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Child Ballads survived in oral trad.

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Booklynrose 13 Sep 10 - 01:35 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Sep 10 - 07:20 AM
dick greenhaus 12 Sep 10 - 09:39 PM
The Sandman 12 Sep 10 - 08:52 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 10 - 08:41 AM
The Sandman 12 Sep 10 - 08:31 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 10 - 08:17 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 10 - 08:12 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 10 - 07:08 AM
Phil Edwards 12 Sep 10 - 06:25 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Sep 10 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,pattyClink 11 Sep 10 - 10:23 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 10 - 04:13 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 10 - 03:55 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 10 - 07:16 PM
Goose Gander 10 Sep 10 - 07:11 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 10 - 07:05 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 10 - 07:03 PM
Rozza 10 Sep 10 - 06:39 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 10 - 06:07 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 06:01 PM
Matthew Edwards 10 Sep 10 - 04:43 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 10 - 04:12 PM
Goose Gander 10 Sep 10 - 04:12 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Sep 10 - 04:03 PM
Goose Gander 10 Sep 10 - 03:22 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 10 - 03:18 PM
Rozza 10 Sep 10 - 03:00 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Sep 10 - 02:57 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 02:56 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 02:54 PM
Rozza 10 Sep 10 - 02:51 PM
Goose Gander 10 Sep 10 - 02:42 PM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 02:06 PM
Goose Gander 10 Sep 10 - 01:59 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 10 - 12:43 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 10 - 11:47 AM
Kampervan 10 Sep 10 - 11:29 AM
dick greenhaus 10 Sep 10 - 11:17 AM
Matthew Edwards 10 Sep 10 - 11:04 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 09:48 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 09:34 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 09:24 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 10 - 08:26 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 08:01 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 07:52 AM
The Sandman 10 Sep 10 - 07:43 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Sep 10 - 02:42 AM
Phil Edwards 09 Sep 10 - 05:47 PM
Paul Davenport 09 Sep 10 - 03:43 PM
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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Booklynrose
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 01:35 PM

Good thread! The all day ballad forum in Lewes mentioned by Valmai Goodyear sounds wonderful, but who can travel so far? I'd invite you to a weekend with a lot of ballad singers November 5-7 a couple of hours outside New York City. A Festival of Traditional Music, Eisteddfod, put on by the Folk Music Society of NY features excellent musicians and many sessions of ballads. Among the musicians who will be there, I must mention Lorraine Hammond who learned ballads from a farm hand, supporting this thread's distinction between those who learned from a "genuine source singer" and those less directly linked to tradition. Of course she is also a top notch singer. Info at http://www.eisteddfod-ny.org


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 07:20 AM

Well - if nobody else wants 100 - thanks very much
100.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 09:39 PM

Many are still alive in the Southern Appalachians.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 08:52 AM

Maypole and country dancing for families with youngsters at: .... "which Sir Anthony St. Leger saw danced in Ireland, in 1540,
   and then ...wexford mummers which appears to originate at the beginning of the twentiueth century, are you saying? that the wexford muumers always performed in a house?
then there is some record of mummers plays being perfomed in dublin outside in mediaeval times.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 08:41 AM

the photograph in the Cranitch book is village dancing ventry 1890, courtesy of collection of ireland.
i also have a friend [a dubliner] who did maypole dancing when he was a boy in ireland,that would be 65 years ago, maypole dancing is not normally done in a house, Jim.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 08:31 AM

apologies for further thread drift , but there is a interesting book called englands greatest spy "eamon de valera", by john j turi, published by stacey international.
eamonn de valeras original name was george de valero, his mother gave him the nicknme, eddie.
there is some possibilty that his father was not de valero, but his[eamons] mothers employer,mr giraud, but this has not been proven ,neither was it proven whether de valero was the father.
    "in ireland the songs music and dancing were always home activities"
sorry that is in correct, music was played at threshings, and there were also crossroad dances, in fact in Matt Cranitch fiddle tutor there is a picture of dancers at ventry outside in the street c 1906.
always is incorrect ,jim.
I knew an old fiddler who was bon in the 1920s and he told me he played fiddle music at threshings, ihave no reason to think he was not telling the truth


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 08:17 AM

Should read "These are the ballads still being sung in the tradition in this area," up to thiry odd years ago.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 08:12 AM

Sorry, didn't mean to start a thread drift, but I wanted to put singing in context.
These are the ballads still being sung in the tradition in this area, within a circle of about twenty miles, most of which we have been lucky enough to find versions of, but the most outstanding work was carried out by the Tom Munnelly, with 22,000 songs to his credit.
Singing isn't doing as well as music in Ireland or in this part of the world, where most of the traditional singers are dead.
There is an increasing interest in singing among young people, but it still has some way to go to catch up with the instrumental music scene (which is in rude health).
There is an increase in interest in Irish language songs, which are virtually all non-narrative, but the narrative songs, and most of the Anglo Irish songs have almost entirely disappeared from the repertoire.
BALLADS IN CLARE
20 The Cruel Mother. (not the children's version)
46 Captain Wedderburn's Courtship.
53 Young Beichan.
73 Lord Thomas And Fair Annet. (fragment)
74 Fair Margaret And Sweet William.
75 Lord Lovel. (among the most popular)
76 The Lass Of Roch Royal.
84 Bonny Barbara Allan
209 Geordie.
221 Katherine Jaffray.
272 The Suffolk Miracle (probably the most popular)
279 The Jolly Beggar.
281 The Keach In The Creel.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 07:08 AM

"Also, if de Valera's own government effectively banned dancing "
Fascinating subject - still taboo among some older people and spoken of in anger, even by devout Catholics and Republicans.
We were at a talk; a reminicence by the musician I mentioned in my previous post (who attended church at every oportunity), when he burst out "those were beautiful days, and my curse on those who ruined them".
We couldn't help but notice the ripple of embarrasment that went through the group of priests and nuns sitting in the row directly in front of us.
Complicated or what?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 06:25 AM

They disappeard completely with The Public Dance Halls Act - 1935, when the government introduced a tax on all such gatherings

That's interesting. In 1943 de Valera gave a St Patrick's Day speech about his ideal Ireland, which is widely remembered as including a line about comely maidens dancing at the crossroads. Actually there's no reference in the speech to dancing, at the crossroads or anywhere else. If they died out in the mid-1930s, it's easy to see why the image of dancing at the crossroads would have attached itself to the speech in people's minds. By 1943 it would have been a powerful image of bygone rural Ireland - definitely a thing of the past, but still within living memory.

(Also, if de Valera's own government effectively banned dancing at the crossroads, it's not hard to see why he wouldn't have mentioned it!


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 05:52 AM

In Ireland the songs, music and dancing were always home activities Patty.
One veteran fiddle player told us that it was when they started playing in the pubs that the music went downhill.
The tradition was that after a days work the locals would 'make their coor'; stroll over to a neighbour's house and swap songs, tunes, stories, or just chat. Some musiicians kept a spare instrument in a neighbouring house to save them the bother of carrying one over.
Regularlaly, dances would take place in the kitchens of some houses; the places with a reputation locally for music and song were known as 'céilí houses'.
Dancing and singing in the more remote areas took place at a crossroads in the open air; often there would be a platform built for the purpose.
The church was very much opposed to 'unsupervised gatherings' and priests forcibly broke up many of the crossroads dances, often smashing or confiscating the instruments. They disappeard completely with The Public Dance Halls Act - 1935, when the government introduced a tax on all such gatherings
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for those posts Jim, most illuminating. Particularly the phrase "The serious singing was done at home or at sea".


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 04:13 AM

"But the tradition of composing local songs found in the 20th century in Ireland is certainly not typical of England."
Sorry Steve - missed a bit last night.
We really don't know that this is the case.
We can guess that the early collectors were only interested in the national material and would not have bothered collecting local home-made pieces. We know for certain that Lancashire mill-workers made songs (I used to have a couple of collections of them). The same with Scots miners (Joe Corrie published a few collections). There were many poets like him in Scotland (referred to somewhat rudely as 'kail yaird (cabbage-patch) poets). We have examples of those on our shelves.
I've already mentioned the Agricultural Workers Union songs (Walter Pardon's The Old Man's Advice).
We really don't know how these copositions sat within the tradition, we do know they existed.
All this just underlines how little we really know about the song tradition; certainly not enough to make sweeping definitive statements
The desire to record experiences and emotions in verse seemed at one time to go with the territory of being a human being - I refuse to write that off as just being a commercial enterprise.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 03:55 AM

"They were entertainers."
It really didn't work like that Steve.
In England, the song tradition was very much in decay when Sharp was doing his rounds at the beginning of the 20th century; this happened much later here in rural Ireland, but by the fifties, active singing within the communities had almost, if not completely gone.
To describe singers like Walter Pardon as a-typical 'entertainers' was well wide of the mark; the same goes for Tom Lenihan in Clare and Mary Delaney and Bill Cassidy among the Travellers.
Those that made it to the folk clubs may have 'entertained' us, but their role was very different within their communities when the tradition was a living one.
Walter only ever sang at family Christmas parties just before (according to him) the traditition died out altogether, alongside family members who had at one time held status as singers within their communities (Walter was too young to have gained that status).
Sam Larner sang every Saturday night at a singing session at his local, The Fishermans Return, but he made a point of telling MacColl and Charles Parker that "the serious singing was done at home or at sea".
Mary Delaney was blind from birth, which limited her role in the Travelling community, but she was considered a major singer there.
Far from these singers being untypical, the evidence suggests that these, and other singers like Jeannie Robertson, the Stewarts, Joe Heaney and Paddy Tunney were very much representitives of how the singing tradition worked when alive. They were singers who had worked at developing their skills, had sizeable repertoires, had an opinion of the importance of their songs and (in the cases of a surviving tradition) had some sort of recogntion in their community as singers.
They were singers with a capital 'S'.
Attempting to draw conclusions on the singing traditions from our experiences in the latter half of the 20th century is a little like trying to assess the skills of a footballer after he has lost his leg in a car accident (sorry about the example - can't think of a better one).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:16 PM

One thing we must also remember when talking about traditional singers is that the big names we keep bandying about are not TYPICAL traditional singers. Harry Cox, Bob Roberts, Walter Pardon etc were almost all minor celebrities in their own communities before they were discovered by the revival. They were entertainers. The vast majority of the traditional singers we recorded and those recorded by the likes of Sharp and Vaughan Williams only sang to amuse themselves, their own families and their own immediate communities in the local pub.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:11 PM

Sorry you feel insulted, Cap'n. I did not say that only traditional singers have "absorbed the tradition" only that there is a distinction between those who grew up with a specific tradition in specific time and place and those (like myself) who have come to traditional music from a very different direction, as one of many varieties of music that we enjoy.

Here's an example of what I mean: My extended family were "Okies" who came to California during the Depression. They worked agricultural jobs, stayed in FSA camps, benefited from New Deal programs and eventually achieved middle-class prosperity. I vaguely remember music and snippets of songs from when I was very young, but I never learned any songs from any one of that social group. After an apprenticeship in DIY punk rock, I discovered Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and others. I learned a few songs and thought I was a 'folk singer'. As time went on, I dug deeper into traditional American music in all its myriad forms. One day I stumbled upon Voices From the Dust Bowl at American Memory, and I decided to dig work my way through it track by track, learning some songs and absorbing idiom, style, etc. I must have done something right (or something very wrong) because occasionally when playing and singing someone will remark that I must have learned these songs from my family, etc. "No," I tell them. "From recordings." Sorry, but I just can't flatter myself that I'm equivalent to a traditional singer. What I do is not the same thing.

And please don't quote that fanatic mass murderer at me, that's just bad taste.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:05 PM

"these were individuals with a little talent and enterprising enough to spot a niche in the market."
Writing song with a working knowledge of folklore, the vernacular, slang ad argot, working terms and accurately describing practices - give us a break Steve - some "little talent".
Our children on the streets made up songs from a young age - did they all of a sudden lose interest and throw in the towel.
Soldiers serving abroad scratched verses on the walls - and have done since they patrolled Hadrian's Wall.
I have given you the example of an area rich in traditional song, but also producing a body of dozens (that we have come across - more like hundreds) of local pieces dealing with things that made them laugh and cry and worry and get angry.....
Non-literate Travellers produced songs on a regular basis right up to the middle of the 1970s (and may well still be doing it).
What makes these particular people unique?
If bothy workers can produce a sizeable body of songs in their own language reflecting their own work experiences - why can't seamen working in very similar conditions do the same?
I have no doubt that some written songs were taken up and re-made, but to suggest that we owe our tradition to a body of, in your own words possessing "little talent" - sorry Steve, ludicrous is the word that springs to mind.
And what am I to make of the broadside trade as it was reported to us by somebody who was involved in it?
And no, 'school' is not inappropriate and inaccurate. The similarity of composition, the use of commonplaces, incremental repetition, similar rhyming patterns, phrasing, and other poetic techniques... and all the things that inspire people to say "I can't define it but I know it when I hear it", suggests a school of poetry (and music) by composers all singing from the same hymn sheet - or songs that have been made, smoothed off, rounded out, adapted... by people sharing common backgrounds and experiences, drawing from their every-day experiences and using their own natural mode of expression to comment on those experiences. They are as distinctive as 'expressionism' or 'cubism' or 'modernism' - certainly not the work of a scattered group of buisnessmen earning a crust for themselves.
If you have definite proof that 'the folk' didn't make their own folk songs - please produce it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:03 PM

Jim,
There are several reasons why the pieces are largely anonymous. The chief one is the fact that we are talking about the very bottom of the literary market here. Half the time the printers didn't even bother to put their own names to the sheets never mind the poor fellows who sold them to them for a shilling. Another reason is that some of the writers would have been respected people in the community and some of their output as you well know was rather indelicate for the times, quite apart from the political pieces which you mention yourself.

Yes of course some of the sharper ones were simply rewriting earlier broadside songs and the percentage of alteration varied but they were still largely using the same body of material.

I'm sure you are aware that the bothy material is a very specialised , almost a one-off body of work. The farm labourers of NE
Scotland at that time were extremely isolated and were literally slaves. Several men lived in in the bothy and had little contact with the outside world. They entertained themselves in time-honoured fashion by making up songs about their harsh conditions and lampooning their employers. My own ancestors worked in a similar environment on the Wolds in East Yorkshire but were not quite as isolated and conditions were not quite as extreme. As far as I can glean they only had the one bothy song which was used universally for each farmer and this was not a broadside ballad (one of the 5%). The reason why these songs are not spread throughout Britain is that by the end of the 18thc very few places in Britain were so isolated or as poor. Notice I have not referred to literacy here. Paradoxically NE Scotland in the early 19thc enjoyed a rate of literacy among the poor well above the rest of Britain due to forward-thinking educationalists mainly in the church.

I have already conceded on several occasions that different conditions occurred both more recently and in the past in Ireland. But the tradition of composing local songs found in the 20th century in Ireland is certainly not typical of England. Whilst the making of local songs does continue in some rural areas in England thay rarely get any further than the maker.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Rozza
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 06:39 PM

In my experience, for what it's worth, singers (and I think they would have accepted latter day enthusiasts as kindred spirits) learnt their songs from a variety of sources. One of my singers cycled twenty miles to Grasby top house to get a song from a renowned singer, who wrote it down for him. Others learnt the words from ballad sheets or garlands bought at hiring fairs etc and others from friends, family and other local singers. Some of my songs I find hard to sing because they hit emotional weak points. Have I qualified as traditional or should I go back to the prozac?

Ruairidh


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 06:07 PM

"Man is by nature a poetic beast driven to record their experiences in songs and poems" Jim

Both of you are looking at the past through rose-coloured spectacles.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, those few common men and women who were to any extent literate were slaves with no time to compose such pieces we now call folk songs. These writers were by and large specialists, albeit at the bottom of the literary pile. I'm quite happy to concede they were largely 'of the folk' but they were trying to eke out a living by penning these pieces.

I have never said that the songs were made by 'broadside sellers' though no doubt some were.

Your use of the word 'school' is inappropriate and inaccurate. these were individuals with a little talent and enterprising enough to spot a niche in the market.

I totally denounce your use of the word 'ludicrous'.

Not all of them remained anonymous. Do I have to repeat the list of songs written by John Morgan?


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 06:01 PM

I really find it, insulting, that goose gander and jim carroll, can decide that only traditional singers can have absorbed the tradition, and that other singers who dont have this label, such as Ewan MacColl, bob blake, and others, who were fine singers and interpreters[but were revivalists]and excellent singers in the traditional style, have not absorbed the style.
the proof of the pudding is in the eating,and bob blake was as good as any of the traditional singers he associated with and unintentionally fooled mike yates.
john brune[ who nearly jeopardised MaCcOLLS RADIO BALLADS], managed to fool Ewan MacColl with his fake recording, which all goes to show that collectors are far too precious about the sanctity of oral transmission, and place far too much credence upon this as a matter of importance particularly when a lot of these so called traditional songs originated in a printed form .
to quote the words of Oliver Cromwell "you have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, i say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god go,
I beseech you in the name of god to think you may be mistaken" .


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 04:43 PM

Jim Carroll wrote:- "Man is by nature a poetic beast driven to record their experiences in songs and poems.

Thank you for that, Jim. It is such a beautiful tribute to the creative spirit that can inspire anyone.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 04:12 PM

"here are some more songs that have been found in broadsides/broadsheets"
Cap'n - you said 'originated' on broadsides - I said that there is no proof where they originated. I am not arguing that singers didn't learn songs from broadsides or other forms of print, just saying that they did not originate there.
"the vast majority were written specifically by hacks to be sold in the streets,"
Steve, we've argued this in the past and no doubt will continue to do so in the future; but I say again - there is not one iota of proof that any song in the tradition was made by a broadside seller.
Apart from anything else, the existance of a school of poets (that's what they would have to be to produce a cohesive body of songs) with an expert grasp of the vernacuar, trade terms, folklore, place names, and all the things that went into the making of our songs and ballads, and manage to remain anonymous, is unlikely enough to be ludicrous.
As GG said, we recorded a Traveller who, with his mother, sold ballads on the streets of Kerry in the 30s and 40s.
We asked him if he made or knew anybody who had made songs tpecifically to sell on the sheets - his infinitely wise repy - "why should we? There were enough songs going around at the time without us having to go to all that trouble".
You appear to have conceded that bothy workers were more than capable of composing songs, then why not rural workers elsewhere, or sailors, mill workers.... or any community of people with expereinces in common?
Man is by nature a poetic beast driven to record their experiences in songs and poems. We must have recorded dozens of local songs here in West Clare on every subject under the sun, politics, work, emigration, new inventions, drinking.... all anonymous and all made during the lifetimes of the singers we got them from.
Walter Pardon gave us songs made for the newly re-formed Agricultural Workers Union, Travellers made songs about their experiences.... If they were capable of making songs, why on earth should they contract the work out?
Hi Ruairidh;
Sorry - my mistake, I was confusing your Aunt with another Jessie, (MacDonald) who sang a version of Robin Hood and the Tanner - apologies.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 04:12 PM

But she didn't simply decide at age 45 to become a ballad singer, learn some songs, and claim authenticity. She grew up singing, and around singing. Like many other traditional singers she learned songs from a variety of sources, I don't dispute that.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 04:03 PM

Texas Gladden, it might be noted, did have a hell of a lot of books.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 03:22 PM

"The FACT is that 95% of what exists in the likes of Sharp, Hammond, Gardiner, Kidson, Broadwood etc has its earliest manifestation on a printed sheet of paper sold in the streets."

True, but a piece of paper endures, while oral expression is emphemeral. I don't think we really know the degree to which broadside writers cribbed verses from singers they heard in pubs, alleys, etc. I know that Jim has recorded from travellers that singers sometimes recited songs to printers who then produced broadside-type sheets for sale.

Cap'n - It should be obvious that a traditional singer such as Texas Gadden - learning songs from friends and family in a cultural millieu where one does not have 5 million songs at the click of a mouse - is quite different from a revivalist who 'creates' his own body of work by picking and choosing from printed, recorded and electronic resources. To put it as simply as possible: anyone can become a revivalist simply by learning a few songs; a traditional singer in this day and age is a rare, and dwindling, breed. 'Howard McMinn' cloned from cuttings and sold in a nursery is not the same thing as wild manzanita growing in the hills of southern California.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 03:18 PM

Ruairidh,
Will you please stop interrupting our petty irrelevant thread-drift with your vastly interesting relevant points of order?


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Rozza
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 03:00 PM

Or, via "Blue Clicky":

http://www.family-trees.org.uk/genealogy/showmedia.php?mediaID=406&medialinkID=706


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:57 PM

Goose(and Jim) what you say in essence is true particularly using the word 'necessarily' but the many people who have studied the broadside content in great detail tell us that the vast majority were written specifically by hacks to be sold in the streets, those that hadn't been pirated from other commercial sources that is. 'Of the people'. I'm certain the hacks were mostly of the people, but mostly earning a meagre living at it. ( We are informed that some of our most famous poets before they were famous earned a bob or two penning a few lines for these printers.)
The FACT is that 95% of what exists in the likes of Sharp, Hammond, Gardiner, Kidson, Broadwood etc has its earliest manifestation on a printed sheet of paper sold in the streets.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:56 PM

[they did it by a different route], should read they learned songs by a different method


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:54 PM

goose gander, more old squit.
traditional singers and revivalists are not necessarily different animals.
if you had listened to bob blake and bob lewis you could not have said there was any noticeable difference thay were both good singers who had absorbed a style they did it by a diiferent route but the end product was indistinguishable.
no one is pretending to be anything, what some of us do is listen and absorb style[yes, even us revivalists], now whether the song was learned from a written source or orally matters little in comparison to the overall absorption which comes from listening to many traditional/source singers, yes, listening to style is the important thing ,not whether the song was learned orally or from a written source.,
so revivalist singers can become indistinguishable from source singers by listening carefully to many source singers, but the actual song does not necessarily have to be learned orally.
i will rephrase that to originated on broadsides


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Rozza
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:51 PM

Just so nobody goes looking for fragments of Robin Hood Ballads in Jessie Kydd's repertoire (she was my Great Aunt), I thought I should let you know that there aren't any. She had fragments of "Laird of Drum" and "Andrew Lammie". The complete songs she knew are online at:

Click here

Ruairidh

--------ClickyFix. JoeClone--------


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:42 PM

Cap'n - "found on broadsides" does not necessarily equate with 'originated on broadsides', anyway it's not where the song came from but what happened to it that makes it a folksong. And who's to say that broadside writers were not 'of the people'?


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:06 PM

jim,you made a statement, here are some more songs that have been found in broadsides/broadsheets.lakes oolfdfin, donnely and cooper, brennan on the moor, polly vaughan ,three jolly sportsmen, poison in a glass of wine.
i have been busy teaching music, so you will understand that i havent had much time to refute your statements.
whats all this squit about slagging off singers i have not mentioned anyone.
information ,now that is a valid point, I agree with you there
yes, on the other matter, we must agree to differ, what new pussycat?


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 01:59 PM

" . . . its high time all this nonsense about traditional singers being somehow superior [just because they learned orally, and regardless of singing abilty] is done and destroyed."

Not a question of quality, Cap'n. Traditional singers and revivalists are different animals, Bob Blake is the exception that proves the rule. How many other revivalists can you name who fooled collectors? Technology has changed, traditional lifeways have changed/evolved/withered and the context within which the anglo-speaking folksong developed simply does not exist anymore. Doesn't mean that we can't sing the songs, play the tunes, but let's not pretend we're all sturdy lumberjacks, muleskinners, and milkmaids.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 12:43 PM

"Cindy (Pete Seeger), Yankee Doodle (Oscar Brand) and many, many, more "
Sorry Dick (Greenhaus) - don't understand your point - Seeger and Brand claim to have written Cindy and Yankee Doodle - surely not?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 11:47 AM

Cap'n
Mathew is right - I have no intention of discussing your, or anybody's singing on this thread, and I certainly am not entering a 'slagging off of traditional singers' here or anywhere.
My point remains; for me, traditional singers bring something different to the songs than do virtually all revival singers I have listened to; they also bring information that revival singers do not, simply because they/we haven't 'been there and done that'
If it is not the same with you, let's agree to differ and continue talking about the ballads.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Kampervan
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 11:29 AM

WOW

Just as a random aside. I've just stumbled across this thread and it's blown me away.

This is what Mudcat is supposed to be about. The quality of question/answer/comment is brilliant.

Don't bother responding to me, I don't want to spoil the flow but I did want to register my admiration of the contributors.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 11:17 AM

"We do not know for certain that ANY traditional song originated on a broadside; some have suggested that they might have, but we have no way at all of knowing where our songs originated (except those that bear a writers name)."
On those that bear a writer's name, we have Cindy (Pete Seeger), Yankee Doodle (Oscar Brand) nd many, many, more


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 11:04 AM

This was quite an interesting thread, but I'm completely baffled by the reference to "second rate versions of carolina moon". Can we please return to looking at Child Ballads in oral tradition?

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 09:48 AM

my ears tell me something different from yours Jim.
furthermore I am not going to tolerate being fobbed off second rate versions of carolina moon , just because they have been collected from a person who had learned his songs[supposedly orally] , and who may have had other more interesting songs in his repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 09:34 AM

maria marten, is another.and andrew rose another.
[the trial of Captain James Rogers for cruelly misusing members of his crew took place in 1849. Following the trial, this ballad was made by an unknown London pub poet and issued by the broadside printers A Ryle & Co of Seven Dials. Senseless cruelty was all too common on English ships, even as late as the 1850s.]


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 09:24 AM

three score and ten, written by delf, was writen to raise money for orphans and widows.
though i live not where i love.
Notes:
Hammond D.219, Robert Barratt, Piddletown, Dorset, Sept 1905
N.B. Piddletown has since been renamed Puddletown. For more details on the renaming, see the forum discussion listed below.

Some small modifications have been made to Mr. Barrett's text, and his third verse has been moved to the end.

William Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, 1859; vol.II pp.451-3 and 782) discusses the song and quotes a text from the family tradition (presumably) of the writer and critic Hazlitt, which is quite close to our text here. Broadsides of 1638 (Peter Lowberry) and c.1640 (Martin Parker) appear to be ancestral (though sung to a different tune); particularly the former, The Constant Lover, which begins.
there is two for starters.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 08:26 AM

Sorry Cap'n - most of what you say is not what I have found when listening (also been around for over 40 years).
Can't answer in full just now, but can we just clear up one point.
"a good proportion of those songs in a traditional singers repertoire were originally broadsheets"
If you know this for certain, you have information the rest of us don't have access to.
We do not know for certain that ANY traditional song originated on a broadside; some have suggested that they might have, but we have no way at all of knowing where our songs originated (except those that bear a writers name).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 08:01 AM

furthemore the a good proportion of those songs in a traditional singers repertoire were originally broadsheets[ printed material]and someone would have had to have read them, for them to have been passed on, in the first place, that is before they were orally transmitted


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:52 AM

Personally, it's why I put such an importance on distinguishing between the traditional singer and the revivalist - not because one is more important that the other, but because we are coming to the songs from different directions with different outlooks and backgrounds.
Jim Carroll
what a load of squit,how was Bob Blakes outlook different, he was mixing with traditional singers having a drink with them and socialising with them.
the only difference was he learned them from a book, but his singning was indistinguashable from a traditional singer.
Ihave heard some squit in my time but this load beats any amount of bull


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:43 AM

Jim , I have been singing traditional songs for over 40 years, Ihave not lost the abilty to perform them or relive them, the fact that i am a revivalist singer rather than a traditional singer , does not matter if one is judging on musical merit, which is the criteria of most people when they listen to jazz ,classical music or most other forms of music.
I too have an inate understanding of the songs, some of the songs are part of my life i too werar them like a comfortable jacket, as do some other revival singers.
the term revival is meaningless, if one is judging purely on interpretation and style of the music.
example that proves my point Bob Blake, collected by Mike Yates[ who mistakenly thought he was a traditional singer] in fact he was singer who learned songs from books but who had lots of friends who were traditional singers[ yet he sang in a traditional style]. and no one could tell he was not a traditional singer because he bloddy well sonded like one.
its high time all this nonsense about traditional singers being somehow superior [just because they learned orally, and regardless of singing abilty] is done and destroyed.
yes there were some very good traditional singers , there were also some not so good ones, and do you know why, it was because some had musicalty and some didnt, not much different from revival singers really, [it was nothing to do with oral transmission]it was to do with their ability as singers.
even if a traditional singer had agood singer to learn from in anb oral way ,that still does not guarantee that the aforesaid traditional singer might be any good ,he might be not vey musical or even tone deaf.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:42 AM

"isn't this itself an artificial distinction? "
No it isn't Paul.
The traditional singers we have questioned seem to have had an innate understanding and feel for their songs; they grew up with them as part of their lives, the 'wore them' as they would wear a comfortable old jacket (at least, those grew up within reaching distance of a living tradition did).
They may have lost the ability to 'perform' them as they once did, but they never lost the ability to re-live' them.
Those of us who came to the songs as outsiders have had to work to gain an understanding of, or feeling for them - even those who might have heard them when we were young, sung at home.
Sitting for hours on end with singers like Walter Pardon or Tom Lenihan made me realise how close they were to their songs - a closeness that I have seldom, if ever, seen in a revival singer.
If you mean there is no difference and the term revival itself is meaningless - I have said what I believe to be the case elsewhere.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 05:47 PM

The context has changed over time surely and the 'revival' which people keep insisting on, is now the main context.

True, but that doesn't make revival singers anything other than revival singers. I mean, we could start referring to people who work at Halford's as blacksmiths, on the grounds that they serve roughly the same kind of function in a very different society, but at the end of the day it wouldn't change the fact that there used to be lots of blacksmiths and now there are hardly any.


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Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 03:43 PM

'Personally, it's why I put such an importance on distinguishing between the traditional singer and the revivalist…'
Yes, I can see where you're coming from Jim but…isn't this itself an artificial distinction? It feels to me a bit like saying that a modern Royal Naval seaman is not 'real' because he wasn't press ganged. The context has changed over time surely and the 'revival' which people keep insisting on, is now the main context. This is completely compatible with the folk dance 'traditions' in England which are not a continuum but rather a series of backward looking revivals for reasons other than 'folk' continuity. These revivals are now the received 'tradition' and many of them are spurious indeed if you're a 'purist' in these matters.


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