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New Book: Folk Song in England

Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Aug 18 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Aug 18 - 06:05 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Aug 18 - 07:52 AM
Lighter 02 Aug 18 - 07:57 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 02 Aug 18 - 08:40 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Aug 18 - 10:29 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 11:19 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 18 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Aug 18 - 11:58 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Aug 18 - 01:25 PM
Vic Smith 02 Aug 18 - 03:51 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Aug 18 - 03:03 AM
Will Fly 03 Aug 18 - 04:12 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Aug 18 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Bert Fan 03 Aug 18 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,1594 03 Aug 18 - 10:42 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Aug 18 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,jag 09 Aug 18 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 09 Aug 18 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 09 Aug 18 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,jag 09 Aug 18 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,jag 09 Aug 18 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,jag 09 Aug 18 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 09 Aug 18 - 08:38 AM
Steve Gardham 09 Aug 18 - 05:58 PM
Richard Mellish 10 Aug 18 - 02:56 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Aug 18 - 04:04 AM
Will Fly 10 Aug 18 - 04:22 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Aug 18 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 Aug 18 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 Aug 18 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,jag 10 Aug 18 - 08:13 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Aug 18 - 08:29 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Aug 18 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 Aug 18 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,jag 10 Aug 18 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,jag 10 Aug 18 - 09:47 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Aug 18 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 Aug 18 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,jag 10 Aug 18 - 10:32 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Aug 18 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 Aug 18 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,jag 10 Aug 18 - 12:47 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Aug 18 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 10 Aug 18 - 08:22 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Aug 18 - 02:51 AM
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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 01:45 AM

"In the opening section, Child says that the 'popular ballad' (ie the sort he liked) predates "
Popular = of the people - nothing whatever to do with what Child liked or disliked
It seems confirmed that New Age Scholarship is based on dismantling and undermining the work of the past - academic Luddism in reverse
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 05:56 AM

Hello Jim

I hope you had a nice birthday.

I am perfectly aware of the derivations of the word 'popular', but thank you for reminding me of them.

It is not the case that my summary of Child arises from any bent towards 'dismantling and undermining the work of the past'. It arises from a desire to be as clear as possible about the work of the past, about what people in the past with an interest in ballads said about them. This work includes the piece by Child.

Child did like a particular kind of ballad; he did not like other sorts. I think you have yourself often quoted his remark about dunghills. My comment is perfectly reasonable.

I then go on to say something about his opinions about those ballads he did like, and about their place, as he saw it, in relationship to 'the poetry of art', and about who, in his view wrote those songs.

On the latter point, the article, as I have said before, seems self contradictory. This is not 'dismantling and undermining' the work of the past: it is an attempt, however clumsily truncated', to spell out that work.

On the former point, Child sees the ballad as the forerunner of a more civilised and cultivated written literature, which he calls 'the poetry of art'.

Unlike some other folklorists, Child did not see folk songs as originating with peasants or the lower ranks in society. He makes this crystal clear several times in the article. I did not want to quote large chunks of his piece, but as you took up my use of the word 'popular' I will quote some more to demonstrate how Child used the term at the start of the article.

" The 'popular' ballad, for which our language has no unequivocal term (interesting caveat applied by Child here), is a distinct and very important species of poetry. Its historical and natural place is anterior to the poetry of art, to which it has formed a step and by which it has regularly been displaced, and, in some cases, all but extinguished. Whenever a people in the course of its developement reaches a certain intellectual and moral stage, it will feel an impulse to express itself and the form of expression to which it is first impelled is, as is well known, not prose but verse, and in fact narrative verse. The condition of a society in which a truly national or popular poetry appears explains the character of such poetry. It tis a condition in which the people are not divided by political organisation or book culture into markedly distinct classes, in which consequently there is such community of ideas and feelings that the whole people form an individual'"

It seems to me worth making Child's points clear when discussing the work of the past. It was not as monolithic as your comments appear to suggest. Moreover, given what I know about the intellectual context in which CHild was writing, and the views about race to which the early folklorists mostly subscribed, it seems to me that much of this stuff about the stages of development of the societies which in Child's view produced ballads is on some level intended to differentiate the productions of early Europeans from those of other peoples who were not in the view of many Americans as developed (eg African Americans). Because such racialised thinking is clear and explicit in the early folklore journals that I have quoted before.

As far as I can judge on the basis of your own interesting points on these threads, there are a number of points where you do not agree with Child. Your own post reads to me like a 'shoot the messenger' approach. but I think your argument is really with Child.

Sorry if this post is a bit garbled; have to go out soon.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 06:05 AM

When I said self-contradictory I was thinking that Child's view of ballads as expressing some classless society contradicted his plainly expressed view that it was obvious that they were not written by lower orders but by the higher orders.

He wrote in the same article

"From what has been said it may be seen or inferred that the popular ballad is not originally the product or property of the lower orders of the people. Nothing 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 - though the growth of civilisation has driven them from the memory of the highly polished and instructed and has left them as an exclusive possession to the uneducated"


By "the most refined nations" Child seems to mean mostly Western Europe. This seems a tad ethnocentric. He comments, for example, that the 'Servians' have not outlived the original ballad society.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 07:37 AM

"It is not the case that my summary of Child arises from any bent towards 'dismantling and undermining the work of the past'."
Not just yours pseu - since I became involved in this argument it has become increasingly obvious that in order to accept the basic tenets of this book it is necessary to forgt everything you thought you know and start again
I should have realised this from day one when half a century's experience was swept aside as "starry-eyed" naivety
I just don't buy any of it, especially as the only way these ideas could possibly be taken seriously is to remove the idea that folk song is in any way unique, but is, as the 90% pus academic claims, the products of a fore-runner of the present pop scene and created for profit (I've dug out the quote often enough, and am happy to do so again)
This contradicts virtually everything I and virtually all folk song enthusiasts from day one have come to regard as folk song
I began to suspect an agenda when these percentages were applied also to folk tales, music and dance.
I'll need far more than unprovable claims that the first editions of all this appeared in print or in Pleasure Gardens productions
The structure and function of folk songs as distinct from the broadside "russh-job" approach to song making is indicative of which way to look for me and comparing to to song-making in Ireland, Britain's nearest neighbour, confirms that even more

I have read Child fairly extensively and have never been left with the impression that he liked folk song particularly - he worked at them as as a sudy ing as aspect of culture
Mind you - he did try his hand at songmaking - made quite a good job of it too
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 07:52 AM

Hi Jim

Thanks for your response.

Still hoping you had a good birthday, by the way.

Tzu


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 07:57 AM

The assumption that ballads are primal or foundational may be correct, but it has nothing much to stand on.

Without being an expert on either Child or ballad studies, or attempting to be definitive, I'd point out that after Darwin (1859 and 1871), the fashion in Western thinking swung strongly toward evolutionary schemes of cultural development.

These developments always moved from "simple" to "complex."

Thus it was irresistible to assume that the relatively simple ballad must have been ancestral to the complexities of modern "art song."

In broadest outline, this picture must be correct. The most ancient artistic artifacts yet discovered (e.g., beads from 100,000 BC, a bone flute from 40,000) are very simple.

But the cave paintings in France and Spain, which likewise antedate all existing European cultures, are technically more complex than much of what followed for the next 10,000 years.

To make an analogy, Hemingway is noted for his short, choppy sentences, often linked merely by "and." Arguably, then, Hemingway's art is more primitive than, say, Homer's or Henry James's, and to a Martian researcher would "obviously" be far older than either. Of course, there are definitions of complexity other than style, but if we were to conclude that Hemingway is somehow just as complex as Homer or Shakespeare, we're back where we started.

I don't see anything in the ballad's form, or its direct and concise method of sung, rhymed, stanzaic story-telling, to suggest that it *necessarily* arose early in European history.

It's possible. of course, to sing a story without stanzas, or without rhyme, or mostly improvised at each performance, or with non-repetitive tunes, etc., etc. Pre-balladic story-singing of that sort must have arisen not long after singing itself. You don't need the ballad form to sing a story.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 08:25 AM

"Still hoping you had a good birthday, by the way."
Sorry i forgot to say I had
Nothing to do with you, I'm a bit harassed trying to assmble my sound unit
****** technology

Basically, Homer (or whoever) approached his subject as a ballad-maker
Irish storytellers appeared to follow the same disciplines using the same motifs and commonplaces similar plot structures, concentration on narrative plot rather than description and devices such as incremental repetition
There is also a tendency to assume the listener is familiar with the subject matter rather than having to explain it
I've spent time with older generation storytellers and made a practice of recording the same material more than once - I was always intrigued by the way the narratives hadly ever altered from telling to telling
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 08:40 AM

in order to accept the basic tenets of this book it is necessary to forgt everything you thought you know and start again

You just need to accept that what Roud wants to investigate is worth investigating on its own terms, even if it isn't what you're used to looking for.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 09:23 AM

"You just need to accept that what Roud wants to investigate is worth investigating on its own terms"
The way it has been produced to date has been pretty definitive, as has been the dismantling of the work of others.
The eagerness with which it has been taken on board both here and the reviewing press disturbs me deeply
I don't believe you present a book that size as 'work in progress'
At least the '54 definition was agreed upon by a committee - this seems to be an 'Easy Rider' road trip by a couple of people
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 10:29 AM

I think Lighter is right about evolutionary thinking and his argument about the ballad not necessarily being older because 'simpler' very interesting.

But Lighter is also right to suggest that views about what is 'simple' and what is 'complex' might quickly get complicated.

For me, one basic tenet of Roud's book is that what music and song ordinary people of middling and lower 'ranks' or 'classes' enjoyed, played and sang in past times is interesting in itself. He provides masses of interesting information, based on contemporary written accounts.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 11:19 AM

"He provides masses of interesting information, based on contemporary written accounts."
He does of course, there is no argument on thet
If he had called his book 'The History of Popular Music' there would have been no argument from me.
Th result of his not doing so is evident here - people have rused to give folk music an entirely different provenance.
If it's done that to theose of us 'in the know' what chance is there of winning new people to the real thing?
We are now saddled with the 'singing horse'
definition (pun intended)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 11:22 AM

As Bert might have put it at the end of his book, "If Steve Roud's 'folk song in England' is about English Folk Song, then we need a new name for Bert Lloyd's 'Folk Song in England'
They are about two different types of song
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 11:58 AM

I was amused to note that Child, referring to the Percy collection, especially disliked certain ballads therein, saying they were not the 'harmless coprolites of a remote age' but 'rank and noxious specimens of comparatively modern dirt, such as would suit the age of Charles II, in whose the collection seems to have been made'.

He had quite a turn of phrase, didn't he?

[Ref: Article by Sigrid Rieuwerts from the '90s.]


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 01:25 PM

We can at least assume one thing from Child's collective comments; his desire to obtain material from field notes and manuscripts, and his scathing comments about the redactions of relatively sophisticated editors, demonstrate clearly that he prized material that had come direct from what we would call source singers. However, even in this he was not consistent in that he prized Anna Gordon's redacted pieces above all else. Your quote, Tzu, is chickenfeed alongside some of his attacks on later editors.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Aug 18 - 03:51 PM

NEWS OF STEVE ROUD - ANOTHER PUBLICATION AT THE PLANNING STAGE!

This is part of the latest Traditional Song Forum circular from Martin Graebe -
Steve Roud and David Atkinson are planning another publication on Street literature. They write:
We are acutely aware that in the recent upsurge of interest in, and publication about, cheap print and street literature, the early modern period is getting a great deal of attention, and the nineteenth century is also being gradually opened up for scrutiny. But the gaping hole in our knowledge is the eighteenth century.
Our plan, therefore, is a new volume of essays, composed of a mixture of full chapters and shorter case-studies, on aspects of the subject in Britain and Ireland, which we hope will break new ground and be a welcome addition to the literature.
If anyone might be interested in contributing - please contact us. And if you know of someone else who might be interested, please spread the word.


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

I was looking forward to reading the books on street literature now being published and adding them to our collection, along with the earlier works by pioneers like Hindley, Shepherd, Collison and Vicinus.
Street Ballads in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and North America: The Interface between Print and Oral Traditions, edited by Steve Roud and David Atkinson, particularly interested me because of its links between broadsides and folk songs - I caught my breath when I found that a paperback copy (290pp) would cost me £39.99
Luckily, a friend gave me a pdf copy
When 'Street Literature of the Long 19th Century' hit the shops last year I found a modest sized book of 387pp would have cost me £64.99 or $148.00
pension, this is elitist literature
I decided to wait to see if that one was ever remaindered

At these prices, certainly for a pensioner like me living on a State pension, this is elitist literature.
I fully realise that the authors have no control over the prices of their works, but I suggest that they seek publishers with a more realistic approach to their pricing policy, especially considering the subject matter, which I find a little ironically whimsical, given Roud and Atkinson's description in the blurb
cheap print and street literature !!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Aug 18 - 04:12 AM

sympathies for your plight, Jim. Publishing in a limited market is always a problem. I produced a book of photographs of my village last year - stuff I'd taken over the past 30 years or so - with descriptive text. 78 landscape, A4 pages containing 300 photographs, perfect bound with a flexible thicker paper cover. I paid for the total production.

My initial run of 100 cost me £760 - £7.60 each, and I sold them for £10 each. A profit of £2.40 for most of them. (I say "most" because some were sold by the village museum, and I donated £1 per copy sold by them to the museum funds).

I managed to get a better price for the next 100 - £680 - which means I make a little more when they get sold. The first 100 sold out very quickly; the second run is selling, but more slowly. So - £10 for an A4 78pp paperback... value for money? Anyone's guess!

No real comparison with proper publishing, I know, but unless you can get reasonable quality bulk publishing at a reasonable price, print costs can seem ridiculously high. I suspect the Roud book has a limited marketplace in terms of subject matter.

My s/h copy of "The Italian comedy" (£12, reasonable condition) came through the door the other day, by the way - just starting to have a good read of it. Thanks again for the heads-up.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Aug 18 - 04:40 AM

Publishing folk material in Ireland is just as problematical in a way but as the Traditional arts is quite well represented on the Arts circuit it is still possible to get grants for research and publishing, though not as easy as before the bankers naused up the economy
We were helped enormously by two very generous grants from the Arts Council of Ireland in the transcribing of texts and music fo out Traveller collection.
If we ever get round to producing a book the main work has been done and Limerick Uni will possibly be interested
Clare County Library's taking up our Clare Collection was a dream realised - this is what we were hoping to acheive in the U.K. when we had given up hope on E.F.D.S.S.
I hope things haven't deteriorated so far there for than not to be a possibility.

I hope you enjoy The Italian Comedy and much as I did - (that's not a bad price for a book of that quality and importance)
If you haven't already, you might try 'The Commedia Dell' Arte by Giacomo Oregalis (Methuen University Paperback 196)
It concentrated more on the scenarios of the plays rather than its history - I found the two complimented each other perfectly
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Bert Fan
Date: 03 Aug 18 - 09:54 AM

How about calling it" A Bert in a Day"


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,1594
Date: 03 Aug 18 - 10:42 AM

1954 Definition made by a Committee?
"We always carry out by committee anything in which any one of us alone would be too reasonable to persist."


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Aug 18 - 11:14 AM

The alternative to deciding by committee is either not to have a definition or to allow a 'superior' power to decide what it means
George Orwell had a very good take on the latter - he called it 'Newspeak'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 05:42 AM

I'm sorry, but in the end I felt this touched on too many aspects of the discussion not to post the link.

http://cottonfaminepoetry.exeter.ac.uk/database/poem.html?id=as_1862-11-08_unkno

Tum's opening words made me smile. Note also the comment about the tune.

I came across it via https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/09/mill-workers-poems-about-1860s-cot


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 06:54 AM

I saw this article too. Interesting, though some of this work has been published early in the 20th century too, so it isn't quite the new discovery the Guardian article seems to suggest.

Thanks for posting it, Jag.

I have ancestors who worked in Lancashire mills in the early 19th century. I didn't think this line were non-literate (which seems to be a requirement for some definitions of folk) in the 19th century. Some were tee-totallers and involved with Chartism, albeit it tangentially as far as I know, and this collection seems to support my views on their literacy. They had moved to Lancashire from the Dales of Yorkshire, for the work presumably, several members of the same family at about the same time. So who knows what 'dialect' they and their children would have used.

One poet cited, Samuel Laycock, was born, like my ancestors, in Yorkshire and worked in a cotton mill in Stalybridge. So they may call it 'The Lancashire' cotton famine, but a lot of it wasn't in Lancashire, but in Cheshire. Put simply, a lot of Manchester was once in Cheshire.

There isn't just one Lancashire accent nowadays and I don't suppose there was just one Lancashire dialect then. Complicated also by moving county boundaries and vanishing counties. I recognise some dialect words used (eg clammed) and I'm not from Lancashire. So they are right to comment how difficult it must be to speak these poems as their writers would have.

The poet quoted in Jag's link bemoans the fact he cannot send his kids to school, and I was trying to remember whether you had to pay a penny at this time. This was written before Forster's 1870 education act, certainly. This seems to show that literacy was important to many in the working class at that time.

My understanding had been that there was a lot of support for abolition in Lancashire despite the cotton famine. I accept that you can't interpret the choice of tune one way or another.

The tune choice is presumably the sort of evidence drawn upon by Roud in commenting about how much American music, including minstrelsy, had influenced what ordinary people in England were singing and how early.

As the web-site states, this poetry is evidence of 'a thriving literary culture'. It also points out that the 'voices' in the poems are fictional, and not necessarily those of the authors.

Edwin Waugh (one of the authors cited) wrote a book about the cotton famine which is on line. He seems to have been a collector.

There was a programme on Radio 4 recently about poets writing in dialect in which some of the names on the Exeter web-site were mentioned.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 07:39 AM

From Edwin Waugh's book about the time:

"Any one well acquainted with Lancashire, will know how widespread the study of music is among its working population. Even the inhabitants of our large towns know something more about this now than they knew a few months ago. I believe there is no part of England in which the practice of sacred music is so widely and lovingly pursued amongst the working people as in the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. There is no part of England where, until lately, there have been so many poor men's pianos, which have been purchased by a long course of careful savings from the workman's wages. These, of course, have mostly been sold during the hard times to keep life in the owner and his family."

"Even in great manufacturing towns, it is very common, when passing cotton mills at work, to hear some fine psalm tune streaming in chorus from female voices, and mingling with the spoom of thousands of spindles. "


"Now, when fortune has laid such a load of sorrow upon the working people of Lancashire, it is a sad thing to see so many workless minstrels of humble life "chanting their artless notes in simple guise" upon the streets of great towns, amongst a kind of life they are little used to. There is something very touching, too, in their manner and appearance. They may be ill-shod and footsore; they may be hungry, and sick at heart, and forlorn in countenance, but they are almost always clean and wholesome-looking in person. They come singing in twos and threes, and sometimes in more numerous bands, as if to keep one another in countenance. Sometimes they come in a large family all together, the females with their hymn-books, and the men with their different musical instruments, ? bits of pet salvage from the wrecks of cottage homes. The women have sometimes children in their arms, or led by the hand; and they sometimes carry music-books for the men."

"Their faces are sad, and their manners very often singularly shame-faced and awkward; and any careful observer would see at a glance that these people were altogether unused to the craft of the trained minstrel of the streets."

You can read more here:

http://gerald-massey.org.uk/waugh/c_cotton_famine_(4).htm#XXIII.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 08:02 AM

Both my grandfathers worked in the Lancashire cotton mills. From one I have the Laycock volume I quoted from earlier, from the other several books given as Sunday school attendance prizes in the 1890's

Back to the Laycock volume in which his (sympathetic) biographer says

"At six years of age Laycock was fortunate in being sent for a short time to a day school. This implies some self-denial on the part of his parents, for it was not uncommon for children to begin work at the early age of six. Then, as usual, there came the Sunday School. Only those who are familiar with the days of which we are writing will know the immense influence of the Sunday Schools in Lancashire had upon the lives of the working people, not only in regard to religious training, but also in reference to their education ... ... At the Sunday school which Laycock attended writing was taught as well as reading ...

Laycock was born in 1826. His father was a handloom weaver, his grandfather a hill farmer. Neither of those are the lowest in society but Laycock started work in a woollen mill at the of nine.

I think that 'the collectors' give a more 'bimodal' view of society than my reading (and limited personal geneologic research) suggest. We have the middle class collectors showing interested in what the peasantry were doing and in the next wave were socialists highlighting the creative skills of the farm labourers and urban wage slaves.

I don't think it was like that, there were a lot of people in between many of whome were literate. Most villages would have had a blacksmith, some of whom left detailed day-books, all towns had tradespeople. Some of their children did well in life financially or in terms of time in which to be creative, others went down in the world. Where does being a pleasure garden or music hall performer put someone in society?

I suspect it was every thus.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 08:03 AM

Crossed with Pseudonymous


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 08:17 AM

Thanks for Waugh link. The Laycock volume is here: https://archive.org/details/collectedwriting00layc


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 08:38 AM

Hello Jag

I checked and Roud does in fact refer to a couple of Waugh's works. Didn't check for Laycock, but I don't suppose Roud will have missed that.

Re blacksmiths: another set of my ancestors were blacksmiths generation after generation, across Cheshire, then comes the mid-to-late 18th century and you find a descendent putting a cross on a certificate! So literacy definitely came and went. Agree on families and children going up and down (within limits of course!)

Another lot were publicans and at the same time coal merchants in Lancashire at about the time of the famine. I must look back over the records in the light of the famine. Because I don't suppose pubs or coal merchants did too well then.

Agree with Laycock's biographer on Sunday schools too, and not just Lancashire. It was partly about reading the bible, and yes, some people could read but not write or just write their names but not always even that. One of my Lancashire ancestors appears to have ended up at some sort of charity day school after being partially crippled as a child, and ended up working in printing and publishing(of anti-alcohol tracts as I understand it). So literacy came to him as a result of a combination of bad luck and charity.   

My father in law (long since passed away) used to go to Sunday Schools because they fed him: he ended up with the Methodists, so he told me, because they had the best dinners! This would be the thirties, I guess. So the role of Sunday Schools lasted into the 20th century.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 05:58 PM

50s, Tzu
I don't remember much about it but I definitely attended. Will ask me mam tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 02:56 AM

Just linked by FreddyHeadey (thank you Freddy) on the "Folk on BBC tonight & this week" thread, a BBC programme germane to the discussions here of what is folk song, who made it, who the "folk" are, etc, including some words from Steve Roud himself.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 04:04 AM

Whenn I lived there Manchester Central Library used to have a large number of newspapers and other publications from the Cotton Famine and Chartist period, many of them carrying columns of songs and poems from textile workers, describing their work (or lack of it) and the conditions brought aabout by slave-like work, poor pay and harsh treatment
Alongside the poems of Waugh, Axon, Bamford and the other weaver poets, they proved an interesting contrast in style to the smaller collection of broadsides also carried by the library
These are proof positive of the creative skills of working people and the desire to put them down on paper.
I got the impression that the langage used in the songs sent in were not so much dialect, but an attempt to phonetically reproduce the words by people unfamiliar with putting pen to paper - the difference between genuine compositions and the pastiche of Dibden and the hacks

"who the "folk"
The BBC aren't generous enough to allow us ex-pats to listen to their programmes
I wonder if anybody records this, would they let me have a copy
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 04:22 AM

Jim - you can get to the programme (my copy) by clicking this link:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ah5KuRT6IqVhgdln4yV8XKWpxjNieg

Will


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 06:10 AM

Thanks Will - I never cease to admire the generosity (and initiative) of members of this forum
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 06:49 AM

'Waugh, Axon, Bamford and the other weaver poets',

Waugh was not a weaver, though he may have been a poet. He worked in printing and publishing.

Here's a bit of Bamford:

God help the poor, who in this wintry morn,
Come forth of alleys dim and courts obscure;
God help yon poor, pale girl, who droops forlorn,
And meekly her affliction doth endure!
God help the outcast lamb! she trembling stands,
All wan her lips, and frozen red her hands;
Her mournful eyes are modestly down cast,
Her night-black hair streams on the fitful blast;
Her bosom, passing fair, is half reveal'd,
And oh! so cold the snow lies there congeal'd;
Her feet benumb'd, her shoes all rent and worn; ?
God help thee, outcast lamb, who stand'st forlorn!
                                           God help the poor!

To me, this is fairly standard 19th century 'literary' stuff. Basically iambic pentameter, with some variation for interest. Interesting rhyming scheme. Christian symbolism with mention of 'lambs' and of course 'God!'. Repetition and replacement. Some archaic language choice, reminiscent of bible 'doth' and 'thee'.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 07:11 AM

Hello Jim

'Alongside the poems of Waugh, Axon, Bamford and the other weaver poets...'

Just to clarify, Waugh seems not to have been a 'weaver poet'.

If the Axon referred to is William Axon, this person was a journalist.

Bamford attended Manchester Grammar School for a while, presumably at a time when it still had more of its original charitable intentions, so he was by no means a naive uneducated 'poet', unused to setting material down on paper.

Your point on what is accent and what is 'dialect' is interesting, though I don't quite follow it. There is a fine line between the two. Dialect is, as you suggest, often seen more a matter of grammar and vocabulary then just pronunciation. I agree that some of this material attempts to convey pronunciation, but then I lose you.


Some of the quotations given by Waugh seem to include examples of vocabulary varying according to dialect, including 'hond' for 'hand', 'yo' for 'you' 'co'de' for 'called' (pronounced a bit like code) and so on.

I'm guessing that some of these writers might have been to some extent 'bi-dialectical' as a result of their education and other factors.


Here's some Bamford. He was a fan of Byron, it appears. Fairly typical 19th century stuff.


God help the poor, who in this wintry morn,
Come forth of alleys dim and courts obscure;
God help yon poor, pale girl, who droops forlorn,
And meekly her affliction doth endure!
God help the outcast lamb! she trembling stands,
All wan her lips, and frozen red her hands;
Her mournful eyes are modestly down cast,
Her night-black hair streams on the fitful blast;
Her bosom, passing fair, is half reveal'd,
And oh! so cold the snow lies there congeal'd;
Her feet benumb'd, her shoes all rent and worn; ?
God help thee, outcast lamb, who stand'st forlorn!
                                           God help the poor!

Interesting rhyming scheme. Iambic pentameter with some variation. Some biblical references and lexical choices eg 'thee', 'lamb', 'doth'.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 08:13 AM

I think I understand Jim to be saying that much of the material is not dialect but people trying to render the language as people spoke in the street and mill.

I used have a Lancashire accent (but fairly close to Saddleworth which was Yorkshire then). I had, and still have, great difficulty reading Laycock and getting any feel that it sounds as intended. I have no problem with the dialogue in the introduction to the poem from the Exeter database that I linked:

“Come Jim, sit down, and I’ll sing thee a song of my own composin’; th’ knows I’ve a good vice, and they told me last club neet, after I had sung ‘Spencer, the rover,’ that I had a bit o’ music in me, some said ‘there’s life i’th’ owd dog yet.’ I’ve made this song to th’ tune of ‘O Susannah,’ becose I thowt everybody ud know that. Join chorus, and give it bant.”

That is presumably intended to be how people spoke, with a few dialect words. The poem itself is mainly in standard English.

So I wonder if the dialect of the dialect poets was archaic even then.The mid 20th century dialect poet Harvey Kershaw seems to be somewhere in between and is fairly straight forward to read aloud with a Lancashire accent.

What do people make of "they told me last club neet, after I had sung ‘Spencer, the rover,’" ? I wonder when the mill social clubs, still going strong in the 1950s, started. (assuming it's not a modern spoof that has crept in...)


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 08:29 AM

" Fairly typical 19th century stuff. "
Where the traditions isn't thriving, poets borrowed styles from elsewhere
That was the case everywhere
Jim

Bamford
The Hand-loom Weavers’ Lament
You gentlemen and tradesmen, that ride about at will,
Look down on these poor people, it s enough to make you crill;
Look down on these poor people, as you ride up and down,
I think there is a God above will bring your pride quite down.

Chorus
You tyrants of England, your race may soon be run,
You may be brought unto account for what you’ve sorely done

You pull down our wages, shamefully to tell;
You go into the markets, and say you cannot sell;
And when that we do ask you when these bad times will mend
You quickly give an answer, "When the wars are at an end."

When we look on our poor children, it grieves our hearts full sore,
Their clothing it is worn to rags, while we can get no more,
With little in their bellies, they to work must go,
Whilst yours do dress as manky as monkeys in a show.

You go to church on Sundays, I'm sure it's nought but pride,
There can be no religion where humanity's thrown aside,
If there be a place in heaven, as there is in the Exchange,
Our poor souls must not come near there, like lost sheep they must range.

With the choicest of strong dainties your tables overspread,
With good ale and strong brandy, to make your faces red;
You call d a set of visitors—it is your whole delight—
And you lay your heads together to make our faces white.

You say that Bonyparty he's been the spoil of all,
And that we have got reason to pray for his downfall;
Now Bonyparty’s dead and gone, and it is plainly shown
That we have bigger tyrants in Boneys of our own.

And now, my lads, for to conclude, it’s time to make an end;
Let s see if we can form a plan that these bad times may mend;
Then give us our old prices, as we have had before,
And we can live in happiness, and rub off the old score.

Attributed to Bamford
HOW TO LIVE ON THREE SHILLINGS A WEEK, OR THE POOR SURAT WEAVER’S LAMENT.
Hungry, weary and wan,
Useless the kettle and pan;
I applied for a pass,
To the sewing class,
To a kindly reputed man.
“What have you in earnings, now?”
Asked he, with a clouded brow.
I, with modesty meek,
Said, “Three shillings per week;”
He said “There’s no stitching for you.”
I replied, whereupon,
“My chemise are done;
My underclothes all worn to rags;
The dress I now wear,
You see is threadbare,
And the soles of my feet on the flags.
“Three muffins per day,
But no coffee or tea;
A penny for ‘tatoes at noon;
Three farthings for fuel,
A farthing for gruel,
Leaves nothing to pay for my room.
“My three shillings are gone,
I’ve no light but the sun;
Not a candle to see me to bed;
Not a penny for clothes,
Not a farthing for shoes,
No bonnet or cap for my head.
“No mutton or beef,
From such scale of relief,
Can th’ poor Surat weaver e’er taste;
No butter or grease,
Can e’er have a place,
On the table where she has to feast.
“This little support
Is to encourage work!
Good gracious how shuttles will fly!
What ribbons and lace
Will adorn my pale face,
Made rosy with pudding and pie!”


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 09:04 AM

For me, this is the most interesting song/poem to come out of that period
Jim Carroll

The Surat Weavers   Samuel Laycock (woolen weaver)

Confound it! aw ne’er wur so woven afore,
Mi back’s welly bracken, mi fingers are sore;
Aw’ve bin starin’ an’ rootin’ amung this Shurat,
Till aw’m very near getten as bloint as a bat.

Every toime aw go in wi’ mi cuts to owd Joe,
He gies mi a cursin’, an’ bates mi an’ o ;           keeps         back         part of payment
Aw’ve a warp i’ one loom wi’ booath selvedges marr’d
An’ th’ other’s as bad, for he’s dressed it to’ hard.

Aw wish aw wur fur enough off, eawt o’ th’ road,
For o’ weavin’ this rubbitch aw’m gettin’ reet stow’d;        fed up
Aw’ve nowt i' this world to lie deawn on but straw,
For aw’ve nobbut eight shillin’ this fortn’t to draw.

Neaw aw haven’t mi family under mi hat,
Aw’ve a woife an’ six childer to keep eawt o’ that;
So aw’m rayther amung it at present, yo’ see,
Iv ever a fellow wur puzzl’t, it’s me!

Iv one turns eawt to stale, folk’ll co me a thief,              steal
An’ aw conno’ put th’ cheek on to ax for relief;
As aw said i’ eawr heawse t’other neet to mi woife,
I niver di nowt o’ this sort in me loif

One doesn’t like everyone t’ know heaw they are,
But we’n suffered so lung thro’ this ’Merica war,
’At ther’s lots o’ poor factory folk getten t’ fur end,
An’ they’ll soon be knocked o’er iv th’ toimes dunno mend.

Oh, dear! iv yon Yankees could only just see
Heaw they’re clemmin’ an starvin’ poor weavers loike me,
Aw think they’d soon setde the’r bother, an’ strive
To send us some cotton to keep us alive.

Ther’s theawsands o’ folk just i’ th’ best o’ the’r days,
Wi’ traces o’ want plainly seen i’ the’r face;
An’ a future afore ’em as dreary an’ dark,
For when th’ cotton gets done we shall o’ be beawt wark.   all be without work

We’n bin patient an’ quiet as lung as we con;
Th’ bits o’ things we had by us are welly o gone;    almost all gone
Aw’ve bin trampin’ so lung, mi owd shoon are worn eawt,
An’ mi halliday clooas are o on ’em “up th’ speawt.”    pawned

It wur nobbut last Monday aw sowd a good bed—
Nay, very near gan it—to get us some bread; gave
Afore these bad toimes come aw used to be fat,
But neaw, bless yo’r loife, aw’m as thin as a lat!

Mony a toime i’ mi loife aw’v seen things lookin’ feaw,   ugly
But never as awk’ard as what they are neaw;
Iv ther’ isn’t some help for us factory folk soon,
Aw’m sure we shall o be knocked reet eawt o’ tune.

Come, give us a lift, yo’ ’at han owt to give,
An’ help yo’r poor brothers an’ sisters to live;
Be kind, an’ be tender to th’ needy an’ poor,
An’ we'll promise when th’ toimes mend we’ll ax yo’ no moor.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 09:14 AM

Jag

You may be right. Thanks.

I wasn't sure if Jim was trying to state that the 'weaver poets' were not very used to writing things down, and that deviations from standard English in their work reflected this rather than dialect. This was what he put:

"an attempt to phonetically reproduce the words by people unfamiliar with putting pen to paper ... "

This suggests that the writers had some grasp of how to represent things 'phonetically', which seems to refer to pronunciation, which is one aspect of dialect, yet Jim is saying he did not feel that the poems were like dialect. The examples of writers he gives confused me more. But maybe Jim himself can clarify this.

I agree with you about the introduction to the piece on the Exeter web site, and also with their comment about the variety of dialects in the poem that follows.

I think I can get a feel for Laycock, though you have to read it through a couple of times, and some of his dialect words are somewhat familiar to me eg 'yead' for 'head', but I feel he uses a lot more of the letter h than was probably pronounced. His biography says he learned a 'free-flowing' hand at school, and he was involved in literary circles all his life. I am thinking he would have been bi-dialectical. And not a drinker it would appear.

Jim

Hello

I agree that poets never exist in a vacuum and will be influenced by one or more of the styles around at the time. That, I think, is partly what enables people like Roud to date 'traditional' songs to specific periods. Thanks for the additional examples of the same sort of 19th century thing. Very little dialect in these examples, though.

It would appear that Laycock's poems sometimes appeared as broadsheets. He needed the money. I just found one online, price 1d, printed in Blackpool, where, like many Lancashire folk before him, he retired. So maybe he isn't the best choice of contrast between 'good' stuff and the product of 'hacks'.

There is a lot of stuff about Laycock here:

http://www.gerald-massey.org.uk/laycock/b_broadsheets.htm

He seems to have been an interesting chap.

Tzu


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 09:31 AM

Samuel Laycock (woolen weaver)

He was a cotton power-loom operative for 17 years, then got a "lift in the world" and became a 'cloth looker'. When the 'Cotton Famine' struck and he wrote work that appeared on broadsides. Then he was librarian and hall-keeper at Stalybridge Mechanics Institute for six years. Acted as curator to the Addison Literary Club. Later failed as a book-stall holder on Oldham Market and then had a successful small business (type not given) in Blackpool.

I gave a link to the book with a biography.

'Woolen weaver' is romantic and wrong.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 09:47 AM

Thanks for the link Pseu'.

Jim. Before universal primary education kids were employed, or doing something practical and useful around the house or farm, from an early age. They would grow up knowing the technical terms for the work they and their family members did. Layock's life illustrates how someone writing songs can know the technical terms for a trade without being employed in it for more than few years. Like him, those who learned to read and write might get a 'lift in the world'. We don't know how many of the folk who wrote songs really were illiterate.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 09:52 AM

He was a mill worker
The point I was trying to make was that most of them had their roots in the communities they wrote about and a great number of them did not romanticise those communities or patronise them with pastiche
The fact that some of their compositions appeared on broadsides was incidental - the broadside trade was a predatory one that took its songs from wherever they appeared
Many, in my opinion, remade them to sell to urban customers and in doing so took the reality from them
It's interesting to compare this practice with the 'ballad-selling trade' in Ireland, wheer the songs were taken directly from the mouths of the singers, printed and sold as heard
Jim


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

Hello again Jim

I know that one of your tradition bearers sold his songs direct to ballad makers, but I don't think it is accurate to assert that the whole trade in Ireland went like that. I have read that Cork was a centre for pirate broadsheet song making to sell to the colonies at a time when Irish copyright laws were not like English ones.

Also, I'm not sure that the point stands in relation to Laycock who made songs and sold them to printers to make money because he needed the money during the cotton famine, more or less the same as your tradition bearer except that your tradition bearer may have had to sing it rather than writing it down.

I think Laycock does 'romanticise'; it is one of the ways he tries to create sympathy, and it seems to me to be in line with Victorian ideas of the 'deserving poor'. Note the 'modesty meek' description. Of course this is just my view.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 10:32 AM

Jim. Back in January, something I quoted something that Roud quotes from Charlotte Burne in the last part of the 19th century:

"One such song-maker, commonly called 'the Muxton carter' ... ... used to think the verses over in his mind when he was going with the horses... ... It was doubtless such unlettered poets as these who supplied the matter for the broadsides which emanated in great numbers from Waidson's press at Shrewsbury during the earlier years of the present century"

Laycock was an urban writer and Burne thought that the rural Muxon carter was supplying the broadside presses.

I don't know, but the Waidson of Waidson's press could just have been a small town tradesman putting food on his family's table by providing a service for which there was a demand just like the blacksmiths, coal merchants, publicans, tailers, tinkers and candlestick makers.

If you want to get into politico-economics the question would be whether or not the broadside printers were adding value commensurate with their income after expenses. You seem the regard them like 'rent seekers'. What is your evidence for that?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 11:14 AM

"I think Laycock does 'romanticise'; it is one of the ways he tries to create sympathy, "
I disagree totally
My understanding of romanticising is producing a roseate pastiche picture of the characters and their backgrounds - far from what these writers were - and a thousand miles from the output of the broadside presses
In some cases, their stly may have been borrowed thus their subject matter is nearer to Engles 'Conditions of the Working Class in England' than it was to Harrison Ainsworth
Jag mentioned Harvey Kershaw - a romantic poet, even though he was writing from his own background
I remember seeing him and Harry Boardman perform on numerous occasions and comparing the 'Reet Lancashire' songs with some of Harry's traditional songs - Harry was as much as chalk and cheese as to be two different singers   
Some of these poets were political activists, Bampton being a prime example - it was their activism that inspired their writing, noth their need to put food o the table

It's interesting to compare this song making tradition with that of the Irish over the same period
Both were making songs, the difference being that the Irish had rich and thriving oral tradition to draw from whereas industrial Lancashire appeared not to have.
This is certainly reflected in the songmaking
Rather than basing these arguments on the printed word you really need to judge the songs as sung.

"but I don't think it is accurate to assert that the whole trade in Ireland went like that"
The rural trade did - the towns of course were influenced by the bad poetry of the broadsides
The rural 'ballad selling trade' has been very much neglected and lumped in with the urban one - they really were very diifferent repretoires
Ironically, the ballad trade was almost exclusively the domain of non-literate Travellers, who were also the saviours of some of our best examples of Traditional ballads and folk takes - an almost pure oral tradition
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 12:08 PM

Hi Jim

Thanks, I knew the Irish ballad trade wasn't quite as simple as I thought you had suggested. Do you know any more about the pirating in Cork, by any chance?

Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 12:47 PM

I agree with Jim about Laycock. I have just been dipping in at random. I find it mainly descriptive and mainly in the present rather than appealing to nostalgia. Description of things with emotional interest of course.

"Bowton' Yard" is well know but not typical.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 01:15 PM

"Do you know any more about the pirating in Cork, by any chance? "
I know little about the broadside trade in Ireland, beyond the influence that O'Loughlin's street ballads and James Healey's publications had on the oral tradition I'm afraid
I do know that most of the 'big' traditional singers and storytellers mistrusted the published songs and would only use them to supplement their own oral texts
The broadside influences appeared to be largely urban
I was once told by Hugh Shields that very little is known about the trural 'ballad' trade apart from reports of it having happened
It was fascinating to interview a ballad seller
I intend re-reding Bamford’s Passages in the Life of a Radical’ tonight to see if he mentiones songmaking – it’s decades since I read it
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 08:22 PM

I know I heard a radio programme about dialect poets a short while ago, and here is a relevant link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4xDyV5CQKLMDPcrnyWMBLj8/an-ear-for-an-aye-listening-to-englands-dialect-poetry

I also foundsomething about the cotton famine poets on the BBC web site, and here is a link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-37836654

These people were mostly poets not song writers, though.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Aug 18 - 02:51 AM

I think we seem to be walking up the old blind alley here once again
Instead of askin who made our folk songs we should be asking why they were made
The 'print origins' people have provided their answer - for money - after half a centuries experience in folk song, that is the very last conclusion I would have reached
I think the answers to the origins and the functions of our folk songs lie in the songs themselves, not their manifestations on paper
For me, the greatest omission in Roud's book is his failure to include song-texts leaving us unable to place his arguments next to the subject of his eponymously chosen title a work on folk songs with the subject matter removed.

I firmly believe that our songs are an important part of our social history - you can't deal with them in this manner if you believe them to be commercial commodities; you can't even do that if you believe them to me merely 'entertainments'

They were made to entertain in part and they were taken up and sold, but once you start to examine them in their social context you have to realise thay are something much more than that.

I flicked through Bamford's thumbnail autobiography last night - his only reference to his songs (pooms) was the effect one of them had on his fellow-radicals - they were part of his life as a worker and a radical, not a way of putting a crust on the table.
This made them a voice of working-people's experience and struggle.
These industrial songs are only a tiny part of the equation.

WE were privileged enough to be able to look at two major traditions - one still living (for a time), and one moribund but still warm.
Apart from the repertoires the common feature of the two was the obvious desire, even need to make songs in order to capture the experiences and feelings of the communities.
That, for me, has to be a major clue of who made our folk songs.

Jim


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