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New Book: Folk Song in England

GUEST,jag 16 Aug 18 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,jag 16 Aug 18 - 03:56 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 04:10 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 06:35 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,jag 16 Aug 18 - 07:39 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 07:44 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 08:01 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 08:32 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 09:07 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 09:22 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,jag 16 Aug 18 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,jag 16 Aug 18 - 10:13 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,jag 16 Aug 18 - 10:25 AM
Brian Peters 16 Aug 18 - 10:29 AM
Vic Smith 16 Aug 18 - 10:33 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 10:33 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 10:38 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 10:42 AM
Vic Smith 16 Aug 18 - 10:55 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 10:58 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 11:00 AM
Vic Smith 16 Aug 18 - 11:03 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 11:10 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 11:37 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 16 Aug 18 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 12:56 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 01:04 PM
Vic Smith 16 Aug 18 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Aug 18 - 01:21 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 01:58 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 02:38 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 02:45 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 18 - 03:17 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 03:20 PM
Vic Smith 16 Aug 18 - 03:29 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 18 - 03:46 PM
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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 03:35 AM

I was going to say that for the Cob Coalin' song Harry probably was a 'source singer' but the mudcat thread on it quotes him as saying he collected it from local children.

He gave a new lease of life, amongst an adult audience, to a song that had survived by oral transmission amongst children for at least 50 years having, the consensus seems to be, originated as a mainly adult pace-egging song.

Most of his other songs had already died, some having had an initially short life as topical broadsides.

How long have people been doing that? Did music hall performers do the same?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 03:56 AM

A Folk Song ... by Any Other Name

Just trying to be helpful.

(Joe links need a password. Do I have to join?)


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 04:10 AM

Thanks Joe - they both download nicely
I wrote the 'Other Name article', 'Countryman' was a joint effort
"Joe links need a password."
I didn't realise they did - you probably will have to joun but don't forget the vaccination against infection if you do!!
Thanks for putting up a usable link - I couldn't find it earlier
If you want the Countryman article you will have to let me have an e-mail address and I'll post it
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 06:11 AM

>>>>>>I firmly believe that the folk were capable having made their folk songs - nobody here has ever suggested that they couldn't have<<<<<

So why do you keep posting it?

>>>>>>>opinions of researchers and anthologists<<<<<<

More anthologists than researchers and most of these were simply regurgitating romantic notions without any foundation (in my opinion) As I said earlier Sharp was a collector and anthologist, not a folksong scholar. If you believe he was a folksong scholar present some evidence.

>>>>>>why not tell me why these songs should be the products of desk-bound city hacks who were notorious for their bad poetry?<<<<<<<

We have done so on many occasions but you choose to dismiss or ignore it.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 06:28 AM

I have several times tried to post links to some of the work on Walter Pardon that is available on line, but each time the post disappears.

So I'll just suggest that people look at the MUSTRAD pages on Walter Pardon, which are very interesting. They include transcripts of interviews and lists of recordings.

They explain that according to Walter Pardon himself most of the songs he sang came from his grandfather's broadsheets. Pardon learned his songs from an uncle who learned them from Pardon's uncle. Pardon could not later find these broadsheets, only a manuscript version of one song.

The MUSTRAD pages also allow us to trace three union songs sung by Pardon to a printed collected of such songs which his uncle owned.

If we discount fragments, it appears that Walter sang 182 songs.

If we accept whatever definition of 'folk' Pardon was working with when he and Jim drew up a list of Pardon songs that were not folk, and subtract the three from the book of union songs, that would leave about 139 that might be 'folk songs'. But of course this method is flawed. So many dodgy variables.

On Roud's definition, however, even the ones from broadsides would count as folk as they appear to have reached Pardon by a process of oral transmission over two generations, grandfather to uncle, uncle to Pardon.

Pardon was taken up by the folk revivalists, and even filmed, and I agree with the comments that he must have found the process strange.

Personally I find that when people start swearing in what appears to be a bad-tempered manner, or to post in red letters, I switch off ('Pardon' the electrical metaphor) and lose interest in what they have to say. Not my sort of red letter day. It just makes me tend to sympathise with whoever woulnd them up.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 06:35 AM

The other thing I picked up from MUSTRAD and elsewhere is that there appear to have been some disagreements between the revivalists about which of Pardon's work to release on record. I'm wondering what we know about these.

The MUSTRAD site has a list of 78 records owned by Pardon. A mixture of Irish, American, Vera Lynn,. Quite eclectic influences.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 06:55 AM

"So why do you keep posting it?"
Because you - and everybody keep ignoring it in your quest to prove that they didn't
There you go with you "romanticism" again
One minute it's a matter of opinion, the next a dismissal of the work of others
You really have to produce proof of your claims other than earliest publication dates

It is rapidly becoming my opinion that a group of desk-bound academics (who haven't done enough background work to merit the title "researchers") have decided to fill in the empty hours by coming up with yet another new theory by arbitrarily redefining folk song to include the dross of the commercial music industry

Sharp not a researcher this is as much utter nonsense as was describing Water's importance as being because he was a latecomer and among only a few
Sharp, as limited as his work might have been by his times and the fact he was a pioneer, was a scholar who actually examined what he collected and came to 'some conclusions" about what he found
It is distasteful and totally contrary to the friendly and co-operative attitude I have always experienced from fellow enthusiasts and researchers, to see a group of newbies tearing down the work of the people who gave us the songs we have taken so much pleasure and interest from - unprofessional, to say the least

"We have done so on many occasions "
You are being disingenuous in claiming you have explained why you have the hacks could have made our songs - I've just listed your feeble, on-the spot and somewhat pathetic excuses
None of my business but if I was another poster I would bitterly resent your implicating me in your claims - nobody but you has dragged up ill-thought-out excuses
You appear not even to regard these hacks as historically judh=ged producers of "dunghill" doggerel

You are not going to either withdraw or explain your downgrading of one of England's finest traditional singers - apologising for doing so seems beyond all expectation.
Your team really needs a few people who actually like and understand folk song

MacColl once told us in an interview that he believed folk song would only die if it fell into the hands of people who don't like or understand it and want to replace it with something else.
In the words of one of his songs "It's all happening now"
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 07:06 AM

Eggs for Breakfast, minus another one:   Written in 1870s by Harry Linn. 138.

The Parson and the Clarke, known author: 137


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 07:32 AM

Just at the moment, I really don't care very much what Ewan MacColl said. I do not find 'MacColl' said it much of an argument.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 07:39 AM

Walter Pardon from Jim's mustrad article

Nine times out of ten I can get an old fashioned ten keyed accordion, German tuned, you can nearly tell what is an old song. Of course that doesn't matter what modern songs there is, the bellows always close when that finish, like that. And you go right back to the beginning of the nineteenth and eighteenth (century), they finish this way, pulled out, look.

How good a discriminator is that? Many of the song tunes, and a huge number of dance tunes, were written down in the early 19th and late 18th century. Are all the Music Hall tunes all 'bellows closed' tunes? The way Pardon put it not definitive because it could be a circular argument but the manuscripts might help us test it.

A box player explained to me about the bellows open thing when giving hints on how to work out the key of a tune from watching players, and it was mentioned early in this discussion.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 07:44 AM

REgarding Walter
Walter did have an eclectic record collection, most of the songs he new from them he remembered rather than learned - I aften astound Pat be singing my way though all the Buddy Holly, Connie Francis and Hank Williams songs that used to line my record racks
Mike Yates made the largest number of Waler's records and did his usual excellent job of doing so - they represented Walter's musical experiences perfectly
My 'By any other Name' article a was a response to an article by him on the Musical Traditions site - his title, 'The Other Music' sums up perfectly how Walter regarded his non-folk songs
I couldn't find it earlier but it should still be on the MT site - well worth reading.

We were given the sad job of clearing Walters house out after he died
He and his family were hoarders who seldom threw anything out - from dozens of blunt scythe blades, to the same number of old cut-throat razors going back two generations.
Nowhere did we come across old songbooks or broadsides
What we did inherit was two of his notebooks in which he systematically listed and wrote out the words of his family's "old folk" songs - fascinating and revealing
WE still have his old gramophone and some of his records on display in our home

Can I make something quite clear
Walter never worked to any "definition" - he instinctively knew what was what in the songs he knew and was outspoken in saying so - though he never argued with people about his opinions
He did occasionally tell us of visitors who came for his musicall/Victorian songs
We hae him on tape somewhere saying "I don't know what they want them old things for".
Walter and Pat and I never at any time "worked on a list" - we would never have done so had we been given the opportunity
If you asked him a question, the answer came poring out without hesitation.

For me, one of the most insightful things anybody has ever said about a song is, after he had sung 'Van Dieman's Land', he burst out, "That's a long old song, but it was a long old journey"
Walterw was a singer who wore his songs as he wore his favourite old clothes - they fitted him perfectly and were a part of his life.
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 07:44 AM

REgarding Walter
Walter did have an eclectic record collection, most of the songs he new from them he remembered rather than learned - I aften astound Pat be singing my way though all the Buddy Holly, Connie Francis and Hank Williams songs that used to line my record racks
Mike Yates made the largest number of Waler's records and did his usual excellent job of doing so - they represented Walter's musical experiences perfectly
My 'By any other Name' article a was a response to an article by him on the Musical Traditions site - his title, 'The Other Music' sums up perfectly how Walter regarded his non-folk songs
I couldn't find it earlier but it should still be on the MT site - well worth reading.

We were given the sad job of clearing Walters house out after he died
He and his family were hoarders who seldom threw anything out - from dozens of blunt scythe blades, to the same number of old cut-throat razors going back two generations.
Nowhere did we come across old songbooks or broadsides
What we did inherit was two of his notebooks in which he systematically listed and wrote out the words of his family's "old folk" songs - fascinating and revealing
WE still have his old gramophone and some of his records on display in our home

Can I make something quite clear
Walter never worked to any "definition" - he instinctively knew what was what in the songs he knew and was outspoken in saying so - though he never argued with people about his opinions
He did occasionally tell us of visitors who came for his musicall/Victorian songs
We hae him on tape somewhere saying "I don't know what they want them old things for".
Walter and Pat and I never at any time "worked on a list" - we would never have done so had we been given the opportunity
If you asked him a question, the answer came poring out without hesitation.

For me, one of the most insightful things anybody has ever said about a song is, after he had sung 'Van Dieman's Land', he burst out, "That's a long old song, but it was a long old journey"
Walterw was a singer who wore his songs as he wore his favourite old clothes - they fitted him perfectly and were a part of his life.
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 07:50 AM

The case of Walter Pardon, for me, supports entirely what Steve Roud says in his book, that ordinary people in England over the centuries sang songs from print traditions and were influenced by these, and that later recorded music and music from the USA were also influences.

I'm not sure about 'starry-eyed' or 'romantic' are complete descriptions of what has been going on here, but plainly there is a lot of romanticism and I am finding some of it patronising.

What is plain is that this thread isn't going to be allowed to discuss Roud's brilliant book because some people want to tell a different story.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 08:01 AM

For a discussion of the major and minor modes in English folk song, there is a chapter in Roud by Julia Bishop. I believe her view is that most English folk tunes were in major modes. It was said that collectors and revivalists liked the minor modes precisely because they felt less usual. Assuming that a song ends on the home note, bellows closed would be major, bellows open minor.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 08:32 AM

"that ordinary people in England over the centuries sang songs from print traditions and were"
Maybe some dod - Walter didn't
He vever sandg American songs and the songs he sang he gathered from his family and wrote them down
The rest le REMEMBERED from hearing them sung or played on records
You seem to have become an expert on Walter overnight - from 'Cupid the Ploughboy' to what he sung - or in this case, what he didn't sing
I have explained over and over again how Walter got his songs

He was an only child who spent his childhood and youth in the company of two elderly singer uncles
The family singing took place at home, at falmiy gathering for birthdays and at Christmas - there Walter, as a boy, only ever sang one song, 'The Dark-Eyed Sailor' "'Cause nobody else wanted that one"
Originally the singing had taken place at Harvest Suppers, but Walter was too young to remember them

During WW2 Walter was called up and served his time in various places in England (mainly Yorkshire) due to a foot problem
When he returned both his uncles were dead, so he systematically setout to gather his families songs, largely from memory, but also from other family members.
He memorised the tunes on his melodeon and they lay dormant until a nephew, Roger, persuaded him to put some of them on tape - do he went out, bought a tape recorder and did so (we have a lovely and somewhat hilarous description of his doing so)

Roger was tutoring Peter Bellamy at University nad passed on the tape to him who in turn passed it on to Bill Leader
Then and only then did Walter begin to sing in public
WE have Walter's original selections - they reflect his own definition of folk song perfectly

Roud and Bishop really needed to get out among traditional singers more before they made their definitive statements
In an argument once Julia once told Pat that she was wrong about Travellers because she (Julia) had "studied the subject at University"

I really am becoming a little pissed-off with this huge gap of understanding from people who really should know better before they make their definitive and (unfortunately) influential statements based on wild generalisations about a dead tradition
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 08:38 AM

People appear not to want to discuss Roud's "brilliant" book rather than to pay homage to it
It is an excellent account of the history of popular music - in my opinion it falls at the first fnce on folk music by redefining it and making it and making it both meaningless and 'ordinary'
THis thread has discussed in detail the problems that Roud's redefinition has raised
It is the first thread on the subject of definition that hasn't ended up a slanging match and has dealt with the subject in detail
I for one am grateful for that
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 08:39 AM

Guest: :D


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 08:44 AM

Jim

"Roud's redefinition"

If it makes you happy to believe that, what harm does it do?

People can always read the book.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 08:57 AM

"It is the first thread on the subject of definition that hasn't ended up a slanging match"


I laughed out loud.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 09:07 AM

Unfortunately Jim, I don't regard you as a reliable source of historical information. I have to take into account when evaluating your assertions your own ideological bias, and also your track record of misrepresentations, personal slurs, part truths, and romanticism.

Sorry, but this has been a long discussion and I have, as I said, learned a lot.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 09:22 AM

"People can always read the book."
The review that stands out for me said "Look - the folk didn't write folk songs"
That for me undermines the whole basis of folk song
The folk revival went crashing in flames when people started taking the"folk" out of folk clubs and our guarantee of hearing a folk song was removed from us.

Irish Traditional music has been guaranteed a future because a handful of dedicated people built a solid foundation for it based on what the singers and musicians actually sang, played and said
The annual Willie Clancy Summer School (last months was the 46th) was started to honour a fine traditional musician, the first classes, talks and recitals were largely presented by traditional musicians and singers and that has remained the policy for four months short of half a century
Many of the old pupils and attendees of the events are now teachers as researchers themselves and there are literary many hundreds of young people coming onto the scene, some playing better than their teachers.
They can do what they want with the music now - modernise it, experiment with it, merge it with other forms - but the fact that a basis has been built means that it will never be lost among the other genres.
We wouldn't know where to begin if some bugger kept moving the goal-posts as this lot has done.
Irish people now know wahat traditional music is, it is presented on the radio and television most nights of the week, it is recognised as an art form, even by the formal arts world and it is now treated with pride and respect
Before the bankers ***** up our economy, asking for a grant for research was pushing on an open door (we were lucky enough to get two)
The fact that our County Library opened a website to make our Clare songs available is indicative of how "the times they are a-changin' here, as is the fact that the Council appointed two singers-in-residence to take our songs around the local schools   
The Irish Traditional music Archive was opened by Ireland's first woman president, the lovely Mary Robinson and he move to spectacular new premises im Merrion Square was honoured by the Irish Arts Minister

On a personal level, at present I can go out five/six nights a week and hear traditional music well played (that will probably drop to three-four nights during the winter months
Song has some way to go to catch up, but some of us are working on that all the time

It's not the facile boom that once took place, here and in Britain - it's here to stay and many of the musicians are now parts of dynasties - grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren....
That would never have happened in w situation where those involved couldn't find their folk arse with both hands - it was fought for y people who knew what traditional music was and how unique and important it was.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 09:32 AM

"Unfortunately Jim, I don't regard you as a reliable source of historical information."
I'll lay awake worrying about that one Pseau
You know who I am, you have been given enough to know what Pat and I did, you can read up on our work and listen to our singers - you can even visit the Library at Limerick University World Music Department that (somewhat embarrassingly) is to be named after us
I don't even know your name, let alone what you are from or what you have done
In then end, it's not about us but the singers and those who opened the doors to these wonderful songs
There have been liberal doses of insulting, demeaning and marginalising all of those to one degree or another, so I can take a degree of comfort in remembering that I am in the best of company as a recipient of your insulting behaviour
You appear not to have learned very much
I think it best that we stop trading insults before we close this thread - don't you?
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 09:40 AM

"People can always read the book."
The review that stands out for me said "Look - the folk didn't write folk songs"


Unless that reviewer (which review is it ?) has been taking part in this discussion why bend people's ears over it here.

If you want some academic arrogance then I will say that Walter Pardon's view about the tunes (melodeon bellows etc) lacks rigour and displays a flaw in logic worthy of a simple country man. It makes me reluctant to accept what he says about the words at face value.

That said, I hope people regard the interview as a valuable record of the views he came to base on his experience and knowldege of the past. Not to take it into account in a scholarly study would be remiss but to base a critique of a book on it is unconvincing.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:13 AM

I do have a comment on the book. It may be I missed something because I was not thinking of it at the time, but I don't recall a discussion of the relevance of solo versus communal singing on the development of songs.

It occurred to me when reading the recent 'Lord Randall' thread. That strikes me as being a very 'robust' song suitable for a serious solo, or with some joining in on the repeated parts, or as something like call and response maybe with boozed-up wags sometimes throwing in jokey substitutions. I first came across it 'communally' as the vestigial (parody or creative abstraction?) 'Green and yeller' as sung by Pete Seeger but maybe created for the barrack room.

Roud does mention burlesques and parodies comming back into the oral tradition not recognized as such. How much of the shortening down to a few versus that Walter Pardon comments on for Music Hall also went on amongst the folk to allow something that most people could remember and join in with. I have heard it said that one characteristic of the style of the Music Hall was that people sang what they had heard whilst walking home and looked forward to the next time.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:13 AM

Sharp >>>>>>'was a scholar who actually examined what he collected and came to 'some conclusions" about what he found'<<<<<<<

So where's your evidence for how he came to those 'incorrect' conclusions? Blind faith is not enough to a realist, a romantic maybe.

>>>>>>>a group of newbies tearing down the work of the people<<<<<<

Kneejerk twaddle. We certainly are not newbies.

Jim, I have not stooped to personal abuse since we were warned off about this. I have bitten my tongue on numerous occasions since then, but you have continued in your usual abusive way, and others are noticing.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:25 AM

I am guessing from your quotation style Steve that the Guest who asked about the ox ploughman was you. If so that answer is 'high altitude East Africa'.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for the various comments about Harry Boardman - nice to know that his name still resonates, and that others express respect for a man who was one of my great inspirations. Steve is right, though, that Harry was part of a movement still experimenting with appropriate ways of accompaniment. The banjo idea may have come from Peggy (or possibly Pete) Seeger, and I can remember several bands in the 1970s using banjos to accompany English material. My point about the concertina was that, although it’s often regarded as being an authentic folk instrument, there’s only the scantiest evidence for it having been used by English country singers to accompany themselves, so really it’s credentials are hardly stronger than the banjo – which, as I mentioned, does have a long history in England, albeit in a different style from that popular in the USA. All the evidence from every folk song collector in England is that songs were sung unaccompanied and solo, with a few instances of vocal harmony here and there. Incidentally, Harry was also an extremely good unaccompanied singer, as anyone who heard him sing ‘The Flying Cloud’ would testify.

Most of his other songs had already died, some having had an initially short life as topical broadsides.

This broadly true, although ‘With Henry Hunt We’ll Go’ was still clinging on in public conciousness by the time Frank Kidson started collecting. Harry also said that his song ‘I’ll Have a Collier’ came from his mother.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:33 AM

More about Walter Pardon from Musical Traditions -

Stand Up Ye Men of Labour The Socio-Political Songs of Walter Pardon
This first one one needs a bit of explanation. Keith Summers started his occasional but indispensible magazine Traditional Music magazine in 1975. - 10 great issues before he changed the name to Musical Traditions in 1983 to reflect his (and mine and many others) increasing interest in non-English language traditions to include many, particularly African, traditions. Always perilous financially, the venture was eventually taken up by Rod Stradling (initially with help from Fred McCormick) and he re-launched it as as internet only magazine - and what a treasure trove that has become.
At a later stage Rod digitised all the relevant articles and reviews from the paper editions and added them to the MT website. This one on Walter Pardon came from the first paper edition of Musical Traditions from Mid - 1983. Curiously, the website does not credit the author but checking with the paper edition confirms my suspicion that it was by Mike Yates.

Put a bit of Powder on it, Father ... the other songs of Walter Pardon - Roly Brown - Musical Traditions Website 07/06/2000

Put a Bit of Gunpowder on it, Father More controversy ... Correspondence arising from Roly's article (including some from people who have contributed to this thread - showing that very little changes in nearly 20 years)

Review of "World Without Horses" - Walter Pardon (Topic TSCD514) by Rod Stradling 14/06/2000


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:33 AM

Jag>>>>>> to allow something that most people could remember and join in with<<<<<< It did happen but not that often. Check out 'Johnny Sands' Laws Q3, Roud 184 which is a Music Hall rewrite of the earlier piece 'Marrow Bones', Laws Q2, Roud 183.(both found in oral tradition).

Also the broadside ballad 'William and Dinah' was parodied by Henry Mayhew to become 'Villikins & Dinah' (both found in oral tradition).

William Taylor, another example, from a 50 verse mid 18th century garland version cut down by the broadside writers more than once to about 12 verses, then that burlesqued for the Music Hall and then several of these running parallel in oral tradition, the burlesque even reverting to serious song.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:38 AM

"Jim, I have not stooped to personal abuse since we were warned off about this"
I have given an honest assessment of your work and deas and have been fairly diligent in saying why I have reached those conclusions
Nowhere will you find personal abuse from me - hard criticism certainly - I consider the te subject important enough to merit that
The only personal abuse here is when Pseu dismissed my arguments because of his misconceived assesmet of my politics (pretty much as you did)
You for your part have denigrated the work of fellow researchers and have belittled the contribution of one of England's most important singers
Your claims of origins is brand new - that was my reference to newbies
I have abused nobody here, not even you ("though I have most certainly bitten my tongue)
If you can't deal with strong criticism go find a fanzine forum

"Unless that reviewer (which review is it ?) has been taking part in this discussion why bend people's ears over it here. "
Because it is here I first read it when somebody put it up as a compliment to Rod's book - go read the thread
It has been the tenor of this argument from day one - that somebody else made folk songs and the folk were only customers (one of Steve G's earliest statements)
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:42 AM

'high altitude East Africa'.

Hi Jag, I suspected something like that. Actually that is very interesting in that one very strong proposed source of chantey singing is via East African slaves taking their customs with them to the Caribbean plantations. If you read Gibb's new book that is a very realistic possibility. I feel a thesis coming on! (Not really, I'm too long in the tooth.)


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:55 AM

"Rod's book"
Has Rod Stradling written a book?


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 10:58 AM

I thrive on strong criticism, Jim. I just thought we were trying to avoid having the thread shut down!

'denigrated the work of fellow researchers' The alternative to that is blind faith and I don't go there as you know.

'belittled the contribution of one of England's most important singers'
I have the utmost respect and admiration for Walter's contribution, and not selectively. If we had met I'm sure we would have got on famously, swapping songs and melodeon tunes. You misrepresent me once again.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 11:00 AM

Vic,
That's not very nice using a 'rod' to criticise someone's keyboard!


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 11:03 AM

Believe it or not, it was a genuine question when I typed that. It is only since reading it again that I realise what was intended.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 11:10 AM

"I just thought we were trying to avoid having the thread shut down!"
I am Steve - I can't speak for you
"blind faith "
I find that extremely insulting after forty years of research - on par with your "starry-eyed " comment
I have explained my reserved support of Sharp in detail
Please point out where I have insulted anybody here

"Has Rod Stradling written a book?"
More typos - you are exceeding yourself in your contribution Vic
Certainly not helpful
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 11:37 AM

I hope that was a joke to alleviate the atmosphere Vic
If it was, I apologise
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 11:37 AM

I hope that was a joke to alleviate the atmosphere Vic
If it was, I apologise
Jim


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 12:24 PM

Jim,

Could I ask a simple question? You knew Walter very well and you keep telling us he was one of the most important singers.

You have done much research in Ireland and keep quoting this in criticising a book about English Folk Song

Which other English singers did you interview in such depth?

As by your own admission you did not get into folk music until you were converted by the Liverpool Spinners in 1966 (therefore a newbie)I struggle to remember who was still around to interview.

N.B This is not a put down of Walter. I too enjoyed visiting him.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 12:56 PM

Vic

Thanks for the links to the MUSTRAD articles, and the background. I agree that this is a fascinating site. I've read with interest a number of articles on it.

I tried twice yesterday to post links to these and also to the Mainly Norfolk site which has something on Pardon, but for some reason the posts did not take and I gave up.

Generally speaking:

I am quite happy that a suggestion that a historical source may not be reliable because of ideological bias (which is a basic GCSE History point) is quite distinct from personal abuse of that source.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 01:04 PM

"Which other English singers did you interview in such depth?"
We met friend and a relative of Sam Larner and recorded a nephew and his wife, that was it really
As far as I know, very little work was done with any of our big traditional singers or if it was, it was never made public
I know my friend Bob Thomson spent time with Harry Cox shortly before hi dies - we have the recordings, which were basically Bob going over Harry's repertoire to find if he could add to to.
EWan, Peggy and Charles Parker recorded hours of talk from Sam Larner, largely for the Radio Ballad - we have those recordings in our archive.
We have actuality from the miners, mainly from The Elliots for 'The Big Hewer'
Ewan and Lomax interviewed Harry Cox at length - we have that   
None of the interviewers asked the questions we would have asked - it was frustrating to listen to them

We did some work with Duncan Williamson, but he was so intent on singing during the couple of times we visited him that is was virtually impossible to get him to talk

For me the greatest missed opportunity was the Jeannie Robertson book
Herschel Gower did a magnificent job of presenting her background but the analysis of the songs wa done by James Porter - as far as I can remember, there was very little input from Jeannie.

I've often wondered if the collectors on the BBC project ever recorded more than the songs - that would have been the last big opportunity to fill in the gap in our knowledge

I see little if any difference between the background of the English and Irish rural people to make a huge difference, except that they and the Travellers were far closer to a living tradition, which, to my mind, gives us a clearer picture how how one worked.
THere we got accounts of singing songs, how they were learned, how they were regarded, in the communities and by the individual communitiies

We also recorded details of the 'ballad selling trade, from a singer from a singing'storytelling family/including the mechanics of a non-literate Traveller putting his family's songs into print and the skill of selling them on the streets and in the pubs.

One of the most relevant to this argument was the making of songs to suit the events, as they happened.

I have no problem with the idea that we were dealing with an almost dead tradition here as newbies
I have always been grateful for my time at The Spinners Club, but I really was on may way out of the scene when I happened to hear Ewan and Peg and 'was smitten'
THye have been a major influence to my thinking ever since
Jim
By the way, Walter told us that he remembered hearing about the time the BBC visited hi local town, North Walsham - unfortunately they didn't make it out to Knapton


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 01:13 PM

Pseudonymous
Did you mean this illustrated discography of WB or was there something else on Mainly Norfolk? If there is I cannot find it.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 01:21 PM

Jag wrote:

"If you want some academic arrogance then I will say that Walter Pardon's view about the tunes (melodeon bellows etc) lacks rigour and displays a flaw in logic worthy of a simple country man. It makes me reluctant to accept what he says about the words at face value.

That said, I hope people regard the interview as a valuable record of the views he came to base on his experience and knowledge of the past. Not to take it into account in a scholarly study would be remiss but to base a critique of a book on it is unconvincing."

I agree with this, with the minor proviso that the interview, the provenance of which I am hazy about, and here I do not intend to insult or upset anybody, accurately represents what Pardon said, which it probably does. The reported comments also did show, I thought, how somebody without explicit musical knowledge might respond to the differences in "mode" to which they had a sensitivity.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 01:58 PM

"It makes me reluctant to accept what he says about the words at face value."
Ah well - you makwe a mistake and you know nothing of your own tradition
The logic of modern scholarship I suppose
Your theory is built on the corpses of the work of everybody else's Steve - now that's what I call academic arrogance big-time
Walter used the melodeon ads a guide and that's the way it worked for him
I think if Mike were here he would be able ytto confirm that in most cases Walter was right, even though he was not a particularly skilled player
Mike discussed this with him and told him he was wrong atout 'Black-Eyed Susan' which he took with good grace (far more so than is being displayed here, I might add)
I nfind my feeling towards your 'scholarship' shifting from disagreement to one of nausea
Is there no-one you respect?
In different circumstances and with a more level playing-field of open minds, I do believe you would be doing my job for me
I find the silence from others on your attacks on an important traditional singer and a century of researchers almost as depressing as the attacks themselves
Where's the bucket?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 02:38 PM

I think you're getting confused again, Jim. You seem to be aiming that last post at me, but I don't remember saying the things you've accused me of. Perhaps it's me that's confused. None of us getting any younger!


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 02:45 PM

'Is there no-one you respect?' I respect you, Jim, as a folksong collector.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 03:17 PM

Tried to post earlier
I apologise Steve - I did confuse posters - I should have recognised the style
I still find your previous attacks on Walter and your refusal to apologise unacceptable, but the time it wasn't you
I also find your reducing me to a collector patronising but as you did that with Sharp, I find myself in good company - I know I'm wasting my time where I have been "confused before' - it will probably end up in the same atray as similar requests for examples of insulting people
The silence of acquiescence remains a problem - does no-one care about attacks on one of our best field singers?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 03:20 PM

Of course they care. They just know that they are not attacks. This is in your own mind and nowhere else. Read my post of 10.58 please.


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 03:29 PM

Hootenanny's question -
Which other English singers did you interview in such depth?
was not directed at me, but I thought when reading it was that there must be many interview transcriptions on the Musical Traditions website with English singers.
Actually there were far fewer than I thought that there would be, though there are plenty of articles about them and many complete booklets of MT CD releases, but the singers in their own words - not so many. Nevertheless, I thought that I make a clickable list of them. I was very surprised to see that the majority of interviews had been conducted by myself. The first, clickable, name is that of the interviewee and the second name, the interviewer:-

Scan Tester by Rod & Danny Stradling
Sophie Legg by Vic Legg
Gordon Hall by Vic Smith
Johnny Doughty by Vic Smith
Bob Copper by Vic Smith
Reg Hall on Scan Tester by Vic Smith
Bob Lewis by Vic Smith
Tom Brown by Chris Holderness

Now, there ought to be at least another one because my interview with Scan Tester appeared in the paper edition of Traditional Music (No. 4 Mid-1976) . I thought that Rod had digitised all the relevant items for the MT website. However, that interview is available on the web as I made a .pdf facsimile of it for the Sussex Traditions database and you can read it by clicking here.
Looking back at all these interview transcription only serves to make me feel guilty about all the interviews that I made that are waiting for transcription, George Belton, George Spicer, his son Ron though all of these are shorter than those available on the web. This is not to mention the one with Scots traveller singers and musicians and even more with West African Manding Jalis. It's not as if I am not keeping myself busy!


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Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 18 - 03:46 PM

Vic,
I'm pretty certain Rod would be pleased to accept the outstanding ones.


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