he 1950s. This was from a contemporary newspaper article giving an account of Nelson's funeral. Why; are you disputing their accuracy?
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 aricle said. Surely your not suggesting I shouldn't have put them up - are you?
To compare my doing so with some poor soul giving vent to a bad bout of inferiority complex with a display of necrobhobia, as inevitably happen at the mention of MacColl's name, well.......!!!

Shimrod:
Bronson appeared to agree with your opinion of the Riverside series.
This is the beginning of an article he wrote in 1957, published in The Ballad and the Song - a collection of his essays.

"Moses Asch, with Folkways, is a pioneer, and firms like Stinson, and Elektra, and Riverside have been putting intelligent and yeomanry effort into the guidance of public taste; while their best singers, such as Ewan MacColl, Jeannie Robertson, Margaret Barry, A. L. Lloyd, the late Leadbelly, Pete and Peggy Seeger, Jean Ritchie, stand in need neither of defense nor special pleading. With this leadership, we may anticipate the gradual abating of the medley type of record and the increase of homogeneous collections.
Thanks to the encouragement of many small successes, Kenneth Goldstein and Riverside have recently issued the boldest single venture yet in their eight double-sided LP set of Child ballads, sung unaccompanied by Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd. It is not, I think, an exaggeration to declare that this is the most important event in the field since the publication of Sharp and Karpeles' Southern Appalachian collection. It may be short of ideal that eighty-odd ballads are sung by only two persons, but in spite of their professional status, both of these men, in their very different styles, carry conviction. Lloyd, although he has learned most of his songs from print, sounds more folklike; but MacColl is rooted in a strong family tradition, and wins our fullest assent.
The length of many of these versions as sung by MacColl and Lloyd is a new experience, and as such it prompts reconsideration of ballad-form by bringing into sharp focus questions hitherto unasked or but dimly perceived. For one thing, it shows that the ideal musical structure is inevitably a non-recurrent phrasal pattern for the quatrain......"

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 06:27 AM

"We can but dream, Shimrod! We can but dream..."

What do you mean by that, SO'P? Who else was responsible for the Post-war revival?
I note that even Peter Bellamy stated that MacColl, Lloyd, Harry Cox and Sam Larner were his main influences (notes to 'Wake the Vaulted Echoes', Free Reed, 1999.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 07:35 AM

Who else was responsible for the Post-war revival?

Forgive me, Shimrod, but I'm in a dark place with respect of the baby-boomer folk revival which to me has the same relationship to the glories of Traditional English Speaking Folk Song as model railways do to real ones - which is to say great fun, but utterly useless as a transport system. After all, 4 fiddly millimetres is no substitute for a good solid 12 inches, is it?

MacColl, Lloyd, Harry Cox and Sam Larner were his main influences

PB was a big Rolling Stones fan too - I've seen him encore with You Can't Always Get What You Wan't whilst sporting a picture of Brian Jones on his vest - but I can't hack them myself. I adore Cox and Larner though, who represent something very different indeed - something the folk revival missed by several hundred merry country miles, I fear.

No Cox & Larner on YouTube (though I do have a video awaiting transfer) but here's something just as beautiful I hope we can both agree upon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xVT-vdJL4g


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Noreen
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 08:36 AM

*yawn*


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 09:18 AM

How much could he do with a finger in his ear?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Vin2
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 10:34 AM

This thread could go into the record books. Wonder which one holds the record at the mo.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 11:21 AM

"We can but dream, Shimrod! We can but dream... "
A few other dreamers:

"Although his speech always retained its native Lancashire intonation, he became an acknowledged master of sung ballad-Scots; some of the recordings in our archive are without doubt among the very finest examples of Lowland Scots ballad artistry ever put on tape…….
By that time Ewan's own career had diverged from Joan's; with Peggy Seeger, who'd come into his life thanks to Alan Lomax, he devoted himself more and more to the folk-song revival, becoming its most redoubtable militant champion. He teamed up the late A. L. Lloyd to produce a series of valuable folksong L.P.s, and with his mettlesome Critics group; a sort of New Model Army of traditional songsters; he may be said to have left a lasting imprint on the singing styles and folk-cultural predilections of a whole generation of revival singers."
Hamish Henderson 1991

"MacColl demonstrated years ago that it is possible to create vital, contemporary songs within the traditional frameworks. Unfortunately, most of the contemporary songwriters who find favour among the folk club audiences, show little interest in, or concern for, traditional song forms. The idiom in which they most commonly compose is that of the pop songs, no matter how un-pop their lyrics. This is a pity because, with contemporary ''folk songs'' continually growing in popularity, the eventual result will be that the folk song revival, and the clubs, will lose all contact with folk songs."
Ian Campbell,
Folk Scene, 1965.

"MacColl's singing is altogether one of the most moving experiences available on folksong recordings today, when so much of what is presented as 'revival' folksinging is so embarrassingly false. His particular excellence is not so much in the ruddy-bloody, burly and masculine rant, and the barrel-chested sexual brag expected of men's songs in general, and of bawdy song in particular, and in which MacColl can easily take cards-&-spades when he feels like it, but in the poignant and emotional erotic songs in the character of the woman so frequent in the poetry of Burns, and so central and significant in The Merry Muses of Caledonia, where every such feminine-identification song is, precisely for the reason of that identification, to be suspected of being Burns' own, or importantly, revised by his hand."
Gershon Legman,
The Horn Book

"Apart from myself, MacColl is the only man of genius writing for the theatre in England today."
George Bernard Shaw.

And just a reminder of what it is really about, instead of all this in-fighting shit and begrudgement:

"But the songs are still here, the beautiful, gentle, harsh, ironic, good-natured, lusty, bawdy, exquisite, passionately beautiful songs of the people. Let us hope that they continue to survive, that the kind of women and men who gave birth to them will survive, that the world which gave birth to us all will survive. I'll drink to that! January 1989"
Ewan MacColl. Journeyman. 1989.

"Well, there they are, the songs of our people. Some of them have been centuries in the making, some of them undoubtedly were born on the broadside presses. Some have the marvellous perfection of stones shaped by the sea's movement. Others are as brash as a cup-final crowd. They were made by professional bards and by unknown poets at the plough-stilts and the handloom. They are tender, harsh,, passionate, ironical, simple, profound.... as varied, indeed, as the landscape of this island."
The Song Carriers 1965

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 11:32 AM

Great selections, Jim. MacColl's greatest musical sins seem to be that he was never a pop star, and that trad songs are even more genrally disdained now than they were fifty years ago. (I've never met a single non-folkie who's ever heard of him.)

You might enjoy the clips on the spin-off thread,"Review: Dark-Eyed Sailor." SO'P is also invited.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 11:38 AM

"Forgive me, Shimrod, but I'm in a dark place with respect of the baby-boomer folk revival ... "

Sorry to hear about your problems, SO'P ... but what have they got to do with the rest of us?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What did you do in the war, Ewan?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:02 PM

I don't see it as a problem to be honest, Shimrod; I've always felt the same way, with but few exceptions. The common ground I have with the revival is (hopefully) a love Traditional Song and the singers who sang them.


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