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New Book: Folk Song in England

GUEST,Pseudonymous 28 Jun 18 - 01:18 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Jun 18 - 12:12 PM
Vic Smith 28 Jun 18 - 11:26 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Jun 18 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 28 Jun 18 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 28 Jun 18 - 09:39 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jun 18 - 02:04 AM
The Sandman 25 Jun 18 - 02:01 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jun 18 - 05:44 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jun 18 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,JHW 23 Jun 18 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Guest 22 Jun 18 - 11:26 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Jun 18 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Guest 22 Jun 18 - 07:27 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Feb 18 - 12:20 PM
r.padgett 18 Feb 18 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,paperback 17 Feb 18 - 03:55 PM
The Sandman 20 Jan 18 - 09:32 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 18 - 06:23 AM
The Sandman 20 Jan 18 - 05:04 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 18 - 04:53 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 18 - 04:51 AM
The Sandman 19 Jan 18 - 03:38 PM
The Sandman 19 Jan 18 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 19 Jan 18 - 07:56 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 18 - 06:24 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 18 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,just another guest 19 Jan 18 - 04:50 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 18 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 18 Jan 18 - 08:04 PM
The Sandman 18 Jan 18 - 04:18 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 03:17 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jan 18 - 03:06 PM
The Sandman 18 Jan 18 - 03:00 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 02:03 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 12:59 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 12:38 PM
Sue Allan 18 Jan 18 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,just another guest 18 Jan 18 - 11:54 AM
Vic Smith 18 Jan 18 - 11:52 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,just another guest 18 Jan 18 - 11:29 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,just another guest 18 Jan 18 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,just another guest 18 Jan 18 - 10:24 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,just another guest 18 Jan 18 - 09:53 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Jan 18 - 08:38 AM
The Sandman 17 Jan 18 - 11:30 AM
Jack Campin 17 Jan 18 - 11:18 AM
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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 01:18 PM

@ Steve Gardam

I've just discovered the Mudcat section on 'Modes'. Off to browse it before considering new thread.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 12:12 PM

If it's my comment you are talking about you need to say why it is, and not throw stones at it
I don't think the book purports to be anything other than popular songs that people sand rather than those they made themselves
Even Steve gardham said that the overwhelming majority of them were made for money like today's pop songs

If people believe that to be the case, they owe the tradition and those who work in it the duty to justify it (as we do Walter who firmly discriminated between the songs he sang
Call that "silly" if you like
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 11:26 AM

Pseudonymous wrote -
"It is full of gems."

It certainly is and will probably be the most incisive, original-thinking and thought-provoking book on the subject that appears in my lifetime as well as being rigorously argued and meticulously researched with statements backed up from undeniable sources.
It certainly deserves that sort of detailed and thoughtful response and analysis that the post I have have quoted has given it, rather than the silly comment about it that appeared in this thread five days ago.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 10:39 AM

A useful balanced response, Ps.

>>>>>It would be interesting to read some discussion about these chapters.<<<<<(The tunes) Agreed, but not many of us are qualified to do so. Perhaps such a discussion would be better in its own thread.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 10:27 AM

Of course it should have been 'less chance of wilful change', the implication being that unlettered people are less capable of re-writing, unlike the 'professional singers' and 'modern editors' mentioned in the next breath.

Apologies.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 09:39 AM

My copy arrived this week and I have been browsing in it. So, some initial thoughts.

1 I have to say I think it's good value for money. Paperback novels are nearly a tenner.

2 I welcome the chapters setting out information about pioneers and collectors. This is because when you set out to look into the history of the song, you find pieces about it in all sorts of places, and it may be interesting or even useful to have a source of contextual information about the people whose work you are looking at. I think it is also interesting in itself. For me, the book is worth buying at the set price just for that section.

3 For me, given the influence of Child and other people from the North American continent on thinking about folklore, it was good to see a section on him, and on the lasting influences of his approach, with some critical comments on the strengths and weaknesses of it. As usual, the matter is complicated, with the lack of definitive statements by Child. Frustrating, perhaps, but good to know. One quotation given from Child is to the effect that 'the popular ballad is not originally the product or the property of the lower classes of the people. Nothing, in fact, is more obvious than that many of the ballads of the now most refined nations had their origin in that class whose acts and fortunes they depict - the upper class.' That might be interesting to discuss. Does it reflect Child's overall view, and if so, was Child right? What does the term 'the most refined nations' suggest about Child's world view? The book also suggests that Child thought that the old ballads had more change of being subject to 'wilful change' if transmitted through the mouths of 'unlettered people...'.   

4 I have not had time to do more than glance at the Bishop chapters, but they don't seem to simply rehash her chapters in the Bishop and Roud book of English songs, which is good. I am glad that they are there. Lloyd had a section on modes in his book, and it will be interesting to see how far the discussion has moved on. I would encourage people to persevere with these chapters. That's what I intend to do.


It would be interesting to read some discussion about these chapters. Songs are songs, after all, not poems.

5 Definitions of folk song are clearly contested, and a site of ideological conflict. I am not an expert, but it seems to me that Roud's introduction does acknowledge this, and does set out various points of view for the reader, rather than just hammering away at the definition he decides to go with. To sum up, he goes with a 'use' definition rather than an 'origin' definition.


6 In some ways, the debates about this book remind me about what may in future be called 'blues wars',(along the lines of the 'ballad wars' mentioned by Roud) arising from what has been called 'revisionist' scholarship. But, probably, enough said about that.

7 It is full of gems. It isn't so long ago that I was reading something quite polemic about Scottish snaps, so I was fascinated to see that they crop up in Roud.

8 The book does not have the European sweep attempted by Lloyd, but it does have the advantage of seeming thought-out and planned, with careful referencing of ideas. We aren't treated to comment about how folklore flourishes under communist rule, for example (see p 20 on Balkan collective-farm peasants, which, coming to Lloyd for the first time after the horrors of the break up of the former Yugoslavia, reads as, to put it mildly, dated.)


9 I read somewhere the idea that the musical identity of a person depends upon all the music they experience. On that basis, I find Roud's information about how people embraced aspects of popular culture interesting and valid, as well as his sections about work-related songs.

10 Nice to see some info about women singing, the bit about the use of songs in lace making training was evocative and sad.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jun 18 - 02:04 AM

I don't pick fights with you Dick - please don't try to pick them with me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jun 18 - 02:01 AM

"It is not disrespectful to disagree with somebody - it would be disrespectful t
THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK, really rich coming from, Jim.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 05:44 AM

"more" of course
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 05:29 AM

I read it from cover to cover
I now know much pore about the history of pop music
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 05:18 AM

still only read about half an inch of my copy, keeps getting leapfrogged by other stuff to read


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 11:26 AM

Whoever said that Jim Carroll should write a book is right. It seems his life has been full and interesting, and that he knew many people worth remembering too. So it should be an autobiography. Describing some of his work and how it was done will also set down for posterity how the folk music he collected happened, its contexts. This is something he seems, unless I got the wrong end o stick, to be rather keen on putting over. With pictures ideally, as too much text can get dull.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 08:18 AM

Guest
It is not disrespectful to disagree with somebody - it would be disrespectful to ignore what you believe are major errors if you believe them important - as I have done here.
There has been a great deal of @disrespect from all sides here. not just to participants in this argument, but to some of the greatest contributors to folk song
If Steve's arguments are to be accepted, then the opinions of Child, Sharp, Motherwell, and most of the pioneers are wrong
We have already has Child being unable to distinguish between traditional ballads and the formal poetry he was working on
The redefinition of folk song that has been used in 'Folk Song in England' flies in the face of over a century's scholarship
Not only this, but the lasr of our big repertoire Traditional singer, Walter Pardon would have been mortified to find songs he considered not to be folk included in that definition - he certainly did not hold that opinion.
Steve's contribution to Folk Song is enormous - I would not have been able to carry out much of my work as I have without his numbering system - but he is not God - nobody is (not even God IMO as an atheist)
Regarding your problem with Kindle
I believe most on-screen text is reproducible if you have a graphic system and a programme that will copy the image from your screen and paste it back
I use 'Lightshot', but there are others.
Good luck
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 07:27 AM

This is a very saddening thread. In places it feels like a shouting match.

I find many of the posts disrespectful to Steve Roud. I know little about the man, but I have seen some of his work, and he does not merit such disrespect. He comes across as a nice reasonable thoughtful guy.

I feel it is disrespectful to visitors to the site.

The same points are made over and over again, in heated language, often by people who in more or less the next post object to heated language.

There are lengthy, repetitive posts which fail to do the readership the courtesy of checking over for typos, punctuation, and paragraphing. This sort of stuff is a) no pleasure to read and b) needlessly difficult to get sense out of and c) not likely to encourage people to change their views. It is ironic that some of these posts have been made by people who claim that 'the folk' can produce beautiful, expressive language.

On buying this book, when I try to enlarge diagrams, song tunes etc on Kindle versions they won't enlarge, unlike the print. This has rendered some books I have bought on Kindle almost useless. So I shall not be buying the Kindle version of this one, in case.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 12:20 PM

"housands of pounds are poured in to tradtional music in ireland through cce, and you feckin well know it."
If you continue this aggressive tone you ahve no right to expect an answer Dick
CCEs 'singing, dancing and playing by numbers' competitive approach to music had done more damage than it has good - and you know it
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Feb 18 - 12:01 PM

Documentary films will/would benefit or be skewed by choice of interviewees and interviewees~ er um a bit like here?

Ray


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 17 Feb 18 - 03:55 PM

Writing books is one thing, documentary films quite another, (if you've a eye for it).


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 09:32 AM

thousands of pounds are poured in to tradtional music in ireland through cce, and you feckin well know it. secondly tradtional music is encouraged through the media and has been for years on radio and television, that is not denigrating it, there have been programmes on tradtional music on television and radio for over 30 years stop talking rubbish. jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 06:23 AM

"only partly true, "
Not in the slightest Dick - the Media dengrated Irish music ad "diddly di" until it realised that it had become popular again, then they jumped on the bandwagon
Parental encouragement in the form of driving young people into the competition based arms of Comhaltas drove moe of them out than it did commit people top music
Everything good that has happened in the last thirty years has come from ITMA and The Willie Clancy Summer School approach
Even Comhaltas have been given a new lease of life from the upturn with dying branches springing back to life
CCE was one described by Irish music's leading researcher as "an organisation with a fine future behind it" - a perfect summing-up
No intention in allowing you to divert this argument - the answer to this is evident


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 05:04 AM

The result has been many thousands of young people streaming into the music and playing it like old masters"
only partly true, other factors contribute to this phenomemenon, including encouragement from the media, vast government funding,parental encouragement which includes parents being able and considering it a priority to spend money on instruments, basically a difference of cultural priority.
your argument is an over simplification, some of the youngsters are not playing in anything but the style advocated by CCE, much as you might wish to ,Jim, you cannot ignore the influence of CCE, THEY STILL HAVE AN INFLUENCE AND BRING AN ATTITUDE OF COMPETITIVENESSWHICH IS NOT HEALTHY. all is not rosy in the trad music garden in ireland although despite CCE it is healthier than in the uk.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 04:53 AM

"has nor been guaranteed for Irish music."
Should read "has now been guaranteed for Irish music." - must change this keyboard!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 18 - 04:51 AM

"Can we suggest somewhere else then?"
Suggest away Derek; if the subject is not fit for a website that styles itself as being about "Traditional Music and Folklore Collection and Community", where else can it possibly be fit for?
For me, folk song has always been a living entity, as a singer, a listener and a researcher.
All three of those have been part of my learning curve over the last half century and, as far as I can judge, all three of those go into the make-up of this forum - or if they don't, they ***** well should
The idea that this should be taken to an academic journal fills me with horror - I have to say I'm more than a little disappointed you, of all people, should make such a suggestion.
"but is there anyone on this thread that agrees with you,"
These discussions are not about winning hearts and minds or winning over people - they are about open;y exchanging ideas, as all discussions should be
I sincerely hope there are enough open minds here to at least accept that the ideas we are discussing are not the only ones on offer
If this was the only place these discussions were taking place you might have a point - it isn't
I was intending to write a detailed response to Roud's ideas - I still intend to do so, but now there is enough here for me happily to point to and say - "you want mine and other's opinions who made folk song - go open the " New Book: Folk Song in England" on Mudcat and make up your own mind - I have already done so to several friends.
You can judge for yourself whose arguments here make the most sense and who needs to resort to ivory-towerism and personal insulting (ant typos)
This thread has proved an extremely useful sounding board and platform without my having to join the Folk Freemasons, learn a new language and re-mortgage my house so I can afford their literature - thanks all the same.
I don't want to write a book - I probably won't live long enough to do all the things I need to to make sense and make accessible half of what Pat and I have already done.
I worked out a few weeks ago that Pat and I have given something like fifty talks on folksong, to clubs, at conferences, to colleges and Universities down the years, even to groups like The Ethical Society - all were scripted and archived and are part of our collection along with about 100 talks given by others.
We did a few radio programmes in Britain, before we moved to Ireland, since the move we have made getting on for a dozen for Irish radio, we are immensely proud of the three on Travellers and the two on MacColl - all archived and accessible (or will be)
Early this week we met up with the librarians of Limerick University to arrange for them to receive our Library and our thousands of tapes worth of recordings - made by us and others who were generous enough to donate copies of their own work
If Britain had a healthy folk scene, academically or on a performance level, there would be a place for such a collection there - it hasn't, so we have to rely on Limerick making good use of it in their World Music Department - luckily there is more respect for the traditional arts here that they is on your side of teh Irish Sea
EFDSS, which should have been a natural home for collections such as ours, has been turning down donations for years because it doesn't even have storage space, let alone interest in folk material nay more - I know of at least another two British researchers who have the same problem we do in deciding where to leave their work
This argument is a response to the views of a couple of people whose arguments, I believe, could set research in Britain back decades, if taken unchallenged - as if it wasn't in a bad enough state already
Perhaps, if people concentrated more on putting their flk house in order rather than breaking their arses to accept the idea that the folk didn't make folk songs, the position might be improved by coming to terms with the importance of the folk arts taher than trying to bung it in alongside that of the popular music industry - a square peg being pushed into a round hole, if ever there was one.
In twenty-odd years, a few dedicated Irish people have established a firm foundation for traditional music here by creating gatherings like The Willie Clancy Summer School and setting up The Irish Traditional Music Archive
The result has been many thousands of young people streaming into the music and playing it like old masters
A future of at least two generations has nor been guaranteed for Irish music.
A valuable lesson to be learned there
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 03:38 PM

correction, folk clubs are social clubs where people go to participate in folk music as well as listen and socialise , anyone that claims they are not does not understand the meaning of socialising


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 03:01 PM

folk clubs are social clubs, they are places where we people socialise whilst listening to folk music, mo people do not go there to be patronised ov lectured at, they got to listen to folk music and socialise, so FolkClubs are a form pof social club just as jazz clubs are


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 07:56 AM

Jim wrote: "I hope this subject will run and run until the issues raised in the book are thrashed out honestly and in detail, if not here, than elsewhere."

Can we suggest somewhere else then?

Perhaps a well-written, evidence-based refuting of the aspect of Steve's book that you object to most, placed in an academic journal.

I know you don't want to write a book ... you expressed in no uncertain, and rather rude, terms my suggestion that you could write a book as "Elitist, Ivory tower crap" ... though I'm not so sure why. I know you own lots of books written by other people.

It's all very well saying that you will run and run with the argument, but is there anyone on this thread that agrees with you, or who has changed their views because of your arguments?

These are genuine questions.

Derek
Sue Allan's post was good ... evidence-based information. And she is the same Sue who has a PhD.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 06:24 AM

Bty the way
The dangers of not presenting what you claim to are evident by the current state of the clubs compared to the time when you could go to a folk club in the full knowledge you would go home having heard some rather than an evening of poorly rendered Beatles numbers
You want to run a social club - call it a 'Social Club', you want to run an 'anything goes' evening- call it that.
Not to do so is sharp practice
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 06:20 AM

I too found Sue's contribution interesting and said so - it's the bit about this thread ending on agreeing to disagree was what I took exception to
"Draw your lines about 'Folk Song' if you like, keep 'popular music' out of your Folk Clubs,"
I don't know if it's me putting my case badly or you being obtuse, but this has nothing to do with what happens in folk clubs - it is an attempt to identify a musica/poetic/historical phenomenon in order to understand it.
I was a regular singer but am, and have been for four decades a researcher gathering information on the type of songs I sang
I have laid out as clearly as I can what I believe to have discovered.
If you are going to respond, please do so to what I have said and not to agendas you believe I have
If you believe there to be no difference between folk song (as we have come to recognise it) and all the othere genres that have been added by Roud, let's go there, but please to attribute opinions or motives to me that I don't subscribe to
Folk song, as far as I am concerned, is a unique and important cultural phenomenon made mor important by it's social origins.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 04:50 AM

I thought Sue Allan's post was very measured. It led me to do a little web searching and I am now enjoying reading her thesis (at least I assume it is the same Sue Allan).

I found this thread because I was interested in the book, but my interest is mainly in social history, particularly of the 'ordinary people' who did not write history books about themselves and their forebears. Roud makes a lot of material very accessible.

I am not really a member of the community that comes here. My interaction with the 'second revival' is as a consumer (since about 1960) not a participant. However, I do like to spend my time in environments were people 'make their own amusement' and that includes playing tunes, singing songs, reciting doggerel and if I am lucky people reading out their own made up ditties. If someone wants to contribute some nice Lennon & Mccartney or Rogers & Hammerstein that's just fine by me. It's as social occassion.

What I find in the book is lot of detail about 'people doing what people do'. Draw your lines about 'Folk Song' if you like, keep 'popular music' out of your Folk Clubs, don't let people hold a sheet in their hand to help. But the book suggests that what the 'ordinary folk' were doing wasn't like that. If someone came back from market with a broadside that took their fancy and sung it out before they had learned it, or fancied singing the one pasted to the pub wall, or got a shilling from a printer for their song, were they cast out?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 03:56 AM

"Am I the only one here who's going to commend Sue on her sane and measured contribution to the discussion?"
And the arbitrary re-definition of folk song by a single academic....?
And the dismissal and denigration of some of our greatest researchers....?
And the refusal ro respond to a single significant point of argument...?
I most certainly hope you are Jerome
If I have anything to do with it, I hope this subject will run and run until the issues raised in the book are thrashed out honestly and in detail, if not here, than elsewhere
I have invested far too much time, thought and energy in the subject of the decades I have been involved in it to walk away from being told I am a dewy-eyed romantic
The future of our understanding of folk song rests on a genuine sharing of knowledge and experience, not the back-biting nastiness (down to the level of the use of typos) that has taken place here.
Incidentally, I responded to Dick's question on 'Sunday Well' by using Donal Maguire's sleeve notes of his album of that name
Maguire is a very talented revival singer who is heavily involved in researching the life of Land League activist, Michael Davitt, using the songs of the time
Maguire's work is typical of the information gathering that is invaluable of our understanding of folk songs      
The Folk Song revival is peppered with such examples, in sleeve notes, in researched articles for magazines and journals.... all there for the researching
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 08:04 PM

"I do hope this thread can be laid to rest now - if people could just agree to disagree on proportions of songs from the broadside presses."

Am I the only one here who's going to commend Sue on her sane and measured contribution to the discussion?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 04:18 PM

thankyou


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 03:17 PM

"Jim Carroll, can you kinmdly answer my question about the star of sundays well, thank you in anticipation"
I've told you what I know Dick, which is confirmed on "p258 of O Lochlainn's More Irish Street Ballads."
No indication that it appeared on a broadside, let alone originated on one
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 03:06 PM

Dick,
Seemingly what you require is on p258 of O Lochlainn's More Irish Street Ballads.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 03:00 PM

Jim Carroll, can you kinmdly answer my question about the star of sundays well, thankyou in anticipation


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 02:03 PM

"not everyone was a ploughman or a milkmaid. "
Sorry - missed a bit
The only people to have mentioned "not everyone was a ploughmen or milkmaids (or "swains and shepherdesses" are those ridiculing the suggestion that working people made these songs - it has long been established ploy to 'romanticise' the opposition
Our work was with small farmers, agricultural labourers, roadwokers... et al.
WE even recorded fishermen and a village carpenter!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 12:59 PM

Sorry Sue
I intended to respond to your interesting post
Steve Round has written an interesting book - on popular song
It is my opinion that he has entitled it incorrectly
As ha has taken it upon himself to re-fefine folk song in the way he has and turn a century or so's scholarship on its head, surely he can expect adverse response from those who disagree with him, especially from those of us who have been at it as long as he has?
This redefinition is so fundamental as to cause us all to question what we have been doing for the last half century
I was part of a singing revival which fell apart when the foundations were destroyed by people who wished to turn our clubs into cultural dustbins by using them as convenient platforms to perfiorm any type of song they wished
I'm not suggesting for one minute that this is Steve's intention, but this could well be the effect these claims have.
Already we have seen the "Oooh look - the folk didn't make folk songs" responses from the establishment art critics.
Our own researches, in Britain and Ireland, suggest the opposite to be the case
Is it "unseemly" to argue on the basis of those researches.
One of the main proponents of this argument, someone who has co-operated with Roud on his book, has reduced these discussions to personal slanging matches - I have insulted nobody and have sought to avoid doing so.
No these arguments are being reduced to using errant Spellcheck correctors to snipe from the sidelines
Not particularly "seemly" either
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 12:38 PM

"but that one deserves a prize!"
As do your hit and run interventions Vic


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Sue Allan
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 12:26 PM

From my researches into the broadside and chapbook ballad trade and ballad singers and sellers in Cumbria (I know, a very limited field: but nonetheless presumably not untypical of some other areas in the country), where there were small-town printers and stationers aplenty in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century not only re-publishing material from presses elswhere, but also actively collecting songs for chapbook collections - from, for example, dialect poet and musician Robert Anderson - as well as distributing broadsides and chapbooks from elsewhere.
Later in the nineteenth century printers were often commissioned to print ballads written by local ballad singers/hawkers (notably Jimmy Dyer) in order for them to make a few pennies by hawing them around country fairs and markets.
I think we need to remember that we are not always talking of city v. country, but a whole range of small country towns and villages where books,songs, elections sheets and playbills were printed and where ballad singers wrote and sang printed ballads - and many people bought them.
Admittedly there was a very high literacy rate in nineteenth century Cumberland (as in Scotland), which might explain the plethora of small printers, but on the other hand you actually do only need one person in a pub to be able to read a ballad and others can learn it from them. We need to remember too that almost all the tunes were passed on orally.
The countryside was also home to a much more diverse society of artisans and tradesmen - hand weavers, tailors, cobblers, smiths, carpenters, masons, shop-keepers, dancing teachers, fiddlers etc - than we often think of today: not everyone was a ploughman or a milkmaid. This heterogeneity, and a notable degree of interaction between towns and countryside, is, to my mind, celebrated in the wide range of folk songs we have. Some come from commercial sources, some written by people in the community - including some they endeavoured to printed locally, or which were learned by ballad singers and sellers in order to provide new material to broadside printers. It's a wonderfully heterogeneous, lively scene!
Money certainly did change hands at times - Anderson and Dyer were always broke and on the look-out for more ways to make some cash through their words and music. There are so many shades of grey ...
I do hope this thread can be laid to rest now - if people could just agree to disagree on proportions of songs from the broadside presses.
(Sorry if the above is rather incoherent: it's a bit of a stream of consciousness, born out of frustration that this thread, which should have been a celebration of Steve Roud's book, has instead has become a somewhat ungainly, and at times unseemly, argument.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 11:54 AM

I wasn't being facetious. You were with your "Were the English so unimaginative ..."

Then as now some people with a day job got paid for their writings.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 11:52 AM

Veritable Bede
There are typos and typos - but that one deserves a prize!


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 11:42 AM

"Maybe their imagination stretched to getting someone to pay them for it,"
People have been making songs since the time of the Veritable Bede
Facetiousness is the lowest form of argument
Jm Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 11:29 AM

Were the English so unimaginative and talentless as to have to pay somebody to do the job for them?

Maybe their imagination stretched to getting someone to pay them for it, and so not be regarded by you as writers of 'folk songs'.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 10:57 AM

"So they made a living by distributing something that people wanted? "
Commerce isn't as democratic as that - they produced something they wanted people to want
Everybody is still shuffling around the idea that these songs were made by the people who felt the need to make songs as a reaction to what was going on around them and - unless anybody can show otherwise were well capable of doing so
That has now been established as having happened in Ireland and was common among agricultural workers in Scotland
Were the English so unimaginative and talentless as to have to pay somebody to do the job for them?
It seems that if somebody writes a big book everybody feels the need to bow down to it
JIm Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 10:31 AM

Or, to pick up a theme in the book, whether they are of any use to you and your peers should not distort the opportunity for others to appreciate the songs that ordinary people sang.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 10:24 AM

So they made a living by distributing something that people wanted? If people had a choice of what or whether to buy then selling songs that more people liked would help pay the bills and put food on the table.

Whether, 150 years later, you were going to like the songs and want to sing them was irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 10:02 AM

"Do we? All of those small-town printers?"
The last remnants of the broadside trade, the balld sellers in Ireland, paid the printer for their work and hoped to sell enough to make a profit on what they's laid out
None of these people did it as an act of charity
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,just another guest
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 09:53 AM

"We know that the broadside trade was based on making a profit"
Do we? All of those small-town printers?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 18 - 08:38 AM

"
It seems to me that the question of artistic merit (as subjective as the broader question of taste) is being subordinated to the test of whether the "artist" has been paid or not."
Not by me, it hasn't
I have consistently made the comparison between the superior quality of the songs made for money (under pressure) and the superior quality of the traditional songs
Steve Gardham examples of broadsides from the Holloway and Black collection and his hasty departure seem be an acknowledgement on his part that there is no doubt on that question, but of course, anybody is free to take the point up again
Money in itself is an incidental - but the motivation of payment for making songs most certainly is not

Laycock, and especially Bamford (author of 'Passages in the Life of a Radical') may have put out songs on broadsides, but their compositions were created to illustrate the conditions of the times, that was why the songs were created - money was an addition.
"when we don't know (except in rare cases) who was paid for what and who wasn't or under what circumstances?"
We know that the broadside trade was based on making a profit
"We have no right to airbrush hunting songs even when we disapprove of hunting,"
Nobody is suggesting this Dick
That these songs exited and were sung makes them part of the repertoire
If songs in praise of hanging, drawing and quartering existed, they would be part of the reperoire
THat doesn't mean they have an automatic place in today's repertoire
As far as I know, opposition to hunting is a relatively modern phenomenon anyway and would in no way effect the collecting of such songs.

Many of the collectors and anthologists, the Rev Sabine Baring Gould including, may not have published bawdy and erotic songs, but they kept them in manuscript form (Bishop Percy's 'Loose and Humorous Songs' being a prime example of such)
Occasionally, if you thumb through the Folk Song Journals you will find examples of songs not being documented, such as 'The Girl from Lowestoft (The Hole in the Wall)', but many survived Victorian prudery
Sharp and his crowd aimed to get songs into schools as a way to preserve them; under these circumstances censorship was inevitable
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Jan 18 - 11:30 AM

We have no right to airbrush hunting songs even when we disapprove of hunting, that is no better than those collectors who cleaned up sexual content in songs of a sexual nature.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Jan 18 - 11:18 AM

most collectors of the 'First Revival' wouldn't have got too worked up about hunting songs

They were. Most of them have never been printed, even now.


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